Best Unicycles

Review & Comparison, Last Update October 17, 2017
If you aspire to get into cycling but live in an urban area, consider getting a unicycle - a one-wheeled vehicle that has broken the bonds of the circus and has become an often sight at parks, on and off roads. Learn with us how to choose the best model and impress everyone with a new trick! ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2017
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
TYPE
SEAT-PEDAL DISTANCE
WHEEL DIAMETER / TIRE
WHEEL FEATURES
FRAME
SEAT POST CLAMP
MAXIMUM LOAD
WEIGHT
WARRANTY
 
PROS
Easy to make small jumps with it thanks to the light weight.
CONS
The seat bolt is a bit tough to tighten up.
OUR VERDICT
Fun unicycle is a very affordable model for learners and regular riders. Excellent option if you want a quality mobile vehicle with a great look for everyday use.
detailed parameters
TYPE
Freestyle
SEAT-PEDAL DISTANCE
24" - 32"
WHEEL DIAMETER / TIRE
20" / Slick
WHEEL FEATURES
Aluminum rim, Cartridge bearings, Kenda KIKZUMBUT tire, Width - 1.95"
FRAME
Rounded / Chrome-plated steel
SEAT POST CLAMP
Eccentric clamp
MAXIMUM LOAD
Up to 145 lbs
WEIGHT
11.6 lbs
WARRANTY

Amazon's 30-day return policy

PROS

The pedals have a special non-slip coating made of nylon. Due to such coating, your feet are unlikely to slip off the pedals, notwithstanding what kind of shoes you're wearing. 

CONS

The saddle might feel too tough at first.

OUR VERDICT

This model is perfect for newbies that want to learn how to ride a unicycle and at the same time avoid falls. It's a great choice for a leisurely ride that will bring lots of positive emotions.

detailed parameters
TYPE

Beginner series

SEAT-PEDAL DISTANCE

24” - 33”

WHEEL DIAMETER / TIRE

20" / Slick

WHEEL FEATURES

Alloy rim, with Unicycle Hub, 14G UCP with Brass Nipples, Kenda Khan, Black Wall

FRAME

Rounded

SEAT POST CLAMP

Eccentric clamp

MAXIMUM LOAD

Up to 160 lbs

WEIGHT

13 lbs

WARRANTY

1 year

PROS
Double-wall aluminum rim is more durable than one-wall rim.
CONS
Might not be suitable for tall people.
OUR VERDICT
This is a nice and compact starter model. Its ultra-wide tire provides an improved stability that is so important in the learning process or for performing standing tricks.
detailed parameters
TYPE
Freestyle
SEAT-PEDAL DISTANCE
21" - 29"
WHEEL DIAMETER / TIRE
16" / Semi-slick
WHEEL FEATURES
Aluminum rim with double wall, Width - 2.125"
FRAME
Rounded / Chrome-plated steel
SEAT POST CLAMP
Eccentric clamp
MAXIMUM LOAD
Up to 180 lbs
WEIGHT
17 lbs
WARRANTY

Amazon's 30-day return policy

PROS

This unicycle is designed to hold pretty big loads. Special design makes the unicycle secure for riding.

CONS

Recommended for people with the length of legs between 28" and 31".

OUR VERDICT

This model is designed for advanced users who already feel confident in their riding abilities and are looking for a unicycle for trying out various stunts. With this unicycle, you will be able to unleash your potential and show off the unique riding style of your own.

detailed parameters
TYPE

Freestyle

SEAT-PEDAL DISTANCE

28" - 31"

WHEEL DIAMETER / TIRE

20" / Slick

WHEEL FEATURES

Alloy rim with steel spokes

FRAME

Flat

SEAT POST CLAMP

Sure-hold double seatpost clamp

MAXIMUM LOAD

Up to 180 lbs

WEIGHT

12.2 lbs

WARRANTY

Amazon's 30-day return policy

PROS

The maximum height adjustment from the floor up to the maximum point of the saddle is up to 69". It's easy to accelerate and keep up a high speed.

CONS
This model might not be suitable for short people or kids.
OUR VERDICT
A great option for those who want a unicycle for everyday use. You can also go on pleasant trips on it or perform some complex stunts. Its knobby mountain tire is stable on any ground.
detailed parameters
TYPE
Mountain, Freestyle
SEAT-PEDAL DISTANCE
27" - 33"
WHEEL DIAMETER / TIRE
24" / Knobby
WHEEL FEATURES
Aluminum rim, Manganese steel mute bearing, Width - 1.75"
FRAME
Flat / Manganese steel with a powder coating
SEAT POST CLAMP
Eccentric clamp
MAXIMUM LOAD
Up to 154 lbs
WEIGHT
13 lbs
WARRANTY

Amazon's 30-day return policy

What Is a Unicycle?

