My Kid's Gettin' Good, Now What?

My 10 y/o, 5’ tall daughter learned to ride on a hand-me-down 20" Avenir. She is now facile with free mounts, stalling, and that sort of thing. (I fling those words around like I know what I am talking about, but that is a ruse.) She has also gotten pretty good on a borrowed, beat-up 5’ giraffe. She likes riding about town, turning heads, blah, blah… We are wondering what her next step up should be? Should she stick with a 20" and upgrade for quality/comfort? Should she get a giraffe (I am not clear on how much those can be ridden “out in the world”)? Is it smart to get her a 24" since she is on track to be a tall person? SO many questions from someone who knows all about sailboats and NOTHING about other-than-beginner unicycles. Thanks for your wisdom!

So, the first question is, what does she want to do? If riding around town is a lot of what she wants to do, you might want to think about getting a bigger wheel (at least 24", possibly 29"). Doing any kind of distance on a 20" becomes painful. If she’s mainly interested in performing and parades, a giraffe might be a decent investment, but not otherwise; giraffes are fairly useless outside of performance contexts.

The 20" she has is probably fine for what she’s doing; if she’s specifically experiencing seat discomfort you could get a new seat, but other than that it’ll probably be fine unless something breaks.

And if she’s heard about this internet thing, she might want to look at some of the videos of the street and flatland riders and see if that’s the direction she wants to go. It’s all the rage with kids these days.

Good luck!

The wheel you buy depends on what she wants to do with it. I’ve found that a giraffe is not near as good for riding around town as a standard uni but if that’s what she likes to do than you can certainly get one of those. I pretty much only use mine for showing off because it is heavier, more bulky and not a durable. If she wants to go faster than she is on a 20" than by all means get a 24 or 26 inch. A bigger wheel will go faster but it will be tougher to learn new skills on as it is less maneuverable. A 20" will be fine even if she is on track to be 6" tall as you can always raise and lower the saddle. As for durability, torker lx’s and dx’s are reasonably durable for a low price, or you can pay more and get even better. If she’s only 10 she probably isn’t heavy enough to need something super tough. Look around UDC (unicycle dot com) and you’ll see lots of options, even if you don’t buy from them it’s still a great site to browse models on.

Thanks so much. That was my thought re: the giraffe - really limiting. She has enjoyed the performing she’s done, and her original 20" is well used (and her little sister has her eye on it…) Do you have manufacter recomendations if we were to aim to replace it with something in the $150 range. I see lots of folks talking about the Torker LX? Other thoughts?

UDC Club uni’s are the best for learning/cruising in that price range IMO. UDC is good people that stand behind what they sell.

Do others in the family currently ride? What are their interests. Eg getting “family unis”

U could get one that anybody can use. That way u could get a uni of each type (maybe mult seats w/ posts to make seat height changes easier) for very little $ per rider.

Unless, several want to ride the same type at the same time.

Torker LX is a good option. The other one would be the club. I haven’t tried a club but I do know from experience that the Torkers can survive a fair amount of abuse.