Mini Sized... 16" or 20" for my son?

I’m going to get my son a unicycle for Christmas. I learned to ride when I was about his age, so I figure it’s time for me to teach him. Thing is, there’s nobody around here with small wheels to look at and measure up.

I’m looking at either a 16" or 20" Torker CX SE… inexpensive in case he hates it, and spiffy looking incase he loves it. :wink:

I measured his legs at 24" from the floor to his crotch, while standing and wearing his shoes. Is this enough leg for a 20"? I’m not affraid to cut it down some, but would rather him have something to grow into than out of…

BTW - I’ll be getting myself a Torker LX 24, I gotta have something to show him how on. At least until he starts showing me up :wink:

others may say otherwise but i would suggest a 20" with a 200 ml seat post cut down about 2" that way if he does like it there will still be some room to grow and if he grows out of it completely all you need to do is buy a new seatpost and a 20" uni is something that never go’s out of style, most people still tend to keep and ride theirs.

Yeah, I’m leaning towards a 20", mostly I just hope to find someone who has a kid this small on one that can say that they will be able to reach the pedals all the way around. He’s only about 4’2" total.

He’s been racing BMX for 4 years and is now getting into jumping. I think it will help round out his skills all the way around. He says he thinks it would be cool to learn how to do it on one wheel.

I’d say go with the 20". He’ll probably be doing a lot of growing real fast, and for now a 20" shouldn’t be too large. I got one when I was about 9 i think and it fit perfectly.

If he’s goping to be doing anykind of jumping/bunny hopping, the CX wont last very long. The LX would be a little better… If you really want to go all out, the DX will hold up to a LOT.

My son learned to ride when he was 8 years old. Not sure his inseam, we never measured it, but I made the mistake of buying a 16" to start him on. Not only did it quickly get outgrown, but it just wasn’t a very good unicycle under any criteria. We ended up getting him a 20" on/off road model within just a few months of his learning to ride. He has it and rides it still, now just turned 12.

Good luck with whatever you decide…you’ve got some fun riding ahead of you. There’s nothing better than uniing with your kid.

I was looking at the CX SE for him, but if I go 20", I can get the LX for the same $. Not so much bling, but a better wheel.

So what is it that breaks when people hop these? Crank arms? Axles?

In this case I’m not talking about a lot of money, but honestly, after building mini-BMX bikes for the last 4 years, loaded with titanium, aluminum and carbon fiber, I was a bit surprised to see how much some of the higher end unicycles go for. It’s just a wheel, cranks a fork and a seat. How much better can a $1000+ uni be?

Alot better, the reason for the extra cost is that the hubs, (some) cranks, frames and seats are unicycle specific, and thus are only produced in low numbers so don’t have the cost reduction benefit of being made by the lorry load. Example: a carbon fibre seat base, handle and rear bumper with ti bolts and a thompson seatpost will set you back a few hundred bucks on its own because they’re being made one at a time (by someone on this forum incidently).

Does this mean we have a new uni-builder entering the market?

Joel was eight when he started, and I bought him a 16" from the LBS.
As soon as he could ride that, he got into hopping and trials/muni type stuff. The 16" was then somewhat limited.

That was about 5 months ago…

I then splashed out on a 20" Nimbus trials for him for his ninth birthday. The frame needed about 20mm (0.8") taken off, as well as the seatpost shortening to match.

He is now a bit limited in the freestyle department, but he doesn’t care - all he wants to do is hop off of things, ride skinnies and hurtle down impossibly steep slopes - so that doesn’t matter! (and he’s painfully good at it too…;))

This will last him several years, because despite his desire to jump and bounce, he only weighs a bit more than a bagfull of feathers (unlike his dad), so the tapered hubs and cranks will (should) not sustain damage for a few years.

I’ve told him that I’ll buy him a new one when the old one breaks and I reckon I’ve got a good four to five years to save up…


Well, to be accurate, with the bikes, I just select parts and put them together. I’m not breaking out raw stock and welder or anything. And just like the bikes, I’ll start with an off the shelf uni, and see what evolves from that.

Thanks for the comments, I’m going to order a couple Torker LX’s to get started with today. A 20" for him and a 24" for me. It’s going to be fun.

Oh yeah, that’s what they all say.

Good luck, keep us updated on both your progress.