Which 36"

I enjoyed some threads on this but it has been about a year since someone raised the subject. I am trying to figure out one to tell my wife to put in my Christmas Stocking. It seems I am down to the Nimbus Titan, Coker Big One and Nimbis Nightrider. Being a 57 Year old I am not a real aggressive rider, I ride streets, hills, and dirt trails…but I don’t bounce around like a pogo stick. My 29’er Nimbus has been great and I ride about 5 miles a few times a week.

At this time the Titan is the cheapest by about $50 but no brake mounts. The Big one comes in next followed by the Nightrider Pro. I think I need brakes because I ride hills. But have never used them on my 29’er. I think I need a Pi bar, or equivalent, because many people say to get one…I have never used one. They say the Big One has aluminum frame now

And by the way, what are people talking about when they mention tires and road camber? Sorry for being a dunce on this.

Found Answer?

I think I found the answer to my question. There is a thread, #74633 under “Rec.Sport.Unicycling” with a good rundown by Sascatchewanian. The thread was in 2008 but maybe not much has changed since then.

The Titan has a hole in the crown that makes it easy to bolt on a $10 BMX caliper brake.

The thread you mention in your second post is a good one. I used it when shopping for a 36" myself.

The Titan has a hole in the crown that makes it easy to bolt on a $10 BMX caliper brake.

The thread you mention in your second post is a good one. I also used it when shopping for a 36" last year.

Road camber is the curve in the road that makes water drain to the edges. You’ve probably noticed it when you ride your 29er. You have to account for the slope by leaning toward the middle of the road a little bit. Most of the time it’s not a big deal, but when you’re tired or it’s windy, it can be a struggle to keep going in a straight line.

I’ve heard that some tires exaggerate the effect. I ride the Coker button tire, and it seems to handle camber pretty well as long as I keep it aired up to the maximum pressure.

I bought a lightly used aluminum frame Big One and am very happy with it. It came with a brake and Pi bar, both of which I do not use. I’m not sure what Coker charges for a brake, but it is a Tektro which are fairly good brakes for cheap. I live in Central Pa with alot of hills and I do not feel the need for a brake with 150 cranks. I do not use the Pi bar because I feel that it makes the front end heavy and I like to do alot of whipping around in the city. That being said, I also do alot of long road rides and just rest my hands on the seat grab handle for comfort. I bought a cheap Bell clamp-on bottle cage at Wal-mart and attached it to the seat post in the rear. It has the Coker non-skid tire (the one with “Coker” all over the tread) and it has held up well. I’ve ridden it for a year with little show of wear. It does well off road and I don’t notice the road cambre at all unless it is really severe, even then it’s not bad. I pump it up to the recommended pressure (32lbs) which is good for the road and soft enough for when I peel off into the woods.
I’ve never ridden the other ones, but I really like my Coker and would recommend it. No issues with it since I bought it.

Here is another option:


To learn, you do not need brakes and any of the unicycles you mentioned would be fine. Longer cranks (150+) will make brakes less important. I do like brakes on my unicycle. It is all about more comfortable riding down a steep hill. I also have grown very accustomed to handle bars on my 36". I do not use them with a 24" uni, but with the 36" it just feel wrong when they are absent. I find that they increases my comfort and my control.

If you do add brakes, disk brakes are superior to rim brakes. You can get the Nimbus Shadow, which coms with a disk brake, or retrofit brakes using the mountain uni system. There will be more options available next year. I have not ridden a Nimbus Shadow, but with both disk brakes and a nice handlebar setup, it is the best all-in-one package I know of, except perhaps for the one I referenced at the top.

Let me mention crank sizes. I started with 150’s and I would recommend that size or even longer to learn. I then went to 125, 114, and 125. I later went to 135 because that is the shortest Sinz crank compatible with the Mountain Uni brake (and I have not made custom cranks.) I have also ridden 150’s recently on a Schlumpf 36. I can ride any of them. The 125-115 are very smooth and a nice ride. The longer cranks take more energy to keep up a good cadence. I find 135’s acceptable on the flats and 150’s tedious on the flats. On hills, the longer cranks let me go up a steeper grade without standing up out of the seat. Standing up out of the seat takes effort and will wear me out quickly. On my normal moderately hilly route the 135’s are an OK compromise, although 125’s are also good. On a flat ride, 125 or 115’s are better. The Nimbus Shadow will take any crank size. Right now the Mountain Uni system is limited to 135 cranks or longer.

Good luck with your decision. If money is no object, then a package with a disk brake and handle bars would be nice.


Thanks for great comments

Great to hear good reports for the Coker. If your happy, Your Happy!

Wow, that Mountain Uni looks like an awesome ride! I wish money was no object.

Great advise on brakes, bars and cranks.
I was figuring 150 crank cause I do a lot of hills. I do not use brake or bar on my 29er. I just figured the momentum of the 36 might need to be controled by a brake. Also, I read a thread on bars and everyone seem to feel more comfortable with a bar on their 36er. But, it seems like at adds an extra bit of a challenge for dismounts / falls.

here my coker review