Hopping on a Freestyle uni

This is a variation on a question that has often been discussed here, but I can’t find a specific answer, so here it goes.

I’m interested in getting a decent freestyle unicycle that is lighter and perhaps even more attractive than my Schwinn 20"er. Emma will likely inherit the Schwinn for learning purposes.

The one trick I can do with a bit of proficiency is hop and when watching trials videos it is pretty clear that they are very bouncey for hopping. Is there a freestyle unicycle that is comparably bouncey or approximately so for hopping and will withstand a lot of hopping?

Or is this all a function of the tire type and pressure?

I don’t want a trials uni and my price range is around $300.

Raphael Lasar
Matawan, NJ

Hmm, I dont think so, alot of hopping is technique, you give a good trials rider a freestyle unicycle with a rock hard tire they can still jump fairly high on them. But typically freestyle unicycles are not that good for hopping from my experence. Alot of this is due to running freestyle tires that are run at a very high tire pressure.

If you lower the tire pressure these tires bottom out much eaiser than say a Mod tyre that you will find on any trials unicycle due to the difference in sidewall on the tires.

Basically I think you answered your own question, a large part of a trials uni being bouncy is the tire and lower pressure you can run it at. Same as why 3" muni’s are bouncy and a street 24 isn’t.

I say go for a Trials Uni if you are thinking a bouncy ride would be nice. The Summit is a really good deal right now. Also Bedford has some afordable Trials uni’s that are really good. You can do almost everything you can do on a freestyle uni with a trials uni.

Hope that helps.


A good compromise would be the Torker UniStar 20" which is a fairly rugged beast with a stout tire. Not quite trials and not quite freestyle. I found that mine started to round the cranks (which are cheap, Lasco type aluminum) at the square taper after some fairly abusive trials antics. The UniStar (which we have referred to here as the Stealth Torker in the past) is an excellent value and, with a crank upgrade, might be just what you’re looking for. The unicycle sells for about $100 so it gives your budget plenty of room for upgrades. The wheel on the UniStar is outstanding. I believe there is one post about an axle breaking on one but I don’t recall the details. I’m 190 lbs and the crank rounding problem started for me after trying to hop up two stairs and down three stairs at a time so a bit more than just curb hopping stuff. The only freestyle problem with the UniStar is the rounded crown.

Check the Nimbus II 2003 20" Freestyle at unicycle.uk.com. Something like this would probably work out fine. It’s meant for freestyle, but the Maxxis Hookworm tire is fairly good for hopping also. It has the new Nimbus frame, and the crown is not rounded.

the torker unistar is an excellent unicycle, and if you put a maxxis hookworm with a thorn-resistant tube and platform pedals on it, it is light enough to hop really well, and the hookworm has a range up to 110 psi, so you should be able to find a pressure that suits you for whatever you want to do.

also, if you color-coordinate and get the black and white whitewall tire and black pedals, it’s one sweet looking ride. (but then again, so’s a 20" schwinn in my opinion)

I am the proud owner of that now broken unicycle. I was attempting to hop up three stairs at once when it happened. The force of the prehop was what snapped the axle. Despite the premature death of the uni, I still believe it is a great uni, and I recommend it to anyone wanting to learn or looking for a new cheap uni. In fact I have replaced that one with another, and since bought a 24 stealth. The one that broke was put through a lot of abuse before it broke. I did several 2+ foot drops, many stairs up and down, and several attempts at grinding.

Unlike Harper, I didn’t have any trouble with the cranks. The cranks that were on my stealth are now on my 26 street rod. They are very scratched and scuffed, but in tact and work fine.

Here’s the thread about the death of my stealth.

There’s my $.02

I was just going to say this. My friend slapped a hookworm tire on his torker unistar (black). I’ve ridden it once or twice. The 48 spokes makes one solid ride. Plus i’m used to a summit, so it feels REALLY light. You may find that the chrome model (while not attractive) does sport a flat crown. You could just wait till the 2004 torkers appear. The black one now has a flat crown too.

Anyway. Yeah… you will definitely afford this… You might be able to get three. Just get a 20" torker and put that hookworm tire on it. You just lower the p.s.i to about 60 i’d guess to get a nice bounce for your hop. Then when you want to freestyle… up it to 110 and you have got one solid wheel.

Or you know… you can just give me the $300 and i’ll buy a big TV :smiley:

Hey Raphael –

Come to Unatics Sunday and try my freestyle with a lower pressure. It has a The Wall tire and a 48-spoke BFR rim on it. It has plenty of strength to handle whatever you can dish out.

– Dave

Originally posted by daino149

I am the proud owner of that now broken unicycle. I was attempting to hop up three stairs at once when it happened. The force of the prehop was what snapped the axle.

So, is it worth lacing a new hub on? My Schwinn is on its second hub, it was five hours of pleasant work, and now I have a great loaner. carjug


Thanks for the offer, but can’t make it this weekend.

Raphael Lasar
Matawan, NJ

Thanks all for your input.

The Yuni with the Hookworm and 48 spoke wheel is where I’m leaning right now and will likely place the order next week. I spoke to someone at Unicycle.com and was told that this would be good for hopping but not to do drops on it. I wasn’t really planning on the latter anyway.

Oh, and if I do get this it’ll be my first uni without a Viscount seat. I got a chance to try the KH seat when I first tried Uni57’s 29" uni and they are quite nice.

Thanks again,
Raphael Lasar
Matawan, NJ

I’ve been doing a little bit of hopping and trialsing on my 20 inch freestyle lately. I have a Yuni frame, Torker hub, single walled aluminum rim, and both torker and BE cranks. With lower tire pressure, it’s easy to hop/jump up onto objects. I only bent my cranks after doing some drops where I landed too hard. The rim has held up fine, even though I have bottomed it out with only a 1.95 wide tire. I think a freestyle Yuni with a BFR rim would be penty stong enough, poviding you can resist doing drops with it. Since I can’t resist the urge to do drops, I’m building up a trials uni this winter.

good luck… Joe

freestyle unis in my hubmbe opinion should have:

suzue hub, which goes without saying.

flat crown (i have a sem xl frame), if you dont get a flat crown you will regret it one day. the long neck sem xl frames are beautiful, but only neccacary if your doing loads of advanced standup, or are realy tall. the yuni/numbus frame is good too.

steel cranks (like bycycle euro) or high quality aluminium, (never lasco alu. which should only be used for small kids who dont jump)
i have cheapo steel ones. 125mm is standard but many advanced riders use 110mm 105mm or even 90mm.

a high quality 2.125 bmx rim. i have a primo hula hoop, which is top quality. if you get a cheapo one one it will get bent when you do floor mounts.

you can pay extra for 48 spokes if you want, but dont make it top of the list. i got 48

primo “the wall” tyres are good too, but people say good stuff about maxxis hookwoms too. i have a primo.

the model you mention sounds good. but i prefer the sem frame.

i jump over people regularly on my freestyle uni. it has has no problems except needing the spokes tightened once.

whilst you can do most freestyle tricks on a trials uni, its not the right tool for the job. the cranks are too long and the pedals hurt.
i miss my freestyle uni which is currently on the other side of the atlantic. ive been practicing on my trials uni a lot, its just not smooth or gracefull. infact i’m going to get 105mm cranks ass soon as i get back to scotland.

have fun.