What freestyle uni should I buy?

Hello all. I’m new to this forum and to unicycling. I’m already searching for the right freestyle unicycle for me in the future. I’m 5’3" and my inseam is about 30". I am interested in tricks such as wheel walking, gliding, and pirouettes. I have no interest in any jumping or grinding or anything like that. I’ve noticed some unicycles are considered for “advanced freestyle” and others are “beginner freestyle”. What makes a unicycle “advanced” or “beginner”? Anyway, onto the unicycles…

I was considering a Nimbus II 20". I’ve also considered a Torker LX 20". Would the Torker be unfit for doing tricks such as wheel walking, gliding, and pirouettes? Should I just hash out the extra money for the Nimbus II? I’d rather not pay the extra money for the advanced uni when I could get what I want at a lower price. I’m open to other suggestions for a freestyle unicycle that would fit my needs. Thank you!

With the revamping of the UDC (US) web site, the “freestyle advanced” category seems to have gone away. I think the difference was, at this point, mainly price. In the past, there was a wider range of component quality, in terms of axle and crank strength, but these days most everything UDC sells has great quality square taper axles and excellent cranks. In the past there were “cheapie” versions of both, which may not have held up as well.

For the type of riding you described, literally anything on the (new) Freestyle page will be more than adequate. Between the two you named, based on what’s shown on this page, I would go for the Nimbus. The Torker has what was once the top unicycle saddle in the world, but that was before the Velo/KH/Nimbus/Coker seats hit the market. Much more comfortable. Also those seats can be “upgraded” with a Freestyle front bumper, if you get to a place where the handle is getting in your way. Plus I’m not sure about the crown on that Torker. I have no experience with it myself, but for learning Freestyle tricks I imagine it could be the source of many bruises on your inner knee area. Also I’d rather have the 114mm cranks on the Nimbus than the 127s on the Torker. That’s an okay size for learning tricks, but generally pretty long for a 20"; they’ll hit the floor on sharp turns.

Otherwise, both unicycles are built of very solid components for learning Freestyle, and either will serve you well for a long time.

I’m pleasantly surprised to hear that anything on the freestyle page will work for me. I had assumed that I needed to buy something fairly expensive for the tricks I want to do. What’s still throwing me off is things on UDC like the description of the Club 20" freestyle unis that says they’re not for jumping or advanced freestyle. I’m not really sure what they mean by “advanced freestyle” unless they just mean jumping.

Anyway, thank you very, very, very much for your advice and information! You’ve helped me immensely since this is something I’ve been wondering about for a few days now and was unable to find a good answer to.

I’m making the same decision but plan to abuse mine a bit. I went with the Nimbus II over the lesser priced Uni. I have a 24" Nimbus II. You will not be disappointed with a Nimbus II. You will not grow out of it for a long time, maybe never. It is also very ‘standard’ so it is easy to upgrade/change to suit your needs as time goes on. Great value for the money in my opinion.

Interesting info on the crank lenght because tight turns spins are one of the things I want to learn.

I’m actually considering a Club now. I really love how they look (the black one with a white tire) and I figure if I don’t need a better quality uni, why should I get one? I’m wishing I hadn’t already ordered a Cyclepro -.- Now I want to return it (I don’t even have it yet) and buy a Club. But I don’t know, I might get a Nimbus II. Like you said, they’re very “standard” and easy to upgrade as time goes on. I don’t know if a Club would be the same way as well. They have Nimbus II frames on them, though.

Any kind of basic jumping I would list under “basic” Freestyle. It is easier to hop on a unicycle than to ride it. But you can combine jumps with harder and harder tricks, such as a 360 (what I call an axel jump).

But there are all sorts of harder Freestyle skills that will put undue stress on a unicycle axle. For example, laying the unicycle down on its side, standing on the side of the wheel, then spinning it around on the pedal that’s touching the ground. This puts a lot of strain on the axle. Or likewise, standing on the pedal that’s on top, and spinning yourself around on that. And all sorts of variations on tricks that push in on the cranks from the sides. I also once broke a frame doing those kinds of tricks.

Oh, wow, I didn’t even know of that trick. I’m very new to unicycles but I’ve watched several freestyle videos (as well as a couple of flatland and a few MUni) and I have never seen that. I can’t see myself being interested in those kinds of tricks.

Thanks for the help everyone! I think I’m going to get a 20" Club unicycle.

The club freestyle unicycle is suitable for all the things you want to do, it is Unicycle.com’s version of a Qu-ax luxus, although in my opinion the seat is nicer on the Luxus. When buying a Club freestyle 20" I always ask for a KH seat if possible because the freestyler seats have a handle that breaks easily and is not replaceable with KH parts, the Luxus’s handle has the standard bolt pattern.

I think the main difference between a beginner and an expert freestyle unicycle is the tire. Put a good tire on a learner unicycle and it instantly feels like a better unicycle. Ideally I’d like a longneck frame, and an ISIS hub but the Luxus/Freestyler is perfect for me otherwise. Round crown is something to avoid- for more comfortable one footed riding/gliding/coasting get a flat crown.

