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-   -   KH29 or KH36? Please help me decide (http://www.unicyclist.com/forums/showthread.php?t=88721)

headcamguy 2011-05-08 05:46 AM

KH29 or KH36? Please help me decide
I know that I have seen similar posts, but what I want is specific information about each unicycle. I apologize if this information is obvious, but I have spent a good couple hours researching. I appreciate your help and any information that you are able to provide. I have listed my questions about the unicycles below.

1. I also am a shorter person at about 5" 6". Will my short legs (30" inseam) prevent me from riding the KH36?

2. I tend to ride offroad, which is why I am leaning towards the KH29. Has anyone had experience with the KH36 offroad? Is it durable enough?

3. I don't anticipate doing great distances (mostly offroad or around town). Maybe 25 - 40 miles a day (and this would be rare). Can the KH29 handle this?

4. Can the KH29 fully replace my KH24 as my MUni?

5. And my most important question. What would you guess the average comfortable speed of both the KH29 and KH36?

Thank you for your help!

johnfoss 2011-05-08 06:45 AM

  1. You should fit a 36" just fine.
  2. For a majority of offroad riding, I'd get the 29". Unless your trails are relatively easy and fast, you'll have more fun on the 29".
  3. The 29" can handle any distance you can.
  4. Pretty much. It mostly depends on the difficulty of your trails, and what ends up working for you. Give the new wheel plenty of time before passing judgement on it though.
  5. A lot of people ask that question. The average comfortable speed depends on how fast you are comfortable pedaling for any length of time. RPMs are usually the limiting factor on unicycle speed rather than other factors for bikes, so it's a little easier to figure except it all depends on you. Some people prefer lower rpms, while others like to spin real fast as much of the time as possible.

Dane M 2011-05-08 09:03 AM

Well, having recently just completed my set (24, 29, 36) I can tell you that they are each very unique. The 36" for me wasn't just a step up from the 29", it's a whole different beast.

So with my limited experience and what I've seen, I can say:

1. my inseam is 32-33, and I am 6', I still have plenty of seatpost there.

2. I've seen a lot of 36er muni the past few weeks, and they seem to hold up just fine!

3. I'd say a 29 can handle it, if you can sure. But that 36 just feels so much better, even if just riding a mile in the city :)

4. It can replace it only if you have no use for a smaller wheel. I like my 24 for the wider tire and the hopping obstacles, 29 for longer trails with obstacles I can roll over.

5. I'm newbie at 36, and my cruising speed is about 9-10mph, I've been riding my 29 around town a lot now, and I cruise at about 8-9mph I'd guess, I pedal a lot quicker on my 29er just because I'm more comfortable with it.

headcamguy 2011-05-08 01:24 PM

Wow! Thank you for the help Dane and John. I am definitely leaning towards the 29er for a more compact touring unicycle that can handle some technical and rugged trails.

headcamguy 2011-05-08 01:34 PM

Also, what brakes would you recommend for the KH29? I noticed a ton of magura brakes on UDC. Which ones are the best ones? And do I need them at all?

Finally, should I get the KH29 with the standard crank length or get it with something different? I will be riding primarily trails and going over some hills, but I will be using the 29 for some shorter tours (25-50 mi).

Thank you again.


scott ttocs 2011-05-08 02:21 PM

I would recommend the 29 for off road use because it is much more nimble than a 36". The top cruising speed is reasonable as Dane suggests. I would get 150 cranks for off road and 125 or shorter for on road: the dual KH cranks are great. I would not put a brake on it immediately. It is not necessary most or all of the time, especially with longer cranks. After you have been riding it a while you can add a brake. I do have a brake on mine bit I do not use it much.

For longer road ride, however, I would much prefer a 36". Yeah, I could do 20 miles on a 29", but it would be more fun and less effort on a 36". You can use the 29" in a pinch and it will certainly work, but if you do a lot of road riding you will probably want a 36" eventually.

Have fun.


uniShark 2011-05-08 02:51 PM

I got my KH29 for mixed muni and commuting about 3 miles. It's been my main muni, and worked OK for riding road. Sounds like it would be a good fit for you.

Comparing to other sizes: I started muni on the 29, and now also have a 24. I prefer the 29 for muni because I prefer rolling, and the 24 just feels way too slow for me. I suppose I also like looking down on mtb'ers. ;)

I got a Coker about a year after the 29. As soon as I got comfortable on the 36, I stopped using the 29 for any road rides. I also really like the 36 for relatively easy xc muni (mostly double track without major climbs), but would choose the 29 over the 36 for a muni focus.

Brakes: I recommend them. I don't use them all that often, but they absolutely expand the terrain I can go down on both 29 and 36. I suggest starting with a v-brake. For less than $30 it's a good way to find out if you like brakes. See here.

Edit: Also, I think your question is not so much which one you'll get, but rather which one you'll get first. Once you're thinking about them, I suspect you'll end up with both eventually. :)

mark williamson 2011-05-08 03:09 PM

I'll weigh in since I have a 29er and a 36er and I use them both, though they're Nimbus not KH.


