For simple FLAT road riding, comparison of 36 inch unicycles

Hi is having a big birthday sale right now, and I’m thinking of getting another 36 inch unicycle. I only do simple FLAT road riding, typically while juggling three clubs. Because I Jogo, I don’t use a handlebar. Also, I don’t use a brake .

For simple road riding, how do the various 36 inch unicycles compare?


For simple road riding, no hopping or jumping and no disk brake required a UDC Titan would be serviceable. With proper maintenance like checking the torque on the cotter-less crank bolts regularly it is fine for simple road riding. For more trouble free (less maintenance) and harder service a Nimbus or KH with ISIS hub and more brake options would be recommended.

I went with a Nimbus 36er because of the reduced cost over the KH 36 and I prefer the disk brake configuration on the Nimbus.

For your use case the deciding factor is probably Q factor. KH uses 100mm bearing spacing and Nimbus 125mm on their 36ers.

Put KH (flared) cranks on a Nimbus 36 and you’ll get an extra-wide Q factor.

Put Nimbus (straight) cranks on a KH 36 and you’ll get an extra-narrow Q factor. Note that you’ll have to remove the external disc brake for this to work.

Do you prefer wide or narrow spacing? You probably won’t know until you try both.

Note that out of the box both KH and Nimbus 36ers have the pretty much the same Q factor, it’s just a matter of how much of the width is taken up by the hub vs cranks.

Also note I’ve purposefully excluded Quax as they use a different crank interface which limits options.

For simple road riding, I don’t think it matters a bit. There are no really bad quality 36" unicycles on the market. Most people don’t care about Q-Factor much (the people on this forum are not “most people”). Get a 36" with the crank length YOU like, and the saddle YOU like. Those are the important things. Square taper is okay for a distance unicycle. A bit of weight difference probably doesn’t matter much.

You were saying “another” 36" does that mean you already have one? If so, what’s wrong with it?

Blame the dealer, not the buyer, because in the end, it’s the dealer who makes the purchase decision. Oh wait, that’s backwards… :roll_eyes: I see a lot of people riding unicycles that are way to high tech for the riding they are doing, but if they have the money to throw around, good for them.

" Icycle "

I like it :slight_smile:

When I bought a schlumf I decided to buy it with a 26" KH. I already had a normal KH 26" muni, which was my second unicycle. I had good experiences with it, but now after 4 years I have more Nimbus unis. I think they are both professional brands and Nimbus is cheaper.

Of course you can do without a handle bar, but it does make the ride more comfortable I think, but I can still decide to sit straight up during the ride, alternating my position.

I have a 36" Nimbus Nightrider, but mostly I’d say it is very heavy and doesn’t respond as quickly as the 32" for example. I’m not sure if other brand 36" unis are lighter and more responsive. I reckon once you have a 36", you don’t really need to get a second.


You’re just jealous, finnspin, because my unicycle is nicer and shinier than yours…and it’s in perfect condition because it’s never been used!

William I checked UDC and there are no 36" unicycles for sale.

Which 36" do you own?

That’s clever :smiley:

In comparison, mine is much faster than yours, but that’s just because of who is doing the riding

Haha. I must be one of those people, except I don’t really have that much money. I just don’t know what else to buy. :slight_smile:

I have five KHs. Fortunately the 19" frame doesn’t have the original paintwork but a distressed red instead. It also has a beautiful Impact wheel with a white rim and hub.

The 26 has a 48 mm KH wheel for Muni but the road wheel is a totally black Nimbus Dominator2. Similarly the 29 though its road wheel has machined brake surfaces for the Maguras.

The 27.5 is an all original KH with Spirit hub and cranks.

I am far happier with my “other brand” 36er than I would have been with a KH. It is a Triton with a Titanium frame that looks more like a piece of jewellery than an industrial structure.

I certainly need a brake on my big unis where I ride. It is hard enough work riding up the hills without having to work hard going down them as well.

Some riders can’t make a handle work for them but a lot of us can. I have the KH short handle on my 36 and 27.5.

Learning to use bar ends, for me, felt less like an added technique and more like a paradigm shift in riding. The locus of balance moved from my arm(s) to the hips.

I wonder if it’s true some riders “can’t” use them, or if instead they see no reason to use them because they’ve learned to ride using another method.

