Frequently Asked Questions
Select a topic to get started:
Selecting a Unicycle
What size wheel?
To check whether you are tall enough or need a longer seatpost. Here is a rough guide. You will find exact sizes in the item description, remember these sizes are from your crotch to the floor with your shoes on, not just your pant length.
You also need to decide what you want to do with your unicycle. Here is a breakdown of the sizes:
You also need to decide what you want to do with your unicycle. Here is a breakdown of the sizes:
- 12" Unicycle This is a unicycle designed for a smaller child. It's good for children who are too small to ride a 16" unicycle, but it needs smooth ground and is not really good for outdoors. For children up to 5 year olds.
Cut Down Seatpost: 18.5" (47cm) Minimum Leg Length: 19.5" (50cm) Maximum Leg Length: 24" (61.5cm)
- 16" Unicycle This is a children's unicycle, the small wheel makes it only suitable for very smooth areas. Best used indoors or on smooth ground; not so good outdoors especially if it is rough or uneven, good for learning for 5 to 8 year olds (always check your childs leg length to be sure)
Cut Down Seatpost: 20"(51cm) Minimum Leg Length: 23.5" (60cm) Maximum Leg Length: 29"(74cm)
- 20" Unicycle Traditionally the most popular size of unicycle. These are great indoor, they turn quick and the best size for tricks.. They are great for unicycle hockey or basketball. They are used for Trials with a big tyre. The down side is that they make poor distance machines. Good for learning.
Cut Down Seatpost: 24" (61cm) Minimum Leg Length: 28" (71cm) Maximum Leg Length: 33" (84cm)
- 24" Unicycle This is a common size among adults. Good for outdoors on paths, offroad and open areas although it can be a little bit big for indoors unless you have access to large hall or gym. The bigger wheel can make some of the advanced freestyle tricks harder. Good learner machine. Good for Muni and Trials with a big tire.
Cut Down Seatpost: 27" (69cm) Minimum Leg Length: 31" (79cm) Maximum Leg Length: 36.6"(93cm)
- 26" Unicycle This is a machine for Muni. If you are interested in offroad then this is what you need if you are not a beginner. These are also great street unicycles. Not really suitable for indoors.
Cut Down Seatpost: 29" (74cm) Minimum Leg Length: 32" (81cm) Maximum Leg Length: 36" (92cm)
- 29"Unicycle This is good for communting. The big wheel makes it fast and smooth. You can also use this for off-road but it's not so good for very rough terrain. Not as fast as a 36" but lighter and more nimble. For advanced riders.
Cut Down Seatpost: 30" (76cm) Minimum Leg Length: 34" (86cm) Maximum Leg Length: 39" (100cm)
- 36"Unicycle The commuting unicycle. If you are a speed fiend then consider one of these, they are fast and smooth. Not a learners unicycle at all and not for indoors.
Cut Down Seatpost: 29.5" (75cm) Minimum Leg Length: 29.5" (75cm) Maximum Leg Length: 40.5" (103cm)
Note These are approximate sizes only, check the catalogue for the model you want. The cut down seatpost measurement is there to show the leg length after you have cut the seatpost shorter. If your legs are longer than the maximum leg length for that size unicycle you can always purchase a longer seat post.
What style unicycle?
There are lots of different styles of unicycles because there are lots of different things that you can do on a unicycle. When deciding which unicycle is suitable for you it is worth deciding what sort of riding you are planning to use the the unicycle for. Here is a list of the main styles.
We use this term to describe those unicycles that we feel most suitable for someone who is learning. These are generally the same as the freestyle unicycles but of a less specialist nature. To help people when they are buying their first unicycle we offer in dropdown boxes the most commonly bought items when learning to unicycle. We have two types of learner unicycles; Hoppley and Club unicycles, which are suitable for children and are not recommended for people over 150lbs and not for jumping or rough use. The Trainer and Schwinn unicycles are stronger with CroMo hubs and are suitable for adults as well as children. If you would like a unicycle thats even more durable than the unicycles previously listed, have a look at our Freestyle Unicycles.
This is a term used to describe the unicycle competition where music, movement and high skill level are mixed. This is a style of riding that is very competitive and looks like ballet on a unicycle. The most common size for freestlye is a 20" wheel. Freestyle unicycles have low tread to no tread tires to help with tricks (most non-marking due to the use of a gym at a school). At Unicycle.com we also use the term 'freestyle' to describe the basic ranges of unicycles that are suitable for performers and the majority of tricks and games, like unicycle hockey or basketball.
Trials riding is a style which involves jumping over obstacles such as picnic benches, up stairs or along railings, with the least amout of hops and dabs. Trials unicycles have special 19" rims and massive 2.5" wide tires to help absorb the impact from landing and for greater stability. Trials unicycles are available with ISIS hub/cranks or cotterless hub/cranks. ISIS hubs being much stronger with there 22mm diameter axial. Trials unicycles also work well for mountain unicycle for kids who are quite tall enough for a 24" mountain unicycle.
