first timer - what to buy?

I’m buying my first uni and am looking for practical guidance. I’m 5’9", 150 lbs and fairly light on my equipment. The uni will be to learn, ride around the neighborhood, do a couple tricks, and do ride some local trails if/when I get good enough.

I was looking into the Nimbus II 24" but I don’t want to spend that much. I would like something that I can take out occasionally on the trail, though. Is the Club Freestyle 24" or the Torker LX 24" a good option? I’ve been riding square taper cranks on my mtbs forever without issue. Does it really make that much of a diff to go with ISIS for the uni? And will the single walled rim hold up under light muni riding? No drops but lots of falls, I’m sure.

I gues the question is will the Club or Torker be adequate for the riding I’d like to do? Any other options I should be considering?

Also, what is the max tire size I can run on the Club and Torker?

Thanks for the feedback.

Welcome to the forums,

The Freestyle 24"'s Club saddle is probably more comfortable, but the Torker LX has a stronger, 48-spoke wheel.

I’d probably go with the Freestyle 24", as it is cheaper and can certainly handle light trail use.

Not sure on tire size restrictions.

Practice often, and stick with it. Learning to ride is worth the effort.

thx…i’m excited to get going with it. I was leaning towards the Club, but wasn’t sure of how durable it would be. I also think the green and orange frames are nice.

The LX has more spokes than the Club but I don’t know about actually being any stronger. The Club does have the standard bolt pattern for the seat though and wouldn’t need a new post as well to get a better saddle like you would for the LX. I would never hop off anything bigger than a curb, and not too many, on either of those.

I would encourage you to get the Nimbus. It can take a beating (no big drops) and has a better resale value.

why’s that? because the wheel isn’t strong enough? the cranks? can’t be the frame bc it’s the same Nimbus II frame, right?

I would go for the Club over the LX for the frame, seat and seatpost.

The LX wheel might be stronger with 48 spokes and aluminum cranks but a 36 spoke wheel is easier to maintain and if you do bust the rim doing something stupid it would be much easier to find a new rim in 36h (though you can lace a 32h rim to a 48h hub fairly easily.)

If you go with the club keep an eye on the cranks if you are doing rougher riding. Aluminum cranks seem to stay tight better than steel in my experience. my first three unicycles came with cotterless cranks and I went threw a few pairs of cheep steel cranks before upgrading to good aluminum ones. As you know from your MTBing square taper can be strong enough to take some abuse.

Yeah rim and cranks aren’t all that strong but are prob OK for some Muni & drops a bit over a foot, and I think it only has clearance up to a 2.6" tire. And the stock size cranks are O.K. for XC but too short for Muni, at no cost you could get 170’s but most feel they are too long for Muni (I like the 170’s I put on my DX) and not be good for just about everything else. Or pay extra for Venture or KH.

I would get the N II w/125s and when you want to do some XC go agead. If you feel the need for longer cranks you can get them then. If you really get into trialsy or knarly Muni you’ll want to get a better uni, but there is a good chance you’ll be fine sticking w/ the II w/ a couple of upgraded parts over time.

wow…i see the Club has 127mm cranks…why so short? The Torker LX has 152mm and the Nimbus II has 125mm. The Nimbus Muni has 150mm. Why suck variation? My immediate thought is I’d want longer…I suppose that’s because all my bikes have 170 to 175mm. 125mm sounds short. Is it? What’s the effect when cruising around the neighborhood or on trails?

This ia somewhat confusing.

125mm cranks are a pretty standard size for riding around on the road. I run them on my 36" wheel because they’re short enough to have a smooth cadence but long enough to get up and down the hills where I ride.

Off road, cadence doesn’t really matter, and you need some extra leverage to get over bumps. That’s why 150mm cranks are common for muni.

Just to make it more confusing, I’ve seen some people say they like 137mm because it mixes the good aspects of 125 and 150.

170mm is really long for unicycling. I think they would be really awkward for anything other than steep hills, and with a 24" wheel, you might even have problems with the pedals hitting the ground on turns.

Really 125mm and 150mm cranks are both pretty versatile. Either size will work for learning. Just pick one and go for it. You’ll eventually end up buying both sizes anyway if you stick with it.

Edit: I vote for Nimbus II also. It’s nice enough that you might still be riding it a few years down the road. The others … probably not.

