Which Uni for Me?

Hello Everyone,

I learned to ride on a 20" Torker LX, starting in December, 2010. Three months after I started, I bought a 24" (Torker LX again), because I wanted to ride further down the street without passing out from exhaustion. After conquering freemounting on the 20" I decided I really want to concentrate on the 24" for riding around the neighborhood, which I know will eventually be a fun way to exercise. I have not yet ridden continuously for more than 800 feet.

Right now I’m working on idling the 24", and I still have not totally conquered freemounting on the 24", but I can do the 24" freemount enough to get me around the block, in several spurts, without having to find something to hold on to.

I’ve been surprised at how long it is taking me to get the distance down.
I am a 57 year old “girl” who, at one time, was in great shape.
I’ve been hanging out more on Just Conversation than here on Rec.Sports.Unicycling.

Those of you who visit with me there may be rolling your eyes at me thinking about getting yet another unicycle.
However… I’m just asking the question here…

[B]–Would a unicycle other than the 24" Torker LX make it any easier to learn idling,
or control in general for things such as turns or figure eights?

–Would any other uni make distance any easier?[/B]

I’ve played with crank length also, and have tried shortening the cranks on the 24 from 6" to 5" thinking my knees would be more comfortable with the 5" cranks, but I lost too much control, so I switched back to the 6" cranks.

I still think I would be more comfortable with 5" cranks, but I got too frustrated not having the control.

I was quite surprised at how much difference the 1" shorter cranks made!
They felt good doing straight riding, but I lost too much control with turns and freemounting.

–If the main things I want to do are…
Riding around the neighborhood,
idling, and turning,
with not much elevation other than flat ground…
–What unicycle should I be working with for the best likelihood of good progress?

I know persistence, determination, and practice, practice, practice are most important.
I’m just wondering if a different unicycle would help.

Thanks for your opinions!

I do not think you are ready for a new unicycle, as long as the two you have are in working condition.

I do not even own a 20", but I have heard it is easier to learn new skills on a 20, so maybe try learning these basic things on your 20" first.

For distance, the larger wheel you have, the easier distance will be. However, larger wheels, like 29ers and 36ers, will be a huge change from the small Torkers that you are used to, and may be harder to ride. Freemounting would be near impossible.

After learning these basics on the two unicycles you have, you may begin to have an idea of what sort of riding interests you most (freestyle, muni, distance, etc.) and from there, you will be able to decide on a new unicycle that suits your type of riding.

I’d say, for now, just stick with what you’ve got, and practice, practice, practice.

You probably just need to put more weight on the seat and relax your legs more. If you relax and sit comfortably on the seat and don’t flail your arms too much, then pedalling should not take more effort than walking. It should feel like pedalling a bike in terms of the effort required. I would just practice with the unis you have now, and once you get better then you can decide on a new unicycle.

Stick with your 24". For what you want to do, it is the one to focus on. When you get better, go to shorter cranks for more speed. But, it will be easier to learn to idle with the longer ones. My recommendation to you for right now would be to concentrate on riding the unicycle. Learn to relax in the seat until you can ride around the block without coming off, freemount reliably, and relax as you ride. Once you have that down, you can work on idling, shortening cranks for speed and a smaller pedal stroke. You are not ready for a 29er yet as they are harder. Unless you want to learn trials, sell the 20", you have already outgrown it. Your 24" Torker LX is exactly what you need to learn what you are talking about.


Yes, as to your legs getting tired, you get the same frequent reminder as most noobs WEIGHT ON THE SEAT! :sunglasses:

If your commute is less than 5 miles, ride it. If it’s longer bring your uni and ride part way.

It’s a bit easier learning most skills w/ longer cranks so you may want to put the 150 crank’s on the 20 and practice on that. The Torker cranks are pretty weak, so you may want to get yourself few pair of extra aluminum ones in various sizes. Ventures are fairly strong for cotterless. If 125’s on the 24 is intimidating, shorter cranks on the 20 will boost your speed. I like 114’s w/ 102’s my top speed is higher, but I have to make more corrections, making my average speed lower.

I’d have to agree with everyone else, stick with what you have for now. As you know and have heard many times before keep your weight on the seat, also in my opinion and observations tension/nervousness tires a rider so try not to be tense, in case you are.

To reiterate, it takes practice and more practice to gain stamina. It took a couple months of continual riding as far as I could manage to finally not tire so easily. When I first started I would ride until my legs wobbled and/or I fell because my legs were so tired. It just came together after much practice it sort of clicked.

Eventually it sounds like maybe a 29er or 36er would be what you want but waiting until you are sure what you want to ride, will help you decide which unicycle will best suit your goals. Another thing to keep in mind the larger the wheel the further to the ground if you do fall or to catch yourself in a UPD, not meaning you should worry about falling, just saying.

