Hey guys. This is my first post here. I was looking to get into unicycling as a hobby, with the added benefit as being a light workout. I weigh ~350lbs, and I was wondering if anyone knew of a uni that would support my weight? I can’t seem to find any help via Google. I’m not looking to spend too much, but it can be something I save up for. Looking in the area of $100-$150 maybe, but I may be willing to pay more if that is what it takes.
Also, sorry if this is in the wrong subforum, please move it to the correct one if it is.
I’d guess that any of the decent trials unis will stand up to your weight just fine. If your also in average shape for your weight I’d recommend starting on a small wheel; you’re going to fall a bit when starting and the distance to the ground on a 20" wheel seems to be a lot less than on a 24 or larger. Call the nice people at www.unicycle.com and they will help.
I wouldn’t start out thinking of this as light excercise. When I started I was amazed at what a serious workout it was; riding even a 1/2 mile of flat wore me out. It takes a while for your body to become efficient riding a uni.
Unicycling can be intense, not just a “light workout”. Muni, flatland and trials are probably some of the most intense excersise there is. Of course you can take it light too if younwant. Welcome and good luck.
At 350 lbs., I think you may need to plan on spending a bit more. When you’re looking at uni’s, look for a double wall rim, and I’d even consider 48 spokes. An ISIS hub may even be a good idea. The Nimbus II series on Unicycle.com is a great place to start.
This topic has come up before, and you could use the search function to find many answers.
For a budget uni that will do the trick you will do well to look for a used trials or 24" MUni. Torker and Sun are two brands that are stocked in bike shops, and so they come up more often used.
The Torker DX models aren’t light, but they are strong. They show up on Craigslist periodically, and I’ve seen them used between $100-150. There are also the Sun Flat Top Deluxe, and Off Road models. They are similar to the DX, and also come up used. Torker and Sun also make many uni’s that would probably not hold up well with your weight, so I’d focus on the ones mentioned. As Killian said a splined hub will make it more durable, and both of these uni’s are available with it. ISIS is a specific spined system, but really any splined hub will do. And both of these have double walled rims. The Torkers have 48 spokes as well.
24" with a smooth tire isn’t bad for learning on. The 20" makes it a little easier, but to be honest learning to ride is difficult regardless of wheel size. Plenty of people learned on a 24.
In the hopes of encouraging a new rider I want to add that while it is tricky to learn, it is really fun, and worth the effort. In the beginning when you are still in the throws of learning it is hard to relax, and that makes it a great workout. After awhile, as you relax, you will be able to go for some time without breaking a sweat.
Glad you’ve decided to tackle the unicycle. There’s really good advice here already. I’ll say again that while you’re learning, you’ll get a really good workout with barely any forward motion–just a lot of repeated attempts that make for a great leg/core workout. On that note, beware that it’ll feel impossible at first, but stick with it and eventually it’ll click.
You can always pre-judge a unicyclist without knowing them, because no matter what other traits they have you can be sure they’re persistent and don’t give up in the face of the seemingly impossible. So keep that in mind while you’re starting–just about every other human being that rides a unicycle has felt that hopeless feeling that you’re sure to experience in the beginning.
Wow! I didn’t expect such a huge initial response. Thanks for all the advice, guys. I’ll try to address some of the things mentioned:
I didn’t want to make seem like I was using unicycling as a primary means of exercise, but it appears that it is very good for your health, so that’s a much needed added benefit.
Well, I’m ~6’4" (I’m American, so I’m not quite sure how tall that is in metric. a little less that 2m I’m guessing), so I have been afraid to pick a uni without consulting someone first.
I was going to use the search function (I tried to find anything online that be helpful, but all I could find is stuff about people who are looking for something to support like 250lb. I figured that an extra 100lbs could throw a wrench into things. I want to be sure I can get a decent uni on my first try, because I don’t know if I will like it, and unless I REALLY get into it, I don’t think I would buy another one.
I did hear that the Torker DX is a good uni to get, but I don’t think I saw one on Amazon (I know, I didn’t search any unicycle or bike shops…yet). I don’t necessarily need a light uni, I don’t think. Unless lighter is better, but I can’t expect much with my current weight.
I am definitely willing to put in the work to get comfortable with this. I don’t want to do anything crazy, but I would love to learn how to balance and just be able to pedal down the street a bit.
I plan on using some protection. Gloves and wrist guards at the very minimum (I broke my wrist rollerblading before. Not a good time). I heard shin guards are good choices also. I will have to look into getting some pads. And of course, a helmet. I take no offense when you say that extra weight = extra hard falls. I fully expect that. Losing some weight will lessen the pain though.
Would it be possibly cheaper to build my own? Like, order the parts separately then assemble myself? I’m more of a computer nerd (I work at a software company, so it kinda comes with the job), so I don’t have a problem with figuring everything out and piecing it together.
Thanks for all of your suggestions and all your help. I’m starting to get an idea of what I need and what I want for this. I think that if I can stick with it, it will be a pretty sweet lifestyle change.
Now, if only it wasn’t snowing here in Cleveland, Ohio.
