I recently came into some money to the tune of about $400. I’ve been practicing daily with my 20" Norco and can now get pretty much around my whole street in one go. The deciding factor is how much my legs burn at some point because of the amount I have to pedal. I realize I’m in terrible shape and this is being worked on (on the uni of course) but I’m looking for something bigger that I can use to get around a little more. I can freemount, turn pretty well (enough to avoid any 4-wheeled hazards), I just want to be able to go to my local Roger’s Video without having a heart attack.
I’m considering a 26", but I’m not sure if I should take the intermediate step and get a 24". I have no idea on the brand, but I really want nothing more than a distance/street uni. No tricks or anything except for the occasional hop. I’m 185lbs, 5’8", and I could invest more than initial $400.
I suggest getting a 29er. Nimbus makes a couple nice ones, but seeing as you are in Canadaland you might as well get one from Darren Bedford (bedfordunicycles.ca). Send him an email and he should be able to set you up with something awesome.
I would agree that for distance and road riding, you’re probably better off going straight to 29" than getting a 26"; a 26" is still pretty limited for distance, while a 29" with a Big Apple tire is quite a capable cruising machine. Start off with long cranks (140mm or 150mm), and replace those with 125mm or 110mm once you’re comfortable.
The 29" makes sense (and is in budget) but I’m wondering if I can make a jump from a 20" to a 29". I know it’ll be difficult and I’ll have to relearn free mounting on it, but will it be too difficult? I’m going to wait a bit before I order it because there’s still a tonne of snow everywhere anyway.
How big is the learning curve on a 29", basically?
going from 20 to 29 should not be a big deal. I do not have a 29 but when I went from a 20 to a 26 I missed the first two freemounts then never looked back. Same thing for going from the 26 to a 36. You should have no problem adjusting.
About 5 minutes. The concept of riding is the same it just feels a little different. Initially, changing between different sized unicycles feels really awkward but after a while you can change from one size to another with about 5 seconds of time to adapt.
This will not be an issue once you learn to relax. Remember to rest your weight on the seat and not on your legs. When you are comfortable with riding and can put your weight on the seat, riding becomes very easy on the legs.
That’s my problem currently. I realize I’m putting too much weight on the pedals, but when I try to relax and put more weight on the seat I have a harder time balancing. Would adjusting the seat height help this?
I got a 29" from Darren last month and the learning curve really is about 5 minutes. It will be a heck of a lot longer to learn to freemount it though! I haven’t gone to far on mine indoors (about 300 feet!) but I sure get there fast. I can’t turn yet in a small radius though.
I’d agree with Legtod2 (what the heck is a legtod anyway?) that contacting Darren is the way to go.
Get the 29er, they are sweet. I had one for a while and I really liked it. The only reason I would consider a 26 instead is because I find a 26 is about the largest you can easily take onto a bus. But a 29er works great for riding all around.
where abouts are you in Ottawa? I’m planning on having a larger group ride after I get back from vietnam, so the more people we can get the better.
you will do great on a 29. It should take you no time at all to get with it. I made the mistake of going from a 20 to 24 to 26 ( I wish I would have got a 29 INSTEAD) then to 36 (which I love). Still am considering the 29 though. So if I can learn to ride a 36 you can certainly learn a 29! Go for it!
FWIW, I learnt on a 20" then went straight to a 26x3 muni (which is very nearly the same diameter as a 29er) and found it a very easy transition - literally got straight on and rode it. Freemounting took a bit longer, but not very long. I’d agree with the other posters and say if you want to ride on the road (or even cross-country), go for a 29.
I’ve had a 36 for a year or so now and that still feels odd to me - much more different from a 26x3 or 29 than a 29 is from a 20 IMO. Probably something to do with the huge weight of the 36.