Touring uni parts?

I’m looking to build a touring uni (700c) pretty much from parts, and for pretty cheap. I threw together some stuff on UDC, but it’s far from final yet. Any suggestions on cheaper/better parts (preferably both :wink: )? Is this a good rim, or can I get a better/cheaper one at a bike store (I don’t have much experience with buying rims).

I’m gonna build the wheel myself and assemble it all from the ground up. Are there any parts I’m missing to have a fully functional touring uni?

What I’m especially concerned about is making sure the hub I choose fits in my frame, but UDC doesn’t give a width for the Nimbus X frame…

All this with shipping will be probably about $200, which I think is pretty good.

-DT Champion 14-gauge spokes
-Nimbus X 29-inch Frame
-Sun CR-18 700c 36-hole Wide Chromoly Hub (71 mm flange to flange)
-Qu-Ax Lightweight Alloy Crank Arms
-United Seat Post with 4-bolt rectangular pillar bracket
Seat Post Length 200-mm (standard)
Seat Post Diameter 22.2-mm (7/8-inch)
-Nimbus Dual Bolt Seatpost Clamp
-Odyssey Twisted PC Platform Pedals
-Nimbus Gel Saddle

EDIT: Forgot to mention, I already have a rim strip, tube, and tire.

I also could (possibly) use my old 700c road bike rim, a Mavic CXP21. But, it’s a 28 hole, and it’s not very straight. In addition, I might want to keep it as a back up wheelset.

However, I will ask: which type of rim is better for a light -weight and -duty uni? The sun, or my Mavic?

I’d change a couple of things.

Firstly the rim, I’d use a KH rim. You really really want a wide rim on a 29er uni, and this is the only wide 29" rim. You want this, because for a touring uni, you really want a big apple tyre, rather than a narrow tyre. It’s faster over any real roads, because small bumps slow down the narrower tyre so much. Narrow tyres are nice on a smooth track.

This also means you may not want the frame, as that’s a narrow top frame, which probably doesn’t fit a wide tyre. Over here you can get the Nimbus rounded top 29" frame that fits the big apple, or the nimbus II frame, I think the rounded top one is nicer.

I’d recommend getting metal pedals if you want to ride distance, as you’re bound to get caught in the rain at some point, and plastic pedals are rubbish in the rain. Metal pin pedals will give you so much more grip generally.


I’m going to second both the metal pedals and the KH rim. The KH rim is also pretty cheap, and pretty light so its not a huge issue really, its just plain better. Metal pedals also make it safer in general, its more of an issue with a coker but even on a 29er I find metal pedals help alot.

The Nimbus 29er Rim is also very wide (roughly the same as the KH), a bit lighter but less strong (not double walled). It also comes in pretty anodized red and blue.

In the UK at least, last time I checked, they cost about the same.

I’d get the new KH freeride seat also. I’m finding my nimbus gel to be less and less comfortable for any period of time. you might want a QR clamp too.

This may be getting away from cheap but, I’d go with a rail adapter and a rail type seatpost. You will want the extra tilt for comfort on a touring uni.

On UDC US, the nimbus X was the only frame I saw. Are there others available in the US?

Also, with the wider KH rim, would I be able to put on a standard 700x25c tire? Or is the rim too wide for that. The Big Apple tire is really expensive…

You should talk to Mikefule about his road razor and bacon slicer

If you want to cover distance, why aren’t you considering a 36 inch wheel?

This is a unicycle I advised a dutch unicyclists to get:

23.90 Big Apple tire
06.90 Tube
39.90 KH rim
30.00 Wheelbuild
39.90 UDC 100mm hub
07.40 United Cranks
19.90 BMX Pedals
29.90 Nimbus Frame
08.90 Seatpost chrome
03.50 1 bolt seatpost clamp
36.90 Nimbus gelsaddle

It comes down to a total of 247.10 euros, you won’t have to pay for wheelbuilding as you’re doing that yourself, so 217.10 euros, prices are from (german udc)

It basically goes with all Joe said, you’ll want the extra grip of metal pedals, the wider rim for more stability, and the bigger tire for a more comfortable ride.




I don’t have $500.

How does the additional tilt help?

While tilting the seat back may look uncomfortable, it actually gets your weight on your butt bones and off your middle area which causes numbness.

I dunno, you’d have to call them, all the other unicycle.coms have the nimbus 29" frame though.

I’d not recommend it, it’d be less wide than the rim, the rim is something like 38mm wide. But you don’t want a 25mm tyre on something you’ll be riding for any distance, remember you’ve got half as many wheels to support the weight as on a bike.

Big apple is cheaper from here, might be even cheaper other places


I wouldn’t bother with this for your first touring unicycle, I find if I ride regularly, the rail adapter makes no difference in comfort. I’ve got them on the schlumpf , not on the coker, and haven’t been persuaded enough to put one on my coker.


The RhinoLite rim is excellent, and imho a better match for your tire than the KH. The CR-18 is not nearly as good as the RhinoLite for a unicycle.

You can easily use a Big Apple (either width) on the RhinoLite should you decide you want a fatter tire.

Consider using 14/15 spokes on your wheel; they are a better match for the rim and overall weight of the wheel.

Thanks for the help so far. I’ve changed some things as per your suggestions, but a few more questions:

  1. What’s the smallest width rim that can hold a Big Apple tire?
  2. Could I fit the Big Apple (2" wide, the smaller of the two) in the Nimbus X frame?
  3. As I’m still waiting for a response from UDC, does anyone know what size hub (61 or 71 mm flange-to-flange) would fit in the Nimbus X?
  4. Finally, I’ve never really used cotterless cranks (square taper). Do alloy cranks work better/weigh enough less to justify the extra cost? Or is steel fine?

My cost is up to $250 plus whatever tire I get. I figured if I’m gonna get the components now, I might as well get the ones I really want. My biggest undecided is really what rim to get. I really want a skinny tire (like 25C) even despite its unpracticality, but I want the option to put a cushy tire on if I feel like it.

  1. I personally wouldn’t go less than the RhinoLite for a Big Apple tire of either width.

  2. shrug

  3. shrug

  4. Get a pair of steel Bike Euros or even the Miyatas or Torkers to start. When you’re totally used to your new uni, play around with a good set of aluminum alloy cranks.

Caveat: I have not tried to put a 25c tire on a RhinoLite. I doubt that it would be very satisfying if it worked at all; you probably would prefer a narrower rim to go with that tire (not a CR-18 though). Sheldon Brown’s tire chart says that the RhinoLite is pretty much out of the limits for a 25c tire. None of the rim sizes in the green for a 25c tire would be suitable for a Big Apple on a unicycle. So essentially you oughtn’t try to do both with one wheel. You might consider simply having a skinny wheel and a fat wheel; your choice as to which to purchase or build first.

Thanks for the response!

Why not a CR-18? I understand it’s not the best quality, is that the only reason? The width seems to be appropriate (fairly wide) for a 25c tire.

That is a great chart, thanks so much!