a guy drivring a unicycle
Last updated: 06/22/2020

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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.

Key Facts

  • 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 on the U.S. Market

We’ve selected the very best unicycles available on the U.S. 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!

Sun Bicycles Unicycle Sun 20in/24in Extreme

Why does this unicycle by Sun top our ranking of the best models on the Australian market? It has received positive reviews while coming at an incredibly affordable price of about $185. This product offers true value for money, and this is an important factor for beginners. You’ll be able to have your very first unicycle without making a huge investment.

This  features a gusseted Flat Top high tensile steel frame, lightweight anodized alloy wheels, rugged ISIS spindle sealed bearing hub, alloy ISIS crank arms, custom unicycle saddle with heavy duty scuff guards. Secure double-bolt seat post clamp. Fast-rolling multi conditions tire. Available in 20″ or 24″ wheel size

Nimbus Mountain Unicycle or Muni – 24″ Black

Nimbus 24″ Mountain Unicycle Features black saddle with front lift handle, welded rectangular mounting bracket, Duro wildlife leopard 24″ x 3.0″ tires and weighs in at 16 lbs and $297.

The rim is a Nimbus Dominator 2, 24″ (black) 36H, 42mm wide, aluminum doublewall, reinforced eyelets, ERD 492 The rim strip is 24″ x 2.7″- 3.0″ With black, ISIS splined, aluminumnimbus venture2 crank arms and black plastic Nimbus pedals with steel pins and a CrMo axle with 9/16 threads. One happy user simply states “When you open the box you know that you have purchased a high quality bike.”

20″ in Colorized Wheel Uni-Cycle Skidproof Unicycle w Stand Cycling Yellow Green

This is just the one you can start to cycling with – a professional unicycle with top quality and somatological design for under $75. This “Uni” features a 20″ wheel (20″ x 1.75″ Tire)
and comes in a fun yellow and green color combination.  The frame is amde of manganese steel, the standard frame material of unicycles.

The crank arms are  WHEEL TOP Crank, known for high quality.  The pedals are YONG HUA brand with chromoly spindles. The saddle is large and has removable poly-nylon guarded rails. It has a quick release seat post made of alloy aluminum, a steel fork with powder coated finish and is suitable for both novices and experienced riders.

SUPERRIDE Self Balancing Electric Unicycle S800 with Tubeless Street Tire

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At $1400, this Uni might not be for everyone, but if you are ready for a new one-wheel challenge, the S800 self-balancing electric unicycle is a unique form of mobility device allowing the rider to stay seated like a motorcycle or bike. The advanced self-balancing gyroscopic technology keeps the bike steady with very little support from the rider once seated.

No remote control is required, with extremely simple controls you lean forward to accelerate and lean back to brake. Turning can be performed by using your body weight to lean left and right.
This little 45-pound unicycle can carry up to 280 pounds and the 1000W motor allows for speeds up to 20 miles per hour! The removable 60-volt battery is fully charged from 20-100% in one hour and can go 15 miles on a 45-minute charge.

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 U.S. market, which is why we’ve answered the most frequently asked questions in the next section.

unicyclists riding down hill

Unicycles are fit for use on any type of terrain, including asphalt, dirt or grass.
(Source: Designpics: 6214706/ 123rf.com)

What exactly is a unicycle?

The unicycle is a vehicle with a single wheel but whose pedals are similar to standard bicycles. Every unicyclist should have good balance and mastery of their own center of gravity. Once you begin practicing, you can generally start to control the unicycle within about 5 days, although your learning curve is naturally impacted by your age, balance and time dedicated to practicing.

What are the different parts of a unicycle?

Unicycles are characterized by their single wheel, which can differ in diameter. Its tire can be smooth or have studs–it depends on where you intend to ride it. The fork is attached to the hub bearings where the post is inserted: the bar that holds the seat–also called the saddle. The seat generally features a front grip to better handle your unicycle during jumps.

unicycle in a living room

Unicycles are characterized by their single wheel, which can differ in diameter.
(Source: Filios sazeides: 536623/ 123rf.com)

What are the ways to practice unicycle?

There are many possibilities regarding how to use your unicycle, from artistic performances to unicycling in pairs or groups, or even races. You can simply ride your unicycle to get from one place to another, as well. We’ve listed the main types of unicycle activities in which you can participate in the table below. As you can see, there’s plenty of fun to be had:

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?

Since the creation of the unicycle, people have used this intersting means of transport and leisure as a source of income through street performances. Unicycling is as much an art as it is a sport! Here’s a table with some of the most well-known tricks you might want to try with your 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?

The way in which want to use your unicycle for will determine which model you need to puchase, since different types of these uni’s are available. You can easily choose the wrong model if you don’t know which aspects to consider, and there are quite a few types on the U.S. market, so do your research. Here’s a table for you to learn a little bit more about the various activities for which each type is most suitable:

Type Use
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?

Electric unicycles are quite recent vehicles, and they’ve become very popular in Asian countries. They’re now reaching U.S., too. They consist of a single wheel, accompanied by two pedals for the rider and themotor. As a way to save space, they do not come with a seat, which are generally used to provide greater comfort.

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.

foco

Keep in mind that traditional unicycles should be your go-to unit if you want to jump and perform tricks.

What is the right size for me?

In order to choose the right wheel size, you’ll need to start by stand with shoes and your feet together, and measure the distance between your crotch and the floor. You can then have a look at the table we’ve designed below, and see which size is for you according to your size, height and age.

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?

It is essential that you protect yourself when you’re riding your unicycle. You’ll need knee pads, shin guards, ankle pads and, of course, a helmet. Wristbands and gloves, or mitts (for walking on the wheel with your hands), are also useful. Certain people, in particular children, also use back protectors.

How long does it take to learn to ride a unicycle?

This will truly depend on each person’s specific skills. Some are able to ride on their own in as little as three hours, while most need about a week of daily practice. Others still will need over a month. your skills and dedication are key, just like having a good teacher and a quality unicycle.

Which tools are useful to have with my unicycle?

You’ll naturally want some patches and an inner tube in case you puncture your wheel, and there are other tools that will come in handy to fix your unicycle. These include an Allen wrench (for screwing and unscrewing your pedals), an air pump for the tire and a spoke wrench (just in case they loosen with your jumps).

Shopping Criteria

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:

Saddle

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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7DKGmvdlbUA&feature=youtu.be

Fork

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.

Hub

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.

Tire

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

Crank

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

Pedals

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.

Type Discipline
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

Summary

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.

If you liked our shopping guide on unicycles, feel free to share this article on social media. You can also leave us a comment in the section below.

(Source of featured image: Vadim Guzhva: 89911084/ 123rf.com)

Why you can trust me?

Aubrey Smith Travel Expert & Fashion Lover
Aubrey is a flight attendant and a huge fashion lover. She likes to work long shifts because she is usually allowed to stay a little longer on the spot. Her favourite city: New York. Her adventures all over the world have inspired her so much that she now writes articles about traveling. Her favorite fashion spot? New York, for obvious reasons... and Milan!