My vote is for a 20" Torker DX. That was my first uni and when you get more efficient at riding, you can use it for muni! I’m not heavy, but I did have anger management problems when I started learning and would throw that sucker on the concrete HARD! Never broke, and two years later it’s still running strong. I’m also working on my anger problems.
Yeah, for you a trials uni is the way to go -a Torker DX should be OK. It’s gonna cost lots more than $100-150, unless you get really lucky on Craigslist, but at your height, you’re gonna need one with an unusually long seatpost (probably 500mm), so you probably shouldn’t even bother trying to find a used one. On the bright side, though, you won’t be one of those people who buys a $50 beginner unicycle and then has to start shopping for another one only a week or two later.
I found a pretty good-looking Torker DX on Ebay for ~$200. Looks to be in good condition witha few minor scrapes from falling. I would probably eventually need a new, double-wall tire with more spokes, but is this a good price?
I don’t really want to sink a TON of money into this until I’m sure that I like it. If I end up loving it, I wouldn’t see a big deal with upgrading to a trials uni instead of buying an Xbox One next year. I need much less video games in my life anyways.
Also, sorry for the double post. I didn’t see an edit button anywhere. But I don’t have really long legs. I think they were a little over 3.5’ at the HIP, not the inseam. I have a bigger torso than legs. I don’t know if that changes things with the needing a tall seat post or not.
Yeah, I’m an oddly proportioned guy. I don’t look as big as I am (I’m still pretty big though) because of my height. But I don’t think I have average legs.
It is usually cheaper to buy a complete uni than to build one. A new DX is going to be in the $300 range, and it puts it squarely in the range of a Nimbus. If I couldn’t find a used DX for much less I would go with a new Nimbus. For $250 you can pick up a new Nimbus 2 freestyle uni with ISIS cranks. It’s pretty much the best deal for a rock solid uni. And it has all of the suggestions Killian made regarding strong parts to handle the extra weight.
The trick is going to be finding a higher volume tire that can handle a bit more pressure. If you can get one that has a Hookworm 24x2.5 tire you should be in good shape. The current stock at UDC (unicycle.com) has Kenda tires that are narrower. If you need to you can pick up a Kenda K-Rad 24x2.3 that goes up to 65psi.
I come from a similar background and yes you can and yes it’s fun. As others have said it’s often cheaper to get a whole one, but even then you can start swapping parts around as soon as you get it. Whatever it costs, it’s still a cheap hobby, and the entertainment value might count for something. My second unicycle was a Nimbus 26" Muni from the classified forum here and I’ve built bits of that one into three different unicycles. They’re like Legos.
A 175 lb rider landing a 2g drop puts the same load on it as you would just riding along. I’m sure you’ll be fine as long as you stick with gear designed for hard duty.
A 24 x 2.4" CST Cyclops is something like $12 from Niagara. I have that on my 24" now and and it’s Hookworm-ish. (same company, different brand)
I would vote against buying a 20" trials uni because at 6’4" and 350 lbs, that size unicycle will be awfully small for your frame. I’m only 140 lbs and 5’9" and riding a 20" trials uni on the street feels like I am go nowhere fast. It’s fine for actually doing trials, but for learning to ride and moderate distances I would go with something bigger.
Is there anything out there that’s cheaper than $250? That seems to be the cheapest option for the best gear that will support me. I’ll probably go with the DX because I might be able to get it for ~$60 cheaper than the Nimbus 2. Unless any of you think that it’s absolutely worth the extra $60.
Anything below that price range is most likely going to be junk status (unless it’s something on sale, or a clearance of old stock)
In your first post you said light workout. Depending on what you do, it CAN be a light workout. But in most disciplines, and especially while learning, you will get tired very quickly, as anyone learning does. Unicycling uses a lot of strange muscle groups that most people are not used to, and when learning, you don’t know how to conserve energy through proper speed regulation. Also you are falling and getting back on a lot, which uses a lot of energy as well.
Point is, don’t get discouraged at first if you find it hard to practice for even a few minutes. Make sure to wear protective gear, an injury while learning can really put people off and discourage them from riding.
Good luck! Always remember, you’re not balancing on top of the unicycle, you’re just regulating the speed of the wheel so it stays under you!
First let me apologize for the over-zealous responses of my fellow unicyclists. They sometimes lose sight of the fact that people want to just learn how to ride a unicycle and not specialize in one area with expensive custom equipment. You don’t need a trials unicycle or a MUni or a unicycle with all kinds of reinforcement or high-tech parts. Unicycles are strong if you’re just riding along and falling off while learning. You may not even like unicycling so why sink a bunch of cash into a Ferrari or a tractor when you just need a Ford Escort.
The 24" United trainer (now I think just called the Trainer) is fine for learning. Something similar to it is also fine for learning. Any of the Torkers or Suns or Zephyrs or variants are OK. The only musts are a pneumatic tire and cotterless cranks. Main cap bearings are a plus but lollipop bearings are even OK for a learner. Those single wall steel rims are fine for a first unicycle and strong enough to hold your weight. My brother in law was over 300 pounds when he picked up a 24" United to get some exercise. That unicycle is still with him.