Canadian Unicyclists Unicycle

Unicycle Buyers Guide

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Where to buy:
Unicycles Juggling Equipment
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Semcycle (only Semcycle)
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What Unicycle Should I Buy? (that is the question!)

Before we get started I should give you a bit of background.

In order to determine what size of unicycle you need we need to measure your 'In-Seam Length'. Put on the pair of shoes you plan to use while unicycling. Measure the distance from the floor to your crotch (not the crotch of your pants). Write this number down, it's your in-seam length

First of all we need to decide what you will be using the unicycle for. If you aren't a unicyclist yet you might not know what you will use it for. Don't worry we can still help.

Here are some general types of unicycling you may want to do and a description of an appropriate unicycle for the job.

Junior Size

If your in-seam length is less than 23" you will need to buy a junior unicycle (wheel that is smaller than 20"). There are 2 junior sizes commonly available, 16" and 18" wheels. You should contact the unicycle dealer and give them your in-seam length. They can advise you as to what size will work the best. If you are still to small you will have to look at getting a custom made 12" unicycle.

What seat should I buy?

All Purpose Unicycle

If your in-seam length is between 23" and 27" you will need to go with a 20" wheel.  A 20" unicycle should have 4.5" or 5" crank arms.

If your in-seam length is over 27" you should go for a 24" unicycle.   A 24" is very flexible; you can do tricks, longer distances, Unicycle Basketball & Hockey, as well as some MUni (Mountain Unicycling).  If you are only buying one unicycle and you want to use it for multiple purposes you should definitely buy a 24" unicycle if you are big enough.  A 24" unicycle should have 5" or 6" crank arms.

What seat should I buy?

Free Style

A 20" Unicycle is ideal for free style. The small wheel gives you the ability to maneuver easier.  I would recommend you get 4.5" crank arms; however, lots of people use 5" crank arms for free style.

A frame with a horizontal section on the fork above the tire is good.  It's used to rest your foot on or to stand on while doing some free style tricks.  I would recommend you buy one of the following frames:  Miyata, Semcycle XL, Bedford, Yuni, or a Torker (a low quality imitation of the Semcycle XL).

What seat should I buy?

MUni

Buying a MUni is a more complex decision.  You need to consider the tire width, the wheel diameter, the crank arm length, the strength of the unicycle, and how much money you can spend.

I would recommend a 3.0" wide tire (if you can afford it) otherwise a 2.6" will do the trick.  The 3.0" will let you bounce higher and you can ride it with less air which helps smooth out the bumps a bit.  You will also get a bit better traction with a 3.0" tire.

The bigger the diameter of the wheel the smoother the unicycle will ride over the bumps; however, you don't want a tire too big or you will have a tough time going up steep hills.  I would recommend a 26" wheel if you get a tire smaller than the 3.0", or a 24" wheel if you get the 3.0" wide tire.

There are various sizes of crank arms for MUni ranging from 150 mm (6") through 175 mm (7").  I prefer 170 mm. However, if you are doing MUni where there are no steep hills you might want to go with shorter crank arms (such as 150 mm (6")) so you can ride faster.  If you will be doing lots of steep up hill riding you could go with 175 mm (7") crank arms.

The best pedals for MUni are BMX or platform pedals.  You can go with plastic which are cheaper; however, the pins will wear off fast.  I would recommend you go with medal platform pedals with replaceable pins.

Unicycle strength:

If you want to do Hard Core MUni and you have LOTS of money to spend you should get a Profile hub & crank arms.  For most unicyclists I would recommend a Suzue hub with 36 spokes (this is the standard).  For crank arms I would recommend Kooka (they are the best cotterless crank arms but they are a bit expensive), Odyssey Black Widow, or Shimano Deore XT.

A MUni rim should be double walled.  If you get the 3.0" wide tire you will need a double wide rim.  (I use a Sun Double Wide rim for my 3.0" Gazzaloddi tire.)

For the frame you can go with many different ones as long as it has wide enough forks for the tire.  Here are a few options you could choose from Semcycle Delux, Bedford, Yuni, Pashley, Hunter, Wilder, & the Kris Holm frame.  The Hunter, Wilder, & the Kris Holm frame are the higher end frames (which means they also cost more). The Wilder frame is made out of an aluminum alloy this makes it lightweight.

What seat should I buy?

Touring

For touring, long distance unicycling, and for road races you should consider a Coker (a 36" unicycle).  A Coker is great because it's large wheel makes it fast as well as giving you a smooooth ride. You should not buy a Coker as your first unicycle because it is extremely difficult for new riders to mount.  I would recommend using either 5" or 6" crank arms on a Coker.  You need an in-seam length of atleast 29" for a Coker.

You may also want to consider going with the more traditional 26" or 28" unicycle.  They are much easier to store than a Coker, easier to maneuver than a Coker, and they are also just about as fast as a Coker.  For a 26" or 28" touring unicycle you should use 4", 5", or 6" crank arms (remember the short crank arms are faster).

What seat should I buy?

Racing

For most racing you are restricted to a maximum wheel size of 24" and a minimum crank arm length of 5" (or 4.5" cranks with a 20" wheel).  Road races often have 2 categories, one for standard racing unicycles as well as an unlimited class.  MUni races are also unlimited with regards to wheel size and crank arm length.  If you are going to be using the unicycle for standard unicycle racing competitions you should buy a 24" unicycle with 5" crank arms.  You should also get a tire that is smooth and thin.

What seat should I buy?

Trials

For trials you should get a 20" tire (because it is lighter than the 24"), and the tire should be wide (i.e. 2.5") and durable.  There are two unicycles I would recommend: 1.  A unicycle with a Monty tire and either Profile hub and crank arms (expensive) or any brand of steel crank arms, and a Suzue hub.  2. An Onza Trials Unicycle (it comes as a package with a good tire, cranks, hub and frame).

What seat should I buy?

Team Sports

For unicycle team sports such as Unicycle Hockey or Unicycle Basketball I would recommend a 24" unicycle with 5" crank arms.  I like this unicycle because it is fast enough for me to easily keep up with the play, and I find it just fine for its maneuverability.  However, there are many good unicyclists who prefer a 20" because it is more maneuverable (they just have to pedal faster than I do).  If you have an in-seam length of 27" or less you'll have to go with the 20" unicycle.

What seat should I buy?

 

What seat should I buy?

The seat is one of the most important parts of the unicycle because it can cause you great pain if you don't get a good one.  Here are some things to consider:

My recommendations on buying seats:

 

Where to buy:
Unicycles Juggling Equipment
Unicycle.com (large selection)
Bedford Unicycles (Canadian)
Municycle.com (Canadian)
The Unicycle Factory (custom unicycles)
Semcycle (only Semcycle)
Todd Smith
Dubé
Renegade
Beard

Gift Shop (T-shirts, Lapel Pins & much more.)


Home


For bookings or if you have any other questions or comments, please contact me.
email : ctjuggler at gmail dot com
phone # : (867) 873-4324

Gift Shop   (T-shirts, Lapel Pins & much more.)



Unicycle Race


Created on: Dec. 20, 2000
Last updated on: Apr. 16, 2008