Help me pick a do all wheel size - new guy

Hey all, i’m looking for advice and trying to decide on the right wheel size for my first unicycle. First off, I want a Kris Holm MUNI (maybe qa-ax but probably kris holm). I will be riding xc trails/singletrack with the potential for some drops/jumps no more than 2ft feet since I want to stay fairly safe. I also want to be able to commute to work 6 miles one way, in hilly conditions. I am tring to decide between a 26" and a 29" wheel. The 29 will be better for commuting from what I read but would it hold up to some drops with my 200lb weight? I do not want to gear my muni mostly due to cost and reliability. Im going to drop the cash for a Kris Holm either way, just not sure if it’s a 26 or 29 im looking for.

Can anybody who has both comment on the speed difference for road riding ungeared? I will be riding more road than trail about 75/25. It would seem to me with the better tire selection of the 26, a taller/larger volume tire could be had that would make it almost equal to a 29 with a much plusher ride and stonger setup for my heavier weight? Also hill climbing is a concern, so aren’t 26er’s better for that?

See if these help:

or these calcs from Germany:


for the price of a KH with a brake you could pick up a 24 inch Nimbus for muni and dorking around tougher spots, and a 29 inch for the road or xc. KH’s are pretty nice, but I gotta say, my Nimbus 24 is older and unlike my KH 24, it has never been out of commission due to an issue resulting from POOR QUALITY CONTROL AT THE FACTORY.

Welcome to the forums! I understand you’re trying to decide between a KH26 and KH29 for commuting and trail use. You also say this will be your first unicycle. First question, have you already learned to ride?

If you are already a proficient rider then the answer to whether a KH26 or KH29 would be better for your intended use leans heavily towards the KH29. It’s the smallest wheel you want for road riding and is very capable on the trail.

If you can ride some, then the KH29 would still be a good choice but would take some adjusting to the larger wheel. A KH26 would be less of a jump and take less adjustment but you will soon want a larger wheel for commuting.

If you haven’t yet learned to ride then my advice would be to find a cheap uni with a 20" or 24" wheel and learn. Once you can ride, see the above.

I want a schlumpf but dobut I can afford it. Anyone know where I can get one in the USA?

You haven’t answered the question as to whether you can ride yet, and if so how well you can ride. That’s a critical point.

I am going to assume you can’t ride, or just began.

If you are going to get into this, one machine won’t cut it anyway. If I were just learning I’d get a 20 or a 24, probably used and/or on the cheap side. Once you get decent and are sure you are going to stay with it, I’d get a 29. It’s great on the trails and will do for some distance riding. However once you want to ride more than a few miles, you’ll want a 36 anyway.

If you don’t know how to ride already I’d second the suggestion of picking up a cheap trainer or a used uni for learning purposes. I imagine learning on a 29er would be that much more difficult.

It sounds like one solution (depending on how technical the single track you have in mind) would be to have two unicycles anyway. One with a larger wheel and light rotational weight for the commute to work, the other with a smaller wheel and a beefier tire for muni. I’ve found that a 29er does commute/muni duty fairly well provided the single track isn’t especially gnarly.

Geared up I’m close to 200lbs and I can tell you right now that I’d only take a drop from a height of 2’ on my 29er if really had the itch to go to my local bike shop and buy a new inner tube. It’s been hit or miss with the pinch flats on my 29er. Sometimes I can take a drop, sometimes I get a snakebite hopping sideways off a curb. I’ve found that some tires are better than others with respect to getting that needed (for me at least) volume for the 29er wheel size whereas I’ve never pinch flatted on the 3" tires that are available for 24 and 26 wheel sets.

I guess that’s just an indication that I should be riding tubeless on the 29er.

You can make any wheel size work, but what you’re going to get here is a lot of very specific information about what each is best suited for. It’s like asking motorcycle enthusiasts for the best bike to use for motocross and long distance road rides. You can compromise, or pick the activity that’s most important for you and buy specific for that one first, while saving up for the best cycle for the other type of ride.

Yes, the Schlumpfs are expensive. You can order directly from Schlumpf, or from a custom builder like Bronson Silva ( Bronson built me my custom Schlumpf road machine, based on a KH 36", and it’s the best toy I own. :slight_smile:

To prevent the backlash against me calling it a toy, please note that I’m very serious about my toys, it’s more than just a toy, etc. etc. While I occasionally ride that unicycle to work, I mostly use a car.

