Unicycles are hitting the streets again. While it is true that electric bikes are the latest trend, unicycles' ability to ride on just about any terrain has made them a re-emergingly popular travel option. Their small size also means that they are easy to carry around and store. The other key factor in using them is the rider's skill.
Operating a unicycle is actually quite simple: tilt your body forward, backwards or sideways to guide it while pedalling just like on a bike. This will naturally influence the speed of the vehicle, which will move faster, the faster you pedal. Conversely, the unicyle will slow down when you start pedaling more slowly.
- 1 Weekly newsletter with the best personal finance tips
- 2 Key Facts
- 3 Our selection: The Best Unicycles
- 4 Shopping Guide: Everything You Need to Know about Unicycles
- 4.1 What exactly is a unicycle?
- 4.2 What are the different parts of a unicycle?
- 4.3 What are the ways to practice unicycle?
- 4.4 What are some tricks I can do with my unicycle?
- 4.5 What types of unicycles are available on the market?
- 4.6 Electric or Traditional Unicycle?
- 4.7 What is the right size for me?
- 4.8 What safety equipment should I use with my unicycle?
- 4.9 How long does it take to learn to ride a unicycle?
- 4.10 Which tools are useful to have with my unicycle?
- 5 Shopping Criteria
- 6 Summary
- The main goal of a unicycle is to allow us to travel around, as well as to practice different skills and perform tricks on it. You can jump and turn with a unicycle, and even go forward simply by removing your feet from the pedals.
- Unicycles are fit for use on any type of terrain, including asphalt, dirt or grass. This is why we encourage you to wear gloves, shin guards and a helmet at all times.
- Nowadays, the most frequently used unicycles are electric models. A few users still enjoy pedals, but electric unicycles are topping the sales charts.
Our selection: The Best Unicycles
We've selected the very best unicycles available on the market right now. You might want to try using this very original vehicle to get around, or simply to have fun and make this sport a new hobby. Either way, have a good look at the different features of each unicycle in this list, and think about your needs, in order to make the right purchase for you. Let's get unicycling!
Shopping Guide: Everything You Need to Know about Unicycles
Unicycles are quite simply one of the most useful and interesting inventions for getting around the city, the town and country. Their small size makes them very easy to store, and you can use them as a means of short term transport. You can find various types of unicycles on the market, which is why we've answered the most frequently asked questions in the next section.
What exactly is a unicycle?
What are the different parts of a unicycle?
What are the ways to practice unicycle?
|Style||What it is?|
|Trial||Jumping from one obstacle to another without touching the ground with your feet. 20-inch wheel.|
|Downhill||Going down slopes or mountain passes. The unicycle has a brake. The wheel measures 24 inches.|
|Freestyle||You can practice in skate parks – with stairs, railings and crates, inclined surfaces and ramps.|
|Association||You can combine it with team sports such as hockey or basketball.|
|World Championships||The International Unicycling Federation (IUF) organizes an event called Unicon every two years.|
What are some tricks I can do with my unicycle?
|Trick||What it is?|
|One-foot||You have one foot in the air during the trick.|
|Walk the Wheel||You walk on the wheel.|
|Seat-out||You don't sit on the saddle.|
|Jump||Hold the saddle with your hands and jump.|
|Stand-up||Stand on the fork with the saddle between your legs.|
|Grinding||Jump over a railing with the unicycle.|
|Rolling wrap||Kick the tire to return to the starting position.|
|Back roll||Move backwards by kicking the tire.|
|Leg around||Make the unicycle spin around your leg.|
|Letricio||Pedal with your hands.|
|Mountain unicycling (muni)||Breathtaking descents, dirt roads and balancing on rocks.|
What types of unicycles are available on the market?
|For beginners||They're great for your first steps into the sport of unicycling.|
|Artistic freestyle||They are used for circus-type tricks.|
|Cross||Their cross wheel and studded pedals make them ideal for biking in the forest.|
|Trials||They are designed to make jumps in the city on stairs, benches and urban furniture.|
|Basketball||They are made for playing on basketball court thanks to their smooth tires.|
|Racing||Their thin wheels are designed for running tracks.|
|Touring||They are perfect for countryside roads as you can travel up to 150 km daily with them.|
Electric or Traditional Unicycle?
