Help! Frustrated with switch to 29

I learned to uni about four years ago with a cheap 24. After a couple of years the lollipops broke and I decided to replace it with a Yuni 29 because I wanted to go faster and farther. When my 24 broke I was able to ride at least a mile without hopping off, I could freemount about half the time, and I would take 10 mile rides on the weekends.

Now a couple of years later with the 29 and I still can’t ride as well as I could with my 24. I’m not having fun. I don’t have the time to practice a lot, and I really just want to go out once or twice a week and have fun. My typical rides are either on the road or a few miles of hardpack.

Question 1 - I’m thinking of selling the 29 and switching back to a 24. I feel like my ego is taking a hit, and I guess I need someone to tell me that riding a 24 is okay and I’m not a failure for giving up on the 29.

Question 2 - Can someone recommend a good 24 for mostly hardpack and some road riding that will last for many years of riding once or twice each week.

Hmm, what size cranks do you have on it?

Also, have you thought about trying a 26", or do you just want to go back to what you know?
A 26" is more manageable then a 29er but offers a bit more rolling speed then a 24".

Nimbus makes a good multi use 24. It comes with a Hook worm tire which will fly down the road. Rim is 48 spokes double wall. Frame has enough clearance for a healthy 2.5 or larger tire, so you could put a knobby on it to do some lite mUni action. Frame is good and sturdy for some low level hoppying. Has ISSIS axle and can be upgraded to Kris Holm cranks. Seat is comfortable. It’s about 100 sheckles more than a Torker LX ( good learner). I bent my post, broke my seat post clamp, and HATED the uncomfortable seat on my Torker. I upgraded and replaces all the for mentioned items. Had more in the Torker, and still did not have a Uni as nice as the one UDC offers.

Here’s al link, can’t go wrong…

Get a 24" and enjoy it, but don’t give up on the 29er!!
Keep em both.

You’ll improve on the 24", and then maybe you’ll take to the 29er.
Then you’ll have an extra to loan to a friend.

Go with what you’re comfortable with.
If you prefer the 24 then switch back.
You think people are going to point and laugh because you’re riding a 24 because you didn’t like the 29?

For a cheap fix, switch to longer cranks.

Keeping the 29 and picking up a 24 or 26 in great advice. There’s nothing worse than selling something at a loss, only to wind up buying another one later on. As far as what to buy, I’m completely satisfied with my 24 inch Nimbus. I ride on trails as well as on the road. It’s a good unit, reasonably priced, and has taken a real beating. I love my KH20, but personally, I trust steel more than aluminum.

Longer cranks? I hadn’t given that any thought. My 29 has 150 mm crank arms. Will going to a longer crank arm really make a difference? How long should I go? What kind of change in riding should I expect?

keep the 29

Definitely keep the 29. You can pick up a inexpensive 24 and then work your way back up. You might consider changing out the cranks on the 29 for whatever was on your 24 and see how that works.

Different cranks really change the feel. I was not riding my 29 as much until I changed the cranks back to 125s (they were 114s). Both my 24 and 29 have 125 cranks now.

I just got a Coker with both the 150s and 125s. I’m starting with the 150s until I get more confidence. The additional rotational mass of the 36 wheel is easier to slow down with the 150 cranks.

I’ve been very happy with my Torker LX. It would probably be fine for light off road riding. I wouldn’t do any drops, but I don’t do those anyway.


Go for the 24 if you are comfortable with that and don’t look back.

Keep the 29 if you can. What kind of tire do you have on the 29er?

About 4 years ago, I made the same switch from 24" to 29". I started with 150 mm cranks on the 29" to ease the transition, as my 24" had 125 mm cranks. So I was thinking “longer cranks” too, but if you have 150 mm on the 29" that’s a reasonable length. What length is on your 24"? If that would be longish too (like 140 or 150), you might think of 170mm on the 29".

You’re asking how that would change the ride and feel. Well, I think it would make freemounting somewhat easier. Also, the amount of control is somewhat higher, at least at low speed. Your feet however would move in a bigger circle. This means two things: max speed and comfortable speed will be lower than with shorter cranks, and your legs move around more. Experienced riders find the latter awkward, but for you it might be just what you need at this point.

