I’m looking to teach a 9 year old boy to uni, and I need some info on wheel sizes. I have a 20 inch Torker, which I can alter slightly to accomodate his inseam, but I fear the wheel may be too big for him to learn on. I also have a Sun 12, but I think he is too heavy for that.
What do you think? Is a 20 inch too big, and is the Sun 12 inch too weak?
If the 20" wheel fits, use it. It’s much better than the smaller sizes where the pedals tend to start hitting the ground during turns. A 12" wheel should be really strong with its big rim and short spokes but his feet will be almost on the ground even when he pedals straight. The way I mount those little wheels is to rest one pedal on the ground and step on it. Then I mount and go from there. That’s how close they are to scraping.
I started my son on a cheap 16" at age 8; he was average height for his age. Very quickly–without getting any taller–he outgrew the 16" and moved to a 20". I suspect your child will too, and would recommend just bypassing the 16 and going right to the 20. If you can shorten everything enough that he can get a pedal stroke w/o having to tip toe, he’ll be fine.
If he is slow at learning or scared of falling (I was really slow and terrified of falling) I’d start him on the 12", since you already have one. Work on level I and II stuff, then transfer that to the 20" when he has the skill/guts.
I’m learning how to ride SIF, SIB, and backwards. It’s a lot easier on my 16" CX than on my 20" or 24", mainly because falling is less scarry (lower height & slower speed).
I agree entirely. My 8 year old started with a 16". UDC in the UK advised that the 12" was not really suitable except for real weenies. The 16" was perfect: I think a 20" might have been too big to learn on. Now she’s been unicycling for 6 months and although the seat has been raised because she’s grown, I do suspect that she’ll soon be ready for a 20". However, a b*ke for school has greater financial precedence.
My son learned on a 20". I had to cut the frame down a bit to allow the seat to go low enough, but that wasn’t a big deal. He’s still riding it. I put a Maxxis Max Daddy 2.3 tire on it. The biggest tire that will fit a Torker LX. He loves to go MUNI riding and due to his better athletic ability will out ride me on my KH24. He’s 10 now.