You need to decide what is most important: Money or Riding Trails/Doing Tricks. If you just want to ride around the block and down to the store, a Club is fine. If you want to jump off curbs and hit the local trails, then Nimbus II is a better bet, though truly even the Nimbus II has a single wall rim…

If you were buying a mountain bike, how much would you spend? These days a decent mtb without suspension is $400-500, so $300 for a muni is quite the deal. Considering resell will net 2/3 of new, how much are you really talking about losing if uni turns out to be not your thing?

Since you want to ride trails, I’d get a Nimbus 24" muni to start, but if you’re worried about your committment, then I’d start with the least expensive 24" muni you can find ($50-75), ride it until you know your level of committment, then move on up. The started uni can become your loaner :slight_smile:

Nurse Ben has put some pretty good advice out there as have others. I would encourage all others who are giving advice to a first time buyer and learner to look for these kinds of statements in the original post:

This guy wants to learn how to unicycle. He doesn’t need a mid-range or high end MUni or bomb-proof trials or a sleek 36" road uni to learn how to ride. He needs a cheap 20 or 24 (and he’s already expressed an interest in a 24" wheel) with a reasonably comfortable saddle. He might not like unicycling and if he doesn’t he’s only out a small expense.

The Club is already more unicycle than one needs as a learner. Anything with cotterless cranks, maincap bearings, an inflatable tire, and an OK saddle will do.

If he is just learning, I would suggest 150 mm cranks on a 24". It will give him more control and make learning a bit easier. Cranks are one of the easiest and least expensive things to upgrade later.


I have only owned the Club 24" Freestyle. I bought it because of the price, I didn’t want to tear up a more expensive uni on learning.

I am 6’ 1", 220 lbs. I have been riding for 6 months, can do over 5.5 miles on the street. I do occasional curb drops, a few stairs, and have tried light muni one or two times. I’m sure there are less than 100 miles on it, but I don’t treat it gingerly.

I come home, put my Club away, and it just smiles and says, “See ya next time.”

For a learner? I couldn’t be happier. I’m not worried about resale. This one will never see resale, because I’m love riding it to its limits.

Great post, harper.

I’m an obessed cyclist…already have dedicated road, FS, SS and Cross bikes. Have a few kids now and less time to do the riding I used to do. Just bought my son a barely used Felt BMX off craigslist and spent much time over the weekend playing around on it (my roots were BMX).

So…i don’t want to drop $300 on something I really don’t know how much use I’ll get out if it.

I was interested to see if I’d see responses telling me that a muni or the Nimbus II is not necessary for me…maybe in a few years, and that the Club will hold up fine as long as it’s not abused. I’ve always subscribed to the idea that you earn your way into nicer rides as you become a better rider. I wanted to see if it was the same with uni, or if I’ll break the Club/Torker by taking it off road.

Thanks all for the feedback.

There are several good reasons to first buy a lower end uni and then later upgrading to a mid-high end uni.

First, you need less money to start, and if you decide unicycling is not your thing, you have less invested.
But more importantly, if you keep your first uni, your friend/kid/neighbor can now borrow it and learn too!

If you are going to get a cheaper uni first, consider looking on craigslist.

Thx…this is the kind of info I was looking for. How do you like the tire width/tread? Is it the same one they’re selling it with now…24" x 1.95" Kenda Kikzumbut?

Check Craigs list I see cheap unis there all the time. Some times you’ll find a Torker for around $80.00

They should hold up as long as you don’t do any drops and keep hopping to a minimum. I’ve found both of those seats torture though.

I got a DX as my first uni, looking back I wish I got a cheaper uni like the Club first, it would have given me more motivation to get a really nice Muni like a KH (which I still haven’t done). When I started I never thought I’d have several unis (I think the average is ~5).

I’m a rank beginner too, take that grain of salt with what you’re about to read. I’m learning on an old beat up 24 incher but decided to step down to a 20 inch uni in part because of this:

According to this (uncontrolled and rather unscientific) poll, people learn significantly faster on smaller wheeled unis. For me this helped put me over the edge, as I want to try trials anyway.

I’m glad, though, that I did my first several hours of falling and crashing on the old uni - it has taken a real beating. It seems to be serving the purpose too, in spite of being a 24 incher - I get a little better every day!


^ That was the other factor leading to my purchasing a 24" over a 20". I eventually want to do long road rides and some muni. A 29 or 36 is my next purchase. And it won’t be a Club.