My main interest in unicycling is in muni, for which I usually ride a 26. However, I also own a 24 and 20 and was thinking it might be easier to acquire and develop skills (currently working on a rolling hop) on the 20.
Is it actually easier? And/or will the transition to the 26 be so difficult that I might as well just work with it from the start.
If you want to ultimately be doing roiing hops on your 24" MUni, then you should learn the skill on THAT size wheel. That’s how I learned and highly recommend it. I’ve done an 8 set rolling hop on my MUni, but there is no way in hell I feel the same confidence trying it on a much smaller, squirlier trials uni!
The opposite would likely be true also; learning first on a much smaller, much lighter trials, then switching to a heavier, bulkier 24" MUni would feel very strange. Bottom line, if you want to develop rolling hop skills primarily for MUni use, than learn to do it on the MUni, and cut out the middle man, lol!
Learning the basics of all uni skills has been easier for me on my 20, because most things are easier on that size and I’m not as afraid of hurting myself in a UPD.
Some things bigger wheels are always better at, like rolling over obstacles. I would practice rolling over bumps on my 20, trying to do it smoothly and work my way up to bigger ones. Then when I got back on my Muni I could roll over stuff much better and the challenging stuff wasn’t as scary.
I’d get the basics down on the 20 (up a curb, bench, or…?) then switch to the 26.
Some things are much easier to learn on one Unicycle rather than an other. Stairs are much easier to learn on a larger wheeled unicycle and Idling is easier to learn on a smaller wheel. Depends what the skill is.
Rolling hops are just as easily learned on a larger wheel than on a 20" however keep in mind the distances. Unless you are measuring distance chances are you will not have to jump as far with the 20" as you would with the 26". A half pedal distance on a trials 19" with a 2 1/2 inch tire would be 24"3.14/2=38". That means that you can jump only in increments of about a yard or two yards if you can only hop with the good foot forwards. With the 26" MUni with a 3" tire you are covering 323.14/2=50" for every half pedal rotation or a 100" for every full one. That means that with the 26" you have a good chance of being farther away from the curb, rock or beer can that you are trying to jump up on or over.
Practice on whatever feels the best for you and then transfer the skills over to the other unicycle. Most important have fun!
It may be easier to learn the initial skill on the 20, but as Terry said, the transition will feel strange. I learned all my skills on my 19" trials, and when I finally got my Muni, it felt very weird hopping, dropping, and gapping. This is not to say that I don’t like the 24, it is just very different. For instance, when I land from a drop or gap, I find that the 24 is much harder to roll out with.
What may help is practice a bit on the lighter 20", but as soon as you have the skill, get on the Muni to avoid habits forming in you skill.