My two boys (10 & 12) insist that I learn to unicycle just like they can…so I am now that “scary” journey
I’ve been looking at various unicycles. I guess I should first mention that I’m 5’ 8", 210 pounds. I’ve run across some good reviews on the Torker LX pro and the Nimbus II. Although in my research I’ve not found an “weight limits” on unicycles which I assume is something to consider. Will these handle my weight?
Also, what of my two choices…any other recommendations.
Next, I’ve read some articles saying that 20" is the best to learn on, yet others swear that 24" wheel was easier. And what about crank size…is 125mm going to be fine?
Lastly, is learning on a wider tire going to be easier. Someone said that Munis or Trial unis would be better than something with a narrow tire.
Thanks in advance for assistance with this. My boys and I appreciate it.
Both of those unicycles will be fine for you. Weight only matters when you start doing big tricks or jumping off things.
Wheel size for learning:
In a survey that was done on here once, 20" got a slight edge. So that means if you happen to have both, you might learn a little faster on it. But if you’re buying a unicycle, get the wheel size you think you’ll want to have later. 24" is great for all around riding, cruising the neighborhood and also doing some tricks.
I think it’s not much of a factor when learning, depending on your riding surface. What you want is not to have a knobby, which sometimes don’t track straight on pavement, and to have the right amount of tire pressure. That’s not a number, as it’s a factor based on weight, tire size and riding surface. Generally you want a lot of air for pavement, but back it off some for beginning riding, so it doesn’t twist to the sides too easily.
My “other” recommendation would be a Club 24 from unicycle.com. I’m 6’1, 220, and after seven months of learning it has held up quite well.
I’ve only had the 24, but at this point wouldn’t want a 20 because my goal is distance and muni. I might learn tricks later. My next uni will be a 29 or 36. Learning to ride a unicycle is more about you and less about your equipment. Learn on the one that gets you closer to your goals.
I’m just beginning too; I’ve got about 15 hrs into it and can make a turn or two and ride ~150 ft now.
I started on an old, cheap 24 incher I found at the dump and fixed up, and only recently got a 20 inch koxx-1 from Meijer.com - at less than 200.00 delivered a great deal, if you can deal with potential quality issues - I had to machine parts to make it work right.
Going from the 24 incher to the 20 set me back 3-4 hours of practice, which was quite frustrating. There are multiple factors that could have caused this - the shorter cranks were harder for me to control, the sticky tire harder to turn, and the whole uni just didn’t seem to have the inertia of the bigger one. The only conclusion I can come to is that I should have stuck to one uni until I became proficient on it before changing.
As far as which I’d start with now? Easy: I’d pick the 20 incher, as it’s a shorter fall, and I’ve been falling a lot. Other things I’d do are buy cheap plastic pedals from Walmart knowing they were going to get ruined, and put a quick release on the seat post so you can mess around with height until you figure out what’s right.
The people who wished that they started with a higher quality unicycle did not start with a Nimbus, Club, or Torker LX, they started with cheep unicycles that were designed to sell, not to be ridden or last.
My vote goes with the club, As for the size? well that depends on what your long term goals are.
If you want to be able to break it out at gatherings and ride around your living room a 20 would be more suitable, If you are thinking of going for longer rides down walking paths etc a 24 would be more suitable.
Longer cranks are generally easier to learn with then shorter cranks. For a 20 I would go with something around 125mm and for a 24 I would go 150mm
I’m also a beginner and got a cheap 24" to start off with, btw I’m also 6’1 and 220lbs. The stuff I read said for my height it is the right choice.
Two things I learned: first, the quality of the uni does definitely improve your learning. Especially the seat, those cheap and nasty ones are very cruel. And also the tire, with your weight you want a bit more air to play with.
Second, I think you should go with the 20". When my 24" broke early on in the process I bought a decent 26" on the recommendation of: “go with what you will use it for” (muni). Now I am in a position where I love the 26" but find it extremely difficult to learn new stuff. I’m seriously considering buying a 20" just so I can learn stuff like idling etc. Apparently it’s easy to transfer the skill to a bigger uni once you’ve learned it. The 20" uni’s I’ve ridden are WAY easier to control.
In any event, it sounds like once the bug bites you just cannot help but “invest” in a plethora of single-wheeled wonders. Welcome to the sport and have lots of fun.
If I were you, I’d get the Club 24", because it’s cheap and pretty good quality. It has a decent seat, and it should hold up.
