Nimbus Impulse 36er

Looking for a review from anyone who has the new nimbus. Looks good. Interested to hear how the disc brake rates.



Guys, did you read the Impulse thread?

This is my Nimbus Impulse. It is a first run. I bought the first one off the container. Actually, there was a recall early on and UDC replaced (free of charge, of course, God bless them) everything from the neck down. Under extreme pressure (speeding up or slowing down) the original hub made a little noise where the replacement did not. Should this “lightweight” aluminum hub ever malfunction, I will most likely replace it with this chromoly spindle made for the Oregon.

Here is a close up of the disc brake. A thing of beauty, isn’t it? Notice the dual hole 125/110 moment cranks do not have the inserts that can be troublesome (something that Kris is eliminating in his next version) with my 150/125s. I use the 125 hole on the hills (climbs like a dream) around the house and switch to the 110 hole riding marathons down by the river where it is flat.

Here is the rim. The first run Impulse used a drilled Stealth1 rim to obtain it’s title as “the lightest weight 36er on the market” and now with the FOSS tube and the proposed lightweight replacement for the Nightrider tire it is very light (in comparison to KING) and quite the joy to ride. No, your eyes are not deceiving you, my LBS used duct tape to replace the green rim strip tape that came bulging thru the holes after the first thousand miles. Not sure how much weight the duct tape added but the next thousand miles produced no more bulges. Still, with rotational weight a premium, my next visit to the LBS will be with UDC’s green (keeping with the theme) rim strip tape in hand.

Here is why I call her Luigi (my Schlumpf is named KING) sticking with the green theme. This little figurine head has been with me since the very beginning (never did install that 2nd rear handlebar on my Shadow base) and my kids get a real kick out of chasing this thing up and down the street.

As my signature says, this is now the back-up/loaner should my Schlumpf ever malfunction (perish the thought) because I ride in a lot of local events so I cannot be without a 36er for any amount of time. Sorry, I know it’s not much of a review but most of the questions have been asked and answered over in the official Impulse thread in RSU. Long story short, if you are on the fence about dropping a little extra coin and upgrading your Nightrider purchase to spring for an Impulse, don’t be. It is an excellent choice.

one month Nimbus owner

I got mine 4 weeks ago. love it. it is my first 36, and the first one I have ever ridden. So, for what it’s worth, I get stoked every time I ride it. I use it to commute in city traffic in Seattle. Pop into the bike lane, on the sidewalk, up and down some pretty difficult hills and I could not do it without the smooth brakes. I have learned to do some fairly technical riding in a short time and as I gain confidence and ability, I find myself using the brake without thinking about it. It is just part of how I ride it now. I have the KH 150/125’s and am getting ready to switch to the 125 holes, and I think it will be beneficial that I put some effort into getting skilled on the brake. My longest ride is 16 miles, and weather permitting I plan to try 30 miles in the next week or so, and see how that feels…

Glad to hear you’ve mastered the technique (I also learned “how to brake” on the Impulse. Now I can hardly tell the difference between the Magura Hydro rim brakes on King.) because you are going to need to brake more often after you move your pedals to the 125 hole. Once you get used to 125s, you are ready for a pair of 125/110s. Then all you need to do is learn to ride with both hands on the Shadow which brings your shoulders square and you just take off. I love spinning smaller circles. I feel like I’m marching in low gear on my 150s and I can actually climb gradual hills better with 125s. It also doesn’t hurt that the Impulse is a few pounds lighter.

I have had mine about 4 weeks and love it. Great smooth ride. It is my first 36" and I am already freemounting it. Very touchy brake and I have only used it once which sent me over the front end.

holds it’s resale value

I have graduated to a Kris Holm Schlumpf geared 36er and was forced to sell my beloved Impulse to fund my MUni (26” Oracle) habit. I can tell you first hand that you can put a few thousand miles on an Impulse and still sell it for 70% of it’s retail value. I probably priced mine way too low as it was on the trading post less than 24 hours before I had several good offers and eventually one lucky buyer. I am just happy to see it to to a good home because this bad boy is far too nice to sit gathering dust.

The Impulse was my first 36er and I had never used a brake on a unicycle before. If you are just now starting out, you owe it to yourself to flatten the learning curve with the silky smooth modulation of a disc brake that does not grab hold and throw you off the front. I had to use Magura rim brakes on my new 36er because my geared hub is not compatible with a disc. The difference is apparent.

Paired with the new Nimbus/Foss clear inner tube, the Impulse is a real lightweight. It’s difficult to compare since I’ve only ever seen (in person) and ridden two 36er’s and any weight savings of the aluminum frame on my KH36 is admittedly negated by a heavy geared hub but the Impulse is noticeably more nimble and climbs like a dream. Of course any seasoned commuter will tell you that saving “rotational” weight is most beneficial. The Nightrider tire weighs nearly 4 pounds but it is the best we have for now. Hopefully, the next great thing for our discipline will be a lighter tire. It’s not a huge market but I believe it is an invention who’s time has come.

I liked the Shadow handlebar so much that I bought another one when I was building by new 36er. There was a problem with the first generation Shadow base breaking at the weld. Of course, the fine people of were quick to replace them with a second generation base and I’m happy to report that it has held up through multiple high speed unplanned dismounts. I don’t catch my unicycle (not even the > $3,000 one) when I fall. I get my precious body out of the way. Both of my handles have taken a real beating and keep coming back for more. Just don’t over-tighten the clamps so they have some “give” when need be. It should be noted that the integral high tensile bolt that attaches the BMX style pivotal seat post to the teeth on Shadow base tends to work itself loose over time. It’s obvious when it happens as you can feel the once rock solid handle knocking back and forth between the teeth. Get yourself some blue (medium) NOT red (permanent) Loctite threadlocker because you have to take the entire seat off the base to get to that bolt. Once in place, it will stay put.

One piece that I would have liked to have seen included in the Impulse with Shadow kit is a straight (i.e. no T) scrap piece of handlebar tube so that we would have an option to mount the brake lever directly under the seat in “MUni” mode without the handlebar in place. You can pick one up at your LBS or cut 5” from one of the two handlebars (1 straight, 1 curved) supplied. MUni mode is also nice for learning how to free (Static, Jump, Roll) mount especially if you are one to cheat by reaching over grabbing the tire with one hand to hold it still. Too lazy to make a special trip to my LBS and not wanting to cut down one of the handlebars because I hadn’t decided if I wanted the straight or curved in the back, I started with the front handlebar in place which turned out to be a good thing because I learned to ride with my left “braking” hand glued to it. Then later, when I was steady enough to hold on with my right “balancing” hand, I was finally able to tuck in and square my shoulders. After that, I was ready to use the shorter hole in my dual-hole Moments cranks. That is when my cadence really came together and I just took off. There is nothing like the feeling (and the strange looks) you get riding a wheel this big.