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Old 2016-03-29, 10:21 PM   #1
Bradford
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New Nimbus 24" Mountain Unicycle

Well, after delaying a bit on our income tax returns, we finally filed them and got a refund, so the wifey says, "Hey, do you still want that new unicycle?" Don't have to talk her into it, justify it, or anything else. Just like that. Before she could finish the sentence, I was at my computer putting in my credit card info on the unicycle dot com website for a new Nimbus 24" Mountain Unicycle. I thought the orange one looked really sporty, so I got it. I've only ever had 20" street unicycles, and my last new one was bought in the 80's, so this was exciting! I've been wanting to get a muni for a while now, so this was my chance!

It came in today, and it was really mean lookin'. I love it! It was pretty easy to assemble, but cutting the seat post turned out to be a bit more of a chore than I thought it might be. I knew from one I tried to ride in a bike shop that the standard seat post was too long for me, and rather than buy a new one, I decided I would just cut it. Even though I know no one will ever see it, I wanted the cut to be as straight as possible, so I opted for a pipe cutter, as the instructions indicated.

The pipe cutter was actually very difficult to use on this. Someone may have a more professional one, but mine are just the consumer grade cutters for copper pipes. I actually have three, and the first one I tried didn't work at all, and it cut and gouged the area around where I was attempting to cut. I eventually gave up on it and tried another cutter I had. The seat post is very well built and thick, and it took forever to cut through it. I'm pretty sure my cutter is trashed from it, but it did eventually work. Afterwards, I filed off the sharp bits, and it was fine.

Sadly, the two inches I removed wasn't quite enough, so I decided to give the hack saw a try and take another inch off. I put the seat post in a vice with rubber inserts that won't mar the metal, and it was a breeze. My hack saw blade isn't very good, and it was still 10 times better than the pipe cutter. It wasn't a perfectly straight cut, but it was very close. Again, I used a file and filed off the rough edges. When it was done, it looked a lot neater than what the pipe cutter did. Unless you have some sort of professional pipe cutter for cutting thick, metal pipes (not soft, thin copper), I would opt for the hacksaw if you need to do this. That said, seat posts are pretty cheap ($20 USD for a 200mm), and it's probably cost prohibitive to buy tools just for this.

Riding it for the first time was a bit intimidating, but I did freemount it on the first try with no issues. Compared to the two 20" unis I have with little street tires on them, this thing is huge and bulky and I sit up noticeably higher. I found myself thinking that I was glad I got the 24" instead of the 26".

It WANTS to go off road and eat up some dirt. The tire is about 3 inches wide and about 3 inches tall from the rim. The tire alone is drop-dead sexy. I'm not usually a huge fan of orange, but it looks very nice and sporty on this unicycle fork. I'm glad I picked that over the black.

After getting the seat post cut and adjusted and a tire pressure that felt right, I took it for a ride. It feels completely natural to ride and I was able to instantly feel comfortable on it. Even though I feel like I'm sitting up a lot higher, in reality, it's not that much bigger than what I'm used to. It is a bit heavier, though, and I can tell there's a lot of weight in the tire, and riding that huge knobby tire on concrete is kind of funny. It goes, "thud-thud-thud-thud."

It seems that when you really get going, there's a lot of momentum in the tire, and it's harder for me to stop and reverse it to go backwards, but I still really like it. It's kind of like wearing some heavy-duty boots. They're a bit heavier, but they get their own momentum, and they feel like you can put 'em though hell and they'll be fine.

After I made it down the alley, I took off to the park across the street and rode down a grassy hill. That was pretty cool. I sailed down it very nicely. There's not really any off road trails in the park. All the trails are concrete, so I took off in the grass. It was a bit tough. The grass is deep in places, and it makes it hard to see what's under it. There are places where I got bogged down and had some upd's and did a couple rolls. It was fun, and the grass is soft. I'm used to falling on concrete, so it was a nice change.

I decided to head uphill on the grass, and that was extremely hard. After a few seconds, I was completely out of breath and gasping for air. The grass is very thick there as well, but I loved it. I was hooked immediately. I could tell that this is going to be an amazing way to work out.

I did notice that climbing hills is a bit harder on this than on my 20" unicycles, and I know why (wheel size, crank length), and I expected it, but it's not that much harder, and as soon as my legs are used to it, I'm sure it will be fine.

I also really like the pedals it came with. I was sure I'd want to get rid of those evil metal spikes, but I gave them a shot first and really like them. It's a bit harder to re-position my feet after I mount, but the trade-off is worth it. It's very grippy and keeps your feet connected nicely with the pedals. After I take a few chunks out of my legs, I may change my mind, but for now, I'm happy with them.

