Thinking about getting my first 29er

Hey guys. I’m pretty new to riding, and have only been doing it for a couple of months. I currently have a small 20in learning unicycle that I upgraded with a 300mm seat post and a mtb tire. Although its not an ideal uni, I live down the street from a very nice mtb park so I’ve been riding trails since nearly the beginning with relatively good success, as well as doing ~10 mile rides a couple times a week.

This came to an end when I had a pedal explode during my last muni ride (I’ve learned plastic pedals aren’t for muni), so I have decided its probably time for an upgrade. I met a guy on the trails riding a 29in KH muni and when he let me try it, I was amazed at how stable and smooth the ride was. Since I’ve been doing about 50/50 muni and street riding, I believe a 29er would be versatile enough for my needs.

This is the one I’ve had my eye on recently. I’m on a budget, as evidenced by my current riding setup, so this looks to be a good one for the price. I don’t expect it to be as luxurious as the KH I tried, but I expect it to be much more comfortable than what I’ve been practicing on. I already have plans to swap out the pedals and tire ASAP, but everything else looks like it would be a good fit, though there are a few questions and concerns I have for those of you who know more about unis than I do or have tried this particular uni.

First off, would the 150mm cranks be good for bouncing between muni and street riding? The mtb trail I ride on the most has a trail head at the halfway point that connects to a MUP, which I will sometimes do a few miles on before completing the mtb trail.

Second, what would the advantages or disadvantages be over a 26er? I’m pretty tall (6’5") so I have a natural tendency to go with the bigger option. Would this tendency translate well to uni though?

Third, does the uni I’m looking at have a brake mount, or would I even need one? I’ve had one instance on my 20in of going way too fast and not being able to get enough leverage (or grip?) to stop, though I was trying to impress a lady and I think the universe just didn’t want it to happen.

Lastly, does anyone know the tire clearance of the frame? With a 100mm hub I assume its around 3.9 inches, but I assume a tire above 3in may be pushing it.

I discovered the UDC USA store is just a short drive away, so if I make a decision I should be out riding within 18 hours.


Hey welcome to Muni club, i’ve been doing it for over decade. You should save and get more sturdier frame. I’ve got 26", 29" and 36" uni and they serve different purpose. From what you wrote, my advise is to get one of these
Muni. Like the Nimbus 26" for $380. The trainer uni you’re budgeting for won’t hold up with your body weight and frame. You can get either a 29" or 26" muni with fatty tire. I like my 29" Hatchet with 3" tire but if you like the “wow” factor, get the 26" uni with 4.7" or 5.05 fatty tire(this is what I’m upgrading to). Having a disc brake on my 29" have saved my legs from downhill alot; but not “totally” necessary since you’re on budget. Lastly, just call guys at and they can advise which muni is best. Good luck

29 is a good all round size: nimble enough for tracks and trails, fast enough for roads and paths, manoeuvreable enough for crowded walkways.

I have dual holed cranks on mine. Long setting (about 10mm) for general purpose, short setting for lots of road riding.

Never needed a brake.

I also vote for a muni with ISIS (International Splined Interface Standard) cranks and hub instead of square tapered. It provides a much stronger “glue” between the cranks and the hub. I realize you are on a budget but the Nimbus 26" and 29" munis are the cheapest retail half decent munis I know of. I have both the Nimbus 26" and 29" and I’m pretty happy with them. Nimbus seems (at least was) a little inconsistent with their seats as my 29" has a much more comfortable seat. But still, the seat on the 26"er is much better than a lower cost uni.

If you are buying second hand, if the uni is in good condition, then the fact that it has a splined interface indicates it is probably a half decent muni.

The Ardent 29"x2.4" is a pretty nice tire and I’m finding the Maxxis “Plus” sized 26x2.8" Minion DHF 60 tpi is a good tire for a 26".

Which size to get ? The smaller the tire the more maneuverable the uni. A better unicyclist than I - Darren Bedford - said that a 29" is about as big as you can go if you are riding (in a city on the sidewalk) amongst pedestrians. The bigger tire is faster. They can both do trails but you can successfully ride through more challenging trails on the 26". I guess that’s why we buy different sizes :slight_smile:

You’re tall, so 29" is probably a sensible size for you.

150mm cranks: Good for Muni (maybe a tad bit long if your trails are easy), way too long for riding A to B on pavement. If you decide to save up for an upgrade, and get one with an ISIS hub, you can get dual-hole cranks at 127/150mm, which gives you a lot of flexibility. But for pure Road riding, even 125 is long. I would use something more like 102, assuming no steep hills.

No brake mount on the uni you linked. Adding one might be difficult, but if you visit the UDC store you can probably get an answer to that question, possibly along with which brake to use (probably a rim brake of some sort). Also they can probably set you up with a fatter tire that will fit your chosen frame.

BTW, what’s a MUP? If it’s a Muni Uni Park, I want to go there! :sunglasses:

If you are already going 10 miles twice a week on a 20-inch unicycle(!), your love of distance riding is so deep that you probably shouldn’t get anything smaller than a 29. I would recommend spending a bit more money (or waiting for a good 29 to appear on Craigslist) and getting a stronger unicycle. That trainer unicycle you linked to might not hold up too well for a rider who is 6’5" and likes to dabble in muni.

As far as brakes, the few people I know who ride unicycles with brakes seem to never use them. I’ve never wanted or needed a brake, and anyway, if you are on a budget, the unicycles with good brakes are usually only the fanciest ones.

This unicycle would be perfect for you, and it has been advertised on Craigslist for months, but it is not in your area.

Hi blaffy! That 29" Trainer is pretty close in specs to a unicycle I built up from parts, the one I’ve done the majority of my unicycling on. It’s great fun for all-around riding, terrific as OldGoat says when using sidewalks or having to navigate around pedestrians, and also when I just don’t feel like working as hard as I would have to on my 36" Coker. I like having a fairly narrow tire on mine. It’s less to fight against on pavement, and a lot more of a challenge, in a good way, on well-graded trails and jogging paths that would be a snooze on a full-tilt mountain unicycle.

I don’t do anything extreme on it with the square-taper hub and cranks, but it’s been just fine for the riding I’ve done. Check the torque on the crank bolts now and then, especially when it’s new or you’ve just had the crank arms off.

And yes, department store spec plastic mountain bike pedals spill their bearings and die quickly on unicycles. However polycarbonate pedals, Odyssey Twisted PCs and the like, are really popular among unicyclists. I have them on most of my unis and they’re holding up fine.

Edit: Forgot too say: IMHO 150 mm cranks are too long for anything you’d do on that one. I started with 137s on mine in my first summer of unicycling, and switched down to 125s after a few months. I’ve been happy with those since then for my mix of riding.

It depends very much on the terrain. Where I ride I wouldn’t want to use my 29 and especially the 36 without a brake. Coming off the front of an out of control 36 going down a steep hill makes for a very long drop down to the road.

The brake allows me to go much faster down hills without the effort required to hold the uni back. It is enough effort getting up the hills without having to do it going down as well.

+1 :slight_smile: