Looking for advice on what I should now buy - 24" for commuting

Just a hundred meters short of my final ride for a long time, on the morning I underwent surgery, I managed to break the shaft of my trusty steed. Admittedly it had done over 12,000km but it was still a surprise…

I now need to consider replacing it with a better one,but with similar specs in terms of wheel and cranks.

I have trolled around. Most on line sites do not mention the cranks length. My old steed has 154mm cranks and I do not want to go short with these. It has a 24" wheel and a relatively thin 1.75" and I also want to stick with this.

I am looking for something with splined hub, maybe a little less weight than my chrome steel Nimbus (the original, not the II) with maybe an alloy frame and ally wheels but, other than the splined hub, these are not deal breakers.

I am favorably disposed to Torkers on the basis of good quality at the best price, but the hand grip width at the forks crown is little less than my four fingers. And they don’t seem to do splined cranks. And in view of the amount of time I spend on unis I am not restricted to low price.

What is is there out there? Alternatively, where are some sites that will give sufficient specs of the various models.

(Pls don’t bother with well intentioned suggestions to move me to a different spec like wheel size or crank length - there are reasons why the specs I have described are right for me.)

And just to prove that I did indeed break a perfectly good shaft…

UDC AU seems to spec their unis well. Since you seem to know what you’re looking for I’d start there.

Since you want an ISIS hub commuter my first inclination would be to recommend the Nimbus II 24":

It’s spec’d with 125mm cranks but UDC should be able to change the cranks to ~150mm for you.

It comes with a 2.5" smooth tire. If you really want a tire less than 2" you could easily swap it out, but I’d try it first.

The Nimbus II meets all your other requirements except for the fancy alloy frame - you need to go with a KH or a new Qu-Ax frame for that.

Cranks and tire are two of the most easily replaced parts on a unicycle, so I think you can get anything you want and select appropriate cranks and a tire. I would also look for a comfortable seat.

Nimbus is nice. KH is nice. Torker is OK.


I’m wondering why you want a splined setup? 12,000 km with the old uni would seem to suggest it would be overkill. Splined cranksets are heavy. Consider sticking with an oldschool square taper also. I broke my share of that type of hub back in the day, but I was probably much harder on my unicycles than you are. Follow the advice of your fellow Aussies on what products are available for you there.

Why do you like the long cranks? 154 is like 170s on a 26-28" wheel; overkill if you aren’t riding real steep stuff. Don’t answer if you consider this off-topic. :slight_smile:

Thanks for the response John, I was interested to hear that I am not alone in breaking a shaft. I maintain to my cycling mates that a unicyclist is far tougher on the shaft and cranks than a road cyclist on the professional tour.

12,000 is only a couple of years or so for me. In that time I had to match and replace a crank that would not have been the case with a splined hub, and for the lengthy time it took to find a replacement I had to cart a spanner around and retighten daily. And I have had to occasionally stop riding, hoof it home and head to the shed. I want reliability and convenience and am expecting better of a splined hub.

Wth the amount of time I am with the uni and my advancing age, I reckon I can justify a lighter frame. The down side is adjusting my riding a little or a lot.

It never occurred to me that splined woud be heavier. How much? My current uni is a fairly heavy job for a 24" thin wheel job, around 6kg with the extra bits that sit on it plus most days 5kg or so in my backpack, so grams are not a big issue. However, I am aging, I also have to carry the beast around a lot and my quads are nearly sixty years old so I need to look forward ten years or so.

Long cranks cos I am used to them.

The advantages of a longer crank on a uni are fairly easy to understand - control climbing hills and contolling on bumpy lumpy surfaces, etc. Whereas the common belief that you can go faster with shorter ones is a misapplication of high school physics - on a cycle without cleats and a strong need maintain an extremely consistent foot load around each and every cycle of the foot means that the speed is determined mostly by the cadence. Indeed holding a high cadence with smaller circular movements without cleats is more difficult. Ten or twenty percent speed is not a big issue with me anyway, but mixing it with pedestrians in busy streets, and climbing lumpy paving slopes is. And sixty year old quads feature somewhere in my reasoning also.

Neverthelss, I am not averse to replacing the hub/wheel/cranks with what I have either, much as you are suggeting. It is still a likely option.

The belief that you can go faster with shorter cranks is an application of direct experience–with shorter cranks, you go faster. The reason is simple; your feet don’t need to move as far. Yes, you need to maintain a consistent foot load, but it’s also easier to maintain a consistent foot load on shorter cranks.

That point aside, splined hub+cranks isn’t significantly heavier than square taper; don’t worry about the weight.