Hello Everyone!
Thanks so much for all of your helpful comments!

Hi ally1776 !

No kidding about the height!
The first time I sat on a 24" I thought the floor was WAY down there.
Maybe by the time I get this down to where I can actually do the “ride around the block” thing with a fair amount of ease, the 29er will not sound so out of the question. I would absolutley LOVE to ride a 29er! At this point, I cannot imagine myself thinking a 36er would work for me, but I would certainly like to try one out for size one of these days.

I am just getting back to work on some serious riding practice after the back to back hip and ankle injuries, so I am hoping to start making some good headway pretty quickly now.

Thanks Ally!

Hello Carey !

Very helpful. Actually, I think I may have been wishful thinking that if I got a different set up I could get this thing going a little faster, but I am hearing what I expected to hear, and you said it about as clearly as it could be stated. In fact, your comment just gave me another push to get out there and get busy.


Thanks Everyone!
Very Helpful!


Thanks Kamikaze!

Nothing major, but enough to mess with my self confidence and set me back a bit.
I’m just about back to where I was before all of that though.


Read the “last edited” reason. :smiley:

Hello kamikaze,

I had to read that several times to get it.
Heck, I would have enjoyed reading it anyway.
Thanks for the effort.

I think about you and your “arms” lesson early on in my endeavors.
I’ve tried it a few times, and I know a couple of people over on “The Learning Journal” have tried it. When I get this thing down a little more, I’m going to work on those arms some more.

I’ve forgotten, did you say riding with the arms in that position was supposed to help with balance? Maybe I should work on it more NOW.

Just thinking.
Thanks for your post.

You may not be practicing freequently enough. Try for every day, or even twice per day.

IMO if all you have is X hours total It’d be better to do half in the morning and another in the evening, up to one hour per session.

I think you’re somewhere in either the “overthinking” stage, or the “blame the equipment” stage, or both. These are both normal for grown-up riders, especially ones that have access to this forum. I can’t even compare your situation to when I was learning, as there was no Internet, almost no literature on the subject, and no money in my pocket to speak of. :slight_smile:

A good 20" or 24" unicycle is probably the best all-around thing for an adult to learn to ride on. 24" for cruising, and 20" for most everything else. On the 20" I don’t recommend cranks any longer than 125mm for learning, or under 110. During my major Freestyle/performing days, I had a 20" with 125s, though this is considered long for Freestyle these days.

If you’re still getting tired out on short rides, you are most likely still too tense and probably not sitting down enough. Concentrate on that, and relaxing the part of your body you aren’t using to ride. Give it time.

Probably the best way we can analyze your current status is to find a camera that does video, and upload some clips of you riding, mounting, whatever. Then we should be able to offer some key pointers pretty easily.

If you want to keep tweaking your equipment, try 140s on the 24". This was the size that came with all Schwinns back in the day, and offers a great balance of leverage vs. speed for learning. Then you can go shorter after those get easy.

Not yet. Get the 24" more mastered first, then think about a 29" or 36". If you get one now, you’ll just be intimidated by it.

That said, if you want to buy another unicycle, that’s always a good thing. :smiley:

Thanks so much johnfoss!

I may be overthinking it, but I don’t believe I’m blaming the equipment.
In asking about a different uni, I was just wanting to know opinions on which one
I really should be working with in order to make the best progress.

I know I am making excuses with the environment, though.
The heat, the strong wind, the intimidating cars and kids.
I have let those get in my way quite a bit.

I’m sure skilewis74 is also correct in that
I am not getting in enough hours of practice.

I shall work on all of that.

Thanks Everyone!

Hi 57uni,
For what it’s worth I rode a standard Quax24 for a year, longest ride about 22km. Plenty of one hour rides. So you can do everything you want with what you’ve got. :slight_smile: But I did buy a 29 this year …

Took a while to work it out 800 feet is less than 300m. I understand you are a teacher? If you have a running track at your school take your uni there and ride around the track after school, or very early in the morning :wink:
It took me 10 days from the time I started riding on our sand track to when I could ride 800 meters non stop. I had been riding for 6 weeks by the time I started riding outside though. It was over a month before I could ride non-stop for 2km. I like the idea of doing basic distance training on something like a track because you can measure your improvement… most of the time.

Getting your bum on the seat is largely a matter of riding far enough that your legs tell you “sod this, sit down will you!” And 800meters is probably that limit :slight_smile: Then you will start getting the balance and response co-ordination that means you don’t UPD on every little bump that you ride over (or fail to as the case may be).

Oh and yes, try to get out three times a week at least, I like the idea of 45 minutes a session, but don’t know why.

So, don’t waste time looking at pretty unicycles, go ride the one you’ve got. It’s more than good enough for another year.


Thanks krjames !

I’m headed out right now for some practice.
Thanks for your comments!

We do have a track at school.