As I had hoped, going over obstacles was a lot easier as well. With the bigger, knobby tire, I was able to roll over things much easier. Since I only went up to the 24" and not the 26" wheels size, I wasn't sure how much easier it would be compared to a 20", but it was significant, for the most part, but it some cases, it was a little harder, especially going uphill. I think my legs are still trying to get used to the length of the cranks and the size of the wheel. I haven't measured the cranks on my 20" unis, but they're pretty long compared to the wheel size, so there's a lot of leverage there. I think the comparative leverage on this Nimbus 24" muni is a little different, kind of like being in a higher gear on a bike.

The other thing that was kind of surprising and really cool was how connected I felt to the terrain going off road. It's kind of hard to describe, but it was like the difference from reading flat, two dimensional words on paper, and then reading by braille. It was a very engaging and intimate experience. Every little thing translated up through the tire, and I was able to instantly perceived of every texture of the ground and everything on it. Riding a mountain bike off road doesn't give me that feeling, and nothing on concrete feels that way. Like I said, it's hard to explain, but it was a really cool sensory experience.

Overall, I'm really happy with the purchase. If I could sum it up in one word, I'd say, "AWESOME!"
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Old 2016-03-30, 02:40 AM   #2
Universe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bradford View Post
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I also really like the pedals it came with. I was sure I'd want to get rid of those evil metal spikes, but I gave them a shot first and really like them. It's a bit harder to re-position my feet after I mount, but the trade-off is worth it. It's very grippy and keeps your feet connected nicely with the pedals. After I take a few chunks out of my legs, I may change my mind, but for now, I'm happy with them.
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Overall, I'm really happy with the purchase. If I could sum it up in one word, I'd say, "AWESOME!"
Excellent!

Re-positioning your feet will come to you soon enough but you might want to change your mind sooner rather than later by getting yourself some leg armor like the KH Percussion because those sharp knobbie pedals are going to eventually take a mean bite out of your leg. And you'll want the armor anyways when you start riding down the same trails that you've been mountain bike riding on. And think about some Hill Billy gloves too. First pavement or gravel hit you give them you'll be more than happy to have them on.

Last edited by Universe; 2016-03-30 at 02:41 AM.
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Old 2016-03-30, 02:42 PM   #3
Bradford
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Originally Posted by Universe View Post
Excellent!

Re-positioning your feet will come to you soon enough but you might want to change your mind sooner rather than later by getting yourself some leg armor like the KH Percussion because those sharp knobbie pedals are going to eventually take a mean bite out of your leg. And you'll want the armor anyways when you start riding down the same trails that you've been mountain bike riding on. And think about some Hill Billy gloves too. First pavement or gravel hit you give them you'll be more than happy to have them on.
Thanks, Universe. Good Advice. I usually wear gloves when I unicycle and roller blade, and the scuffs and scratches on them prove their worth. I checked out that KH leg armor, and it looks really good. Lots of protection for the front, inside, and back of the legs.

One thing I'd like to do is add rim brakes. There's some pretty obvious tabs on the back side of the forks that are drilled and tapped. There are two tabs on each side, and the side of the rim is exactly in the center of them, so it seems pretty obvious what they are for, but I haven't been able to find anything that would fit into them so far.

Also, as a final note, I did notice that two of the spokes right next to each other were loose on the wheel. When I first started to ride, I heard it immediately and checked, and sure enough, two of them were pretty loose. Not a big deal at all for me, but for someone unfamiliar with spokes, it might be. It seemed like either someone got distracted when they were tightening the spokes in the factory and just didn't quite finish those last two, or maybe it happened in shipping?

Probably always a good idea on a new unicycle or rim to just kind of strum the spokes lightly with your fingers before you ride for the first time and see if any of them feel loose. The tight ones seem to ring, like a guitar string, and the really loose ones don't. This is obviously a crude test, but it will give you some idea. A spoke tool is nice for this, but I've found that an adjustable end wrench (usually called a crescent wrench in the US), will do OK. Just make sure not to over tighten them, and if you're really not sure, maybe it would be worth the trouble and expense to take it to a bike shop and have them do it for you. Not only can you break the spokes, but you can bend the rim out of true as well.

You might also contact the seller, and they may be willing to do something for you, but for me, it's totally not worth that kind of hassle, and I'm still very pleased with my purchase. This is my second dealing with unicycle dot com, and they have been really great both times. I'd have no issues with doing business with them again. I also did some price comparisons (my wife did insist on that, heh, heh!), and their price was by far the best on this unicycle.

