What to buy

Glen Raphael offers these suggestions.

I recommend that you start out with a cheap unicycle, and get a good one after you know what you're doing. Once you know how to ride, you'll be able to try them out in the store and figure out for yourself what suits you. Your first unicycle is going to get banged around a lot; you will drop it on the ground constantly and destroy the seat. No matter what you buy, you'll want a better one a year later. (One that pinches you in an entirely different place than the one you have... :-) ) So I wouldn't worry too much about the first one. Just get one and get out there and practice!

What wheel size?

The wheel size is essentially a gearing mechanism; the bigger the wheel the less work you have to do to go long distances on level ground. So if you want to ride your unicycle to work, get as big a wheel as you can find. On the other hand, a smaller wheel, with less angular momentum, takes less effort to start and stop and is less unwieldy to turn. So if you want to dance around on stage, make quick little turn abouts, run a slalom course of coke cans a foot and a half apart, you want a smaller wheel. The trade-off is the same as with skis, where longer means faster and more stable but harder to turn. A 15" wheel is real maneuverable; an 18" wheel is really steady once you get it going forward.

What height?

You want the pedal to be a couple inches short of your fullest leg extension at the bottom of its cycle. You shouldn't stretch your legs as much to hit bottom on a unicycle as you do on a bicycle, because you need more control on the unicycle and your leg muscles are weaker at full extension than mid-range. If you can put both feet on the ground while sitting on the seat with the unicycle vertical, the seat's much too low and your legs are cramped when at minimum extension. Raise the seat a few inches and try again. Incidentally, almost any unicycle can have the seat raised to accommodate your height.

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