Purchase Question

Ok, I’ve got two questions - anyone has an opinion or three, toss them
right in.

Background - I purchased a 20" Torker last summer to learn on. Now
that I’m doing pretty good with it, I find that just peddling 1/4 mile
or so tires me out pretty badly. I need a bigger wheel!

I’m not well heeled, but I found a couple affordable on Unicycle.com -
A Sun 28", a Sun 26", and a United 26". Neither seem as nice as the
Torker, but both are affordable and would let me ride a mile or so (I
think!) without being exhausted when I get there. I plan to do no
trials or anything like that, but will have to put up with rough roads
and things. Basically it will be used for transportation to and from
the local market, to and from work on occasion, etc. Street and
sidewalk travel only, no cross country, no drops, no tricks, etc.

Question 1 - Does anyone have any experience with either of these
brands and if so, are they any good? (Technically, that was two
questions, but please ignore that fact.)

Question 2 - The difference between the 26" and 28" (besides the 2
inches) is ??? I know the 28" will be a bit faster with the same
crank size, but is it more difficult to ride or control or ???

And my lovely wife is letting me keep the Torker, too! Isn’t she
wonderful? She’s got my vote for wife of the year!

Thanks in advance for your help and opinions!

I have a 28" Sun and it’s quite easy to ride. I learned how to ride on a 20" Torker, then a 24x3 MUni with a Gazz (same effective wheel diameter as a 26") then bought a 28" Sun before purchasing a Coker.
It may take a little time adjusting to the 28" going straight from a 20" wheel, but I would highly recommend the 28" Sun for short road riding. They come with a relatively comfortable saddle. The ones that Unicycle.com sells have a steel wheel that is not as strong as an alloy rim would be.
I saw a place that was selling new 28" Suns with an alloy wheel on ebay a while back. I would suggest trying to get my hands on one of those if possible.

I don’t have any experience with either of these two unis, buthere is a thread in the product review forum for the Sun.

Personally, I would go with a better/ stronger uni then the two you listed. It will cost more, but will also last much longer and you won’t have to be as careful about breaking it. A couple models I’d look at are the Semcycles and the Yuni.

I have a Semcycle 26er and it has serverd me very well.

There’s my $.02
Daniel xcv

oops, I meant to hit edit, not quote. :smiley:

Avoid the United 26" unicycle. It has the poorly designed Taiwanese lollipop bearing holders. The frame will crack around the bolts that hold the lollipop on. In your price range you need to avoid anything with lollipop bearing holders.

The two Sun unicycles have the much better main cap bearing holders.

So your choice is down to the 26" Sun or the 28" Sun.

The 28" Sun with the alloy wheel that I referred to earlier has a “buy it now” option for less than $90 including freight if you’re in the U.S.
Here’s the link:


Re: Purchase Question

UniMike <UniMike@HomeOnTheRoad.net> writes:

I bought a Sun 26". I am basically happy with it, and I can easily
ride several miles, but I expected to have to upgrade parts as they
broke. As it turns out, those upgrades happened wuicker than I had
expected. After three months the only original parts left are the
hub, bearings, frame, seatpost and clamp. OK maybe I kept the
innertube, too.

One of the pedals self destructed right away, leaving a trail of ball
bearings in the street. I had much more durable pedals in my parts
bin, so I didn’t ask for replacements. New pedals would have cost:

Then I started riding distance and bought a KH seat for comfort.
Definitely an improvement, but in comparison the old seat wasn’t so
bad. cost: $48.

About this time, the cranks started coming loose on me. After three
tries to fix them, I went to the forum archives and followed someone’s
advice to hammer the suckers on (I used wood blocks and a big rock).
So far, so good.

Next, I made the mistake of trying skills on the Sun. Just as I
succeeded on my first few side mounts, the rim potato chipped
(tacoed?) on me. I blamed myself, knowing that a cheap steel rim
wouldn’t last long, so again no complaint. A trip to my bike shop
yielded a second hand rim and new spokes so I could build a new wheel.
Cost: $50.

Did I mention that the bearing bolts somehow came loose? No biggie,
but carrying allen wrneches is a good idea.

By the way, the stock tire turns out to be too small to fit a quality
rim. At least without serious effort.

I changed to a studded tire for winter. Not only was it hard to
remove the stock tire, but the bead was damaged, with a bunch of steel
exposed where the rubber was abraded. I decided not to mess with this
tire any more and bought a Maxxis Hookworm. Cost: $35.