As a small kid, what was your opinion on a circus? Maybe, you were amazed by equilibrists on the rope, breathtaking somersaults under the dome or trained wild animals obediently jumping over the obstacles. Or maybe, you have found clowns performances the best. Anyway, the unicycles were closely associated with acrobats at circuses and carnivals. But step by step, it is slowly changing into an awesome tool for recreational activities. Now, you can often meet people in parks riding this mono-wheeled vehicle.

A unicycle consists of one wheel, 2 pedals, a seat and a fork-type frame that connects them all together. You ride it by keeping a balance and cycling pedals forward or backward. Unlike bicycles, standard unicycles don't have a handlebar or brakes. You change the direction by shifting your weight from side to side. In order to stop, you either hold the pedals still with your feet or simply jump off it. Of course, you can buy an additional hand brake module where the handle is placed right below the seat.

For this review, we've studied what features a unicycle does have to offer and tried to compile the results in an unfussy guide with the best picks for those who have just started or are yet to learn the astonishing skills of unicycling.

We strongly advise buying a helmet and elbow pads to make the learning process safer. So, don't forget to check out our review on the best bike helmets as well.

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What Features to Compare

First of all, look at a unicycle's Type. This characteristic has a lot in common with bicycles. The standard models have a direct drive - it has no chain between the pedal cranks and a wheel's axis. That's the starter type and we advise you start with direct drive models. Here are the most categories with direct drive control:

  • Freestyle unicycles are designed for riding on flat surfaces like roads, pavements, etc. They come with a slick or semi-slick tire.
  • Trial models are usually more durable than the others. They need to withstand a rider's weight while he performs stunts like jumping over obstacles, for example. They have pretty wide tires to help balance in one place.
  • Mountain unicycles, just like mountain bikes, feature a wide tire with knobs and have been designed for off-roads racing.
  • Torque models are for covering large distances. As a rule, the diameter of their wheel is larger than 26".

If you want to learn the basics of riding then choose any bike with 16" - 24"wheel diameter. However, the riding style may vary in accordance with the Wheel Size. In general, the smaller diameters with thinner tires are more maneuverable, while larger wheels provide greater speed. For average-sized people, the 16" to 20" wheels will be just right. For kids, you might grab a vehicle with 12" - 16" wheels. But if you have long legs, you might want to get a model with a wheel bigger than 20". The easiest way to choose the right unicycle's height is to measure your inseam leg length and compare the result with the wheel and seat parameters. Remember, your leg should be almost straight when positioned on the bottom pedal while you are sitting on it.

Unicycle's Weight is crucial for the trial unicycles, as you have to jump high with it. But for other types - not so much, because when you have to carry it around, you can just tow it by the seat. Choose the frame strictly according to the Maximum Load. Some models may withstand more weight than showed in their datasheets, but better safe than sorry. Always grab the uni with the maximum load bigger than your weight if you want to perform tricks on it.

Don't forget about the Frame Shape. The top part of the fork that goes around the wheel is called the crown. Riders use it to put a leg on while performing some stunts. Its shape may be rounded or flat. 

Finally, there are many smaller features, including, but not necessarily limited to, the frame and rim materials, crank attachment types, the way of fastening the seat post to the frame, pedals or seat shape, etc. However, these parameters are not so imperative for the starters.

We've picked up 5 great looking models that have all the things needed for new users to get into unicycling or for a little more advanced riders to push their skills to the limit. Sit back, relax and enjoy our review of the following products.

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Fun Chrome 20"

For Expert Riders

As you might have guessed, this Fun unicycle features a 20" wheel with a 1.95" tire, that will be a great choice for beginners. It is designed for roads and you can even try racing on it. At 11.6 lbs. weight, we can also recommend it for children, but adults may ride this model as well - simply adjust the seat post to your height and hop on. We also liked the look of this unicycle: chromed steel is a perfect match with a black seat and gray plastic bumpers. BMX-style pedals are wide enough to rest feet on them comfortably. Simply put, it has all the necessary features to learn the basics of unicycling without worrying about safety.

Review of Fun Chrome 20" Unicycle with Alloy Rim

Tire Up!

Fun 20" unicycle boasts the tire by world-renowned Taiwan company Kenda Tires. It has a slick tread pattern that makes it suitable for riding a road or indoors if you are going to perform on a stage. The Kenda company has been manufacturing rubber products for more than half a century, creating tires for cars, bicycles, motorbikes and ATVs. Its factories are based in China, Vietnam and, of course, Taiwan. It is a sponsor of several racing cycling teams. Therefore, with this product you are getting an up-market quality rubber tire at a pretty reasonable price.

