Ready to ride a 29er

How good do you think I would have to be to be able to ride/controll a 29er?

Re: Ready to ride a 29er

How good are you? :roll_eyes:

If you can ride a 20 or 24 comfortably, you should be able to ride a 29". I can ride my 29" but not comfortably (yet).

I guess I can ride comfortably for about 3 miles with just a couple of UPDs.
I can ride down 9cm curbs but so far I’ve wimped out in jumping up the curbs. Could probably do it though. Can hop and idle a little bit. Since I have to get off when I’m riding to deal with going down higher curbs and going up curbs, I don’t really feel that I can ride that well.


You’ll be fine, but don’t forget to consider 36" if your mainly going to be on the road.


Re: Ready to ride a 29er

On Tue, 21 Jun 2005 15:28:49 -0500, “cathwood” wrote:

>How good do you think I would have to be to be able to ride/controll a

Cathy you’re good enough. If you are (afraid of) having not enough
control, start out with 150 mm cranks - they make for a really easy

Klaas Bil - Newsgroup Addict

“As with all great social movements, the origins of mountain unicycling are unclear. - Hannah Nordhaus (Los Angeles Times)”

Hi Cathy,

I own a 20 and 24". I had my first, brief go an a 29er at BUC (thanks s7evo!). It was a bit scary to begin especially as I was going down hill with short cranks, but I stayed on. I couldn’t mount it though - it was a find a wall/lamp post job - you’ll have to learn one of those rolling start mount thingys (I’ve no idea what its called but it look very impressive when 36" riders do it).


I had a little trouble with my 28" when I first got it. It had a skinny tire that seemed to pull to one side all the time, I was very shaky on mounting, and it was a difficult ride. Things improved after I put a fatter tire on it (making it a 29") and swapped the cranks with those from my 24" (the smaller uni actually had longer cranks on it). I have since sold off most of my other unis and have been riding the 29" almost exclusively for the last year or so. It’s my favorite size now; I can mount, turn, idle and generally control it just the same as any other size wheel. My feeling is that if you are a solid rider on a 24" wheel, then after a bit of practice and adjustment you should be able to handle the 29". Of course that’s only what my experience was; yours may vary.

The move from a 24" to a 29" is a smaller jump in difficulty than going from a 29" to a 36" is, in my opinion. The 36" is a different sort of experience.

Most everyone’s right, I think, Cathy!

Steven is right, the first goes on a 29" are a little scary - but wasn’t it the same when learning to ride in the first place?

I can nail the step-up/rolling mount that Steven mentions about 1 in 3 times now, and can turn in the road pretty confidently, but I’m still slightly uncomfortable controlling its speed on a downhill section (uphill is not a great problem).

The bottom line is - you know you’ll get one, and you know you’ll master it eventually!

Re: Re: Ready to ride a 29er

strongly backing this advice!
not being a very good rider, I could not get along with 125 mm cranks, I feel comfortable only with 150. (same for Coker: 170 only).
If I want to progress which is the magic trick to learn to ride with shorter cranks?

the magic trick is to practice! but seriously, it is. once you’re confident with longer cranks, buy some shorter ones and get used to those. they’ll be differnet. less control but more speed and in some cases easier on the knees.

If you’re measuring your rides in miles rather than feet, you’re ready to ride a bigger wheel. It’ll be harder to start with, but you’ll get used to it and soon you’ll find riding miles on a small wheel is a pain.


problems I have:

  • start the wheel: longer cranks give more torque and every time I use shorter cranks I have problems to start rolling (even on a light 29er!)

  • forward UPDs: when gathering momentum and going at a fast pace I may suddenly fall forward very quickly with shorter cranks. The crashes are so abrupt that I have no time to roll aikido-like.

  • bumpy trails: those I can’t manage with shorter cranks (and it’s my usual playground)

so my training program : use shorter cranks on gentle smooth cycle paths and try to get used to those at a not-so-brisk pace.

thanks everyone.
I’m really excited now, wanted to go out and buy one straight away. But hubby’s complaining that I’m cluttering up the house with uni’s so I’m going to have to sell my Nimbus II 24" first.
Actually i had already decided to go for the longer cranks, also I want as fat a tire as possible first.

Thanks s7ev0.

a 28/29 is an easy size to ride. Less frantic than a 20, less intimidating than a Coker.

I bought my 28 with 110 mm cranks and had no problem idling it the first time I mounted (on a perfectly smooth gym floor).

A 28/29 with 125 mm cranks is an easy ride.

Due to other commitments I’m hardly riding at all at the moment. I’ve even been thinking of rationalizing the fleet. The 28 and 20 would be the last to go.

The trick to learning to use short cranks: practise, but leave a margin for error. Things happen more quickly, so do things more slowly.

Re: Ready to ride a 29er

“Things happen more quickly, so do things more slowly.” --Mikefule

Well said, Mike! Well said! --Carl (North Dakota)

Is a 28" rim the same as a 700mm??
or do these use different tires?
I have a 29"yuni frame with a m700 rim and I didn’t like the feel when I rode it off road, so I swithced to a narrow street tire and went from 170 to 110 cranks. Now it’s is great for 3-5 mile rides set up this way. and not as akward as a coker. The rotating mass of this rim and tire is so light it will idle easily even with cracks this short.

Yes, the 28 and 29 use 700c rims. The main difference is the size of the tire. I just switched cranks on my 700c uni from 150’s to 125’s and I like the feel of the shorter cranks alot better. I only got to ride it around the block, so more saddle time will be needed.
If that short ride was any indication, I may sell my Coker soon:)

Hi Cathy,

I was a level 2 when I went from a 20" to a coker, with little problems. Free mounting took a good day of practice, but I regularly ride 10 miles and free mount with little difficulty with both feet. I’ve had it for about 2 months now. the biggest challenge for me was the greater inertia of a big wheel, which I imagine you will feel in a 29" as well. Insofar as wheel width, not so certain that will matter to you if you’re up and riding confidently as you seem to be! A wider tire means more inertia and also harder to make the tiny corrections upon start up. I could be wrong. Hopefully someone will correct me if I am.

I’d say have confidence in yourself and get what you finally envision youself riding. There are a lot of pros about having the smaller wheels like the 29 as mentioned above inthe thread.

Keep up the great work! Surely you could handle a 29.

Oh, what is a UPD? sorry for ignorance…


UPD = UnPlanned Dismount :slight_smile:

oooh… thanks!

I did an UPD yesterday and have a splint the size of a loaf of bread on my forearm and wrist. :frowning: Nothing broken.

I was so excited to try my new uni ( Nimbus 2 20") I forgot my wrist guards…

Lesson learned!