I am a complete newby to this (although I have done hours of research).
Having decided on a 20" uni, I wondered if I could have your opinions on the following three options as a first uni? I don’t want a cheap and nasty starter bike -
One question, this would have saved me a pretty penny…
What is your end goal? Distance, exercise, muni, trials? My wife learned on a 20" and now wants to move up a wheel size because riding distance on a trials uni can be… a trial - it would have been better for us to have gotten the cheapest uni available just for learning purposes, then spent the real cash once she settled in to what kind of rider she wanted to be.
Indeed I wanted to do MUni so started on a KH24 and found it easy to learn on (less twitchy than a small wheel and doesn’t stall on bumps as easily) and then I could ride it off road without having to change from a 20" learner (I swapped out to a “26 within 2 months and now another 5 months later am going to a 29” :p)
Also if you are tall starting on a bigger wheel would be better as well.
As with many beginners I guess I don’t know what I eventually want to do for sure.
Initially I want to learn to ride, full stop.
As I look at the brilliant photos of favourite rides on this site, I am fired up to try gentle off road forest trails. We live semi rural, so have plenty of quiet country roads around our house. This makes me wonder whether I should indeed go for a slightly bigger wheel, say 24" maybe with a fatter tyre, so long as I can learn on it ok?
Please keep up the advice, which is really useful .
If you are as committed as you sound you will be riding in no time, I took my 24" muni off road after 11 hours after I could ride 100 meters or so.
Riding offroad with all the bumps and stones forces you to learn to balance far faster than riding on flat roads so accelerates your learning IMHO
a 24 is a good compromise, small enough to be easy to mount get a MUni 24" and you can ride on and off road, use it for street, going to the shops you name it whatever you want, a cheap 20" is pretty limited to learning and and basic flat land tricks. Yuo will probably find you want to go bigger as most people do as they get better and want to go further / faster
It really is an awesome and fun pastime and so so rewarding
Had a quick look at the 24" entry level muni on Oddballs".
Anyone think this would be suitable or is the quality not up to it, or the 3" tyre too fat?
On the positive side, I suppose I could learn on grass as it would not sink in to the soft ground (softer falls) ?? http://www.oddballs.co.uk/quax-crossfire-24-unicycle-p-2836.html
As I watch this thread develop, it just demonstrates the complexity of the decision of which first unicycle to get !
I have already moved to thinking of the 24" muni as the best compromise to start with, but it seems that later I will want say a 26" or larger, which is not practical now due to having to learn on it !!!
The three inch tire on this uni is a Duro which is my all time favorite. It is large and has an agressive looking tread but handles very well on smooth surfaces. (some off road tires tend to kick you around on the smooth stuff and can make learning a bit more difficult)
Based on the description supplied it should supply you with everything you need to learn & then be able to use on the trails around your area.
One of the things that adds quality / strength to a unicycle is a double walled rim. This one is not advertised as having this option. If it does then great. If not then it will certainly handle your needs until you decide that you might want to start doing drops of some nature which can be pretty tough on a single walled rim.
And yes, you will end up with more than one unicycle
I tend to agree with jbtilley. My first uni was a cheapy 20" one. That’s now on long term loan to somebody else learning to uni. Meanwhile I have a 26er muni, a 19er trials and a 29er road uni (after a year of riding ) - the Nimbus 26er was bought within 2 months of starting. My main regret is that I didn’t get the 19er sooner, before I damaged the cheapy learner one - though the chap I lent it to managed to repair it, it’s not as good as it was. I certainly don’t regret learning on the cheap one.
The trouble with buying a quality uni now is that even if you do think you know what you want to do, or are happy with buying something versatile, the chances are you’ll still want to upgrade a bit later on. As was the case with Feisty’s KH 24. I’m also going to get rid of the Nimbus 26 at some point - don’t regret buying it when I did, as I’ve done lots of riding on it, but wish I’d known then what I do now, as I’d have specced it differently.
114mm isn’t too short for Freestyle, or learning, on a 20". That’s what I have, and is generally considered to be on th long side by serious Freestyle riders.
Beyond that, you didn’t say what your end goals were, so all three look pretty good. If you do expect to bang around on it a lot, go for the Indy, but be aware you may want to upgrade the seat and post later on.
You can easily start learning on 26" with no issues - I did so because I wanted to ride 26" and have no chance to find smaller uni at that time. I am 180cm (6’) tall.
But now I see that it is much easier to learn on bigger wheel because it moves/falls slower than small one.
My wife now learning on 20" and I have some difficulties to ride it… Started doing some workouts to get used to it - you have to react much faster
The bigger wheel reacts slower I found so gives you more time to react as a learner, when I got my 19" the high crank length to wheel radius ratio shocked me how twitchy the little wheel was compared to the bigger wheels, the only good thing is you are closer to the ground which is just a mental benefit.
The cheat I used when learning was I hade a brake on my KH24 MUni so I used to pull that on to lock the wheel to mount easily but it was a bit of a bad habit but I soon started free mounting.
The Duro is an awesome tyre heavy but you can run it 12 psi off road and it just folds over the bumps and smooths things out, on road you can crank the pressure up and it rolls nicely enough. Another thing to remember is when learming you really wear teh tyre at the 6 o’clock position relative to your cranks being horizontal so it is worth rotating the tyre (or cranks) a bit to spread tyre wear, I didn’t know this when I started and made a big flat spot on my Duro tyre (this is good general maintance practice).
The 24 Muni opens everything up and doesn’t limit you like the smaller wheels, by the sounds of it you have the passion and determination to ride so I am affraid you are going to collect multiple Unis and parts like the rest of us, it is unavoidable
If you get on well with the 24 later you may want to jump to a 29" I went to 26" and found it a bit of a small jump (although still an awesome Uni), you could then slap a Hookworm slick tyre on your 24 and use it for street/tricks (wish i had done that rather than sell my KH24). There is no one size fits all with Unis we have no gears (bar a Schlumf) so we have to have multiple wheel sizes for different speeds/riding styles
The trick is to maximise the use out of your first Uni whilst not makign the already tricky learning curve any harder, for me the 24" is the sweetspot.
Another thing to consider is looking on the trade board on here or on the Union of UK Unicyclists Forum where you will get far more for your money (I sold my Kris Holm 24 for £220) I am assuming you are in the UK based on the links you posted but you may want to update your location in your profile, also http://www.unicycle.uk.com/ is the main place people use for bits as they are massively passionate about Unicycles and also design/produce lots of fantastic parts/unis themselves.
On good uni you will have only seat bumpers and pedals scratched for sure - that is right. But chunk one will be destroyed completely due to low quality - broken and overturned cranks, bent seat and cracked bumpers.
In my case I did not buy training uni (my friend did) but I choose pedals which will not allow bearing (axel) cap to be damaged. You can do the same and it will make your pedals live longer after finishing your first steps.