Geared 29" or 36"

just a quick off topic question. n.n’ I’ve had my nightrider for about 2 weeks now, in fact, 2 weeks tomorrow. I’ve done some 5 miles out, 5 mile back rides, 3 of them. Tons of riding around campus : )

How do you deal with stoplights? I really would like to get out on the road, but I feel like I’d hit a stop light and have an issue freemounting uphill, or missing a mount, and either piss people off behind me or have to take it off to the sidewalk and wait for traffic to clear. you kinda get just one chance before it annoys people. I’m working on idling this bugger, but it’s fairly hard n.n’ I can only get one or two idles in before I loose it.

I have yet to see much idling on a 36er in videos, with the exception of unigeezer : P

option 2 is to get freemounting SOLID.

being a biker I really hate sidewalk riding, but I end up doing it anyway until I can get to a bike path simply out of being scared I can’t hold my own out there : (


I wouldn’t bother trying to idle a coker- it is harder than freemounting. Freemounting a 36" is actually very easy once you understand the concept of getting your weight up above the tire, it just takes a much bigger step up than smaller wheels.

I deal with most stop lights by resting against a nearby pole- there is usually some form of traffic sign or pedestrian crossing with a pole you can lean on which is close enough to the road for you not to need to ride on the sidewalk. Another way I deal with red lights is to give way (and not stop if there is nothing coming). Often if a light is red I will give way and turn left even if I’m going straight through- so it doesn’t look as unsafe as going straight across. This is something you can do at your own risk, and at the risk of Police trying to give you a ticket. I have gotten off two red light tickets in court so far. It’s gratifying beating the Police in such a silly case but it is definitely a waste of time so consider the possible consequences before giving way at a red light instead of stopping. In my opinion, how dare they suggest I stop my slow moving vehicle in the name of safety when I can easily give way to anyone without the need to stop.

mind the threadjack!

For lights my favored option is to do a still stand and do little corrective hops when i need to on the spot. The hard part is getting moving again once your wheel is stationary- but with a little practice you should be able to crank your legs and get the wheel moving again no problem. I can do this for up to 5 minutes no problem (on 125mm cranks with a pretty heavy wheel)- which is usually enough time for the lights to change in your favor. If there is a pole that is going to be close enough to the kerb i will use that to save energy but the stillstand is a great option (and a nice way to show up pretentious fixie riders who will try to track stand whenever they get the chance)


Yeah, on long cranks (like 150mm) idling a coker is dead easy, just like idling a normal unicycle, but a bit bigger. On short cranks (110s) it is hard. I always hop on the spot, tiny hops.

I could freemount a coker 100%, but it is much less effort to hop on the spot, takes almost no energy, whereas getting off and back on is hassle.


I have never riden a guni

So I maybe shouldn’t say anything.

In crazy stuff, like buying fast stuff, there is a general rule. Go for the top.

Going for the top has a special charm. To me a KH 36 with a geared hub is the only answer. I don’t have one. I wish I did and I can’t see why a 29 would be better. I love being up high, and having the best 36 gear would be the set up I want to step up to.

Pricey stuff, I think we can all agree.I would go for the top fast 36 guni. Speed, speed, speed.

I’m with Mark…corrective hops are the way to go. idling a Coker, (not that I can do it…I can’t) requires too much space in an intersection. Keep practicing and it will come. This isn’t a total threadjack because negotiating a 36er in traffic is a relevant concern. I can freemount anywhere on a 36er now and hopping has been the key to that skill as well.

Way to inspire us! Is this how you teach your students?

Keep in mind that idling can be a very big or a very small motion. One of our local riders is quite adept at doing a small idle on his Coker that keeps him within the crosswalk during the red light. I’ve been working on my idle, but I’ve got a ways to go still.

The upside to idling is that, if done well, it takes much less energy than hopping.

I’m not here for your inspiration, and if you want to waste your energy idling a coker then go right ahead- I’m not going to bother, I’ve tried it and I can tell immediately that the inertia of the heavy wheel makes idling a waste of energy when travelling places and at lights. My students legs are too short to reach the pedals of my coker- and I inspire them by not idling at lights that is correct.

Why don’t you make things more difficult by idling a geared coker in high gear and provide inspiration for everyone at lights? Hopping can also be done with small movements so I disagree with your upside.

