What size cranks for a 36"

What size cranks would you select for a 36"? 127/150 or 137/165. It is flat where I live. I’m also pretty new to unicycling. The 127/150 are standard, but I have been reading about others using 165.

I live on flat ground. I got my Coker with 150’s and 127’s. I rode with 150’s for a bit and went to 170’s. The big wheel was heavy enough to me the 150’s weren’t enough. I rode for a couple weeks with 170’s then dropped back to 150’s as I got used to it and now thinking of going to the 127’s. For me getting used to the 36’s weight/mass was the issue and short cranks just increased the learning curve.

I consistently return to 150s. I have ridden shorter, but have found no advantage, and some disadvantages over a long ride. 150s give me torque and control. I’d rather spin 150s fast on the flat than struggle up or down hill on 125s.

I think people tend to go shorter overtime. I’ve leveled out at 114s. If you have a flatter area I’d go with the shorter set.

137 / 110

137 / 110 is great … you can still spin 137 reasonably quick but you can still tackle some good hills … then the 110’s for the flat is awesome :slight_smile:


When I bought my 36er before 9 month I started with 145mm. A half year later I thought it was time to get shorter ones. But instead of that I bought a geared 29er and use the 36er for comfortable rides now.
It is flat here and the 36er ist furtheron my favorite bike for long runs.

Are they that similar?

Nightrider, I like your kind of thinking. Instead of buying shorter cranks for your 36 you bought a Schlumpf for your 29. You know… sooner or later you’re going to need to put that hub on your 36, right?

It’s the curse of unicycling, enough is never enough.

It also may happen that I sell the Schlumpf and tune my 36er with e.g. with 137/110-Cranks, because riding fast with the Schlumpf is very challenging for me. Its a permanet stress, on the other hand is riding the 36er very satisfying. Perhaps in some months it works better with the Schlumpf.
A geared 36er seems to be very unlikely for me.

I’m still unsure as to what to get. I thought the 127/150, but I think both Feisty and Nurse Ben are riding w/165’s. These are both experienced strong riders, but I think they are using 165’s because of hills only. I’d be curious to hear their recommendations. I’d like to get the best set for learning now and decide later if I need something different. Thanks for the advice.

I’ve been riding just over a year and had my 36er for a few months. I use 150’s. 165’s are just too long for normal riding and do cause the wheel to wobble a bit. 125’s on the other hand are lovely for flat riding, but the moment a hill comes along they can wear you out. To me personally, I like the idea of getting twin hole 125/150s for it but I just don’t use the 36er enough so I stick with the versatility of the 150s.

I went through a similar conundrum recently when getting my 29. The choice was between 165/137 and 150/125 cranks. People told me it’s a personal thing, nobody can tell you what to get, and they were right. A bunch of strong riders ride with 165s for muni, others with 150s. I tried both and ended up much preferring the 150s. It may have to do with your build. I am slight, and 5’8". I hated the 165s, even though I am somewhat of a muni noobie. They felt too awkward and interfered with my momentum, especially up hills.

So, I’d get the dual hole 150s, and if you change your mind later, they are good pair to have, or you can sell them for a pretty good resale value.

I rode a 36 for the first time a few weeks ago and rode on what appeared to be sub-150s. I’d say they were probably in the 120ish range, and they were fine. I didn’t have much trouble the first time out, so I think you will soon “outgrow” the 165s and the 150s, which is why I think the dual hole 150s are probably the best bet.

I ride 165/137 but only because I ride lots of big hills off road, I drop the cranks to 137mm for road rides and it works quiet well.

I ride 145mm on 29er for the same off road hilly trials but have used 137s for a while which were a bit hard work. I may go to 150/125mm on the 36er at some point once I build some strength, although I am more likely to drill and tap my 165/137 with a 110mm hole for flat road riding a;though i am not sure I will be able to spin any faster

While length can help it all depends on how good a spinner you are, my riding chum spins the 150s on his 29er so fast it is unfunny, he is a real spinner :slight_smile:

Hi Mike,

I also read your other thread.
You don’t have many hours in unicycling, so I would recomment you 170 mm cranks for a 36er. Makes mounting and control a lot easier.
Qu-ax has some cheap 170 mm alu cranks.

Learn to control the beast with them, then go the expensive dual hole cranks.
By then you will know which one to get: 125/150 or the 165/137.

Hey Mike, it’s true I ride 165s, but only because I ride off road muni on my 36er, and the ups and downs are easier with long cranks. I don’t ride any roads other than the occassional short connector, so I can’t speak to what works best for road riding, though I do occassionally take a longer ride on gravel roads.

