Hi! I was wondering if anybody could give me suggestions on a good freestyle unicycle. The only uni I have now is a 24" Muni, and I’d like to learn some freestyle tricks. I’m looking at the Yuni 20" with 48 spokes: http://www.unicycle.com/shopping/shopexd.asp?id=594
Does anyone own this unicycle or at least know if it’s any good? Would anybody suggest something different? Price range is about $250 or less. I’m trying to decide on a unicycle to ask for for Christmas.
I’d like one that’ll last me basically forever or at least a long time. Is the Miyata saddle the best one for freestyle in most people’s opinion? If not, what is?
110 mm cranks work well for smooth tricks like one-footing & pirouetting. They also suit me for Hockey.
125 mm cranks are better for aggressive moves like unispins and jumps.
Wheelwalking is indifferent to the cranksize.
The Torker 20" also seems pretty common and well reccomended. It’s cheaper. Depending on how much abuse you plan to put it through, this could be very good for you. I think its pretty common for clubs where they want several identical average-quality freestyle unis for people to learn on, they’ll just get a dozen Torkers. http://www.unicycle.com/shopping/shopexd.asp?id=42
The Yuni is great. It’s a very strong frame for not much money and its good for freestyle too, I think (I wonder if the extra width is a problem for freestyle…). If you know your never going to do anything rough with it, the Yuni might be a waste of money. It’s really not that much more expensive than the flamingo, so you wouldn’t be wasting a LOT of money, though. Plus, you could easily upgrade to a good trials uni later.
Hi! Thanks for the advice. I think I’m still leaning towards the Yuni 48-spoke. But I was wondering if anybody has had any experience with the Semcycle XL Black Derby model. My computer doesn’t seem to want to paste the link on here so just go to unicycle.com then to unicycles, then to freestyle advanced, and then to Semcycle XL. I haven’t really heard much about Semcycle XLs. I’m thinking maybe people don’t like them that much? I was just curious about it. Thanks!
>I haven’t really
>heard much about Semcycle XLs. I’m thinking maybe people don’t like
>them that much?
Here in the Netherlands, Semcycle is a popular brand, possibly also
because of its Dutch roots. I have a Semcycle Pro 24" and my daughter
has a Semcycle XL 20". They are a joy to ride and they hold up very
well - but I should add that ours aren’t abused very much. IMHO,
especially the XL is a fine medium-priced unicycle.
I recently purchased a SemXL Black Derby. It’s an all around nice unicycle, but there were a few concerns:
-My XL came with different parts than what were listed on Unicycle.com. I suggest ordering over the phone so you know exactly what you will be getting.
-If your going to spend the money on a nice freestyle uni, upgrade the parts! Get a nice high-psi tire and some decent pedals. Also, the stock seatpost clamp is total crap.
-I personally didn’t like the Sem Deluxe saddle. It’s well-built, but doesn’t hold an airseat conversion. I’d say go for the Miyata saddle, but…(cough cough)
This one’s easy. Get the Yuni. The Yuni is a nice frame and it will fit wider tires like a 2.1" or wider. Traditional freestyle frames like the Miyata can only really fit a 1.75" tire (or a 1.85" if you keep the rim very true). Having the option to put on a wider tire is nice if you ride outside on pavement or concrete. On a smooth gym floor a 1.75" tire works OK, but on pavement a wider tire is nicer. I use a 2.1" Primo The Wall tire on my freestyle uni and I love that tire.
No real need to go for 48 spokes unless you like the look with more spokes or play hockey. For hocky having more spokes closer together means it is less likely you’ll get the ball stuck in the spokes which is a penalty. A 36 spoke wheel is plenty strong enough. Get one with a Kovachi wheel. A handmade wheel is much stronger than the machine built wheel on the standard unicycles. For a unicycle it’s all about the wheel.
The Miyata is a nice freestyle saddle, but the new Miyata’s are not as good as the “old” Miyata seats from last year. Since you’re wating for Christmas anyways, might as well go for the Velo saddle. The Velo should be available by then. I’m wanting to get the Velo for my freestyle uni.
