People with longer legs... you don't know how fortunate you are

My inseam is 77cm/30". For over 2 years I couldn’t (well, mostly fail) static freemount a 36er, feeling like I was a failure. Anyway, I just got a nightfox and suddenly I can static freemount a 36er with ease! I just needed to be able to put the seat a little lower!

Anyway, also earlier this month I bought a standard 29er Nimbus muni. Put on 145mm cranks and KH Fusion slim saddle. All ok. Then I put on a nimbus shadow handle and a KH Fusion freeride seat on the uni. Now, with the seat post all the way down to the frame, my legs don’t comfortably reach the pedals with the 145mm cranks. So, I’ve put on shorter (138mm) cranks to make it work. It’s still on the too high (ie. I’d like to have a little more knee bend) side for my liking, but i’ll give this a go.

I could change the handle and seat setup, but I will try this out for a while… so you people with longer legs, appreciate them!


I wonder about this. Maybe you’re the lucky one Gockie, because relatively speaking you get to ride a bigger wheel than I do. I would like a 38" or something with a pneumatic tyre, which of course would be challenging to mount. Or maybe I’m wrong, and a 36’er feels pretty much the same no matter how tall you are.

For most people the goal with a bigger wheel is to go faster, and how fast you are able to go depends on your absolute wheel size, not the one relative to your body. Same for how the wheel handles bumps, it doesn’t matter how tall the rider is, just how big the wheel is in relation to the bump…

2-3 years with a 36 and now to me, 36ers really looks/seems a lot smaller than they did even just a month or so ago. I think it’s just because I got more accustomed to bigger wheels (started using the 27.5 and 29ers much more rather than 24") and I can now freemount… :slight_smile:

Initially the 36 inch size was massive and the only way I could get up and on was by grabbing something (post, person or fence) and hauling myself up each time. That’s not so practical and obviously very frustrating. For Australian uninats 2019, I had both my 36er and 29er with me and there is a 10km road event, I chose to ride the 29er for it based on my complete inability to freemount the 36er in that situation if push came to shove.

My inseam also is 30"/77cm (maybe 31"/79cm), must be the 60+ years of hard riding and racing that allow me to hop up. But on a 36 I will admit that it takes up to three tries sometimes to get on the seat and ride away with no hops. Gockie, you must be a taller angel to fly up there like that, glad to hear that you have the uni made to fit you. Ride On.

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That’s a sweeping statement that’s simply not true. I ride my 36er for distance rides as I know many others do too. Speed is a secondary concern.

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And why do you choose a 36" over a 29" or even a 26" for distance rides?

I believe that finnspin is referring to cruising speed and not just top speed.


Exactly. I didn’t necessarily mean top speed sprints, faster at cruising speeds is going faster too. Or even being more comfortable at the same speed means the unicycle is faster to me. (And if a 36 doesn’t offer you that over other unicycles, I’d seriously start questioning why you bother with the bigger wheelsize).

I know you don’t like the idea of it, but you should just cut the darn frame. A new one is generally around $160 (US), so although cutting it will lower the resale, it won’t lower it any more than that and you’ll be able to properly adjust it to your height and ride it to the limits of your ability.

I’m just of the opinion that life is too short to try and save a few bucks on something that you’re destined to lose money on anyway.


I’m going to go back to the KH fusion slim seat for that uni and KH Handlebar.

I would have thought that was fairly obvious given that the bigger the wheel the easier it is to go further. For most of us on 36ers distance is the main objective, speed is secondary, but there are exceptions.

For me I’m 6ft 4 and my seat height from pedal at bottom of stroke to seat measures up at 37” so I would be pretty well suited to a 36” unicycle but I have no need for one.

I must look daft as on my 20” unicycles!

The only times I’m on a 20” is for hockey, which we haven’t played for months. For me it’s too slow/too much pedalling to go anywhere. I think 29” is probably the most comfortable size uni for general cruising around for me. But 24” is totally ok for most local day to day needs (short rides to the train station etc).

I would say that the reason you can go further with a bigger wheel is because it is faster (again, not just in top speed, but in cruising speed), so that’s more than just a side effect. Seems like tomato-tomato to me, I don’t want to argue that to death here, because what I intended to say is something else.

What I was actually getting at in my initial post is: Being taller in relation to a wheel size unicycle is mostly an advantage. (Mounting, general maneuverability). Saying “you get to ride a larger wheel in relation to your body size” is a bit like: “Shorter climbers have an advantage, they get to stretch to their maximum reach for holds, while larger climbers can just easily grab them.” Interesting alternative take by @UniMyra, but I don’t think it holds up that well.

Inseam to overall height ratio (similar to the “ape index”) would be an interesting factor to me. I have the same inseam of 77cm, but I’d guess I’m a little taller (171cm) and have never found mounting a 36 hard. It’s probably more about having ridden 20" unicycles for 7 years or so before ever trying a 36", but I’d be curious if overall height is maybe more of a factor to ease of mounting than leg length.

Someone could do a university study on it.
At the time of first freemounting 36ers (let’s say 20% success rate on flat ground indicates general competency) what was the person’s:

Riding experience
General riding proficiency
Unicycle model

Then, plug in how long it was till the person was successfully freemounting a 36er (at least 1 in 5 success rate) and I’m sure some patterns will emerge.

I doubt my lack of success in freemounting a 36" has something to do with short legs. My height is average (1.77 meters) but (like all bears) I have rather short legs :wink: … In fact I had a reasonable amount of success while trying to freemount but alas I hurt myself badly in the process … so now the main reason I fail is mostly fear! (I am not young anymore and my doctor is frowning every time I get hurt while unicycling).

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Could I add “weight of the wheel”? On my 36", I was never able to rollback mount - my favorite and most precise mount, nail it 100%. I had to walk/jump (jump mount?) onto it, which resulted in lower success rate, which decreased even more as the ride went as I go more and more tired.
But one of the unexpected bonuses of the carbon rim + light tire is that I can rollback the 36" now!

Crank length would also have to be a consideration, not just for the reach to the pedals but also for the leverage required to get the thing rolling once you get up and on to it. That was my experience with my 32" at least and I think it is probably big enough for me. That may well be related to wheel weight though as per Pierrox’s observation (well, moment of inertia).

It might be a bit of a challenge to get a big enough sample of 36" riders to draw any meaningful conclusions with so many variables… However if you can front up enough money to give to a University to do it, they might be able to rustle up enough folk :wink:

Congrats @Gockie! So excited for you. I’ve always been intrigued by the design of the Nightfox(and I love the bright green frame color). It definitely is a great addition to the Nimbus lineup! :+1:t2: