Help me buy my first Uni!

Hello guys,

I am hoping you can all help me with your experience. I am looking to buy a unicycle.

I’ve done some research, and I’m pretty sure I want a 26". I also plan to Muni as soon as I learn to ride on the sidewalks. I’m really hoping to buy one Muni, that will also work well on the street.

I am 6’4", 230lbs.

Can you help me find the right unicycle for me?


Hello and Welcome back to the forum.:slight_smile:
I see you joined up a few years ago. Can you ride a unicycle or are you just starting out ? I’m guessing not, by you saying you can’t yet ride on sidewalks.

There is loads of help and advice on here, just search for “which unicycle” or “help needed” and I’m sure you’ll find some answers.
Would you consider buying a cheap 20" to learn on then treating yourself to that 26" when you feel more confident.

Also, have you been and had a look at There’s a mine of information on there.

Hope that helps.
Good Luck and keep us posted.

Thanks for your reply! No, I do not know how to ride yet. I’d be willing to try a cheap 20" first. It won’t be too small for me? Any recommendations?

You will almost certainly need to get a longer seat post for a 20" unicycle. But at your height that will likely be true for any unicycle you get.

You can find a forum threads where someone of any size learned to ride on any size wheel. I don’t buy the “if you’re this tall, get this size wheel” advice. Maybe there was a reason for it decades ago but it’s obsolete now and should be put out to pasture.

The good thing about a 20" unicycle is that you won’t be far off the ground or going very fast. It’s great if you’re learning to ride in a small space because you won’t run out of room as soon. A lot of riders who start on a larger size eventually get a 20" for learning advanced skills because the penalty for making mistakes is smaller on it. The downside is that you won’t want to go for a spin around your neighborhood or a cruise down the greenway on it. It’s just too slow for that.

A 26" Torker LX or something similar you could keep for a long time as a spare or a knock-around alternative to your muni. Or get both and see what suits you on a given day. Unicycles are pretty cheap for a person of normal adult means, and most of us end up having a few to choose from.

Scott kurland learned on a 36…

I’m 6’3" and about 275lbs right now. I was a little heavier when I started riding late last year. Personally, I found the 20" to be much more difficult than the 24" that I bought after about a month. The standard seatpost is too short, so that be a factor; however, I think leverage may also play a role.

My thoughts, and take this with a grain of salt, is that a larger person will likely feel most comfortable with longer cranks. Unfortunately, using long cranks on a small wheel (which is easily to ride by smaller people) requires a lot of finesse for a heavier person, and it might make the learning process more difficult. If it were me, I would buy a cheap 24" to learn on and then decide of I wanted a 26" or 29" later.

As far as a recommendation might be concerned, I have a Sun Flat Top Off Road. I enjoy it, but it’s the only 24" that I’ve ridden. I do have a Nimbus 29" and 36", and I’ve found the quality to be comparable to my other unicycles so far. It’s cheap(ish); it has an ISIS hub; and it has a triple-wall rim. I ride mine offroad and I haven’t had any trouble with it yet.

Good luck!

This is true.

Even though I started on a 20" and didn’t like it, I ultimately plan on using it to learn tricks. I think a smaller wheel can have its advantages. I just didn’t feel comfortable learning on something that didn’t feel like it accommodated my natural movement patterns.

Comparing a 26" MUni to a 20" freestyle Uni:

The wheel on the 26" MUni has greater inertia, while the lighter wheel of the freestyle uni has less inertia.

The tread on the 26" MUni has large surface area touching the pavement, giving it a lot of grip, which creates resistance to turning, while the freestyle tire is under high pressure, has a small surface area touching the pavement, and is less resistant to turning.

So, which is better for a beginner?

The freestyle unicycle provides better feedback about balance, and will behave in a more twitchy fashion. You will give laypeople the impression that you are just learning, because the smaller unicycle will be rapidly shifting left and right.

Conversely, the larger unicycle will tend to auto-steer itself, masking some feedback about balance. However, you may use the momentum of the larger unicycle to get in a few revolutions, which is important for the beginner’s self-esteem. You will appear more poised on the larger MUni, though you may not be sure what the heck is going on.

A few neighbors commented to me that I had improved when they saw me riding a larger unicycle. Don’t be fooled: just because you ‘look’ balanced, that doesn’t imply your balance has improved.

Either way, I hope that you, at some point, can experience the joys of a 20" unicycle. If you buy a 20" trials/street unicycle now, you will be able to take that on the trails, no problem. Learning to idle, ride backwards, jump, seat-in-front…are all fun, and generally easier to learn on a smaller unicycle.

