Thought I would dig us this thread since this is sort of big wheel vs small geared wheel related
Went for a couple back to back rides today with a G24 and my 32" just to compare how they compared.
3.7:1 gain ratio (in high gear)
3.5:1 gain ratio
First I took the GUni out for a spin, went down the highway, took a gravel road then went back through town. The thing felt a little sluggish getting going up the first hill but I soon got a good pace going. The wheel was pulling a tiny bit because of road crown but not too bad.
Got onto the grave and was doing great until I hit some washboard and ended up doing a running UPD. Jumped back on and kept on going. Once I got into town I had to do the "pothole slalom" Our streets are more pothole than pavement in the spring and this year is no exception. Going uphill dodging the potholes the GUni was excellent, nice fast and nimble. On the downhill pothole dodging though you could feel the slop in the gears, which didn't really affect anything but gives sort of a disconnected feel.
Before getting back to the house I hit a patch of mud which really slows down the GUni but didn't throw me this time. Got back to the house and checked the time. The loop took me 21 minutes.
Brought out the 32 and mounted up. First thing I felt going to the light 32 from the GUni is how light and "refined" it feels. No slop at all and very responsive. I should mention that I only have about 3km of riding on this wheel so far.
I had no trouble getting it up to speed climbing the first hill and was cruising right along. I could not feel the road crown at all on this unicycle but was blown a bit more by the wind. Though the gain ratio is not all that much different than the G42 I really felt that I should loose a bit of length in the cranks (which I did not feel on the G24).
I wasn't sure how the skinny tire would handle the gravel but it just cruised right along. I guess the large diameter made up for the skinny width of the tire. Hit the washboard section and had no problems, the wheel seemed to flow through it better than the 24 which more bounced along.
Got to town and the pothole slalom course. I was expecting the light wheel to be really nice and flickable, making it really easy to do all the sharp little turns while keeping the speed up, It didn't. I felt comparatively unstable navigating between the holes and felt much more precarious being higher up than the GUni. Something I never felt with a big heavy 36.
The big wheel cut through the mud patch with barely a notice and when I got home checked the time, 19 minutes.
So no good hard evidence for anything there but I would have to say that I preferred riding the 32 over the G24 on everything except in town dodging potholes. I should have done a ride with my 36 next but it doesn't have a seat at the moment.
Light weight big wheel (32 is sort of big) feels really good but I need to go bigger on the wheel or shorter in the cranks. If/when I get bored I will have to make up a light 36" tire and see how that handles compared to a standard 36.
I am not really that impressed with the G24 as a wheel size. I think the hub would be great in a larger wheel though.