Updated: May 29, 2015

Unicycle Reviews:

Let's play a game. We'll say the word, "Unicycle," and you say the first thing that pops into your head. It's the circus, isn't it? You thought of clowns. Or you thought of pro riders like Kris Holm and Destin Kelm, in which case, you are a savvy unicycle fan. In any event, unicycles are not just for the circus; they are not just curiosities anymore. Unicycling is growing as a sport, and today there are off-road and mountain versions that demand exceptional skill and determination. If you want to learn how to ride the unicycle, now is the perfect time. There has never been so many choices - and there has never been so many resources available to help the budding unicyclist. The first thing you'll need is a unicycle; the second thing, patience!


Riding the Unicycle - Pro rider John Foss says that learning to ride is 60 percent determination, 35 percent persistence, and just 5 percent sense of balance. You don't need to be able to walk a tight rope in order to ride a unicycle. That means just about anyone can do it if they want to put the time in. But it's dangerous, right? The unicycle has no handles, no brakes, nothing to hold onto; how is that safe? It is no more dangerous, though, than a bike. When you are first learning to ride a bike, you wobble. You may fall. But you put on your helmet and pads and go at it again. It is the same with a unicycle. You'll get there. You may not be able to do unicycle tricks yet, but that will come as well, if you work at it. Unicycles may seem pretty simple. After all, how hard can it be to choose one if they consist of just a wheel and a seat? But not all unicycles are the same, and there is plenty of variation that will impact how you ride. Let's go over some different styles that you'll run into so you can see which will work best for you.

*Standard. This is probably what you picture when you imagine a unicycle. The wheel is small enough for maneuverability and large enough to stay on! With a standard unicycle, you can ride and do tricks. If you are just beginning, this is the unicycle for you.
*Cruiser. This has a big wheel (28-inch diameter or more) that allows for greater speed. They don't handle as easily as a standard unicycle, but they can be fun once you get the hang of riding. They don't do tricks; they're like cruiser bikes, meant for the road.
*Giraffe. Do not learn on a giraffe! These start at about 5 feet, so you'll tower above the sidewalk. The pedals for giraffe unicycles are above the wheel, instead of attached to it like standard unicycles. Not great for tricks, this type of unicycle is good for the awe-factor.
*Mountain unicycle. These unicycles are designed for trails and have wheels ranging from 24 inches to 29 inches. Most people find that 26 inches provides good momentum and control.
*Ultimate wheel. If you thought a unicycle was simple, check this out. The ultimate wheel eliminates the seat. You ride this model standing, which makes it much harder. The ultimate wheel also doesn't have spokes, which is a good safety feature.
*Impossible or BC. Not for the beginner, that's for sure. The impossible is a wheel with metal plates instead of pedals. To ride, you stand on the plates and glide. If you are just starting out, a standard unicycle is likely to be your best choice. It offers the most versatility as well, because you can learn tricks. If you are ready for something new, check out the other styles. Expect a learning curve when you get onto any new style!

Choosing Your Unicycle - Besides the type of unicycle, you also need to consider the size. The size of the wheel is crucial for control and maneuverability. Your leg size also needs to be taken into consideration. Measure your inseam, which is the distance from the floor to your crotch. If your inseam is less than 23 inches, a junior unicycle may be best. These typically have wheels measuring 16 or 18 inches. If your inseam is between 23 and 27 inches, experts recommend going with a 20-inch wheel. If your inseam is over 27 inches, a 24-inch wheel may be best. You can always use a wheel smaller, but it will feel like you are taking very small steps. If you use a wheel that is larger, it may be difficult to control. Many people, regardless of their inseam measurement find that a 20-inch standard wheel is the most versatile and easy to maneuver. This chart (http://www.unicycletoday.com/wheel-size.html) can help you determine which size is right for you. There are a number of excellent brands from which to choose, including Coker, Kris Holm, GB4, Axis, Bedford, DM, Koxx, Nimbus, Schwinn, Semcycle, Torker, and Sun. Going with a top brand may be a bit more pricy, but you really do need great quality, especially when you are learning. These unicycles have to be specially engineered to support your weight on just one wheel; it is harder to do on one wheel than two! Pay a little more; get the best; and be safer and more secure as you ride. You can browse the best selling unicycles here.


Best Unicycles:

For the beginner, the Sun 20-Inch Unicycle is a superb choice. It reviews very well with YoYoGuy.com, JugglingStore.com, and consumers. Sun is an excellent brand for beginners because their unicycles are well made and typically have a more reasonable price tag. The Sun 20-Inch features a durable carbon steel frame, contoured seat with bumper guards, 300mm seat most with 4 bolt pillar bracket, quick release seat post handle, cotterless crank arms, main-cap style bearing housings, single-walled steel rim, pneumatic tire and tube, and a blue and chrome color scheme. The minimum inseam length is 25 inches, which makes it great for children and adults. It is $74 at Amazon, which is a fairly great price as far as unicycles go. You can check out other 20-inch unicycles here; remember to look for quality materials and construction. Mountain unicycling is often the next step for those who have mastered the basics of riding. If you are ready to try mountain unicycling, which is growing in popularity, there is no better choice than Kris Holm. One of the most well-renowned unicyclists in the world, Holm's line of unicycles is roundly considered to be the best of the best. The Kris Holm 24" Mountain Unicycle Blue UN2024, for instance, features a 7005 T6 aluminum frame, black stainless steel 13g minimum pedal-saddle distance, ISIS hub cranks, 150mm Moment Pedals, Odyssey Trailmix black saddle, Freeride saddle with dual density foam and center cutaway for comfort, double wall spokes, and rail adapter with brake. This is a top-of-the-line unicycle that is worthy of a pro. It has a price tag to match at $590. If your budget doesn't fit a Kris Holm unicycle, don't worry. A solution that people find is to go with a Nimbus unicycle, specifically the Nimbus 20-Inch Trials, which you can see here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z2vXnLMHLrc). This is still pricy, but it costs about half of what a Kris Holm's model does. The 20-Inch Trials features a durable steel frame, aluminum crank arm, comfortable gel saddle, steel ISIS hub, powder coated finish, quick assembly, 25.4mm x 300mm seat chromed steel or aluminum seat post, rectangular 4 hole mounting bracket, 42mm machined main-cap bearing housings, stainless steel black spokes, rubber rim strip, Maxxis Creepy Crawler tire, aluminum DX style pedals with pins, and 9/16 threads. This unicycle costs about $300 and can be found at vendors like AllUnicycles.com or Unicycle.com. View top rated unicycles here for a great selection and hit the road - or trails.