Starting out on the wrong foot, Wheel size

I just purchased a Torker LX (on ebay not a bad price)
it was listed as a 24" but when I received it, it grew 2" to a 26".
I’m a woman (not that that matters) 115lb 5’2", 28" inseam. Strong willed and stubborn.
I didn’t want to alter anything I couldn’t take back, so I cut the post. I can sit comfortable on it. It has 6.5" long cranks.
Don’t really want to invest more $ and I will have to eat my loss. I didn’t purchase this with the plan to get my money back. (maybe a little $ to help with the next one)
Do I just go for it? (I’ve been rolling along a wall) Do I find a smaller wheel that will fit my frame? Should I eat it get what I can($), and get a 24"?
Depending on my mood the voices in my head are conflicted;)
Any outside voices would be appreciated.

I’d say just go for it, there’s not that much difference between a 26" and a 24".
Does the tire say 26"? Wheel sizes are only approximate.

It’s not that uncommon for someone to learn on a larger wheel although usually taller people are the ones who go bigger.

tire says 26

Roll with it. (Pun intended.) You’re sitting comfortably and can reach the pedals, so you’ll do fine. And Torkers are a great value: very sturdy quality at an affordable price. Good choice on the LX!

Maybe down the road, if you’re still of that mindset, you can get a 24 or 20… or up, a 36! It’s very common for unicycling enthusiasts to have several unicycles… and extra wheels, posts, and parts lying around, too! :wink: For now, I suggest you keep practicing on the 26.

Tough way to get started, GivAgo! Whatever size unicycle you name, you can probably find someone here who learned to ride on it, so it’s possible that you could learn on the 26" Torker. But if you had enough doubt to join the forum and ask about it, I’d say it isn’t working in your favor.

One thing that struck me is the 6.5" (165 mm) cranks. Those are really long, even for us long-legged types. It’s tough having that much to and fro going on with your legs while you’re trying to learn to keep your upper body steady and in control. But changing to shorter cranks isn’t a huge deal.

Maybe an ideal outcome would be working a trade with someone for a 20" of similar quality, depending on where you live and whether that’s practical. But the Torker (with some shorter cranks!) could be good to have as a second wheel when you’re a few more turns down the road. As GeddyRulz says, many of us have several unicycles. Getting something inexpensive that was less intimidating to get yourself started, saving the 26" for a little later, could be a good answer.

Personal note: I bought a used 26" mountain unicycle the week after I got my first 20" model and stuck it in storage for a couple of months until I was ready to start trying to ride it. It was good motivation to keep practicing on the learner wheel–which I still have and still enjoy riding in the driveway under the porch light after dark.

Don’t be a stranger, and good luck which ever way you go.

Hi GivAgo,
Welcome to the forum. As you have noticed by now, unicycling is very subjective, and there are numerous opinions on every subject.
Although a 26" wheel is big for a starter, it’s not a show-stopper. It takes a person 10 hours saddle time, on average, to learn to ride. If you’ve gone that long and still haven’t been able to go more than one or two revolutions, perhaps you may think about going to a smaller wheel to “get the hang of it.” If you do, go to your local craigslist and get a 20" or 24" for $50 or $75. They’re very common. Then, after you learn on that one, go back to the 26", and you’ll like it. Keep in mind that ANY change takes getting used to. After you get used to riding one size, riding a different size, even a smaller one, will throw you at first (figuratively and likely literally). (Don’t forget to use proper protection on all vulnerable areas: hands, knees, elbows, head.)
Good luck, and keep us posted!

I think the biggest issue for a learner would be the long cranks.

My Torker 24 inch LX came with 150s and they felt weird after the 114s on my QUAX 20 inch. It took me a while to stop wobbling with them but I ultimately changed to 125s which are a lot smoother to ride.

Thanks for all the replies.
Played a little bit today. It’s actually feeling pretty good. Just needing a light touch to balance, moving smoothly. I’m going to see how it goes.:slight_smile:

ps. who ever put it together had the wheel installed the wrong direction.

That is really common. I don’t know if it’s 50%, but it happens a lot. Sometimes, they put the saddle on backwards too and it works out. Sometimes not. Either people aren’t reading the directions or they are, but the directions are really poor, which I have seen with other items.

I learned on a 26. Wish I had not. It definitely took longer and put more wear on my knees. Were I to do it again, I’d buy a cheap a$$ 20" uni off craigslist and learn on that. (they can be had for $20-30., but are ‘disposable’.) Then, once you know how to ride it, the 26 will be a snap and WAY more fun.

You can do it on the 26. I did. But, It was harder, and falling off is more painful for sure.

Yeah, you could always get a “disposable” one for learning on, and THEN move to the 26. My first was a 24" no-name brand off of eBay (but it was new, sold by a vendor who had hundreds of them). It only cost $50 and tax (free shipping); I spend more than that to fill my car’s gas tank. It lasted JUST long enough to learn on before it started to fall apart.

well I just bought an old torker 20". I’m still going to work with the 26" til it comes. I got a couple good free pedals in which gives me hope. :roll_eyes:
Guess I won’t have to worry about what to move up to :wink:


26" is a great tire size to live with because it has so many tire and rim options if you ever need to do maintenance on it. skipping 24" size isn’t a very big deal you just gain top speed for covering distance, and a 20" will help you develop basic skills faster, and you can always get a 24 later after you got more practice. eventually you will want larger wheels anyway for distance rides, because if you are not doing trick riding in a small area a small wheel just makes you have to spin more to go anywhere, a larger wheel really makes you less tired riding around the block or farther, if anything 26 is more of a advantage it is just 2 inches larger so it is slightly weaker if over stressed compared to A 24"

you can never have too many unicycles…

Welcome to the forum, GivAgo! The following observations currently make sense to me (I’ve been riding for 6 months), but, then again, my assumptions about unicycle are always being challenged. My progression went from a 24", on which I began, to a 26" Muni, to a 20" freestyle.