Street unicycling is one of the latest developments in unicycling. The aim of the sport is to use natural/urban/specially made obstacles such as ledges, handrails and stairs in a given area to perform tricks that look good. The emphasis falls on technical proficiency, style and creativity. Street unicycling draws inspiration from skateboarding and bmx bike riding, with many similar tricks. Some street riders prefer to ride 20" trials unicycles because of their light weight, good hopping abilities, smooth maneuverability. Some street unicycles have long seattubes to get the clamp out of the way for some specialized tricks. However, some riders prefer using the less conventional 24" and 26" wheel sizes.
Since its birth in 2009 this style of unicycling is similar to freestyle in that various tricks and movements are performed on flat ground. Flatland, however, does not have the performance element of freestyle, but instead has tricks that are similar to those in BMX and skateboarding. Most riders use a flatland unicycle (a trials unicycle with a true 20" wheelset using a high volume tire and short cranks like 100mm to 114mm) or they use a standard trials unicycle with the same short cranks.
It would not be sensible to use a 20” unicycle to commute to work or school. There are unicycles better suited for this, these we refer to as road unicycles. They generally have larger wheels and proportionally shorter cranks. The UDC 36" and the Coker have a 36” tire are capable of speeds in excess of 20 mph with an experienced rider. While the 29” Nimbus road is quite capable of exceeding 15 mph. These large wheeled unicycles can also be used for cross-country unicycling when fitted with an off-road tire. If paired with the Schlumpf geared hub you can now also use a smaller wheel but gear it up for commuting or long distance riding. These are not unicycles we would recommend for beginners, they are a better 2nd unicycle as you become a more experienced rider.
- Mountain: (Muni)
Muni as most unicyclist call offroad riding was originally used by Pashley for their range of off-road unicycles. Offroad unicycles have to be very strong and generally have bigger wheels and longer cranks. The wheel size can vary with 24" for very technical riding and jumping. The 26", 29" and 36" for covering greater distances. Unicycles with ISIS hub and cranks are much stronger than cotter-less but can be more expensive and heavier depending on design and frame material.
A giraffe is a tall unicycle or to be exact a unicycle which is driven with a chain. This needs to be said because there is no way you could call a mini giraffe a tall unicycle at only 18” above the ground! Giraffes are generally easier to ride than a standard unicycles after you have over come the fear of being so high and the problem of getting up there. This being said, they are not for the beginner because falls can cause injuries.
- Ultimate Wheels:
These are like a unicycle with the saddle and frame missing, just a wheel with pedals attached. Quite challenging to ride, though the bigger the wheel the easier they are to ride as you can pedal more slowly.
- Impossible Wheels:
These are just a wheel with two pegs extending off the axle to balance on (like the BC, Johnny Hart Comics). Beginners use footplates that are lower than the axle because it is easier to learn on.
Why does crank size matter?
This is not an easy question, it depends what you want to do with your unicycle. All the unicycles are sold with the appropriate sized standard length cranks but you can upgrade your unicycle with different size cranks. As a general rule, the shorter the crank the faster you can ride, the longer the crank the more control and power your can have. Cranks are measured from the center bolt thats mounted to the hub and the center where the pedals are threaded in.
- 16" Unicycles
Can only be fitted with 100mm cranks or smaller otherwise the pedals touch the ground when riding.
- 20" Unicycles
75mm are for advanced freestyle, 89mm are still too short for beginners but are good for advanced skills such as pirouettes. 100mm cranks give a smooth fast ride but make idling harder, 114mm cranks are a good length for freestyle tricks and hockey. 125mm cranks give a lot of torque and are good for beginners. 130mm to 140mm are for Trials, 150mm are a bit long.
- 24" unicycles
114 mm cranks are very smooth and should only be considered if you are a speed fiend, 125mm cranks are smooth and still quite fast, although are ok for idling, 130mm to 140mm are great for firewood type riding where some leverage will give you control but spinning to go fast are important. 150mm cranks are great for off road and beginners. 165mm are used for very steep and technical Muni.
- 26" & 29" Unicycles
114mm cranks make a great long distance machine on flat surface but very hard to idle, although some riders do go as short as 75mm. 125mm cranks are smooth and make a good street machine. 150mm cranks are great for standard Muni riding and trick riding. 165mm and 170mm are for heavy mountain riding to severe technical riding, these give you the ability to go over and up almost anything!
89mm cranks, yes; you can put them on a 36" unicycle and they make an incredibly fast unicycle - experts only! Sensibly you should consider 114mm the shortest for general riding and make nice smooth action although 125mm cranks create an extremely fast machine for most use. 150mm cranks are standard for beginning with and should be considered the starting point for all but experienced riders.