commuting? Unicycle


I am looking into buying a unicycle that I can ride to school, which is about 2 miles away. I am also looking to take it to college, because i think that would be sick.

I have been looking at a couple options, but was wondering how these options stack up in terms of quality and usefulness.

I looked at the torker 26 inch and the Sun unicycles 28 inch
Since I don’t have a very big budget, this is what I have narrowed it down to.
So my question is whether I would be able to ride a decent amount of mileage on these cycles, or whether the wheels are too small? Also, I found somewhere that if I were to change to shorter cranks I could go faster as well.

I also looked at the coker 36 inch, which is a little above my price line. So i was wondering if either of the above unicycles would work to commute decent distances at semi-fast paces, or if nothing compares to a 36 inch wheel.


It is true that nothing compares to a 36 inch unicycle. However, between your two choices I would say the Sun 28" would be better. It’s noticeably faster than the Torker 26". It might be a bit weaker than the Torker, but as long as you are only commuting and not doing any drops you won’t have a problem.

I have a custom Sun 26" with 110mm cranks that I ride to school. The short cranks let me go faster, but I have less control.

For a couple of miles like that even a 24" would be fine. If you are beginner you will find 24" easier to learn on than a larger size. But the larger sizes will give you a little more speed. When I was younger, many, many years ago, a 24" unicycle was my only form of transportatioin for awhile. I probably rode it 5 -10 miles a day, depending on where I needed to go that day. Smaller wheel is more manuevable in crowds. Not trying to talk you into a 24", just giving you some thoughts off the top of my head. So to answer your question, 26 or 28 is not too small for a 2 mile commute.

A 36" will take up more dorm space.

The 28" would be a good commuter. I had a Nimbus 29 before I got my Coker, and it was much faster than my 24. For a bit I had a 26" wheel on it, and it felt too slow for my 4 mile commute.

The difference between the 28 and 29 is just the tire that is on the uni. The wheel size is exactly the same (622mm bead seat diameter).

As much as the Sun’s are famous for weak cranks/hubs I don’t think that would be a problem for a commuter; although, I would recommend getting 125’s to start. I’m sure that the uni comes with long cranks like 150’s or longer. I had only been riding a uni for 2 months when i built my 29’er, and I had 150’s on it for the first ride, and switched them to 125’s immediately. I had no problem doing a rollback mount with the 125’s, and they gave me plenty of control while being generally more comfortable to ride.


I used my 28 inch Sun to commute to the train station and college, 8 miles round trip, for the past year and a half. It was perfect for me. Averaged 6-8 mph. Used 5.5 inch cranks. It was small and easy to take on the train or throw in the back of car. I put on a KH fusion freeride saddle. The Sun saddle was horribly uncomfortable.

My Sun was cheaply made, but the only trouble I’ve had with it is the seatpost clamp. It would never stay tight because it was poorly made, not perfectly round, would dent the seatpost and the seat wouldn’t stay straight. I fixed it by removeing it and replacing it with a Nimbus alloy seatpost clamp.

Also, I tried to put on the Nimbus Venture cotterless cranks but they didn’t fit, and nearly stripped and ruined my axle trying.

I commuted on a 24 inch with 5 inch cranks for 3 months. It was slower but worked fine also for me…never checked the speed…

On my 36er, which I just got and am new on, I average 10 mph, with 5.5 inch cranks.
You cannot get studded snow tires for a 36er, but you can for anything smaller, if that’s a consideration.



Thank you all for the information, it is super helpful.
One thing I was wondering, however, is how hard it is to replace broken parts on a wheel that is larger than a 26. I know that most bike stores don’t have wheels that big, as most bikes use 26 inch wheels.

Most bike shops around here stock 29’ers. The 700c size is standard for road bikes, and so the spokes should be easy to get. Uni hubs and cranks are special, and most bike shops won’t have them regardless of how big your wheel is; however, they could get them for you.

All said and done, it shouldn’t be hard to keep a 29’er up and running. 26" gives you much more selection in tires, and rims.

Speed 26" vs. 28"

I have one final question…
it seems that a torker is a much more solid unicycle in terms of durability and quality, however it does come with a 26 inch wheel. How much slower is a 26 inch wheel than a 28 inch, provided I buy shorter cranks.



There are 2 series of square hub Torkers, the cx and the lx. I strongly urge you to resist going cheap on this. Pretty much everyone will agree that an lx is a big step up in quality from the cx or Sun. The lx seat is luxury compared to a cx or Sun.

Niagra used to have a good deal on the lx 26, but they are all out except for an lx 20 for 115 $.

I wouldn’t worry to much about the speed difference. Even a 20 is ok for 2 miles, although only slightly faster then walking at first. I wouldn’t recommend a 28 or bigger as a first uni. You might want to consider an lx 24 even, as smaller wheels aren’t that much slower, but are easier to learn on, idle, free mount, you name it, a 24 is easier than a 29.

