First off, hey y’all, I’m back! I joined this forum (and put together my first real muni) back in 2003 at age 20, and was more or less active for about 10 years. I posted here as @hell-on-wheel , but I can’t get into that account so just made this new one. I’m sad to say I really haven’t ridden much the past decade. Now I’m 40 and ready to get back in the saddle!
I just started hitting the trails again here in Richmond VA a couple weeks ago, partly inspired by @8streets recent video on YouTube. Skill-wise, it’s like I never quit. But I’m so out of shape now that I have to stop to catch my breath every 5 min or so!
Anyways, I’m thinking it might be time for an upgrade. It seems like a lot’s changed in the past 20 years equipment-wise, and I’m wondering what’re the popular metrics these days? I’ve always ridden 24", but it looks like 26" or 27.5"(?) are what the cool kids are riding.
Here’s what I’m currently running on my 20-year-old rust-bucket:
Profile hub with 145mm cranks
24" Alex DX32 rim and Gazzaloddi tire (still got some tread)
Cheap Yuni frame with ~22mm tube and seatpost
Carbon-fiber seat with KH cover and a 12" innertube inside (but the tube’s shot so I just got rags stuffed in there for now)
GB4 steel handle (old-timers will remember these)
I’ve always loved this muni, and though ugly, it’s still a sturdy beast, and it’s all I’ve known. We’ve been on a lot of adventures together. But I’m thinking it might be time for a larger wheel and these Fusion One saddles look amazing. But looks like the pivot seatposts don’t come in 22mm, so I would need a new frame anyway.
I guess my main question is: Does anyone still ride 24" for muni?
Also, what other online spaces are unicyclists congregating in these days?
27,5" or 29" is a most used Muni size with a disk brake inside and short cranks like 110 mm. Some people still ride their 26" because their love it. 24" Munis are to slow for this world now and use by kinds if there are to small to ride a bigger wheel. I also ride my 24" Muni with a rim brake and 150 mm cranks and it works very well but I 'm not fast with it.
People use to say 27"5 are more suited for downhill, whereas 29er are more suited to XC. The latter can be faster and more intimidating than the former when going over an obstacle. That said, I prefer to ride my G29er than my 27"5 for downhill. So you’d probably be fine whichever size you’d choose
On another point, the wideness of the tire is something you should consider. We are now used to ride with “plus size” tires: 2.8" - 3.25" tires. They are usually heavier and harder to maneuver than narrower tires, but they allow to ride over bumps and drops more easily.
Yes, but… Those are mainly urban riders who like to jump up and down big obstacles. I don’t think they are useful other than that. Plus, they are quite slow. I wouldn’t ride such a uni for muni as I like to go far and fast
A few urban riders are on https://www.skrrrt.io/. Otherwise, I don’t think there’s a space with lots of unicyclists. Facebook and other social networks don’t gather everyone nowadays on a single platform.
I’d say to forget what the cool kids are doing and get something that fits your body and riding style.
If you like stopping, hopping, and dropping, then maybe a smaller wheel would be a better fit.
If you like rolling fast, smooth, and far, then for sure a larger wheel will be a better fit.
I’m 6’3" and like to flow through the trails so 36" is my go to uni for muni.
If I’m climbing a lot or have a lot of technical sections then my 29" with a fat tire is my little wheel that gives me absolute control in those conditions.
For the snow, I have a 26" Hatchet with a (almost) 5" tire which puts me at the same wheel size as my 29".
Keep your 24" for reminiscing and learning new skills but I would say get a big wheel to cover different grounds.
Blockquote Anyways, I’m thinking it might be time for an upgrade. It seems like a lot’s changed in the past 20 years equipment-wise, and I’m wondering what’re the popular metrics these days? I’ve always ridden 24", but it looks like 26" or 27.5"(?) are what the cool kids are riding… with 145mm cranks
So the biggest changes are:
brakes, especially disc brakes are a game changer (see below)
shorter cranks made possible by good brakes for more speed
larger wheels (also for more speed)
As above, 27.5" and 29" are the “cool” sizes (with 36" an honorable mention, awesome for light XC by the way).
