Unicycle (by john foss)
Let me explain what is unicycle. Unicycle is a human-powered, single-track vehicle with one wheel.
If you’re new to unicycling, you probably never imagined how many choices there were. In fact, even the unicycling world is still getting used to the idea. Before Unicycle.com existed, you could only find unicycles in bike shops or in the mail-order catalogs, and the choices were few to non. Mostly none.
Today you have nearly as many choices of unicycle types as you do for a bike or even a car. Lots of vehicle types for lots of price ranges and uses. What are those types, and their uses? Let’s break it down, based on the category list in the Unicycle.com Catalog:
Beginner Series (with or without Learner Packs)
Freestyle (Advanced and Expert)
Training to Balance
If you’re a new unicyclist, you may not know which of those categories suits you best. That’s okay, because most unicyclists start out with Beginner (regular) unicycles, then branch out from there. First you’ll learn to ride, and in time you’ll figure out what type of riding you enjoy most. So let’s start off with a definition of each category:
This is the “regular” unicycle category. They’re not just for beginners, but they’re the best place for beginners to start. Back before you could shop for unicycles online, this type was about all you would ever see in a store. Wheel sizes range from 12-inch to 24-inch. Good, basic, affordable one-wheeled transportation. If you’re just starting out or if you plan on doing just basic neighborhood or gym riding, this is what you want. Even if you plan to move on to something bigger or stronger, a basic beginner-type unicycle is always good to have, as a backup, and to teach your friends to ride on.
What’s a Learner Pack? Basically it’s a very good deal on some basic safety gear and a video. Each unicycle in the category comes with size-appropriate helmet, wrist guards and knee protection.
This category overlaps he Beginner category with some higher-end “regular” unicycles in the common 24-inch size. This is a great size for all-around unicycling as you can learn lots of tricks with it, cover some distance, and basically do a little of everything.
Since unicycles are generally limited in speed by their wheel size, the most common way to speed on up is with a bigger wheel. The Touring category contains wheel sizes of 26-inch, 28-inch, and 29-inch may also be called 700c by cyclists, as it’s the rim size used on the vast majority of road bikes. Combined with a thick tire, you get wheel sizes up to 29-inch. So these unicycles are quite handy for getting around, while not being too large to easily fit in the car, or other places when not being ridden.
This category contains the fastest unicycles, 36-inch and larger. You can commute on a smaller wheel, and you can tour on a bigger wheel, so don’t let the category names rule your choices. Starting with just one 36” unicycle originally, this category started a revolution in long-distance unicycling and now there are lots of choices. Not only are there 36” wheels, but you can also get 2-speed hubs that will power a 24” wheel to the equivalent of 36:, a 29” wheel to 42”, and a 36: wheel to 54”!