getting in over my head

So I’ve been riding a 20 inch savage uni for about 8 or 9 weeks now : ) (I can’t stand this unicycle btw, but for the price. . . it’s perfect)

as you have probably noticed, I usually do juggling, and finally got into uni.

I have forward, backward, and idling pretty well : ) control is all good, and gets better every day.

. . . Now I’ve decided that I want a 36er, and I’ll probably get it pretty soon. I know that’s a HUGE leap from a freebie I got from some juggling friends to a nimbus nightrider pro. Do you think that’s a reasonable transition? My thought was that I’d skip the transition that would just waste money. I know I want a 36er eventually.

I was also wondering about that particular unicycle. I have been reading on here, and people say it has frame flex. . . and that that is apparently a bad thing. I’m not so sure that would be a bad thing n.n’ but how noticeable is it? I would think the frame flexing a little bit would make it more comfortable. Am I wrong? I really wanted that one because of the ISIS hub and the machined braking surface. I can’t really budget out a KH (even though I can’t really budget out this one) So that’s out of the question. My first choice was the al coker, but after going to the showroom I seemed settled on a nightrider pro.

reinforcement on a good choice? or suggestion on a better one?

intended purpose is long distance, and maybe extended touring later on. . . and of course campus cruiser B-) I really don’t want to have to upgrade later, and I’d like to keep it for years to come.

Thanks for your input : )

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I think if you have good control over the 20", a transition to a 36" can be reasonable.

I have the Nimbus Nightrider Pro ISIS and the only time I notice frame flex is when I’m pushing it (when I’m not on it) and it goes down a curb or something similar. That’s the only time I’ve noticed any, and it wasn’t much. I think the Nightrider would be a good choice for someone who wants a quality 36er but is shopping on a budget.

Going from a 20" to a 36" will be different. You probably will want longer cranks to start (maybe 150’s).

If you really want this uni on a budget why not get the nightrider, and not the pro. There have been a lot of posts that question the importance of ISIS for a road going uni. You could probably order it with Nimbus Venture cranks if you want super strong square taper cranks. Unless you want dual hole cranks (a good reason to go ISIS) conventional wisdom seems to be that ISIS is overkill, and heavy for a big wheel. For the kind of riding you want to do the nightrider seems like it should be fine, plus it’s really cool looking.

As for the machined braking surface, that is up to you. For a long time there were no machined braking surfaces, that all changed when super hard anodizing started a trend in finishes that made rims which brakes didn’t work on. As far as I know there aren’t any 36’er rims that have these finishes. The biggest advantage is that the seam where the rim comes together will be smoother. I will say that my 36’er without the machined braking surface works perfectly with my brakes.

I have a KH 24" rim that didn’t have machined braking surfaces until I hit it with a random orbital sander. Now it has machined braking surfaces, and the seam is smoother than on my old rim that had factory machined surfaces. It took about half an hour to sand down the sidewalls on the 24, so I guess it might be more like an hour on the 36. I don’t think I’ll bother.

I should have mentioned that n.n’ I’m upgrading to the dual hole 150/125 KH cranks : )

My thought about the ISIS hub was that it would be that much more bomb proof. I’m not all that concerned over weight. . . after all O:-) I don’t have that pesky other wheel to deal with, it will already be SO much lighter than my road bike.

O_o I hadn’t thought to make my own braking surface . . . x-) that’s clever. I guess I’m just too weary to try modifications like that, especially if they’re permanent.

nimbus flex?

i am in the market for a 36" and have been considering the nimbus. you say the frame flexes without any weight on it? what happens when you put 250 lbs on it? it can’t be pretty.

Bombproof is relative. The square taper is no doubt a poor interface compared to ISIS; however, it lasted for decades on bikes, and is proven. The kind of abuse that a large wheel uni will get is so different from a small wheel that you really need something more… firecracker proof. In this regard ISIS is far stronger than you need. Of course, you can’t go wrong with ISIS, and the dual hole cranks are a nice convenience.

As I said, I don’t plan on “machining” my 36’er rim. It works with brakes very well as is. To be honest, the seam on my 36’er rim isn’t even noticeable on my brake pads. The seam on my old MUni rim that had a factory machined surface was very noticeable.

20" to 36"

This is a very big jump, and not one that I would recommend to anyone that isn’t totally solid on a 20 and a keen bike rider. It is not impossible to do, though, and if you’re prepared to put the work in, should work out ok. It is unlikely to save you much money in the long run, however, as it won’t be long before you want a mid-sized uni for more off-road fun :slight_smile:

ISIS vs Square Taper

As has already been said, ISIS is way overkill for a distance unicycle. I seriously doubt that there are any 36" riders that have damaged a square taper hub unless they’ve been doing big drops or other silly stuff on them. The weight saving for square taper isn’t so important for the overall uni weight, but is more relevant because it is ‘rotational weight’. A 36" wheel is very big and heavy, so starting it off takes a lot of effort. Anything that can be done to reduce the rotational weight makes riding it easier.

Machined brake surfaces

2 out of the 3 unicycles I’ve had with brakes on didn’t have machined brake surfaces, but they worked just fine. The brakes aren’t there to clamp the wheel solid, but to add resistance which ‘smooths out’ a steep downhill. The power available in Maguras is quite high, so unless you’re going down something very steep for a long time, I doubt you’ll notice it.

Frame flex

The Nimbus 36 is one of the more flexy frames out there. This is normally only noticeable if you’re powering hard up a hill, as the torque will twist it a bit side to side, and may rub the brakes on the wheel. If you don’t use brakes, you probably won’t even notice it. But, as you want brakes, then I guess this could be an issue. If you live somewhere without huge hills, then I wouldn’t worry about the flex (or brakes).


Well it’s hard to explain. You know when you’re holding a unicycle by the handle and you push it out and pull back and the wheel will pop into the air? I did that with my nightrider and it felt a tiny bit “springy”. That was the only time it has ever showed any flex at all. I’ve never noticed any when I’m riding it or doing drops on it (I have an ISIS hub so I’m confident that it will withstand some drops). I don’t think the frame flex will be a major problem for anybody.