Trails vs 20" muni

Just window shopping on the internet and making my wishlist. I have a 20" no namer that I put a cheap Schwinn mt bike tire on. Most of the area around my house is gravel and dirt so that’s what I learned on. Ever since I bought a 26" muni, my wife claimed my no namer to try to learn on. So now I want to replace it with another 20" to learn and play on. I find myself really enjoying using the 20" riding through ruts and more technical offroad stuff I’d like to work on easy tricks while being able to ride off road since that’s my environment.

So what’s the difference between a 19" trials and a 20" with a fatter tire (2.25-2.75"). I’ve been eye balling some 19" trials unis since they have the fatter tire and are built stronger. How big of a difference is a 19" vs a 20"?

I can see setting up pallets and obstacles to play on in the future when I get better. I can also see getting a 24" Muni for longer but still technical rides. Anyway I’m just rambling on the internet and dreaming of new unicycles.

A 19" with a trials tire has essentially the same outside diameter as a 20" with a “normal” tire. A fatter tire 20" will end up slightly larger, but that is completely negligeable.

The 19" tire has more volume and therefore more bounce. Besides that, it’s a very common size in the bike trial world as well, so you’ll find some very good dedicated trials tires in that size which as far as I know are not available in 20", like the Monty Pro Race V2 for example. It is available as front tire with 20x2.0" but as rear with 19x2.6". To my knowledge a 20x2.6" does not exist.

Since the majority of trial moves is heavily relying on grip (wider tire, softer compound), bounce and damping (during drops), you’ll notice quite some difference if you really focus on riding trials.
However, if all you want to do is hop from one pallet to another, 20" should work fine as well.

Btw, a 24" muni (mine has a 2.8" tire) can be used for trials as well. It will not be optimal for it of course, but it’s not that bad. I’ve built mine with a rigid trial / street saddle and I can do similar things as on my 19" trials uni. I hardly use it, but here’s a short clip of me using it in the skatepark with 150mm cranks:

https://www.instagram.com/p/CMxavH8hQdA/

One thing to bear in mind when looking at tire choices is that 19" tires are often described as 20" tires. A 19" tire has about the same outer diameter as a 20" tire, so technically they’re both 20". The 19" tire has a smaller inner diameter however. So when you see a tire like the creepy crawler being described as 20", that doesn’t mean it will fit on a standard 20" rim, as it’s a 19" tire.

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How would a fatter trials 19” tire perform compared to a 20” tire that’s skinnier so they essentially have the same diameter for just riding on more technical trails with rocks and ruts and such?

Trials (19") tires and rims typically do much better than standard 20" wheels at the low pressures you would want for soaking up the lumps and bumps. If you got one of the 20" unicycles with a wide rim there might not be as much difference, but good trials tires would be easier to find than wide 20" tires to go on the wide rim.

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