Hi I’m a newbie to the unicycle world. I’m 49 and needed a new challenge and I’ve always been impressed with others who could ride one. My wife doubted I would ever be able to learn which motivated me more. I think I’m doing ok and can ride about 100 ft without support. I can make slight turns but any very sharp turn I lose my balance. I’m having a ton of fun and love watching all the you tube videos looking for tips.

With some luck I’ll be able to competently ride by summer time . If that happens I want to buy a better unicycle. I now have a club 24 but want to get a muni. I am looking at a 24 and a 26. Is there a big difference? Since I’m new I don’t know what brands are good or bad and was looking at the different Nimbus ones. Are they good or bad? Are there others I should look at first? I’d rather spend a little more and have quality than be cheap and have to replace if in a year.

I still count myself as a beginner too. I can free mount, ride off road and can make reasonably tight turns. I can’t idle, ride backward or do any tricks yet.
I learned on a cheap 20" my wife got me as a Christmas present last year (year before last, 2014). By mid January I had upgraded to a Nimbus 2 24" muni. I’ve never ridden a 26", but as far as I can tell a 24x3" tyre comes to the same effective rolling diameter as most 26" mtb tyres. Mine is marginally smaller than the 26x2.4" on my mtb. The weight is far more on the 24", and tyre selection is more limited. However, as a heavier rider, I like the extra impact absorption of the 24x3". I think it comes down to personal choice really, and that’s dependant on rider weight, riding style, technique, terrain, etc.
As for quality, aside from that cheap 20 I have only ridden i my Nimbus2, my impact athmos trials 19" and my 36" Nimbus Oracle. I can’t fault any of them. Build quality is good, the Nimbus range should last you years with only a new tyre from time to time! I have no problem recommending a Nimbus as first ‘proper’ unicycle.
Good luck!

It sounds like you’re doing great so far. Keep it up!

The biggest difference is tire availability. If you like the rugged Duro Wildlife tire that comes standard, a 24" might be fine for you. But most of us, particular those who started later in life and who aren’t super aggressive riders, prefer a tire for muni that’s still wide but rolls more easily and isn’t as heavy. You’ll never run out of tires to try from the 26" downhill MTB world. 24" tire alternatives are fewer and mostly not as appealing.

Look over these two threads and you’ll see a difference:

A larger diameter tire is also better at rolling over bumps and rocks and roots, which also favors 26". Some have jumped straight to 29" because of this. The downside is putting yourself higher off the ground, which tends to make mounts trickier and dismounts more precarious, along with the weight of the larger tire and rim you’d be managing.

I ride a steel Nimbus muni frame. I bought it used and have done a fair amount on it. It isn’t fancy but it’s been great for me and I’ve never heard of one breaking. It’s kind of the small-block Chevy of the muni world. :slight_smile:

For muni I would recommend anything with the 2015 kh 26" frame that allows to put a surly knard 26x3 tyre which is pretty good for muni and very light, it goes everywhere, very fun to ride at low PSI (I run it a 15PSI).
The rim have to be close to 50mm, like the rim that is on the kh26 unicycle which is a 47mm rim.

If you want to do muni and urban with the same unicycle, maybe a 3" tyre is not the better choice, I don’t know, for urban ride I use a nimbus 29" with a schwalbe super moto 2.35 tyre and a kh handle.

If you want to do long distance, riding with your wife on her bicycle by your side, you’ll need a 36er or a schlumphed 26er/29er, or at least with a 29er and short cranks but you know, it’s not for right now!

Be careful, once you start to buy a 2nd unicycle, you take the risk of never stopping to buy unicycles/unicycle parts/unicycle related stuffs :smiley:

Thanks for the replies. Being a newbie I might have some dumb questions so I apologize in advance. Here is the first one, what does schlumphed mean?


A geared hub is made for unicycle, allowing it to ride in fixed (1:1 ) gear and high gear (1.5:1). The guy who makes it is named Florian Schlumpf.

I have a very nice Oracle24 that keeps going down in price on the Trading Post. Check it out.

It’s a 24 but with shorter cranks which makes it a bit faster. If I bought new I’d probably get a 26 though to be honest.

Thanks for the reply. I’m going to wait on buying until the summer. I want to make sure I do get better and stick with it. If you still have it come summer I"d be interested. Hopefully for you it sells before that.

^this is what you need to start. 26er has more tire choices.

^this will be the mUni you will wish you would have purchased once you get hooked on off-road riding.