Last edited by Bradford; 2016-03-30 at 02:44 PM.
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Old 2016-04-01, 01:29 AM   #4
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Those brake mounts are meant for Magura hydraulic rim brakes. Assuming your place in the Laniakea Supercluster is the USofA probably your best source for a single brake would be forum member brycer1968.

It is possible to bolt V-brakes to the lower magura mounts but they won't clear a 3" tire and will require a brake booster to prevent breaking the mounts if braking hard.
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Old 2016-04-01, 08:18 AM   #5
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congrats you have the bug. For some reason offroad unicycling is one of the funnest things in the world.
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Old 2016-04-02, 12:58 AM   #6
Bradford
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saskatchewanian View Post
Those brake mounts are meant for Magura hydraulic rim brakes. Assuming your place in the Laniakea Supercluster is the USofA probably your best source for a single brake would be forum member brycer1968.

It is possible to bolt V-brakes to the lower magura mounts but they won't clear a 3" tire and will require a brake booster to prevent breaking the mounts if braking hard.
Cool. I saw that post too and was wondering if it would fit. I was thinking of just trying to rig something up to the lower bracket, and while I was aware of the issue of trying to clear the 3" tire, I didn't think about it breaking the mounts. That's good to know. Thanks for all the info!

And yes, I'm in the US. I live in North Texas. My "Laniakea Supercluster" location is just a nod towards my interest in astronomy.
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Old 2016-04-02, 01:05 AM   #7
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congrats you have the bug. For some reason offroad unicycling is one of the funnest things in the world.
Thanks, and I agree. It's kind of insane and ridiculous, but for some reason, it's just loads of fun!
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Old 2017-06-18, 12:59 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by saskatchewanian View Post
Those brake mounts are meant for Magura hydraulic rim brakes. Assuming your place in the Laniakea Supercluster is the USofA probably your best source for a single brake would be forum member brycer1968.

It is possible to bolt V-brakes to the lower magura mounts but they won't clear a 3" tire and will require a brake booster to prevent breaking the mounts if braking hard.
Is it possible to mount a disk break to the Nimbus 24 muni? There are disk breaks listed on the website for purchase. In the product discretion the hub has disk in the name of the current model?

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Old 2017-06-18, 01:50 AM   #9
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Yes you can add a disk brake. You would need to get a disk brake mount that replaces one of the bearing caps, as well as something to mount the brake lever to.

You will also need to borrow a bearing puller to get the bearing (and left crank, if you don't have a crank extractor) off so you can install the disk.

There are other ways of adding disk brakes, but that would be the cheapest option for a unicycle that already has a disk hub without KH Spirit cranks. Feel free to search the forums for other retrofit options.
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Old 2017-06-18, 05:29 AM   #10
Aaron S
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i got the same 24" Muni a couple months back.
i last rode at age 14. 57 now. turns out its not like riding a bike, my mind may remember but my body is having to re-learn.
i struggled more than i thought i was going to.
was able to ride in 3-4 days but
big tire really seemed slugish and couldnt free mount.
called UDC to order a brake thinking holding it might help to free mount but was actually talked out of it.
they tjold me the tire could be pumped up well beyond the 32 lbs indicated on it to 50 plus, and that would make it responsive on the street.
they also sugested 165 cranks to help with my free mount issues.

they were spot on with both .
it feels like it has power steering now with incresed tire pressure, and i was free mounting the same day i put the cranks on.
sidelined the last 4 weeks with a broken wrist, but will be starting back at it next week.
wife made me get wrist guards and helmet, but didnt really get any argument from me.
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Old 2017-06-18, 03:03 PM   #11
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Welcome back on one wheel!
The 165mm cranks on a 24" might be a bit extreme, you can swap back to whatever you had soon, I'm sure. I love 137mm on a 24" muni, and I think there's a lot of us with that setup.
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Old 2017-06-20, 11:36 AM   #12
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Enjoy, money well spent. Your endurance will come. You should try it out on a real trail. It's so fun. Nice review.
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Old 2017-06-20, 01:12 PM   #13
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Congratulations on your latest purchase. The 24 Muni is a great size to improve your technical skills.

My first Muni was a 26 but I found it difficult to control it when trying to do downhill/technical Muni (no doubt due to my lack of skills). A year ago I bought a 24 Muni and I couldn't be happier! My technical skills have improved a huge amount: it feels much closer to a Trials Unicycle than the 26. I would recommend fitting a break if you are going to tackle very steep trails (it helps a lot!). The 26 Muni is faster and flowy but the 24 is a great machine for difficult trails...
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Old 2017-06-20, 05:28 PM   #14
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Another local rider bought the same unicycle I did from the US UDC.com store, but it now comes with an upgraded saddle and a disk brake hub.
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