My 29er

Well after learning on a Schwinn 20" at the begining of the Summer, and picking up a used 24" MUni, I put together a 26" cycle with a Nimbus II 29" frame. It was about a month of riding on the 26 when I decided to build a new wheel with a 29" rim, and this is the result. I put a brake on it using the “Big Cheese” DNA brake mount, and the lever with my own take on an under seat lever mount. Altogether I have about $220 invested in it, and I think I did pretty well. Of course this isn’t counting the parts that I just had laying around, and the only thing I bought for the 26" wheel was the UDC wide hub, which is now living nicely inside a KH XC rim. Now that I have a 29" wheel I might drill a hole in the frame to mount the brake instead of the hose clamps.

I hadn’t ever seen how big this wheel/tire combo was before I got it all in the mail. It is much bigger than I imagined, and a little scary at first getting up on it. It’s much harder to free mount than the 26, but I’m sure in time I will figure it out. I am a bit timid going into corners with it, but I found that a couple of times when I had to go a little deeper into the corner it really held on, and I came out just fine.

Nice! You did a great job. Did you lace the wheel yourself? That’s something I want to try eventually.

I agree about the mounting issue–it’s much tougher the bigger the wheel gets. A buddy and I are doing an 8-hour endurance race in a month, and we’re thinking about doing it on our 29ers. But it’s a pretty tough course–10 mile laps with about 1700’ of climbing–and last year we made five hours before we started cramping up and couldn’t mount any more. That was on 24" munis. So we’re not sure if we’ll go with the 29ers or not, or start with them and switch to 24s sometime.

Wheel Build

I have been building wheels for bicycles since I was 12, and I have no idea how many wheels I have built (over a hundred). It only takes 20-30 minutes from a pile of parts to a built and tensioned wheel. The only thing a little trickier with a uni wheel is that I can’t lace it on my truing stand, so it takes a little longer.

It is really not hard to lace; but, the final tensioning and truing needs a little more finesse. Once on a self contained bike tour (1200 miles through Canada), I had a friend who was breaking spokes on her rear wheel every day, so I told her that we needed to replace her spokes. We went to a bike shop and spent the 8 bucks on DT spokes, and when we got to our camp site she insisted that she wanted to build her wheel just so that she could feel like her rear wheel wasn’t calling the shots. I talked her through the whole process, and only did the final truing. It took her a little over an hour to do it with me there coaching. If you have the commitment and patience to learn unicycling, then wheel building is pretty easy.


Out of curriosity I decided to weigh my new uni, and was surprised to find that the total weight is just under 15lbs. I was sure that it would be heavier with the steel seatpost, and the brake/mount. The Nimbus 29er is supposedly 18lbs, and the KH29 2007 is 14. could it be that the Nimbus II frame is lighter? Anyway a pleasant surprise. :sunglasses:

What tyre do you have on there? My Nimbus 29’er with Big Apple 2.35" was just under 13 lbs (5900 grams) when I assembled it in 2003. That was with Nimbus II frame, narrow rim, old style KH seat, 110 mm steel cranks, and without a brake.

Hmm, 13lbs. I wonder if my scale is off. I think the KH rim is pretty heavy, and of course the brake set up adds weight. I have lighter cranks, but maybe heavier pedals. I don’t know. I will have to check it out on a more reliable scale.

Here are the specs:
Nimbus II frame
KH Fusion Freeride Saddle
United steel seatpost
KH XC rim
UDC Wide CroMoly hub
KH 13g. spokes
Qu-Ax 125mm cranks
Snafu pedals
Big Apple 2.35 tire
Tektro v-brakes with fender clearance
DNA cantilever mount
brake lever mount, probably twice as heavy has it needs to be.
Dia-Compe MX88 brake lever