Help with custom 29"

Or “Yet another ‘help me decide what I should get’ thread”.

I’ve been unicycling for about half a year and own a Nimbus 26", which I love. It’s great for off road and commuting to school, but isn’t really suitable when riding longer distances.
In the future, I would like to participate in unitours and other events, such as Ride The Lobster. What to do? I think it’s time for a new member to join my (currently) small unicycle family.

What I’m looking for
I want a versatile unicycle, with focus on long distance. However, it should also be durable enough for XC/light Muni.
Being a student, money is a problem. This is going to be my “dream unicycle”, but I can’t afford to pay very much for something that’s only slightly better than its cheaper counterpart. If you propose an expensive component, please explain why it’s worth the extra money.

My list so far
Of course I know how to use the search button, so I’m not completely clueless. If it wasn’t for a certain person, I think I would have already decided.

General - A 29" unicycle. 36" would be nice to have, but somehow it doesn’t really suit me. I think a 29er is perfect.

Hub - It’s already decided, I want one of those fancy geared hubs. KH/Schlumpf.
Guess I’ll live on water and bread for the rest of the year… :wink:

Cranks - I like the KH dual holes (125/150 mm) on my Nimbus, can’t see a reason to switch. Nice combined with the geared hub.

Saddle- Same here, I like my KH Fusion Saddle. (haha, it sounds like I own a KH rather than a Nimbus, doesn’t it?)

Rim - Haven’t really thought about it.

Pedals - Not really important, as it’s easy to switch and they’re relative cheap.

Tyre - Same here, this one can wait. I guess I’ll try different tyres.

What I really need help with.

Doesn’t it sound as if a Kris Holm 29" would be perfect for me? Well, that was my initial plan: KH29 with a geared hub.
However, the KH frame is quite expensive compared to e.g. a Nimbus frame. I don’t doubt it’s fantastic, but is it really worth it? Except for the weight, what’s the advantage of the aluminum frame?
Which frame do you recommend, and why? Remember, I’m poor.

If I get the Kris Holm frame, Magura Hs33 seems to be the natural choice. However, I have the same concern here: is it worth the money? I know you can get cheap ones on ebay, but shipping to Sweden is probably far from inexpensive. I can probably find one second hand for about 85 $ (US) here in Sweden.

Yep, there are already many threads about brakes (the newest one here), but if you’re going to propose components for the unicycle, it would be nice to also hear which brakes you would choose. And a small motivation explaining why.

If you’ve read all the text above…
and understood at least half of my poor English, you surly have time to post some advices, right? Well, bring it on. But first, some final thoughts/questions.

It’ll take some time before I’ll have enough money to buy everything. My plan is to have everything ready in September to celebrate one year of unicycling. :slight_smile:
Is there anything I should wait for? (Unfortunately the geared hub won’t drop in price anytime soon, I think).

And finally, if there’s anything else I should think about, please tell me.

Thanks in advance,

Before you decide on the frame, you probably have to make up your mind about brakes (and hub) first. I strongly recommend Maguras, in which case, that alone would make the KH frame a good option as you have the fittings already there. Of course they can be fitted to the Nimbus, but it’ll cost more (maybe more than the KH in total?), and not be as neat looking.

To help make your money last, you do not have to get the brakes strait away, of course. They can be fitted at any time, so you can keep an eye on eBay and pick them up when you see a really cheap set.

The KH/Schlumpf hub sounds like an excellent choice. (I love my standard 29" Schlumpf and find it a very versatile unicycle). However, there’s some debate at the moment about it fitting in the Nimbus frame. The hub needs machined bearing holders, and the Nimbus used to have pressed bearing holders. This may be changing though, so could be worth waiting for clarity on.

It’ll be worth working out the price of buying all of the components on their own and comparing it to buying a complete unicycle though. That might work out cheaper.


yeah KH frame, as otherwise brakes cost you an extra £25 in mounts + welding them on, which makes up for the difference in cost between the frames. There is no way to get a reasonable muni brake except by fitting maguras or v-brakes, both of which add cost to a nimbus frame.

Also, with the nimbus frame it’s a bit uncertain as to whether it fits the kh geared hub, as there’s some things with the bearing holders that have to be right, and no-one has set one up yet to try.

You probably will want brakes on a geared KH29 at least at some point. If you can’t afford them right now, then just start off without. I’d go for hs33 brakes because I found v-brakes to be more hassle than they were worth on my 29er because of the big tyre, and 29er tyres seem to be coming out in a bit bigger sizes, having maguras gives you a choice.

There is the hs11 which is a cheaper version of the HS33. It is okay, especially if you get the one with the metal lever not the plastic lever, the only major difference in practice is that it doesn’t have the adjuster, you adjust for pad wear using an allen key. That isn’t a massive issue - I know on my unicycles I never fiddle with the adjuster once it is set up, but the adjuster is very nice during setup of the brake.

Personally I’ve got a very customised schlumpf 29er with a custom frame and a whole bunch of random parts, and if I bought one now, I would go completely stock KH geared 29 , because it fits together much more nicely, no hassles with brake fitting / choice, and it just all works nicely.

