I have a cheap 24 inch Unicycle that I have been learning on for the last few weeks and it’s cheapness is starting to show. I want to get another unicycle but am not sure what one to get or even what discipline I want to focus on. In other threads a 24 or 26 inch Muni was recommended as a good place to start. (And if I did get a muni, would I also need another tire?) I will be going off to college this coming year and plan to ride it around campus and to try riding on the trails they have their. I’m 6ft, have a 33 inch inseam and weigh 175 lbs. I am going to college so price will be a factor when I decide.
A MUni is great if you want to ride MUni. If that isn’t your goal I wouldn’t recommend one as an all purpose ride. A Nimbus 2 in either the 24 or 26 inch size would be a great cruiser, and still have the ability to ride on clean XC trails. It really is a personal choice, but I would say that if you feel more inclined toward distance (on or off road) go with a larger wheel like 26 or even 29. On the other hand if you imagine yourself doing tricks (freestyle or trialsy stuff) I’d go with a 24. 20 is too small to use for transportation.
The simplicity of the machine means that unicycles are limited, and any one uni will be a compromise if you want to do a lot of different kinds of riding.
Personally I think the best all around uni is a 29er. I don’t do tricks, and I like being able to cover some mileage without too much work.
If you decide you will be using the unicycle for commuting and trail rides I’d suggest a stock Nimbus 29" Mountain Unicycle. $360 shipped to your door thru www.unicycle.com. This is a solid unicycle that will withstand your abuse as a college student.
Thank you for the fast replies!
What would be the major differences between the nimbus II and the Nimbus mountain unicycle, (besides cost and wheel size)? I am not that interested in tricks or trials, which rules out the smaller wheels. I think I would mainly use it to get around on campus and do some light trails like jtrops was suggesting. So does that mean I should get the nimbus II? Or is there something I am not taking into consideration?
Frame wise the nimbus 2 frame is more suited to doing tricks with the square(ish) crown whereas the 29er frame is rounded and designed to be strong, lighter and prevent painful knee strikes.
The muni uses a 42mm wide rim (vs 32) which is better suited to using big fat tyres and preventing foldover, that being said most mtb tyres are perfectly happy on rims narrower than 32mm.
The nimbus 2 actually has the stronger wheelbuild with 48 spokes vs 36 on the muni, but that is unnecessarily well built for modern hubs/spokes/rims especially undished.
Crank length is personal preference but i find 150 too long on my 29er for XC riding.
Both unicycles have a massive market for spare tyres if you find what/where you want to ride.
Personally I don’t have a 26er, my 29er is a jack of all trades and gets used on my 1.5 mile commute every day and all told ~30-50 miles per week. I find it more suitable for short commutes and errand rides than a 36er especially with low speed city traffic. As much as it doesn’t seem like much, those extra 3 inches makes a big difference to top speed and ease of handling.
On that note, have you looked into the road 29 as well…
So what would be the main difference between a 29" MUni and a 29" road Uni? Is it mainly just the shape of the frame and the type and width of the tire that separates the two unicycles?
Also, what crank length would be recommended? Is that something that I should just start out with the stock lengths then later decide to change them?
Yeah, they make great trials/flatland machines too
In all seriousness - I started on 145mm cranks on my 29er (after being a total noob who at that stage had maybe ridden 5 miles on a 24" and realised I was eventually going to want an upgrade). At first it felt fine, but I quickly grew out of them - I was pedalling so fast that the longer cranks were causing a lot of wobble. I went down to 125mm cranks, and they’re perfect for me - I’m mostly a roadie/smooth XC/very occasional hardcore MUni rider, and the 125’s work fine for it all (Maybe not if I did a lot more muni stuff, but considering how often I do that, they work fine). So, with that in mind, starting with 125’s might be a bit tough, but if you’re mostly doing road riding, they should be great. My Qu-Ax 29er is pretty heavy, so maybe a lighter one would be easier to start off with 125’s
So what I’m thinking is the Nimbus 29" road Unicycle with 125mm cranks and a 300mm seatpost. Should I consider a different saddle then the nimbus gel?
