How bout some advice...

I am interested in purchasing a unicycle…the problem is I do not know a whole lot about them. I have been researching a little over the internet and ran across this forum. A bit of background:

Ex-athlete, well ex-football player, now 56 year old fat guy that still has decent hand and eye coordination. I am active, play tennis and I ride a Specialized Rockhopper and hangout with my Weim but knees not what they used to be.

I am not going to be riding trails and jumping steps. I want to cruise around downtown or stroll around on weekends, 95% pavement. That being said, I weigh 280lbs. I’m not looking to buy the best but I do not want to purchase a cheap piece that isn’t going to last. The Torker 24 LX and Nimbus II have caught my eye. I really don’t want to spend much over $200 but I want to buy one model and keep it for the long haul…does that make sense?

Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated. I went by and checked the local bike shop…they had a Sun 20 Unicycle for $99 and a Torker for 199.

Thanks for any suggestions…

The torker at your lbs (local bike shop) isn’t worth $199 you can get this one off the internet for $60 less.
The sun is probably one of those cheap pieces that isn’t going to last. Really the nimbus II is by far the best quality, with a comfy saddle (relatively speaking, no unicycle saddle is comfy) and an ISIS crank system that is stronger than the square taper crank system on a torker. Here’s the cheapest spot I know of to get a nimbus II
I like the torker lx, but I’m only about 120 lbs, so I don’t know how much weight it can handle. I’ve done 2 or 3 foot drops on an lx though and it has handled that fine. Have you looked at unicycles on UDC (unicycle dot com)?
You could consider buying a MUni (Mountain Unicycle), those should definitely be strong enough for you, but they are more expensive. Here’s the cheapest MUni that I can find.

Most unicycles support substantially more weight than they claim to. The Torker LX has a strong wheel and, for what you describe, a 24" wheel is what you’re going to want. Check Craigslist and ebay because they occasionally have good deals on slightly used unicycles. Even at 280 pounds, a 24" unicycle from the cheaper manufacturers will be OK as long as it has main cap bearings and cotterless cranks.

You may change your mind about what you anticipate your riding style to be. Regardless, buy an inexpensive new or used unicycle as a beginner. Enjoy the victory of mastering a unicycle as so many others here have done.

Knew I’d forgotten to say something!

Yes that makes sense, but you may find that a unicycle that’s suitable for learning is not necessarily suitable for keeping for the long haul. The 24" uni that I bought for learning is now collecting dust in my place and I never ride it anymore.

I would try to either borrow or buy a good used unicycle from something like Craigslist, learn how to ride on that uni and then after getting some experience buy your long haul uni you plan to keep. Ask around, there may be a unicycle club or uni riders nearby willing to lend you a uni for learning.

Be wary though, there are a lot of crappy used unis out there! There’s a reason why people say they never learned how to ride when they sell their unis.