Unicycle Upgrade Recommendation

Hi! I consider myself a beginner to intermediate cyclist. I’ve been learning how to ride since Winter 2012; unfortunately I did not ride quiet often. In just the past month I’ve been riding a lot and gaining more experience. I was given a very generic 20" $30 unicycle off of ebay [which served me well in telling me whether or not Id stick with this] and I wanted to ask for recommendations on what type of unicycle I could better grow into and have for a longer period of time. I do plan on doing more technical things with the uni, but for the time being it would be for daily riding around campus and technical practice on weekends. Thanks for the input!

Welcome to the forum.

If you look on the upper-right side of your screen, you’ll see a search box. There’s more information and recommendations there than you could shake a stick at.

My .02:

Figure out what discipline you want to do right now. I don’t know what you mean by technical. Muni, trials, street, freestyle, flatland?

For campus riding, 29er’d be a good size to look at. If you’re looking for an all around wheel size, 26 is what I’d go with. It’s not great at anything, but will do everything.

I like Nimbus. If you’re a caviar enthusiast, get a Triton.

A 26 “wont do” flat or freestyle nor trials unless you are kris holm. If you want to jump off of things and do “tricks” on asphalt get a 19" trials. If you want to ride to get somewhere around campus get a 29. If you want to do muni get a 24 or 26" muni. If you want to ride lomger distances and or keep up with casual bicyclists get a 36.

Figure out what your primary focus will be and get a good quality machine for that purpose. Those of us into unicycling will own at least 2 different unis. Good luck and welcome.

The only wheelsize I would recommend for a single do-all uni is 26". The only things you can’t do on one is basketball/racing unless your rim will fit a 1.125" tire. But that is just because of the rules.

If money is your primary factor, get a nimbus muni. But if you want a brake, a KH may actually be a better route than nimbus.

Or try watching the trading post on this forum.

Make that a 1" tire. Then it’s great for Track racing, but pretty terrible for (regulated, competitive) basketball. Or basketball for fun, for that matter.

I sort of agree that 26" is a good all-around wheel size, but that’s really only true if you only want to go places. If your focus is more on doing tricks it’s definitely too big to enjoy.

It’s kind of like my bike (yes, I have one). It’s a Miyata Triplecross Hybrid. Hybrid (or “cross”) bikes are great for riding to work. Mine is kind of okay as a road bike, but only if you ignore riding position. And it’s mostly lousy for offroad. If you insist on owning only one bike this is a good choice, but no single machine is going to be great under all conditions.

What works for unicycling is to decide which type of riding you want to focus on next, and buy something appropriate for that activity. Then, down the road, you can buy the next one and focus it on a different activity. Unicycles are cheap.

For starting out, I think a 26 would be fine for basic trials and/or street. Ideal? No. Doable? Yes. Unless he’s Kris Holm, he won’t be doing 12 sets or 5 foot sif hops.

Id rather do trials on a 26 than commute on a 19.

I agree with everyone’s thoughts on getting a 26. I have a 26" oracle and learned on it and it’s my favorite. I ride around the city and do some trail riding with it. I have a 36", 24" and 20" as well.

If you already got a 20", a significant step up is a 26". 20" is slow unless you have short cranks and pedaling pretty fast but any distance, you’d be better going for a larger wheel. 26" can roll over bumps better which is great for trails and bumpy streets, faster smoother ride, and with good practice you can do decent jumps and drops and still very maneuverable I’ll add. People use 26ers a lot in MUni (mountain unicycling) and there’s a lot of technical stuff not to mention the added speed bonus is a nice addition.

I also find that larger wheel look cooler than a 20". 20" looks more like you’re goofing around and a 26er looks like you mean business (well, as much as you can look with a unicycle :D) and about to do some serious riding (at least distance-wise). 36" is a whole different beast, even mounting it is on a different scale. I can mount my other unicycles with complete ease but a 36", if I have bad day and I’m a bit groggy, it takes a few tries. 36" is more going towards the “WTF?” zone, which is the reaction I get a lot when I ride past people. When people see my 26er, they just think it’s cool.

I’m only talking about the 36" because it’s been brought up in this thread. You shouldn’t be considering it at all at this stage. 26" and below I’d think.

A 24" isn’t worth the step up in my opinion unless you’re pretty happy with the 20" and what it does, but want a tad faster. Don’t underestimate the thrill for the need for a bit of speed. Show that casual jogger what is up! :stuck_out_tongue:

What everybody else said. It all depends on you (e.g. your inseam, skill), your preferences for looks and riding as well as your budget.

I started learning on a 24’’ Torker DX about 3 months ago. I’m now using it as my daily commuter on a fitness trail / parking lot (< 1 mile). I’ve tried riding along friends jogging, but that’s already the limit what a 24’’ with 152mm cranks can do. I could barely keep up and I couldn’t catch up anymore when I fell behind to avoid an obstacle.

I’m also the proud owner of a 29’’ Nimbus II Muni which I got two days ago. I haven’t ridden it much yet, but it is a different beast. Getting on and riding off is a bit of a challenge, especially uphill. But it rolls over roots and other obstacles a lot easier than my 24’’. And so far I have found I can make the same turns on it that I can on my 24’’. In other words, at this point my abilities are holding me up more than the size of the unicycle.

If you’re not in a rush, I’d keep checking out unicycle.com (assuming you’re in the US) for sales and keep an eye on the trading post here.

I always enjoy reading these threads.

New rider asks for advice and we’re all here to jump in and share our opinions. When the user returns to see responses, they’re busy for an hour trying to understand a fire-hose of information. If they even come back at all. Given enough time we’ve gotten off topic and into heated debate about this or that and the user is afraid to weigh back in and ask further questions for fear of getting drowned with information and starting a war about said topic. :roll_eyes:

…that said, get a 26". After learning on a dodgy 24", I rode a 26" for years before branching out to a giraffe and finally my 36".