Hello to the forum. I’m rather new to the idea of unicycling and want to get started. I’ve searched the forums, and been researching this whole unicycling sport. But I’m having some problems getting started.
First, let me explain a couple things. I’m 37, 5’11" tall and weigh between 250 and 260 depending on the week due to medication I am taking. I’m trying to get some form of exersise in my daily routine, and cycled for years but lost interest. I’ve been thinking of getting a unicycle since returning from vacation where I saw a teenager riding one around the campground I was staying at, and thought it would be fun to do and get me out more. Plus I can store a unicycle far easier than a 12 speed bike in my apartment.
Here’s my problem. I’ve been looking at the different models, blown away by some of the prices, and having a tough time trying to figure out which model to buy. I would like to try MUni riding, but I’m not into doing tricks or jumps or stunts, as I’ve been there/ broke that, too many times in the past. Mostly I’m planning on riding sidewalks, pavement, some gravel roads and lawn areas. Nothing too extreme, but this is something I am setting my mind to and setting a goal to do this.
So far I’ve figured out that I should start out with a 24" Uni according to the Unicycle.com websites little new buyer calculator, but it only shows one type of Unicycle suggested for a beginner my size. I’m looking for something that I am probably going to have to settle with for long term due to income.
I think that there are probably a lot of threads about these sorts of questions already, if you have time to do some searching.
I am about 5’ 6" and I learned to ride on a 24" Nimbus. I am getting ready to build a custom unicycle and I will probably build a 26".
Some people will swear that you need a 20" to learn to ride. I think it really depends more on your determination, than anything. I know of at least one person that learned to ride on a 29", I learned on a 24" (and I think a lot of people here have, too), and people seem to have a great deal of success learning on a 20".
I would personally lean more toward the 24" if you’re hoping not to have to upgrade to anything else for awhile. A 24" is a good compromise of maneuverability and speed. You will find that once you learn you can adapt to other sizes without much trouble in the future (the only other size I have ridden is a 29" and I didn’t have any problem the first time I rode it).
Nimbus is a good brand; mine has held up very well and it has taken all kinds of falls. Below is the link to the one I have*.
The only thing I would be careful about is the seat post length. When in doubt, get the larger size. You can always cut it to make it shorter if necessary.
I was interested in muni too. I ordered the Nimbus 24 Muni from UDC for about $300. I also had a 20" to learn on. I got them both the same week and used both for learning. If you can only get one I would go with the Nimbus 24 Muni. You can always buy a road tire for it but I didn’t find the knobby tire to be difficult for learning.
I also learned on a 24" unicycle from Unicycle.com. I went with a cheaper, less robust model as I wasn’t sure how involved I would get. Two months later I now have a Nimbus 24" Muni on the way but plan on continuing to use my learner to cruise around town.
Based on your stated determination, interests, and weight, the unicycle Natosha linked to (or the identical blue one) would be the cheapest I’d recommend. It will work well for your intended use and be usable for light off road as is.
If it’s within your budgest I’d suggest getting a Nimbus 24" Muni instead for more versatility. I would buy a smoother tire to learn on and keep the knobby tire to switch back to if you ever decide to venture off road.
Thanks for the input and encouragement so far. I was looking at that one before, and looks like a better deal, more money initially , but for the long term it will do much more for me. I do like the idea of the splined ISIS crank system versus the old cotterless system, probably less prone to failure over time and use. News today at work wasn’t too promising, more job cuts and losing overtime left and right (can’t complain about that, had OT for the last 19 months due to a vacant position at work, but that will be filled in the next few weeks) So looks like I’ll have to make this purchase for real long term (at least a couple years) before getting a bigger unicycle.
Any upgrade ideas, other than swapping the rubber tire for a road/hybred tread to start with?
One other thing. I’ve seen a couple of unicycles with a handlebar type system for touring. Would this be something to consider later on after I get comfortable riding? Thinking a spot for water bottle holder or cycling computer?
Please keep the input coming, I’m open to all ideas, and I know I have to wait until later this month before I can order the Nimbus due to payday isn’t until the 21st of the month.
I wouldn’t bother with a handlebar until you are really comfortable riding. I am happy with mine the way it came. I have changed the seat because the Nimbus Gel didn’t work for me but my daughter’s boyfriend likes it. I swapped it for a KH FF seat which is much better. I don’t think I would really change anything though until you have learned to ride and then decide what your upgrade needs are. Some people change crank lengths. I ride with 167mm cranks but the 150s that came with it were great too. I can ride uphill a little easier with the longer cranks but you may find that you prefer shorter cranks. I’m an old lady and need all the help I can get. I wouldn’t get a computer until you can ride. You’ll drop your uni a lot in the beginning. Through this forum I have decided to get a very cheap computer for my KH 29. It’s all of $12.
Keep us posted on your progress as you learn to ride. It’s very frustrating and even more fun. Just when I thought I would never get it, I got it. It’s a great accomplishment with many more challenges ahead. Get some video of your first weeks. You will enjoy looking back at the blunders and improvements.
Well I placed an order with Niagara Cycle today for a 24" Torker LX. Reason is that the other powers that be living under the same apartment roof, told me to get an inexpensive one, then if I stick with it long enough, I may see a new one under the tree at Christmas (like she had to hint).