Fun Chrome 20" Unicycle with Alloy Rim in the use

Did You Know?

Riding a unicycle is actually safer than a bike. What happens, when the front wheel of a bicycle drops in a thank-you-ma'am at a great speed? That's right, the rider is hurled over the handlebar and the bike flies in its wake. In the same situation, the one-wheeler just turns over, while the driver hops off the seat, makes a few steps by its own momentum, and then just stops. Moreover, you don't have to obtain special skills to do so, as the walking comes off naturally because you are riding a unicycle half-standing.

That's why, statistically, a number of serious injuries on a unicycle is a lot rarer than on a bike.

Detailed review of Fun Chrome 20" Unicycle with Alloy Rim

Fun Chrome 20
Fun Chrome 20"
 

SUN BICYCLES 20""

A Great Start

If you've always craved to learn how to ride a unicycle but were afraid of doing so, the SUN BICYCLES 20" Classic Black Unicycle can help you make your dream come true. This unicycle is a perfect choice for beginners. It features safe pedal design with nylon coating to ensure firm grip with a rider's feet and a saddle that can be adjusted between 24" - 33" making it fit both for adults and kids learning to ride a unicycle. Another advantage to the SUN BICYCLES 20" Classic Black Unicycle is that it's got a very stable tire making it easier for first-timers riders to balance themselves during rides. With this unicycle, you should be able to quickly get the hang of a one-wheel vehicle and ride it confidentially as a pro. What you might struggle with a bit at first is putting it together, as the unicycle comes with neither tools nor assembly instructions.

Review of SUN BICYCLES 20"" Classic Black Unicycle

Good for Long Rides

When selecting a unicycle, the first thing to consider is how confident you feel about riding a one-wheel vehicle. The main benefit to using the SUN BICYCLES 20" Classic Black Unicycle is in that it has many of the features that make it suitable for non-experienced users with little to none confidence at all. The vehicle has built-in scuff guards and on-the-fly adjustable saddle which can be easily adjusted right on the move with no need to get off the unicycle. This makes the SUN BICYCLES 20" Classic Black Unicycle one of the best solutions for long-distance trips. Whereas the saddle of the unicycle is described by many as rigid, it is also considered to be the most suitable for long rides. 

SUN BICYCLES 20"" Classic Black Unicycle in the use

Durability

One more benefit to using the SUN BICYCLES 20" Classic Black Unicycle is in the durability that is provided by the Kenda Khan tire and spokes with brass nipples. Whether you want to ride on a flat or bumpy road, the SUN BICYCLES 20" Classic Black Unicycle will fit for the purpose. Another appeal of this model is that it can handle up to 160 lbs of load, where many of the other models available for sale cannot withstand as much. This all makes this unicycle perfect for all those who seek a reliable one-wheel vehicle suitable for all road types and for all skill levels. The biggest advantage of this unicycle is that it is not limited to the use of adults and can be adjusted in a few simple steps to fit children as well.

Detailed review of SUN BICYCLES 20"" Classic Black Unicycle

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


SUN BICYCLES 20
SUN BICYCLES 20""
 

Fantasycart 16"

Stable and Manoeuvrable

Lots of users noticed the advanced stability of the Fantasycart 16" on the road and during fancy riding. Some even reported the feeling that the unicycle grabs onto the roadway with its 2.125" wide semi-slick tire. The rustproof upper tube and the fork are made to last forever. The two-walled lightweight aluminum rim gives the feeling of a floating when you are cruising on it. Such rim is more enduring than one-walled type too.

Overall, this 16" unicycle proved to be more agile, easier to navigate than the models with larger wheels. Although this one is recommended for beginners, we are sure that more proficient freestylers may find it suitable for their needs too.

Review of Fantasycart 16" Unicycle with Skidproof Tire

For Big and Small

Some might think, that unicycles with smaller wheels are designed for kids, just like the bicycles. Turned out, the unicycle's wheel size has little to do with a rider's age. Anyone can use a unicycle with different wheel sizes as long as the vehicle can hold their weight and has the appropriate distance from seat to pedal.

This Fantasycart has 16" wheel but can hold up to 180 lbs. An awesome result for a baby-size, right? It's pretty durable, so you can safely use this model to learn how to ride. What's more, even pros may find it suitable for them, because it can totally withstand basic and advanced tricks, jumping as well.

