Learning - 20" or 26"?

Wife wants to learn to ride with me. I ride a 36". She is less than amazingly athletic, and I remember my old 24" being a struggle; at the bike shop a 20 and 26 Torker Unistar are th e choices. What do you all recommend starting on?

I’d recommend the 20". Riders have more control over the smaller wheel.


I would recommend a 20". My wife tried to learn on a 24" and got frustrated fairly quickly. In hindsight I think she would have been happier with the 20".

Unless she is uncommonly tall and or long legged for a women, 20". Each size, 20" or 24" has its unique challenges and benefits to learning. For instance the 24" has a stability that the 20" doesn’t have, but a 20" is easier for making those first circles and figure eights. It also can be used comfortably in a smaller area than the 24" can.

At six feet tall, a 24" was the right choice for me, but for people less tall, I agree with those here saying 20".

If she was struggling with a 24 I would go with the 20. I would only suggest a 26 to learn on if the person is tall, would prefer to go fast, is athletic, and is not scared of a bit of road rash.

A 20 is so slow that you will pertnear always land on your feet. 26? Not so much.

Be sure to consider the crank length for the learner. A small wheel with long cranks may be too hard, as well as a larger wheel with short cranks. The crank length should be a part of your decision.


I think all the Torkers are called unistar

Are you looking at a cx ( steel rim, painful seat, cheap) an lx (much better overall build, ok seat ) or a dx (tough trials uni ) Torker ?

It’s worth finding this out, then googling to find a good price. Some bike shops will charge more for a cx Torker than you would pay for an lx online. It’s easiest to start along a wall with a 20 that has a good seat. Even if she wants a 26 in a few weeks for more speed, the 20 is still best to learn idling, backwards and stuff, so it will always be useful.

I learned on a 20 inch with 125s, and it was unbearable, my gf is learning with 114s. I tend to like the feel of a 24 in with 125s. That was what felt right when I was learning. As Carey said, the crank length is just as important as the wheel size. I do think idling was easier to learn on a smaller wheel.

she is going to get frustrated no matter what size the wheel is, but i recommend the 20

Based on my analysis of the learning experience of over 60 riders, I definitely recommend 20". It is noticeably easier to learn on a 20" than on a 24", let alone 26".