Hopefully someone can give me some pointers. I’m a relative new comer to unicycling having been riding only since May of this year. I still have my 24 inch learner which has served me well but its a no name flea market uni with newly bent cranks I picked up for 10 euro so I think its time for an upgrade.
I’ve been riding some very easy biking trails around my house and I really like off road riding so want to get a proper Muni. Having said that, I have absolutely no plans on doing any highly technical downhill but would love to be able to ride some rolling single track along with some lightly technical areas plus a few hilly sections. I’ve been reading all I can find on this forum and elsewhere and I’m currently gravitating towards the 26 inch Nimbus Oracle but am also considering one of the 27.5 inch qu ax models.
I’d love to hear some opinions on the 27.5x2.4 format qx unis vs. the 26x3.0 format Nimbus. I’m pretty sure I want a disk brake but could probably be talked out of it as well. So what I’ve been looking at is the qx 27.5 disk muni, the q-axle 27.5 disk muni, and the Nimbus Oracle.
I’m leaning towards the 26x3.0 setup of the Oracle but really have no idea how it would compare to the larger diameter skinnier tired qx setups. The Oracle (in germany) comes with the 165 mm cranks which seem possibly on the long side for what I will be doing. The q-axle comes with the very nice option of a dual hole 125/145 crank which sounds perfect to me but it also has the non standard ISIS hub so I’m not sure I want to go down that path. Then the regular qx muni doesn’t have a dual hole crank but at least comes with 145s and standard ISIS.
Thoughts from more experienced riders on any of this would be greatly appreciated.
I have a Nimbus Oracle 26 and I love it. I think I was able to buy it new with 150/125 cranks as an option; I’ve settled to 137 single holes, because I use it as a single purpose muni. The 150/125 cranks ended up on my Nimbus 29er. This has no brake, a 2.5" tire, and is an almost perfect all rounder - definitely the unicycle I’d have if I only had one unicycle. But - the one I ride the least, because I have a 26er for off-road, and a 36er for the road.
The QX crank looks like a good design, and the crank length would be ideal…for me. But it is good to have other crank options, no doubt.
All that said, you are very fortunate in having a similar decision to “which of these delicious beers do I want to buy?”. Consider whether you think one uni is all you’ll ever need or if you’ll end up with more than one. Are you the kind of person who gets by with one pair of shoes for everything, or is your closet full of them? How many bicycles do you have?
The QX looks like a great all rounder. It’s the one I’d go for if I was pretty sure I was getting only one. But you may end up wanting something a little bigger for road and lighter duty paths, and something smaller for technical stuff. The Oracle is great for technical trails, but not so fun on the road. You can share cranks with other unicycles too. But if you buy it you may end up wanting a bigger uni later.
I am a 26" Oracle owner. This is my one-and-only mUni, so I can’t really compare it to other stuff.
Cranks: 165mm cranks may be overkill for you, but they’re great for me. There are serious hills in my neighborhood. I am 6’2" (213cm) tall. I use the KH t-bar setup for XC mUni, and that has helped increase my cadence, even with the long cranks. If you like trail riding, I suggest starting with the 150mm cranks. If you buy Ventures, you can get 2-3 sets of different sizes…for the cost of one set of KH cranks.
Brake: The disk brake allows me to ride down hills I would otherwise walk or fall on, and it saves my knees. I was pretty bad at operating the brake while holding onto the seat-handle…but once I started using the t-bar setup, I became super-happy with the brake. As a beginner, you probably won’t have much interest in the brake. Like anything else, using the brake is something which needs to be practiced.
Tire: UDC ships the U.S. version of the Oracle with a heavy Duro 3" tire. I have replaced it with a thinner/lighter Maxxis Ardent. The Duro is a great tire, but for my specific needs, I think it was overkill. Particularly, the weight of the Duro gave it greater inertia, which made impulse-power more sluggish.
You get a lot for your money with the Oracle. 26" will ultimately give you more tire choices.
The Oracle is a neat choice, but the 26" Duro is very heavy and it’s just about ok as a 24", but is overkill in 26". Especially if you’re still a beginner. But it’s still one of the most interesting Muni of your list.
It feels like 27.5" didn’t really catch up - we all know it’s a marketing trick more than a revolution…
Or you save up a bit and get the KH (add 100€ from your website). It would have the dual hole cranks and an easier tire. The saddle is not to everyone’s taste though.
From your description I would go for a Kh 29. A Kh 26 if you want it slower to ride more technical. A nimbus 29, not the oracle is what I would pick for what you want to do. I think the oracle is over priced for what it is. The steel 29 is only 350 and you can upgrade to the crank and saddle of your choice for well under 500 total. The brakes aren’t really needed for a rolling single track. Nice to have, but not necessary especially if you’re new to the sport.
I really like the street and the freeride for muni. I’m a little surprised there’s no option for them on the muni sizes. Such is life. Maybe the gel will be reworked one day. It needs a relief cut and to be at least a little flatter. Maybe more narrow as well. . . It needs to be a Kh. : P
Thanks for all the input. I guess it really just comes down to personal preference so it’s nice to have so many good options to choose from. I think I’m now leaning towards the Nimbus ISIS muni (no brake version) on the advice of Juggleaddict. I’ll definitely be riding on more cross country style bike trails and fire roads than anything overly technical or hilly. And I like the idea of the increased speed the larger wheel size brings.
Compared to the 20" I learned riding on, it is very comfortable. I can free mount it and I’ve been taking forest rides. I don’t know how the Nimbus rides any different, but I will stick to the one I have now. I don’t have brakes on it, because that will just confuse me.
I simply adored the Duro on my Oracle 26er but alas the kids have pretty much taken that uni over and they much prefer the lighter High Roller. I’ve often contemplated putting a Surly Dirt Wizard on the Oracle but they are getting along very well with the Maxxis. My next uni will be a late model KH26 that will fit a Surly Knard.
I bought a basic Quax Muni 26 (steel frame without brakes) a couple of years and it did the job quite well as an all around uni (XC and town). Now that I have got a 36’ for long distances I have fitted the Quax 26 with a Magura ‘rim’ brake and so far it is great for doing Muni. The wheel is still true and all the parts are as good as the first day.
There is a big difference in price between brands and spec (aluminum/steel, brake/no brake). Quax is very good value for money.