I thought I’d be fine with my Oracle 29" forever - but, being 6’2" with long legs, I wanted to try a 36" so I bought a Nightfox. Perhaps NF wasn’t the best choice since I run the thing up so far and barley have enough to clamp - but I’m glad I did since I LOVE riding on the larger wheel (had it about 10 mo).
But now I’m wondering - in order to try rolling mounts (I’ve aced the static mount pretty much), idling or any of the advanced stuff - will my progress be significantly aided by acquiring a new uni with a smaller wheel (20", 24"?) to practice on?
Hi Uni, like you I am 6.2 in height. I find that the 36 is too cumbersome in the area where I live where the are too many hills, so I stick mostly to the 29", for both forest and asphalt rides. A while back I decided I wanted to join a uniclub, who train indoors and they recommended a good 20", which is much less forgiving with balance/ technical errors than a large wheel. Also as you can read in other threads the 20" is recommended to learn idling and riding backwards on. It is light and you sit lower than on abig wheel. I’vebought 5 diff unis since I started in july this year. The different wheel sizes help in getting better and feeling more comfy on a uni. My next buy will be a 29" with a geared hub, which when in high gear rides as if you’re on a 44 inch wheel. Mounting a 29 inch is easier for me than the big wheel.
My kids (girl 12, boy 10) love their NightFox (which is an absolute game changer for the vertically challenged who would not otherwise experience a 36er) but UDC should not have sold one to a 6’2" guy perhaps steering you instead toward the similarly priced Oracle or preferably a Titan which is IMHO a fantastic bargain. Of course after nearly a year the OP has undoubtedly grown attached to the handlebar (which can be set-up nice and low) on the NightFox. We ordered ours with a steel disc brake hub but a simple brake works well on a Titan. Be further advised the NightFox 2.0 frame eliminates contact between the back of your thigh and the frame.
Setonix makes a good point. I’d love to have one of those new fangled KH29 + Knard with a Schlumpf in it just because that is the largest wheel I can mount easily. Lucky for me, structures perfect for an assisted mount are not far and few between at The Parklands of Floyd’s Fork which is where I ride my Schlumpf geared 36er. I’m just above 50/50 with my rolling mount so I’m rarely stranded.
A 20" wheel is much easier to learn skills with than a 29, or larger. It is also more portable making it more likely that you can practice wherever you happen to be. Another nice thing is that it doesn’t move very far in one revolution. That feature makes it ideal for practicing inside where you don’t have much room to maneuver.
You bought a Nighfox, so i can only assume that you don’t mind the aesthetics of ample space between the tire and crown. With that in mind why not just get a 20" wheel for your 29er? You can pick up a Qu-Ax Luxus wheel with tire, and cranks for $80 at Goudurix, and the shipping is not bad. For $50 they have the same wheel without tire/tube/cranks, so if you have extra bits sitting around that could save you a little. These wheels may have 40mm bearings which would have to be shimmed. It’s really easy to make shims from 1mm sheet metal. I found suitable metal in the “joist hanger”" section of the local home center.
This wheel should be good for learning the stuff you mentioned, and any other freestyle type skills. If you want to learn hopping, jumping, and dropping you may want a more robust wheel.
Very cool about your kids! Did they learn straight away on the NF? That’s impressive.
OK, but they must have long legs for ages 10 & 12. How tall are they?
Hmmm, maybe I can sell the NF to my friend (she’s under 5’2") and then go buy that Titan
Go right for the 20". Practically any technique that can be done on a unicycle…can be done on a 20" unicycle. I learned to idle, ride backwards, one foot idle, one foot ride, jump mounts, seat in front, seat in back, side hopping, forward jumping, 180 unispin…all on a 20".
I am a big fan on the 19" Nimbus Equinox Street, which I own. I put my foot on the flat crown for one foot idling and riding. It has a long neck (I am also 6’2"). It is light and strong. It is a good compromise for learning street/trials/freestyle techniques. If I could only have one unicycle, that would be the one.
I would also advise starting with longer cranks on a 20", assuming you’ve been using longer cranks on the 29" and 36". You’ll feel a crazy amount of leverage, but with this leverage comes control. I use 137mm cranks on my Equinox, though in the past I experimented with 150mm and 165mm (scrape) cranks when I was learning certain new techniques. If you ask different people on the forum what crank length you should get for a 20", you’ll get wildly different answers. My style of riding is not very “flowy”, and it involves riding over uneven terrain and momentary standstills; I like the added leverage and wider stance of longer cranks.
No. They both learned on a 20" Club but it never really clicked for my daughter before she got on the NF. She took right to it which is why I’ve argued that the NF page could be moved to the beginner section. Not long after she was riding my 26" Oracle (which actually requires longer legs than the NF) and our KH19 with greater efficiency. My son doesn’t have his sister’s long legs so he needs the 127/110 Spirit cranks in the 110mm hole to be able to reach the pedals. I don’t push him too hard on the NF as I know from experience that the 36er 110mm is only fun in the right (perfectly flat) conditions.
I like the idea of going straight for the 20". The Nimbus Equinox Street looks nice. In poking around I see there is even a “long neck” version of the KH19 Street. I’m kind of liking the long neck idea - wouldn’t this one be the ticket for me? I’m now sensitive to getting stuff too short/small. It looks really long in the picture
If you’re 6’2", you won’t have any reason to put the seat lower than the minimum. I have almost a foot of seat-post extending past the top of the frame (I keep the seat high for a combination of freestyle and seat-in-front riding. I briefly lowered the seat to practice seat-in jumping. One advantage of the long neck is that it allows you more variability in the seat height (you can bury a lot of extra seat-post inside the frame), whereas with the normal, short-necked frame, you’d have to decide on an optimum height, cut your seat post, then only have a few inches of adjustment, either way. It’s nice to have options.
The only real down side for me has been that some shorter people and kids can’t ride my Equinox, even with the seat all the way down. Some riders on the forum mentioned the location of the seat post clamp as a factor in using a long neck unicycle. Since I’ve hardly ridden on anything but my Equinox, I can’t really address that difference.