How you'll use your unicycle should ultimately determine whether you want to opt for an electric or a traditional model. If you want to ride your unicycle around a big city, you'll be well-satisfied with an electric model.
What is the right size for me?
|Size||Height from crotch to floor||Age|
|12''||48 cm||From 3 to 6 y/o|
|16''||55 cm||6 y/o|
|18''||58 cm||8 y/o|
|20''||61 cm||10 y/o|
|24''||68 cm||From 12 y/o|
|26''||74 cm||From 15 y/o|
|36''||84 cm||From 15 y/o|
|Cross, 20''||64 cm||From 12 y/o|
|Cross, 24''||74 cm||From 15 y/o|
|Cross, 29''||81 cm||From 15 y/o|
|Trial-Muni, 20''||64 cm||From 12 y/o|
|Muni, 24''||77 cm||From 15 y/o|
|Giraffe||67 cm||From 15 y/o|
What safety equipment should I use with my unicycle?
How long does it take to learn to ride a unicycle?
Which tools are useful to have with my unicycle?
You've already learned a lot about the particulars of the different unicycles available out there. Doing tricks and going on long unicycle trail rides in the countryside are two completely different things, which is why there are different models tailored to very specific uses. Here are some essential unicycle parts that you should consider during the purchasing process if you want to get it right:
There are different types of saddles designed for specific uses of the unicycle. Thinner saddles are more appropriate for street, freestyle or trial practices as the vehicle becomes lighter; however, they are less comfortable. On the other hand, you'll want to opt for a thick, padded saddle if you're into racing or trail riding. Some riders even reinforce their saddle with a carbon base.
Short neck forks make it easier for you to lower the saddle and to handle the unicycle comfortably without hurting yourself. For street use, square forks are often used as they make doing tricks easier. Round forks are more commonly used if you want to ride on trails with your unicycle.
There are two main types of hubs. Square models are standard and the most frequently used. Isis hubs, on the other hand, are designed for jumping. Make sure to pick a hub that matches your unicycle wheel and your intended use. For instance, 48 hole hubs correspond to 48 spoke wheels.
There are different types of wheels for each use and discipline. This is why we've summed up each type of tire and their intended use in the table below. This is one of the most fundamental parts of your unicycle, so don't get it wrong.
|Discipline||Type of tire|
|For street and trial||Tires with cross studs for better gripping|
|For freestyle||White, smooth tires for the foot to slide easily over them without leaving traces in the gym.|
|For flatland||Wide tires with good grips|
Again, the type of riding you want to engage in will influence which type of crank you need. The table below will introduce you to the different types of cranks available and the function for which each one is designed. The right crank is essential if you want to get the most out your unicycle. Keep in mind the tips below when you purchase your first unicycle.
|Discipline||Type of crank|
|For street and trial||Intermediate cranks from 125 to 140 mm for better handling|
|For trial, off-road and muni||Cranks ranging from 140 to 160 mm for greater stability in muddy terrain|
|For racing||Shorter cranks, between 70 and 90 mm for increased speed|
|For freestyle||Cranks between 90 and 125 mm to facilitate turns and tricks such as walking on the wheel|
|For road and hiking||Cranks from 140 to 160 mm that allow you to stop your unicycle more easily|
You guessed it: there are also different types of pedals that you need to choose from depending on the style of unicycling you want to do. We've created one last table for you, where we explain the different types of pedals that are available, and why they are used in each style of unicycling.
|For street||Metal pedals, they are more resistant to possible impacts|
|For freestyle||Plastic pedals, to avoid damaging floors when you practice indoors|
|For flatland||Plastic pedals with studs to prevent your feet from slipping off if it's raining|
|Off-road and muni||Metal pedals with studs to prevent your feet from slipping in muddy terrain|
Many different types of unicycles are available for beginners to start riding. Some are easier to master than others. Make sure you consider the typw of unicycle ridinf you want to engage in before purchasing your own unicycle. But remember: it's always interesting to start off with a versatile model and have a go at different styles.
While you can find very affordable unicycles, keep in mind that the cheapest technical products will often come with low quality pedals. They won't be resistant to jumps, going down stairs or walking with your hands on the wheel. Sometimes it's simply better to invest a little more and buy a truly versatile unicycle.
(Source of featured image: Vadim Guzhva: 89911084/ 123rf.com)