L.A. area unicycle specialist

Can anyone recommend a shop in the Los Angeles area that specializes in unicycles? I would really like to be able to look at a few different models and discuss pros and cons with someone who is familiar with them. Who also might be able to put together one with specific options.
The general bike shops in my area either don’t carry any unicycles at all, or don’t have much interest in them.

Lance B

I doubt that you will find a shop that specializes in unicycles. It’s still pretty niche. You’ll be lucky to find a bike shop that carries one unicycle.

We have a southern California unicycle basketball group, but we haven’t been very active/organized lately. Look us up on Facebook. Just search for “southern California unicycle basketball”. We also do muni trips every now and then. If you post there, we could organize a game or group ride and you can try a bunch of our unicycles. I have a decent variety you can play with.

There aren’t any. Your best bet is to meet up with locals and check out what they’re riding. In North LA, this MTB group has some part-time muniiers: http://www.otbmbc.com/

Thanks for your responses guys. Although I’ve been riding off and on (mostly off) for 50 years, I’m pretty much at the beginner level, so basketball and mountain biking are a ways off. But I’d like to meet other unicyclers in the area, so I’ll check out the links.
Thanks! LanceB

LaneB, I’m probably only a couple miles from you (I’m in Porter Ranch, technically) and ride with the aforementioned OTBMBC group. I’ve been (m)uni-ing for the last two years around here and there are no good uni shops around that I’ve found. All my parts have been mail order. I do know of a place with a spoke-threading machine that might be handy some day but that’s about it.

Hi Namlak! I couldn’t find the basketball link, but I did find the OTBMTB forum. It’s great to see that there are some other uni riders in the area. I have ridden unicycles off and on (mostly off) all my life, but I’m just now getting into it again after a long absence. I wasn’t planning on doing any trail riding or mountain climbing (although I did a very small bit about 10 years ago), but watching the various videos that are posted makes me want to give it a try. I’ll have to work up to it.
You’re right, you are pretty close by in Porter Ranch. I’m in the neighborhood just west of CSUN.
I’ll follow the OTB muni calendar and come to one of the rides when I feel like I can keep up.
Thanks, LanceB

Lance, on the rare occassion that you find a uni in a store, it would be rarer yet if anyone in the store could ride worth a darn. Unis are very uncommon, hence the best products, service, and source of info will be talking with some from a unicycle store.

UDC is very knowledgeable, carries the major brands shipping is from Atlanta, but free when you buy a uni.

The best source of info about brands, models, parts, etc … is going to be found on this website, just ask away :smiley:

Some of the best unicycle coaches/teachers are crap riders. You want a bike shop guy to be able to help you with what to buy, even if he can’t ride.

That said, unless they are unicycle enthusiasts, they aren’t going to know much beyond what the components are. This is the case for 99%+ of bike shops. The nearest unicycle shop I can think of is in Toronto, Ontario. Not the Ontario down in SoCal. :slight_smile:

Have a look around online, and use the search function right here, where you’ll find endless discussions on which uni vs. which other, or at least about what wheel size to get. Literally hours of reading! :astonished:

If you lived near me I’d say c’mon over; I have about 40 unicycles in the garage but I’m in Sacramento.

Wow! That’s a lot! I’m currently riding the same 20" that I rode in elementary school. I think I’m going to switch to a 26", probably Nimbus. (But it seems odd that the ones being sold as “purpose-built” for road use are only 29" and 36".) It would be nice to try a few out (thanks for your offer, but I don’t get up to Sacramento very often), but there don’t seem to be many local options. So I’ll just “roll the dice” and buy one sight-unseen and see how it works out.
Thanks, LanceB

If you’re not going up very steep hills/terrain, get a 29’r at least.

I can climb a 7% grade (Reseda Blvd North of Rinaldi since you know the area) on a 29’r with relative ease on 150mm cranks (that also have 125mm pedal holes when I’m going on a ride without hills).

Light Muni on a 29’r is also very doable, just throw on a dirt tire.

Thanks for the recommendation, Namlak. I’m a little nervous about jumping up to a 29" from a 20". I should mention that one of the big reasons for getting back into unicycling is that I’m rehabilitating from an illness earlier this year wherein I was completely paralyzed. My leg strength has been very slow in returning. Right now after a hundred or so yards riding up and down the block in front of my house, I don’t have the strength to make it up my slightly inclined driveway. Obviously I’m hoping this will improve over time. but for now a 26" seemed like a good compromise. (This is why I was looking for a dealer that stocked different sizes, it would be nice to try one out beforehand. But I didn’t have much luck calling the shops here in the valley.) I’ll have to give it some more thought.