Do I want a 19" or a 20"?

I’ve been riding a 24" for awhile now. I just ride around parking lot and school yards. I find I do more of that than the fitness riding I thought I would do so I’ve decided that my 2nd Uni will be one to goof around on. The reason I call it goofing around is it doesn’t fit an style that I can tell. So let me tell you what kind of riding I plan to do.

I want to be able to hop up steps and ride down them. Biggest drop I plan to do would be two foot MAX! (one of the places I ride has a concrete amphitheater. Of course Idle and riding backwards.

Basically I want to maximize the places I can ride without getting off sort of like a trials course but nothing too extreme maybe call it urban ‘muni’. I do want to work up to spins, not so much spins but a VERY tight 180 turn and 180 hops to get out of dead-ends without getting off.

Think hockey/basketball maneuverability.

I don’t plan to do tricks like gliding, unispins or crankflips, wheel walks, Big side hops, or large gaps. At most one foot on frame one footed riding for variety.

My emphasis is rolling, turning in tight places and starting and and stopping, not doing tricks in one place.

I was thinking a 20" with fairly wide tire would be best. Something like this:

I wouldn’t get a Koxx but something like a Nimbus II with an Animal GLS tire Wall 20" or Maxxis Hookworm. I also recall a 20" that was as wide as 2.5" but don’t remember what it was now.

Something like Kris Holm was talking about for a 20" flat/freestyle uni to come this April. But I don’t want to wait till April and realistically a KH is not in the budget.

Is there any reason why I should consider a 19" instead? And should I be considering a Nimbus X instead of a Nimbus II frame. Is there any difference between the Nimbus II and the Nimbus Trials frame?

I know calling would answer some of these questions but I sleep during the day and typically wake up too late to call them.

BTW I weight 190 lbs and 6’ tall and I’m and old guy at 52. Right now I can ride around forward very relaxed and can handle riding over speedbumps and dropping off curbs. I’m pretty close to be able to Idle. It’s the idling practice that got me to thinking I might like a 20 for its maneuverability.

Am I thinking about this the right way?

I’m pretty sure 19’s and 20’s are the exact same thing. If you can afford it, go for the Kris Holm. If you can’t, I’d recommend the Nimbus X Street. Both unis will last you a LONG time.

This uni has the wide tire you’re looking for, and it’s got a long neck frame, which is good for you because you’re 6 feet tall. The Nimbus Venture cranks will be fine for what you’re doing, but if you want you’re unicycle to be a super strong beast of a machine, upgrade to Moments.

I’d say you’re thinking the right way. Hope that helps!:smiley:

19’s and 20’s are NOT the same thing. The reason to consider a 19" would be to have a stronger rim (most 19" rims are stronger than most 20 rims, at least the ones used on unicycles), and to have more cushion in the tire. 19" tires only come in 2.5, and are labeled 20x2.5.

The largest 20" tire that I’ve seen is a 2.4, Branded as an Onza. This will still have a nice amount of cushion for small drops, while remaining lighter and smoother than a 19". Going 20" also gives you the option to go for a freestyle tire, like you were suggesting, which would give you more options for less dollars. Or different tires for different types of practicing.

My suggestion would be a fairly beefy 20" with a largish tire and 125s. The closest of the shelf option that I can think of is the Nimbus II 20" ISIS.

I suggest 20 over 19 because of ease to find replacement tires (or rims if you happen to break it) and more tire choices with a suitable tread pattern. I would aim for a tire width between 2.1 and 2.3. Skinnier tires won’t have as much bounce or be as forgiving for hopping and dropping and wider tires will loose their stability if you lower their pressure for fooling around on stairs and such. I would suggest something like this.

If you do go with a 19 using a Luna tire would be a great choice. They roll fast and wear slow compared to most other 19" tires. They are also quite cheep.

I built up a 20" wheel for almost exactly what you describe. I used mostly parts that I had lying around and did not go out of my way to find parts that would make the perfect ride. I used an Alex DX24 rim and a kikzombut (20x1.95) tire. Both were great for riding around and trying freestyle type moves but were both a bit skinny for hopping around and such. I used both 125 and 114mm cranks with this setup and both lengths were great in their own way. 125s were better for hopping and 114s were slightly nicer for cruising around and not quite horrible for hopping. I think I would go with 125s if I were to have only one size.

On the other hand getting a full blown trials unicycle would make it easy to get into trials if you find that you actually really enjoy hopping onto and off of stuff and is not that bad for just riding around.

What 24 are you riding now?

All the moves you described , there was nothing that a 24 wouldn’t do.

I learned most of my riding on a nimbusX 24 (isis) with a hookworm 24x2.5.

I recently picked up a kh20 and have been trying to spend time on it, I get frustrated because riding it is not nearly as smooth as the 24. I thought it would be easier to do certain things on the 20 (that was one reason I bought it, but it has just turned out to not be true with the exception of spins). Most likely I will end up selling the 20 at some point.