Once you figure out the basics, you’ll have an idea of what kind of riding you want to do, which will tell you what kind of unicycle to get next. Unicycles have become specialized. It’s easier to decide what you need with some experience.
Aside from the fact I had to machine the frame to fit the wheel, my Domina 2 is very nice. Not “hand crafted” by any means, but the welds are solid, the spokes were well tensioned, and the components all of very good quality. I did look at others, but there doesn’t seem to be anything close to this quality and under 200.00 delivered!
There’s a lot written in this forum on this particular batch, try searching koxx and Meijer (one of the discount stores selling them) to learn more.
[LEFT][/LEFT]I am only 5’3" and i learned on the 24" last month. I find that the bigger wheel is more stable, and rolls over bumps much easier. Used 150mm cranks. Changed it to 125mm a few days ago, won’t recommend 125mm for learning.
If you are even considering going anywhere on the uni, get the 24". Your legs will thank you.
(Just in case you were wondering how I could make a comparision, I borrowed a 20" and rode it for a few hours)
I am 41 and about the same height as you. I have only been riding for about 7 months. I learned on a 20" Avenir DLX which I got from Amazon.com for less than $70 shipped to my door. The quality of this UNI is actually quite good. The only thing I replaced so far is the tire, and I did that easily by myself. I know some might disagree with me, but I recommend getting a cheap UNI to learn on. When first starting out, you won’t be sure what style you prefer or how much you will actually ride it. Get a cheap 20-inch to learn on and then decide where you want to go from there. The cheap 20-inch will be easy to learn on and once you have progressed enough, you can make a more educated decision on what you want to purchase for your next UNI. The Avenir will take the abuse of falls that happen during the learning process, and it won’t kill your wallet. Below is a link to the one I bought:
I think a 24-inch will be harder to learn on because your feet and butt are higher from the ground, but that is a matter of opinion. Anyway, Avenir makes a 24-inch for $79 if you want to go that route. Either one of these will be fine until you are ready to start riding over curbs or rock hopping.
Those Suns are of similar quality and specks as the Torker LX, LX pro, and DX. Nimbus unis are generally slightly higher quality than those.
Flattop Extreme - LX
LX pro - Nimbus II
Flattop OR - DX - Nimbus Muni
Since you already have riders in the house, there are some unis too right? Why not learn on those before getting your own quality uni appropriate to the riding you want to do.
If you need to get a new uni to learn, I’d get a cheap uni, like the Club and maybe some longer and shorter cranks (especially on a 24") which are cheap on a cotterless hub. The longer cranks will make learning some of the skills easier and the shorter ones will be better for distance.
Taller people tend to preffer bigger wheels. The tipping point seems to be 6’. For me learning on a 24 was terrifying. A 20" w/ 125 cranks was a bit easier and 150 cranks helped quite a bit w/ getting over the fear and learning all the basics. I’m 5’10".
Just a quick update. I went out today for the first time and rode my son’s 20" Sun – it’s pretty old. Made it 15 feet after 30 minutes practice before a horrific spill But I’m alright. My boys were riding all around me with big grins on their faces. I think they like being able to do something that I can’t.
I did notice, however, that … how can I say this…
…unless you have a forgiving seat…it’s very easy to do some damage to that “especially sensitive area” – or your NUTZ. Any idea here?
I understand some of the stock seats are fairly good…
I found that the Kris Holms street seat along with the adjustable seat post to be a really good purchase. It sounds counter intuitive but if you raise the front more it will put you more on you sits bones and less on the sensitive areas.
Get a uni that will compliment the unis your boys are riding now, ie something they can grow into, share, etc…
I previously had all sizes and some duplicate sizes for my and I to ride, but he has since moved onto teen stuff and rarely rides, whereas my riding has grown. I have recently started thinning the uni quiver so that I have a uni for every condition.
When my son rides with me he can choose one that I’m not ridng
If you and your two sons are going to continue to ride, you should probably go ahead and buy high quality unis, so double wall rims, splined cranks, chromoly or aluminum frames, etc… You can always sell a good used uni, whereas cheapmused unis are left at the dump or become $5 garage sale items.
Three riders, you need three unis, I’d start with one each:
Trials uni (19"/20")
Muni 24 or Street 24
One last piece of advice: i have found that when embracing a new sport, anything you can do to make it easier, more comfortable, and more enjoyable, are well worth the expense, ie get a good seat.