I’m looking to get into a unicycle again after 40+ years and was wondering if a mountain unicycle/muni would be a good all-around rider.
I’m 6’ tall and 235 lbs so I’d probably be a bit too heavy for the more conventional unicycles with a single wall rim and cotterless crank arms. (At least if I want it to last a long while.) That’s why I’m pondering a muni which supposedly can handle weights 250+ lbs. (I’d be looking at a 24".) Then I wouldn’t have to worry about all that weight when taking on bumps, drops and small hops. The way I see it now, about 80% of my riding would be on streets, sidewalks and paved paths and about 20% off-road type riding. At my age I wouldn’t be doing any big stunts, maybe bumping up and down curbs, small hops and drops. I’d be into riding for the fun and the exercise.
I don’t want to buy multiple unicycles for the different riding terrains so would a muni be a good rider covering both of riding scenarios? Is there a down-side to using a muni for a lot of paved riding? Would you advise for it? Against it? Neutral about it? Another reason I’m asking is because I may have a line on a good used muni.
I personally like to have bigger wheels than 24", but as long as you just use it for some urban riding and light muni it would be the perfect size, being more comfortable than a 20" while still being easier to maneuver and not needing a brake which is great for a not very experienced rider. In regards to using a muni tyre for other purposes, I wouldn’t be worried at all.
I’m in my 50s and have a uni for every occasion, while the occasion more often than not is bike trails with relatively smooth surfaces. Usually black top or crushed limestone. I ride a 26er nimbus muni with a 3 inch duro wildlife tire that I ride on rougher surfaces. I love this uni but it is a little heavy. I also ride a nimbus road 29er with a 2.25 schwable marathon tire.this is my favorite uni to ride and I have it rigged with a t bar and a disc brake. Now I will note that when I started back riding I bought a udc trainer used with cottered cranks. At 200 lbs I managed to rack up 2000 miles on this uni over several years and loose some weight. I still own and love this uni and it is remarkable condition, hub, wheel and cranks all on good shape
I believe there are a lot riders like me out there. We are older and want to ride but maybe not muni or trials. I’m the same way with my bicycle, at my age I treasure my bike trail trips. I’m not looking to do down hill single track, I just like to ride and enjoy my time outside. Best of luck to you and as a side bar I have bought all my unis used.
Take a look at this thread. There are others like it you can search for.
Thanks for that thread link, it looks like the majority of people responding like the bigger wheels!
Back in my pre-teens when I first learned to ride it was on a crappy 16" Sears unicycle that didn’t even have cranks! The pedals were connected by a steel bar bent to shape and welded to the hub! I had a lot of fun on that thing but I was outgrowing it and it started falling apart. At the end the pedals had about 1" play in them when the tire was held still. The tire could barely hold my weight any more. The used muni I may have a line on happens to have a 24" wheel. My only experience (40+ years ago) has been with a 16" so even a 24" wheel will seem huge to me! If that deal doesn’t pan out I’d be open to larger sizes. It would depend on what kind of deals would present themselves. Buying new is $$$!
I’ve only had 3 responses so far but including myself, two of us are 60+ and one is in his 50’s! That surprised me. I was expecting to get responses from 20-somethings.
For your height I’d say definitely go and get a 29er. With an XC tire it’ll be a good all rounder.
That being said, it’s still not a perfect choice for paved road if you are going to ride a lot of it. A muni tends to have a wide, knobby tire, and often prefer low tire pressure, all of which are less ideal for the road.
If you have a line on a good used Muni for a reasonable price, I’d take that.
You may or may not prefer a different unicycle in the long run, but 24" is a good starting point to get back into riding without it being a massive change from what you started with.
(Long term I think a 29" is likely the best size for what you are describing, but I think you can always invest into that once you are back into riding more and have some experience again.)
I’ll definitely keep my eyes open for used unicycles but in the mean time, if that line on the used 24" muni doesn’t pan out, my plan B and C (if I have to buy new) would be a Nimbus II 26" or a Nimbus II 24" which would run me about $350-$375 all-in (uni+tax+shipping) That’s really pushing it for a price range for me. It helps that I’m using “discretionary” funds from selling off some of my stuff around the house so I’d be going a little higher than I’d “like” to spend.
Considering the value of regular (fun) physical activity that a unicycle can provide, the cost of most any unicycle is insignificant.
Regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health. Being physically active can improve your brain health, help manage weight, reduce the risk of disease, strengthen bones and muscles, and improve your ability to do everyday activities.
Do look for used unicycles. Craigslist (for the USA) often has unicycles popping up in my area, but it will take some time to get what you want that way. And try to find a local unicycle club and chat with them - you may find someone willing to offload a uni to a new user.
Be sure you understand shipping charges before trying to buy used via Craigslist / Ebay / Facebook. Just a quick check of USPS.com shows the (RETAIL) price of shipping a 20lb package with dimensions 42x25x8 = $120.00. FedEx rates are similar. Business rates are much cheaper. UDC can ship the same box for $35.
And if the Nimbus prices are intimidating, check out the UDC Titan 29. Of course give consideration that you get what you pay for.
The nimbus 2 is a good uni and would service you well. You can upgrade components as your skills increase. For instance a better saddle , a brake, different size cranks. The frame is good and it has an isis hub. If you go with a 26 wheel it could be just what you need for now and long term.
The Nimbus II just took a step forward in line. What I was hoping would pan out was a listing I found on Facebook Marketplace for a 24" Nimbus muni with a Kris Holm seat and it had been listed for 14 weeks. It looked to be in great shape from the pictures and the seller was asking $200! I’ve been trying to get a hold of the seller and sadly he just replied stating that he had already sold the muni but forgot to take down the listing. Oh well… I’ll put the Nimbus II on deck and continue looking for used for a while longer.
Be sure you understand shipping charges before trying to buy used via Craigslist / Ebay / Facebook. Just a quick check of USPS.com shows the (RETAIL) price of shipping a 20lb package with dimensions 42x25x8 = $120.00. FedEx rates are similar.
Good point. I’ve been seeing some nice deals out there if I was local for a pickup but when you consider the additional cost for shipping the total cost is approaching what I’d pay for new.