Here is a short review of the KH24 produced in Taiwan. The one I purchased has been slightly modified from the stock version. Here’s what I purchased.
KH24 made in Taiwan
KH Velo saddle (stock)
170 mm Cranks (stock)
Magura Break (option)
Break lever extender (upgrade)
Gazzaloddi 24x3 tire (upgrade)
Mosh Sealed Pin pedals (upgrade)
First, I should tell you about my riding history to help put into perspective this review.
I am 36 years old.
I have been riding for less than a year.
I started on a 24" United (learner model)
I’ve mostly ridden a trials Yuni to Muni with my son.
I primarily ride off-road on flat, somewhat technical trails.
[ Note: My son is 6 years old and has a 16" uni. I thought the 20" trials uni with it’s slower gearing would help make our rides more compatible. ]
I decided it was time to step up from my trials uni to a “big boy” mountain unicycle, so I climbed out of the sandbox and purchased a KH24 from unicycle.com. I called them on the telephone to place the order and to request the options and upgrades- except for the pedals which I purchased at a local shop. They mounted the break (cut down the cable length for me), added the lever extender and the Gazz tire. They had no problem complying with my requests and it was an easy purchase to make.
After the unicycle arrived I removed the parts from the box and I noticed some chips and scratches on the frame. I also noticed the metal flanges that cover the bearings were wrinkled and damaged on both side (L and R). I believe most of this was shipping damage because the seat post was not wrapped in any packing material. It must have flopped around in the box scratching anything in it’s path. I called unicycle.com and they immediately sent me a brand new replacement frame and new flanges- no questions asked. They also included a completed UPS shipping label to return the damaged parts at no cost to me. If you have ever had a question about the service provided by unicycle.com, forget about it now. They’re a fantastic, customer oriented business and will take very good care of you! I really can’t say enough good things about them.
My first impression when I pulled the wheel with the massive Gazz tire out of the box was, “holy crap!” I’ve never seen a tire quite like it and was immediately intimidated. I laughed nervously for a moment while I contemplated what I had gotten myself into.
I assembled the Muni, which consisted of adding the saddle and pedals. I was still recovering from a non-unicycle related injury so I couldn’t ride yet, but I mounted it in our family room anyway. With the saddle in it’s lowest position I couldn’t reach the pedals (I’m 5’ 10" tall (about 178 cm)). So the first task was to cut down the seat post. I did this carefully (several inches) and was finally able to test ride. BTW the frame allows for a lot of vertical adjustment of the seat post. I can lower the saddle quite low or have it quite high if I desire. Also worth mentioning is that the portion of the frame that holds the seat post has a solid bottom where it attaches to the crown of the frame, so you can’t lower the seat post down into your tire.
My first ride…
I freemounted on the first attempt and rode down my street for a moment. The first thing I noticed was that my thigh was hitting the break lever extender because it protruded so far out from underneath the saddle. I removed it and will need to cut and grind it down later (which I believe is a common practice).
The second thing that happened was that my heel was hitting the protrusion from the crank arm where it screws into the hub. It’s a strange design and I had read about riders who smacked their ankles on the protrusion while performing trials tricks, but never a heel problem. Anyway, I started to get used to it somewhat but continued to bump against it after my freemounts (prior to adjusting my feet) causing me several upd’s. I examined my shoes, the cranks and the pedals. I compared the stock Wellgo pedals to my Mosh sealed pedals. My observations were that the heel on my hiking shoes is wide, and that the Mosh pedals are longer, wider and have more aggressive pins than the Wellgo pedals. They’re generally bigger so I replaced the stock Wellgo pedals with my Mosh ones and shazaam, the problem was solved!
I went for an extended ride around the block. Riding the KH24 was my first unicycle ride in about 5 weeks. It was a pleasant way to begin riding. During my test drive I accelerated rapidly and darted from left to right seeing how far I could lean the KH24 over. I also did some hopping (180 hop twists). I have now ridden the KH24 four times.
Here are my initial impressions.
The uni is very maneuverable and handles well. I generally feel comfortable riding it and the 170mm cranks did not require getting used to.
I can get up to full speed very quickly. I thought this would be more difficult due to the added rolling resistance of the Gazz tire, but the ratio of crank length to wheel diameter makes riding very pleasant.
I cannot stop suddenly when going full speed like I can on my trials Yuni. I need a couple of rotations to slow the wheel down. I believe this is mainly due to the rolling momentum of the “big wheel”.
I can pretty much hop as well on the KH24 as I can on my trials Yuni. This was very surprising to me. I don’t know if it can be attributed to the bouncy Gazz tire or if a stock KH24 Duro tire will give the same result- but I like it!
The saddle is quite comfortable. I used an air saddle previously and they’re comparable (the air saddle may be just a little more comfortable). The KH Velo Muni handle is great too. I like the handle a lot more than the Miyata but I wish the outside edge had slightly thicker plastic. The handle allows much room for my fingers and feels rigid. I don’t think an air saddle conversion will be necessary but I may try one someday.
I can do nice rolling hops on the KH24 which is a lot fun on the Muni trail. When I come across bumps, small hills and pot holes I can spring out of them at a good rate of speed. I was never really able to do this on my trials Yuni.
Another surprise was that I can have compatible rides with King Muni-Man (my six year old). I can ride very slowly and maintain my balance quite well at the same time. I rode with the little fella yesterday and the ride went well.
The KH24 is a public attraction. Yesterday while letting King Muni-Man have a rest on the trail, several nature hikers stopped to ask questions about riding unicycles in general and particularly on trails and ice. They seemed to be attracted to the KH24 which really is a massive beast of a unicycle! As my son and I started our ride on the trail a gentleman made the coment, “Like father like son. I guess that what it takes to ride one of those things.”
Because I had to replace the frame and flanges, I had an opportunity to disassemble and reassemble the KH24. Field repairs or adjustments will be very easy to perform and require having only a couple of tools. You can take everything apart with three alen keys and a pedal wrench. How great is that! The splined cranks came off with no effort after removing the main alen bolt and loosening the other. Maintenance will be a breeze.
In conclusion I just want to say the the KH24 is a solid, well built piece of hardware. Unlike the Yuni frame, the KH24 frame (well, both of them I’ve seen) were perfectly straight and lined up exactly with the bearings during assembly. If I didn’t know any better, I wouldn’t think the KH24 was a Taiwanese production unicycle, but a precisely hand built uni instead.
It’s my belief that unless you’re in the top 10% of mountain unicyclists, the KH24.tw will exceed your expectations and out perform your skills. You really can’t go wrong with this unicycle and it’s price is outstanding!
I give it two thumbs up!