Some Muni Questions


After riding around my local trails for a few months, I’ve determined that a larger unicycle (currently have a 24") would be ideal for my uses. The trails are single track, with technical sections, but also have parts where I would like to go faster, and the extra wheel size would help with rolling over obstacles. I’m thinking of getting a Nimbus Oracle, but I had a few questions.

For the 29", how is it at climbing hills? Obviously this would vary with rider skill, but for steeper sections with lots of roots, would it be a lot harder than a 24" or would it be manageable?

Also, I’m only 5’6”, so would a 29” be too large to handle in the technical parts? Would maybe a 27.5 be better? I don’t really want a 26 because I think it will be too close in size to the one that I have.

Lastly, what is the actual diameter of the wheels of the 27.5 and 29 oracles? I keep reading in various places that the actual diameter of some unicycles with larger wheels (the 27.5 has a 3" wheel) are larger than it says…

Thank you
George J

My answer will be a confusing kind of “hard to tell”.

If I were you, I’d base my decision on what your goals in riding is.

If you want to get better at technical muni, and do more and more difficult trails, I’d get a 26" or 27.5"

If you want to keep doing your local trails faster, and maybe extend your range I’d probably go for a 29", they are better at technical stuff than people think, the bigger diameter wheel will roll over more. I am 5’7" and I still find a 29" controlable enough. It’s not as nimble for hops as a 26", but still turns ok, and I find it better at technical climbing than a smaller wheel, since it can roll over many roots.

for Muni I have a 24, a 26 fatty and a 29.
my choice depends on the trail:

  • if technical I prefer the 24 (especially if there are steep descents)
  • if muddy or less technical the 26 fatty (but I climb better with the 24) it is less precise (big tyre does not turn quickly sideways)
  • I seldom use the 29" (since the fatty has almost the same size)

may be a 26-29 with a narrower tyre and a brake will be a better compromise.

Two years ago I was in almost the exact same spot you are and I bought a 29 nimbus muni with a brake off the forum. I’m 5’-7" and also thought the 26 was too close to the 24, but was a little concerned about making the big jump to a 29. My goals were to go farther faster on moderate muni trails. The 29’er worked out really well. Early in the season I could climb better on the 29 than I had with the 24" (because I got better not saying a 29 climbs better than a 24) and it was not a very difficult transition at all, even for a pretty new rider. The most difficult thing for me was the down hills. They just seem scarier when you’re sitting up higher and it took me about a year before I was very effective at using the brake on the trails. But with practice it all comes together.

That said, after conquering the easier trail on the 29’er after a season of hitting it hard, I bought a 24 nimbus with the big fat duro wildlife tire to give me more courage to start tackling the intermediate trails. That thing is a tank and the big fat tire give me more confidence on roots and drops and sitting a little lower made the really steep scary decents a little less scary.

So now I’m pretty happy to have both, when I want a good work out and to push my technical abilities I take out the 24, when I want a lot less rolling resistance to go farther faster I take the 29. The 29 is also nice to ride on the pavement when the trials are closed, the 24 just seems painfully slow on cement. So the 29 is my main ride, I fall back to the 24 to work on new skills.

If you were just going to have one muni a 26 is probably a good compromise. If I was buying a new 29 now, I think I would look pretty hard at the 27.5’s because it may have the tank like ability of the fat tire plus the speed of the 29. I’ve got to think it has a more rolling resistance than a lighter thinner tired 29. Everything’s a compromise, just depends on what your after.

Hope this helps. And if you’re ever looking for encouragement to buy another unicycle, the forum is definitely the right place!

I wouldn’t discount the value of the 26. I had a 24 to start, and then a 29, and then 26. The 29 ended up being a road uni because it just wasn’t working for me on the trails we have in Colorado. I felt too high, although I liked the speed. The 24 was really too heavy, and the 26 is much more nimble than the 24. I run my 26 with a 2.7 tire which is quite a bit lighter than the 24x3, but my overall position from the ground is similar. The 26 is much faster riding than the 24. It may be just the weight difference of the tire.

If I had only one uni for everything I would go with a 29er. For a MUni specific rig I would go with a 26. I don’t ride tech stuff that would make the 24 much of a benefit.

Ok, thanks for the advice. I’m leaning towards the 27.5 at the moment.

Another quick question: what are the main differences between the Nimbus Oracle 27.5 and the KH 27.5? They both have 3" tires, and seem very strong. Is the kris holm worth the extra money?

Thank you again.

Here is how I see it.

There are little things that I prefer about a KH over Nimbus such as 27.2 mm seat post, symmetrical hubs and cranks with a mild flare (stronger wheel and more comfortable pedaling position for me). Slightly wider rim for more stability with such a wide tire. Dual hole cranks (worth the $65 dollar premium if you also get a quick release seapost clamp). The latest and greatest saddle technology (I haven’t tried the Fusion One yet but it sounds like it fixes the issues I have with the Zero). It’s a bit lighter, and the fact that you are supporting a small manufacturer that is doing more than it’s fair share in the R&D department as well as spreading the word. You are partially paying for future innovation, and Kris is a genuinely awesome guy.

There are also good reasons to get the Nimbus: If your other unicycles have 25.4 seatposts there is more interchangeability. If you like pedaling with a narrow stance and want a disk break, internal is the way to go. Historically less issues with products, perhaps they are tested more extensively before going to market, or using second hand technology. Generally considered the best value for the money. Roger is also pretty sweet and incredibly helpful if you have any questions.

EDIT: I just noticed you are a fellow Canadian. So is Kris, and his business, if that matters to you.