Originally Posted by headcamguy (Post 1450267)
1. I also am a shorter person at about 5" 6". Will my short legs (30" inseam) prevent me from riding the KH36?

I do OK with that inseam on a UDC 36 (different frame, but still...) and I have to squeeze a T7 handlebar in there. If you want a T7 or any other goop that takes up space between seat and frame, you'll maybe want to double-check the measurements still fit for you. I understand the newer handlebars don't take as much vertical space.


2. I tend to ride offroad, which is why I am leaning towards the KH29. Has anyone had experience with the KH36 offroad? Is it durable enough?
Depends on the kind of offroad you do; can't see it being any trouble at all for zooming down fire roads and paths. Lots of people take their 36ers successfully offroad. Doing jumping or drops is more difficult for a big wheel to withstand but also very possible in moderation, plenty of people hop around on their Cokers, just be sensible.


3. I don't anticipate doing great distances (mostly offroad or around town). Maybe 25 - 40 miles a day (and this would be rare). Can the KH29 handle this?
You can certainly go that far on a 29er - you can even go quite fast on one. Shorter cranks (within reason) help, maybe you should look at some double-holed ones. But distances are more pleasant and relaxed to ride on a 36 IMO. OTOH, a 29er feels supremely nippy and agile compared to a 36, it's much easier to break into an idle or dodge about.


4. Can the KH29 fully replace my KH24 as my MUni?
This is outside my experience but the really technical offroad / natural trials riders seem to want wheels smaller than 29". If you just like to tank along trails then the 29er might actually take over for you - you can still roll over stuff and hop things on a 29er but it's much faster in a straight line, you sacrifice some durability and bounce in return.


5. And my most important question. What would you guess the average comfortable speed of both the KH29 and KH36?
When I'm on my 29er and not particularly hurrying I think I cruise at 8-9mph these days, though when I was riding more regularly I probably was a few mph faster. I used to be able to ride reasonably confidently up to 15mph but that involves spinning very fast, so I needed a smooth surface and even then only did it for a short distance.

On my 36er I think I cruise maybe 2-3mph faster than the 29er. I've hit 17mph, which you'll notice isn't much faster as a top speed - not sure I'd *want* faster than that anyhow! But even at approximately the same speed, on a long straight road it feels smoother and easier to cruise along on the 36. The 29" feels twitchy and tiring in comparison. But the 36 gets a lot more stressful than the 29er when I don't have the luxury of plenty of space to ride in though, e.g. in town.

I'm glad to have both; 29 is a good all-purpose tool, but I wouldn't want to miss blasting on the 36er when it's appropriate.

Generally I think it's fair to say that 29ers are more flexible - you can more easily ride a wider range of things. But you can often manage the same stuff on a 36 using more skill and there's nothing like the feel of a big wheel when it really comes into its own.

Nurse Ben 2011-05-09 01:51 AM

A 36er is not a muni by any stretch. It "can" be used for light duty trails and if you have the skills and nads of Terry, it can be used for more difficult terrain, but it's a far cry from a muni. A 29er is a great crossover uni, but it's slow on road compared to a 36er. I think it'd be fair to say that they are not comparable.

I have all sizes of unis and my every day ride is a 29er, my rough rider and bad weather uni is a 26er, and my 36er is for road. If you wanted a bike for touring, would you get a mountain bike? No, of course not, which is sorta like asking about a 29er for touring. Sure, people tour on everything and anything but if you have a choice, a 36er is the best for touring because it is the most stable, tracks true for miles, takes some of the strain out of riding, so you can go further.

Get a 36er and see if it gets enough use, no need for a 29er is you already have a muni. In the end you'll need a quiver of unis if you want to ride road and trail. I have six unis, in the process of selling my 36er to buy a 26 guni; I just don't ride road often enough...

headcamguy 2011-05-09 10:49 AM

Thanks for your help everyone! I decided to order the 29er for my offroad expeditions. I will probably get a brake, but for now I just ordered it without.

Thank you!


Nurse Ben 2011-05-09 12:23 PM

What 29er did you decide to get?

I have a KH 29 and I love it, running QuAx 170's (lightweight) and an Ardent 2.4, great uni for just about everything, very quick and flickable.

Get it built up with a Nimbus hub if you can...

If you really wanna go big, consider the Nimbus Oregon, it comes set up with a Larry 26 x 3.8, but the frame can accomodate the largest 29er tire and because it's a disc brake you can swap wheels, so two wheels and only one uni, nice!

headcamguy 2011-05-10 01:43 AM

Hey Ben! I heard about the Oregon! A guy at UDC was telling me how awesome that uni is. I ended up getting the KH29 and I just signed up for a 37 mile road tour. It will be challenging, but it is fully supported and I am in good shape.

headcamguy 2011-05-10 01:46 AM

Here is the route: http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/26259220

It is a ADA tour de cure ride with lots of hills. :)

Flyjeffva 2011-05-10 02:38 AM

I was curious about the Nimbus Oregon and looked for more information but I can find none. Can't find it on the UDC site or the Nimbus site. Anybody have a link for more information?

headcamguy 2011-05-10 10:33 AM

The Nimbus Oregon doesn't come out for another few weeks.

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