Plus it won’t kill my bank account if it goes the way of a few other things I tried, like playing guitar, playing the ukulele, archery, etc. for some reason I got into it then lost interest and got out, but didn’t get rid of the stuff I bought.
I looked at the Nimbus, and the Torker, and other than the splined cranks and seat, they both have a 24" 48 spoke wheel. The key advantage right now is I’m not running out to do muni with it, just riding around the house, neighborhood, local park. No tricks, no jumps, no freestyle. So the Torker may hold out for a little while.
Another question, I’ve got the helmet from my bike, but what would you recommend for gloves. I have some fingerless riding gloves with the gel inserts from my cycling days, but wonder if there may be anything more preferred?
Keep the info coming, I’m absorbing it like a sponge.
If you have something to cover those shins, I’d recommend that as well. Some people use soccer shinguards 'cause they’re cheap. I learned without anything and it made justifying $75 for the KH armour very easy! The scars are still there and I wear them with pride.
Shin guards are good because most of us got smacked on the shins by pedals as we fell or dismounted during our initial learning. As you get better the pedal bites become less. Metal pedals with sharp pins make bigger shin cuts and scrapes than plastic pedals.
When I was learning, I had a lot of problems with bruises and blood blisters on the tips of my fingers from grabbing the unicycle and also falling down a lot. I was also worried about wrist support, but didn’t want something that was bulky and obnoxious. I ended up getting the KH pulse gloves*, and would highly recommend them to anyone who wants a good pair of gloves that will protect the entire finger and also have built-in wrist support.
I also ended up just buying the KH leg armor as well**, as I got tired of walking around with bruises all up and down my legs.
I have had good luck with (and made good use out of) both so far (especially the first time I went off-road a couple of weeks ago). A cheaper version of the leg armor would definitely suffice, I’m sure (that is, if you end up feeling like you need any leg protection, at all). I do highly recommend the gloves, though.
Sounds good. As of right now I’m still waiting, my Uni is in limbo and no one at Niagara Cycle is answering the phone or e-mailing back. So I’m just waiting and waiting, and waiting…
Nice part is I’m already planning on the air seat modification for now, figure if the seat isn’t as comfortable as I’m used to on my 2 wheel road bike (leather over steel with no padding) I can do the modification and have some fun. Just got to pull out the bike shorts first.
Thanks for the info, I’m sure I’ll have more, and can’t wait to get started.
Well I’ve survived day 2 of the Torker. Took it to work last night to do the seat adjustments and air up the tire. Set the tire to 64 lbs, figured that would be good, seeing I’m running 250lbs right now, and I don’t want the tire to get a snakebite in the tube. I got up for about 5 minutes off and on last night, got on for a couple minutes today before leaving for work. Took a pic and sent it to my girlfriend, she’s concerned I’m going to break a) the countertop I was leaning on, b) the chair next to me by falling sideways, c) myself, or d) all of the above.
Nice part is when i feel the uni slip out, I just put my upper foot down to the ground and step off, then catch the uni either in front or behind me.
So far 10 minutes in the saddle, 19 hours 50 minutes of learning time to go.
And the Torker LX Seat I got isn’t as bad as everyone has made it seem, I actually feel comfortable on it.
One word of caution (especially applicable once you start moving more and will probably be outside): Don’t be afraid to let the unicycle fall. If you let it take the fall for you, you’ll be less likely to get hurt. I got more bruises on my fingertips (and elsewhere) than I care to remember from being silly and trying to catch the unicycle when it fell.
Glad you’re having fun getting started. Who knows how long it will take you to actually learn to ride (it seems to vary greatly), but personally I am convinced it was worth the trouble (though it didn’t seem like it at the time)
Keep up the good work! Sounds like you’re on the right track. You’ll be up and riding in no time. Just don’t let yourself get discouraged and quit. It’ll come.
I started learning to ride in the summer of '07. Took me about 5 hours before I could mount from the bike rack on my car and then ride away. About 15 hours before I could freemount. I started on a Sun 24" from Amazon.com and migrated to a 26" Nimbus II MUni from Unicycle.com.
Since '07, I’ve ridden off-road all over Central MA, VT, NH and Southern AZ. Yesterday, just for fun I rode up to the summit of Mt. Wachusett from the welcome center. I never thought I’d see that day, but you’d be surprised what you can ride if you ‘just go for it and see what happens’.
I see you’re location says Central MA. I live in Fitchburg. Shoot me a PM if you want to get together and ride sometime or if you want to try my 26" MUni or my fiance’s 20" Torker.
There are a million videos on how to ride a unicycle, mine is a million and one. But here it is anyway. It’s on freemounting. In the video, I say the “6 and 9 position”. It’s actually supposed to be the 3 and 9. Hope it helps.
I was up on the Torker today insinde the apartment, did 1 10 minute session practicing sitting and balancing in one place, tried some 6 to 9 to 6 to 3 right leg and left leg movements, and at the end lost it and shot the Torker across the kitchen floor as I stepped back a couple steps as I did my UPD.
Then later I did another session, only for a couple minutes before my girlfriend took a pic of me being up on the seat, holding the archway with one hand, practicing my stability and getting used to being on the Uni. Then of course the “you need to do…” one sided against me conversation came up, so I had to put the Torker on the stand and do my nightly kitchen cleanup and get ready for tomorrow.
Can’t wait until tomorrow, going to do some more practice, stop over at Sports Authority for a new pair of cycling shorts and then head to work in the afternoon.