The Torker LX Pro (splined) is probably a fine unicycle, though I’ve not yet seen one. I wouldn’t buy a CX, the lower-end LX is not splined, and the DX is overkill for your need. Torker tends to specify their unicycles differently than KH and uni.com; for example, I think they’re still using the Miyata bolt pattern, so if you want to use your current seat (or buy a KH/Nimbus seat), it won’t fit. The seatpost diameter is also different.

The current Nimbus line is quite reasonable; the Nimbus II or Nimbus X would both fit your needs well.

Okay, same exact reason I got mine. I wanted a unicycle (axle) that would never break, and so far so good after 8 years. :slight_smile:

I suppose it depends on brand. My tubular Profile cranks are not heavy compared to solid steel square taper cranks, and the thicker axle is only marginally heavier. But the beefy stuff, like KH Moments, weigh more. But you don’t need that beefiness.

The problem with applying high school physics is that high school physics tends to leave out significant parts of the equation. At least that’s the way it usually comes out here in the forums when people attempt to explain unicycling problems with HS physics. In this case, you’re leaving out the extra energy required to crank your feet in a bigger circle. When pedaling 200+ rpms you can feel it. You don’t even need to compare race results to gather data; you can just feel it. Trust me on that.

At lower cadences the difference is less noticeable. Riding at a relaxed, easy pace makes long cranks less of an obstacle. I’m with Tom on recommending the Nimbus II or X. For a nice aluminum frame, also have a look at this one:

Problem is, it looks like they only make it for 20". Those are beautiful frames.

I used to know a place that sold Torker wheels minus the tire for 25 $, but I have lost the link. They are the right type (40x17 mm bearings) to fit in your frame. Most (maybe all) splined hubs will not fit in your frame, but most cotterless hubs will. You got a lot of miles on that baby, a new wheel, a KH free ride seat, you could be looking at another happy few thousand K.

I think John meant that splined wheels are a lot heavier on your wallet. If that is OK with you, they are a lot stronger, and not much noticeably heavier gram wise.
Still, Torker and UDC make very affordable (25 $ ish) cotterless hubs that will last forever in moderate street use.

If I was you, having done all those miles, I would shop for a 36. I bet you would get the hang of it in an afternoon. Also look into buying a new cotterless wheel for that old uni. Definitely don’t cheap out on the seat. Your ass has gone 60 years to long and about 6,000 K without a cool KH seat.

Thanks for the suggestion, but in the hope of scotching well intentioned suggestions, I will explain a little more why I need it to be much the same as I currently ride most of the time.

i have ridden borrowed 36" tho non with bars and i see no problem with if my kids bought me one for my retirement. However my current and absolute requirement is to mix it with packed-to-the-roof peak hour buses and trains as well as pedestrian malls and lump hilly surfaces. This the main reason i stick with what i have.

Secondary is that as soon as I get a fatter wheel or a larger diam, there is that couple of days that I have to use more shoulder (I am asymetric) until technique is settled in. atm i cannot do that as most of my shoulder muscles in the right arm are in the early stages of reattaching to the bone. But on what I familiar with I am able to ride with zero use of right shoulder, indeed it has been strapped hard up against my body for the last two months of riding. (A couple of days for the body to “learn” to do without a right arm.)

Sorry about your shoulder trouble

Since you are determined to stay with 24 " , I was gonna try to explain to you how you can lace in a new hub with one hand. Then I was trying to figure it out and spilled my beer. You know what ? screw it, you should just walk for a few weeks.

Better riders than me have made vids of zipping through NY streets and crowds on their 36’s. Some can even idle them. I can’t, so in crowds I use a Torker ax 29. Easy to stop on a dime, ride at a walk, or idle. Not much faster than the 24 though. Just something to consider. Good luck with your arm.:slight_smile:

Thanks - one of those posts that can bring a person back to life with a chuckle.

I am always partial to Torkers - about the best value around and no obvious reason to pass them up.

\You may want to start searching for “constant footspeed hypothesis”, not because it’s likely to aid your current quest, but simply because it may introduce you to some kindred.

Yeah, we’re not taking FTL that seriously when he suggests any retail outlets at the moment.

Seems he’s not above stealing.

Watch the placement of your feet on your pedals.


A minute adjustment can help you regain symmetry and straight-riding-ity.


And keep your weight on the seat.

If you want to talk to someone about it give http://www.municycle.com.au/ a call. They have always been helpfull to me and if you are lucky enough to call when they are busy all is not lost, as Mal may very well have one of the best answering machine messages in the world. the number is on the website.