I am considering buying a 26’’ Muni, however my skills are not great on my 20’’ nimbus learner uni.
I can free mount and go forward for as long as my legs allow. I can also cycle 20 feet backwards and am learning idling, hopping and seat out at the moment. I am still very wobbly on the thing though.
I had originally planned to wait until September to buy it. At that time I will have been unicycling for a year.
The main frustration with the 20’’ learner is it takes forever to get anywhere. When I am in the park with my kids, they leave me in the dust.
So, should I just go for it and buy or would I be better improving my basic skills first ?
I would go for it now. I started on a 20" too, and as soon as I could freemount and ride 100 metres or so I picked up a 26". It greatly expanded my possibilities for riding, even if I couldn’t use it to the full at first. I also think there’s a lot of value in practicing skills on more than one wheel size.
Plus, riding (and learning how to ride) bigger wheels is fun. What’s the point of unicycling if it’s not fun?
Once you start riding the bigger wheel you might think you’ll never want to ride the 20" again. Keep it around anyway, as it’s handy for developing and practising new skills with.
If you are considering it you might as well get it. Myself I’m still trying to master many tricks in the 20’ (they do take a long time to master…). If you can mount and ride forward with confidence in the 20’ I think you should be ready for a 26. I did the same: I started on a 20’ uni and I was frustrated by the small size of the wheel. I did get a 26 Muni (nothing fancy, steel frame, no brakes) and it made a big difference in the distance I could cover in one ride… Of course later on you will find the 26’ wheel size too small and you will also want to get a 36’
When you first try the 26’ it does feel really difficult to control/ride compared to the 20’ but you quickly will get used to the new size.
I think you should go for it as well.
I learned on a 20" when I was 17. That was over 30 years ago. Didn’t touch a unicycle for 30+ years. Then, at age 50 I bought a 26" Nimbus II and re-learned to ride. Sure, it would have been easier to re-learn on a smaller wheel… but I could only afford one at the time and knew I wanted to ride 2-4 miles at a time so the big wheel would be better.
If I had to do it again I would probably pay the extra and get dual hole cranks. They recommended the unicycle with 150mm cranks (which were great for learning) but even after 10 months I have dropped down to 125mm to increase my speed. A 26" with 150 cranks feels like you are pedaling crazy fast and going nowhere. Keep in mind this is for STREET riding not MUNI. So, I don’t need a lot of torque control.
I was learning on a 20" Torker for a month or two and had been able to kind-of free mount, stop and balance, idle a little bit, roll forwards for not a long distance and not able to roll backwards, but I decided to get a 26" cheapish Sun unicycle (with whitewall tire!) as well. I learned that some skills translate between the sizes, but there were differences in handling so it was almost like learning a completely different skill. I was able to have a different kind of fun since I could travel further, not idle quite as easily, and I could roll off of and over things I couldn’t on the 20". A couple of months later I was on a 36".
I’d say someone could work on their basic 20" and 26" (and 36") skills all at the same time. I felt it actually kept learning unicycling fresh and interesting by being able to work on 20" skills until I got bored/frustrated with it and switch to a different size and try different routes. Switching to a muni also felt like relearning unicycle skills as well.
If your goal is to go further and try to keep up with faster riders, then I’d say go ahead with a bigger wheel. You will still gain skills in general unicycling, you’ll learn new types of unicycling skills, and you always have your 20" to go back to basics on. I actually gave my 20" to my niece and stick with a 26" muni and a 36" street.
– Mike P
May your pedals always rise to meet your feet.
If you can afford it now I would say get the 26", each size unicycle will help you develop unique skills that will make you an overall better rider. Be warned 2 uni’s quickly become 3 and in many people’s cases a half dozen.
Thanks for the responses. Will pick up a 26’’ soon !
Agreeing with the others. You’re ready, you’ll love it, and your riding on each will benefit from having the other. And you can start saving for your third uni: one for the road with shorter cranks, a narrower tire, and an even larger rim.
One should never become focussed on the next uni for too long. Buy it and move on. I am thinking about my sixth “next uni” now. I don’t think “too many unis” happens until about ten, though my wife would disagree.
A 26 is big enough to travel at a decent speed but small enough to ride under the overhanging trees and climb serious grades. I love my KH26. It was born a muni but have it set up for road riding with Maxxis DTH tyre and 125 cranks.
For straight muni I prefer the roll over ability of a 29 but if you are into doing fancy detailed manoeuvres then a 26 is good.