I Must Have The Best All Purpose Unicycle

I know that a lot of you folks out there own several unicycles. You have one or two for freestyle, one for trials, one for commuting, five for MUni, one that just sits in the corner looking pretty because you don’t want to take it out because… well… it looks too pretty. But that’s another rant.

Anyway, I really need to get a new unicycle. it’s on my to-get list. Money is starting to become no object. I’ll save and save till I die to get the best all purpose unicycle.

So tell me, is there a unicycle that exists that is perfect for freestyle, trials, MUni, and all the above? If not what is the closest thing to it. It has to be durable and last me for SEVERAL YEARSA because frankly, I can’t pony up the money whenever I get a whim to buy another unicycle like those of you with careers a wife and a mortgage (well….).

Anyway, no matter how much I think I know you people on these forums know volumes more than I could ever, possibly, and I was hoping you could guide me to help me make the right choice.

Minor notes:
Trials is my calling I feel, but I do like freestyle. I have no Mountains in IL so I don’t think MUni is my thing. I Uni to work (quite a distance) but speed is no concern, I enjoy a nice slow pace anyway. And I know this may sound a little shallow, but it has to look good. That’s all. Thanks for your help.

your screwed,read my sig line… :sunglasses:

the only thing i can say to you is stay away from the extremes,like a 20 inch and a Coker. multi-purpose is tough on a uni,but a 24 is the most likely canidate.

ive settled on a 20" freestyle, a 20" Trials and a 29er.

one thing to remember is the funnest part of a MUni ride is the trials part (20" is better) and the distance part of a muni ride is better served on a larger wheel (26" or 29")the 24 inch seems to be favored by most for double duty but the 24" is the “jake of all trades but the master of none” its slower in some places and hevier in others.

i personaly dont like the weight of a 24x3 for a distance ride regardless of terrain.

enjoy brooding over this,im just getting done with it…

just some random thoughts thoughts…

Re: I Must Have The Best All Purpose Unicycle

The problem you have to solve here is not how to find the perfect single uni, but rather how to eliminate those other barriers you mention to being able to purchase multiple unis. If those with a wife and mortgage can solve the problem, so can you.

“Specialization is for insects.” - Robert A. Heinlein

“Specialization is for insects…and unicycles.” - Tom Blackwood

For trials, you’re going to want a 20" with a fat tire;
For freestyle, you’re going to want a 20" with a narrower tire;
For commuting, you’re going to want at least a 26" (29 or Coker would be better).
So what you need is a unicycle with changeable wheels and probably a changeable frame as well to fit the different sizes. You’ll also want a wider hub for trials and Muni, and a narrower one for commuting and freestyle. Oh, and for commuting you’re going to want shorter crank arms, and longer for trials and MUni.
So my suggestion is to get a shapeshifting uni. Or many unicycles.
I’ve got a 24" that I used for all the above. That would probably be your best bet. As for what kind, you’re on your own. Get something with a flat crown, but that’s about all I can tell you. Good luck, and when you discover the “holy grail” of unicycles, tell me too!

only listen to yourself! dont get thoughn into someone elses fantacy

Here’s a suggestion which doesn’t quite fit your criteria, but which might be near enough:

Decide which discipline suits you most - sounds like trials.

Now buy the best trials uni you can afford, because if trials is your main thing, you won’t want to compromise.

NOW you need an all purpose uni for a bit of freestyle, MUni, commuting etc. But none of these is your main thing, so you can happily accept a bit of compromise. right?

So get a reasonable quality 24 - something like a Nimbus 2 (Yuni 2).

Now fit a medium section tyre. Mine has a 1.95 slightly knobbly tyre. It works for MUni but isn’t too cumbersome for road use.

Now buy two sets of cranks: a long pair for MUni, and a short pair for scooting about at high speed. Failing that, 110 or 125 mm would make a good all purpose size. Choose 125s if you think you’ll do more MUni; choose 110s if you think you’ll mainly be scooting around. Put some reasonable pedals on - grippy, but less aggressive than pure MUni pedals.