I find that stock 150mm cranks are longer than I want for this uni.
Santa sent me a set of 125s. Cost: Around $10-$20.

At this point, the seatpost is pretty thoroughly mashed because it is
very soft and bends each time I adjust the height. I’ll probably need
a new one before long. Aside from the seatpost, I expect this
unicycle to survive in its current configuration for a long time. The
hub is likely the weakest link, and I’d upgrade to the unicycle.com
chromoly hub (plus new spokes) if this one bends.

The bottom line is I am very happy riding my “Sun” uni, but it has
required a lot of attention and upgrades in a short time.


I’m going to have to agree with daino in that I’d go with a bit more pricey but much more quality unicycle…if you buy a Sun then before long you will most likely have but enough money into it to have bought a quality unicycle. Not saying sun isnt quality im just saying there are much more long term smart buy choices. Also for long distance im hearing that 29ers are the best.

Re: Purchase Question

At the risk of sounding harsh, if pedaling 440 yards (406 metres) tires you out pretty badly… a 20 should cruise easily at around 5 mph, which is a mile every 12 minutes, so 1/4 mile will take 3 minutes…

Assuming you are not being self deprecating about your ability, the problem isn’t the size of the wheel.

A 26 is good for MUni, although if I had the choice again, I’d a get a 24 with a fatter tyre, and a 28/29 is good for distance. If you’re going to do either of these things, you’re going to be spending hours in the saddle. On a road ride, it’s common for me to spend 30 - 40 minutes without dismounting, and I have often ridden for over an hour without dismounting. On my 20, I once rode 20 miles in a day.

You will get less tired the more you practise, and the more you relax into the riding. You can then optimise the uni for your preferred style of riding by changing the cranks and improving the pedals. I’ve seen MUni done on 20s. I have 110 mm cranks on mine now and often ride 3 or 4 miles on it alongside my friend on his 24.

Sooner or later you will develop a preference for a certain type of riding (MUni, touring, speed, freestyle etc.) and then you will be in a position to make the best choice for you.

Get a Coker! They are bigger than 20", 24", 26", 28" and 29" unicycles. I think you will soon get tired on any Unicycle. A similar amount of energy is used on different wheel sizes to get places. It’s just on a small wheel you cruise slowly without expending much energy and on a big wheel you cruise faster but it takes more energy to get it up to speed. Cokers have the momentum (flywheel effect) which make them more efficient for long distance than 20"ers, but any size requires constant pedalling. I’ve ridden a reasonable distance (35k) on a 20", and it didn’t tire me out much, it just took a long time and chafed my inner thighs more than usual. I’d say lots of practise will help more than changing wheel size, but a new Uni can’t hurt.

Concentrate on putting most of your weight in the saddle rather than on the pedals, and you might find that you can go further without getting so tired. If the seat is killing you then maybe you need a seat upgrade (if you get a new Unicycle make sure it has a Kris Holm saddle).

A 28" sounds like it would be perfectly suited to what you want to use it for, but if those rough roads are very rough a 29er might do the job better, because bumps can throw you off a 28" pretty easily. The more money you spend initially, the less you will need to spend on upgrades in the future when parts fail (in theory), so don’t always go for the cheapest option. I bought the second most expensive MUni on Unicycle.com because I got sick of inferior parts breaking.

Good luck in making the best decision UniMike, and keep practising distance riding on your 20" while you save for a bigger wheel, it will help prepare you for what is to come.

I’m with Mikefule. Keep at your 20" and play with a couple of different tires and tire pressures. Buying a bigger wheel won’t really make you go that much farther. Work on some skills like idling and backwards, and soon what your next wheel should be will become apparent.

Re: Purchase Question

After reading everyone’s opinions, I came to two conclusions:

  1. My English really sucks. I had thought I was pretty clear on what
    I wanted to do with a unicycle (ride to the store on somewhat bumpy
    roads and ride around the neighborhood, maybe to and from work), I
    just needed opinions on brands. Oh well. I’ll get better with age.
    Or not.

  2. Stay away from lollipops.

So I bought the Sun 26" and am having a blast with it! Krashin’
Kenny, you’re right, the alloy wheel would have been a LOT better, but
I’m not sure I could have jumped from a 20 to a 28. Wish I could have
got that wheel on the 26. And Ken Cline, you gave me a lot to think
about, but I didn’t want to spend a lot of money to start with. This
is a learning experience for me. I can get a better ride after I
practice with this a bit.