Thank you all for this help! I can not believe how awesome and responsive the forum is.
For all learning activities, I use a 20, and only break out the 29 that you are thinking of buying when the wanderlust hits me. Most tricks (“skills”) are transferable to it once I’ve learned them thoroughly on the 20. No complaints about the seat, or anything else on this 29. It’s quiet, sturdy and fast.
This would be my choice if I were you. I like 125’s for general purpose cranks on the 29er, and 140 is the longest I go when I want a bit more torque. At the moment I have 102’s on it, and it has been a lot of fun with the shorties.
Saddles are a personal thing. I like the KH Fusion Street, but I’m intrigued by the new zero. I have a nimbus gel that I made a bit flatter, and I like it alright after the mod. I’d say that whatever saddle you get it will be more comfortable with decent bike shorts.
Since you aren’t sure which unicycle discipline you want to follow, learning standard freestyle tricks might be wise, and that is best done on a 20".
Riding around campus sound like it involves maneuvering around pedestrians. You are less likely to crash into others on a 20" than on a larger unicycle.
Pads and safety gear are highly recommended for larger size unicycles, where falls occur at higher speed and from greater height. Assuming you don’t want to suit-up every time you go for a ride, go for the smaller, safer 20".
You are going to let other people try your unicycle, right? For that reason, get a 20", and carry around the tool needed to adjust the seat-post, so others can try it. No first-timer except for a masochist is going to want to try a 29".
If getting to class quickly is a real issue, then you might consider a bike, not a unicycle. Fast unicycle riding is better done away from other people, anyway. A 20" should be as fast as walking.
Admit it, you’re a show-off. People will think it’s pretty cool the first time they see you riding. What about the second time, the third time? Don’t forget that you will be riding alongside the same set of students, commuting between classes, on each day of the week, for an entire semester. At some point, riding forward is not going to get a reaction. You will need a new trick, such as idling or riding backwards, best done on a 20".
A 20" will fit better in cramped spaces, such as dorm rooms. You will have more flexibility traveling with a smaller unicycle.
Having a 20" does not preclude you from riding on trails. Consider a 20" with a wider, fatter wheel.
Peer pressure: Unicyclists in their late teens and early twenties are more likely to ride 20" wheels for street and trials. Everybody’s doing it. C’mon man, do you want to be a part of the ‘in’ crowd?
A 20" should be significantly faster than walking once you get the hang of it and can mount reliably, especially if you use short cranks.
I don’t know which university you’ll be attending, what kind of terrain it has or how the campus security forces will respond to a unicycle, but if there are trails you want to ride on campus, it sounds like you’ll have space for a larger wheel if you want one. It is true that larger wheels are a little more dangerous, though one of the best ways to make them safer is to use a 20" (or your 24") to properly learn all the skills you need: different mounts, hopping, backwards riding, idling, one-legged stuff. I met an old-timer, a big guy, who bought a 29" as soon as he could ride a little and he had carved up his shins pretty badly with those spiked pedals. But you’re young, tall and thin, so you should be OK on a 29." If budget is an issue, Unicycle.com’s sale right after Thanksgiving sometimes has some big discounts and free shipping.
Thanks for answering my question about the saddle and cranks, if I go with the 29" I’ll stick with the 125mm and the nimbus gel saddle.
Thanks for that guide, it was quite educational and answered questions I didn’t even know I had
Now I am double guessing myself,
Would a 20" be very different from the 24" I already have? I am not so worried about showing off to people, or being able to do a lot of tricks (thats what the next, next unicycle is for :).)
thanks for the heads up on the sale and the advice. I have been outside everyday, practicing so hopefully by the time I get the new unicycle, I will be proficient in basic riding.