New and trying to figure out what to get

I am 58 years old, 165 lbs, and about 6’ tall. I rode a uni when I was young up through high school. Haven’t ridden since 1974. My old uni was a Schwinn. There was nobody to give me any advice when I bought it so I just bought what the bike shop had. Things have certainly progressed. So what make, model, size, seat, etc. would make a good uni for me just to re-learn on and ride around the neighborhood? I appreciate any suggestions and advice.

Welcome Tom

I don’t have a lot of technical knowledge re: unicycles but I’m a 60 yrs old beginner (not as tall as you but do outweigh you). I originally bought a 26" Torker LX and found it a bit overwhelming for me. I tried my son’s 20" and found it too squirrely for me. I bought a 24" Torker LX and that has been the best fit for me at this point in my learning (sounds a bit like Goldiilocks and the 3 Bears, doesn’t it? :smiley: ).

I suppose it depends on what you want to do with the unicycle. As for me, my aspirations are to be able to go on rides with my son on flat surfaces and possibly on smooth trails. I don’t see myself jumping onto and off of picnic tables at this age. I’m no more afraid of falling than I was when I was younger but I’m much more afraid of the landings than before. I don’t bounce so well these days, I have more of a tendency to break.

There are many others here who can provide advice if your aim is different than mine, but I find the Torker LXs to suit my purposes very well.


I have the same goals as you I believe. Just want to ride in my neighborhood on paved roads and maybe flat, hard packed trails. No jumping, tricks, etc. Just want to ride for the fun and exercise. Not sure of tire size, etc. I won’t be doing long distance riding or tricky stuff…just want to go down the road a mile or so with as much ease and control as possible.

How about a 29’’ with 125 or 137 cranks and a comfy seat. Or maybe a 26’’ to begin with, then a 29’’ :slight_smile:
Smooth tyre. I have a Schwalbe Big Apple and I love it :wink: All my unicycles have KH seats as I think they are well comfty.
I’m guessing you live in North America so Torkers are a popular make of unicycle from what I can gather. Then maybe a Nimbus for the 29’’ or 36’’ :roll_eyes:

That does sound like what a 24 is designed for. They have almost all the control of a 20", are better suited for longer rides and lack the fear and danger factor of relearning on a larger wheel.

As long as you avoid ‘ebay specials’, most of the beginner 24 offerings cost ~$140-60 after any necessary changes. They come with a cotterless hub and usually steel cranks.

One of the biggest comfort issues is the saddle. If you buy a cheaper uni like a sun or hopply you may find yourself paying $30+ for a new saddle so you can sit in something close to comfort.

The often invevitable part change is the seatpost clamp. All the 24 cruisers have single quick release clamps. These clamps are a nightmare to get to work properly and are easier just to replace with a single or doublebolt clamp.

For cruising around a neighborhood of flat pavement, you’d probably want a wheel that’s at least 24 inches. A 26 would be easier to find tires for. I don’t know how quickly your skills will come back, or how much you want to spend, but it sounds like you rode a lot and are in reasonably good shape, so you could probably handle just about any wheel size.

One thing this forum can be really useful for is product reviews. Always check here before making a purchase.

I got a used 24’’ Torker LX off craigslist a few weeks ago as my first unicycle to learn on.

Ok technically second because I bought a cheap $50 uni off ebay just before that. Right now I use the ebay one exclusively indoors for balance / idling practice. The ebay one is not all that bad, but I wouldn’t do more than a bit of forward riding on it. I had to re-tighten the left crank a few times since idling apparently can work the crank bolt loose. The last time I put some blue loctite on it and it’s been holding well so far.

The Torker is really rugged and awesome. Mine has been upgraded from stock with an ISIS hub and cranks that apparently withstood a good amount of grinding. The previous owner said he set it up for “street and trials”. I’m not planning on doing anything crazy with it, but it should be enough for doing some easy trails if I ever get to that point.

For reference, I’m 49 years old, 5’10’’ and weigh around 190 lbs. I’ve never ridden before in my life and after almost 4 weeks now, I can now ride in a mostly straight line for a bit (100+ ft). No free mounting, no sharp turns, and my quads turn to jello in no time flat. Bumps I can sometimes take ok, but most times they cause a UPD :wink:

To summarize, I’d highly recommend the Torker LX as the best bang for your buck. I’ve also tried my wife’s 20’’ Torker LX and like Unispud prefer my 24’’. Some stuff is easier on the 20’’ for me, but overall I prefer the stability of the 24’’. When deciding used vs. new, keep in mind that newer Torker LX may have better components. And the Torker LX Pro is yet another step up with splined ISIS hub / cranks vs square taper on the cheaper models. But I bet even the square taper cranks are a big step up from the cranks your old Schwinn used to have :slight_smile:

My original goal was to be able to commute (about half a mile) on the unicycle by this summer and I believe I’m well on track for that. I think the 24’’ will serve me well for that purpose and would also make a decent offroader in its current setup. Should I want to go longer distances later, I’ll probably look at a 29’’ Nimbus or something comparable.

I very much appreciate everyone’s comments. I think I am getting an idea of what to look for.

One of my mother’s favorite unicycle stories was when I was in 8th grade. I rode my uni to school everyday when the weather was good. I played a Sousaphone (tuba). School was about 1.5 miles away. I would get up in my seat on my unicycle and peddle a lap around the driveway. When I went past Mom on the porch she would drop the Sousaphone over my head and off I went to school. I must have gotten a few strange looks. :slight_smile:

Like this?

Greetings, fellow tuba player !

