I have been riding a 36 inch the last 3 years, and just purchased a 24" nimbus muni(its soooo small). I thought that it would be an easy transition going back to a 24 inch, as that was what I grew up riding. I feel like there are dead spots with the longer cranks and smaller wheel, and I am having to re-learn how to ride with arms flapping about. Not liking it at all and even thought about returning it, but I’m sure it’s just a matter of getting used to it again. Has anyone else experienced a similar frustration when going to a smaller wheel?
Yes of course. You ARE NO exception! : )
…well, except for the ‘arms flapping about’ part:D
(All in a matter’s time;)
Vive la différence!
I’ve had a similar experience last sunday. After several months of mainly riding 29", 36" and a little bit of 24", I took my 20" to an event organized by the French uni forum - share your uni with learners.
Gosh, that thing was impossible to ride. I was all over the place, flapping arms, not confortable and so on. It took me a while to just go back to the basics of riding. I realized that big wheels are more forgiving if you put a bit of weight on the pedals once in a while: they have so much inertia that it doesn’t really influence the ride.
But on the 20", especially if it has a lite tire… Any micro second when you put too much weight on a pedal and you’re thrown off balance! Have to say that after a day of riding, it felt much better and I was even able to idle for way longer than I ever was before! I decided that it was actually a good thing to do once in a while, a good way to work on the riding-flaws I developed with a bigger wheel.
Would you also say that it is better to learn idling on a smaller wheel (20") than on a bigger wheel (26"). Ever since I bought my KH26, I’ve been riding that one, because it is soo much more comfy. I still have to learn how to idle, because I’ve mostly been focusing on riding distance on dirt and asphalt, up and downhill.
I would say that learning most skills is better on a 20". When I first started trying to learn idling, it was on my 26" mUni, and it was sluggish and hurt my lower back. Then I got a 20", the pain went away, and I learned to idle.
I personally never felt the sensation referred to by the OP, probably because I alternate between street/trials (20") and mUni (26") on a daily/weekly basis. At the expense of sounding preachy, I would advise people to not get too comfortable with any one particular setup or any one style of riding. There are many skills involved in balancing on the unicycle, and one particular style of riding is not going to cover all of them.
I certainly found this when I bought my 19" impact athmos. It seems harder to stay on and small bumps affect stability more too. Things my 24" Nimbus rolls over take a bit of planning on the 19"! I’d imagine the effect would be even more exaggerated going from 36-24 than it is between 24-19. Since then, and also because I’m still very much a beginner, I try not to do more than 2-3 rides on one wheel before switching to the other size.
In under two weeks I will join a uni training from a club nearby and they also said they train on 20". Therefore I’ve been playing a bit more with my training uni again. I still don’t have the rolling hop under control, but today on the parking lot, I managed it a few times. The KH26 is a lot heavier and I can see that jumping with it is more difficult - best to try again once I can do it with the smaller version.
It just felt like regress having to go back to my parking lot and bugging with the small uni, just when I was getting the hang of the 26.
I also find the bigger unicycle much more comfortable, and idling is like rocking back and forth at about a slow lumbering 10 second frequency. As Pierrox noted, the smaller wheel is much more responsive and less forgiving to imbalances on the pedals. It will be tough to choose the 24 over the 36. The 24 also has a Duro wildlife leopard 24" x 3.0" wheel which is new for me. One plus with the 24 is that the ground is much closer for those UPD’s.