Ultimately you will want a 36, they rule the road. Also a very poor choice for a first uni. I think starting out on a big wheel is doing it the hard way. Doubly so if you torture yourself with a cx or Sun seat. :astonished:


Yeah I already have a 20 inch unicycle so i know how to ride pretty well. The only problem is that I am 6’2" so its really slow for me, and the seat post isn’t even long enough. So that is good to know, i’ll definitely keep the quality in mind.


Another consideration is weight. An LX is a good deal lighter than a sun is. If you are using it strictly as a commuter, either one would be fine as far as quality goes, but the sun will be less comfortable because of the seat, and it will be more weight to move. If possible, I would test ride both of them. All the bike shops I’ve gone to here in Colorado have let me test ride the unis, as long as I put a helmet on and gave them my ID. We can give you all the input in the world, but nothing will compare to just getting on them, if the shops in your area stock them. One thing to consider though is that the seat posts on these larger cycles (mainly the LX) usually come very long from the factory, so I wasnt even able to fit on the one that was in a shop here in town until I put my seatpost in their uni (I’m 5’11’’ with a 35 inseam). They had no problem with it because it allowed me to fit on it, and because if I dropped it I would scuff my seat instead of theirs!

Why didn’t you say so?

If you can already ride a 20 ok, you can ride anything you want. As a road machine, the 36 has no equal. Only in very tight, city, crowded areas could a smaller wheel be better at covering miles. Still not all that fast , I have lost races to joggers and don’t even try the drunk old lady on a bike, even if she is smoking. No unis are very fast (except maybe the $ geared ones), but the 36 is the only way to go if you want cover ground at a less slow rate. Actually pretty easy to ride straight, I still can’t idle or free mount mine, 36’s are great for the go but hard to finesse slow.

I think a good step up from your basic 20 might be an lx 26. The ultimate cheap uni IMHO. 26 tires are free off of any junker bike you find in the trash. Forget that economy if you have a 19 or a muni.

An lx 24 or 26 would do you real well for as low bucks as you can find buying new. The cheaper cx and others almost demand you buy a KH seat, which is not cheap. The KH seat is better than the lx seat, yet the lx seat is pretty good. You can live with an lx seat on a low budget, the cx and Sun-bargain uni seats seem to have no fans. You will have to replace the seat or have a really sucky ride.

24" is fine

As you move up in wheel size, you get bigger problems than the gain. I think I’d maybe consider up to 28" but even that will give problems moving around public transport, shops and lifts and so forth. None of this is rocket science.

From substantial experience as a unicycling commuter 24" is a good size. With the extreme 36 you might get there 20% faster, maybe not.

24 is light, able to be maneuvred in pedestrian traffic (your college, malls, etc), can be carried on buses, trains and in any car.

For context - I’m am coming from the standpoint of 1.83m height, correct weight, long legs, and a pretty flat city known for afternoon winds during summer, and not very young at all. I’ve ridden and ride 20", 24" 36" a little, even my 20" giraffe which use for regular decent distance rides.

Torker unicycles are good value - you just don’t get the fat tyresand aluminium wheels, though they can always be fitted after you wear through your first tyre.

at the same rpm a 36" is 50% faster by definition. This is assuming you can spin at the same rate, which is very possible after a week or so of practice : )

The 36er is also more comfy because 1.) the tire is a big fluffy pillow if you need it to be and 2.) the larger wheel makes big bumps feel like small bumps.

I prefer a 36, but if I didn’t feel completely comfy with freemounting, I’d hate the thing.

you can also work with it a little and get it to be as manuverable, if not moreso than a standard bicycle.

at the same rpm a 36" is 50% faster by definition. This is assuming you can spin at the same rate, which is very possible after a week or so of practice : )

The 36er is also more comfy because 1.) the tire is a big fluffy pillow if you need it to be and 2.) the larger wheel makes big bumps feel like small bumps.

I prefer a 36, but if I didn’t feel completely comfy with freemounting, I’d hate the thing.

you can also work with it a little and get it to be as manuverable, if not moreso than a standard bicycle.

I was in the same dilemma you were about a month ago. Its eight miles to my school and I had been making the trip on my 16 torker that I have had since 4th grade. I took the quality over quantity and got the 29 Nimbus. So far its proven to be a good mix of maneuverability and speed. Plus it comes in red or blue which is nice. It was over my budget by about 100$ but I think it was money well spent.

To actually answer your question, the lx would be your best option. Any cheaper uni is a waste of money. There is a difference in speed between the 26 and 29, but the biggest difference you’ll notice will be with the cranks. Make sure that you buy some 125mm crankarms right away. It will make a huge difference in speed, and your legs will last longer. You won’t have to baby the lx. The components are very solid. It can handle light muni and hopping up stairs. You can find tires pretty much anywhere, it comes with a decent tire for commuting, and it has enough clearance for a knobby up to 2.35 inches.

125’s were too slopy on my coker… im using 102’s now and im not going back.

you could also look into a torker ax 29 inch. You can get them for about the same amount as the lx.