I thought of getting a Nimbus Gel as an upgrade but I don’t really want to pay the extra $50 (or whatever it is) and then have two seats. I read some thread on here today about some UDC “policy”. The person mentioned calling UDC and asking them to put on different cranks that weren’t even offered in the drop down menus. They wouldn’t do it, which is understandable. I read the Club seat is okay and not terribly different from the Nimbus Gel but the Nimbus Gel is still better, of course. I considered a KH seat, too, but the ones named “Freeride” are not meant for freestyle unis according to the descriptions. I’m cheap, so I figured I’d just upgrade later if it’s that big of a deal, which I expect that it won’t be.

That is new information to me. I plan on upgrading to a Kenda Kickzumbut tire and maybe someday a Primo The Wall (not an offered option with The Club). It seems like a lot of people like the longneck frames but I think I would be too short for one unsure? I looked at the Nimbus X with the longneck frame and the minimum size is too big for me (my inseam is 30"). It’s okay, though, I don’t need something that nice.

Thanks for the info :smiley:

So can you ride at all?

Not currently.
However, I know enough about the sport to know what areas of it that I’m interested in (Freestyle and MUni). I am positive that I will learn to ride.

Good on you!

On a related note, I’m surprised no one’s mentioned anything about the more ‘luxurious’ unicycles rolling along smoother than a stock cheaper version. Is it just my imagination???

No comment. :wink:

billnye
JohnM

whistling

I figured that’s what Rowan meant…? :thinking:

What I heard was that some of the Freestylers come with a KH Gel anyway so I just ask for those ones and pay no extra upgrade cost. Once everyone knows that it might not work but it’s worth a shot. If you are stuck with the freestyler seat as an option I would ask for an upgrade cos in NZ its $40 for a Freestyler seat and $50 for an old KH gel (they won’t last long) so the upgrade cost wouldn’t be much if they will do it for you. I’d rather spend $10 now to allow a $12 fix to the handle rather than having to fork out the $50 later- I’m cheap too and so is one of the schools I work for so I need saddles with replaceable parts.

That is what I meant. The tire is your connection to the ground. The other main things are the seat and the pedals- these are fairly easily upgraded to the best components even on a cheapo unicycle and can be recycled on other unicycles if you break the uni.

Good point, if I’m going to have to replace the seat fairly soon, I might as well just go ahead and upgrade now. I will upgrade if it’s not much extra money. If I have to pay the full price, I’ll just wait. Maybe someday I’ll have to upgrade something else, too. I suppose we’ll see.

Beat up the cheap seat first, you won’t be seated long enough to worry about the seat for awhile. And you are going to drop a lot in the early days. And you might end up like me not feeling the need to upgrade the seat at least not yet I ride up to 45 minutes at a time. Thats on a 2 year old Nimbus II and stock seats keep getting better.

Club seat you might want to upgrade if its an option. If not ride it till it breaks, than get the seat you really want.

I started the other thread about the cranks… there is no accurate information on the upgrade policy except that one person reported that he was told they are tightning up the policy. There is a little discrepancy about what can be upraded on one Uni vs Another. And that with the Holiday they will not be as accomadating at they might otherwise be.

Call them and ask, and if they say no, ask why not. If they give you a satisfactory answer, than work with it.

I have trouble with calling because I sleep during the day. But Roger from UDC - NZ has been stepping up and helping me with answers as best he can over the web.

Don’t worry so much about the cyclepro, keep it as uni to lend to friends to learn to ride on.

+1!

This is a good reason to learn with the cheap seat first. If you want to learn some of the tricks you mention you have a long road ahead of you, and your uni will be meeting with the ground many, many times in the process. Better to destroy a cheapo seat than a decent one IMO.

That’ a good point. I wouldn’t want to get a KH seat and beat it up and have to buy another KH seat later. I’m kinda low on cash at the moment so I don’t know if I have the extra to get it now anyway.

I think I’m just going to return it. I don’t know anyone that would be interested in riding it. The people I’ve told about the unicycle think I’m crazy I guess haha.

As a learner you will be unable to break the KH seat in my opinion, and unlikely to break the freestyler seat, but the seat is an important part for comfort and the freestyler seat is inferior even if only by a little bit. Seat handles and bumpers are designed to take a thrashing, more than one normal learning rider usually dishes out. The Freestyler saddle that I own has faced so many learners, but the handle broke within a month or two while the KH ones have all been going for years and are getting rubbed down on the sides rather than snapping. It’s mostly the older model KH seats that were easier to snap due to their flexiness. Freestyler seat is quite flexy but the kids haven’t snapped the base yet.

The price difference between a Freestyler saddle and an old KH gel is not enough to call one cheapo and the other not cheapo- they are both cheapo but KH is better!

Even the most expensive KH seat upgrade could be worth it- the 09 saddles use different hardware and it could save you a lot of money in the future to be compatible with those. The seat is one of the main connections you use to your unicycle, and buying cheap nasty torturous ones is a reason a lot of people give up without upgrading. If you don’t think your tender under-regions are worth a few extra dollars then go ahead and save money! I love my Fusion freeride 09 seat with the stiffener plate. I’ve ordered a Fusion Street 09 with stiffener plate for my freestyle unicycle to see how that goes.
You won’t buy a new KH seat cos your old one got beat up- you will buy one because they will bring out a new 2010 model with bells and whistles and you will need it to go on your second or third unicycle.

If you have a cyclepro unicycle on the way why do you need a freestyler? Just buy a decent seat for the cyclepro and you’ll be good to learn.