Im just learning and already thinking of my first decent spec Unicycle. Im used to Mtbing so want to continue on one wheel. I like the look of the Oracle but any others which may be as good?.
Hi Alanb! I probably won’t be much help (since I don’t really MUni yet, but I want to!) But I have definitely been shopping around, as well. I don’t think you can go wrong with any of the MUnis from unicycle.com. Of course the more expensive ones come with a brake, but you can add a brake to any of them later. Maguras cost $100+, and d-brake (~$30) plus rotor (~$20) and lever/hose/caliper ($50+) and installation ($$) so it would might be best to get one with a brake already. And the Nimbuses (Nimbi?) without brakes are the steel framed models (all the others are aluminum) which will probably be heavier and stronger (at least have a longer flex-life) but the general consensus seems to be that the qualities of unicycling on aluminum are far superior than steel (lighter and stiffer).
I’m assuming you’re in the U.S., so your best options will probably be Nimbus or Kris Holm (since Qu-Ax and Mad4One are harder to get here, but probably not impossible.) The Kris Holm will be lighter, and maybe a bit stronger than the Oracle, but it does have an external disc brake (which actually helps a little with the strength of the wheel since it doesn’t have to be dished.) Another advantage of the KH would be the dual hole cranks if you had any interest in riding anywhere other than the mtn (you can upgrade the Oracle’s cranks when you order it, but then it gets close to the same price.) I have been really liking the Q-angle on my KH Spirit cranks, though, but that is probably a bit of biomechanics and what you get used-to.
It sounds like you’re interested in the Oracle, but I definitely would look into the Hatchet as well. It looks different, but seems to be the most versatile frame of them all (it can fit a 5" wide 26" tire, or 4" wide 27.5", or a 29"x3", even a skinny 32" will fit) and you don’t hit your knees on the frame! Someone should correct me if I’m wrong, but without a fat tire, it is the same weight or maybe lighter than a Kris Holm. Its technology trickled down from the Nimbus Oregon, and though some say it’s not the best for beginners (it can be a little unwieldy,) I haven’t heard anyone say it has been a deal-breaker (nor have I heard the “harder to control” story about the Hatchet, only the Oregon, but maybe actual owners can let us know.) The cool think would be being able to ride it year-round (if you live with 4-seasons, or even near a beach). I think the 3" wide tire on the Oracle would be fine, but, the 3.8" on my fat bike rides way different than a 3".
Hopefully I’ve been some help! I like the “compare” feature on unicycle.com and use that a lot, but not all of the measurements seem super-accurate. Happy shopping! I hope you share what you decide to get with us and let us know what you think!
The one thing “not standard” on the Hatchet is the bearing pitch–it uses 125mm spacing opposed to standard 100mm spacing (to fit fat tires). Other than that the versatility seems pretty high.
Nice summary, Jener8or! You covered the important points.
I own the 26" Oracle. It’s more than 3 years old, and I bought it before there was a 27.5" size. If the OP is into MTB, they probably know what wheel diameter and tire width they’re looking for. If I lived next to the beach, maybe I’d get a fat-tire unicycle. Otherwise, the conditions in SoCal don’t really warrant it. The OP’s conditions may vary.
It’s typical to upgrade/replace stock parts. That was true for my Oracle. The stock seat turned to jelly from pulling on it. UDC shipped the Oracle with 4mm hex seat bolts. I suggest swapping these out immediately with 5mm ones, if you’re going to be frequently adjusting the seat. I broke a couple seat posts. Then I got the T-bar with the stiffening plate, broke another seat post, then finally settled on the Shadow handle. The original brake line on the Oracle had minimum slack, and when I installed bar ends, it was suddenly too short, and the LBS replaced my brake line with a longer one. Spokes started breaking, one by one. I had them replaced, then eventually had the wheel rebuilt. I relied on corrective hopping more as a beginning muni rider, and this put a lot of stress on the Oracle’s dished wheel (I weight over 200 lbs). One day, I noticed the tire wasn’t centered in the frame.
I still love my Oracle. Stuff breaks, that’s normal. Don’t expect to stop paying for your unicycle after it ships.
