Questions on intro to Muni

Over the summer I found an old Torker 24in uni in my parents garage that I bought about 15 years ago and never learned to ride. Couple days of pain and I was up and going.
I have been riding around the streets and getting onto some basic, simple bike trails to get the feel for mountain uni.
I find myself much more engaged with mountain uni as I am an avid mountain biker so it connects a little better and holds my attention more than riding down the road for several miles.
Had been looking for a muni for a few months but everything has been out of stock all summer.
Finally a Nimbus 29 came in stock and I snagged it, will arrive next week. A few questions in the meantime that I have had trouble finding answers for.

The frame of the nimbus has the IS disc mount, and 6 bolt hub. Can I add any disc brake to this or do some work better for muni than others based on modulation or bite points? I assume a 2 pot brake is sufficient?

Do I need different cranks to add a disc brake? I have seen some posts indicate you need KH DH cranks but I can’t wrap my brain around why that would be.

Lastly, is tubeless a thing? I’ve been riding tubeless on my MTB for years and can’t fathom running tubes again as it works so well. Any ideas if the Nimbus come with a tubeless ready wheel?

Thanks for the help!

Welcome to the forum.

I did my first “cross country” unicycling on a 20 inch uni with a painted steel rim, plastic non-grip pedals, no seat handle, and old-fashioned cottered steel cranks. That is the cranks used before square tapers were popular on bikes. Know what? I had a lot of fun.

The first upgrade I really noticed on any of my unicycles was some decent pinned pedals.

A modern unicycle seat with the integral handle, gives you a lot of control and torque, once you learn to use it. At first, holding the seat handle is harder than riding with your hands waving about.

So far, after well over 30 years of riding, on and off road, on unis from 20 to 36, I have managed without the additional expense and complexity of a brake, and I have never felt the need to go tubeless.

Each to his own, but my suggestion is you ride the one you’ve ordered, make minor changes and adjustments to get a perfect fit, and only worry about big upgrades when you have proved to yourself that you really need them for the type of riding you are really doing.

Look to the archer, not to the bow.

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Hi Branmuffin,

The only clearance issue you can run into is if the caliper is huge and were to rub with the crank or spokes (should not be an issue with most models in you hub-mounted disk situation.
As for comfort, hydraulic are most popular compared to cable. After that it is a matter of preference. The biggest difference is that you use the brake to drag and not stop so a too powerful brake will be your enemy.

There is two possible disk setup on a muni: disk on the hub (your case) and disk on the crank (with KH spirit cranks). So it should be good as it comes and putting KH is possible but not necessary for your brake setup.

AFAIK, only the latest generation of KH rims (and the full uni with it) are tubeless ready. For the rest, some have had success using various ghetto tubeless techniques (you can search for tubeless in this forum). If you want something as simple as pull the tube and go, you will need a different rim. Otherwise, techniques are the same as with MTB so you should be in familiar territory if you did some homemade tubeless in the past :wink:

As on a bike, some people have different preferences to bite/modulation, but just like bikes, it’s mostly preference. Note that you will need a bracket to mount the brake under the seat if you are not using a T-bar, and to use it comfortably, some sort of brake lever extension. (either a KH Starfighter, but I personally much prefer these brake lever extensions)
2 piston brakes and 180mm rotors are sufficient for most riders, a lot of higher level riders will have 4 piston and sometimes 203mm rotors too. But those upgrades really only “necessary” if you are relatively fast, and have long decents, a 2 piston shimano SLX or similar is fine (most unis that have a brake as standard come with the cheapest shimano hydraulic disk brakes you can find, I personally think a bit higher grade like the SLX is worth it.)
Tubeless on unicycles is a thing, but the Nimbus Dominator 2 that should be on your uni is not “officially” tubeless ready.

Fantastic replies, much appreciated!
I will likely not add the brake for a while as I am still getting the hang of basic trail riding, but I had no idea the rotors were attached to cranks prior to the hub versions, that is a trip.

I have actually been enjoying the 24in torker, I squeezed a 2.25in mountain tire on there and helped with traction significantly when the trails are wet or snowy but the seat is awful although it does have a handle, I am hoping the Nimbus seat will feel a little more ergonomic.

The biggest struggle is speed for me, I just feel so wildly out of control if I am cranking my legs so fast, but only going 5mph! I do understand part of this is not being very efficient but also hoping the 29in wheel will help also.