A Yuni with a 36 spoke wheel and a Velo saddle. Make sure the seatpost will be long enough for you. That will be a great freestyle uni. Ask for the “One Wheel - No Limit” video too.
I have a Semcycle XL (freestyle width) frame with a 48-spoke 20" Sun BFR rim and a 2.1" Primo The Wall tire with 85 lbs of pressure. I use it aggressively (hopping, kick-up and side mounts) every day for hours and have no problems whatsoever with tire clearance or tire trueness. By adding the Bruce Edwards fix to my Miyata seat, the handle is doing nicely. I recommend the Miyata pedals because they are always solid and give a good balance between grip and shiftability for freestyle. They do not work that well, though, in the rain.
I would recommend the Yuni with 36 spoke wheel. A rhynolite rim is strong enough that it’s not worth the extra money for more spokes. Crank length is a preferance call. I like 114mm’s for all around freestyle, but a little longer im doing more jumping and such. Many people prefer 125’s for freestyle, and they work just fine. The velo seat looks to be good for freestyle, most likely worth the money. other than that, the 36º Yuni should be a good ride for you.
Is it worth it to get a really nice Freestyle Unicycle? I mean, if I get good enough at freestyle that I’m wanting to do big drops and stuff then I’d probably want a trials. But I don’t know. If I get the Yuni for Christmas I can’t get anything else (muni stuff, etc.) I was thinking…how bad would a Torker with the upgrade to Primo tire be? Then I could get the Velo saddle, put it on my Muni, and put the Miyata saddle that’s on my Muni on the Torker. But would that be really stupid? Are Torkers very breakable? Can they hold up to any drops at all?
These kind of choices depend on where you’re going to ride and how you plan on riding. Good freestyle unicycles can take a fair amount of abuse. You can do things like hop up a flight of stairs, practice long jumps, hop off a bench, etc. Just don’t start jumping off picnic tables and doing big drops.
I love my freestyle unicycle for working on skills. Most freestyle skills seem easier to learn and practice on a freestyle unicycle. Freestyle skills are more difficult to do on a Monty tire. The fat Monty makes it harder to turn, the longer cranks also make freestyle skills more difficult, and the soft Monty tire will wear very quickly doing freestyle skills on pavement (you’ll end up spending a fortune on new Monty tires). What the trials uni is good for is hopping and jumping. If you’re going for skills development I’d go for the freestyle uni.
I don’t know if you’ve seen the videos that Jeff Lutkus posted on the web, but he did all of his jumping around and fancy riding on a freestyle uni. He’s complained about bent cranks and bent pedals so he hasn’t done it all without equipment damage.
Something you might want to consider is seeing if unicycle.com has a standard Miyata wheel laying around. A Miyata wheel would have a Suzue hub but wouldn’t be built by Kovachi. That might lower the cost. Then take the standard wheel to a local bike shop and have them tighten up all of the spokes. The spoke touchup will probably be about $15, but check with your local bike shop to find out for sure (shop rates for wheel work vary). After adding in the $15 for the wheel work I don’t know if it would actually end up being less expensive.
The Suzue hub is the best option for a standard hub if you are planning on being a little rough on the uni. It’s the strongest of the standard hubs. Stronger than the Torker hub or the Semcycle XL hub. The hub is not a part that you want to break because it means that you have to get the wheel rebuilt and that gets spendy (usually about $30 labor, $25 for the hub, plus about $15 for spokes if you need new spokes, plus the cost of a rim if you need a new rim). If you’re going to break a part, bend a crank because a crank is cheaper to replace. The weakness in the Torker unicycle is the hub that comes with it.
Do you have a muni with a 24x3 or 24x2.6 tire? If you do, you can use your muni for jumping and dropping and trials type stuff and use the Yuni freestyle uni for skills development.
I think the exception to this is wheel walking. Last weekend I was practicing wheel walking on everything I owned (yes, David Kaplan, I used stilts on the giraffe) and found that wheel walking the SH MUni (with the 3" Gazz tire) was the easiest. That big, fat tire is hard to miss with your feet. There was something about the visibility of the huge 6.75" Shimano cranks that made them easy to see coming around to make the transition back to the pedals, also.