Getting started? Not sure what unicycle to pick? Here’re some general tips!
There are variations of how to start riding but generally the steps remain as
Most people take roughly a week of continuous practice to get riding comfortably so don’t worry if it seems too difficult the first time round! Remember, practice makes perfect and what’s the fun in unicycling if it’s too easy? 🙂
Here’re some more useful places to get started and to look for tips!
Just like how you wouldn’t expect a $150 bicycle to be your smoothest ride or to last forever, don’t expect a $150 unicycle to do the same. As a beginner, you won’t have to worry that much about that though since any unicycle you get is going to be difficult to learn on.
If you’re learning from scratch, we recommend a 16″ unicycle for ONLY kids under 150cm. If you’re not a kid, you need a 20″ unicycle at minimum. Taller people (ie. > 160cm) or those who fancy an added challenge can opt to learn on a 24″ if they want.
Cheaper unicycles tend to use a cheap square-taper hub. These are more prone to irreversible wear-and-tear. At the higher end range, there is also a difference in material with some of the most expensive unicycles being made from Titanium.
In general, here are the guidelines.
16″ and smaller: For kids. ONLY FOR KIDS. THAT MEANS UNDER 12. And only if you’re <150cm.
19″/ 20″: Mostly for unicycle sports like hockey, basketball, general riding and tricks (dependent on type of unicycle too). Most popular choice for learning with. (Note: a 19″ wheel rim does not fit a 20″ tyre.)
24″: For mid-distance travel (ie. <10km) generally. Popular choice for learning too since it transits well into a commuting unicycle.
26″/27.5″/29″: Popular mountain unicycle choices. These are better for commuting with and have a better selection of tyres you can find in regular bike shops. Great too for commuting. (Note: 29″ is the largest size that fits into MRT luggage guidelines)
32″: Commuting size for people who think a 29 is too small and a 36 is too large.
36″: This is the largest commercial unicycle size. They’re the road bikes of the unicycle world and demolishes distance with its default setup. They’re a bit of a challenge to ride.
Beginner: These are normally the cheapest unicycles you will find. They’re the heaviest and may not come with comfortable seats. They’re ok if you just want a unicycle to learn with or if you’re a very infrequent rider.
Trials/Street/Flatland: These are generally for tricks. The 19″ or 20″ wheelsets are usually stronger to withstand jumps and shocks.
Freestyle: These are 20″ unicycles with the shortest cranks around so that you can better spin and accelerate through your tricks.
Muni: Short for Mountain Unicycle, these come in 24″, 26″, 27.5″ and 28″ sizes. They also normally come with metal pedals so they would last through the falls and scrapes you’ll encounter through the terrain.
Road: For commuting or racing, these are large and/or geared unicycles.
There are exceptions where people do ride unicycles for a different purpose than they are meant for. In addition, there are several other types of less common unicycles you might see around such as the Giraffe, Kangaroo, Freehub, Impossible wheel, Ultimate wheel and many more.
Miyata Unicycles – Top quality unicycles made in Japan and used by many award-winning Japanese unicyclists.
Unicycle.com – International online unicycle shop with bases in many parts of the world. For us, the nearest are Korea and Japan. Best selection of unicycles.
Neighborhood bike shops – Some bike shops do bring in unicycles from time to time but these are likely to be basic unicycles.