But 24" is still quite usable for getting back into it, especially for more technical riding.
If you are wanting to first upgrade while getting back into it, I would consider:
D’Brake adapter allows you to modify an “old” frame to run disc brakes, but you have to also buy the Kris Holm Spirit cranks (sadly not cheap at $120). I have a D’Brake adaptor lying around but I’m in Germany.
shorter cranks, preferably multi-hole, say 117/137mm (or 110/127mm if you’re ambitious)
Maxence of course knows a lot about Muni, and I also do the same and ride wide tires between 2.6" and 3.0" (I just bought 2 more Maxxis 29x3.0" for reserve as the model is being discontinued with 2.6 being the widest in the future). But I have to add that there is another new “trend” among elite riders for relatively narrow tires: most of the top German DH riders as well as the Villanders Italy riders prefer 29" with narrow(er) rims and narrow 2.1"-2.3" tires with “high” pressure of >2bar/30psi (I run 17-20psi/1.2-1.5bar). As far as I understand, the “benefits” are more lateral stability/feel and more direct tracking (the fat tires have the “advantage” that they soak up and roll over everything but you also loose some feeling for the terrain) but mainly that the narrower tires with more air pressure are faster for racing. However, for getting back into it and given the choice, I would also recommend wide tires.
My recommendation: ride a bit until you feel too slow on your 24 with the 145mm cranks, then try some shorter cranks in the 110-125mm range. You’ll be considerably faster and hopefully have some idea if you prefer more “speed” riding or more technical riding. Then if you wanted to get something new, you could make the decision between 29" for XC/speed or 27.5" for DH/technical (Aside: I ride 29+ for DH and XC with mostly 110mm cranks, although I have 125, 136mm cranks available and ride 137mm on my 27.5" freewheel).
I would not advise this solution. Spirit cranks (and External Disc Brakes) are discontinued. Meaning you won’t be able to buy new EDB-compatible cranks in a few months/years.
I do agree with this trend. I would also say the better you are, the narrower the tire you would use. So, for someone coming back to the sport, a wide tire should be great. Then, when they’ll feel comfortable on it, they may try and get a narrower tire
Wow, thanks for all the feedback. One of the things I love and miss most about unicycling is the supportive community.
3" tires were becoming the standard just as I was coming up (24x3" Gazzaloddi being the fan fav), so I’m used to that width. These ~4" Hatchets look fun to try, but I don’t imagine they handle switchbacks very well. I enjoy the challenge of finding the best line to take over/around the roots and rocks on technical single track, so I don’t think it would be my preferred size. But I’m not sure I’m ready to go narrower than 3" either. Maybe in the future though.
I think I’ve decided to keep my old 24" for sentimental reasons and to have it as an option for more “trialsy” stuff. Otherwise I could harvest the Profile hub, but then I’m locked in to 145mm cranks.
So seems like a KH 27.5" is what I’m after. Not sure if I want to get it “off the shelf” or save a little $ building it myself (haven’t looked at the trading post yet) and maybe holding off on the brake for now.
I’ll keep y’all updated, and again I really appreciate the advice. I hope to meet some of you at future muni weekends!
Is there a reason you’d like a KH uni? They were the best a few years ago. But they are now similar to other unis IMHO. Not because they are bad, but because other manufacturers have created amazing unis
BTW, with KH going for Qaxle hubs and cranks, KH unis become really similar to Qu-ax RGB unis.
Just because it looks like (on unicycle.com USA anyway), that the only 2 decent options now are KH or the tank-like Nimbus Hatchets. Between the two, I’d choose KH. What other models and/or stores am I missing?
Mad4One make great unis, but quite expensive. Probably even more for an American.
Nimbus Oracle unis are also great, and way less expensive. Not sure when they’ll be back in stock, though. Same for Qu-ax RGB. Regarding the latter, I’m not sure they are ever available in the US at all. You should ask your local retailer
Not sure where you are looking but there are lots of Muni on sale on the USA Unicycle.com site.
They appear to have quite a wide range of stock in at the moment.
Nimbus Muni range
Nimbus Oracle range