What kind of unicycle should I get as a beginner

I’m really wanting to get in to unicycling but I’m not sure what kind I should get. Any advice would be welcomed. Thank you in advance.

2 Likes

Depends on a lot of factors. Things like:

  • What kind of riding do you ultimately want to do? Like, mountain/trail riding, road, or trials/tricks, etc.
  • Budget is always a factor.

With that being said, and all else equal, and knowing nothing more, I’d recommend a 24" Nimbus:

It was what I started on, and I loved the heck out of my experience with it. It allows for a multitude of unicycling styles, and gives you room to grow. If you go cheaper, and you stick with the sport - you may be upgrading quicker than you expect.

2 Likes

@RyanDorkoski thank you so much!

1 Like

I’ll also add this. There are two-ish major sites I’d recommend sticking to IF you are going to buy new. Buying used is, of course, always a great option too.

  • https://www.unicycle.com/ is great all around. Great service and great products.
  • https://www.mad4one.com/ is also very popular and seems to be great quality from (I think literally) everyone I’ve talked to. Keep in mind shipping is steep if you live in USA.

The best kind for starting out is most any thing you can find on Craigslist or FB Marketplace or similar. It will get beat up anyway and after you learn you will have a better idea what you want to upgrade to.

When I started out (60+ years ago) there was no such market place so I made one out of a tricycle wheel and some odds and ends I could find around the farm.

5 Likes

My first unicycle was $10 at garage sale. I didn’t know at the time but it was an insanely difficult uni to learn on. Skinny little tyre and the saddle was way too low at full extension. But it got me started and there was no way I was giving up.

With enough commitment you can learn on anything. People have learnt on 36ers. People have learnt on giraffes.

Personally I think a trials uni is probably the easiest to learn on. I have taught three people on mine and they were all riding very quickly.

2 Likes

Several people I know found 20" uni’s at garage sales in the 10 to 20 dollar range. If you want a new wheel, try seriousjuggling.com - good price on Torkers and my LX was pretty bulletproof. I’d recommend a 24 inch. If you check out the site, the opening screen after you click on unicycles may appear with a big white blank square in the midst of some text - just scroll down. Good luck and most of all - have fun!

1 Like

20" unicycles are the starting point for the vast majority of riders and for good reason.
You’ll not go wrong with a 20" and once you’ve learnt to ride and got a feel for the kind of riding you’d like to do, you’ll either have your first uni of a future collection of unis or you’ll be able to sell it on very easily.

1 Like

I don’t think Torker exists anymore…

I bought my Torker in 2011 and the website still shows but has not been updated since 2015. No idea if Serious Juggling is still operational with old stock but it might be worth a wild goose chase. I got my Coker long after they had ceased production.

As others have said, a 20" unicycle is probably generally regarded as the best to learn on. Second hand may or may not be an option for you depending on where you stay, unicycle.com will have something new to get you started if you’d rather go the new route. There are probably quite a few lightly used second hand unicycles on the market, up for sale when people give up after they’ve at least given it a go – fair enough if you can just go and pick it up – it really depends on where you live.

If you have something specific in mind though by all means go that way; I went for a 24" Nimbus muni to learn on since I aspired to do off road things but didn’t want to commit as far as an Oracle or Kris Holm Muni unicycle initially. It may have been harder to learn than on a 20" but I had my “proper” unicycle instead of someone else’s ‘cast off’ and to be honest the commitment to that unicycle and the money I spent on it was a motivation to succeed. What I am basically saying is that buying a cheap second hand ‘no-name’ 20" unicycle would have made it easier for me to just walk away from it when the going got tough and not bother pushing through to learn how to ride it – only you know how your mind works with this sort of thing.

And now – my off-topic tangent…

Wow – Web 1.0, or maybe even 0.9 ;o) (ASCII smiley for old time’s sake) . No disrespect to Serious Juggling – copyright 1995-2015: I bought my first ‘stuff’ online from cdnow.com in 1994 and even had my own website in 1994, running on my own Sun workstation… on SunOS 4.0.3… this brings back memories of back then… and v32bis modems and “Under Construction” animated GIFs liberally adorning the fledgling world wide web…, a bit different from the slick 100Mbps/1Gbps reality of internet at home today :grinning:

1 Like

That is me and my experience exactly.

So I got a club 24 from UDC USA. It was great for learning on and it didn’t break the bank for something I wasn’t sure I would get in to, but I find myself wishing I would have spent a little bit more for a bit nicer one with ISIS cranks like the Nimbus II like @RyanDorkoski mentioned. I have also seen many Torker 20’s on Craigslist for $40-60 in my area, which I kind of wish I did that first, then maybe jumped to the Nimbus II 24, or straight to a Muni,which is what I really wanted to get to in the first place

Somewhere around here I once found a survey about how many hours it took people to learn to ride on a 20" vs 24", and the results suggest it takes about 30% longer to learn on a 24"-- but then you have a uni that’s better for more things like actually riding around the neighborhood with a 24, so not such a bad tradeoff. But I did have many times where I wished it wasn’t taking so long to learn, and 30% shorter learning time would have been much appreciated!

Summary:
If cost is a big factor, check for a cheap used 20" ike a torker or Sun on Craigslist or similar to get started, then get something nicer later once you learn and know you really want to do this.

If you don’t mind the estra cost, the nimbus II 20" or 24" is more of a “keeper” than a “starter”, but still not too expensive compared to higher end models

Compromise: get a club 20 or 24 to learn on. Mine is still going strong after tons of upds, etc. I hear they may not hold up so well to drops and hops though with its cotterless cranks.
I am not quite there yet though.

I upgraded from my club 24 to a Nimbus Oracle 27.5 before I really was ready to i think, but I still love it and I really wanted a muni!-- but it would have much more difficult and intimidating to learn on at first, so I am glad I learned on something smaller and cheaper first!

Anyway, welcome!

1 Like

One guy made the finals of the advanced downhill muni this year at Unicon on my club 24 without a brake after his 27.5” M4O muni tyre deflated just before getting to my station (station 8 of maybe 40?)

Now only the top 15 riders make the final, and I believe there were 105 or so male competitors in the event.

So, I think it’s skill that makes the difference! Nothing wrong with that uni.
(A brake would have helped him btw, I think that course would be a thigh killer after a while without a brake.)

Anyway, clubs are fine but it’s not made for doing massive drops over time.
And overall, he finished third in the final.

3 Likes

It wasn’t long ago you were posting asking us questions, the circle of life. :slight_smile:

It feels the same for me having gotten into the hobby over COVID and now it’s almost 3 years later and I’m an experienced rider lol.

3 Likes

Probably, not the answer you want but the most practical.
Also, my decision for my first unicycle.

9 out of 10 people will “fail” riding the unicycle, so get the cheapest one you can find.
You might try it a few times and then quit.
You might just leave it standing in your garage for a few seasons and never touch it.

However, if you are one of the 1 in 10 who “might” learn to ride you will be doing the following:
1.) Riding that impossible wheel, everyday.
2.) Get frustrated why you can’t do it, but keeping on…
3.) Researching and ending up here on unicyclist_com
4.) Learning that the “twisty” seat cheap unicycle or “too big” 24" is holding you back.
5.) Spend a few more bucks for a solid 20".
6.) Keep trying.

The moral of my diatribe is:
1.) Just do it…
2.) Worry about “optimum” size later
3.) Research the topic for engagement and motivation
4.) Never quit.

slam…

1 Like