New uni: 29" RGB or custom

Hey!
I’m new here and happy to join.
I want to ask for some buying advices, as digging through the forum gave me… probably more questions to ask and more digging through the web!

Little context: I’m riding for two years - first and only wheel basic qu-ax luxus 26", road/commuting and forest roads. For this season i’m going to try shorter cranks (~100mm instead of standard 127) and qu-ax handle for long distance (and for next wheels use).

I’d like to buy something to skill up, get little into muni (more off-road, some jumps, some hills) and get little faster for longer trips (now ~40km was max).

For now I’m considering two solutions: just buing QU-AX rgb ‘as is’ and have fun (and get some mods later on like 27,5 + fat tire for snow) or build from scratch.
In both cases I ask for advices:

  • cranks - I think about 110/136 version, but maybe it’ll be too short?
  • breaks - 4 piston and 180mm rotor is a worthy upgrade vs standard 2 piston + 160mm in rgb? I’m not into really downhill riding, so no high slopes.
  • any advices on tire? And for custom-build - rims? I am considering some gravel rim from my colleague + 2" tire, but I’m not sure if it’ll be good for off-road + jumps?
  • saddle - in rgb there are QX Eleven / KH Fusion Freeride / KH Fusion Street. In custom - anything. For like 2h of riding my basic qu-ax saddle is fine - i’m going to check, how much handle will change. Here I’m looking for something that would do for long rides 4h+. What’s your best for long rides?

Little off-top - I’m really amazed by 26" luxus, as it was described as for learning and short rides. For me it’s daily commuting to work (~6km total) and grass, forest, rain and long trips on weekends (20-40km). Needed no maintenance and works great :smiley:

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Welcome :slight_smile:

I guess the reason why you might get slightly confused by browsing this forum is that there is no definitive answer for what is right or wrong. Also unicycles are about compromises and finding your own optimal configuration(s).

I assume that you are aiming for a 29" in a “hybrid” setup both for road and light muni. Because ideally that is two different unis in my opinion - they will have different tires, different crank lengths and different saddle/handlebar setup.

Here are my two cents for your questions…

I would go 127->114->100. You can obviously make the jump but 127->100 but gradually change is easier. Shorter cranks will enable faster speed (and better comfort) but it requires practice.

I must admit I never tried this handle personally, but my theoretical issues with it is that it’s wide down low (can hit your knees) and I don’t see how you can mount a protected brake lever on the handlebar (and having it under the seat is not ergonomic for longer rides where you are holding onto the bars).

Seems like a good compromise. 110 for road/distance and 136 for muni.

Why not get a 203mm disc. It’s cheap and you will probably not need 4 piston power for the riding you describe. Also in my opinion often overlooked subject is the placement of the brake lever. It is so much easier to use a brake if it’s positioned ergonomically on a handlebar (closer to the saddle for muni / further away for road use). Under the saddle is not optimal in my opinion.

As this is to be used for muni and road I would go for a tire that rolls quiet on asphalt but still has some bite. I have tried Schwalbe Johnny Watts and it’s nice and quite on asphalt and still has some grip off road. But it’s quite heavy. Make sure to select a tire that by inflated to 3,0 bar or more so you can run high pressure for long distance but lower for muni. I think the sweet spot might be 2.35" wide. For pure road use a narrower tire might be preferred.

About rims. Sure you can use a “regular” bike rim (all my unis have custom build wheels from “regular” bike rims). Just make sure to get a hub that matches the holes/spoke count of the rim. Qu-ax (and others) have 32h hubs and then you have many rims to chose from. I would choose and asymmetric rim for a theoretical stronger wheel. A decent alu rim (e.g. AR Offset Rim – Race Face) in a proper build wheel with butted spokes will be strong enough for regular uni (ab)use.

That’s very personal, and it’s super difficult to answer. In my opinion the best saddles for a unicycle for long distance riding is a regular bike saddle - but that only works if you can ride with both hands on the handle most of the time. Others (like you) seem to be doing fine on hard banana shaped saddles. I have tried the qu-ax luxus (as my first unicycle was also a qu-ax luxus) and I hated it :slight_smile: I also own flat unicycle saddles, the KH Fusion One and Mad4One Handle Saddle. They are miles better in my opinion - but still too wide at the front for my liking and I experience chaffing of my inner tights after a few km’s.

As a last note. Have you looked at Mad4One as an alternative to Qu-Ax. I think a build with a long M4O Handle Saddle and a hybrid tire may be a good option for you. Also if you go custom consider something like this. And if you are in the EU feel free to drop me a PM if you are interested in buying a used Handle Saddle base as i have both a medium and a long that I no longer use.

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I was in the same boat once, looking to buy or build a 29. I ended up finding one that was almost perfect for me for sale here on the forum and bought it. So that’s also an option.

As far as cranks and tires, I run 125 on everything for continuity(even my one b*ke has 125 now), so whenever I ride anything my feet are fully calibrated and know where the pedals are. I used a Surly Extraterrestrial tire on my 29 for when it was my road/distance, gravel, and muni wheel. That did great on pavement and gravel at 60 psi, and surprisingly good on mtb trails with slightly lower pressures, more like 45-55. Now I’ve also picked up a 36 some time ago and have a fully muni tire on 29 since 36 is my gravel and road uni now.

My gut feeling is: If you don’t really have much experience with what you want/like, just start by buying a complete uni, then modify piece by piece anything you think might need improvement.

110/137 dual hole sounds like a good starting point. 137 gets you up most hills where riding is faster than walking.

As much as I think good brakes are very important at a certain point, if you are not in a particularily mountainous area, starting with the cheap 2 piston that come standard is not so bad. They work fine and are not such a big financial loss if they get damaged.

Gravel rim sound too slim and possibly too weak for a unicycle that will see jumps. Also consider that unicycles almost always use 36h rims, while bikes are typically using 32h or less.

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