Mikefule, you’re not sounding harsh at all, you’re absolutely right.
I had a heart attack last year, was badly out of shape, and am now
working toward getting into better shape to prevent another one.
That’s why I started unicycling last summer. So yes, it does tire me
out to ride a quarter mile (440 yards, as you say) and no, I don’t
expect to get on the 26 and ride 10 miles tomorrow. In fact, I don’t
plan on ever riding 10 miles - period. What I plan on is doing two
miles nearly every day. On the other hand, I’m not falling down and
gasping for air after 440 yards, either. I just want to have fun -
and I’m doing it. I’ll leave the 20 miles per day on a 20" to you
guys and gals!

And THANKS EVERYONE who responded! I really appreciated the input!!

Now then, with a brand new Sponge Bob Square Pants sticker on my
helmet, off I go - thanks, ya’ll!!


Re: Re: Purchase Question

Ah, well you didn’t give us all the facts. I guess that most of us who replied foolishly assumed that your stated goals were subtly understated…

And if I’d known there was a medical reason for your fatigue, I would have been less harsh. Sorry.

That said, my point was not that anyone who’s out of breath after 1/4 mile is a wimp, but that the answer to improving performance is (generally) more to do with the rider than with the machine. Experience develops stamina, but (more importantly) it develops an economical technique. I can now ride for miles at a time without significant fatigue, not because I’m super fit, but because I’ve learned how to ride for miles at a time.

The difference between a 20 and a 24 is 20%; between a 20 and a 26 it is 30%. Looked at in this very simplistic way, changing up from a 20 to a 26 will make your rides 580 odd yards long, rather than 440 yards long.

Of course, it isn’t that simple, and if you have a heart condition, anything that makes the riding smoother and easier has to be good. You will soon find yourself riding a mile or two with ease.

My much loved step father had a heart attack in early 2003 and is now managing 20 - 30 minute walks, and even doing a little bit of ballroom dancing. I wish you every bit as much success in your recovery, and I hope you enjoy the unicycle for its own sake as well as it being a means to an end. Good luck.

Re: Re: Purchase Question

You have to keep in mind that those of us who post on RSU are not normal. We’re the 0.1% of unicyclists who obsess about equipment and unicycle riding. Ask an obsessive person a simple question and you’ll probably get a complicated answer. :slight_smile:

Re: Re: Re: Purchase Question

Why? :stuck_out_tongue:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Purchase Question

If the answer is simple then there is less to obsess over. The truly obsessive obsess over the simple things too and discuss those obsessions here on RSU.

The point I was trying to make is that:
(1) We’re not representative of the normal unicycling population here.
(2) We’re more likely to take a simple question from a beginner and twist it into something more complicated.

Re: Purchase Question

On Sun, 4 Jan 2004 16:08:59 -0600, john_childs
<john_childs@NoEmail.Message.Poster.at.Unicyclist.com> wrote:

>Mikefule wrote:
>> *Why? :stuck_out_tongue: *
>If the answer is simple then there is less to obsess over. The truly
>obsessive obsess over the simple things too and discuss those obsessions
>here on RSU.
>The point I was trying to make is that:
>(1) We’re not representative of the normal unicycling population here.
>(2) We’re more likely to take a simple question from a beginner and
>twist it into something more complicated.

I don’t think that was a complicated answer. So assuming that
“probably” worked out in this case to be “certainly”, this sort of
proves that John Childs is not obsessive. Hmmm.

Klaas Bil - Newsgroup Addict

You have to keep in mind that those of us who post on RSU are not normal. - John Childs

Re: Purchase Question

And in any case, I’m having fun with my new 26" Sun. You all can be
as obsessive as you want! Heh heh.

I did get good answers and am enjoying the fruits of them all!

klaasbil_remove_the_spamkiller_@xs4all.nl (Klaas Bil) wrote:

>On Sun, 4 Jan 2004 16:08:59 -0600, john_childs
><john_childs@NoEmail.Message.Poster.at.Unicyclist.com> wrote:
>>Mikefule wrote:[color=darkred]
>>> *Why? :stuck_out_tongue: *
>>If the answer is simple then there is less to obsess over. The truly
>>obsessive obsess over the simple things too and discuss those obsessions
>>here on RSU.
>>The point I was trying to make is that:
>>(1) We’re not representative of the normal unicycling population here.
>>(2) We’re more likely to take a simple question from a beginner and
>>twist it into something more complicated.
>I don’t think that was a complicated answer. So assuming that
>“probably” worked out in this case to be “certainly”, this sort of
>proves that John Childs is not obsessive. Hmmm.
>Klaas Bil - Newsgroup Addict[/color]