  1. You have to be stronger to ride a big uni. It takes more force to overcome the inertia of a larger wheel. It will take time and practice to develop the muscles necessary to control the larger uni.
  2. A smaller uni provides more immediate feedback regarding forward-backward and side-to-side balance. For a beginner, this may make it harder to control (ride in a straight line), but for an experienced rider, it may be easier to control (change direction).
  3. The inertia of a larger uni makes it more stable. Depending on what kind of riding you’re doing, this can be a blessing or a curse. As a beginner, if you get off to a good, balanced start, you may be able to pedal a few revolutions on a big uni before UPDing, using the momentum of the big uni to your advantage.
  4. Turns will probably take longer for you to control on the larger uni, due to the fact that the wheel doesn’t want to turn, and when it does turn, it takes more force to straighten it out.
  5. Mounting and dismounting on a big uni is scarier.

So, congratulations on your purchase of the unicycle. My advice is:

  • Stick with the 26" for now.
  • Keep the tire fully inflated (the tire will turn more easily, to your dismay, but then you will learn how to control it).
  • get wrist guards, elbow pads, gloves, knee pads, shin guards, helmet, high-top shoes (I started with the helmet and gloves…the rest of the purchases were pain-induced).
  • And most of all, HAVE FUN!!! Just kidding, the word ‘fun’ does not really capture the intensity of riding the unicycle :expressionless:

26" is a big wheel to learn on and could put you off learning.
It’s easy to say 26" is a good size, but only if you already have some experience.

At your height I’d say definitely go for a 20".
Save the 26" for later.

Thumbs up!

And see, you’re still a newbie and you’ll already have TWO unicycles! This is how it all starts. Ha ha! “This wheel isn’t right for me, I’ll get a different one… need a longer seatpost… swap the saddle from that one to this one… get a new 24-incher…” I’ve only been riding for a few months and already I’ve bought and shuffled parts around and have three working unicycles!

Congratulations on starting!
I’m with Large Eddie on the crank size. Anything longer than 150mm doesn’t make much sense unless you have very long legs.
I started on a 24" with 150mm cranks. It took me a while, and then I did like everyone here, I got a cheap 20". All of a sudden, I made progress faster than the speed of light.
So the addition of a cheap 20" is the best thing you did. The 26" will be great when you’re confortable with riding, it’s much better to cruise to places – the 20" being better in the driveway for new tricks and mounts.

Yes, a nice thing about having a variety of unicycles and spare parts is being able to swap them around and figure out what works for you. Like Pierrox, I have a 24" that came with 150 mm cranks and they never felt good at all to me. Swapping on the 125s from the 20" was a big improvement and also a good lesson, learning just why I hadn’t liked riding that unicycle before. (Pierrox rather bravely rode it like that last weekend in fact.) And as of last night, those 125s are now on my 29" while the 24" got 114s that were also on the 20" for a while. All part of the learning process…

Another bonus is that if you’re practicing and it isn’t going well, you can switch over to another one–as though it’s the unicycle’s fault. :slight_smile:

Yes, and with the crazy range of 26" tire choices, it can be set up for all kinds of riding.

When I first started learning to ride, I was terrified of any unicycle larger than a 20". The person who started this thread can take that as good news or bad news, I suppose, but in any case, if you practice regularly, it’ll only be a few days (or weeks, at most) before you can ride either size. In addition to my 20, I now have a 29, but am happy I didn’t use it for learning to ride, as it would have gotten banged up. I probably would have gotten banged up, too, but unlike my 29, I have what the government now calls a Cadillac health plan.

Welcome to the forum GivAgo you can never have too many unicycles. sounds like you are finding some good deals. I’ve taught my fair share of young children how to ride a unicycle and, when it comes to wheel size, I’m convinced that bigger is better. Build momentum and a 36" practically rides itself. Mine started at age 9 sitting on an unrideable 16" rocking in front of the TV. Never pedaled a full revolution until I purchased them a 20" Nimbus Club with 114mm cranks and, with a little practice, were riding 20 to 30 foot increments by age 10.

It wasn’t until I purchased a first run 36" Nimbus Nightfox (an absolute game changer for the vertically challenged) that they really “got it” and took off for miles. Dual hole Spirit cranks (on a steel disc hub) on the Nightfox. 127mm (as long as will work) for the kids and 110mm because Daddy rides in bicycle events and I want them to one day experience the joy of spinning small circles with just a flick of the ankle.

It was a full year after my oldest met the minimum inseam requirement of the Nightfox and was tall enough for my 26" Nimbus Oracle (137mm hole of 165mm/137mm dual hole Moment cranks). I switched the heavy knobby Duro tire back to the Maxxis Highroller (same as Kris specs on his KH26er) I learned to MUni on. She loves “her” 26er Oracle. Her PR is 4 miles of rail trail.

I don’t believe in waiting too long before going off-road. It’s really safer and tons more fun. Don’t let them talk you out of 165mm cranks on a 26". They come in handy when it’s time to push that big cushy Duro uphill off-road. Though, I agree a beginner under 6 foot is best on a 20" unicycle with reasonably short cranks (114mm is good for basketball and street hockey) to start. My kids learned backwards :thinking: .