Beginner cycle for a taller person?

I’ve always wanted to learn the unicycle and I’m tempted to learn as my daughter learns to ride her bike. I’ve done some reading here and there and I think the commuting type unicycles are the most appealing to me and I’d slate a 36" as my “target cycle”. The Coker models have caught my eye but most advice I’ve heard is that larger wheels are harder to start on. Would a Coker be too big and awkward to start? I ask because I’m on the taller side of things (nothing huge - 6’ 2" with a 34 inch inseam) and I ride a 60cm road bike. Most of the starter unicycles seem so tiny and I’m a bit worried I’ll be running my knees into my chest while I ride if I try to learn on one. So…which would be the wiser starting cycle? Something bigger or something smaller?

Thanks for any advice you can offer!

It isn’t impossible to learn on a 36" unicycle, but you would be one of a very few elite riders if you manage it. 20" or 24" are the most popular for good reason, and I would recommend one of these to get you started.

Unlike bikes where your size dictates the wheel size, the wheel size on a unicycle is more dictated by the type of riding you plan on doing or the distance you want to ride. A Coker is much more of a long distance speed machine; great if you want to cover 50 miles, or hit 20mph. Whilst you’re learning though, you want something a bit more controllable and not as fast, so a smaller wheel is much better suited to this.

If your heart is set on a big wheel, then I would consider buying a small one to start with but think of it as paying for ‘driving lessons’ and sell it once you’ve got used to unicycles.


I agree I am 6’ 3" with a 34 inch inseam and started on a 24”.

I believe that if I had started with a Coker I might not have

Learned; that being said, I keep a 20” park in the trunk

to ride at lunch and other times.

I learned to ride along with my son as he learned his two wheeler. One thing I can add to the comments already posted is that if I had had my 29’er, or my Coker when I was riding with him it would have been seriously more difficult. His little bike just doesn’t go that fast, and the big wheel uni’s are hard to ride slow. Of course it’s all relative, but once you get the wheel moving it really becomes easier to ride. The smaller wheel gets up to speed faster, and it’s top speed is just not that fast. I started on a 20", and moved to a 24", then I had the 29’er, and now a Coker.

I still have the 24" Schwinn, and my wife keeps thinking she will give it a go.

Beginner cycle for a taller person?

Thanks for all the input guys. If I’m interpreting everything correctly it looks like I should be going with a 24" to start and moving up as experience allows. Any particular makes/models you might suggest?

Here is the standard answer: get a Nimbus!

The Torkers or clubs are less expensive and will work fine for learning, but they are less durable. They are fine if you clearly want to move up after you learn, but the Nimbus unicycles are better if you continue to ride it. The KH unicycles are great, but they are more expensive and really better suited to muni or other specialized type for riding.

Most anything from will be fine. Avoid the really cheap ones on e-bay because they are probably too fragile for someone your size.


Hi Abe, depends on what type of riding you want to do. I’m 5’11, 250 lbs, and have a 30" inseam. I went with the 24" Torker LX instead of the 20" because I also plan on having this Uni for more than a couple years before upgrading to a Nimbus. My riding is going to be mostly sidewalks, paved and dirt roads, and the occasional bikepath, lawn, and wooded trail. Nothing spectacular, no jumping or stunts. But if you plan on doing stunts and jumps, the Nimbus is the way to go. The Torker will take somewhat of a beating, but in the long run, the Torker is just a beginner/basics unicycle.

Hope this helps.