Three weeks ago I got the Oracle 27.5 and really enjoy it. But keep in mind I’m new to sport and have only ridden it on roads and bumpy grass areas so far. I was glad as a newbee I had no trouble making tight turns with it. It also came with the Stadium Saddle which is way less of a ball crusher then my Club seat was.
If you are certain you want to do it, and confident you can learn, then go for it. Never mind the brand, look at the size and specification.
A Muni needs a reasonably fat knobbly tyre, splined cranks, pinned pedals, and a strong, light frame. Plenty of people here have done Muni on machines lacking at least one of those!
Sizes from 24 to 29 inch all have their pros and cons and 27.5" seems to be popular at the moment. Popular translates into readily available tyres and tubes.
Seriously, just buy a good one, and enjoy riding it. Tweak it a bit (upgraded pedals, better tyre, different length of cranks?) as you learn more about what suits your riding. If you enjoy it, it won’t be the last one you buy anyway.
This is a great sport, almost unique in its simplicity. Don’t overcomplicate it.
Thanks everyone. As i have 650b set up already on my mtb, i realise theres plenty of choice with tyres. I will aim for 3" rubber on the new one i think. I know build quality is important with bikes so that really what is important to me. Over here in England the choices we seem to have is Nimbus, Qu ax and KH. All seem good quality at a similar price.
I have the Nimbus Oracle 26 and love it! If I got one again, I would probably get the 27.5. You cant go wrong with Nimbus or Kris Holm.
Ok you say “if I got a new one”. Not when I get a new one. So can I take from that you don’t expect to wear out yours? And is that a statement of how well build the Nimbus line up is?
As someone said above all high ends Unicycles from the main Brands are great machines.
One thing to add to the difference between KH, Nimbus and Quax: the rim width (not sure if someone has already mentioned it on this thread). If you are after a 3.0 tyre the rim width might be something worth to consider …
I would say if the rust doesn’t eat them away most ‘good quality’ unicyles sould last a lifetime!
And since most good quality unis are made of aluminium, rust shouldn’t be an issue. Ok, the bearing are happy to rust. But they’re fairly easy to replace.
I’m a new unicyclist myself and went for the 27.5” QU-AX.
There’s virtually no difference in tire diameter compared to by unicycling buddy Yow’s Nimbus 26”.
The QU-AX tire is less fat but the seat is sooooo much more comfortable
Yeah the stadium is a brick which shows no mercy, very precisely steerable though and i just love the 3” duro that tire decides where the riding will be done… Hey but that QU-AX saddle has such a nice soft couch feel to it i could idle on that all day! Peace to all the one wheel people too.
I have the 24" Oracle w/brake and like it very much. It is well made and a pleasure to ride. It seems that most of the folks on here like larger wheels but for me a 24" is perfect. The trails I have available are tight, twisty, rocky and hilly so I don’t go long distances. I always ride by myself so I like to go where there are other people in the area so there is someone to call the ambulance. I just go back and forth and session on sections of trails trying different lines. I don’t think I would be comfortable on one much taller so a 24" works well for me.
I envy some of you when I see photos of the long flat smooth muni trails thru the woods where you can go for miles that you post on here. If I had that I think I would try a bigger wheel.
I don’t think you can go wrong with a nimbus. My 3 main rides are nimbus and if my skills get to the point where I am breaking them I will be happy to spend the extra and upgrade to a Kris Holm!
I’m shopping for a new saddle, can you say what model of Qu-Ax saddle you are talking about?
On my Muni:
On the 20" Luxus:
Both of them are more comfortable than the seat on Yow’s Nimbus 26" Muni
Alan, you are lucky. Why not call in and see the different models. We are only 20 miles down the road. We all ride Muni in the office (I did not mean that literally… but we do some times!).
- 1 . For steep/complicated sections, which are the trails I enjoy the most, my main ride for Muni is the 24. As you well say I also go up and down these trails until I get them right. By the end of it I am so tired that day I haven’t got the energy to ride anywhere else. I also have a 26 but I use it for less changeling locations with easier trials. I am slowly getting better in tackling difficult trials with the 26 though.
I haven’t got a 27.5 or a 29 but I think I would find them a bit too big to tackle difficult sections. For the average rider (myself included) they are probably fantastic for easier trials/cross country. I already have too many Unicycles but I am sure that in the future I will get one those big wheel size Muni as well