If the seat post will fit, seems a 16 incher lowers the fall distance and center of gravity. Shoul be easier to learn on. Any drawbacks to using a small wheeled uni to learn on?
16" ? dont do it! yea your closer to the floor but only by 3 cm or so compared to a 20" which i feel is much better for a adult to learn on.
unless your 10 stay away from the 16" there isnt much you can do with a wheel that small than show off at kids parties and get them to have a go the 16" is not recomended for learning on buy 20" OR a 24" far more sutibale
For learners, we’ve had the best luck with 20" wheels. We’ve had several dozen people in the area learn over the past couple of years, and almost universally they say the 20 is better than the 24 for starting out.
Often 16" wheels aren’t high quality either. Not that a lot of 20" learner unis are either, but there’s a better chance they will be.
We keep the 16" unis for the under 10 crowd.
Many adults who have learned with us on a 20 often buy a 24 soon after learning to ride because the 20" is just too slow to cruise around on.
For me it was easier. Some find a 24 is easier for learning than a 20, usually taller people, I’m 5’10".
I started on my 24 and I could basically ride a bit, but I couldn’t ride away from the railing, partly because I was terrified of falling.
Overal the 16" was definately easier to ride, but for me the main thing it elliminated my fear of falling. It was impossible for me to ride smoothly and relatively streight. It wasn’t untill I switched to a 20, a 24 and then when I rode the 16 again I could ride it streight.
Since then my 16 has gotten hardly any use. Looking back I would have put really long cranks on a 20. The longest cranks I’ve tried on a 20 is 150, longer than that may be counter productive, but steel cotterless cranks can be gotten cheap, so it may be worth the experiment.
I’m about 183cm tall, I learned on a 24" and I’m glad I did, I think one of my fellow jugglers got a club 20" from unicycle.com and the seat post wasn’t even long enough for me to be able to sit on the seat properly and that would have made it way harder for me to learn on.
Just throwing in my 0.02eu, it seems like people under 5 ft 9-10 suit 20" and taller people suit 24" unis for learning.
I learned on a 26", I just bought a 20" uni. For riding around town or cross country 20" is a way to puny size.
I learned on a 20" and later tried a 16" and found it was tricky - things happened even faster than I was used to.
I don’t think that having a low centre of gravity particularly helps for unicycling. Low CoG is desirable in things that don’t really actively balance themselves, e.g. a car. But on a unicycle where most of the mass (i.e. you) is actively balancing itself, there’s more of a benefit to being high up as it gives more reaction time.
If you are balancing a ruler on your hand, it’s easier if the ruler is longer. It’s a similar phenomenon.
I think that it is easyer to learn on a 20 if you are shorter than 5’10 and a 24is better for learning for tall people
A few of the ways a smaller wheel, like the 16 is easier:
Lower CoG, more torque over the wheel, you are closer to the ground and you step off and the ground is practically right there. The lower CoG only helps when you put a lot of the weight on the pedals (which you’re not supposed to do when learning, but I would do 2+ times every revolution trying to regain control).
-The easiest for just riding for me was 16 w/ 125’s (which I had been told could not be done)
-A close tie for second was 16 w/ 114’s and 20 (freestyle) w/ 150’s. Also I briefly road a Koxx Devil trials w/ a worn tire which would make it a 3 way tie. The flat riding surface from the worn tire and additional Q-factor made balancing side to side a lot easier.
I originally started learning to ride on a 16". But that uni was a piece of crap. Wheel size was the least of its problems. The problem with any of today’s decent 16" unicycles is that they are still based on lightweight wheels, and not intended for adult weight and usage. Pedals will hit the ground more easily, though this is not a problem for beginner riding.
The other downside of a 16" is what to do with it after you learn to ride. The only good use is to give it to a small child, or someone else learning to ride. Start with the wheel size you intend to use, unless you’re aiming for road riding.