Well, having recently just completed my set (24, 29, 36) I can tell you that they are each very unique. The 36" for me wasn’t just a step up from the 29", it’s a whole different beast.
So with my limited experience and what I’ve seen, I can say:
my inseam is 32-33, and I am 6’, I still have plenty of seatpost there.
I’ve seen a lot of 36er muni the past few weeks, and they seem to hold up just fine!
I’d say a 29 can handle it, if you can sure. But that 36 just feels so much better, even if just riding a mile in the city
It can replace it only if you have no use for a smaller wheel. I like my 24 for the wider tire and the hopping obstacles, 29 for longer trails with obstacles I can roll over.
I’m newbie at 36, and my cruising speed is about 9-10mph, I’ve been riding my 29 around town a lot now, and I cruise at about 8-9mph I’d guess, I pedal a lot quicker on my 29er just because I’m more comfortable with it.
Wow! Thank you for the help Dane and John. I am definitely leaning towards the 29er for a more compact touring unicycle that can handle some technical and rugged trails.
Also, what brakes would you recommend for the KH29? I noticed a ton of magura brakes on UDC. Which ones are the best ones? And do I need them at all?
Finally, should I get the KH29 with the standard crank length or get it with something different? I will be riding primarily trails and going over some hills, but I will be using the 29 for some shorter tours (25-50 mi).
Thank you again.
I would recommend the 29 for off road use because it is much more nimble than a 36". The top cruising speed is reasonable as Dane suggests. I would get 150 cranks for off road and 125 or shorter for on road: the dual KH cranks are great. I would not put a brake on it immediately. It is not necessary most or all of the time, especially with longer cranks. After you have been riding it a while you can add a brake. I do have a brake on mine bit I do not use it much.
For longer road ride, however, I would much prefer a 36". Yeah, I could do 20 miles on a 29", but it would be more fun and less effort on a 36". You can use the 29" in a pinch and it will certainly work, but if you do a lot of road riding you will probably want a 36" eventually.
I got my KH29 for mixed muni and commuting about 3 miles. It’s been my main muni, and worked OK for riding road. Sounds like it would be a good fit for you.
Comparing to other sizes: I started muni on the 29, and now also have a 24. I prefer the 29 for muni because I prefer rolling, and the 24 just feels way too slow for me. I suppose I also like looking down on mtb’ers.
I got a Coker about a year after the 29. As soon as I got comfortable on the 36, I stopped using the 29 for any road rides. I also really like the 36 for relatively easy xc muni (mostly double track without major climbs), but would choose the 29 over the 36 for a muni focus.
Brakes: I recommend them. I don’t use them all that often, but they absolutely expand the terrain I can go down on both 29 and 36. I suggest starting with a v-brake. For less than $30 it’s a good way to find out if you like brakes. See here.
Edit: Also, I think your question is not so much which one you’ll get, but rather which one you’ll get first. Once you’re thinking about them, I suspect you’ll end up with both eventually.
I’ll weigh in since I have a 29er and a 36er and I use them both, though they’re Nimbus not KH.
I do OK with that inseam on a UDC 36 (different frame, but still…) and I have to squeeze a T7 handlebar in there. If you want a T7 or any other goop that takes up space between seat and frame, you’ll maybe want to double-check the measurements still fit for you. I understand the newer handlebars don’t take as much vertical space.
Depends on the kind of offroad you do; can’t see it being any trouble at all for zooming down fire roads and paths. Lots of people take their 36ers successfully offroad. Doing jumping or drops is more difficult for a big wheel to withstand but also very possible in moderation, plenty of people hop around on their Cokers, just be sensible.
You can certainly go that far on a 29er - you can even go quite fast on one. Shorter cranks (within reason) help, maybe you should look at some double-holed ones. But distances are more pleasant and relaxed to ride on a 36 IMO. OTOH, a 29er feels supremely nippy and agile compared to a 36, it’s much easier to break into an idle or dodge about.
This is outside my experience but the really technical offroad / natural trials riders seem to want wheels smaller than 29". If you just like to tank along trails then the 29er might actually take over for you - you can still roll over stuff and hop things on a 29er but it’s much faster in a straight line, you sacrifice some durability and bounce in return.
When I’m on my 29er and not particularly hurrying I think I cruise at 8-9mph these days, though when I was riding more regularly I probably was a few mph faster. I used to be able to ride reasonably confidently up to 15mph but that involves spinning very fast, so I needed a smooth surface and even then only did it for a short distance.
On my 36er I think I cruise maybe 2-3mph faster than the 29er. I’ve hit 17mph, which you’ll notice isn’t much faster as a top speed - not sure I’d want faster than that anyhow! But even at approximately the same speed, on a long straight road it feels smoother and easier to cruise along on the 36. The 29" feels twitchy and tiring in comparison. But the 36 gets a lot more stressful than the 29er when I don’t have the luxury of plenty of space to ride in though, e.g. in town.
I’m glad to have both; 29 is a good all-purpose tool, but I wouldn’t want to miss blasting on the 36er when it’s appropriate.
Generally I think it’s fair to say that 29ers are more flexible - you can more easily ride a wider range of things. But you can often manage the same stuff on a 36 using more skill and there’s nothing like the feel of a big wheel when it really comes into its own.
A 36er is not a muni by any stretch. It “can” be used for light duty trails and if you have the skills and nads of Terry, it can be used for more difficult terrain, but it’s a far cry from a muni. A 29er is a great crossover uni, but it’s slow on road compared to a 36er. I think it’d be fair to say that they are not comparable.
