Good Beginner Unicycle for a 4YO

My 4 year old daughter has been watching my attempts to ride the coker and wants to learn to ride a unicycle herself. I have convinced her that both the coker and the 24 are too big for her and am looking for a more suitable wheel for her to learn on. The choice of unicycles in South Africa is currently nonexistant, and the ones we DO get are pretty terrible quality so I’m thinking of buying her one online. I won’t be able to test drive it and sending it back if there are any problems will be difficult so I’m asking for your help.

She is about 41 inches tall (104 cm) and her inseam is 17 inches (43 cm) with shoes. She weighs about 34 pounds (15.5kg). When I punch these into the “what unicycle do you need” option at I get the following suggestions : The Sun 12-inch chrome (US$55) or the Miyata 14-inch standard (US$190).

If I go and look at their 16 inch unicycles I have the choice of The Jugglebug in red (US$84), the Miyata standard (US$193), the Sun in red or chrome (US$55), the Torker Unistar CX (US$65) and the United in chrome (US$64.95).

What do you recommend? What unicycle did your kids learn on? Would she be big enough for a 16 inch wheel (which will probably last her longer)? I’d also like suggestions on a good (and comfortable) seat for her. I have spent a lot of time taking care of this little bottom and WILL be called on to kiss it better if it gets hurt.


Jayne (and Jacqueline)

i learned on a savage 12" when i was 4 or 5. cheap, but pretty hard to break when you’re that young. im guessing your daughter wont be doing any 6 foot drops yet…


Jayne, are you sure you want to start limiting her social options at such an early age?

Raphael Lasar
Matawan, NJ

Don’t count on it - she is quite the little daredevil! I was exactly the same at her age, sadly I seem to have grown out of it. :frowning:

Limiting? Since when does unicycling LIMIT one’s social options? I’ve met some of the most interesting people I know through unicycling.

SO - any USEFUL suggestions - like what UNICYCLE I should be buying her? I could get comments like this from the guys at work. They all want to know why I’m not teaching her to ride a bike first! :roll_eyes:



Based on no knowledge at all, I would suggest a jugglebug. They are plastic and I’m guessing that it weighs less than the other options. The shipping should be less if you’re shipping all the way from the U.S. and at 4, she could probably do the 6 foot drops without damaging the unicycle.

Then again, I’m waiting to be proven wrong.

Get the cheapest one you can get your hands on. She’ll outgrow it before she breaks it.

I’d suggest getting the Torker as it comes with a 36 spoke wheel for only $10 more. Then once YOU master the Coker, you’ll have a light duty freestyle/trials uni for yourself :smiley: :wink:

Oh come on. We all know you are the kind of parent who buys their kid the best stuff money can buy, even though the kids can’t possible appreciate it.

grumble grumble. When i was 14 or so playing roller hockey I had really old cheap hockey skates. These 6yr old kids would have $400 boots. THEY CAN BARELY SKATE THEY DON’T NEED $400 BOOTS AND GRAPHITE STICKS!

I got the 12" Sun for my 3 year old daughter. They make the neck tube the same length as the larger wheel Sun Uni’s. So I had to remove the seat post from the seat tube and cut it down. It has a permanently mounted seat post clamp so I had to replace it. I also drilled a hole in the seat tube about the same distance down the seat tube as the original pinch gap(don’t know what it is really called) was. It allows the seat clamp to pinch the seat tube against the seat post. I then used a piece of masking tape and drew a line as a guide for the split. I used a dremmel tool to create the new pinch gap. I also cut down the seat post so it would go down short enough to allow her little legs to reach the pedals.

To cut the seat tube and seat post I used a cheap pipe cutter. I think it was about $3-4 dollars. THis whole process took about 20 minutes.

