Hey, guys. I’m one of those hyperactive people who just gets more hyperactive the more stuff he does, and I’m always wanting to add some new activity to my repertoire. I woke up the other day with an inexplicable but burning desire to add unicycling to the list.
I’m 6’6", 245 pounds, with long legs even for my height. I’m willing to spend the money for quality. What do you think I should go for?
If you want something strictly robust. The nimbus II has a 20" wheel with 48 spokes. It doesn’t get much tougher than that. I have the nimbus x (same thing, different frame) and I think it would fit right at home on a motorcycle. : P
Being so tall though, a larger wheel size will probably fit you better.
Personally I think the oracle is a bit much to start with. You really don’t need a brake on a 24" muni until you’re riding the really rough stuff, a normal old nimbus muni would be the same thing to be honest. . . for a beginner.
Nothing says “hyperactivity” like a beginner unicyclists flailing his hands in the air. And nothing says “hyperactivity” on the unicycle like a 20" wheel.
Start cheap. You will earn some street credibility that way. You can tell your neighbors, when they see you clutching a telephone pole, that you’re treating yourself to the best money can buy, once you learn to ride forward. If you end up quitting, you’ll have no problem donating the cheap unicycle to the local boys and girls club. If you don’t quit, you can brag on the forum about how the unicycle you learned on was so cheap.
Catsmeat: My unicycle is really cheap! UniDaStraightMan: How cheap is it? Catsmeat: It’s so cheap, the “made in China” sticker was made in Indonesia!
Scaling the size of the unicycle to the size of the rider makes sense, sort of. Big, tall riders have farther to fall, and they will strike the ground with greater force. Larger wheel unicycle increase the height of the rider off the ground. Starting with a smaller wheel should help the beginning rider feel more confident during the awkward beginning stage. That’s why I say:
My advice on all big-dude-hunting-for-unicycle threads: Make sure you get one with a long enough seatpost! Initially, this was even a problem for me, and I am almost a foot shorter than you.
Learner unis can be more expensive than they appear because you often have to replace some parts. If you do get one and then upgrade, though, it’s always nice to have the cheap one around to lend out to people.
As Harper has already said, you really don’t have to spend that much on a beginner unicycle, A torker lx or a club would definitely be more than good enough to get you started and let you try unicycling out for more like $150. They are both good enough quality to ride around town without having to worry about breaking.
That being said, if you want to start out with something higher quality a good starter would be a Nimbus II, those things are the toughest you can get for the $250 to $300 price range. At your size most riders tend to like starting out with a 24" wheel but you could do bigger or smaller if you want to, smaller wheels are better for learning tricks while bigger wheels move faster. You could also start with a mountain unicycle in the higher price range (muni) if you think that you will want to ride off road a lot, Nimbus makes steel munis that are very tough and reasonably cheap in the $350 range. Or you could go aluminum and get a Nimbus Oracle or Kris Holm unicycle which are more like $600+. Really it just depends on what you decide that you want.
With your size I would definitely call unicycle.com and ask for a size recommendation(wheel and seat post). The seat should roughly come up to your belly button while standing next to it. If you purchase a unicycle at a local bike shop it will most likely be to small in this regard. This will make it harder to learn because you will soon see that the unicycle seat is being spit out from under neight you. Another thing about the unicycles that are most likely sold at the local bike shop is that they usually are intended for kids. The curvature of the seat could be to much cause an uncomfortable sitting arrangement.
Again I would highly recommend calling www.unicycle.com and no I don’t work for them. I am just a happy customer with over 10 unicycles purchased.
Not that this matters because price does not seem to be an issue. If you do end up with a nice Nimbus II you will find the resale value is drastically more then a cheap no name. You will quickly notice this with a search on Craigslist.
Good luck! Get practicing and post up some photographs. You are entering a fun and frustrating stage, enjoy it you one learn once!
I have a cheap 20" to learn on.
It was only £16 ($25) to buy, but £50 ($75) to repair the weaker parts which quickly broke.
My next cycle is a 24" freestyle UDC club, which is hidden away as a birthday present for 2-months time (only £100 / $150).
The Unicycle dot com club 24" would be the minimum I need as a longer lasting, bash about practice cycle for falling off.
The maximum for learning would be the Nimbus 24 (or 26 muni), with a lower rolling resistance tyre maybe.
The 24" Muni will have a better after life when you have finished learning on it, and put the knobbly off road tyre back on.
But it is more expensive to buy.
Unicycle dot com will be able to advise you by email.
Edit - I would recommend ISIS cranks, e.g. a Nimbus uni or similar.
The cotterless cranks creak and groan under my weight (180lb).
I’m 90% sure I’m going to go with a 26" Nimbus II with a 400 mm seatpost and 150 mm Isis crank arms. The only thing that’s holding me back is the possibility that my legs might be too long for the unicycle, even with the 400 mm seatpost. Unicycle.com says the minimum inseam length with this wheel/seatpost combo is 35", but they don’t give a maximum inseam length. My inseam is 37". I would think I’d be fine, but I need to make sure. I’ll call them tomorrow.
You will have no problem fitting on the 26" Nimbus II. I received mine last week after breaking my first uni, which was a 20" Torker LX.
I am 6’4, 230 lbs. I ordered the 26" with the 150 crank arms and the 400 mm seat post. My inseam is 34" and I have the seat post all the way down so that the bottom of the post is almost peaking out the bottom at the crown above the tire.
It’s a well built uni and UDC recommended it to me after some email exchanges where we talked about what kind of riding I wanted to do.
You can’t go wrong with the 400mm seat-post. You may have to remove some of it, however. When you get the uni, try to determine what the highest seat position possible is, regardless of whether you want to start riding in that position. Make an allowance for the possibility that you might use shorter cranks in the future. For example, moving from 150 to 125 cranks would theoretically raise your seat-post 1 inch. Also determine what the minimum insert is of the seat-post into the frame. Hopefully, you’ll end up with a seat post which’ll accommodate a variety of cranks and seat-heights.
An excellent rider told me to get 150mm cranks with my 26" mUni. I didn’t listen to him, and went with 165mm cranks. I believe it doesn’t hurt to have the extra leverage when you’re learning, and when you’re a big person. If you’re tall, 165mm for you is like 150mm for a shorter person. Tough choice. If you’ve got money to spend, at some point you’ll want to try different size cranks.
I ended up buying the dual-hole cranks in 137/165 mm. Unicycle.com gives you free shipping if you spend over $300. The standard Nimbus II is $290, and with the 400 mm seat-post and standard cranks, it would’ve been $295. Shipping would have been $40 at that price. I decided to go with DH cranks, which means I spent just a little more than I would have on uni + shipping if I’d gotten standard cranks, and this way I get to try two crank lengths.
Will be curious which crank length you end up using the most…
I decided to go for broke and get 127’s on my 26", both as they will be about the same length as those on my joke of a 20" and because it seemed like anyone riding flat terrain rather than extreme muni found the long ones excessive. Rather than getting dual hole, I crossed the shipping threshold by ordering a better saddle and longer seat post for to improve the 20" that I plan to continue playing with in the office.
It did occur to me that if I find them too short to initially achieve control on the bigger wheel, I bet it’s easier to find disused stock 150’s on the second hand market from those who have moved to shorter, than it is to find shorter cranks. But we’ll see. Maybe I’ll have to learn to ride all over again…