Looking forward to trying out the new uni next week, I am sure I will have many more questions about this awesome sport, not enough people know exists.

I second that :slight_smile:

AFAIK it’s not necessarily prior, but the KH Muni’s still have the rotor attached to the crank.

Where in MTB you have your gear ratio, you have a crank length and wheel size ratio here.
Shorter cranks for more speed and longer cranks for more torque.
You could change the cranks if you want.

I think you will like your 29

I don’t think it’s much of an issue any more, but avoid any hydraulic brakes that need to stay upright to avoid air bubbles. We usually mount our brake handles pretty vertically compared to fairly horizontally on the bar on a MTB.

Also it’s worth paying attention to the width of the caliper. It has to fit between the disk and the cranks (or spokes with crank mounted disk). It’s more of an issue with crank mounted disks, a bigger disk gives more clearance due to spoke angle.

I’ve always used 180mm disks, basically because that is what was first available on the MountainUni brake system, and it works well.

If you are looking for a real trip, before KH came out with his disk mount cranks, and Nimbus their disk hubs, MountainUni made custom disks that fit on the spider of BMX cranks for uni use.

I don’t have the newest uni gear, but I’ve had good luck going gheto-tubless on many wheels. I’m sure you can figure something out.

Welcome to the forum!

I’ve set all my wheels tubeless and I did prefer the ghetto half split system which can be mounted on any wheel (sometimes using a normal pump!) than a normal tubeless setup which require a better rim, cost more and in some rim+tire combo it require lot of time and patience. I did even unbuild a leaking tubeless setup (requiring pump about once a week, but unable to find where was the issue) to rebuild the sema tire as a ghetto tubeless (not pumped anymore since half a year)

I use a similar brake lever extension, but I have problems with it hitting the ground when I crash - it extends sideways out of the “protective cone” formed by the saddle handle, the tire, and the pedals. Is there some clever solution to this? I suppose I could just cut it shorter.

Yes, I cut it a fair bit shorter. I use only one finger on it anyway, so not much space needed. I think I have it so that 2 fingers fit on there comfortably for some extra safety against slipping of/versatility.

Do it like this:

You can use it either with your index or middle finger. I meanwhile wrapped it with self fusing rubber tape and it’s super grippy.


Thanks, folks - I’ll go ahead and cut it shorter.

Thanks again for all the replies and suggestions.

The Nimbus 29 showed up yesterday and I had to get it out for a ride late in the evening. I am not great at night riding but I didn’t want to wait.

First thing I noticed is much harder to mount than the 24in. I spent probably 30 minutes trying to figure out the new technique to mount, which in reality ended up being about the same technique (8 and 2) and once I got the saddle the correct height made everything easier. The saddle is a huge win, can actually use sit bone support instead of reproductive organs, which is great.

Notice a huge difference in mass of the wheel/tire. The duro crux 3.25 is massive. Are these technically a plus size tire? The sidewalls look enormous.
Once you get the wheel moving it really just wants to keep going, cruising speed is much better than the 24in.

I probably made a mistake ordering 165mm cranks, I think in reality i should have gone with something in the 135mm range but they are not a problem for how I am riding currently. I will likely order a shorter set soon to test out a shorter crank.

Once up on the uni it feels great, quite smooth and tracks pretty straight compared to the 24in I felt like I was constantly snaking down the trail. I will get it out again today on my “lunch” with a little lower psi but overall loving it.


Congrats with your Nimbus 29" I also have one. I think from all 10 of my unis I made the most kms with the 29". It is a good size for XC. The 24" was my latest uni and I was positively surprised how easily it rides. I thought it would have been like a 20", very twitchy. They are 2 very different unicycles, but both comfortable. The more you ride your 29" the more you will mount it and eventually it won’t be a problem anymore, just wait until you get a 36"… :))

The crux is a big beautiful plus size tire. It has a lot of good things for someone kind of new to muni: It handles off camber surfaces very well, and it has a lot of squish for bumps. I think it’s pretty good, so if I were you I’d just keep riding it for a while until you are used to things.

Tire weight makes a big difference in how the unicycle feels. If you find you don’t need such a big tire, there are a lot of lighter alternatives. Pretty much anything with a round cross sectional shape should work fine for unicycling. I’m using a Maxxis Ikon right now on my 29er. I like the lighter feel and lower rolling resistance since I tend to go fast on easy trails.