One thing to consider: is your seat at the correct height? You know the rule of thumb: while sitting normally on the seat, with the HEEL (not normal riding position!) on the pedal at it’s lowest, your leg should be almost stretched straight. Note that crank length has an effect on seat height. And of course everything should be well aligned, tyre at correct pressure etc.

Furthermore I support what others said: even if you dislike the 29" now, don’t burn the ship behind you. Keep the 29" and buy a 24" in addition. Switching from one to the other from time to time will be healthy to your general skill level. You should be able to master that thing!

There’s another option that no one has mentioned yet; Buy a 36" unicycle and spend a month or so riding that about. Then you can go back to your 29er and it’ll ride like a dream! :smiley:

Really, though, as others have suggested, get a 24" so you can enjoy it and have fun. The more you enjoy it, the more you’ll ride it, so the better you’ll get, and thus the easier the 29er will become.


That’s really a lot of advice based on very little information. The question is, why can’t you rid it as well as your 24, and why does it seem like less fun? A couple of possibilities:

  • Your expectations are too high: Maybe you thought you’d be flying along effortlessly, but it turns out you’re still on a unicycle, and it’s still only a 29" gear (pretty low by bike terms)
  • You liked the maneuverability of the 24: It’s going to be more maneuverable; you can’t change that. But you can learn almost any moves done on the 24" with the 29"
  • Your 29" has a sukky tire: Maybe your tire is not good for road, or you’re running the wrong air pressure? Some tires are great on dirt and terrible on the road (Gazzalodi), and some the reverse. Many bike tires just don’t work well as unicycle tires for road riding. What tire is on there? Include the width dimension.
  • Your cranks are too long. 150mm is the size I use for MUni on a Coker. For going places on a 29" I use 102s. Try something shorter.
  • Maybe it’s the seat? Is it a different seat from your old 24? Odds are it’s a better one though, if your 24 came with lolipops…

So give the 29" a chance. Go ahead and get a 24" too if you want, but if you stick with longer rides you’re going to want a bigger wheel (or an expensive geared hub) sooner or later.

I’m riding a NanoRaptor 2.1" tire at around 50 psi. Is that an appropriate tire? What type of change make a difference? The seat is a KH that I had used on the old 24" uni.

Is my seat too high or low? When I went out a couple of days ago I started out okay, but after about half a mile my legs were pointing forward but my upper torso seemed to be leaning so far left that I was almost looking behind me!

Did anybody read this guy’s post?

Riding a 24 is OK. You’re not a failure for giving up on the 29.


WOW, that is waaaaaay too much air unless you are over 230lbs. I’d bet that is handful on off camber roads. Be carefull with 29 tires, they are known to blow slam off the rim if you over inflate them.

I’m 165 lbs, and I can get away with about 22 lbs in mine.

Also the Nanoraptor is a fairly aggressive-looking dirt tire. Probably not the greatest for pavement. Try a tire made for pavement (assuming that’s where you’re riding). The Schwalbe Big Apple is a great one, though apparently the 2.0" Big Apple (rather than 2.35) is better for going fast on cambered road surfaces.

Harper, did you yourself read? He said he was guessing, he didn’t know. We all know better.

I don’t agree with the first statement. The more tyre pressure, the better handling especially on off-camber roads. For road riding, 50 psi is probably OK (I’m not sure about the Nanoraptor’s max pressure though).

But John’s point is valid. A knobbly tyre is less ideal on roads. You said you ride hard-pack as well, but a smoother tyre would do you well on both types of riding surface.

This seems to be quite a common thing for 29ers. I have been riding all sizes for about 4 years now and I still have a tendency to twist occassionally on my 29er when I don’t on any of the others.

Have a poke around the search thing re twisting when riding or something like that and you might find some useful info, or at least the understanding that you are not alone in this problem.

I would say, experiment a bit with tyres and air pressures. The 29ers seem to be more sensitive to any slope in the road than other sized unicycles.

Also try to relax and not fight it. It will get better as you practice more.