Flatland wheel build

So I have an extra Impact Regent frame sitting around. I wouldn’t mind having an extra flatland uni around and an eventual muni for my 8 year old (he’s almost got riding).

I thought I’d use it as an opportunity to build my first wheel. Any suggestions as far as parts? I wouldn’t mind keeping the price down, so how much of a weight advantage would it be to build KH or Impact parts vs. Nimbus, or is it even noticeable if you are not doing crank flips? I would like to try an Eagle claw tire though. I already have an extra pair of 125mm moments, so that’s taken care of. And I’d probably get a KH slim saddle. I am asking more for rim and hub.

What tools do I need? What tools are helpful?

Any advice specific to a trials/flatland wheel build?

I’m all about building wheels, but if you want to keep the cost down you may want to look at the Qu-Ax replacement wheels that Goudurix sells. $50 gets you a built wheel with an ISIS hub, 19" rim, and 48 spokes. Okay, it’s going to be a bit heavier, but I don’ think you could build it for twice the price. Shipping is not bad either.

I built an Alex DX32 20" wheel for one of my students recently, and I think it would be a good flatland wheel. If you look around you could pick one of those rims up for $30 or so (I’ve seen cheaper). I guess if you want to use an Eagle Claw you have already decided to go with a 19" rim, but 20" has more selection (although fat knobbies are few and far between).


The only tool you need is a nipple grip (spoke wrench). A nipple driver is nice for speeding up the build, but a flat bladed screwdriver can be used (much slower). You can use the frame as a stand for building and truing.

I use boiled linseed oil to prep the threads on my spokes. It is as good as Wheelsmith spoke prep, and won’t set you back $20.

Good luck if you go ahead with building. It’s the most fun I have working on cycles.

Who is Goudurix? Is he on this forum, or is this a company?

Oh, sorry about that. I meant to include a link.

Goudurix is the North American distributor for Qu-Ax. They are located in Canada, and they have good shipping rates to the U.S.

Here’s a link to the wheelset, and if you want specs look at the Muni page on Qu-Ax.com.

I just built my first uni wheel, a 20" freestyle wheel. Now I’m going to rebuild my trials wheel and put it back on my old frame. Like Jtrops said, 20" has a great supply of tires (bmx tires), but you need to make sure you have clearance for them on your frame, I decided to go with a 20x2.5 tire since I wanted it on the higher volume side for riding on streets. I ended up with about 1 mm clearance on my frame, and the bits of tread that stick up from the mold rub the frame.

I wish they would make a couple of tires for 19" rims that were smooth.

I’ve built many bike wheels, building a 20" was more of a challenge for me (but I screwed up and ordered the wrong size spokes, ended up building it 4x instead of 3x since my spokes were too long, new spokes on the way and will rebuild).

I ordered all my parts from universal cycles, they have a big selection of rims and spokes.

Go for it, overall it’s fun and there are plenty of people here to help you through it if you run into a jam.

For spokes you are going to have a hard time finding a better deal than Danscomp. They have Sapim 14g spokes for .25/spoke. You can get double butted spokes for .40/spoke. These prices include nipples. You can also find a code online (like on retailmenot.com) to get free shipping with a $30 order. I usually just wait to order until I have enough spokes to reach the free shipping mark, but you can always throw in some tubes, pedals, or tools to round out the order.


Does anybody know if the Regent has clearance for a 20" rim with a grifter tire?

I have a Reagent with a 20" KH flatland rim and a CST Operative tire (20x2.25). The two tires are very similar, and it fits with no problems. I have 15mm’s of clearance to the crown. I also have an Onza Sticky fingers 20x2.5 knobby tire that fits with plenty of clearance as well.

This is a good idea. I think I’ll build up a 20" flatland wheel myself. Should be fun, considering I actually like changing tires.

Darn, I wish I hadn’t sold my KH flatland wheelset a few years ago. That will teach me to never sell anything.

So, do you like your 20"? Are you learning freestyle/flatland tricks on it?