Thank you. Do you find that your ankle hits the disc brake because of where it is mounted on the KH unis?

I recently installed an external disc brake in my spirits cranks/KH frame combo and I have to say when you are riding Muni you don’t notice the disc rotor is there at all. Also talking about ankles: the Spirit cranks are shaped to help in keeping your ankle from hitting/rubbing the crank itself…

Never (although I’m actaully answering based on an older Nimbus with external D’Brake). I think I heard one of those stories, “my brother’s cousin’s friend” supposedly cut his foot in a crash, but a) seems pretty unlikely and b) anything can happen some time.

As to the sizing, it’s so hard to generalize: I rode 24", then a 36", then a little 29" borrowed, then got a 26"… As has been said above, for steep/aggressive downhill anything bigger than a 26" requires a very talented rider (ok, not sure where 27.5" fits in here). For the right trail the 36" is awesome but if it gets too steep it gets waaay scary because you sit up so high (and I’m 6’1"). At 5’6" I would think a 29" would fell pretty big downhill…

So sounds to me like your size choice is between 27.5 and 26. As the difference isn’t so big, probably neither would be wrong…

You really can’t go wrong with either KH or Nimbus. They each have pos/neg qualities, a few described above.

Those 27.5 unis are both jumbo 3" tire 27.5 “plus” wheels and will feel really really different from a 26". I love my 27.5+ for riding where I can roll over everything, but for technical riding where I’m starting and stopping and often proceeding a pedal stroke or two at a time, it’s not nearly as nice as my 26" with a heavy downhill tire.

QU-AX’s 27.5 is also really nice if you decide to go that way. I think it’s nicer than the Oracle, and cheaper. Not sold in the US but it’s in Canada.

26" and 29" comparison

I have two mountain unicycles, a 26" and a 29":

My 26" Oracle has a lightweight Maxxis Ardent 2.5" tire (32 psi), a Shadow handle/base and a new Nimbus Stadium seat. I run 170mm cranks. I’m slow, but I don’t mind. I love the responsiveness of my 26". Everything about it is tight, like a tennis racket.

My 29" was originally a Nimbus “Road” unicycle. Drak (steel) frame. Heavier wheel. I currently have a KH freeride seat on it, and the KH t-bar. I also run the Ardent on the 29".

Anyhow, I made a few adjustments to the 29" and rode it in the street, yesterday. Hated it! Everything about it felt loose and mushy. I pulled out the 26" and swapped back and forth riding on the two unicycles. I really hated the 29" at this point. After riding a while on the firm, narrower Stadium seat, the KH Freeride felt soft and too grippy against my shorts. There is, I think, more side-to-side flex in the wheel of my 29", and this doesn’t feel so good, either (I had my 26" wheel rebuilt after a bunch of spokes failed, and I think it’s more rigid than the 29" wheel).

Other than the lack of “tightness” in the 29" compared to my dialed-in 26" Oracle, I noticed that I was able to keep my weight behind the hub … more on the 26" than on the 29". On the 29" I felt chronically about to fall off the front.

I’m 6’2" and 210 lbs. The conditions I ride on are different from yours. If you haven’t already decided, I suggest going for a 26". If you’re still developing your mUni skills, I think doing so on a smaller wheel will be beneficial. Picking a larger wheel, while giving you better speed and roll-over, might make you ride more conservatively, inhibiting your learning.

If you are 5’6", then my guess is that the width of your hips and the stance of your feet are also smaller. Nimbus unicycles come standard with almost zero-Q Venture cranks. A narrower stance might be better for you.

Good luck!

KH vs Nimbus - the decision

I’ve been reading the thread “New Uni Suggestions” and this thread to help me with my next purchase. I’ve been riding a 29" inch Nimbus muni for a month and I don’t have enough experience or unicycles to offer any additional suggestions that haven’t been posted already. My only input is that you are very high on 29" muni. I’m 5’11" and took a recent fall that will put me out of commission for a while. With that said, you should buy to the riding skills you will be doing most of the time and then, ride accordingly.

Thank you saskatchewanian for linking us to thread. And with so many options and preferences, many riders have similar questions and these threads start to overlap. Since this thread started to compare KH and Nimbus, I decided to post my inquiry here. I’m curious to hear any input about the KH 26" Mountain Uni versus the Nimbus Oracle. They are currently at the same price.

I’m leaning towards KH because of the lighter weight. I’ve read the pros and cons about the hub width, internal/external disc brake, the seat, cranks and the dream of someday owning a Schlumpf hub. They both seem like excellent machines and I won’t go wrong with either.

Any thoughts?

Be well.

A note on the Schlumpf:

Putting a Schlumpf hub in a newer KH unicycle is basically plug and play but having a Nimbus won’t stop you from putting a Schlumpf in there some day. You would loose the ability to run the internal disk brake and would have to do some modification to your bearing holders but it would work. If you want to switch to external disk you would need to get KH Spirit cranks and a Nimbus d’Brake adapter. (Or go with the Mountain Uni system but I don’t recommend it with a Schlumpf.)

Saskatchewanian: Thanks for the insight into the Schlumpf hub. The plug and play gives me more reason to go with the KH. Also, the added expense and work to modify the Oracle to an external disk brake does not seem worth it for me. Be well.

George J,
Congratulations on your purchase. Based on your original post, it sounds like you made the right choice and with the dual hole cranks you can experiment with what gives you the climbing power you need.
I hope your finger heals quickly and without long lasting impact. Just know that your muni is waiting for you as you heal.

Be well and good luck with your studies.