I bought the Onza 24" from Unicycle.uk.com three weeks ago, and I love it. I haven’t had experience with any other munis, so I can’t compare it directly with other models. The KH24 came out in the UK just after I’d ordered my Onza, which was good as then I wasn’t tempted to spend another £25 to get it, so I didn’t have to make the choice! They are probably both about the same strength, with splined cranks etc. Phil will no doubt be willing to wax lyrical about the shininess of the chrome cranks (they are indeed very shiny). Both the KH and the Onza have only a small (and expensive) selection of alternative crank lengths, but I find the 165mm ones fine for my riding (I’ve covered over 170 miles in three weeks, and it’s only a bit annoying when you’re going fast down a road on a hill that the cranks are fairly long. Someday I’ll get a big wheel with little cranks, and then I’ll know the difference!). The main difference as far as I see is that the KH has an extra bar from the seat post up to the handle, which I guess would be good for mounting a brake handle on? The Ozna has brake mounts, but I don’t know where they expect you to put the handle. Brake-using people: do you have to have an extra bar from the seat post? I’ve never been sure how you’re meant to reach the brake handle.
The KH24 has a 3" tire and a wider rim. The Onza has only a 2.6" tire.
If you’re doing muni on trails with roots, rocks, logs, stunts, steep downhills, and other challenging terrain then the 3" wide tire is the way to go. If you’re doing muni on easier cross-country trails then the 2.6 would be OK. The slightly shorter cranks on the Onza are also better suited for XC trail use, but 165 is still a bit long for fast XC riding.
For me the choice would be very easy. Get the KH24. The 3" tire makes all the difference. The 3" tire has more cush. The 3" tire rolls over rocks and roots better. The 3" tire lands drops better. The 3" tire has more bounce for jumping. The 3" tire has more traction. The 3" tire has more of everything that is good (except for lighter weight).
The Onza will take a 3" tire, so Roger says, but when I asked them in their shop (I live near Onza) they didn’t know if it did or why they put 2.6" on it, I suppose someone does just not in the shop. I also quizzed them on the lack of a brake handle mount which received puzzled looks (I think they hadn’t though of it!) but it was no concern for me as I have one on air seat which will be transfered when I get one. I’d like slightly shorter cranks but I’ll get used to them. Still got to get some money together though and there is that GPS as-well, Muni can be expensive
I like the KH24 but prefer the Onza but both are well made.
The downside being that as they are so amazingly shiny and cool looking you’ll be doing your utmost to keep them that way. If it’s a choice between you or the unicycle crashing down a steep wooded hillside after a UPD, prepare to eat leaves. I did, it hurt, but the cranks remain shiny…
I’d get the onza, but think about getting a 3" tyre to go with it.
I have the Qu-Ax 24, an I must say that the Onza is a better choice because the Qu-Ax weight 8,5kg!
Also the crown of the frame of the quax trials is really wide, so it hurts often when it hits the knee.
It’s a very noticeable difference between the 2.6" tires and the 3" tires. The difference in the ride going from a 2.1" XC tire to a 2.6" tire is similar to the ride going from a 2.6" to a 3" tire. Going to a 3" tire from a 2.6" is a big jump.
With a 3" tire it is necessary to have a wide rim. The Alex DX32 is the narrowest rim I’d use with a 3" tire. The Onza wheel is using a skinnier rim that isn’t going to work as well with a 3" tire. If the rim is too skinny you’ll get more tire foldover when doing things like sidehops uphill or sidehops over log or up on to things like benches. Tire foldover is bad. The 3" tires need a wide rim like the Alex DX32 or Sun Doublewide.
It looks to me like the Onza was put together to be lighter and for faster and aggressive XC style riding. The KH24 is heavier and is more set up to handle the freeride style of riding. The KH24 can still do XC (the XC race at NAUCC this year was won using a 3" tire) but it’s going to be a little bit heavier.
You can’t really compare the Onza 24 and the KH24 directly because there is such a big difference between the 2.6 and 3.0" tires- as has been indicated here, they are good for different purposes. Regarding other parts of the uni, there are a few things to consider.
