My son and I are hooked. I bought a cheapo 20" beginner and he has a nimbus 2 24". We want to be able to ride our local trails which are pretty good but do have some exposed roots and rocks. Also, I want to be able to ride to work but throw it in my wife Jeep Wrangler for the ride home. And we want to do some charity rides too.
My son thinks we should get the Coker Big One but I’m waggling between it and the Nimbus 29er. We’d like to get two unis the same size.
Personally I’d go for the 29. 36’ers can be a hassle to move around and they’re not brilliant for trials. Plus there’ll be a bigger learning curve attached to the 36 compared to the 29. The 29 will almost feel natural from the start.
I love mine; its decent on the road, decent on trails, and fits easily in a car. The 29er has a speed range not too far off from a casual run, which is good for commutes and yet relatively easy to recover from when you fall. Not so the 36er, from what I’ve read here.
I measured our Jeep a 36 would fit and two just barely. The Audi TT might fit one 29. I’ll check on its cargo area when I get home. I’m also still just a beginner so I need to keep that in mind. But do want to start riding to work as soon as I can free mount.
Freemounting on a 36 can be a whole different experience depending on your ability and crank length. Any crank length below 150mm for me and I can’t freemount normally, instead I either have to rolling mount or jump mount.
The 29er is really hard to beat for all around riding. When I had mine I commuted daily to work(8miles), jammed around on easy single track trails, and hopped around quite a bit. I was and still am a beginner and felt comfortable challenging myself on the 29er.
Haha, I wish. Although, I can borrow my sons and visa versa. For me, it is being able to ride to work but not have to ride back if I don’t want to. My wife works for the same company and can give me a ride home after a long hard day or the weather is really bad. So, I’m leaning toward the 29.
36" is your best bet for going distances. But if your terrain is not all paved, 29" might be more versatile to your needs. Alaska tends to be a bit rougher, but it all depends on where you want to ride.
Mountain Unicycling was partially “invented” in Seward, AK. I think George Peck became a rough terrain unicyclist because that’s what was all around him there. In which case, you might want to go with the 29ers.
Keep in mind that with a fixed gear, the bigger the wheel the harder the higher the lowest speed at the same cadence, so as you go up in wheel size it’s going to be harder to ride slow in parade style, traffic, around pedestrians, etc…
At the same time, big wheels go faster and can maintain a high speed with less effort; assuming you can hold that speed. So if you hit a hill that is too steep for you to maintain a minumum cadence for your wheel size then you’re walking.
Many riders have more than one wheel size to accomodate different surfaces and terrains. You should consider a 36" for flatter and smoother terrain that is clean and dry, at least when you’re starting. Few people consider a 36er good for trail riding. You should consider a 29" if you want to ride a variety of terrain and surfaces, which it sounds like you do.
If you are looking at buying two new unicycles, then maybe get one of each, a 36" and a 29"?
I have all sizes, even a custom 32", but I split my time between a 29" and 36" depending on weather and terrain.
You are in Alaska, yes? Have you considered getting a unicycle for riding in the snow (and mud)? I ride an Oregon which come stock with a 26 x 4" wheel and snow tire. We don’t get much snow down here, so I ride the 4" tire in the mud; we have plenty of mud. When the trails are in better shape I swap wheels and put a 29 x 2.4 on the same unicyle. I believe there is another Alaska rider who is doing the same with his Oregon.
If the 36 needs dry then I better rule that one out. We average 165 inches of rain a year. I am planning on putting a fender on whatever I get.
I’d be able to borrow or trade of with my son until the fall. Until then I hope to ride during the week to work and do some rides with him as well. The road to work is a 3-4% downhill with two steep sections and the beginning and end of the 1.8 miles. Our community is basically built on the side of a mountain which goes into the sea. Our main road runs along near the shore and that is one of the only semi flat roads of any length- 13 miles out of town each way. There is another 13 miles of road that goes up to some lakes and recreation areas and it is paved for the first 5 or 6 miles.
Most of our trails are gravel, rock with roots and occasionally boardwalks if there is a particularly long stretch of muskeg. We have a lot of muskeg here so sticking to trails is a must. Sadly, we have very little mud.
My son has a set of 26" Nokian Extremes on his mountain bike that he got up in Fairbanks. I haven’t tried the studded tires but thought it would be fun. Rain is a year round thing but we get s few weeks of snow here and there between November and March. We do get ice on clear nights and this morning there is ice.
The Oregon and Oracle are both out of our price range.
muskeg - Wikipedia: “Muskeg is an acidic soil type common in Arctic and boreal areas, although it is found in other northern climates as well.”
What is it really like, peat soil?
Trails can get a bit slippery, metal grates on the road sometimes require smoother riding, but the biggest problem IMO is slippery pedals once your feet get wet, esp if there’s mud on them (mostly fixed by gripper pinned pedals). So the 36 would be fine but avoid wet surfaces until u get really used to it.
If that’s your commute it’d b too much for me but there are people here who do more than that. For me it’d need to be 5 mi or less.
I think I’d to be a bit careful w/ UDS since I sometimes land on the tire.
Just get the regular Nimbus Muni or a used one from the classifieds forum.
I don’t think a 36er needs dry, but it does require more effort to ride the same terrain as a smaller wheel, so maybe it has less utility where you live. At the same time, it is an amazing ride and I think it’s a shame when folks skip over the big wheel.
A Drak is a fine unicycle, so is a Coker, so get both and go ride!
I’m just experimenting now with my first studded tire - a Continental. It helps a lot on occasional ice as you’re describing and is fine in the wet. They’re not the end all in traction, but make ice feel like someone has thrown a little sand on it.