Just a bit of background before I get to my question. Hope you don’t mind. I’ll mark the start and end so you can skip the history lesson if you like.
I first learned to ride when I was a round 14 or 15 (if memory serves), I’m just shy of 32 now. My first uni was a cheap 20" Pashley with a terrible seat. I learned the basics and could ride about 100 meters after my first day. I never bothered to learn much in the way of tricks (I did a bit of hopping). Mainly I just cycled around on it, which seemed to amuse me enough at the time. At some point I decided I wanted to go faster and sold the Pashley to buy a 24" Semcycle. At some point my family moved and in the midst of this the Semcycle was lost or stolen and never replaced. Quite a few years later my mother saw a Pashley with a 29" wheel for sale at a Charity shop for £30 and bought if for me out of the blue. I tried this out a few times to see the difference in speed but never really took it it and it got left behind when I went to university and moved away from my parents home. Then a few years ago when picking up some of my stuff from my parents house I decided to take it with me. Again it sat around my flat for a few years … until a few months ago.
Somehow I stumbled across UDC and had a look at the various models of unicycle now available. Searching around I found other websites like this one and read up a bit on stuff like 36ers and Muni (both new to me). This re-sparked my interest and I started taking my old Pashley 29er to the nearest park (Battersea Park in London) and riding around for practice. At first I found it quite hard. I hadn’t completely forgotten what I had learned as a kid but I was certainly rusty. I found freemounting really difficult despite having no problem with this as a kid (though that may have been down to the difference in wheel size). After a while though I started to get better but was really bothered by the saddle. It was different than my original 20" but certainly no better. It was a cheap foamy-plastic thing and was the main obstacle putting me off from cycling more. Hence I was really only going to the park once a week at the most.
Eventually I got around to buying a new saddle on UDC and went with a KH Fusion Freeride. WOW … the difference was like night and day and I suddenly started going to the park almost every day.
Around this time ad unrelated event brought my unicycle practice to a stop. I moved country from London/UK to Oslo/Norway (that is another story in itself which I won’t go into here). It has taken a while for things to settle down here and hence I haven’t had too much time to think about unicycling but today after work I decided to go for a ride. My new problem however is the snow. I have never ridden in the snow and I must say it really is quite hard (for me). I tried letting down my tire quite a bit and this helps but it is still really tough. Where the snow is hard packed it isn’t bad but anywhere it is still fairly soft I’m immediately sliding all over the place.
My current skill level is:
On a road suffice or fairly flat dirt track I can ride pretty much as far as I want and at a fair speed, as long as it is not very steep. I can now freemount my 29er 7 times out of 10. I can’t really do anything in the way of tricks nor can I go backwards or idle.
Given that I don’t want to have to wait until the snow is gone, what are people’s thoughts on a good setup for a relatively inexperienced unicyclist wanting to practice in the snow. What size wheel? How wide a tire? What type of tire (e.g. with studs perhaps) etc.
Ideally I would like to keep expenses down to a minimum. The cost of moving country has been pretty hard and I have my savings are in the UK with a weak pound relative to the Norwegian Kroner (this means I don’t want to transfer too much right now). Yes at some point I’d love to get a new uni or two (maybe even a 36er for the added speed) but right now I’d in a position where I would like to achieve as much as I can with as little outlay as possible. Though to be fair I guess everyone is like that! Also I have no idea where to buy unicycle stuff in Norway. My best bet looks like UDC Denmark but perhaps someone knows somewhere better/cheaper.
All thoughts and suggestions would be gratefully received.