Due to all the recent threads about kids riding, I am now thinking about getting a 16 incher for my 6 y/o cousin. I was wondering what type would be the best. The only one that I know I can get locally is the Chrome Torker. If I go with another brand, I’d have to order/ebay it. What are the advantages and disadvantages of a spoked wheel verses a plastic one?
Here’s what I’m thinking so far. The spoked wheel would be stronger but subject to rust. The plastic wheel would not rust, but also wouldn’t be too strong.
My 8 year old rides a 16" Red Plastic Jugglebug. I have been impressed with the quality of the uni, it has really taken a beating.
One week ago I bought my 11 year old a 20" Black Torker. It is great looking. I really like it’s how it looks, and my daughter loves it. From what I understand, the Chrome Torker is a little cheaper quality than the Black, so do your research.
I would buy them again. We bought both of them from unicycle.com --chirokid–
I bought the 16" chrome Torker for my son when he learned to ride, although he was 8 not 6. He loved the uni, it was a great starter, but he outgrew it pretty quickly and moved up to a 20" Pashley.
I’d recommend the Torker as a great starter, but I have also heard really good things about the jugglebug models, which I personally think are cooler looking than the standard chrome Torker. EITHER model will take the abuse for as long as it takes them to outgrow it, which will seem like just moments…
Here is a link to a picture of UniBoy on his Torker.
With kids so young I don’t think the brand is very important. I bought the least expensive uni available at the time for King Muni-Man (16" United). I think he’s as abusive as 6 six year old kid can be and his uni has been rock solid.
I have a jcpenny unicycle, and it is very strong. I used it for when I just started to ride a unicycle, and then I used it for a little mountain unicycling (just to see how much fun it is). just don’t use it for any drops over 3 feet! lol. it comes with balancing poles, but it is easier to learn without them.
No, that wasn’t the kind of terrain he usually rides. He rides daily and muni’s with me about three times a week in a forest. He can do rolling hops now and he can ride fairly rough and steep terrain both up hill and down hill considering his small size. He upds and just plain crashes often yet his unicycle hasn’t skipped a beat. Today I had to climb down an embankment to retrieve his uni after a crash. I think any six year old could use any 16" unicycle and it will hold up fine. That’s why I say go for an inexpensive one. The only thing you might consider is a plastic wheel. I say this because of the corrosive salty ocean air in Hawaii.
He and I just got back from a new trail ride which was //brutal//. It’s in a forested area and there are groups of large roots about every 12-16 inches sticking up several inches high at odd angles crossing the path. It was fun but difficult riding. It seemed like we spent more time mounting than we did riding. I was helping Muni-man wash up after the ride when I noticed a bunch of scrapes on his chest and back. He said they were from upd’s on that trail. I think I would have cried when I was his age but not him, he’s a tough little bugger.
I’d love to MUniing with my cousin, or any one else for that matter. But I don’t have a MUni and I don’t know too many MUni friendly trails here. Ideally, I’d like to ride fairly wide and level trails. All the ones I know here, or at least the ones close to my house, are steep and narrow with drop offs on one or both sides. Oh well, that’s the price of living here.
Well, that was completely off topic, but it’s my thread and I can do what I want.
I think one problem with getting my cousin a uni is that I will be VERRY tempted to ride it.
Those JC Penny 16" unis used to have main cap bearing holders but now they
have lollipop bearing holders with a lot of slop.
There has been a flood of similar red 16"ers on EBay recently and I bought
one. It was real garbage. Besides the sloppy lollipop bearing holders it
also had pedals that were basically fake – no bearings. They turned so
stiffly that the uni was unrideable. I hope what JC penny is selling at
least has real pedals.
Some of the little red unis that pop up on Ebay still have the main cap
bearing holders. If you want to find one, you have to make sure the picture
is of the actual uni that is being sold, and hopefully the picture is clear
enough that you can make out the bearing holders.
Thanks for the warning. I was just thinking about ordering the JC penny one. Perhaps I should re-think that. I’m also having my LBS get some quotes for me. I’m kinda leaning toward the Torker now.
The JC Penny 16"er that my 9 yr old rides is equal to the Torker in quality, has main cap bearing holders etc. Every bit as good as a Torker, and it looks exactly like a jugglebug. I got it 2 yrs ago, maybe they sell a cheaper one now.
Anyway, a Torker would be fine from uni.com and with that at least you know there’s no chance of having to return junk to jcpenny.
I have a very cheap ($18 new) uni for my son. He’s 6 years old. The wheel is not straight and I fear that that will interfere with his learning. When I rotate the pedals I can see the wheel get closer or farther to the sides of the fork, about 1/4-1/2 inch wobble. There is no play in the bearings, something is just out of whack.
SO he’s starting to ride, about 4 feet w/o support and I am thinking I either need to fix this thing, or I need to get him another little jugglebug or torker.
I learned on uni made of the front half of a tricycle and a pile flange and a 2x4 for a seat, so maybe I should let him endure the hardship!