Do not, not, not, buy a Schlumpf unless you already have significant miles on multiple wheel sizes and have a good sense of what you would need and want out of an expensive, heavy, and fiddly two-geared unicycle.

Frankly, anyone giving you that advice didn’t read your original post.

If I were doing 75/25 road/dirt, I’d definitely go for the 29er. It’d be a lot more enjoyable for the road segments, and it’s a pretty good MUni machine as well. Max was tearing it up on his 29er in Phoenix:

But, he did get a couple of pinch flats. If your wheel is reasonably well built it’ll hold up to drops, but there are limitations of the existing 29er tires in terms of their volume and sidewall stiffness. There’s not a true MUni tire equivalent to the Duro for 29ers.

It depends what kind of stuff you’re dropping, too; in Phoenix it’s big drops onto sharp rocks. If you’re dropping onto dirt you probably won’t pinch flat.

Like Tholub suggested, keep it simple if you do not already know how to ride, get an inexpensive 20-24" trainer, better yet see if you can borrow one.

Here is the reason why you should not start with an expensive unicycle:

99% of the people who try unicycling will give it up before they learn.

Yeah, you think you are the one percent, just like all the others that came before you, but the odds are against you regardless of all the other sports you have learned…

Just follow the program, get your feet wet, learn to ride a cheap uni THEN if you have still got the uni fever, take the big step and buy a good uni.

Good luck!

To be fair, it was one pinch flat and the patch failing the next day. I only have pinch flat issues at home when I’m doing dumb stuff, like jumping up to a square rock and landing directly on the corner, which is similar to what I did to flat on Sunday.

Right here:

Hello Archer. You might like the Quax Qx-series 26" muni.It has 145mm cranks which would be good for trails. For road use I suggest you buy a set of 100mm cranks and a road tyre. I know that this will be your first unicycle,but I reckon you’re able to cycle a unicycle. Practise on the grass before going on the road

Take it easy!

Hello ARCHER, you might like the QUAX QX-SERIES 26"muni. It has 145mm cranks which would be good for trails. For road use I suggest you buy a road tyre and 100mm cranks.I know that this will be your first unicycle but I reckon that you have some unicycling experience.Practise on the grass before going on the road.

Take it easy!!

Hi Archer - IMO the best single size is a 20 and a 29. Buy the 20 first; make sure it’s a decent one because when it comes time to sell it (after you buy your KH 29er) you’ll end up wanting to keep it because its so much easier to take on car trips, and its the right size to convince your best friend to ride. In hindsight you’ll find that buying the 20 to learn on was the smartest thing you’ve ever done.

Also, IMHO as a relatively new rider (18 mos) - don’t try to learn on grass, it was way harder for me and I hear that’s typically the case. I was riding a mile or two in a couple of months; it was several months before I could do a loop around d the local soccer field.


I would never sell my 20" :slight_smile:

Seriously, it’s good to have a 20" for practicing skills like wheel walking, one-footed riding, hopping, all good skills which help you even if your main activity is road riding or muni. Being able to do these skills makes you a better more confident unicyclist.

I didn’t sell my learner 20", but I have given it away on long term loan. I bought a nice lightweight custom 19" to replace it with - I wouldn’t have known what bits to buy before I started, and nor would I have wanted to splash that much cash. I don’t regret for a minute buying a really cheap uni to learn on - if I had bought a more expensive, better quality 20" uni I would still have wanted to upgrade.

So my recommendation to the OP is to get a nice cheap 20" (or maybe 24" - I understand they’re not much harder to learn on), one which you won’t mind losing the money on if you give it up. Unlike bikes, and various other sporting equipment, you really won’t notice the difference with a cheap uni when you’re just getting into it.

I will be keeping the 20" I learned on for two reasons.

Firstly, I can teach other people to ride it and, secondly, it is perfect for riding round the park with my wife in her electric wheelchair :smiley:

I agree with it being great for practising new skills on too. Once I decide to try idling or riding backwards, I’ll be back at the tennis courts with it.

Hello Sam.If he buys a Muni as I suggest, then surely the grass is best.With regard to cycling a 20" some distance, you are correct.The grass would be tiring. But for a beginner learning to mount and ride a few yards/metres,I would suggest the grass.

Personally, I find grass to be the most difficult surface on which to ride, because you can’t see where it’s soft or bumpy. It’s nicer to fall on but harder to ride.