Fantasycart 16" Unicycle with Skidproof Tire in the use

Advice for Beginners

Despite one-wheel design, anyone can learn to ride a unicycle, provided that they’ve got time and longing to do that. It does happen sometimes that one can start pedaling after a few minutes in a seat, but more often than not, confident riding requires some practice. So, if you’ve made your mind learn to ride, practice each day for at least half an hour during a week. Here are some tips how to make training more efficient:

  • Adjust the post according to your height. You need to be able to sit in the seat with your legs straight.
  • Place a unicycle in front of you. Hold it by the front part of the seat.
  • Adjust the pedals in a way that the one closer to you should be closer to the ground, too. Move the seat between your thighs.
  • Holding onto something for support, place one leg on the pedal that is close to you and shift your weight. Don't forget to hold the seat with the other hand.
  • When you step on the pedal, the seat should move upward while the wheel rolls right under you and literally self-mounts you on itself.
  • With the help of the support try cycling the pedals. You may ask a friend to lend you a hand or ride along a wall or a fence.

Keep training and be patient. Remember, Rome wasn't built in a day. A 15-30 minutes session is enough. In a week or two, you will surely see noticeable results.

Detailed review of Fantasycart 16" Unicycle with Skidproof Tire

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


Fantasycart 16
Fantasycart 16"
 

Diamondback Bicycles 24-32-203

Time for Stunts

If you have grown tired of tranquil rides around the city, the time for stuns has come. The Diamondback Bicycles 24-32-203 LX Wheel is just perfect for that. Due to the overlarge wheel (20 inches), it is ideal for performing all sorts of stuns both indoors and outdoors, on all types of surfaces. The benefit to using this unicycle over models with smaller wheels is that it moves considerably quicker and requires less energy for riding. The Diamondback Bicycles 24-32-203 LX Wheel will make it easy for you to polish your riding skills and succeed in executing many of new tricks and stuns you weren't experienced in before. Be sure, riding it will be a lot of fun and joy for you.

Review of Diamondback Bicycles 24-32-203 LX Wheel

A Few Tips for Performing Stunts

In order to make your first steps easier, make sure to follow these several simple tips. 

  • Do not stay still, never. Not only is it simply impossible to do, you may run a risk of getting injuries if you try to do so;
  • Put the weight of your body on the saddle, not on the pedals.
  • Lean slightly forward while riding or/and performing tricks.

The range of stuns that can be performed on this unicycle is more than huge. You will quickly learn and master many of new styles of riding - turning, dismounting, and free mounting, riding with the saddle out, and riding backward, etc. 

Diamondback Bicycles 24-32-203 LX Wheel in the use

When This Model Won't Suit You

The Diamondback Bicycles 24-32-203 LX Wheel has a seat-pedal distance of 28" - 31", which is bigger than that of many other models. That being said, this also means, this unicycle might not fit everyone. It is designed for riders whose leg length is not smaller than 28". If you were contemplating a possibility to giving it to your child, you won't be able to do that, unfortunately (well, unless your child is that tall, of course). The Diamondback Bicycles 24-32-203 LX Wheel doesn't allow for making adjustments to the saddle on the fly, either. Yet, this only makes the construction more secure and stable for performing stuns. If your previous unicycle had a rounded frame, it may take you some time to get used to the flat frame of the Diamondback Bicycles 24-32-203 LX Wheel, although, most users find it very easy to do. 

Detailed review of Diamondback Bicycles 24-32-203 LX Wheel

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


Diamondback Bicycles 24-32-203
Diamondback Bicycles 24-32-203
 

Generic 24"

Go to Extremes

When going downhill riding a unicycle on a mountain-like rugged terrain, you get all fired up. Endorphin and serotonin to the max! That awesome feeling of excitement that is so typical for extreme sports can be fully obtained with the Generic unicycle. Its knobby tire is designed for outdoor riding on and off roads. We were gratified with how fast you can reach a great speed with its 24" wheel. Moreover, you can quickly change the moving direction on it with its comparatively thin 1.75" tire, gaining additional mobility right where you need it.

Review of Generic 24" Unicycle

Will It Bend?

This model suits both teens and adults with up to 33" of inseam legs measurements. The fork crown is flat - handy for performing tricks and stunts. The frame itself is made of mangalloy, also known as a manganese steel, that is considered to be a pretty durable material. For instance, you can't simply bend it or cut. It requires special, hardened tools with a diamond coating or extremely sturdy drill to even make a hole in it. Therefore, manganese steel is used in a mining industry, but can also be found in mountain bike frames as well.

