Should I replace my 20" uni with a 19" trials?

I’m considering replacing my 20" Club with a 19" Impact Atmos, which there’s a good deal on. There’s nothing wrong with the 20", but I’d like to pass it on to a friend. I notice that the Atmos comes with 138 mm cranks – I’m running 102 mm cranks on the 20", with which I replaced the stock 114 mm for the sake of experimentation (the shorter cranks make it much easier to switch between the 20" and 26" – less difference in pedal pressure).

So, will I be happy with the Atmos? Is there anything I’d be missing out on if I get rid of the 20" Club? I don’t think I’ll ever do proper trials riding, but the 20" is great for learning new skills.

Keep both but lend the Club to your friend. Clubs are solidly good unis, and you might want to use it for other purposes, like learning skills or play hockey. It’s an easy uni to take anywhere, even on a holiday.

I have both a trials uni and a freestyle uni. The trials uni is great at doing trials unicycle things, the freestyle uni is great at doing freestyle things (no surprises there).

Some of it is setup (seat height), but my 19" isn’t fun to ride around, doing slaloms, any freestyle tricks like gliding, coasting or spins. Great at jumping on stuff, and doing tricks that involve jumping. The additional drag of a trials tire and how much long cranks slow you down shouldn’t be underestimated, gliding and coasting are very possible on a trials uni, but not as much fun and a bit harder.

My freestyle uni is great at coasting, spins, gliding etc. is alright to ride around, and okay at some easier hopping tricks. I wouldn’t want to spend too much time practicing side hops and things like that on it, even though I’m pretty sure I could get a 70cm high sidehop on it if I wanted to.

So it’s a question of what you want to do with your 20"/19". I think you may miss the short cranks and smooth tire if you go from a club to an athmos. If you do hops, you’ll like the extra tire volume of the athmos. For “basic” skills like idling, mounting, riding backwards, one footed, etc. I think it doesn’t really matter which of the two you use, it’s really mostly personal preference.

I also have both a freestyle and trials. The freestyle gives me faceplants when I ride around outside, but the trials does not and rolls over bumps. I would use the freestyle to learn things like idling and riding backwards, but I don’t hop with it. So I would never replace either, but be happy to have them both.

You need both and more.

I have a shiny indoor freestyle with a white tyre, non-marking pedals, 114 cotterless cranks and an outdoor with double walled rim, Hookworm tyre, 100 mm ISIS cranks. Plus a Club with a shorter seat post for those who want to try.

Then I have an Impact Athmos trials wheel in a KH frame and an old KH Onza trials wheel in the Impact frame with a shorter seatpost so I can cover learners of any height.

In summary: there is no such thing as a universal unicycle. Part of what you like about your 20" will disappear with the 19". And as mentioned, the long cranks make it clumsy just to ride around.

Thanks for the feedback, everyone. Gockie, I think you’re onto something with the idea of lending. I sense that there would be domestic resistance to getting a third unicycle, and I want to keep my political capital for the 36" when I think I can handle it. Finnspin, I hadn’t quite appreciated the extent of the differences between freestyle and trials – I was just seeing the Atmos as a hub with ISIS cranks for a good price. I need to think a bit more about what I really need. I should really have both, but my progress is pretty slow, so I’ll have time to wait for the right bargain to appear.

Here’s a rather belated update. I ended up getting a 20" Nimbus and giving the Club to my friend. He’s younger, fitter and more coordinated, so I expect he’ll overtake my skill level in a few weeks.

Here’s more detail about the purchase and my reasoning: I first had the idea of getting the 20" Nimbus but with a fatter tire. I called Roger at UDC, and he very kindly tried out a 20" x 2.4 tire. (Thanks Roger for awesome customer service as always!). Sadly it didn’t fit – seems like the 20" Impact frames are the only ones that can take a larger tire. I went with the 20" Nimbus because I needed a noticeable upgrade to justify the purchase. I’m definitely going to be using the 20" for a long time to come practising new skills. After a couple of weeks, I’m really happy with the Nimbus, nice and solid feeling, though not much different from the Club to ride.

I’m now much more comfortable with hopping, and I can now do a 180 degree turn (in about 10 hops!) fairly consistently, and I can rescue a failed mount on my 26" muni. It’s also given me the ability to correct my position on the saddle, which makes a huge difference.

sounds like you made a good move, your hopping skills will improve rapidly now that your more comfortable