Although I’m a beginner, it’s getting close to time to get my second uni, something well-suited to riding the local bikepaths. They’re crushed stone on dirt. Nothing steep.
I’m thinking a 29er would be a good fit. Comments?
The two 29er’s that show up most often in my web surfing are those from KH and UDC. I’m thinking that, as a beginner who intends to ride tame stuff, the awesomeness of the KH would be wasted on me. Therefore I should go with the UDC and save some money. Comments?
Some background: I’ve been learning on a Torker LX 20. Sounds like my rate of progress has been average. I’m just starting to do some freemounts. 180lbs, 32" inseam, 1 whiny knee.
Where are you located? I’m in Longmont. You can try my Nimbus 29’er sometime if you want. It sounds like it might be just the ticket for what you want to do. I have been thinking about a 36’er lately. If you don’t mind making a big jump up; the 36’er might be something to consider. I really like my 29’er. I ride it to work, and all around town. I have taken it on mild XC trails as well.
Don’t forget the torker ax 29", it is light weight aluminum and a good cycle. The seat is the weak point with the torkers but seat upgrades aren’t all that expensive or dificult to do yourself. The 29 is not to big to take camping or on airplane but has decent speed for distance riding.
I don’t think it’s very easy to find an AX 29. A while back (maybe a year ago) they sold them off really cheap, and I haven’t seen them in stock anywhere since. There is probably a holdout bike shop somewhere with old stock.
Torker still has it listed as a current product, so it might be available again at some point.
What is the benefit of a KH29 over a Nimbus 29? Is it weight or components? I am in the process of saving for a 29. I have a really light road bike that cost a lot. It is probably not necessary for me to have such an expensive bike since I’m not competitive, but it’s very light and nimble. For me it’s worth it. My plan with the 29er is climbing paved roads and XC trails. No big drops or anything like that. If the KH is a waste of money then I would be happy with a Nimbus, but if it’s better as is my road bike, it would be worth it. I hope that makes sense.
Thanks for the comments (and to jtrops for the offer to try the Nimbus).
I started wondering if it would make more sense to go with a 26". I’m thinking about the rolling friction of that non-paved surface. How strong/fit do you need to be to maintain a reasonable cadence on a 29er against that much rolling friction? Maybe my fitness is more in line with a 26?
Big wheels are so much easier on that sort of surface. The only disadvantages (when riding) are it’s a bit harder to freemount, and tight manoeuvring is tricky.
I guess from your age (I’m 46 myself) you are more likely to be attracted by the idea of riding to somewhere (or doing a circuit) than you are to a-hopping and a-dropping (and a singin’ this song…) in which case a 29 is ideal.
26 is a middling size, and although it is personal preference, there is no obvious rationale for choosing a 26 rather than a 29 for the sort of riding you describe.
As for the dodgy knee, a unicycle is more or less equivalent to a bicycle in bottom gear. With technique and experience, you will find that you are putting very little pressure on your knees when riding on the flat. Off road, cross country, Muni, idling, big hills, may hurt your knees, but scooting about the local park, nature reserve, or river bank won’t be a problem.
On the sort of surfaces you describe, I’d typically choose my 28 with 114s. A 29 with 125s would be more versatile.
Let us know when you get it. I still have to wait about two weeks before I can order mine. Still debating between Nimbus and KH. If I go with the Nimbus I may be able to talk my husband into a 36er at the end of the summer (heh heh).
The KH frame is lighter. I have a KH 19 and 24, and a newer Torker Ax 29. I have way more miles on the KH 24, riding in the same places, the KH’s look a lot better. They starts out looking better, then doesn’t corrode like the Torker, or my steel framed Radial 36. So, with KH, it is not like you are just spending more money to save a lb. The ax Torker has stainless spokes and and an alum rim like the KH, yet the Torker looks more corroded now.
I live in a tropic, salty mud and sand kinda place. I always rinsed them off before storing them indoors, when I was riding in saltish places. My environment is perhaps one of the worst for paint destruction and corrosion.
So if you like stuff that stays looking good longer, KH has an edge over Torker and I would guess Nimbus. The KH seats and cranks are better, but you can order those as low cost upgrades on the Nimbus .
Really, it pays to look for sales. A couple months ago UDC was selling 07 KH stock for I think around 350 $. That was a deal !
Got the Nimbus 29er. Looks like that was the right size and a good way to go for me. I swapped out the metal pin pedals for some plastic pin pedals. The tire is a Duro Easy Rider 2.35"; I have they impression it used to come with a Schwalbe Big Apple.
I gave myself a few weeks to get used to it (and amass more protective gear) before recently starting trying to freemount. Before this, I was just starting to get the hang of freemounting my 20".
But now that’s on hold for a while. I separated my shoulder (A-C separation) a couple days ago. Went into a roll after a UPD, thinking I had things under control, but there was an understated click in my shoulder. Fortunately I was parked at a hospital – my favorite stretch of bike path, with bridges for mounting assistance, runs right behind a hospital.
In my opinion, if you’re not going to be doing crazily steep stuff, or technical MUni, your best option on a 29er is 125mm or shorter cranks. 125mm makes it fast enough to keep up with Cokers, but still allows a good amount of control once you’re used to it.
I’m currently running 110mm cranks on my ungeared 29er. and 125/150 dual-drill (normally in the 150mm hole) on my geared 29er.