Are 32" unicycles becoming more popular?

I ask because I am considering getting one and it seems the only drawback, besides being slightly slower than the 36", is lack of tire options since 32" unicycles(or bicycles for that matter) aren’t as common as 36" or 29".

I’m a small guy and I have a Nimbus 29" which I love, but I sometimes wish I had gotten a faster 32" instead. I haven’t tried a 36", but like a lot of people I think I would have a lot of difficulty free-mounting it. It wasn’t so long ago that I was struggling with free-mounting my 29". There are some threads on this forum where people have switched from 36" to 32" and feel it was a huge improvement: easier to mount, not too high up, not too clunky, it feels like a 29" but rides almost as fast as a 36". There are also some riders who switch from 36" to 29".

Currently, there are very few options when it comes to 32" unicycles. All I can find is the Nimbus 32. Besides lack of tire options and not being as fast as the 36"(though shorter cranks and lots of experience can make this a non-issue), what are some other drawbacks to a 32"? What are some advantages? Is this size becoming more common?

To answer your first question: Yes, 32" unis are becoming more popular. The fact that they are now available as an off-the-shelf product is evidence of that. (As an early adopter, I had to build mine from scratch.)
The advantages are as you describe – somewhat smaller, more manueverable, easier to mount. They have more of a 29r “feel.”
Disadvantages are also as you describe – fewer wheel/tire options (currently only two available to my knowlege, Nimbus and Kent), somewhat slower than a 36".

It really depends on your personal ridng goals. Your height isn’t really an impediment, I know a number of people “on the lower end of the height spectrum” who mount and ride 36rs just fine. Just takes some practice to get the hang of it. I found the 32" size just works better for me. I just like it. (I had a 36" for a while, but sold it.) I made up for the speed aspect by adding a geared hub, but I really don’t use high gear very often. I just enjoy cruising along the bike path at my own pace. As a wise man once said, “If I was in a hurry, I wouldn’t be riding a unicycle.”

Good luck! :slight_smile:

I’m going through the same process and like the look of the 32" oracle , i contacted nimbus and they told me a new cheaper 32" will be out by the end of the year so I will wait to see what they come up with.

I love the way my 29" feels, I just wish I could go a little faster. On a 20 mile ride my average speed is 7.5 mph. My options are either get a larger unicycle like a 32" or a 36", or shorter cranks. I’ve decided to just get shorter cranks for the 29" for now, though I may get a 32" later this year or next year. Has anyone upgraded from 29" to 32" and been disappointed? In some old threads there are a few riders who suggest the speed improvement of a 32" compared to a 29" is negligible; however, others claim with the same crank length the 32" is 10% faster or a little more than that.

What kind of gear do you use, is this a Schlumph Hub? Love that quote, seen it a bunch of times. Thanks for your help, and have fun!

This sounds like it is worth waiting for, thanks for sharing that. I don’t like the price now on the 32" Oracle. 3 inches bigger than my 29" and nearly double the cost. And it’s not like it’s twice as fast. Hopefully other companies will start manufacturing 32" inch unicycles. I think there’s a lot of market potential for the 32" for all those unicyclists who are turned off by how large and cumbersome the 36" is and how a 29" isn’t enough of an improvement over the 26".

Depends on the 29er you have. A 29er of equivalent quality is not half the price of the 32 oracle. http://www.unicycle.com/nimbus-29-oracle-mountain-unicycle/ case in point. Sure, the oracle is the only production 32 right now, but price doesn’t scale with wheel size linearly… Honestly, if you consider how much more niche the spokes, tube, tire and rim are than a 29er, it’s impressive that they kept them at a similar price.

As for 36ers being “cumbersome,” speak for yourself. : P

I have a 29er muni and my fiancee has a 32. Speed wise, they are very close. If you put them side by side, the 32 doesn’t appear to be a full 3" larger than the 29x2.4 ardent tire. That being said, it IS more comfortable to ride than the 29er. To me it has a bit more of the cruiser feel that the 36er has, but isn’t much heavier than the 29. It’s a great size to ride on sidewalks, and every once in a while I’ll steal her wheel and go for a spin around the block. If I was doing distance, but didn’t ride a 36er, I’d say a 32 is easier to relax on. Speed wise, 10mph vs 11mph… neither here nor there. Going from 150s to 125 cranks will make a much larger speed difference than the wheel size.

Sorry to sabotage but, I love this!:

I need to remember that. =)

How long are your cranks?

I’m using 114 on my 32 compared to 127 on my 36, and my speed is about 10% slower

On my 29" I use 125 mm cranks.

Yeah I’m a 5’8 55kg twig and I can mount a 36". I’ve never done anything other than a standing mount (not rolling or anything fancy), but I can say that for any unicycle. I had to change which foot I use to do the mount with, so that I could use the stronger leg to jump. Don’t know if it was a case of strength of confidence, but who does.

I’ve not got any experience riding a 32 or 29, but a 36 is possible when you’re my size.

I stand 5’5" 116 lbs and have yet to free-mount a 36". Many non-tall people don’t even meet the minimum inseam requirements for some of the most popular 36ers. I can, but just barely. While there’s always the 36" Nimbus Nightfox for smaller people, I think the 32" may be an even better choice for at least some of the smaller people who want to ride a big wheel. Even some tall unicyclists I’ve talked to claim the 36" is “scary” and “difficult to maneuver” to them.

It’s funny how I’m starting to become fanatical for a unicycle size I don’t even own yet :smiley:

10% slower isn’t a big deal to me; being more comfortable and riding something more maneuverable may make up for that.

Give a running/rolling mount a shot. I’m only 5’8" but using a running mount lets you mount effortlessly even up pretty steep inclines with short cranks. It turns your forward momentum into upward momentum to get you up on the wheel.

Try shorter cranks. I have 110 mm and think they’re a bit faster.

I had to reply to this. I’m 5’ 3.5" with a 32" inseam and can free mount my 36er with either my right or left foot first, static or rolling mount. Just takes some practice.

Remember a wise man also once said" there are 36 inch unicycles…and then there are all other unicycles.

I put my 29"x3" Maxxis Minion DHR on my 29" Oracle.
This gives me a 30" diameter wheel in the end.

I feel a little rubbing when high speed cornering not so efficiently. If I get the line just right then no rubbing at all.

My KH29 with a 3.25" Duro Crux gives me a 31" diameter wheel that can smooth anything out.
I’m 6’3" and I don’t think I want to go any higher… at least not for muni.

Once i went 36 i never really went back, I would like to try one of these !