I bought my oldest son a 24" Sun Flat top for Christmas. He stopped it by for me to try and I spent the weekend trying to learn. Well not all of the weekend just bits of it and the weather is bad so most of it has been down the carpeted hall way and the living room.
I love cycling and now want a uni. My youngest son is pretty enthused as well. At this point if I purchase one I think I would like to get a step up with better hub/crank, spokes and seat. Although, I see that beginners are normally directed to a beginner bike.
I can see myself commuting to work and back over the summer. It is only 1.8 miles each way but with a 4% grade and two nice hills at each end. We also have some really nice gravel trails here that I would like to work up to.
So, with all that in mind is looking at a 26" or even a 29" seem reasonable?
I would recommend a cheapish 24 for learning. If you think you are going to be commuting you can always get a higher quality 29 later.
I personally believe that learning should take place on the smallest comfortable wheel possible. You could even learn on a cheap 20", but a 24 would be fine and more useful down the road, assuming you don’t want to start doing freestyle/trials etc.
I learnt on a 24" and ditched it for something bigger in 2 months (I am same height as you) and went through 24>26>29>36 in 12 months
I found the small wheels more twitchy and harder to learn on than on the bigger wheels that are more effort to get moving so they are less twitchy IMHO
If you want to commute and do some trails a 24 would do this but it is very slow so a 26/29er would be better but if you wanted do some trials type stuff and jumps as well then the 24 would be more suited to that mixed use.
There is not much in the price of the different sizes so that doesn’t really help.
It really is all about how confident you are at sticking at it as lots of people give up (more than actually learn I am sure) if you are really keen and not someone that gives up so are confident you will stick at it get something good and bigger that will last you ad do what you want, if you think you may give up and have a collection of abandoned hobbies in the shed then maybe get a cheap 20" trainer to see how you go.
Sometimes the promise of a good uni once you have learnt and met some predefined milestone can be good motivation, especially for the younger ones.
You can learn on anything (someone on here has done so on a 36er I believe :p) and there will be differing opinion on what is easier so it is just really a case of what you want and your wallet size just post your progress and some pictures, everyone loves pictures of Unis and people riding them
I think feisty’s experience is probably not typical. IMO a 29 is way too big for starters. It’s harder to keep the wheel up with your center of mass when you hit a bump. It’s harder to idle, and harder to mount. I really think there’s a huge difference between a 29 and a 24. In unicycles little differences (crank length, wheel size etc) make big differences. I’ve ridden for years and would never recommend a 29 to start with. Some people move wheel sizes up quickly, but most people take a while to get comfortable on any uni.
Like I said, get a cheap 24, or a decent 24 muni. If you move up, you can always use the cheap 24 for tricks, or lending out, and if you get a decent 24 muni, those are good for technical trails. All of us who are serious unicyclists have at least several unis anyway. A 26? A good compromise and good tire selection, but the largest I would ever recommend for starting out.
I personally don’t have 26 or plan on ever getting one, because I like the 20, 24, 29 sizes (and possibly a 36) if I ever get one. 26 is too close to 24 and 29 to make it worth it for me. But plenty of people think 26ers are perfect.
Well, I’ll continue to borrow my son’s and see how I progress. I never considered not being able to learn and it’s still not being considered. I do see that it will take a while. I think if I were to get a beginner I would go ahead and get a 20. I’ll keep you all posted and thanks for the replies.
How long is your son going to let you keep his uni? If you can keep it long enough to learn the basics, then I think you could jump straight to a 29". The 24" to 29" transition is not bad once you are comfortable on a 24".
I’ve been thinking along these lines myself. He’s been pretty busy working on a project in my garage. So, perhaps I’ll have it down by the time he thinks about riding. It is cold and wet here so most people don’t think about riding until March/April when we have longer days and better weather.
I am your height and weight and am 58 yrs old. I started out on a cheapie 20 in and am glad i did. I moved up to a 29 in 4 months after I learned how to ride the 20. I now ride a 36. Every person I ever let borrow my 20 in. never stayed with it and learned how to ride… I would also invest in pads… I never regret doing that. I am addicted now but still use them. I broke my ankle about 4 months ago on my 29. Painful but was riding 18 days later…
When I say cheapie unicycle I mean $40 on ebay.
I ride year round no matter the weather…except lightning…
In my experience loans of unicycles are fun, but rarely make a unicyclist
However once you commit and buy, you are invested in it, and have more of an incentive to work through those difficult first steps.
Don’t break the bank, but even top end unis are cheap compared with bikes, or pretty much any hobby. In your situation I would buy your own reasonable quality uni, go to unicycle dot com and look at the ‘club’ unis (nice) or even nimbus ( even nicer)
I would suggest 20 or 24 to learn , but later yeah 29 sounds a good choice.
Because of where I am shipping is a large factor. My youngest son is ready to pull the trigger on a 24" Nimbus Muni. My wife wants to get me one for my birthday which is in March. I’m pretty sure my oldest will leave his here in the meantime.
I haven’t ridden a crappy bike since high school and will probably get a decent unicycle. They are actually pretty reasonable in my opinion.
Look at Nimbus unis. Upgrade to a Kris Holm seat. If you think you will get serious and are pretty sure you’ll stay with the hobby, think about an Oracle 24 (higher-end Nimbus) or a Kris Holm. I like the dual hole cranks, which allow you to ride on the road or on the trail.
If you decide you want to get a larger wheel later, you can resell on this forum and make a lot of your money back if you get an Oracle or KH. But I wouldn’t sell a good 24" if I had one. In fact, I’d kind of like one now.
My favorite at the moment is my 29, but at my height (5’8"), the 29 still seems like a pretty big wheel for muni. I’ve always been most comfortable on a 24, though they are a bit too slow for cross country (easy muni) and painfully slow for road.
My youngest son just bought the Nimbus II 24 inch. He had it in a cart and upgraded the seat and then at check out the vendor changed the shipping to 160 or 180 dollars. So, he found it at another vendor that was able to ship it for under 60 dollars. I’m really interested to see how the shorter cranks feel compared to the 6" (152?) that are on the 24" Sun uni.
So, now if I can just learn to ride the darn things…
Can anyone really just have one unicycle? A 24" is such a great size everyone must have at least one. In my opinion (hahahhaha, people that ride one wheeled things are NEVER opinionated), you’ll be ok with a plain old reliable Nimbus with two holed moments. Save the $$ for a disc when you buy a 29. I’m pretty sure that the experts recommend spending 25% of your household budget on uni’s, btw.