Upgrading from trainer to muni-proper, looking for advice

Hi Everyone,

I’ve lurked here for a while, and then for reasons I joined :smiley:

If you want to skip my story and jump right to my advice question (don’t blame ya!), kindly jump to the bulleted list below. Please and thank you for any insight!

I’m forty years old and live in Virginia, USA. When I was somewhere in my middle-teens my Mother gave me a unicycle for a Christmas gift. This wasn’t part of our family traditions or anything, so it was very odd but also turned out to be very welcome. At that age I learned truly just enough to ride briefly, and then life happened I guess.

Fast forward to the present.

This year has been a big and great year for me. I’ve been in recovery for about five months, and as part of that recovery I’ve made a pact to get outdoors more. I started kayaking and got back into biking (used to be road biking about a decade ago, but now due to local geography its mountain/trail biking). And I feel great. It feels good to wake up sore again from doing physical activity. I cannot wait for this summer to get going. I think my age is regressing :yum:

For some reason the idea of unicycling popped back into my head. And as soon as it entered, I knew it wouldn’t leave. I was always in awe of folks that took unicycles into the woods and did trails. It just seemed so punk-rock-fly-that-freak-flag. I have time due to a very flexible work schedule. My body is probably as strong as it will ever be. Lets do this. Or at least try.

After a reasonable amount of research, I ordered a 24" Nimbus II (the $330 USD model). Seemed to be a middle ground. My 200+ lb. adult body shouldn’t crush it immediately AND if I bail out of the hobby I didn’t drop a cool grand. It’s been a slog, but I’m training ‘little bits lots’ and making fantastic progress. Every week I can do more that I couldn’t do previously.

My entire goal is to get into light muni, so eventually I knew I’d have to upgrade what I have or, most likely, get a new uni. Just today I put a Maxxis Hookworm (24x2.5") on and, when inflated to max PSI, it rubs the fork. I’ve ridden it at lower PSI and I just love it. I love the stability and the entire feel. Plus it looks great, too. This has me thinking about the next step and upgrading my uni.

After quickly adding up some upgraded parts like 150mm cranks and possibly a fork to have clearance for larger tires - it’s clear that I should just buy a whole new setup. Of course, money is always something I want to be thoughtful of, but I do have the funds to spend for this. In other words, I’m not trying to pinch pennies like I was, say, 10 years ago.

This is where I get to asking the advice part. I’ll try to simplify the information with this list of questions:

  • I am on a 24" wheel now, and want to go up to make trails easier. What is your advice for the best size for light-to-moderate trails AND considering what size will have the greatest tire selection in the near future. I’m thinking 27.5", but I’d love advice.

  • Before I hear any advice, I’m considering these two cycles (Nimbus 27.5 Oracle [Nimbus 27.5" Oracle Unicycle | Unicycle.com]) and (Nimbus 27.5 Mountain [Nimbus 27.5" Mountain Unicycle - Racing Green | Unicycle.com]). I’m not married to Nimbus as a choice, BUT they’ve been great to me so far. I also don’t need the break or anything yet, but again, room to grow is not the worst thing in my mind. Maybe advice will suggest different.

  • Any other advice on this would be welcome. I’m slowly transitioning from abandoned parking lots (pavement is often very rough) to grass and gravel and surfaces like that. I’m not in a huge rush, and hugely enjoying the journey :slight_smile:

Thanks for reading, and thank you in advance for any insight!!!



Either of the two Nimbus 27.5” unis you’re looking at will be ideal for what you want to do with them. The question is really whether or not you need the brake. If you have some really steep sections of trail or just in general are thinking about a brake, get the Oracle because the price difference to add a brake makes the “standard” 27.5 about the same cost and more weight than the Oracle.


Thanks. How wide of a tire (maximum) do you suppose either of those two choices would support?

They both come with a Duro Crux, which is a 3.25" tire. I would guess that’s about as wide as you can go with those frames. They look about maxed out in the pictures. If you’re used to Nimbus II, then a Crux will look and feel huge.

And to add some advice, when I was in your shoes not long after learning to ride, I bought a 29er. I’m glad I got a significantly bigger wheel than on my learning uni. I like the contrast.

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Welcome and happy to read your story. :slight_smile:
There isn’t a whole lot of difference between a 27.5 and a 29er but a 27.5 may be a tad more nimble and a 29er may be a tad better for distance style riding.

As to the 2 nimbuses. The cheaper muni has a steel frame. The Oracle is aluminum. It should feel a little lighter. You can add a brake to the basic one but you have to do it yourself.
The 3.25" tyre is very useful and enjoyable when you get used to it!


Welcome to the forum sounds like you have a lot of potential and enthusiasm to drop some major $$$.
I hope you have some experience riding offroad: lumpy ground, grass(with gopher holes), and loose pebbles and sand pebbles. It’s a skill on it’s own. Do not underestimate.

Also, going from a skinny tire street uni to a fat tire muni is another adjustment. Even though it’s the same wheel diameter. If you’re a non-helmet incremental progress rider like myself, I would say stick with 24" even though you already ride a 24". However, if you suit up with the full gear then go bigger should be fine.

Also, if $$$ not a problem go with the aluminum oracle. It will definitely “handle” much easier than a heavy duty chrome moly steel unicycle. Less physical hip/shoulder action to manipulate. Just know this you may “totally thrash it” so don’t be surprised if you need to buy another oracle in a year or two.