The sun 12" is plenty strong for any kid that could ride it. I have ridden it and am plenty happy with the quality. I can’t believe anyone would buy the Miata for $190 for a 3-4 Year old. I am sure someone has, but it seems a little pricey. If you have any questions or need pictures, I could snap some. I was supposed to have done that already for someone else as I recall. So I may do that tonight anyway, and post them in my gallery.

I’m not sure if this is uselessly vague, but when I was in Johanasburg last September I saw a basic 16" uni in stock in a bike shop, in a large mall out side of town. I don’t know if there are several such malls, but this one was pretty big. So you may be able to find one locally…

Hope that helps!

  • Sam

May I suggest the Torker Unistar CX (US$65) because it looks like the seat would go down the farthest. The red Jugglebug’s seat post tube is longer. You might have to modify it just as bugman had to do for his daughter. (Hey bugman, is she riding yet?)

A small unicyle is not useless when a child grows out of it. You can always put a longer seat post on it and even an adult can ride it. The red plastic mag wheel on the Jugglebug might not stand up to that. As long as you’re spending the money, get something that will last.

My son did learn on the little red 16" when he was five but moved up very quickly to a 20".

During beginner class at our club, we end up putting the littlest kids on the two 16" XL Semcycles we have and the kids a little taller on the red ones just because the seat will not go down as far.

Good Luck,

Just so you know I’m not addicted to internet shopping, I have been trying to source a wheel locally since about December last year. It’s one of the reasons I’m learning on the coker. None of the local shops have any in stock (I’ve called them ALL). A guy at the club managed to pick up a 20 in Pretoria, the last one they had, and last week he regaled us with the story of just how much work he’d had to put into the wheel within one week or so of purchase due to component failure.

My little girl is very precious. I’d rather spend a bit more (not necessarily Miyata prices) and be confident that what she’s riding won’t self-destruct before she’s learned how to ride. I’d like it to be able to grow with her, and was already thinking of adding a longer seatpost later so I can get to ride it too.

Thanks for all the suggestions - keep em coming. Once I have a nice selection I’m going to contact ALL the branches to see which one works out cheapest once shipping is added in.


I can’t imagine a 4 year old will destroy anything, cept maybe a seat. And I sorta doubt that. Getting pink is more important than the quality probably.

I just found out, it was Eastgate Shopping Centre…

  • Sam

u were in johannesburg in september and u didn’t let me buy u a beer?
what kind of antisocial unicyclist are u anyway?!? :angry:

coming out again anytime soon?

jayne, u know i know as much about these uni’s as u do
i’ve just read so much good stuff about the Torkers as solid, beginners unicycles, i can’t help but think that must also apply to the 16

I know. I just wanted a bit of input from people who’ve actually put their kids on the things. At least if the wheel is sound I can put a really long seat post on and ride it myself when I want a break from the coker. Now I need to decide if the seat it comes with is OK or if I should get a better one. Any bets on which of us will be riding first?

I go past Eastgate all the time. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a bike shop there. Are you sure you’re not thinking about the Park Meadows Shopping Centre, it’s just across the road and has a pretty nice bike shop (Cajee’s Cycle Corner if memory serves me correctly).


The seat that comes on the Torker should do well since there won’t ge any “distance” riding on it immediately. Since you are going to have to pay shipping charges anyway, I would suggest ordering a KH saddle to go along with it. That way you’ll have a quality saddle to use on your Coker when you start racking up the miles :smiley:

Why not have both?


AAAH - but I ALREADY HAVE a KH saddle on the Coker (I know this because I called the previous owner and asked him as everybody LOVES the saddle). The guy I bought it from did the Argus cycle race on it and it has already racked up a good few miles. Ignore what everybody says about using a disposable saddle while learning. A nice comfy seat makes learning that little bit less painful. :wink:

I’m actually waiting on a quote from the local Coker dealers for a replacement tyre and tube. If it comes out more expensive than the price I might just include them in with the unicycle order. I’ll also ask round the club in case anybody wants to include a few “small” items in the box. Why waste international postage if you don’t have to?