I have all sizes of unis and my every day ride is a 29er, my rough rider and bad weather uni is a 26er, and my 36er is for road. If you wanted a bike for touring, would you get a mountain bike? No, of course not, which is sorta like asking about a 29er for touring. Sure, people tour on everything and anything but if you have a choice, a 36er is the best for touring because it is the most stable, tracks true for miles, takes some of the strain out of riding, so you can go further.
Get a 36er and see if it gets enough use, no need for a 29er is you already have a muni. In the end you’ll need a quiver of unis if you want to ride road and trail. I have six unis, in the process of selling my 36er to buy a 26 guni; I just don’t ride road often enough…
Thanks for your help everyone! I decided to order the 29er for my offroad expeditions. I will probably get a brake, but for now I just ordered it without.
What 29er did you decide to get?
I have a KH 29 and I love it, running QuAx 170’s (lightweight) and an Ardent 2.4, great uni for just about everything, very quick and flickable.
Get it built up with a Nimbus hub if you can…
If you really wanna go big, consider the Nimbus Oregon, it comes set up with a Larry 26 x 3.8, but the frame can accomodate the largest 29er tire and because it’s a disc brake you can swap wheels, so two wheels and only one uni, nice!
Hey Ben! I heard about the Oregon! A guy at UDC was telling me how awesome that uni is. I ended up getting the KH29 and I just signed up for a 37 mile road tour. It will be challenging, but it is fully supported and I am in good shape.
Here is the route: http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/26259220
It is a ADA tour de cure ride with lots of hills.
I was curious about the Nimbus Oregon and looked for more information but I can find none. Can’t find it on the UDC site or the Nimbus site. Anybody have a link for more information?
The Nimbus Oregon doesn’t come out for another few weeks.
You have to search back through the UDC blog about six months and you’ll see Josh posing with the prototype (green, yellow, white).
It’s a chromoly V frame, disc bake mounts, chromoly disc hub 127mm wide (standard hubs are 100mm), frame width and height will accomodate the biggest 26" and 29" tires (Dissent and Larry). The container was delayed, should be here this month, a dozen or so Oregons are on the container, most are already claimed. Extra hubs will be ariving later in the summer. There may be a 100mm disc hub in the works… This is all second hand info from talking with Josh.
Not everyone is going to clamor for a Larry outfitted muni, but given that you can run a 3" duro on the same rim as well as build up an extra 24 or 26 wheel and swap out on the same uni, this is a very sweet set up.
Get a Big Apple so you don’t burn out the tread on your mui tire. Does the KH 29 come with the Ardent now? Great tire, been running mine happilly for the past couple months, best tire I have ridden on a 29er.
I’m one of the people who doesn’t like a 29’er. It is too slow for the road, and generally a little too big for offroad. The offroad that you can do on a 29’er can also be done on a 36er. My opinion is to get the KH36; eventually you may want to do longer rides, and the 36 is more suited for it than the 29er.
Also, I’m 5’6" (or a little bit under that) and I ride the KH 36 just fine. I did cut down the seat post tube slightly; maybe 1/2" or so.
Well sure, it can also probably be done on a giraffe or a BC wheel. The 29er can most definitely be used for hardcore muni, the gap between 29" and 36" is huge. I’ve done trails on my 29" that I would be scared shitless to do on my 36.
Since the OP has already made his decision I guess it’s ok to go off on a tangent.
Well sure, but then there were probably sections of the same trails that would’ve been more fun on an even smaller wheel. I’ve yet to go on a ride that was perfect for a single wheel size over the whole length so I think it comes down to finding the best compromise for you and where you ride (though that’s not to say that the compromise isn’t part of the fun).
I rode a 24" (most muni) and 29" (light muni and mixed rides) for over a year but recently moved to a 26" (most muni) and 36" (light muni and mixed rides) because I found those wheel sizes to offer a better compromise (i.e. more fun for more parts of the ride) for my riding.
I completely agree, maneuvering a 36er on tight terrain, often at low speeds or in a stall, that is total no-go where I ride a 29er. But if you have some nice flowing single track with minimal obstacles, a 36er could be fun.
I have owned a 36 for over a year and I rarely find a reason to take it out, so this begs the question of what I “need”. For 75% of my riding, a 29er is fine, only when things get hairy do I need a fatter tire or a shorter wheel.
I find the 29er to be the most versatile for speed and fine control, maybe not great at either, but very usable for most single track and bearable for the flattter stuff.
I have a 26er guni being built, I did at one point contemplate a 29er guni, but decided that a 29er in high gear would not be useful in many places I ride. But, I may change my mind once the 26er shows up, could be that I have gotten overly used to the ride quality of my 29er.
The same could be said about the gap between the 24" and the 29". If you are truly riding hardcore muni, then a 24 or 26 is probably a better size. It’s my opinion, but I just don’t see the 29’er as a useful size; it is too slow for the street, and too big for truly hardcore muni. And for “soft” offroad (or even mildly difficult offroad), a 36 can usually be used. This is just my opinion, and i’m also really comfortable on the 36.
If someone is looking at getting a 24, 29 and 36, it may better suit them to get a geared 24, which can simulate the 36, ride a lot of the same stuff as the 29er, and drop to low gear for the really tough muni. FWIW, I broke my 24" frame before my Schlumpf geared hub, so the hubs are quite durable (granted, I don’t do big drops on it).