I just went on a long day mountain ride with some friends on bikes, and me on my Nimbus Trials with a shaved tire. They would pwn me on downhills, but have to walk their bikes over more technical terrain that I could ride/jump through.
Not my first time doing MUni on a 20", but I wanted to hear how this compared to a 24". People who have tried it on both are very welcome. Recommendations on whether I should buy a 24" MUni?
I’ve just borrowed a 24" MUni, and yesterday I was giving it a try to compare with my 19" trials uni. It is so much greater. I rode on a hard terrain for a 19", but on the 24" it just felt smooth as new asphalt!
Because of problems with my KH24 I used my Quax 20" for Muni. As you would have guessed the 20" wheel is much better for urban trials (like it is for normal trials) but if it goes to riding downhill the 24" wheel completely owns the 20" wheel. You can go so much faster with the bigger wheel which results in a lot more fun. In addition to that it is a lot easier to ride down short steep sections because you don’t need as much revs compared to the 20". For riding downhill I recommend a 24" wheel. If you want to ride cross then maybe a bigger wheel would also be good (but I can’t say anything about it).
If you want to do really technical trails and/or a lot of natural trials on the sides, get a 24. The most versitile for upgrading to geared hub (but then no longer for drops 6’+). Like a reinforced jeep.
A 26X3 is a bit faster, rolles over bumps better esp. hard, sharp ones, but it’s harder for climbing, tech and trials, but may be better than a 24 if you want something more different than a trials. Provided you can handle the taller gearing and maintain a smooth fast enough cadence, there’s less exertion for the same smoothish climb. For my trals and ability, IMO, overal it requires more skill. Like a super heavy duty 4X4.
You may even want a 29, more so if it’s w/ the new wider KH rim. Like the 26 but more so in some respects. Really good if you want one uni for Muni and road. Very slightly faster and than a 26x3. Taller gearing than a 26 for climbing, but less rolling resistance makes overal climbing effort closer to a 24 than a 26. Lower volume tire makes drops less comfortable/doable. Higher center of gravity and taller effective gearing make tech stuff harder. A geared hub is only really usfull for riding to the trail. Like a strong, fast buggy.
It makes more difference than the maths would suggest. Also, you can put a large volume tyre on a 26" rim too, you know.
For the first 15 or so years of my unicycling career, I had only a heavy cheap Pashley 20" with a BMX tyre. I had a lot of fun riding it around our local nature reserve, on mud and uneven ground.
Have no doubt that Muni is more fun on a bigger wheel. The step up from 20" to 24" is big. 24" to 26" is noticeable, but not as severe. 26" to 29" is a noticeable step. And of course the step up to a 36" is massive.
As a general rule, small wheels are more manoeuvreable and better for hopping, but bigger wheels roll over stuff better, and you get fewer pedal strikes.
It’s a pretty big advance in weight and loss in maneuverability and hopping. I know people that like them better - George Barnes, for instance - but they tend to be large, powerful riders who can handle the extra mass. If you want speed just run 150’s on a 24" - it’ll be similar to a 26" with 175’s but way lighter and more maneuverable. A 26" wheel simply wouldn’t fit on many of the trails I ride.
I ride a 24" with 165’s, for comparison - and it’s still 3x as fast as my trials setup. I used to run 150’s but found it too hard to climb and or do long descents (I don’t run a brake) in the areas that I ride. I can’t imagine trying those trails on 26" behemoth.