New to unicycling, searching for advice

Hi guys,
after a bit of thinking i have decided to try and buy my first unicycle. I hope you wouldn’t mind if I write a little more about this subject (and I sincerely apologize for any mistakes I’ll make cuz I’m not native english speaker :frowning: ).

I rode a bicycle ever since i remember and it got a bit borring in last few years. I’m not that much into jumping with it or some crazy ride through forrest. Just regular riding through city and countryside. Most crazy thing I do on bike is 'bout 5km ride with 40L backpack full of food on a #@!&! bumpy road without hand in summercamp (I don’t know if this will help me even little but meh, maybe?). So i said to myself unicycle is more compact, it looks like fun, let’s give it a try.

I want to buy one that is good value for money, that will hopefully survive the learning and will not need to be replaced in the near future (3-5 years) - i don’t mind buying new tire or things like that. I want to ride it mainly in city but also take it off road some time in the future. But nothing extreme, just paths for regular hikers. So far my top candidate is Qu-ax 24’’ cross. Is it a good choise or would you recommend something else (qu-ax muni is little bit expensive but maybe i can save for a while and buy that but how will it perform on street?). I’m 182cm(6’0’’) and 69kg(152lbs).

To my questions:

  1. Is the wheel size good choise for learning and general use ?
  2. Should I buy qu-ax 24’’ cross (approx.185 €) ?
  3. Is there something I should be really aware of ?
  4. Do you recommend to wear some kind of special protection (helmet is obvious but what about some knee/elbow pads or back protection-i have one which i use for snowboarding but should i wear it also when unicycling ?

Thank you very much for all of your answers.

  1. A 24 is a good size for learning, that’s what I learned on.
  2. Someone else will have to answer, I’ve got no experience on that brand.
  3. There are a lot of tutorials and tips to be searched for in these forums. Check those out. Be patient and don’t give up. I hear the average person takes 12 - 14 hours of practice to just get to the point where they are riding. Don’t get discouraged if it takes longer. There will be times where you will get discouraged and feel like you either are not making progress or worse yet, going backward with progress. Fight through those feelings, stick with it.
  4. Yes. A helmet is a must. Other common padding:
    wrist guards
    shin guards/leg armor
    knee and elbow pads

I haven’t heard of anyone using back protection… other than the camelbak/backpack with a water bladder for drinking.

Your English is fine. Just curious, what’s your native language?

I understand the desire to buy just one uni, but there’s good logic in buying a ‘learner’ that you upgrade after you learn to ride.
It’s easier to learn on a slightly smaller wheel than the uni you might buy if you already know how to ride.
As well, I burned through 3 sets of (admittedly crappy) pedals before I upgraded to my Nimbus Muni. While learning to ride you’ll drop it a lot, and that doesn’t hurt as bad when its a cheaper unit that you plan to replace anyways.

Keep watching your local classified, or the Trading Post section here and pickup something used that you can re-sell or donate when it’s time to upgrade.

Yeah, you got a point that it’s good to buy one that can be “abused” just for learning … The little problem that comes to my mind is that I’m from Slovakia (sry I wanted to ask those questions and didn’t think about editing my profile at that moment) and the unicycle market is pretty small here (I must say it’s almost non-existent). I have to order from Czech republic cuz shops here only offer 20’’ unicycle from Kettler or some unknown manufacturer in the price range 80-130€ … I would rather buy some 180-200€ unicycle with potential to be used as “little advanced”.

I’m sorry but are you talking about 3 sets of pedals or 3 cheap unicycles. Because if it’s only 'bout pedals than maybe I could buy those “crappy” plastic qu-ax pedals for learning (if they will fit of course). I noticed most of unicycles have some sort of handle on the front of the seat. Is it possible to grab when you’re falling so the unicycle will not fall on the ground?

Adding to the “to buy list”

“beautiful” Slovak language :smiley:

Maybe I’ll add a bit of clarification to my first post. This is a video from this topic. I hope BrickMan won’t be mad at me for using this video here, although it’s waaay down the road since I will be able (hopefully) do something like that but is the “cross” version enough for terrain like that?


Your English is just fine - better than plenty of people for whom it’s supposedly their first language!

In this country I’d look on ebay for a cheap uni - I presume you can’t source one that way (or something similar).

I hate to recommend not using protection for riding a uni - you can get hurt, and it’s up to you what you’re comfortable with. However I should mention that I learnt to ride with no protection at all - not even a helmet or gloves - without hurting myself. I just always landed on my feet. when coming off. Once I could ride a bit I started wearing gloves, and then got gloves with wrist protection as I found I fell onto my hands. Now for riding off-road or on my 29er on the road I wear a helmet and those gloves, as I reckon the risk of coming off badly is significant enough. I also have shin pads which I wear for learning new stuff where I might get pedal bites. However I’ve never worn knee or elbow pads, and for transportation use at slower speeds I don’t use anything.

Not that anybody else is wrong about the need for protection, but I’m happy with the amount I wear.

I’m sure a Qu-Ax Cross would be fine for the terrain in that video - I’ve ridden my cheapy beginners uni over terrain as tough as that without breaking anything. The spec of the Cross with an ISIS hub should be capable of much harder stuff than that.

That was 3 sets of pedals. The ones that came on my first uni were super crappy cast aluminum that broke after a few days of use. My second and third sets were bike shop ‘dumpster’ pedals that I got for free. After that I bought a cheap pair for $10 that are still on it.

I’ve had good success talking to local bike shops when looking for ‘dumpster’ parts!

Yes, the grab handle on the seat is good for catching the uni before it hits the ground, if you’re able. I did manage to bruise a finger-tip a couple times on the handle bolts so I stopped bothering to catch it - to the detriment of my pedals! Once I started wearing gloves, that was no longer a problem and I stopped dropping the uni.

I bought a qu-ax 24" cross about a month ago after starting to get good at riding distances on the cheap no-brand 20" unicycle I started learning on 6 months ago (my current goal is to ride to work which I could mostly do on single track paths.) The tyre on the qu-ax is BIG, and makes the wheel diameter closer to 26". It is knobbly so it drags quite a lot. Also, the unicycle is quite heavy compared to the 20". I’m a little taller than you Spectro, and I think I would have struggled with initially learning on the qu-ax. I would suggest getting a cheaper ‘beginners’ unicycle to start with; 24" would be fine, you would probably find you would need to put a longer seat post in a 20" (I certainly did.) If the bug catches you you will be wanting lots more unicycles anyway!

My knees would strongly recommend getting knee pads!

Back Protection

For back protection, I purchased a Deuter Attack backpack. In addition to a water bladder (3L/100oz) that can be placed inside, it comes with a foam padding for the back that gives more resistance when it encounters more force.

The padding creates air channels to cool you, and the foam absorbs impact. I didn’t see it as 100% needed, but with my intent to commute to school with a geared KH36 in Las Vegas, I wanted the water and padding for when I fall.