I think geared 29ers are fantastic for the purposes you’re describing - I use mine for travelling, and it is super being able to get around quickly, but also be possible to ride muni. In some ways I’d like a 26, but I don’t think the difference is big enough to justify the hassle of building up a 26 from parts. 36s are great, but they just aren’t convenient if you are travelling anywhere to ride.


Actually, someone has already tried it. As for the brake, the same person recommend to just drill a hole through the frame (not aluminum frame, obviously).
Now, guess who made me hesitate to follow my first plan. :stuck_out_tongue:

Yeah, but maguras are great on a muni. I’d be happy with caliper brakes on a unicycle just for road riding, but for a muni, maguras (or v-brakes) are just way better. If you’re spending £800 or whatever it is on the hub alone, it seems silly to skimp to save £30 on the frame and £20 on the brakes, just don’t fit brakes to start with, and add them once you’ve saved up a bit.


What are the reasons you do not think a 36 will suit you?

As far as price is concerned a nice 36 set up is going to be a little over a third of the cost of a nice KH guni set up. The 36 is great for light XC and commuting and as far as uni tours go it is great. It is a huge wheel to bring onto a bus/cab/plane though, but it can be done. It is my favorite wheel size as far as unicycles are concerned.

However, as you said it is already decided that you want the KH/Schlumpf hub then here is my additional advice:

Rim: KH rim is perfect. It is wide and strong to give you a nice square profile to your ride.

Frame: KH frame. As Joe and Spencer have mentioned, it already comes with brake mounts and you know it will fit nicely with the hub already.

I still say that if you are low on money that you should get the 36 instead. You already have a 26" Nimbus that will meet your XC needs, and the 36 is a really fun ride. I own both a KH/Schlumpf 29er and a regular ungeared 36er.

I read this post and thought “you’re spending $1300 on a hub and are worried about a few dollars here and there on the frame?” Get the KH so it all works together well and nothing is bodged(as our UK friends would say).

i think you should just get the KH29, that way everything fits, the brakes can be added later and you know the hub will fit, then you will have your dream uni!!

If I had to buy my 29 and 36 over again …

If I did it all over again, I would not have purchased both a 29 and 36. Instead I would have bought just a KH29 with KH/Shumpf gear hub, HS33 brakes, fusion freeride seat, T7 handle.

I don’t need both uni’s. The only reason I have the 36 is for RTL.
If I had just purchased the 29 and geared hub I would have a dream uni.

I like riding the 36, but after 15 - 20km my legs get tired. In city riding, stopping and going at traffic lights, sidewalks, and intersections my freemounting percentage starts to go down to 30% success rate due to tired legs.

On my 29 I keep my freemounting to 100% regardless to how tired I am. Also I can idle my 29 easily, but can’t idle my 36.

In city traffic I can dart easily thru traffic, idle at stop light or freemount at will when required (on 29)

My non geared 29 is slower than 36. On long distance that I want some off road I still take 29; otherwise its the 36.

My advise is, save the extra money and get all the parts at once!!! Stick with your dream and you’ll have no regrets later.

Thank you for all the advices, thanks to you I think I’ve made up my mind.

siafirede, legtod2 listed some reasons that apply to me as well. I mostly ride in the city and on small paths. A 36" seems somehow more “clumsy” in those environments.
I also want to be able to bring my unicycle wherever I go; not sure everyone would appreciate a Coker on a bus :wink: . Not all cars can take a 36er either, and it probably won’t fit in my suitcase if I want to travel somewhere.

Conclusion: I’m probably going to wait for the KH08 and then purchase a compete Kris Holm unicycle, either 07 or the new model (depends on the price and improvements), with the KH/Schlumpf hub. Meanwhile, I’ll check ebay etc. for cheap maggies.

Speaking of which, I have some questions about the Magura brakes. This thread was started by me, so this isn’t really a thread hijack, is it? :wink:

  1. Do you think a front brake cable is long enough for the 29"? My inseam is about 85 cm. (I want to avoid cutting if possible).
  2. What do you consider as a reasonable price? What do you think of this auction, for example?
  3. Should I get a bleeding kit even if I don’t plan to adjust the cable length? Which tools do I need for maintenance?
  4. I heard that Maguras don’t need much maintenance at all, is this true?


I purchased a set of HS33 maguras for my Nimbus 36.

I paid $50.00 for them (Used). The one problem is the mounting brackets don’t fit my N36. So I had to order them from for another $15.00. This price seams like a good deal. UDC also sells HS33 but don’t be affaid to shop arround.

Once the brackets arrive I’ll mount them and try them out. Lots of hills in my area so it will be interesting to see how they work on Nightrider pro rim.

Can’t speak to maintenance on brakes till I actually use them for a bit.

Nothing wrong with the brakes? Just want to confirm before bidding.

  1. It should be. I bought a second hand front Magura from eBay and that fitted my N36 with T7 fine.
  2. I think I paid about £15 (translate this in to whatever currency you’re happy with) for mine second hand. The price on the one you linked to looks ok for a new one, but you could save a lot if you don’t go for new. (price is currently £62 with 3 hours to go)
  3. I’ve recently bought a service kit (includes bleed kit, oil, new hoses and fittings) as I have a set where I need to change the hoses. Unless you need a kit, I wouldn’t bother. You can probably find someone friendly with one that has the syringes you can borrow.
  4. The second hand one I had on my N36 never needed any maintenance.