The 20 just seems so slow. It is definitely more maneuverable, but I don’t find the cost of speed and smoothness worth it. I know if I spent all my time riding the 20 that eventually I would get the smoothness back, but I really like riding the 24 and want to ride it.

I’m about your size 6’ & 200 lbs.

I have the nimbus II with the stock hookworm. I know the 24" is tough enough, im just trying to move towards a trials uni without getting a trials uni. The keyword is versatility with something between a flat/freestyle uni.

Who know I may come to the same realization as you, but I still want to give it a try.

What tire and cranks are you running? When you say a 20 is that with a 19" rim or a 20" rim?

19" rim with a creepy crawler. 137mm cranks. The good thing if you go kh is that it really keeps it’s value, and if you decide you don’t want it there are always many people out there who are wiling to give you fair value for it. I think if you go the Nimbus trials route, it’s a bit harder to get rid of.

It is definitely much more maneuverable, so it just might be exactly what you are looking for.

I’m trying to push myself to order it tomorrow. I’m going to go with the Nimbus II 20" with 125s and clear Odyssey twisted PC’s. I been real happy with those in black on my 24.

The big question is tire. I’m going to do some more research tonight on possible 20" tires besides what UDC has.

I looked at the onza sticky fingers but I don’t think I need that much tread.

Anyone has a good idea for a 20" tire > 2.0" inches with a good stiff sidewall let me know or even some opinions between the primo wall and Kikzumbut. Looks like the Animal GLH might be a good choice but I don’t see anyone talking about that tire.

You could get a Maxxis holy Roller, which would give you smooth rolling/turning, but still a little extra bounce.

That definitely is a candidate, thanks.

Recently I’ve been thinking about putting together a similar uni. I’ve narrowed down the wheel to a 20" Alex DX32 (somewhat less common than the 19" version), Nimbus ISIS hub, and Animal GLH 20x2.25 tire.

I recommend the KH20", which actually has a 19" rim. The specs:

I think it would be cheaper/easier to just buy the whole KH20.


Cheaper than$215 for a nimbus 20" and a few dollars more for a tire ‘upgrade’ and maybe a few more for an upgrade to Venture cranks? I don’t think we took the same math class.

Besides KH 20 is a 19" rim and a more meatier tire than I want for starters. I’d like to wait for KH’s upcoming 20" flat/freestyle uni but this is a Xmas present for myself and a KH is not in the budget, no way, no how. And I have been very happy with my 24" Nimbus.

I’m convinced a 20" with a fairly wide but still smooth tire is what Im looking for. I can always get a Sticky Fingers and be very close to a trials uni.

Sorry – they didn’t cover unicycle costs in linear algebra. Of course the Nimbus 20" is cheaper than the Kh20, but people were starting to compare various (good quality) rims and tires. It is cheaper to buy the whole unicycle than each quality component.

Your question was on a 19" vs 20" – not on cost. For the money, you can’t beat the KH20; it is a great value at a good price and cheaper than buying components one at a time, or buying a poor heavy unicycle and upgrading within a year.


I know KH has it’s fanbase but as I have said, it’s not in the budget, no way, no how.

But i AM starting to wonder if I do want a 19" with a fairly smooth tire instead just to make it really different from my 24"

Whatever I buy will be close to stock and not made up of individual components.

Decision, decisions. Wish I could just buy one of each.

That would be an easy way to go if it not for the lack of tire choices for 19" rims. 19" rims seem to have been developed specifically for trials and so the only tires available are trials tires; big, knobby, heavy, trials tires. I’m glad to see the new KH 20" wheelset coming.

19" versu 20"…which is lighter…???

I read, that 20" isn’t as good for jumping around because they are heavier since larger rim(and weaker for the same reason), and there arent wide tires for them (compared to 19 x 2.5 tires)

But…19" tires only come in 2.5" width and are big and heavy…

I have a cheapy 20" that I want to replace with a better uni.

I was thinking 20" since I went to walmart looking for tire for my 20" once, and there wre only 406mm tires, none for 19" rims…and I like convenience.
But then, I found out that there arent wide tires for 20" rims…

I want to buy the parts from udc and build the unicycle.

How should I decide …?

(also…does trash/dirt every get stuck inside drilled rims?? should I worry about that?)

You might be able to find something almost like a trials tire for a normal 20" (not 19") rim:

Weight diff is negligible. The Nimbus Equinoxes are both listed as 9.6 lbs.

If you already have a decently strong uni (eg ISIS cranks) and want to do trials, I’d get the Onza tire, if it fits. (Also here)

For a new uni for trials or a mix of trials/street/flat, definitelyget a 19" IMO, flat or street only, it seems to be a matter of preference, and one not significantly better than the other. 20" seems to be a bit better for flat than street. Also some prefer a 24" for street (all advanced riders that I’ve seen).