Welcome to the World of unicycling Djphelan01 !
Apart from the comments made here about types of unicycles you might also derive some inspiration from a video I made when I was learning. I bet you can identify within the video a similar point to your own present riding ability.

Yes that pretty much sums up my journey so far. Hopefully when my first year is up I’ll be as good as you .

Ok so today I was practicing in my driveway and there were some wet spots. After riding a few times I noticed that my tracks look liked a snake very serpentine not nice and straight. When I’m riding it feels like I’m going straight not wiggly. What might be causing that? Is it just newbie lack of saddle time? I also noticed that either the Skechers sneakers I was wearing suck when wet or the club 24 pedals suck when wet not sure which though. I never had any problems with either when they’re dry. I’d rather correct bad habits now while I’m learning than to try and correct when it’s a bad habit.

As you gain experience your tyre track will naturally straighten out. It’s pretty hard to get it perfectly straight though.

LOL, that’s a really funny sounding word now that you’ve made me think about it. Schlumpfed isn’t technically a word, just slang for installing a Schlumpf geared hub in a unicycle.

Yeah, it’s a saddle time thing. One way to work on getting less wobble is to try and focus on relaxing your weight onto the seat a bit more. It also might help to wave your arms less, eventually you should be able to ride around with your hands in your pockets.
The pedals are probably what suck, I like Skechers for riding.

Last summer I was not exactly a newbie since I had been unicycling for 5 years prior to that, but it was something like 3 or 4 rides a year, and each ride was no longer than 5 miles so I was riding with a horrible form, unable to ride in a straight line, and my arms where moving around to keep balance.

But then I started to ride in a much more regular basis, and above all with other unicyclists.
I also started to buy other unicycles and I put a handlebar on each one, excepted the trial 19er (which is my favorite unicycle to learn new useful tricks, like hops, and other things)

Finally, two weeks ago I assembled a new 26er for muni and when I rode it without any handlebar I discovered that my balance and pedaling skill had improved in a way I didn’t expect. I no longer need to use my arms to keep balance (excepted in some specific situations), I can let them lean downward, and my pedaling is more “round”, I also try to get the pedal stroke the lighter I can each time I think to do it, but I ride in a rather straight line now.

So I suspect that a long use of handlebars (one or both hands) may improve your balance since you do not use your arms anymore to balance yourself but mainly your hips.
After a certain amount of time, if you return to a handlebar free unicycling, you can see how much you have improved your balance and pedaling skill.

I’m getting better! Yesterday I was able to freemount about 6 times (out of about 200 attempts). I have no problem getting on the uni free mounting, it’s the pedaling away that’s tricky . I also was able to ride in a circle for the first time. Still having a lot of trouble turning though. I’m a little better turning to my left than my right. I was practicing in a sloped parking lot so I’m not sure if that had any affect on my luck in turning or not. Since my goal is to try Muni riding by summer I figured I’d try to attempt riding in the gravel lot but it was a little muddy so I passed. I might have to wait until better weather for that. Riding in my garage (due to weather) is getting a little boring for me. I’ve had my Uni for about 3 weeks and this is very addicting.

You are doing very well for the short time you’ve been riding!
Suggestion for improving your riding away after mounting: practice coming to a momentary stop when riding, then start again. This is also a good practice item for learning/improving other aspects of riding as well.

Thanks that’s a good idea that I will try.

Today I learned a few new things, riding down hill and on gravel is hard and I needed to raise my seat. My tracks look like a snake even though I feel like I’m riding nice and straight. I was told I probably needed to put more weight on my seat so I was concentrating on doing that. I noticed my quadriceps didn’t burn as much when I relaxed and put weight on my seat. I figured I’d try raising the seat a little to feel the difference. I raised it about an inch and it seemed to help me keep weight on my seat better.
I tried riding down hill and the first attempt was successful and made me think I was good. That was the only successful attempt today, I still stink! Since my goal is to try muni riding I went to the gravel/ dirt lot and found riding on gravel is a whole new challenge. I did make it about 25 feet but only once.
Getting better at my turns but still stink at them, need a lot more practice.
I’m amazed at the attention a uni gets. I get people watching and taking pictures. I had one elderly lady ask what it was and said she never seen one.
I’ve been trying to convince friends that it is fun and good exercise but so far nobody is biting the hook to give it a try. I guess I’ll be doing a lot of muni riding by myself.

Great news on the progress! Keep riding. Once you’ll get more confortable - but don’t wait too long before you read it - there’s ton of info on the subject all concentrated in this thread.