Trials Unicycle for Muni

Would a trials unicycle suit for all the needs of muni? What are the disadvantages of having a 20" besides speed? If I was to try and go on a 1.5 km trail, would it even be possible with a 20"? What about 3.5?

Its slow and doesnt roll over stuff very well

Slow, doesn’t roll over things smoothly, and tough to climb hills

With a small wheel and long cranks it’s easiest du climb hills.

not when there is roots and rocks.

There is a steep hill I couldn’t climb on my 20" with 140 cranks. I was able to do it easily on my 24" with 140 cranks. And like knoxuni said, it would be impossible for the 20" to climb a steep hill with roots and other things unless you hopped up but that’s more trials than muni anyway.

Basically, the only difference between a Trials Uni and a Mountain Uni is the tire diameter. They both come with high volume tires with an “off-road” tread pattern. And they both have strong components that are meant to take abuse (assuming it is a decent brand trials or Muni). If you are a smaller rider or you like hopping over obstacles, you can actually do some really technical Muni on a Trials unicycle. If you are looking to roll over your obstacles, then it will be difficult with a 19-20 inch tire.

What do you own now? If you already own a Trials uni, then my suggestion is to experiment and see how you like it. Back in the day when people “invented” Muni, the equipment was quite pitiful. If you don’t have any Uni, then you might want to think about what you plan to ride the most. Will you ride in urban areas more often or out in the woods somewhere? Also, if you want to commute anywhere, then a trials Uni will be painfully slow.

If you have a choice go with a larger wheel for MUni. 20" trials is too small a wheel for most MUni, especially XC and if you plan on riding any real mileage. HOWEVER, that’s not to say it’s “impossible”; I hate that word. For instance at the Asheville MUniFest one year there was a young man there you did all of the rides, including the 12 mile MUni race and some other longish, technical rides on his 20" Torker. Not only did you complete all the rides but he did so faster than a lot of folks on 24" and 29" unicycles! So, yes it can be done and done quite well but that isn’t the norm by any means.

Like others have said, if you don’t have a unicycle now and are looking to purchase ONE then you should really think about how and where you plan to ride; what surfaces and distances. If you really get into the sport then it’s not unusual to end up with many different unicycles over time to accommodate all sorts of riding terrain and goals.

Good luck!

I already own a Nimbus Trials. The place I live is painfully flat so trials is my only option. I’m really enjoying it. The reason I asked these questions is that we’re going up north to go camping this summer and I have biked quite a few mountainous trails there.

Last time I was out at my favourite Muni place I was with a friend & she was riding a 20" without to any problems.

My Nimbus 26 punctured so I pulled my trusty 20" out of the truck and rode that.

It was bloody good fun - which is what I believe unicycling is all about.

So I suggest you go out on your 20" and have some fun.


Since you already have the trials give it a try and see how you like it!

For me the longer cranks (on mine 137) plus the small wheel and big tire make my trials uni very annoying to ride forward more than a few minutes. Also because of the longer cranks and small wheel, when I turn the pedals tend to hit the ground.

I suppose very technical muni can be like trials, but my guess is that you are not doing that kind of riding.

Definitely possible - I’ve done some off-road riding on mine, though it’s not what I’d choose for a long XC ride. Though mine is more “street” with 125 cranks which may help. In fact I have deliberately taken it out a few times on stuff which I’d normally ride my 26er on but I now find really easy, just to challenge myself a bit more.

If it’s what you own then take it and have fun.