Generic 24" Unicycle in the use

Universally Applicable

Let's be honest, the first thought people get when they hear the word Unicycle is a circus. But nowadays you can meet people with unicycles at skateparks training and performing stunts along with roller skaters and skateboarders. An aggressive trial unicycling is gradually becoming more popular. In the trials, you have to pass the obstacle course in an urban territory. However, unicycling is still a nice way to stay fit and spend a relaxing day in the park, drawing the attention of people passing by with the uncommon sight. Choose whatever activity you like, but know that you can do almost any of those, on this Generic unicycle. 

Let's see: a knobbed tire for rugged terrain, a large wheel for speeding up and racing, a thin tire for quick turnaround, a flat crown top and sturdy bumpers with a stiffening rib at the front bumper that also serves as an additional handle. What's more to ask?

Only one thing is left to point out: this Generic unicycle is recommended for tall people. Check out, if your inseams fit. If yes, then you can readily grab it and start cycling.

Detailed review of Generic 24" Unicycle

Generic 24
Generic 24"
 

Infographics

Comparison of Unicycles

FAQ:

Q: Is there any benefit of riding a unicycle for my health?
A: Definitely! Unicycling helps strengthen muscles and quickly get in shape allowing for burning up to 230-350 calories per hour. It has also proved effective for combatting mental fatigue. Riding a unicycle several times a week can also help improve coordination and sharpen concentration ability.  

Q: What are the advantages of unicycles over traditional bikes?

A: The main advantage of unicycles is their compactness. As unicycles are considerably lighter than most of the traditional bicycles, they're easier to store and carry around. Unicycles require less maintenance, too. Instead of having to maintain two wheels and two tires, all you need to do is make sure the one it has is in a good operating condition. Unicycles are also much more affordable than bikes. There's a whole variety of unicycles on the market, among which you can find even those designed specifically for mountain cycling.

Q: What kind of a unicycle should I start with?
A: Look for unicycles that belong to the beginners series; unlike professional-class unicycles, beginner models are more stable and feature non-slip pedals comfortable for rides. The size of the wheel should be between 20" - 24". Such models are considered more versatile and suitable for riding both indoors and outdoors. What else you should consider when selecting your first unicycle is the saddle-pedal distance. It should have the right size to fit the length of your leg.

Q: In which position should the pedals be when I want to start riding?
A: The safety position is when both pedals are positioned horizontally, at the same distance from the ground. In such position, due to the even distribution of a rider's weight between the pedals, the risks to fall off the unicycle are from minimum to none. Therefore, it's recommended to start and end riding in this very position. Try to avoid starting from the position when the pedals are vertically level because in such position the weight is distributed unequally.

Q: What is the right age for starting riding a unicycle?
A: There are no age limits at all! The 12" and 16" unicycles are designed specially for kids. Children can learn how to ride even faster than adults!

Q: How to maintain a unicycle?
A: You should be careful with worn, flat, and under-inflated tires because they can make your rides rather dangerous, especially outdoors. If you notice loose frame bolts or seat bolts, you should immediately tighten them. If you have creaking spokes or creaking cranks, you need to fix them with a spanner.

Q: Is unicycling dangerous?
A: Though unicycling may look like a dangerous sport, it's quite safe, and if you can ride a bike it shouldn't be difficult at all. Still, you should not neglect some protective measures and wear a helmet and wrist guards. During the first couple of weeks, it may be a good idea to ride next to the handrail so that you can have some support in case you happen to lose balance. It'll also be good to practice riding on some smooth surface first before going on a bumpy road. When being on the unicycle, always lean forward and look ahead of you, not down. Forget your fears, because if you feel panicky, it may take you longer to achieve the desired results. Being able to ride a unicycle can give you a great feeling and it's definitely worth trying.


Sources:

1. Unicycle, Wikipedia. September 12, 2016.

2. Unicycle, Encyclopedia. 2002.

3. The Unicyclopedia/Hardware, Wikibooks. March 16, 2014.

4. Bicycle Tire, Wikipedia. July 7, 2016.

5. Unicycle, Wikia. November 2, 2009.

6. How to Ride and Mount a Unicycle, wikiHow. 2015.

7. How to Measure Your Inseam, wikiHow. September 8, 2016.

8. Kris Holm The Wonderful World of Mountain Unicycling, Outside. July 30, 2012.

9. Patrick Laurence Unicycle Buyer's Guide, EzineArticles. April 14, 2015.

10. Unicycles - One-Wheeled Fun, Kidzworld.

11. Steven Elbow Appeal of the Wheel, The Capital Times. October 1, 2014.

12. Amber Kelsey Why Ride a Unicycle? LIVESTRONG. August 17, 2015.

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