Kh27.5

I’m an early adopter. I am moving abroad and wanted to replace my 24 muni with something a bit faster and with a better tire selection. Goal: get a modern, light muni that can double as a short commuter when space is an issue.

I had a KH29 in the past with an Oracle hub and inboard disc rotor. I sold it because I found it not agile enough. I felt it was a jack of all trades yet a master of none. This time around I was looking at the new KH26 but found tire selection/availability for it apart from the duro to be lacking. The duro is great, but heavy and sluggish for at least 50% of the riding I do with my muni.

I went for the KH27.5 understanding that I am a smaller rider (5’7"). Many, like Kris himself, advised that a 26 may be more to my liking. That may be the case, but again I was concerned with tire selection and “future-proofing” my investment as well. Also, I don’t do crazy technical muni and after talking with the folks at UDC, I felt like the newer plus sized tires have improved to the point where my past experience on an older KH29 might not even be relevant. I swapped out the freeride seat for the street seat. It appears these KHs no longer come with the Zero, as Kris has had some design issues with it. The majority of people don’t want it stock. Apparently he’s redesigning it.

The uni has stock 127/150 Spirit cranks.

I took delivery of the uni and it took a while to set up because I was busy, had to cut down the seatpost. The brake mounting is a bit annoying because the screw that tightens it down to the mount lies on top of the brake handle base, so you can’t center it after mounting. You have to attach it then mount the entire unit to the seat. Glad I have a bike work stand.

My initial impressions after riding it around outside, jumping (rolling over curbs, but not on the trail yet) is that it’s much like a 29er, but as expected a bit more agile, and with a beefier tire stiffer and more shock absorbent. The 150s seem a tad too short for major leverage, but I suspect the 165s would hamper inertia up hill. Leverage-wise it feels a lot like 137s on a 24.

One thing noticeable is the weight. For a uni this beefy it sure is light as a feather to pick up. I haven’t weighed it yet, but it feels like it’s probably lighter than my old Oracle 24.

Depending on the kind of riding you do a muni rider my size or shorter might be a bit more comfortable on the 26. But unicycles are by nature major compromises. I look forward to taking this baby on the trail and posting more. I do worry it’s a bit too big for my purposes and that I should have gone for a 26. I guess that would be my fault for not listening to Kris, but I really wanted a lighter tire. I have a feeling, though, if I had gone with the 26 I would have always wondered about the 27.5. So I plan to stop worrying and start riding more.

Looking forward to adding more impressions here when I get out on the trail.



Excellent review, looking forward to hearing about how you like it on the trails.

OK got to ride it around a bit today at work where we have lots of steps, big grassy hills etc. I’m getting used to it. It doesn’t seem as less agile as a 24 as you might think, though obviously it takes a bit much more to push that wheel around, especially up hill.

Jumping stair sets took a few mins to get used to. The wheel is definitely stiffer than the KH29 I used to have. Absolutely no perceptible wheel flex. Definitely easier to static hop up steps than a 29er. Rolling hops are also very doable, but take a bit more strength than on a 24. I was able to get up a very long, steep grassy hill with divets on the second try.

Seems like a pretty ideal short commuter, which you can have fun with jumping off stairs etc. at the very least.

I’m curious still, of course, how it behaves up rooty trails in the woods. It’s so rainy here, but hopefully I’ll get the chance soon.

I’d say if you are an intermediate/advanced rider and about 5’7" or above it seems pretty ideal as an all arounder. If you are shorter you may consider a 26 instead.

I also got the 27.5". My impressions are about the same. I’m 5’10"ish and the new ride definitely took me some getting used to. The only other muni I really ever ride is a 10year old 24" with 170mm cranks, so the bigger wheel and smaller cranks really threw me off. That being said, the more I ride it, the more I enjoy it. It’s light and easy enough to hop around. I haven’t tried anything too technical as the trails are still wet, but I did manage to get out 3 times. Longer cranks arrived today, so hopefully they will help ease me into the bigger wheel.