This is not a 100% good analogy…Imagine initially learning to ride a bike without the handlebars. Difficult, but doable, right? Now, start using the handle bars. Voila!

My favorite unicycle gag: I’m riding down the trail with both hands on the bar ends. I get a comment from a kid, then I say, “Do you want to see a trick?..No hands!” (at which point I lift my hands off the bar ends and start riding in a sketchy fashion with my arms flailing madly. After a few seconds, I return my hands to the bar ends and resume riding smoothly. The only response I’ve ever gotten from that one is complete bewilderment. Okay, so I have a weird sense of humor!

Ur not the only one. To not having to hear about a missing wheel I sometimes make a silly remark first like showing I can ride with no hands on the t-bar. Earlier this week i responded to the missing wheel remark that my ex has the wheel.

Give ME a “break.” You’re so cynical! Thor, the character in your avatar, would not be such a cynical person. If he were, he’d still be riding a plain log or something (whatever came before the wheel). :stuck_out_tongue:

Also let it be known that some of us were using handles for years before Kris put one on the market. Most handles were handmade or custom made, though, before KH, Nimbus and Coker offered theirs. My old Coker has a Wyganowski handle on it. On a 36", the handle is to help support your weight while riding. Me, at least. And with a Schlumpf, the handle is also a great help in steadying the forces as they are applied to the pedals. My first long ride on a Schlumpf 36" (Unicon XIII Marathon race) was without a handle, and that was much more difficult!

To this day, I’ve only used handles (handlebars) on 36ers. Maybe some day I’ll try a short one on my Muni, but mostly I don’t feel the need.

Nimbus and KH are both top brands. Kris and Roger Davies have often collaborated on their designs and developed many things together.

I think you re experiencing the general heaviness of the 36" wheel. Until recently, all 36" tires were quite heavy, and of course, as a wheel gets bigger, it will feel even heavier due to the amount of force needed to change its speed.

I sometimes do something in a similar vein; if I see a bicyclist coming the other way, and the person is riding no-handed, I’ll often say something like “That’s crazy, you’re going to hurt yourself!” Of course the prerequisite to this is having both of my hands on my handlebar. How do people react? I basically don’t know, because they’re going the other way but I imagine it would be something like “Whatever, weirdo”. :roll_eyes:

For the OP, any 36er should do for flat, paved juggle-riding. You definitely don’t need a splined axle or exotic materials. My Coker, which I got in 2002, is still going along fine on its original, narrow hub. In fact, my 45", from 1982, is still rolling on its original, cottered hub (and cranks)! It doesn’t get ridden very much anymore, since 2002. Except for parades, where it’s a much better vehicle than a 36". It’s hard to do pirouettes on a 36". :slight_smile:

Well, this thread morphed into something quite informative, Beyond my original question.

I can always count on this group for help making an informed unicycle decision


Now the question is… which one you’re getting? :sunglasses:

It has a Nimbus steel frame, ISIS super wide hub, SRAM cranks (175’s), T-bar, Stadium saddle, Nimbus rim, and a decent dual pivot brake. Bought it on the trading post, absolutely NEW!

I’m enjoying riding just as is currently. Put on 4 miles/day yesterday and today. Thigh muscle were challenged yesterday, today less so. I’m not sure if I want to raise the seat so my legs extend more fully. Probably

I love the look and the ride.

I was surprised at how much I noticed bumpy pavement. I’m used to 125s.

Lets see if i even try the brake.

Those are pretty long. If your emphasis is on juggling, they’re probably fine for now, until you get comfortable doing it on the 36. Then, if you want to do longer distances, try some 150s, which I believe is the stock size that most 36ers come with. 125 will also work fine for your flat environment, but if your juggle/riding involves delicate maneuvering, stick to the 150s. Note that after riding 175s, anything shorter will be scary at first. Give them time.

My general rule for 36" seat height is to keep it a bit above the traditional “full” height, which is if your heel is on the pedal when it’s at the bottom, you should only have a slight bend in your knee. I go at least 1/4" lower than I would on a smaller wheel, to cover those situations where I hit an unseen bump. You don’t want to get bounced off the seat and have a foot leave the pedal, you might be going fast!

You can save it for later. The Brake can also be useful when stopping. People who are good at it (and confident) can just lean back and apply the brake hard, to bring them to a no-footed stop. Otherwise it’s just a way to be kind to your knees when stopping or riding down a big hill.