hey im new to unicycling and i was wanting to buy my first unicycle but im looking for a good 20 inch to start learning tricks on. should i buy a trials if im looking to do tricks or a freestyle. whats the difference between them?

It all depends on what kind of tricks you’re thinking of. If you like learning different ways to ride like wheelwalking and one-foot riding then you might be better off with a (cheaper) freestyle uni. If you’re thinking of learning to do a lot of hopping and unispins and crankflips and that sort of thing a trials uni would definitely be better.

There are a few major differences between a trials and a freestyle. A freestyle uni has a narrower tire and rim and often a cotterless hub and cranks. It also has shorter cranks. A trials uni has a high-volume tire, a wide rim, and longer, splined cranks.

Hope this helps.

my only question is does the bulkiness of the trials tire add a slugish feel to hopping or to normal riding as compared to a freestyle? does it make that much of a difference? if i buy a trial does it prohibit anything i could do with a free style? and thank you for answering my previous question!

The wider tire will make hopping and drops easier, but it won’t be as responsive to moving like a freestyle tire. I don’t think sluggish would be the word for it. Most tricks can be done on both cycles, but some will be easier on one or the other. coasting may be difficult on a trials. You also usually have the seat post way down on a trials cycle. On a freestyle it’s raised up to make riding easier. You’re probably not going to pull off a pirouette on a trials cycle : P even if you could, you probably wouldn’t.

Freestyle doesn’t necessarily mean weaker, my nimbus X has a 48 spoke double walled rim with splined cranks, it’s a pretty tough bird. I wouldn’t go doing 5’ drops on it, but that’s not what it’s made for O:-)

With the right PSI a trials tire has more spring for hopping, so will not only handle drops better than a freestyle tire, but will bounce better during prehops (hopping to gain energy before the gap or up).

The downside to the trials tire is that it does not turn or spin as easily as a narrower, harder, freestyle tire. This won’t make much difference just riding around, but I find that when just learning rolling tricks like wheel-walking the freestyle tire’s easier turning makes it slightly easier to maintain balance side to side. I’d say it is a noticeable difference but still relatively minor, and many many people learn freestyle tricks on trials tires. The only time you’d really be inhibited by a trials unicycle is if you were trying to do a freestyle routine with smooth arc’s and spins between tricks, but that kind of riding is pretty advanced and requires skill on any unicycle.

Trials unicycles are more versatile and can do freestyle much better than freestyle unicycles can do trials or street. If you are interested in hopping up or down more than a couple inches or riding on dirt get a trials unicycle.

i just learned to glide on a trials, and i find a freestyle tyre not wide enough to do it. This is probably just my preference but i’d get a trials, just cause you can do more on them :smiley: but if all your gunna do is freestyle then get a freestyle! reeeealy depends on what your gunna use it for xD

For a long time I wanted a small wheel to learn tricks but I didn’t want a trials uni. I figured the tire would be overkill for the light hopping I was mostly interested in and too heavy to learn basic freestyle skills. I looked at building a custom 20" wheel with a wide rim and BMX tire that would be somewhere between a trials and a freestyle (kind of like the KH Flatland wheelset that’s supposed to be coming soon).

In the end I bought a trials uni. It turns out that the wheel isn’t too heavy for learning what I want to learn (riding backwards, one-footed, wheelwalking, etc) and I really like the size of the tire for bouncing. I may still eventually build that BMX-like wheel but I’m not sure how much use it would see. The trials setup really makes for a very versatile uni.

I do want to eventually learn to spin/piroutte, but beyond idling and riding backwards there is not a lot more ‘freestyle’ I want to learn. Now that I have had my 20" Nimbus freestyle for a few weeks I think I would have gotten a 19" fat tire if I had to do it over again. The small wheel is already really easy to pedal so I don’t think I would have minded the heavier wheelset. But I’ll add that Im six feet tall. Not super tall, but it does contribute to the 20" feeling small to me.

Where are you From?

Where are you from Nesher? Nesher means Eagle in Hebrew. If you are in Israel feel free to call me I would be more than happy to assist you in any way. You are also welcome to meet up with me and try my unicycles.