You will find that you get a sense of achievement from successfully riding off road on a UNi which isn’t really specialised for that application, and an equal sense of achievement from riding fast or far on a general purpose uni.

I’ve had a lot of fun on my basic 24, and have used the same frame, wheel and tyre for all purposes, changing the cranks between all sizes from 89mm to 150mm.

If you get a 24" then consider getting it with a 28" frame as it will enable you to switch in a bigger wheel if you change your mind later.

Mikes suggestion of a nimbus/yuni 24" is a good one, they’re reasonably cheap but good quality.

I use my 24" Muni for getting around on as well as learning a few tricks. The 3" tyre is considered by many to be not ideal for riding on streets and roads but it does have the advantage of a being good for rolling up and down curbs.

Consider the terrain of your home town, mine is very hilly so a Muni has a good ratio for the hills.

If you do get a nimbus 24 with a 28" frame you’ll also have the option of using a normal 24" tyre or some of the 24x3 tyres (Muni); I think to fit in a 3" Gazz you’ll have to get the flat topped frame option?

For my first non 20" uni I was convinced I wanted to do distance stuff and got a Nimbus 28". However I soon got a 24" wheel and 3" tyre to switch in and have barely used the 28" since.

It’s difficult to tell what you’re going to be into until you’ve put in a fair amount of riding time, so it’s worth keeping your options open.

As onewheeldave mentioned, I’d go with a Yuni Muni 24x3
Here in the U.S., however, you can purchase a 26" Yuni frame instead of the 28" to gain the required clearance for a Gazz
I have the 24x3 Gazz on a 26" Yuni Muni and also ride a 28’r

I have, for me, my “perfect, one unicycle.” I have several rides but the most versatile ride that I’ve created is this:

26” Sem XL
Odyssey Cranks - 155mm, I think
Suzue hub
Mavic 540 downhill rim built with 4 cross DT spokes
Bulletproof pedals
KH saddle
26” Fireball tire

This unicycle has taken 3 foot drops, countless stairs (up and down), local, neighborhood tours and countless trips to the market and other errands. I use it to keep-up with my wife as she runs and even spin-up to ride with the Cokers in our group. If I had to have only one – this would be it for me.


You should get something that you think will work, but definitely save up for more. I think that 24" is a good idea, but trials wheels are always (as far as I know) 20". You can do trials on a 24", so get something that is 24.

The problems as I see them:

Big wheels are fast, but heavy and weak.

Tyre clearance is good for muni, but sucks for some freestyle skills

IMHO a good compromise would be a 24" yuni.
A fat offroad tyre would make it a good muni. Kris Holm did some pretty decent trials on a 24" with a fireball tyre ;). And 24" wheels are fine for freestyle too.
The biggest compromise would be the speed when commuting.

I don’t know what would be a good all round tyre.


I think i have decided on a 20". Maybe, i dunno, i’m not sure. I have currently a 24" and it has done me pretty well so far so i’m wondering if i should just stick the the 24" or use the uni i have now exclusively for commuting and just get a 20".

That fireball tire looks pretty good as an all around tire if i got the 24".

Do you think that if i bought another uni of unicycle.com and bought that tire would they put that tire on the uni since i don’t know crap about construction? then the next question is… what uni?

If you do go with the 24" Yuni, I’m pretty sure that unicycle.com would swap out the tire before they deliver the uni. I bought my 28’r from them and they swapped out the cranks for shorter ones for me. If you do decide to go for a 24x3 Yuni, I would strongly suggest to upgrade to a 26" frame for $10 more. That way if you decide to get into muni later, a Gazz will fit with sufficient clearance.
If you decide to go with a 20", see if unicycle.com still has the Summit for $249. That looks like one sweeeeeeet deal on a 20" trials or freestyle uni!

20" will work for Trials and MUni, but they are almost useless for commuting. I would suggest a 24 or 26 inch one with a wide tire.

Re: I Must Have The Best All Purpose Unicycle

thought that bore some repeating

Oh, okay. A 20" will work for you, then.

Get a skateboard and a bicycle.

But no one has mentioned the most useless bicycle you will ever set eyes on: The Huffy Monkey Bike (or similar ). It can’t go fast, it’s no good for technical or trials terrain (solid nylon tire), and it might get you looked at more than on a uni. It also hurts one’s knees and back on a ride lasting more than about five minutes. It is, however, quite good at the downhill stuff, provided it is on pavement and you don’t turn too much. BTW, it has six-inch wheels.
Here is a pic of the amazing useless monkey bike. (scroll down to bottom of page)

I mean, in keeping with Mr. Harper’s rapid change of subject.

Re: I Must Have The Best All Purpose Unicycle

The answer to your question is no. Or we’d all be riding just one unicycle, and have lots more space in our garage/car/cupboard/bedroom/etc.

Similarly there is no perfect car, no perfect boat, and no perfect bicycle. Case in point. I have a 1989 Miyata Triplecross bike. It’s a “cross” bike, which means it’s a little bit road and a little bit mountain. Kind of a klunky road bike with skinny, 700c knobbies. As it turns out, it’s a perfect ride-to-work bike. But it’s a lousy road bike, and an even more lousy mountain bike.

When you compromise, you have to give up the differences that make the dedicated cycles better at doing their jobs. Thus you can “get by” in a multitude of riding situations, but you won’t be able to do as much, and it won’t be as fun.

I think the fun part matters a lot. I would never, ever ride a unicycle to work if I didn’t have a Coker. It’s too far for a smaller wheel (8 miles), and even too far for my hard-tire 45". But on the Coker, it’s actually fun!

Same thing with Trials. You can do trails on any unicycle. But on most, it’s only a matter of time before it will fold. Or if it’s a nice 24x3 with Profile axle, for instance, it’ll hold up fine, but be a lot heavier to hop around with.

Things you need for various types of riding:

  • Trials: Strong! Large volume, grippy tire, good-leverage cranks, handle

  • Freestyle: 20" preferred, tight frame clearances around tire, low fork with good foot support, non-knobby tire, relatively short cranks, no handle

  • MUni: 24" or 26", wide knobby, long cranks for leverage (mountains not required)

  • Commuting: Something bigger than 24", short cranks for speed or ease on knees

What is “Q-town,” anyway? Most of us don’t live in Ill. Remember, MUni is not about mountains. That’s why George Peck always preferred to call it “Rough Terrain Unicycling.” I started doing it in Livonia, Michigan. Q-town can’t be more flat than Livonia; at best you’re equal.

If your first love is Trials, you need a strong wheel with parts that won’t break, preferrably 20". This will be bad for most other uses, including freestyle. But you mentioned you already had a 24". If you get one of the white knobby tires from Tommy Miller (The Unicycle Factory, 765-452-2692), you’ll have an all-around uni you can use for tricks, light commuting, and Illinois-style trail riding as well. Most of my early MUni was done on 24" street unis. The white knobbies will fit a Miyata or other narrow frame.

If that’s what you do with your existing 24", you can focus on a dedicated Trials uni that will be much more fun to use than a “compromise” machine.

Don’t plan on swapping wheels and cranks. Changing out wheels is a big pain, and requires whole duplication of axles, cranks, etc. You might as well buy another uni. And changing out of cranks is not recommended, as there is wear and tear every time you do it. Plus, all that mechanic work every time you want to do some different riding will suck all the fun out of it. You’ll avoid certain types of riding because you won’t want to do the work to “convert” your cycle. And, though riding a “generalized” unicycle can still be plenty fun, you’ll get more out of an activity if your equipment is better suited to it.

All of that said, if I could only have one unicycle it would probably be a 24" with a wide, semi-knobby tire. I could to tricks (not as well as the 20"), go places (not as fast as with a bigger wheel), ride trails (not quite as easily as with a Gazz tire), and do light Trials (but I’d have to be careful not to break it). I don’t do Trials that much though, so 24" would work for me.