I think it’s pointless to worry about, as a beginner, the relative slowness of a 20" unicycle. It will take time for you to develop cadence on whatever unicycle you are riding. If you get a 26" MUni, you may be riding pretty slowly for the time being.

You’ve heard about medical conditions in which the patient sees double. I think you are seeing ‘single’ (perceiving that ‘one’ unicycle can meet all your needs).

BTW my MUni is an Oracle 26". I think the Duro tire is overkill for most of the riding I do, and I’m looking for improvement in the hill climbing department, so I’m downgrading the size of the tire. Also, I had a KH t-bar installed and am practicing riding flat/uphill with both hands on the bar ends. If you are thinking your 26" MUni could be your all-in-one unicycle, I’d recommend the t-bar, installed close to the seat; it will take time to learn how to use, but the benefits are huge.

Good luck learning to ride.

First of all, thank everyone for their replies!

From what I can gather, I will eventually want both a 20" and a 26" (or 29"). It appears that while it’s harder to learn on a smaller wheel, it will be worth it.

With that said, I am a med student and don’t have a ton of money to splurge. I don’t have more than $200 to spend… so that’s why I’m looking for an inexpensive Muni I can also learn on. I’m not sure that really exists though…?

I may have to settle for a street Uni until I can afford a Muni.

The main thing the more expensive unicycles have to offer is that they are stronger and more comfortable. If you weigh 230 lbs and want to muni, you’re gonna have to spend a lot more than $200, unless you manage to find some sort of miraculous second-hand deal.

For now, you might try the Torker LX. It doesn’t have the ISIS hub that you will need for muni, but it’s within your budget and available as a 20, 24 or 26. It would be solid enough for you to learn to ride uphill, downhill and on pavement or gravel, perhaps even off some gentle curbs. Whatever you get, make sure it has a long enough seatpost.

When I was learning to ride, I was terrified of anything larger than a 20. In the beginning, you will probably take a few nasty pedal bites to the shins, and you will probably fall on your ass once or twice, hopefully not from too high up.

You could also buy a cheap Avenir and use it just for learning and teaching. Then you’ll have time for bargain hunting, or to scrape together some $ for a Nimbus or whatever later on.

Do yourself a favor, and include in your budget enough extra for gloves and kneepads. You will definitely need these. (Other items, like helmet, elbow guards, shin guards, are also very helpful. You will probably add them as needed.)

Torker 24" LX / Seat-post-length

I started on a 24" Torker LX. That is a good < $200 choice. Mine still works great. I took it for a ride yesterday, but didn’t do anything stupid on it.

Measure your inseam (distance from the bottom of your shoe along the inside of your leg to your groin. I am 6’2" and have ~ 38" inseam, depending on the shoes.

I just went out to the garage to look at my seat-post…the seat is adjusted reasonably high for me (as I’ve progressed I’ve also raised up the seat, incrementally), and there is 2.75" of the seat-post still hiding inside the frame. Considering that you want 1" minimum of seat-post buried in the frame, that means that the 24" LX Torker would marginally work for you (you mentioned you’re 6’4"). might have their own numbers for maximum inseam for the 24" LX, but you will have to email them for that info. Otherwise, there is the 26" LX, though (UDC) currently is not carrying that one. I don’t think seat-post length is an option for the cheaper unicycles, which is why you want to get this right. Again, The Torker LX 24" is a great starter option. If you continue riding, you’ll want to get something else eventually, which sounds pretty frustrating…but you’ll also have a better idea, later on, of what your tastes are and where you want to go with unicycling. Good luck!

Thank you everybody for your input. I’m planning to learn over the summer, so I haven’t purchased one yet.

I’m looking at this one on craigslist (Nimbus 24" for $225). What do you guys think?

Looks like a decent deal to me. From the pic it looks in pretty good shape. You can always see if he will let you have it for less too. :slight_smile:

Looks good Bubleeshaark. The mountain 24 is actually a little larger than a 24 because of the size tire you can fit on it.

I think with your height, you’re looking in the right direction at a 24/26 : )

A nimbus Muni will handle just about anything you throw at it.

Looks good to me. Figure out what your inseam is, and if that is within the range of seat-post adjustment for a Nimbus 24". If you are good in that regard, then check and see if the seller has removed any of the length of the seat-post, or if they had the unicycle shipped with a shorter seat-post. Worst case scenario, you have to buy another seat-post…not so expensive.

Sweet, thanks guys!

Looks like an excellent deal to me, especially since it apparently comes with an extra tire and set of pedals (for muni, as stated in the ad).

Great learner for an adult-size person.