On the frame, do you want to do one foot tricks like gliding? If so, square fork crowns are necessary, and both the KH and Onza’s qualify here. But the problem with square fork crowns is that the square edge has the potential to bash your knees a bit more. The solution is to make the frame as low profile as possible. This is why the KH uses ovalized tubing and a low profile flat fork crown- the intent is to keep it out of the way as much as possible.
Also, the quality of bearing housings is important. Machined bearing housings (like the KH frame) are more expensive but are way more convenient, more durable, and are better on the bearings.
A 27.2mm seatpost is really nice because the larger diameter is stronger and better resists twisting. Both the Onza and KH have this.
Frame weight is also a factor, but probably the least important as the frame is a small proportion of the total weight of the uni.
Both the Onza and KH hubs are good. The pinch-style KH is extremely strong and is also good because it will never creak like press-on style cranks, and the Onzas are slightly lighter and have a cleaner design without the pinch bolt.
The Onzas cranks have 1/2" Q factor while the KH cranks don’t. Whether this is good or bad is personal preference. Low Q-factor is better for freestyle (not relevant here) and reduces the chance your cranks will hit the ground while cornering, and some people just like it better. Q-factor is better for pedal grabs on rounded objects and also reduces the chance of bashing your ankle bones on the axle. However, the 2004 KH cranks are improved from the 2003 version in that the protuberance at the axle has been removed. I’m using them now instead of Profiles and haven’t had any problems with bashed anklebones.
Brakes are really nice if you do lots of downhill riding, but I wouldn’t worry about this if you mostly do cross-country riding.
Unless someone from Onza chimes in I say go with Kris’s KH24. Partly because I love mine, and partly because the guy who designed it didn’t just slam his competition to make himself look good. To me that says a lot about his character, which tells me a lot about his products.
Yes he is a wise man.
It’s the inside width of the rim that is the important dimension for determining if the rim will work with a fat tire. Lots of manufacturers and retailers will give you a rim dimension without specifying if it is the inside dimension or the outside dimension. Arrrg! I hate that.
The Alex DX32 has an inside dimension of 32mm. It does an OK job with the 3" Gazz tire. It’s about as narrow as I would go with a 3" tire. Anything less will cause handling problems and foldover problems with a 3" tire.
I’m not sure what rim is on the Onza muni. It looks like it’s not wide enough for a 3" tire. I’d rather see the Alex DX32 rim on it. You can still put a 2.6" tire on the DX32 rim so the people concerned with weight can put on the 2.6 tire and a lighter weight tube.
As far as I can measure it, my Onza 24" rim has an outside width of 33mm. I can’t easily measure the inside width without taking the tyre off, but it has ~ 3mm wide edges, so the internal width is about 27mm. I don’t know of that’s just a silly width to try a 3" tyre with, but the 2.6" Kenda that it comes with is fine for me so far. Bigger tyres might be more bouncy, but then if I practice on this one, when I ever get a 3" I’ll be even more amazing (or that’s the plan…).
The only clue to the origin of the rim is a sticker saying “Onza - made by Alex”. Either this is the name of the machinist, or this is a rebranded Alex rim, rather than a Combat.
Here are a few close up photos for your examination…
Roger says it’s the same rim as the Combat. They’ve been putting 3" tires on the Combat so it appears to be doable. It’s still a skinnier rim than I’d be willing to use with a 3" tire, but it can be done.
There are more important features for a muni than being light weight. Having parts that hold up and are suitable for the type of riding you’re doing is more important than light weight.
In any event, once you put a 3" tire on the Onza the difference in weight between the Onza and the KH would probably be 1/2 kg or so. What makes the stock Onza so light is the 2.6" tire and the lighter frame. 3" tires are heavy (something like 1500 g for the Gazzaloddi) and the heavyweight DH tubes for the 3" tires are heavy too. The frame on the Onza is less weight than the KH frame, but I don’t know how much lighter the Onza frame is.