Unicycle for college campus

What size wheel should I be looking for for riding around on campus/in a college town? During the day, there’s hordes of biology/psychology/business majors walking in horizontal rows on the sidewalk while buried in their blackberry cellphones texting, so if I decide I want to ride to class one day I will need to be able to maneuver around them. But on the other hand, I live in an apartment off campus and it’s a pretty long walk from there without a lot of obstacles, and I will probably do more riding at night when there is not such human traffic on campus. I am constantly changing my mind between a 26" and a 29". Of course it would help if I actually had a chance to try either of these out to see how they feel… Currently I’m leaning towards 26 since I hear 29 is more for commute. Any light you can shed would be wonderful.

On a related note, I am in fact a poor college student with an even poorer future (med school…), so I am not looking to spend a lot of money on this unicycle. $200 would be my limit. I’m sure as pros you shudder upon hearing such a small amount as the maximum for a quality unicycle, but I shudder at the thought of not eating for a month or having to work as a cashier at Publix. If you could suggest to me a good brand that would sell one for less than that, or maybe a cruddy brand that just requires certain modifications like changing the cranks or seat, I would be very happy.

Your instinct toward a 26" is a good one. Can you ride now? A beginner in a crowd is a mess.

Yes, I learned to ride a little over 2 years ago, and I’ve ridden around on this campus on a 20" before, so I know what to expect with the crowds. Of course I’ll have to polish up my idling again since I’ve been out of commission for awhile now. Oh and learn how to teleport out of the way of bicyclists who think they have the right of way because they have more momentum.

I think you’d do fine with either a 26 or 29, so just get whichever you find in your price range.

That said, if I only had one uni, between a 26 and 29, it would definitely be a 29". Very nimble once you get used to it. Overall much more versatile than a 26" which is quite a bit slower.

But lots of factors in the equation. How tall are you (just about anyone can ride a 29, but might be more challlenging if you’re really short)? How much effort are you willing to put into mastering a new wheel (29 will take a little more effort at first)? Do you intend to use it for technical muni (26), or is it more for around town and xc muni (29)?

There are also lots of other threads about choice of wheel size and 26 vs 29.
Good luck - I’m sure you’ll enjoy whichever wheel you end up with!

Also, you didn’t say where you are, so hard to tell you where to buy.
Unicycle.com is always a good bet for new uni’s, but it will be hard to meet your budget for a good wheel.
Maybe search the internet for a Torker LX (not great, but decent).
Try Craigslist for used unis.

Nice user name, where are you from?

I used a 24" for college commutes back in the day. Of course back in that day I don’t believe the 26" or 29" were being offered. I got around fine for the commute that usually consisted of about 3 miles one way. Not a bad distance for a 24".

How long is your commute, just building to building or is there some significant distance to get in from off campus?

I’d second the suggestion for a 29", though they might be slightly more expensive. I’ve got a 24" and a 26" and I find myself coveting a 29" now. You may be doing yourself a favor by skipping right to the 29" (and I might do myself a favor if I just skipped to a 36" instead of getting a 29", riding for two months, then realizing I want something faster).

I’m 5’5". Doesn’t look like I’ll be growing anymore anytime soon either, unfortunately. Judging by another thread, I don’t think I’d have any trouble with a 29 since people are saying people my height can handle a coker.

And I go to FSU in Tallahassee. It takes me about 15 minutes to walk to the campus from my apartment, and then 5-10 minutes from there to any one of my classes. But I generally walk faster than other people. I often feel like I’m still unicycling with how I have to maneuver between them. I mean seriously, the lethargy here is terrifying. I hope it’s not contagious.

I doubt I would have any problem adjusting to a 29, I am a pretty adaptable person I would say.

Thanks. I was born in the US. I’m not hispanic, but I’ve been studying spanish for a year now and I like to think that I’m pretty good. I’m better than any of the third-year students in my current class, anyways.

I think you’ll find that I rant a lot about my college when given the opportunity. I have a lot of rants.