Kahunacohen, what I did with the brake was tighten it enough so it is stable but can still twist with some force. You can just twist the brake to one side to get to the bolt to adjust the tightness, and if for some reason the brake hits the ground or a rock, it should twist out of the way instead of the handle taking all the impact. Also, if you are in Silver Springs, I’m in Rockville if you ever want to ride.

If you ever want to try 26" you can still easily fit it in this frame, so not that much lost :slight_smile: It is much harder the other way round if you want to keep the big tire.

The kh26 2015 with a Knard 3" would have been a good choice too since it’s half the weight of the duro, and if eventually you want to put a geared hub it becomes a killer machine (that’s what I have).
The true external diameter of the tire is 27.5 when inflated at 30PSI (road), and for real muni and DH if you inflate it at 15 PSI it behaves as a fat tire.
The knard tire is expensive and maybe not available everywhere though.

However a 27.5 is a better choice than a 29" for you height I guess.
But don’t forget that the weight of the wheel is not the only parameter that counts in the inertia, the distance of the rim from the center of rotation counts a lot too.
Not sure that you save some inertia while using a wheel that is lighter but also bigger, but inertia has also some advantages, maybe not for muni.

yeah I seriously considered the KH26. It would probably be a better fit for me honestly. But apparently Surley is no longer sourcing tires without buying completes according to Josh at UDC, or at least it has become a lot harder to get one. That is why UDC is no longer stocking KH26 with the Knard.

That gave me some pause. I am sure you can get good 26x3 light modern tires, but nonetheless worried about sinking $800 in to a muni only to have less tire choice. Seems to me 650b is here to stay and not without reason. For two main wheel size choices on mountain bikes, 650b and 29ers make more sense for the grand majority of riders.

Anyway, the uni seems agile enough for someone my size, but I think I’ll feel like I can keep up with others on the flats. On the 24 I felt a bit like a kid out there when riding with others.

As vookash has written , there is no problem to put the 26" wheel to 27,5" frame.
I had 26" than I sold it nad bought 29" KH. I sold the 29" wheel and now I´m riding 27,5" wheel on 29" frame (it is more than 1 year now).

At first, I´ve used Maxxis High roller II 2,3", now I´m using Maxxis Chronicles 3". The plus size makes difference also on wheel diameter. If your thoughts are , that plus size is too big, maybe try normal 27,5" tyre and it would by more suitable for you. Actualy normal 27,5" is more agile around obsatacles than plus size.

I´m using QU-AX rim on KH hub (When I was lacing my wheel, there was for me no other rim with 40 mm inner width). I don´t know the weight of the 27,5" QU-AX rim, but KH should be definitely lighter and than also more agile.

Still have not gotten out in the woods, but took her for a real workout yesterday around NIH campus. Over large irregular stone steps, static hops over large stair sets, over roots, big drops etc.

This thing is great. It takes a little getting used to but it’s really very, very agile and light considering the size of the 650b+ tire and wheel. It allows you to roll over curbs or hop stuff pretty easily if you need to.

I am very impressed and thinking I made the right choice. Extremely versatile unicycle.

I’m looking to get back into unicycling. Figured I might buy this model over the 26’er.

It gets kinda confusing with so many wheelsizes nowadays :roll_eyes: . But I’m a tall guy, so I think this size will be fine for muni.

How are you liking it off-road?

To tell you the truth haven’t taken it much offroad. I just moved and had it shipped so still waiting for it to arrive. I would get this over a 26, especially if I were taller.

I ride my KH 27.5 almost exclusively off road on local mtb trails (1-2 times per week on average). I can’t say I have any complaints. After getting used to the switch from a 24" with long cranks, I’d say the 27.5 was a solid buy.

I decided to go for it :P. Municycle delivered it within 18 hours :astonished: .
I’m really liking it off-road! Wheel size seems perfect for me. The disc brake rubs slightly though. I’ll have to fix that :roll_eyes: .

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yeah it’s a good size. I’m glad I went with it over the 26 even though I’m a bit of a smaller rider.

I see this thread becomes more and more Kh27.5 - specific;):slight_smile: