Difference between "serious" unicycle and cheap one

I have a 24" UDC Club bought from UDC and a 20" Fun unicycle that I bought off Craigslist. They’re both fun but the Club seems much more secure and stable than the Fun. It’s a bit heavier and just feels really solid, while the Fun feels cheap, for lack of a better word. Riding the Fun feels “twitchier” and less predictable. (I ride just on smooth surfaces). I realize that the answer might be pretty obvious but I’m wondering if the difference in stability and smooth feel of the 24" is mostly because it’s larger than the 20" or is it because it’s made of higher quality materials.

Maybe a little bit of both. The 20” is definitely twitchier than a 24”, especially if that 20” flexes a bunch.

In my experience, the additional “twitchiness” of a 20” can be magnified by “sponginess” created by a flexible frame and components.

As I progressed into higher quality unicycles, I found that the higher quality unicycles provided a more “rock solid” feel, and a greater sense of “connection”, both to the unicycle and the ground beneath it.

I hope I did a good job of explaining that well. If so, I hope my explanation might come close to describing the difference between your Fun 20”, and your Club 24”. If so, you can expect more of the same as you progress further into the more expensive options available.

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I say 95% or more of what you are feeling during riding is wheelsize (and maybe tire, tire pressure). When just riding around, flex in the seatpost and frame are generally not super noticeable, because you are not actually putting much force into it.

But then the things you don’t feel immediately during riding still make a difference, if it feels cheap and light in your hands, it will inspire less confidence when you are using it.

Crank size can also contribute to how smooth things feel (at least initially) when comparing between unicycles.

Everything said above was in my thoughts too. Alot of this is probably just different wheel size, as well as the psychology and human knowledge of price and value.

What is the tire width on your cheap uni? I have found that the tiny skinny tires that are on cheap unicycles are very unstable and I have folded them off the rim before at max pressure (ok I might have been doing some things that uni wasn’t designed for) but I’ve never been able to fold a Club. Even though a Club tire is 1.95 stated diameter, and the cheap ones are usually about 1.75, there is actually more than 0.2 inches difference between the tires and the 1.95 feels infinitely more stable.

This was meant as a reply to @Johnny_Droppalot but I managed to mess that up.

A bit of a surprise but the 24" is 1.95 and the 20" is 2.125.

All I have is a cheap 20" Fun unicycle and I can confirm that it feels like that to me too. I have also ridden my friend’s 27.5" mountain unicycle and it feels like riding a tank comparatively… I think it is mostly wheel size, and the saddle makes a big difference too. If it is a flimsy, cheap saddle like the 20", then it will feel less solid. Hope this helps.

Well now that is interesting, in that case disregard what I said before. Must just be wheel size or crank length affecting the feeling, unless the frame is super noodle-like.

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Wheel size and crank length has a big impact on how smooth you ride… but skills will lessen the impact.

I started on a 20" approx 1½ year ago and ride several times each week. After some practice I got a 24" and I was amazed of how stable it felt and that I could suddenly ride several hundred meters between UPDs. After a few months I rebuild the small uni with a new 19" wheel with a very wide rim and tire but the uni still felt very twitchy/unstable to me compared to the 24".
I left the 19" uni unused for almost a year until today where I decided to bring the 19" uni to the playground (so I had something to do while my kid was exploring) but now it felt stable and not twitchy at all due to how much my skills have improved during the last year.

My 20"/19" Uni is a cheap steel frame where the 24" is a fairly expensive alu frame.

Definitely. Though even with skills (though I’m no expert like some people here), I always find the first few revolutions very disturbing when I try a 19" with 145mm cranks and a low saddle!