Unicycle weight and rider skill--a personal observation.

I thought I would post this observation as it might be of interest/use to other newbies. I’m 50 and I’ve been riding for about 15 months now, and I like to do “light” Muni (dirt trails with some hills and lots of rocks and roots, but no big drops or anything). I’ve been riding a 24" Nimbus II with 145mm cranks, Muni pedals, and a 2.3 BMX type tire. Occasionally I would try my son’s 24" Nimbus Muni (the one with the big rim and tire), which is noticeably heavier when taking it off the rack, and when riding. In fact, the weight difference really threw me off, and I could barely ride the thing on the trails. Recently however I’ve noticed that as my skills have improved, it actually became easier to ride his “real” Muni than my modified Nimbus II on the trails. I think that now I can actually use the added inertia of the bigger tire/wheel to my advantage when riding in rough terrain.

I guess the moral of the story is that one should not put too much weight on a test ride when you are on the steep part of the learning curve. A few months back I wanted no part of a big-tire Muni, but now I’m going to have to get one of my own!

I took my Duro tire off my Nimbus Muni because I was having problems learning with it (I’m 61). Now that I’m getting a little better though, I’m thinking about putting it back on and getting a second “road” uni, maybe a 26 or even a 29 :smiley:

I did that myself. I bought a 29 Nimbus nomad (I wanted 150mm cranks) and sold the knobby tire to another uni guy. I put on a 29 street tire which made a HUGE difference in the way the uni handled on the road, and now I have a sweet street cruiser. I highly recommend the 29 wheel size. It’s a big jump in speed over a 24, but it’s still easy to handle in less than ideal urban riding environments.

Don’t put it all on the weight. Does the MUni have the same crank length? Seat height? These things can make a big difference.

The heavier munis probably got at least 150mm cranks on it?

However,as both the unis are 24"-ers, if you want a more definitive answer to the question, then you could simply just use one unicycle and try it with both tyres, to see the difference while all other factors remain the same.

I’d be interested in hearing the results, as I’ve tended to do the opposite- buy unics (KH29 and QUAX26) that came with bige heavy muni tyres, and end up switching them for a lighter tyre- as I ride mainly on roads that have lots of hills, I find it makes for an easier ride- but that’s on roads, not muni trails.

I just bought a 26" Nimbus (disc brake) Oracle. UDC’s new Aluminum frame weighs less than my cranks (165/137 Moments) but it comes with the 3" Duro tire. I probably switched it for a Maxxis 2.5" 3C HighRoller too early (after two MUni outings). Depending on the # of “roots” in your trail, the ability to run at extremely low (10-12 psi) pressures due to thick sidewalls is awesome. I saved a ton of weight (even more with a 1.2mm Freeride tube) so I can hop a little higher but I do miss the roll-over-ability of the Duro.

If your still in Atlanta, you’ve got miles of paved/sealed b*ke “trails” in the Silver Comet and Chief Ladiga at your disposal. I have mates down there and am planning to ride the whole enchilada on my KH/Schlumpf (geared) 36er. Any tips on lodging/dining along the route?

Yes. Both unis have the same cranks (venture 150mm), pedals (nimbus with cleats), seats (KH fusion), and we always adjust the seat height for the rider. The only differences are the frame (the Nimbus Muni frame is slightly wider than the Nimubus II frame, but the weight difference is probably minimal) and the wheel, tire, and spokes (this is the major source of the weight difference).

I have heard members of the Atlanta Juggling Association who unicycle/bike mention those trails, but I have not done them myself. I normally ride with my son who is more interested in riding over obstacles, etc. than riding long distances. He has just gotten tall enough to ride my 29 however. Sounds like a great ride, but it’s too far from where I live in ATL to offer any lodging/dining recommendations.

I have ordered a Nimbus Muni 24" identical to the one my son rides, and I’ve also ordered separately a 2.5 Kenda tire, so look for some direct tire comparisons in the future. We will have two identical identical unis on the trail at the same time, allowing direct comparisons with 2 (or more if uni friends come along) riders. I’m open to suggestions for tire comparisons!

Wheels and Riding

I have a friend who does freestyle on a 24". When he rides Muni with us he switches his Hookworm wheel build (A whole tire, rim, cranks and pedals) to a Duro wheel build, keeping the same frame and saddle. The difference in rolling resistance is quite amazing.

Many of the heavier Muni tires are much much harder to turn with and roll on asphalt. However out on the dirt they absorb jolt and perform much better.