I’d forget about the brakes at the moment, because you learning muni and pedaling(negative pressure) for control is paramount. Keep it simple. Seat/brake holding adds extra complexity and may restrict your balance dynamic. Also, a lateral impact against frame vs boulder = trashed brake caliper, disk or brake handle.

Keep on…slam…

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Since both do have the ability to mount a disk brake, I think you can’t go really wrong with either.

I’d probably personally save some money on the unicycle itself and go to the steel framed version, since you don’t need a brake for a while. Steel vs. Aluminum frame is not going to make a huge difference in actual riding (if any) in my experience.
I’d think of the ~200$ saved as budget you can freely spend on helmet/pads/shoes/riding shorts, I think those accessory things often make a much bigger difference than saving weight on the unicycle.


Being relatively thin walled tubing, the weight difference is not massive, and not something most people would really notice. It’s definitely not a case of handling much easier.

I think the 27.5" Nimbus MUni is one of the best deals out there and I recommend it all of the time. Pretty much all of the parts are the same as the Oracle, aside from the frame and seatpost.

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I’m very grateful for everyones responses. I’m weighing them carefully.

Frankly, at this point it sounds like the Nimbus MUni is the way to go. I honestly don’t think I’ll need a brake anytime soon, and the weight difference, while not insubstantial, is probably not worth the big jump in price.

My only final thought is thinking about between the 27.5 and, say, a 26, but I think the 27.5 seems to have plenty of tire size options and would be a nice contrast to the 24 I have.


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Yes you’re a little more limited with tyre choices for a 26" compared to 27.5" as the mountain biking world seems to have pretty much moved to that, and 29".


seems to be my findings too. Thank you so much.

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Great to read your post! All power to you :muscle:

My only small addition to this as it’s all been covered would be to see if UDC (presume that’s where you’re ordering from) are willing to swap out the standard nimbus saddle for a KH one. I think you’ll save yourself a lot of pain and hassle down the line.

Just an idea though.

Happy riding!


I have had no trouble finding tires for my 26er although I haven’t looked during covid. Remember 26 is a common mountain bike size, the 3.25 width may present a challenge. If you rotate your tire it should last a long time. I have the nimbus 26er muni with the duro crux tire and a nimbus gel saddle. I like the 26er size for rougher trails. I also have a 24 oracle and I am finding it a lot of fun on the trail. If you are like most of us you will probably buy multiple unicycles for different situations.


Welcome and nice attitude! Figuring out your optimal setup is a lot of fun! There are many options but no right or wrong. The equipment does make a difference but skills are more important and will also affect your preferences :slightly_smiling_face:

  • Both Nimbus 27.5" are nice options. Saving a few hundred grams with the alu Oracle frame is not important in my opinion.
  • If you have the skills (or want to learn) consider to build your own wheel. Every unicycle frame comes with a free truing stand if you turn the frame upside down :upside_down_face:
  • The Dominator 2 rim is heavy (900g) and you can get 500-600g alu rim for a fair price (or carbon). Saving rotational weight is more noticeable than static weight.
  • 27.5" rim diameter is 584 and 29" is 622. That is just 38mm difference! It only lifts you 19mm higher off the ground assuming same tire and cranks. For light muni and cross country riding 29" is an option to consider.
  • A Duro Crux 3.25" (plus size) is a very wide and voluminous tire. Slimmer/lighter tires will make the uni more responsive.
  • A 29" rim with a regular width tire is similar diameter as a 27.5" rim with a plus size tire.
  • If you want to learn to ride with a brake someday be prepared to experiment with the ergonomics. If you cannot easily feather the brake while holding onto the handle/handlebar (with the same hand) then learning might me unnecessarily difficult.
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I agree with this 100%. My Nimbus stadium saddle that came with my Nimbus as standard is now doing nothing, I couldn’t stand it

I didn’t think a Duro Crux in 26" exists! If it does, great. The standard Duro leopard/wildlife in 24" or 26" is much too heavy for my liking.

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My apologies, you are correct it is the duro leopard wild life. It is a heavier tire but so what, this tire has served the unicycle community for years. counting and shaving grams and trying to prove it makes a person a better or faster rider is a fairy tale for most.
If you watch Terry Peterson’s early Coker videos and see what he does with that lead sled.
That tire is fine it is durable and works good on the trails, I happen to like it jand it works just fine for me. You can shave weight where ever you can. You can shave your head you can shave, your beard and you can shave your legs. If that doesn’t make you fly at the speed of sound you can carbon fiber your wheel, your cranks, your saddle base, your pedals, your helmet, your shoes, your riding shorts, your cell phone, top that off with a tubeless tire and loosing 50 pounds of your own weight on a fad diet and that should give you an extra mile an hour or two. Well worth the agrivation and expense. A duro tire is more than acceptable I have been riding it on my 26er and now on my 24 oracle, .


Super grateful for all input! I have ordered the Nimbus Muni 27.5. Will upgrade the saddle first thing. Will post pics!!


You will love it! (But, I am biased.)


That’s wisdom worth listening to.


Yeah the stadium saddle is a bit narrow for my liking. I moved mine to my 24" I use for shorter trips. My Mad4One comfort saddle is by far my favorite.