I have been a Mountain bike rider for nearly 30 years and still ride almost everyday, i am going to order my first unicycle from unicycle.com, i was looking at this one first.
But then saw this and i am thinking i can learn on this one holding on to a fence and riding it on grass. i have a local park that would be perfect for it. I see grass as being softer on falls and at my age (48) i don’t want to break a leg, lololol. What are your thoughts? I know price is more on the mountain, and its a knobby tire vs a smooth tire. Can a beginner such as myself learn on this one? Thanks in advance.
If you plan on riding MUni it wouldn’t be a bad idea to go for it,mbut get a smooth tire like a 24x2.4 Cyclops for learning. I know it adds a bit more up front cost, but it will make learning easier and save the Duro for the trails later on.
The mountain unicycle will be especially good in the Bronx, as the streets have a lot of potholes. There are also some nice stairways there for unicycling, and for that you will also want a sturdy vehicle.
I was told there is a skateboard park somewhere near Jerome Avenue where some crazy fool with a scar on his forehead rides down a long stairway on a giraffe unicycle. This is an unsubstantiated rumor that I heard from a non-unicyclist, but if you learn any further details, please let me know so I can go and learn, or at least watch!
I actually know exactly where that park is. Mulaly park is the name. #4 train goes right to it. I highly doubt I will uni bike there. I ride the trails over at orchard beach, I drive my wrangler over to queens to ride the cunningham park trails as well.
There are almost two distinct questions here: what you want when just starting, and what you will want after the first few weeks when you have the basic concept down.
For just starting, don’t overlook the used market (though I don’t see anything jumping out on Craiglist right now).
Subsequent to that, the question is really what sort of riding you want to do. If you want to do tricks, then a 24" or smaller. If you want to ride exceptionally rugged terrain, the 24" muni could make sense, but there are only a few spots of that within NYC.
But for anything reasonably smooth where someone might take an ordinary bicycle, a small wheel may quickly feel frustrating in the absurd amount of pedaling to seemingly go nowhere. I’ve been riding a smooth tire 26" on the various greenways and park loop, and it really feels too small in the sense of too low a gear - I wish I’d collected another week of experience on my 20" starter and then jumped to a 29" instead. And although it is not something I’ve tried, 29" wheels don’t seem foreign to the muni world either, especially considering larger wheels roll over bumps more readily.
I’m not saying you should buy a 29" right off the bat - but I do think you should consider your initial purchase decision in light of the fact that you may soon come to want a moderately large wheel, and so not sink too much money into the first unicycle used for initial learning.
For learning and riding in the park i would recommend the street unicycle. You may even consider a 20 inch one. If you venture out on the park and take longer rides a 24 inch is a better choice. The mountain unicycle may be an option but you may want to order a road tire along with it since the knobby tire may be prone to “self steer” due to road camber. When it does it may be countered by increasing pressure. For off road riding i prefer a 26 inch. Anyway once you start to get the bug you will notice that a single unicycle gets lonely all by itself in a garage.
I would suggest just buying a 20-inch Torker (CX or LX model), readily available on craigslist, but don’t pay more than $50, tops. (It’s a buyers’ market, since most people who buy a cheapo give up after a few tries or a few days.)
Used Torker is perfectly fine for learning, since it’s plenty sturdy and has a nice smooth tire. Then if you decide to stick with unicycling, you will have an extra loaner lying around for friends, kids, neighbors, neighbors’ kids, etc.
I am actually leaning towards a street in 20 inch, now that I have read much, much more. When I get better at it after 3-5 months I will get a 26. I dont want to have unicycles to close in size to each other. So I think the advice of a 20 street or trail and then a 26 something else down the line may work out better in the long run. I cant say thank you enough to everyone that has answered with tips and helpful advice.
20" is good for learning on, but 24" is also fine if you’re not really short. Whatever you choose as your learning uni, get a relatively smooth tire for it (a cheap one will be fine) and pump it up to lower the friction. Some friction is good when you’re just starting, to keep the uni from twisting around so much. But once you start letting go of your supports, you’ll want plenty of pressure so the tire is responsive to your steering input.
Then later on you can put the knobby back on, and run it at lower pressure to smooth out the urban bumps. And yes, I’ve ridden in NYC, and that was before we had fat tires. It was 60psi all the way!
If only doing “town muni”, in other words riding rougher pavement, the occasional patch of grass and getting off curbs, you should consider the Berm Master. It’s pretty grippy, has the bounce, and lasts for long even on pavement.
Most of the time that’s probably true. But now that people have easy access to things like YouTube, many deliberately enter the sport with specific intentions. Even as far back as the Atlantic Monthly article on mountain unicycling in 1997 or so, some people have been learning to ride just so they can go on dirt.
So it’s okay to ask if the rider has goals or intentions. But it’s also a good idea for them to, like you said, keep an open mind.