Unicycle Recommendation

Hi. New to the community. I am 39 and last was really into unicycling 25 years ago or so. My things have changed.

I am comfortable riding backward, idling (both feet), going over curbs. Never learned to walk the wheel, jumping large things etc. I am getting back into it though. I currently only have my 25 year-old 24" Semcycle and am looking to buy a new 20" for tricks and maneuverability.

These are the things I want to get into and/or currently would want the cycle for:

  • Learn to walk the wheel
  • Learn some tricks with moving the seat post around the body
  • Learn to jump off some things on the street. Steps, large curbs, possibly some 2-3 foot drops
  • I currently can juggle on a unicycle and would like to use it for that too.

If you were going to get one cycle for this stuff, what would you get? Can someone recommend a unicycle for me? I see the Kris Holmes flatland might offer a good balance between strength and weight. It’s expensive though. I wonder if a freestyle is the right choice? A trial uni? Help!!!

I weight 150lbs and am about 5’8"

I may be a newbie but you would want a trials Uni. I wouldn’t jump my freestyle (street) off anything bigger than a curb. I like to keep the seat high and tire filled so it rolls smooooooth… My trials I don’t mind running pretty low psi and jumping/ throwing around. Plus the trials would allow more seat moving around I would think because it rides pretty low.
Of course I can’t do any of these things you speak of but I know which to use when I practice.
Hope I helped.
If I were only to buy one now (all over again) I’d get a Nimbus Trials. Good price for a great brand.

Come on, any takers? I really want to buy a new unicycle ASAP :slight_smile:

Jumping off anything significant would suggest a trials unicycle. Nimbus would be fine, and KH would be even better. All of the other skills would be better suited for a freestyle unicycle. I see two unicycles in your future.

Scott

I thought maybe the Kris Holm KH20 flatland might be the most versatile choice to allow me to learn free-style tricks, yet still allow me to get into jumping a bit. It’s expensive but cheaper than a good freestyle and trials together. Thoughts?

I have no experience with the KH Flatland unicycle. Here is the UDC blurb:

“The KH20 Flatland is built for rolling-oriented flatland riders and riders crossing into flatland from freestyle. It combines a lightweight freestyle tire (half the weight of a trials tire) with a wide 20” rim to give amazing riding smoothness, low weight and high lateral stability.”

I think a normal trials tire would be very frustrating for freestyle tricks. It looks like the KH flatland is more of an overbuilt freestyle unicycle (sturdy rim, ISIS cranks and hub.) It should be OK for reasonable drops, and still would work for freestyle because of the narrow and light-weight tire. Yes, it looks like a good choice for your list of requirements.

(You wanted an opinion …)

Scott

Do you think you could put trials tires on it if you wanted to use it for trials?

Trials tires generally fit a smaller rim diameter, so the answer would be no.

Now it gets a little more complicated. While what I said before is generally true, there are some tires made for trials bike front wheels that fit a standard 20" rim. Unicycle.com has the Onza Sticky Fingers in 20x2.4 that would fit the flatland rim. The only question remaining would be whether or not there is enough room in the frame for that tire. My guess is that it would fit, but before I put down the cash I’d want to be sure. You could call UDC, and talk to Josh. He should be able to give you sound advice about how to proceed.

So, what’s the difference between that Kris Holm KH20 flatland and a typical freestyle uni? Am I better off with the flatland than a straight free-style or trial?

Is there a cheaper alternative uni for my needs?

Get the KH Flat. It’s got the strength of the KH splined hub & cranks, which means it will take anything you throw at it (or jump off of). A Flat uni is very similar to a Trials; they’re both really strong.

Freestyle unicycles mostly don’t have splined hubs, so too much jumping could be a problem. But there are always cheaper alternatives to a KH, the question is do you want to go premium?

Another option is something like this:
http://www.unicycle.com/unicycles/freestyle/eclipse-20-inch-freestyle-unicycle-3.html/
That’s the Nimbus Eclipse Freestyle with long neck frame. Excellent Freestyle unicycle, and with splined hub & cranks! Actually may be perfect for your needs, though the long frame might get in the way if you get into more Trials and Flatland-type riding.

I guess I don’t mind spending an extra $120 if you think the KH would be more versatile.

So what is the difference between freestyle and flatland riding. I saw some videos of both and don’t see exactly what the difference is.

All I notice about the difference is freestyle seems to be more indoor. I understand that trials is much more jump and drop oriented, but freestyle vs. flatland?

I’m not sure if “freestyle” involves things like 360 spins, crank flips, and whatever its called where you crawl around the wheel on the crank then roll the wheel with the other foot until the crank swings to the other side. Stuff like that. Its more pirouettes, seat drag, free wheeling type things.

Flatland is kind of a subset of Freestyle, but only in that Freestyle encompasses anything that can be done on any unicycle. Freestyle competitions take place indoors, while Flatland is intended for paved, outdoor areas. The stresses on the unicycle are about the same, but Flatland includes a whole range of “new” tricks, many of which were developed by people who focus on the Flatland style of riding.

Also Freestyle is traditionally done on “skinny” wheels (1.75"). Not that there are any rules for what Freestyle unicycles can be; they can be anything. But the event goes back to the days when that was basically the only wheel size out there. Flatland riders often prefer a fatter tire, like a Street/Trials uni would have.

I noticed that the KH flatland has a fatter tire than the freestyle. It seems like it would be the most versatile uni for me, including allowing me to do some more straight jumps than a freestyle. Also it seems the tire is not knobby, so it would allow me to easily do things like juggle on it too and do some freestyle tricks.

I got the KH Flatland today. Should receive it by wed. I think I made a good choice. I also got a 16" starter for my 6 year old son. I will post back on my impressions.

Got the KH20FL. Should get it on Wed. I will let you know my impressions. While I was at it, I got my 6 year old a 16" starter uni!

Got the uni. It looks great and rides great, but I only got to ride it a few times before the seat post clamp broke. Apparently defective after talking to unicycle.com. Very disappointing. But the replacement part should be coming today.

OK been playing around with the KH20FL for a few days. Wow what a difference 30 years make and a top-of-the-line uni. So much lighter and more responsive than my old uni. It actually is taking a while to get used to it.

I am learning to walk the wheel, and it’s a lot easier going with this uni than my old one. Starting to wonder if I should have gotten the KH20 Street, but I guess flatland type tricks are better with this one and I guess this is a more versatile uni. So far I am loving it.

That uni is a very good choice for what you described.

If someone esle is in a similar position and reads this, the Equinox would be a better fit than the Eclipse that JF posted. Stronger parts and wider rim.

Freestyle is very flowy while flatland involves a lot of hoping and is harder on parts. The way I like to see it is FL is basically the same as street but all on flat ground (abuse to the uni and type of tricks usually done).

I think you’re son might have a hard time fitting that 16" w/o cutting the neck of the frame, unless he’s tall for his age. Putting on shorter cranks would help a bit but make it harder to learn.