Help deciding my next uni

Hey everyone,

I currently have 2 unis and will be getting some money from family around Christmas and birthday to look at getting another uni or doing some upgrades. I’ll outline what I have, what I ride, what I’m looking at for possible purchase, and the use cases for these

My current fleet is a Nimbus Oracle that I’ve upgraded to be a gravel uni with a light weight wheel, 2.25 XC tire. I mostly use it for road, gravel, and am going to be trying on a unipacking trip with a buddy coming up. Overall it’s my road and commuting machine to replace my bike from before covid.

My other uni is a 27.5 M41 fat tire uni, this is my go to for muni. I’ve been uncycling since May 2020 so this year has been about trying out trail riding and I love it!

Though I’m loving muni, most of my riding when I was a cyclist was adventure riding and commuting, my favourite days have always been going into the country outside my city and just riding. Currently both my unis fill this and the muni itch. I get pretty good speed on my 29 and my cycling buddies I ride with don’t mind the slower pace as I can usually average 14-15kmh average.

So for possible upgrades, I’ve been looking at:

  1. Get some carbon parts for my road uni (carbon saddle, seatpost, spacers) and some lighter weight Qu-Ax cranks.

The build was always done with weight in mind just cause so I figure complete out the build, I’ve also been in the market for a new saddle and my Qu-Ax eleven saddle gets uncomfortable after a couple of hours.

After this I should have enough left over to get a hub, frame and use my old seatpost and saddle to build up a 24" uni. I was thinking of building it as a fun way to try muni as well and when I can’t bring the 29 places it’ll still let me uni around.

In the before times my work would do international travel so a travel uni might be nice. It would also be easy to bring if my partner and I travel I could pack it in our suitcase.

  1. Build a 36" or 32". My distance riding would be nice with this but I love my riding only my 29" and having a bit more space over the wheel lets me pack quite a bit to the frame. I’m usually able to ride with only a 10l fanny pack on a 75km. The speed boost would be nice if the unipacking trip I do with my buddy goes well, but part of me is also curious about how fast I can get going on my 29. I’ve borrowed a 36" from a friend and mounting and riding were fairly easy but due to not being able to bring it into work, I wouldn’t be able to use it for commuting.

I would love to start doing 300km overnight trips or 100km days with these trips but part of these trips is the inherent challenge and doing them on the 29" may still be fun.

Both the larger wheel and travel uni are going to get about the same amount of use (36" would be used when riding with buddies a bit more frequently) but I may get more uility out of the 24"

Overall, what’s your thoughts? When you’ve got most of your rides covered what did you add on and how did it go?

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With regards to a 24" you can even use a Club uni (I’m assuming you aren’t particularly heavy), it’s inexpensive. No need to spend much. It’s solid and dependable, I just wouldn’t do drops bigger than a kerb or use it for heaps of hopping.

For seats, I like the KH fusion freeride.
And for your 29er, I’d consider putting a handle on it. For the 36er, watch for anybody selling one second hand I reckon.

A trials uni is nice for learning skills on and somewhat cheaper than most unicycles.

Nothing. Instead I spent my money on riding my unicycle in interesting places with interesting people. Went well so far, 10/10 would recommend.
(I’m a student with more time than money, I know that if you have more money than time that might be harder to do, or you may be lucky enough to not have to choose)
What I did add materially over time was mostly things to wear on my body. Riding shoes, protective equipment, rain jacket, bike shorts, backpack. I find that all those things make much more of a difference than saving some weight on your unicycle.

P.S. Don’t buy carbon spacers, they tend to break and destroy your bearing seal if you don’t catch it in time.

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That’s what I’ve been doing lately, spending mostly on protective equipment rather than more unicycles. I’ve got all the unicycles I really need to pursue this hobby and what’s going to slow me down the most right now is injury or the fear of it. I’ve come to realize however that as a unicyclist, ideal protective gear is significantly different than for mountain biking or motocross. Skateboarding seems to be about the closest in terms of speed and frequency of falls. A lot of the mountain biking gear is nice and well made, but a one and done helmet designed for a collision at 50 kph just isn’t well suited to unicycling.,

Umm… bike helmets are not designed for that. They are designed to meet bike safety test standards and that is pretty much it. These standard tests generally these involve a static (no forward travel) drop of helmet mounted on top of a fake head onto an metal surface of various shapes, from various heights and at various temperatures (this affects the “foam”). Then equipment inside the artificial head registers how much shock was experienced.

The different designs you see for helmets are about improving weight, aerodynamics and looks, whilst still passing these tests. The reason they are “one and done” is because 1. Bike falls are unlikely in the grand scheme of things 2. By making them this way you can keep the weight down 3. If you do have a fall it means the manufacturer gets another sale.

If anything these helmets are optimised for a very low speed type falls you might associate with a unicyclist doing slow but somewhat technical muni and falling, or a penny farthing over the handles bars crash at low speed, or a runner tripping on a stone on trails and doing a nosedive.

They are not “designed” for high speed or for the user being hit by a car or anything like that, despite what people might think.

It’s kind of a personal thing about how you spend your money… but let me add my two cents.

I believe in spending money on items/upgrades that actually makes a difference / not just looks different. You might save a bit of weight on the items listed but you will not be able to feel it (blindfolded)…

You seem like you really like to cover distance. Why not go as large as possible (also 36" has more tire choices and you can even get carbon rims). There are various creative ways to mount luggage even with the short seatpost.

Also if you like your current Unis (and you dislike the QX Eleven) have you considered experimenting a bit with flat saddles. Maybe a M4O Handle Saddle or a KH Fusion One+bar for your road Uni could make it more comfortable for the long rides.

I see your point about the looks, but I do find I notice of a difference in the weight. I bought my Oracle as a stock 29" road and by removing some of the wheel weight and seatpost weight I found it to be much more responsive. I tend to ride with shorter cranks for speed and it really helps offset the climbing difficulty and less control compared to the stock 125s. I find even a big difference compared when I have the same water bottle on my frame vs in my hip pack.

Carbon spacers not so much, but a carbon seatpost could be a noticeable weight reduction, and a carbon saddle will make a significant difference to the feel of the unicycle due to the stiffness increase even if the weight change isn’t huge.

I’d also recommend going for a large wheel. There are numerous options for carrying gear and it’s a great size to have in your collection.

I assume you meant “wheel” weight. Sure you can feel that. I think the stock rim might be ~900g and a lightweight alu is ~500g. And same for the tire you can also reduce a lot with a light tire like you did with the Raceking and a lighter tube. So here you might have saved 1000g of rotational weight.

The qu-ax carbon seatpost (the only carbon I know of) is 199g (300mm) and Nimbus alu is 260g (300mm). Assuming you cut it you are looking at a ~50g weigh reduction. I really find it hard to believe that you can feel that that’s like a 1% change in weight of the complete Uni and it’s on a static part.

I think that is very good point about the stiffness. I assume a cheaper way to achieve the same might be a reinforcement plate although that will add ~100g of weight instead of saving ~140g of weight (QX Eleven 820g vs Exceed carbon 680g).

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Part of the carbon is also just an aesthetic thing. Most of the weight reduction would probably come from a new tube/tire (I can probably reduce the weight by 150g on the tube and 300g with going from a wire bead race king to a folding bead speed king). The carbon saddle would also be to get the new Nimbus big hole handle.

I have a handle I ride with but found it easier to control the uni at high speed with my bumper so the UDC number with the hole seemed of interest to control the uni on longer rides and lower the weight a bit too.

Looking at the comments I’ll probably look to take the carbon seatpost off the list, maybe swap our for some of the Qu-Ax cranks for another hundred grams or so.

In total I’d be looking at around 700grams which would be a noticeable difference to me.

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Since I make sure to release some weight in the restrooms before riding that makes a big difference for me, too.
Sorry for that :wink:

As an upgrade to your 29" I would recommend to get a t-bar. Preferably a Kris Holm one because it offers the most versatility. A t-bar also increases the comfort of your saddle a lot since you can shift the weight around. It’s also great if you carry stuff on the uni for unipacking, since it makes it more controllable.
Getting some multi hole cranks or other cranks to try out is are also very useful. (For Road riding with a 29" 110, 100 or 90 mm cranks are great).

A 36" is also a very nice option, that is totally worth the money. It’s my favorite wheelsize for getting around and nowadays they got pretty light. (6.9 kg is my QX RGB with KH T-bar and without carbon only the lighter tire).