If I could only had one 19/20" I’d use a 19" trials wheel since they are so versatile, but since I already have two trials wheels, it would make more sense to build a 20".

I like the 20 well enough. I bought it during the UDC xmas sale. I have been wanting a small uni for a while to work on new skills, and I was really looking at a freestyle model. I didn’t want a 19" wheel due to the lack of street tires for it, and so 20 was the obvious choice.

I’m pretty lame as far as tricks go. At the moment I’m just working on one foot idling with the hopes of wheelwalking one day.

I like this quote from the martial arts world:
“Every black belt is a white belt who never gave up”

Though I am no unicycle black belt, I think that really rings true for our sport. unicycling is hard as hell. There’s natural talent, but a lot of it is just not giving up. One footed idling is a great skill. It teaches the hip movement that leads to being able to one-foot ride and wheel walk. Wheel walking was really hard for me to learn. It took me a year of a lot of practice, so don’t give up!

I have been working at juggling while idling for awhile, in about a week I went through about half the tread on my creepy crawler. That was my main reason to build a wheel to support a street tire. I would have bought a built one, but no one sells them. It’s been nice to have a real freestyle uni now, much less resistance at the tire, I expend so much less energy.

One foot idling did wonders for my backwards riding also, like magic, that was a nice surprise!

Still working on one foot riding, I have no idea why it’s so hard for me. Two revs of the wheel is my max so far, I guess it’s better than one.

That sounds like an excellent project, and some great advice there from Jtrops as always. 20" stuff is fun because there are so many choices and so many oddball closeouts and things to be found in bmx land. Good luck with it.

I got started building wheels for my bikes. It would’ve been much simpler to only have to build one wheel, and also not to have to think about dishing and different spoke lengths on either side of the rear wheel. This is still a good page for reference imho btw.

Congratulations on the success! If you can ride on it when you’re done, you win. :slight_smile: Which 20x2.5" tire did you go with? I’m still using the Onza Sticky Fingers that came on my Reagent, same model and same sale as Jtrops’s.

20" muni is pretty crazy too. It just doesn’t want to roll over anything! Riding across a random field can be a real challenge, but it seems good for working on hopping around and building skills without having to go to anywhere special to practice.

Yeah, 20" muni is really only suitable for kids, unless you are doing hard-core natural trials.

woops, it’s 2.35 not 2.5…

Demolition momentum

Cool looking tire and a sharp looking uni in general. I wondered after asking if I might have misread and it was actually a trials wheel, since some companies also list those tires as 20". Still, that looks pretty fat.

There’s plenty of space in the Reagent frame even with the 2.4" tire on the KH flatland rim though. It could handle bigger.

There’s plenty of clearance between my Onza Sticky Fingers 20 x 2.4" tire and my Impact Reagent frame, but it’s true it is a little dificult to find real 20" tires that are as knobby and fat as mine. My tire came with my uni during that same UDC Christmas sale mentioned above. When I started looking around for a new one, I noticed that it said something on the tire about a soft “centre” (note the British / French spelling). Those tires appear to be unavailable in the USA. It’s OK, though, I actually prefer a slick tire, which is what I’m starting to have now. The 2.4" thickness is good, and I’ve never heard of anything thicker for 20," unless you count those things with the 4-inch wide rims.

Slightly off topic, but does anyone know of a good smooth tire that works on a 19" rim for more freestylesque application?

There isn’t one. That’s what led me to build a freestyle wheel. The only real option is to shave a knobby tire.

Now that my knobby tire is worn smooth, my uni is suddenly a lot more maneuverable and better for most of the skills I ordinarily work on, so with your 19" wheel it should help to shave the knobs off, or maybe just ride them off. For real freestyle, a slimmer tire at high pressure might be nice, but as far as I know, skinny tires definitely aren’t available for 19" rims, and with KH rims, apparently the large holes in the rim can only handle a certain amount of tire pressure before they blow out. Also, most trials rims are too wide for skinnier tires. Maybe these last two points are why the KH20FL rim was discontinued?