I would judge it based off the place you’re going. On-road, or off-road? The terrain mix would be the deciding factor.
For a “tackle anything” approach, I like a 29er with 125/150s. It’s largely preference whether you want a small wheel and small cranks vs large wheel and long cranks at the same ratio. Dual hole would be very nice to have. I like the roll-over of larger wheels.
There is no unicycle that is good at both hopping and touring. You can certainly hop with a 26", and go for a tour with it too. 3 Unicyclists did the over 600 miles Arizona trail on a unicycle in 35 days, you can read about that here: http://www.corbinstreehouse.com/blog/2017/05/the-arizona-trail-on-unicycle-day-29-the-last-day/
I know at least some of them were using 26". All three are very good unicyclist though (meaning they can ride at max speed for a long time), beginners tend to have more difficulties with going at a high cadence.
I’m not into touring, but a 29" would be what I would build for a touring/Muni, a 29" can still do some pretty heavy muni stuff, and is fast enough to not be a completely terrible tourer. A small uni with a geared hub (24" with schlumpf in high gear is theoretically as fast as a 36"), has one big drawback: the small tire makes it very sensitive to bumps. Things you would hardly notice on a 36" can completely throw you of a 24", gears are no replacement for a big wheel in my opinion, they are more to bring the cadence down.
I don’t think just looking at crank/tire diameter ratio like juggleaddict suggests is right either. Maybe for 26" vs 27.5", but not for bigger differences in wheelsize. Firstly because of the described effect of rolling over things, secondly because on a smaller wheel with smaller cranks, you are still going to have to pedal a higher cadence, which is more difficult to sustain than a lower cadence, even if your pedals travel at the same speed.
Handle bars are very much personal preference, the best would be to try many different riders setups and see what you like.
FYI Uni Klein: 10mm of crank length make a huge difference. Not like changing gears on a bicycle, but still very noticably changes the speed you can travel at and the hills you can climb.
Hi, I own a 26" geared huni-rex with a 3.5" (3.8" can’t remember) tire… about a 42" virtual wheel with 125 cranks.
I’m still learning, so I’m not an expert and I’ve no knowlege about different unis.
I’ve added an handlebar and it seems bad at low speed: I need a strong hand on the seat to deliver enough torque… catching the handlebar far from the seat doesn’t help balancing.
Handlebar at high speed… never reached high speed! I can’t tell.
Hopping on a 26" geared… don’t know. Never hopped. Tried two times but I’m not ready to learn hopping.
Going uphill… never done. Tried once from road to sidewalk and UPD. It seems I need stronger legs and better balance (or speed).
Going over small obstacles… it seems ok to me with my wheel, I just need more training (I wish anyone with a schlumpf 26" fat in high gear and a 36" ungeared could tell me the difference)
Next year I can tell you a better review for my uni. However it seems not so bad for me
To stay balanced on the unicycle involves two particular kinds of balance. The first one is keeping our center of gravity over the axle (by shifting the balance of our upper body), the second is keeping the axle under our center or gravity (by pedaling/not-pedaling). If we are not that good at keeping ourselves balanced over the unicycle, we will will have to make a more significant correction with our pedaling. Short cranks are not so good at this. Short cranks only make things easier when the rider has great balance, otherwise the rider will wear themselves making sudden adjustments on the short cranks. 110mm cranks for muni is not going to work. You are going to need way more leverage than that. The 137mm cranks you have on your 26" are fine for general-purpose cruising around, but for muni, you should probably consider 150mm or larger cranks.
I would also avoid choosing a muni based on its hopping ability. As a beginner, once I learned to hop, it became my “go-to” technique for dealing with obstacles. Later on, I learned how to crash over obstacles while keeping hold of the unicycle, and the amount of hopping I did on a muni ride diminished almost to zero.
This thread is a variation on the “one unicycle for all purposes” theme. Wishful thinking. Start saving your money. Get a decent 20" for practicing skills, and keep your 26" for muni (maybe with 150mm cranks). Later on, if you still enjoy distance road riding, get a 36".
On a 20-mile ride on my 29, with 110mm KH cranks, I averaged about 9 mph (15 kph) for the first half of the trip. After that, I took breaks here and there because I was riding with a group, but I still pushed myself a bit, and only stopped to hop when I got to red lights.
Anyway, the back of my right knee got very sore at the spot where my biceps femoris connects to my lower leg. Today, eight days later, it is still a tiny bit sore. I think I was pulling back slightly with my right foot to compensate for pedaling slightly too hard with my left, but I’m not sure. I don’t usually do long rides like this, though the previous week I had gone on a leisurely 10-mile cruise and did not experience any soreness at all. I have also done the same 20-mile ride in years past without any unusual soreness, though with slightly longer (125mm) cranks that had no Q-factor. I did raise my seat by one centimeter when I put the shorter cranks on, but could it be that it is still too low? Oh, I also do a lot of wheel walking, though much less since that long ride.
People will tend to recommend what they have. However, people have toured and done coast to coast rides with camping gear on 24"unis. I have done 20 miles in a day on a 20". I did my longest day on a 28. There is no doubt I’d choose my 36 for long distance and my 29 for middle distance and more serious terrain, but that does not mean that it is impossible to tour on a 26.
As for cranks, there are pros and cons to going shorter. I have ridden a 28 on sizes from 89 mm upwards and have come to the following solutions as best for me:
Skinny 28 with 114s for making it challenging when only easy terrain is available.
KH 29 with standard 2 hole cranks: long position for muni, short position for road and general.
26 with 125s for general riding.
24 with 125s for general riding.
KH24 MUni with 150s for muni.
36 with 150s for road and cross country.
20 with 125s or 110s for playing on.
On average, you will go faster with short cranks but you are using a smaller range of muscle movement, so it can be more tiring.
There are no right or wrong answers, only personal preferences and experience. Ride what you’ve got and enjoy it.
Yes you can tour with a 26", and you can hop on one. That was, of course, the easy part. For better answers it helps to know more about the type of touring you would like to do (distance, riding surfaces, flat or not). For hopping, it would also help to know what kind of hopping. Just while waiting for the light to change (which I never do), or hopping over obstacles? The first is light hopping, which you can do on any uni, and the second can be more destructive, so it may change the conversation to a splined axle or something.
As someone already mentioned, if you’re looking for “one unicycle to do it all” there just isn’t a good answer to that, since it’s going to be a compromise. To answer that question, you have to say which type of riding is the dominant, and build from there.
For serious touring I recommend a 36", because it’s the highest “gear” you can get without buying expensive other things. If you don’t want a heavy wheel I’d say 29" because I think the 32" wheels are still on the heavy side, though I may be wrong about that.
Shorter cranks will make it easier to spin fast, but won’t bridge the gap of wheel sizes unless you want to pedal really fast all the time. Better to start with a wheel that’s appropriate to the activity.
In the end, I usually recommend to people to buy the unicycle that best meets their needs, for their dominant type of riding now. Later on, you can decide if you want to invest in another one, which might then be followed by another one, etc.
No way. I have a 27.5 with DH cranks and a 36. If I were touring I wouldn’t want anything but a 36 unless I was doing some somewhat serious offroad and then a 29. A 36 with 150 cranks can handle most cross country stuff. On the road 127s are very versatile with some practice.