I am on 150’s for the Winter because the 165s are too long and lead to a lot of over torquing (tire spin), so while mud season is in full swing in the southeast, I’ll stick to shorter cranks. I tend to go back and forth between 165 and 150 depending on what terrain I’m riding.

I ran 137’s a month back while out on a gravel road ride and I found it “interesting”, spinning fast was fun, but I had insufficent control, prior to that I played with 137 cranks on some single track and found that the unicycle was too much to handle. If you’re riding flattish terrain and don’t have to worry about sudden terrain changes, the 125 might not be too short, though you might want a brake before heading down any big hills :astonished:

Have you run your 36er in the 125 position yet?

If I had to pick one crank length it’d be the 150, it’s good for climbing and spins okay, so if you have flat terrain then the 125 might work fine as a fast spinning alternative.

Most folks find the 165s too long, so if you want something shorter than a 150, and the 125’s are too short, then pick up some 137s.

There are also 140’s made by K1 and 145’s by QuAx (steel and aluminum).

I’m not sure any one crank length makes riding easier, long cranks feel wonky and can make i hard to develop a good spin, shor cranks lack control so you may struggle to stay “on top” of the unicycle. If you’re struggling with the 150’s, then shorter will not make it better, but you could always find out by switching pedal positions.

Also try some other tricks like dropping your seat lower, getting a handle, playing with air pressure.

I don’t have a 36 yet, I’m considering getting a KH36. If I do, I have to select a crank, my choices are the 127/150 or 137/165.

I’m still very new to this and just starting to get the hang of my 26, but I have the urge to try a larger wheel pretty soon. I can get carried away easily.

I thought about the KH36 vs Nimbus Oracle. If you ad the brake to the KH36 and ad a KH saddle and dual hole cranks to the Nimbus Oracle the price is about the same. I like the idea of the hub brake, but I doubt it would make any difference for me, if I decided to get a brake. I don’t plan on getting a brake at the start, I don’t think I’d have much use for a brake, I live in south Florida, the only hills I can think of would be bridges over the Intracoastal Waterway. With the KH36, I wouldn’t have to get the brake now. If the brake and a black rim were optional on the Oracle, I would have to reconsider.

Flat area? Get the 127/150s. The 150 hole will make you feel more secure while getting used to the larger wheel. After that, you’ll probably want to try the shorter hole. If you want to go faster, you then may want to try something shorter. 114s are great for flattish rides, and once I rode a Marathon race (pretty flat) with 102s. For riding offroad I use 150s.

Okay, I see where you’re going.

Well, the hub mounted rotor on the Oracle is more than just about rotor placement, the width of the 36" Oracle hub is greater by 25mm, so if you run the Nimbus Venture cranks which are low Q (minimal offset) the combined width is about the same as a KH with Spirits. The advantage of the Oracle is that you can go wider yet by using Moments or Spirits for greater offset. The opposite side of the coin is that you can run Ventures on the KH and go narrower, so it really depends on your preferences, body build, etc…

For perspective, the KH hub with Moments has about the same total width as a standard shimano mountain bike crank set/BB.

You may think you don’t want a brake now, but there will be times when you want to control your speed, even a long gradual downhill or in traffic, esp if you run shorter cranks. Stopping a 36er takes a lot of effort by crank alone.

Both frames are high quality, the Oracle is disc only, the KH is disc or Magura rim.

The Oracle rim is fugly, but I’m sure for a small fee you could get the black rim in it’s place.

The KH would be the preferred if you ever want to run a geared hub, but you could also change out frames for not much cash.

If you decide on the KH 36, be sure and get newest frame with the Spirits, and like John said, 150’s are a good starting point, 125’s are probably where you’ll end up once you get comfortable. I don’t think starting with 135 or 125 would be much fun. You don’t need 165’s, but like one poster wrote, they can be helpful if you are struggling with the 150s, but wait until that happens and if it does then get a cheap pair of QuAx 170s.

As a new 36 owner, I can attest that stopping a big 36" wheel is a lot more difficult than a 26" muni wheel. Don’t discount the value of a brake just yet. I think Unigeezer is an exception running his brake-less.

Plenty of people run their 36-ers without brakes- people were riding Cokers well before brakes were available.

The trick is to make sure your cranks are long enough to handle the downhills you’re likely to encounter.

Thanks for the advice everyone. I ordered the KH36 with the 127/150 Spirit cranks. We’ll see how it goes. I might be getting ahead of myself, but that is typical for me. If I can’t ride it at first, I’ll practice longer with my 26 and try the 36 again later.

I’m in South Florida, it is FLAT, not a hill anywhere except for bridges. I hope I do want/need a brake at some time

Ben, I went ahead and ordered the Qu-Ax 170’s for an extra set, they were only $10, thanks for that tip.