Plotting a compromise

I’ve been making slow but steady progress with my unicycling, and I’m
beginning to think I should buy my first unicycle. Problem is, it
seems one is not enough. I’d like to ride in town, on dirt roads and
paths in the woods, but also make 10-30 km tours on blacktop.

I’m considering two main alternatives, with minor variations:

  1. Nimbus 28" with a 700c/45 allaround tyre and 150-170mm cranks

  2. 24x3 muni with shorter cranks. 26x3 would be better, but there is
    not much available in Europe in my price range (below 400 euros). I’m
    thinking mostly about UDC Max Traction.

I’d like to receive some collective wisdom on these points:

Is the 24x3 (or 26x3) with short cranks (125-140mm) and a Gazz a
viable vehicle for 10-30 km trips? Is it too slow, or does a tyre like
this wear out too fast? I suspect this would be a rather easy unicycle
for a beginner.

Is the Nimbus 28" too hard to handle for a beginner? Is it sturdy
enough for riding in rough terrain? The tyre seems skinny for
off-road use.

These are difficult times…


Lone Ranger and Tonto were riding down the line, +
fixing everybody’s troubles, everybody’s but mine, +
someone must have told them that I was doing fine. +

RE: Plotting a compromise

> Is the 24x3 (or 26x3) with short cranks (125-140mm) and a Gazz a
> viable vehicle for 10-30 km trips?

The Gazz tire is best kept on the dirt. On pavement, you’re just wasting
rubber, literally, as the tire will wear faster than a street-type tire, and
you’ll be carrying around all that extra weight and traction for nothing. If
you’re going to have a 3" tire for dirt, you should use a different one for

> Is the Nimbus 28" too hard to handle for a beginner?

No. A guy just learned how to ride on a Coker. I wouldn’t recommend this,
but he proved the concept. Once you learn to ride, anything from a 16" to a
28" should be about the same, requiring a little practice to get used to.

Stay on top,
John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone <>

“This unicycle is made all from lightweight materials. But it uses a lot of
them.” – Cliff Cordy, describing the very heavy new prototype unicycle he
brought on the Downieville Downhill

A 30km off-road ride on a 24x3 wheel would be a long ride. I have done some off-road rides that are just shy of 25km and I’m barely able to walk at the end much less stay on the muni. 30km off-road is a lot of muni miles and muni miles are harder on the body than road miles. I have never tried a 24x3 with short cranks. I don’t know how it would be.

In general the big 3" tires feel real slow on fast smooth trails. They are more at home on the more technical singletrack trails.

The best tire choice depends on your mindset and type of trails you ride. Are you going to ride like a freerider or a XC rider? Lets say you see a section of trail that has a technical bit of roots and rocks on the lefthand side of the trail and a smooth path on the righthand side. Do you take the left side of the trail because it’s more fun or do you decide to take the right side because it is faster and you’ll be able to cover more distance in your ride? If you like to take the left side you’ll be more happy with a fat 3" tire. If you like to take the right side you’ll be more happy with a skinnier 26" tire.


This is me all over, but I’d say if you don’t know exactly what you want, get something versatile. Later you can upgrade, or buy another.

The Pashley 26 Muni is well within your stated budget, and is very sturdy, quite light, and has enough tyre to cope with a fair bit of slime and general adversity. There’s enough clearance in the frame to take a chunkier tyre should you later wish to upgrade. The only problem with the Pashley is it has lollipop bearings, so wheel changing/tyre changing is a bit of an exercise.

A 28 inch/700c Nimbus would cope with quite a lot. I used to bicycle on 27 inc x 1 1/4 rims, carrying camping gear, and I used to have a tandem and a moderately portly wife, and we never buckled the back (27 x 1 1/4) wheel. So I’d say the Nimbus wheel would cope with a lot that you could throw at it. Also, you can buy the wheels separately and have a couple with different tyres should you wish to pick and choose according to the conditions.

I find a 24 inch muni can cope with more technical stuff than a 26, but at the expense of speed and the ability to blast through short patches of topographical adversity. I personally and it’s only me wouldn’t buy a uni with an extremely fat tyre as my only ride. The few times that the tyre would be useful would be outweighed by the many times the uni would be too much like hard work to ride. For 20 - 30 mile rides you need a smoothish tyre pumped up hard, not some big squidgy thing that is only happy in mud ‘n’ slime.

Whatever you buy, have fun on it. :0)

Re: Plotting a compromise

Thanks for advice, everybody. My sights are now set on the Nimbus 28"
or the DM Ringmaster 28". I’m inclined to get the DM as I’ve been
learning on a 20" Ringmaster and it feels very solid. I’ll have to
check if it’s available in 700c and not the old 28" (635). I hope to
add a muni to my collection once I build more confidence to try more
radical offroading.


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