I need recommendations on buying a unicycle!! Please.

I learned this summer on an old discarded 20". I said I wasn’t going
to buy until I learned…

Now I’m ready to upgrade. Here are a few things to consider for your

  1. I’d like to learn to juggle and uni. Is there a limit to tire
    size to do this and do other things.

  2. I’ll be using it for some road riding (touring) and minor off road
    like dirt roads so. Maybe for excersize to replace jogging.

  3. I’m 39 years old 5’ 8"

  4. I have from $150 to $300 to spend.

  5. So I need a general all purpose uni to do all these different

Questions also…

a. Should I get a 24" or a 26" or higher?

b. What size cranks? (I may be riding some hills but nothing that

Thank You!

Norman Patterson

For touring you should get a bigger wheel because then you have to pedal less. For juggling 20" would probably be ideal because it allows for better turning and manouverability. And for the trails 24" would be good. The size of the cranks doesn’t really matter (to me at least, might want a second opinion on it) unless you are doing some trails and fair sized drops.

is this spooky or what. I too am 39, 5’7" and learned on a 20 before moving on to something bigger. Are you in fact me from an alternate reality? ;0)

This year, I decided to move on from my trusty 20 inch which had done me proud for 15 years. I bought a 26 inch MUni, then a new 20 inch Nimbus, then a 24 inch Nimbus, then a Coker. So that might qualify me to answer your question, but not to be a financial advisor! :0)

Wheel size. Bigger wheel = more speed per rpm. BUT as the sizes get bigger, an extra couple of inches makes less difference:

For a 4 inch difference:
A 24 inch is 20% ‘faster’ than a 20 but
a 28 inch is only 16.6% ‘faster’ than a 24.

For an 8 inch difference:
A 28 is 40% ‘faster’ than a 20, but
A 36 (Coker) is only 28% ‘faster’ than a 28.

Bigger wheels roll better, but are harder to steer.

Bigger wheels need longer cranks to achieve the same ‘gearing’ for hills.

If I had only 1 unicycle, it would either be a 24 (the ideal compromise between the manoeuvreability and idleability of a 20 and the ‘speed’ and rolling ability of a 26) OR a Coker (because nothing else is quite as… well nothing else is a Coker.)

UK prices, a pair of cranks = £10. US = a few dollars. Don’t feel obliged to decide now. A 24 inch wheel with 150mm cranks will do all you want it to, and you can always wallop some shorter cranks on for fun now and again. I change my cranks from time to time just to change the feel of the uni.

It is unlikely that your next uni will be your last. For maximum versatility, I’d get a 24 inch Nimbus/Yuni or similar, with 150 mm cranks, put some half-decent platform pedals on it, and ride it lots. Then I’d know if my NEXT uni should be bigger, faster, fatter-tyred or whatever.

ON MY 24 with 150 mm cranks, I climbed about a mile of track at a posted gradient of 1:7. and I have ridden some pretty difficult forest tracks and the like. On the same uni with 110s, I happily ride rough but level terrain with occasional short steep hills, and 5 mile rides are easily achievable.

P.S. Specifically for the juggling… A 24 with 150s idles perfectly easily. I have seen people juggling on a 24. One bloke told me he preferred it to the 20 as it is more ‘stately’ or less frantic.


You want 4 differnt cycles -increase your budget… or prioritize your desires. I’d agree that a 24" cycle would be the best ‘Jack of all Trades’ cycle.


Re: I need recommendations on buying a unicycle!! Please.

Rammstein is correct in that your varied intended use of your unicycle
implies somewhat conflicting requirements for wheel size. I think that
also holds for crank size. For road touring you’ll want short cranks
(not more than 125 mm but depends on wheel size), but for “serious”
off-road you’ll want them to be at least 150 mm. However, your “minor”
offroad could still do with 125 mm I guess.

If you insist on buying a general purpose unicycle, I think a 24"
wheel would be best, with a non-knobbly tyre of about 2" wide. For
crank length, 125 mm (5") would be the best compromise. This is more
or less the unicycle I bought 2 years ago as a general purpose
machine. Now that I have a MUni, and am “planning” for a large wheel
(Coker) and a 20" skill-builder, the general purpose uni is deemed to
become almost obsolete. It fits all purposes a little but is ideal for
none. However, it has served me well for quite some time.

Good luck,

Klaas Bil

If you had this signature, I have forged it.

You have conflicting needs which are nicely covered by your budget if you are in the US. You say you have 150-300 smackers? Buy a 20" Torker, a 24" Torker or Yuni or United, and you’ll have enough left over for a Viscount saddle of your color choice and a Miyata seat and all the required stuff to convert it to an airseat.

The United or Yuni frame in 24" will handle bigger tires than the Torker if you want to start some off-road shenanigans. All of the frames have main cap bearings now, I think. If they don’t, get a 24" frame that does. Heck, the United 24" adult trainer already has a Viscount seat with it, main cap bearings, and costs $114.

If you’ve got the bucks, why not buy both sizes? If you’re lucky, the 20" will have 5" cranks and the 24" will have 6" cranks and you can swap them around. Just like the two new saddles you will have.

If you have any change, send it to me.

The heck with it! Go to semcycle.com and get a 24 incher.
I am 40 years old, and I figure you will have a lot of fun on it both before and after you graduate to Cokerdom. A 24 incher will build your skill level and you can juggle on it.
If you would like to know more about how a 40 year old rider approaches this sport, search this site for carjug and coker or better yet search jugglingdb.com for carjug and coker. The results are embarassing, but honest. carjug@yahoo.com