Not if you hop well (and do very small hops).

Even on a small unicycle like a muni or a freestyle, it takes no more energy to hop-stillstand-hop than to idle for a sustained period, and I can idle okay (and horizontal idle etc.), and I’d still choose to hop a lot of the time (except in hockey, where I don’t have a hand free). If your stillstand is even slightly okay, you often only need to hop every 5 seconds or so.


John, I’m in the middle of this debate with myself, and wondering why you ended up throwing reason to the wind and going with the 36 guni. I’ve got lots of reasons why the 29 guni would be more practical (if that word ever applies to unicycles :roll_eyes: ), but still find myself very attracted to the idea of a 36 guni.

The practicals for me include that I already own a KH29 but would need to build up a full 36, I like to do mixed road/xc muni riding with climbing that exceeds my ability on the 36, and I’d like to start bringing the uni with me on motorcycle trips. I’m also not sure I’d ever want to go as fast as a 36 guni could, so if a 29 guni would satisfy my speed needs, why bother with the 36?

The less practical is that I just love the huge wheel. End of last year I found myself choosing the 36 for easier xc muni over tougher rides on the 29, and over the winter the 36 has been my ride of choice for snow and ice on local riverside trails.

Also, does anyone think rider height factors into this decision? I’m 6’4", and StraightArrow has pointed out that a 36 might just be better scaled for me overall. But it may just be that he likes how I look with the sexy purple highlights on my currrent 36er. :wink:

I’ve only ridden two Guni at this point. The 29 Guni was really, really good for me on the road because I don’t go much faster than I can outrun a UPD. It has taken a lot to have good function in the left leg so I weigh the risk and lean toward caution. Though “caution” could probably trade place with “fear” in that statement and be equally true.

Bill Nye let me ride his 24 Guni in Florida with their group and it was just great. I could see owning a 24 Guni with no remorse whatsoever for a lot of riding I do.

Gotta realize unishark my “purple” commentary is just jealousy because you are confident and capable. Some day I will work up the courage to shave my head and ride around with “purple” pedals on a giant unicyle.

I probably lack the confidence or the strength… to keep all the women at bay! : )

If you are riding on the road, you want a geared 36, in my opinon. You won’t be able to use anything on the KH29 except the rim and frame; compared to the rest of the costs, you might as well get a whole new unicycle.

Personally, I find the 29’er an odd size. The high gear isn’t fast enough, and the low gear is frequently too low for hill climbing.

(Geared 36, geared 26, geared 24)

Is the low gear of schlumpf 1:1?


And an update: I ended up with a geared 36". Excellent road machine, and can be used on trails also. For that, I switch out the handle for one that can take more abuse. I think I chose the right size for me, though flying with it will suck. I have a bag, but it means less weight available for another uni. I’ll definitely want a MUni for Unicon XVI!

Nice wheel.

Thanks. Some guys my age get Corvettes… :stuck_out_tongue:

They’re over-rated… noisy and uncomfortable. I like your mid-life crisis much better.

My wife expressed similar sentiment when I bought my first uni at age 41. Coulda been a Ferrari!

I use this argument with my spouse whenever I want to buy a new unicycle toy. So far it has been effective. I figure it should be good for around 100 nicely equipped unicycles. :roll_eyes:


Well, after a lot of thinking, I’ve decided to at least start with putting my Schlumpf (it’s on the way! :slight_smile: ) into my KH29. With the mixed riding I do, I think I’ll get more use out of the 29 than I would a 36. I’ve also got a good idea of how to put the 29 on my motorcycle, but can’t quite figure that out for the 36. That might sound a bit trivial, but my father is getting back into cycling (on two wheels, and with an electric motor no less, but at least he’s getting out), and I’m looking forward to bringing my uni to go riding with him when I take my annual motorcycle trip to visit the folks. I might also be able to take an occasional trip to meet up with other uni riders. When travelling solo I greatly prefer two over four wheels; it literally makes getting there half the fun. :wink:

Long term, I think having both a 36 and a 26 as gunis would give me the ultimate range of unicycle options in just two wheels. The 29 is admittedly a bit of a compromise, but I have no doubt I’m going to have fun with it!