Slightly off topic, but I note that I originally got my 29 for commuting about 3.5 miles, wanted a 36 within a couple months, and now only ride the 36 for the commute. I love the 29 for muni, but if you’ve already got a 26 you should get a 36 before a 29.

Back to OP: other place to look is in the Trading Post section of these forums.

I think a 26inch would suit you well for the crowds of people. I ride my 24inch around campus sometimes and when i get stuck in a group of people its almost easier just to get off and walk until the crowd thins out. The 29inch would be alright i guess but if the walk is only about 20 minutes then a 26 would do better since its more nimble than the 29. Also with short cranks like 135’s or even smaller you could still get going pretty fast and still go slow with the 26.

Ive got stuck with times where i couldnt get a ride back to the hotel and i had to ride back. I use a 24inch with 135’s and it was about a 6 or so mile ride and i could do it in about 45 minutes. I can pass joggers with the 24.

My vote goes for the 26 as well since it would be easier to find tires vs the 29 as well.



With a short commute the 26 will not get kicked out of as many places as the 29 when you carry it into class. That way you don’t need to take the time to store and lock it if it’s under your chair and feet.

24 or 26. Leaning towards the 26 because of more tire choices. However, I’ve used a 24 for years and have ridden many long miles on it before I upgraded with a Schlumpf Hub and after; you can definitely ride either of these faster than a jogger so you’ll make pretty good time. I’d go with 125mm-150mm cranks. Both are probably a bit more portable than a 29 or 36 and a bit more maneuverable as well.

I wish the sport of unicycling was where it is today about 15 years ago, I’d been riding all over campus (just never knew about it).

Good luck!


May want to narrow it down to 24 or 26 if you plan on bringing your uni with you into class. The 24 seems to do well for me; I can get it through the crowded hallways just fine. Also when i walk into class i can just lean it against the wall and grab it on the way out.

Personally i would choose the 24, but thats just cause i can throw it around easily.

I’ve always locked my uni up outside of class. The campus here is very bike-friendly. The bikers aren’t friendly because they’re smug sidewalk hogs, but there’s always a place to lock them up around buildings.

The campus here bans bicycles in buildings but not unicycles. I’m careful not to cause a problem and so have been tolerated carrying my unicycle inside. Saves time and keeps it dry. Smaller uni fit almost anywhere. Larger ones draw more attention.


They have a separate policy on unicycles, or they just don’t expressly prohibit them? I always play it on the safe side and follow the bike policies. If a trail or greenway is marked no bikes I assume it extends to unicycles as well.

I don’t want to be that guy that gets stopped by a park ranger and says “…but this is a unicycle:wink:

Strange, I thought everyone secretly wanted to be that person. I thought everyone secretly wanted to say “Funny, I didn’t see any signs that said I couldn’t ride a unicycle here…” while simultaneously ripping off their shirt.

26" or 24". 29" works also, but starts getting kinda big. 24" will be a little more maneuverable, a little lighter, and take up a little less room if storage is an issue. Also you can do lots of tricks on a 24"; it’s a great all-around wheel size.

Follow the rules for bikes, or risk getting rules created for unicycles. Not a great way to make friends in places of power! :slight_smile:

cheapest unicycle for student

I think you should buy 26 inh uni with short cranks (75 or 110)
parts for 26 you can get anywhere.
Size would be more compact than 29 and faster than 24.
And what about hub: normal cortless, u dont need to use ISIS hub - if you haven’t so much obstacles on your way.

Good luck with your uni :slight_smile:

I have 19, 24, and 29 unicycle wheels
which should I bring to college?

I am going by car with parents, but subsequently will mostly be flying…not sure when I’ll do a road trip again…

I was thinking of bringing my 19" and/or 24"
29" unicycle rides usually are longer and take more time. I dont know how much time I’ll have to ride :wink: unless I ride with other people i wouldnt be as motivated to go out on my 29er…

If it helps, it’ll be my first year at uc berkeley

I did most of my college commutes on my 24" muni. About twice walking speed, and small enough to easily maneuver through mild pedestrian traffic and walk through denser ped traffic :slight_smile: