One unicycle to rule them all.

Hello unifreaks,
I know this is an worn out question but I need some help picking out a muni machine. Unfortunately I have few opportunities to test ride unis. Right now I ride a 29 on trails in my area. It isn’t built for muni so I am looking to upgrade. The 29 is a lot of fun for 75% of my riding but it can be difficult to climb steep rocky sections, is tiring during long single-track climbs and isn’t always as nimble as I want it to be. That being said it is really nice for riding the roads to and from trailheads.

Considering nice unicycles are fairly expensive I want the most versatile muni possible. Something that can handle steep climbs, long flats and technical descents. Obviously there is no perfect machine.

I’m looking at either a kh 29 or an Oracle 27.5. I prefer the kh setup and looks but want something less tiring on long climbs. Is the 3 inch tire on a 29 fairly maneuverable? Is there a significant difference between 27.5 and 29? Any thoughts would be very much appreciated. In your opinion what is the most versatile setup?

I’ve switched over to riding almost exclusively on the 3.8 nates on a 65 mm rim for dirt, snow, whatever. The nate really doesn’t have the autosteer that older tires had, and the tire has a TON of grip for climbing up slick/sandy climbs. I think it makes tackling obstacles a lot easier and find it less tiring to ride overall due to that. It’s surprisingly light as well, even with a heavy (but very much loved) surly frame. The hatchet was quite a bit lighter. It’s a 29" equivalent size, so it can do some distance as well.

If you have a 29er now, the 27.5+ will be about the same diameter and speed, but make obstacles and sand easier. The KH 29 runs a 29+ tire, which is significantly different than a 29 x 2.4.

It depends a bit where you are and how much snow you get. KH also makes a 27.5 wheel. It looks like all of the 27.5 and 29er options now use a + size tire.

You can also significantly change a wheel by changing out the crank size. I always opt for multi-hole cranks if I can, and find the 150 size great for muni on my fat tire or my 29x2.4. If I want to commute in the snow, I’d probably select the 125 size. If you really want a slower mountain goat feel, you could opt for the 165/138 combo.

Everybody will have a different opinion on what the most versatile setup is, and most will tell you there is no single wheel to do everything. It depends on your riding style, terrain, weather, strength, skill, priorities, etc. Right now, for me, that’s a 26x4 with no brake. . . at least off-road. When you find that setup, you’ll likely be singing praises of it as I have with mine. : )

I recently got a 27,5 Qu-ax and feel it’s a nice in-between size. Bought it because I couldn’t decide between 26 and 29 :p…

I don’t believe you notice that much of a difference between 27,5 and 29 though. For doing technical downhills a smaller wheel is easier in my opinion.

It’s an endless discussion really… Also in the mountainbike-world. Kris Holm is selling 27,5’s aswell nowadays. :wink:

Well, climbing steep rocky sections is difficult as a rule, and long single-track climbs typically are pretty tiring. :slight_smile: The uni you have now might be a pretty good all around choice really. You won’t know without having something else to compare it to, and it depends on things like how much you’d actually mind working harder to get to and from the trailhead.

Thanks

Unfortunately the kh 27.5 (which seems like the ideal uni) is out of stock in the us and UK. I have only used 150 cranks but like the idea of multi hole cranks. The kh unis seem to have much nicer components.

I’m definitely more of a distance/climber than a technical rider. But if there is something to jump off I definitely will try.

Does anyone have experience with the kh29+?

Actually before this thread devolves. What setup crank/wheelsize do you feel is the most versatile and adaptable for muni? That is my main question.

I’m riding a 29" Oracle and I love it for muni.
I’m 6’3" and ride pretty much what you describe.

Stick with the 29. The more you do the easier it gets.
I’m always nailing down new sections of trails as I get better and now I can climb like a bastard.

Just my two cents.

I bought a QX 27.5+ recently, and immediately retired my 29". With the 3" tire it’s almost the same size wheel as my 29", but it’s just better in every way, lighter and and faster and more nimble, and better at rolling over stuff.

It’s not great for technical muni, though - I like my 26" with the heavy downhill tire for that. I don’t see the 27.5 as an in-between 26-29 size, but as a replacement for my 29".

I don’t think there are any US distributors; I got mine from Goudurix in Montreal. It’s a nice unicycle, cheaper than the Oracle, and I think it’s a step up in quality vs. my 26" Oracle. And I noticed that Goudurix is having a 10% off sale now…

What is your current setup? If you are finding your current 29er to be a bit on the big awkward side off-road I would not suggest a 29+, Like others have mentioned a new 27.5 with a 3" tire would be basically a replacement for what you are currently riding with slightly better manners in the loose stuff.

Crank wise I like 137s on my 26 for mixed use (I’m 5’11", 190 lbs). You are already familiar with 150mm cranks and they sound like a pretty good fit for you, so I would suggest you go for the 125/150 dual hole cranks. Try out the short setting on the road and easy sections it really doesn’t take long to swap them over and makes road riding more enjoyable. If you are using dual hole cranks make sure you have a good quick release for the seat post, you will want to adjust your seat height every time you swap crank positions.