First Unicycle for a Child to Learn On

I searched around a bit and couldn’t find a specific answer to this, so here goes…

Assuming a 9 year old child is tall enough for a 20" unicycle, is there any reason to believe that a smaller one, e.g. 18" or 16", would be preferable for learning? First hand experience would be appreciated.

I will be emailing Unicycle.com with my kids specific measurements to get their recommendation, but obviously, all things being equal, I’d like to purchase a first unicycle for her that is the highest quality I can afford and that will be able to grow with her.

Thanks.
Raphael Lasar
Matawan, NJ

First Unicycle for a Child to Learn On

My experience is if they fit on the 20" get the best one you can find or afford within reason at that size. My daughter learned at age 8 and several of her friends since on the 20. Once she was able to ride forward well, she got on my 24" Miyata Deluxe and litterally kicked my *** for speed against my old 24" Schwinn (must be that 125 vs 140 crank lenght thing).

On the other hand, the PE coach at the local elementary school has a large stable of 20’s but says the kids actually learn best on his one 18"er.

I can’t comment on whether a 16" is any easier to learn on but I can say they are soon way too slow to keep up with the larger wheels during group riding.

About 10 weeks ago a new family joined our club; his son is 8 and was having a hard time launching on his 16". We gave him some tips and the next week he wanted coaching on self-mounting. His dad then bought him the 20" Yuni 48 spoke Freestyle about 4 weeks ago and he’s cruising all over now. That is a uni that should last many moons with him.

Riding with your kids is one of life’s better things.

You might wana hook up with Jason (UN: Jason), the Alskan who taught his 5 year old to ride this last year.

There is a little bundle of energy named Sam, with the MUC in Memphis, who is about that age (9), and learned on a 20", no problem. In fact, he tried my 24" and I had a problem getting it back from him. Seems to me, going with a smaller cycle is planning in obscelesence (or a word spelled like that). I think the only people that worry about ‘optimal learning tools’ are us old folks- kids just adapt to whatever and roll right on by.

-Christopher

Re: First Unicycle for a Child to Learn On

Everything under 20" is basically low-end stuff. This doesn’t mean it’s not more than adequate for a 9 year old, but it’s nothing fancy either.

The ultimate learning machine is not necessarily the ultimate having-fun-on machine after one learns to ride. In other words those smaller unicycles will be slow and have more issues with pedals hitting the ground, etc. Plus they will soon by outgrown, especially by a 9 year old.

My basic advice is that if the child can fit a 20", you’ll get a lot more mileage out of it than a smaller one. But a smaller unicycle can be very useful if you have lots of kids to teach, or want a stable of various sizes anyway.

Re: First Unicycle for a Child to Learn On

JJuggle wrote:
>
> I searched around a bit and couldn’t find a specific answer to this, so
> here goes…
>
> Assuming a 9 year old child is tall enough for a 20" unicycle, is there
> any reason to believe that a smaller one, e.g. 18" or 16", would be
> preferable for learning? First hand experience would be appreciated.
>

Raphael,

My son learned on a 16" unicycle this summer and he could barely reach
the pedals. He had to wear shoes with thick soles in order to
compensate. The fact that his unicycle was ‘almost’ too big for him
didn’t seem to impede his ability to learn at all. That said, you my
wish to shoot for a 20" unicycle for your 9 year old so that it will
last her a long time.

You can get the specific measurements from unicycle.com’s website by
looking at the children’s learner models. Here is what’s recommended for
a 20" unicycle. “Minimum inseam length required (measured with shoes
on): 25 inches”.

Good luck!

Cheers,

Jason

Re: First Unicycle for a Child to Learn On

JJuggle wrote:
>
> I searched around a bit and couldn’t find a specific answer to this, so
> here goes…
>
> Assuming a 9 year old child is tall enough for a 20" unicycle, is there
> any reason to believe that a smaller one, e.g. 18" or 16", would be
> preferable for learning? First hand experience would be appreciated.
>

Raphael,

My son learned on a 16" unicycle this summer and he could barely reach
the pedals. He had to wear shoes with thick soles in order to
compensate. The fact that his unicycle was ‘almost’ too big for him
didn’t seem to impede his ability to learn at all. That said, you my
wish to shoot for a 20" unicycle for your 9 year old so that it will
last her a long time.

You can get the specific measurements from unicycle.com’s website by
looking at the children’s learner models. Here is what’s recommended for
a 20" unicycle. “Minimum inseam length required (measured with shoes
on): 25 inches”.

Good luck!

Cheers,

Jason

Re: Re: First Unicycle for a Child to Learn On

Thanks all. These responses are what I was hoping to hear. I will, assuming an appropriate or close enough minimum inseam, shoot for a decent, durable 20" model.

I had been looking at the Learner models and didn’t see this info. Turns out you have to click for details to get the minimum inseams. Note that at least one that I saw had a minimum of 24", not a big difference, but makes it worthwhile to check them individually for the details.

Thanks again,
Raphael Lasar
Matawan, NJ

Re: First Unicycle for a Child to Learn On

I recommend getting the 20" - I don’t think that a smaller one is much
easier to learn on, but I do know that in the long run, you would rather own
a 20". You just have more choices with 20" and higher quality is available.

—Nathan

“JJuggle” <JJuggle.ef9zm@timelimit.unicyclist.com> wrote in message
news:JJuggle.ef9zm@timelimit.unicyclist.com
>
> I searched around a bit and couldn’t find a specific answer to this, so
> here goes…
>
> Assuming a 9 year old child is tall enough for a 20" unicycle, is there
> any reason to believe that a smaller one, e.g. 18" or 16", would be
> preferable for learning? First hand experience would be appreciated.
>
> I will be emailing Unicycle.com with my kids specific measurements to
> get their recommendation, but obviously, all things being equal, I’d
> like to purchase a first unicycle for her that is the highest quality I
> can afford and that will be able to grow with her.

Raphael-

I think a nine year old is exactly the right size for a Coker. If it didn’t fit, though, then you would of course have to ride it. Nine year olds eventually get bigger anyway.

Greg,

If so, then she can ride the one we already have. The problem, of course, will be when she’s ready to do the LBI Unithon with me. Then she’ll have to arm wrestle me for who gets the Coker.

I’ll probably go with one of the less expensive Miyatas.

By the way, I loved the photo of you on the Van De Kamp generator ( http://www.unicyclist.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=21750 ). Does it do crabcakes as well as fishsticks?

Raphael Lasar
Matawan, NJ