hi everyone. down here in brasil there’s a guy who had completed 3 or 4 marathons with a regular 20" unicycle. I’m really willing to start in this business of marathons with unicycles, but I’m not sure about the wheel size. Is 26" enough, cause 29" seems too big to travel with. And I’m too short for a 36".

I can’t imagine riding a 20 in unicycle for 26 miles…if indeed the distance is 26 miles. Too short to ride a 36 inch? There is a woman on this forum who is 62 inches (5 ft 2 in) in height and rides a 36 inch unicycle… I ride a 29 inch and I am 5 ft. 9 inches.

I thought I was too short for a 36" based on the leg lenght showed on the products details (

anyway, they look quite big to travel with, aren’t they?

I used to do 55km (33mi) regularly on my 24". It’s not that hard but its slow and your butt takes a pounding. If a 29" seems to big for you, a 26" is quite ok for a marathon. If the terrain is flat, use short cranks. And get a good comfy saddle.

A 36" is quite a pain to travel with. A 29" isn’t too bad. Yes, anyone at least 5’ tall should be able to ride a 36" wheel.

Basically, for a road marathon you want the largest effective wheel size you can manage.

thank you guys!!! great tips.


There’s many reasons why someone may prefer a smaller wheel for a marathon, several of which have appeared on this thread.

If you want to complete a marathon in the fastest time, then, yes, 36" is the way to go- then again, if max speed is the priority, a bicycle would be even better :slight_smile:

IMO, the best wheel size for a marathon (or any journey) is the wheel size you prefer riding, and, for many unicyclists, that is not going to be 36".

And, of course, riding a marathon on any size unicycle isn’t that big a deal, compared to running a marathon :slight_smile:

A 20"-er would involve some seat pain, but it’s do-able (the first post refers to a guy who’s done several matathons on a 20").

My prefered wheel size is my 24"x3 muni, and I’ve got no doubt that I could ride easily 26 miles on it, with the bare minimum of training (I certainly couldn’t run it).

Brasil is probably just out of reach…
But if you’re interested in marathons than check under Forums the German one…
Here you find that every 2nd weekend of may an official marathon is held at Düsseldorf (Germany)…
There are 2 category’s: A) standard 28 inch with minimum 114 mm cranks and B) unlimited : mostly 36 inch even with gears!!!

So a marathon on a 20-er??? seems a bit ‘underdone’ for me…
PS. the recordtime is ± 1.24.05 hours!!! (my PR: 1.53.35!!!)
enjoy and keep us informed…

I can’t imagine riding a (full, road) marathon on anything smaller than a 36, unless it’s got a Schlumpf. The 29" Schlumpf I had for the NZ marathon worked pretty well for me, and was much easier to fly with.

I saw a guy finishing the NZ Wellington race on a 12 inch!!! YouTube. Did he ride the whole course, I assumed he had going by the commentary.
BTW for me riding around the 42km course (24 or 29) would be a lot more painful and harder than running around :stuck_out_tongue:


With the bare minimum of training, you could do it on a 36" in half the time it would take on the 24", and feel a lot better afterwards.

That was in the 10k. I don’t think he could officially enter on it in the Marathon. I don’t know for sure, but pretty sure he did at least one of the two laps. He was slow but pedaling fast! And he got lots of attention. :slight_smile:

Like I said before-

but max speed isn’t a priority for everyone- if you really want to complete it in minimum time then a bike is clearly a better option than a 36"

‘feel’ is a very subjective thing- if you’re one of those people who much prefer riding smaller wheels to 36", then you’ll likely feel better afterwards on a 24".

Personally, doing a marathon on a 36" is almost like a stroll. Doing long distances on smaller wheels gave me a sense of accomplishment (like doing 100k or 100mi on a 36"). In fact, my first 100km ride was on a 24"/150mm setup. Of course, one you go 36, there’s no going back to the 24s and the 20s. I can never forget the feeling the first time I rode a 36". I was actually going somewhere, fast:p

Not that kind of feel. Feel as in your legs and knees won’t hurt so much because on a 36 you cover the same distance in half as many pedal strokes.

If it were me I’d travel with my 24" and use some really short cranks. I’ve already got traveling down with my 24" down to a science; very easy. And with the short cranks you can make fairly decent time. Obviously not the fastest or most efficient way to do a marathon on one wheel but worlds better than doing it on a 20" or dealing with traveling with a larger uni. That all being said, there is no reason why you couldn’t do the marathon on the 20" sure it will be tough and painful but when did those reasons ever stop anybody!? :slight_smile:

it feel really good seeing so many people talking about something that I want to become a part of my life from now on. I’ve been working in circus groups for the last 20 years - juggling, balancing, unicyclling! - and I’ve decided that next year I’ll star doing long distance riding.

that friend I’ve mantioned before actually completed a marathon on a 24" in 5 hours. and he’s very happy with that!!!

I’m really looking for that happiness that he feels and that I’m sure you all feel too.

Thanks again!!!

oh, and I’ll go for the 29". Probably nimbus, kris holm freeride saddle, 125 qu-ax cranks and magura brakes! tought to bring it all to brasil, but…

Looks like a great setup you are getting there but I would take whatever you are planning on spending on that brake and put it towards a good handle. Having something to lean on and stabilize the unicycle will make a bigger difference on long rides than a brake for the downhills.

My last marathon length uni ride took me just under 4 hours with my 36. It was mostly cross county trails and included having a beer with complete strangers at the halfway point and stopping for a burger and another beer most of the way though.

There is something about trails that are 42km that just seem right. :slight_smile:

EDIT: I have done the same trail with a 26, 29, and geared 24. It has been fun every time.

kkkkkkkkkkkkkk!!! perfect!!! that’s the spirit!!!
and thanks for the brake advice!!!

+1 For a good saddle/handle set up. Makes a world of difference in comfort. Also consider also getting a seat post that allows adjustment of the saddle pitch like the Kris Holm Adjustable Post. You’d be amazed at what a difference pitching the saddle up a few degrees makes!

I’ve also done a lot of 42km plus rides on roads, dirt and trails. Lot’s of fun. I wish there were more “official” cycling categories in Marathons near by; most ban anything other than foot traffic.