It’s uncanny that so many unicyclists are low brass players. I was a tubist in high school also, but didn’t learn unicycling until recently.

During high school, I met a guy in the West TN regional honor band, who had a stage act called “Unitubist”. It was him riding a uni, playing a beat-up sousa, and telling jokes. I never got to see his act, but was told his act was quite popular around the Memphis clubs in the early 1980’s.

BTW, with regard to unicycle choice, I agree with the Torker 24". I initially tried to learn on my son’s Torker DX 26". But was more successful with a Schwinn 24" which I bought on Ebay. It was a lot easier to maneuver. But once I learned, I like riding the 26" more for distances. The Torkers are a lot more rigid than the Schwinn, so they will withstand a lot of mistakes as you are learning.

:astonished: Pretty much! LOL! I believe I was dressed a bit more conservatively however.

Aha! If you were able to commute to school on a unicycle with a tuba wrapped around you, and you continued riding for 4 years after that, then you are definitely NOT a learner. You should go to and pick something out, then search for it on these forums and make sure it’s OK. Other websites sometimes offer better prices than, but the people at UDC are extremely helpful, and will make sure your seatpost is the right length or whatever. If nothing else, their website is also a good place to see what’s generally available, get technical specifications, etc.

Thanks for the link to Even though I rode a lot as a kid it has been almost 40 years since I have ridden. I hope I will pick it up quicker than when I first learned but I am expecting a sharp learning curve! I’m sure my balance isn’t even close to what it was but am hoping that riding a uni again will be kind of like yoga. Not only will my aging body get a nice workout but my balance, etc. will stay sharper. That’s my hope anyway.

Welcome back. A lot of us took some time off and came back to it recently. I am one of them. I’ve been back riding for a few years now after a 25 year break.

You may think you just want to ride around, but you may end up getting into muni, which is so damn fun.

In that case, I’d get a decent 26, which is pretty versatile, especially if you upgrade to dual-hole cranks. At you can usually upgrade to the KH dual hole cranks. I’d say a 26 muni which will give you a lot tire choices and with shorter cranks can be used on the road a bit too. The 29s a bit much for some muni IMO, especially if you are just relearning. So I’d say this if you think you might want to do muni:

Cheaper option, upgrade with 127/150mm cranks:

or if you want to splurge: Again, upgrade the cranks.

If you really think you won’t be taking it off road at all, then get a 29, either the cheaper nimbus models, or the more expensive Oracle or Kris Holm. I’d still upgrade to the dual hole cranks, again 127/150s. They add a lot of versatility for a little more money.

Your post got me to register. I have been lurking here for a couple months. Anyway, I’m 57 years old, 165, and 6’-0". See any similarities yet? Like you I had a unicycle as a kid and probably last rode when I was about 13 or 14. About 3 months ago a friend that had recently started riding showed up at my work with his uni in tow. I felt the strongest compulsion to give it a try, and yet felt is was probably not a smart idea. Having never been accused of being too smart, I braced myself against a light standard and went for it-in many ways it is like riding a bike.
Long story and probably for another thread, with a little advice from Terry The Unigeezer (a member here), I bought a new one. It took only a matter of minutes and I was hitting all my mounts and everything felt just like it had 40 plus years ago. I’ve even managed to add a few new skills recently.
As others have said, the best choice depends on what it is you will doing with your uni, the problem is you probably don’t know. So far I’ve found mine to be fairly versatile. I’ve been riding in both the street and the dirt. If you foresee riding down hills of any length I would recommend going with a brake. Saves a bit of wear and tear on older knees. I also think given your height, a 26 would fit you well and work as a good all around uni. Good luck with your choice ,here is mine, Steve

Drillem, Welcome to the forum :slight_smile:

Thanks for all the suggestions. I might give a call and pick their brains a bit. I think there is also a club in Yellow Springs, Ohio at Antioch College that I might visit. It’s only a hour or so away. I don’t mind spending some money on one but just want to make sure, the best I can, as to what to get. I very much appreciate everybody’s help. I know so much more than I did 2 days ago. I hadn’t thought of buying and riding for a while until 2 friends mentioned the other day how they rode as kids too. That’s what got me thinking about it again. Maybe I can get them going again.

Many of us older guys enjoy the 36" unicycles, for nice touring with capacity for speed. Very safe, compared to MUNI.

Muni is as safe as you make it. If you do things outside your limits, it’s stupid. You have to build up to skills. You can start on very moderate trails and build up if you want, or stay on moderate trails.

Anyway, I find muni to be one of the most enjoyable things in my life. I can’t explain why.

You can’t go wrong with the 26. I wouldn’t go 36 quite yet unless you are sure you are staying on the road. If you have a feeling you are going to stay with the hobby (and you know you can already ride) you also can’t go wrong with the Oracle. It’s a great unicycle. If you don’t want to spend that kind of money, the nimbus 26 is a good choice, but the muni version has a 3" tire, which is overkill IMO for a 26. You can always change the tire out. I would go with the muni, since they are stronger unis and you don’t know what you may want to do. You can add a brake to it later if you want (though only rim brakes). Keep in mind though, that for ~$600 you can get a top end uni. A top-end bike would be at least $1k.

I agree that brakes are useful especially for us guys with older knees. Though be aware that it’s a skill just to learn how to use them with a uni, and we didn’t learn with brakes…

Good luck and let us know how it goes. Picking up unicycling again has been a really positive thing for a lot of us.

Thanks, good to be here.

Just slowing down on 10 years of road bikes I can tell you 1K will not even get you a top-end set of wheels much less a whole bike. Unis are much more affordable.