At what skill level does an ultimate sense?

Impressed by my „success“ at SIF-riding (max. 8 wobbly revolutions) my wife would like to buy me an ultimate (Nimbus 24“ looks good).
Now I‘m not sure if this is really a good idea a this point in my learning curve.

I have a few questions:
(1) Would even an unsuccessful ultimate training (I.e. not learning to ride but keep trying) improve unicycling skills, and if yes, which ones?
(2) is 24“ a good size for learning?
(3) how do the consequences of UPDs compare between normal unicycles and ultimates - especially in the early learning phase?
(4) If you advise me not to get an ultimate yet, which skills should I learn first?

Just for your info: as a learner of motor skills I am not the fastest, but certainly one of the most persistent.

I‘d appreciate any advice!!!

(1) Any one wheeled practice will improve your unicycling abilities.

(2) Yes.

(3) Same kind of crashes, ultimate wheels aren’t more or less risky than regular unicycles.

(4) I’m personally not an ultimate wheel fan, I feel like they are just a gimmick. Yes, riding them is a bit easier than dragseat, but I’d just learn dragseat instead. For me, they aren’t enough fun to justify buying an extra unicycle.

If you really want an ultimate wheel, would it really be bad to get it a bit premature? If it turns out to be too difficult, just go back to your normal uni and improve on your seat in front abilities.

I have 24 and 28 UWs, can’t ride either and don’t expect to be able to for a very long time. Larger diameter seems less impossible. The 28 is narrower than the 24 so the pedals less offset from the centre line.

I noticed benefits to my uni riding just getting a feel for the 28 while holding onto rails. They do provide a sense of what a wheel does on its own.

I bought my UWs together on Gumtree for $130. I would not have paid the new price for either of them but I knew I wasn’t anywhere near ready.

Heavy duty leg protection is essential. A smooth hard surface for the tyre to slide over is best.

I just recently bought a 20 inch ultimate wheel.

I just learned to ride a unicycle, so I am as much of a newbie as you can be. But, I pick things up quickly from trial and error. I have read on that the 20 incg ultimate wheel is the most challenging size to ride. I found one for sale on LetGo for $50, and bit the bullet on it. This was very recently, as in this past weekend. I have tried just balancing on it and it wants to wobble and throw you off balance immediately. From my current experience of one revolution for the wheel before quasi-flying off the wheel, I can say the ultimate wheel is much much harder than a unicycle. Also, I recommend that you buy the 28 inch, if you decide to buy an ultimate wheel. That is the recommended size for beginners on an ultimate wheel. Riding an ultimate wheel in my opinion is just as hard as riding with seat in back, but it is a different feeling nonetheless. Also, it may be a gimmick but it would be fun to see people’s reactions for trying the ultimate wheel right off the bat. As of now, I can’t recommend you to buy an ultimate wheel or not buy one, if you want I can update you on my progress with the 20 inch ultimate wheel, however futile my learning may be. Happy one wheeling!

As a beginner SIF rider, you’re probably applying a lot of force via the hands to stabilize the frame. When you get to the point where the hands apply almost no force, then you might be ready for an ultimate wheel…or ready to try dropping/dragging the seat behind you.

Finnspin mentioned that ultimate wheels were no more dangerous than regular unicycles. I recall reading a thread where the twisting of ankles was mentioned in regard to UW riding. The sudden twisting of the ankle is not going to happen on a regular unicycle, assuming the frame doesn’t slip out from under your butt (or dropped from your hands, in SIF riding). When I drop the seat out back, I can still only ride a couple revs at best, and the moment I lose control corresponds to a pretty sudden twisting of the ankle(s). I have never had an ankle injury unicycling, but I could envision it happening with an UW.

If you can ride, standing on the pedals, so your butt is off the seat, and you can control the movement of the seat under you, so it’s not thrashing around too violently, then this may be a component skill in UW riding. If you are standing on the pedals with one hand on the grab handle, try using minimum force with the hand, and try to control the movement of the seat with your feet.

Short answer: I think UW is pretty advanced, and you may benefit from learning other skills first.

You could get a Lunicycle, then you don’t need leg armor. I had been riding seat-out for a couple of years before I really tried to ride one, but they are easy to ride, at least in my opinion.

The Lunicycle’s wheel is not 100% round…

I ride a 24 inch Nimbus ultimate wheel. Yesterday, I rode 3.4 miles on it including a short hill. This was all on tarmac. I have occasionally ridden it short distances on very easy off road. I averaged about 3 mph.

I rode the 3.4 miles without leg armour. I had some chafing of my lower legs, but nothing to worry about. My longest stretch without a dismount was just over 1/4 mile (440 yds) and when I’m fresh, I can do usually confidently do 300 to 500 pedal strokes between dismounts. I can’t do any tricks or stunts but I can ride circles and figure 8s and do a brief still stand.

Compare this to a unicycle: I have 30+ years of riding and have done many rides of more than an hour without a dismount. I once did a full marathon distance without a dismount. I can ride on and off road confidently on 20", 24", 28", 29" and 36".

Therefore, ultimate wheel is very considerably more difficult than unicycle. It is more limited in what it can do. It is good fun, rewarding, completely absorbing, and very hard work. Search YouTube for videos of people doing clever stuff on one.

Most dismounts are simple step offs. However, it is possible to get your feet entangled (some people prevent this by putting discs on their wheels) and I have had a couple of unpleasant face plants. As these were at walking pace, they were no worse than tripping over while walking.

As it is directly relevant to the thread, here’s a link to a short video of me riding my 24" ultimate wheel on some easy off road today. I managed 3/4 mile in short stages - maximum single ride was about 230 pedal strokes.

Yesterday I did about 13 miles in just over an hour on my 36 inch conventional unicycle with only 2 dismounts, both forced by unrideable obstacles (a level crossing with the barriers down and a narrow footbridge). That should give some idea of the difference in difficulty and effort. However, the OP may be interested to know that every single “step off” today was controlled - only my feet ever touched the ground, and that was riding up and down a shallow gradient on an unmade road.

The ultimate wheel is not for everyone, but I recommend it to anyone who wants a challenge and some vigorous exercise.

I have a 24 inch UW, I found that although it is hard to learn, it is fun. Don’t expect to go on long rides with it since it is hard work riding it. For me the most challenging thing was preventing the wheel from sawing my legs off. I use leg armour with a pair of jeans on top off it. The tire mounted on the nimbus UW is not very suitable for it since it does not have a smooth sidewall. See also this post:

I’m on my second Nimbus 24 UW. The first one (old style) broke. The new one is better made and unlikely to break. I transferred the old tyre to the new wheel and it is substantially smoother. I ride in smooth tracksuit/jogging bottoms with no leg armour. Good for an hour’s hard riding with minimal chafing.

What is the brand and model of your tire? I would love to buy a tire that is smooth. :slight_smile:

The skill levels?

I would say between SIB and dragseat.
In my case I used it for a trainer for dragseat.


I rode the 3.4 miles without leg armour. I had some chafing of my lower legs, but nothing to worry about. My longest stretch without a dismount was just over 1/4 mile (440 yds) and when I’m fresh, I can do usually confidently do 300 to 500 pedal strokes between dismounts. I can’t do any tricks or stunts but I can ride circles and figure 8s and do a brief still stand.[/QUOTE]

Great achievement! The UW really develops your thigh muscles, and you’ll notice the burn early in training, even if you’re an experienced unicyclist.

I’ve juggled 3 clubs on the UW. From the videos I’ve watched, the 36" looks like it has the most utility, though obviously some challenge too.