Best Unicycles

Review & Comparison, Last Update November 14, 2018
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 2018
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
TYPE
SEAT-PEDAL DISTANCE
WHEEL DIAMETER / TIRE
WHEEL FEATURES
FRAME
SEAT POST CLAMP
MAXIMUM LOAD
WEIGHT
WARRANTY
 
PROS

It has an additional bumper for which it is convenient to take during jumps. In addition, the bumper will protect the frame from damage during jumps or drops. Quick height adjustment allows for maximum comfort.

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

This unicycle has an adjustable seatpost, from 29.53 "to 33.46", which will allow you to adjust the height of the landing. For greater user comfort, the seat is made of soft PVC. Powder coating on the rim protects it from scratches and scuffs.

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

The double aluminum rim is known for its increased durability, so it is extremely difficult to deform it - it allows you to safely overcome barriers on the unicycle and move down from small curbs without fear of damage to the wheel.

CONS

The tire wears out quickly.

OUR VERDICT

This model has a road wheel with a diameter of 24 inches, so it is best suited to overcome long distances with minimal effort. Recommended for tall people with inseam range from 31 "- 35".

detailed parameters
TYPE

Beginners to intermediate series

SEAT-PEDAL DISTANCE

31" - 35"

WHEEL DIAMETER / TIRE

24"

WHEEL FEATURES

Aluminum rim

Road tire

FRAME

Flat

SEAT POST CLAMP

Quick-release Seat post clamp

MAXIMUM LOAD

Up to 250 lbs

WEIGHT

~21 lbs

WARRANTY

Amazon's 30-day return policy

PROS

The tire is resistant to abrasion, even if you ride on asphalt or gravel. Inner Tire boasts Leakage Protection Technology, keeping the tire fully inflated for long periods of time.

CONS

Relatively low permissible load.

OUR VERDICT

CW released a special model that is equally good not only for learning to ride, but also for experienced riders with a high level of training. Suitable for kids and teens.

detailed parameters
TYPE

Beginners to Professionals series

SEAT-PEDAL DISTANCE

15" - 29"

WHEEL DIAMETER / TIRE

16"

WHEEL FEATURES

Aluminum rim

Mountain tire

FRAME

Flat

SEAT POST CLAMP

Quick-release Seat post clamp

MAXIMUM LOAD

Up to 110 lbs

WEIGHT

~9 lbs

WARRANTY

Amazon's 30-day return policy

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

 

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


 

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


 

Diamondback Bicycles CX Wheel

Strong Frame

A common complaint about the quality of not only unicycles, but of many bicycles in general, is that the frame simply isn't strong enough to endure the many bumps and drops that are inevitable during the course of the equipment's life. No matter how careful the rider is, a unicycle is likely to drop or fall over at some point, often landing on a hard surface. Having a strong, durable frame is a necessity for any wheeled equipment, and is especially important for a beginner who is first learning how to ride such a vehicle.

The Diamondback Bicycles CX Wheel Unicycle is a great example of a unicycle that features a strong frame. Featuring a double aluminum rim, this unicycle is able to endure drops and rough terrain that many other unicycles can't. The strong aluminum rim keeps the tire perfectly circular and prevents deformation, ensuring a smooth, steady ride on any kind of terrain. The frame is also quite strong, ensuring that the unicycle stays perfectly balanced throughout its life span. Beginners will especially appreciate this aspect of this unicycle, as many other models tend to suffer from weaker frames that don't hold up for as long as this one does.

Review of Diamondback Bicycles CX Wheel Unicycle

Easy to Ride

The strong frame contributes to the ease of use of this model, making it not only durable, but quite a good model for those who are beginners to unicycles. The frame maintains a steady position during use, keeping the right balance for those who are still a little unsteady on a unicycle. The adjustable seat allows for proper adjustment to the right dimensions of people of different heights, allowing you to adjust it perfectly so that you are able to maintain the right body positioning in order to keep the unicycle upright. The perfect balance of the bike means that even the greenest beginners should be able to minimize the number of spills that happen.

Diamondback Bicycles CX Wheel Unicycle in the use

Perfect for Long Distance

One other unique feature of this unicycle is the 24 inch wheel, which is larger than many other unicycle wheels. This large wheel gives the rider the ability to travel a longer distance with minimal effort, making this perfect not only for longer distance travel, but also for extended riding sessions where beginners are trying to practice their form and balance. One of the only negatives noted with this model is that the tire tends to wear out quickly, but the standard size of the tire makes it easily replaceable with minimal effort. For those who are looking for the perfect balance of durability and ease of use, this unicycle is definitely one of the best choices for beginners.

Detailed review of Diamondback Bicycles CX Wheel Unicycle

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

AW 16" Inch Wheel

Lightweight Unicycle

One of the benefits of having a unicycle over a standard two-wheeled bicycle is that they tend to be both smaller and lighter, making them easier to carry with you. Although there are specialty bicycles that fold up, it's just not the same as having a small unicycle that is ultra portable. Having such a small cycle means you can take it with you wherever you want to go, especially if you are traveling, and don't have to worry much about finding space to store it.

The AW 16" Inch Wheel Unicycle is a small, portable, and lightweight unicycle that has a small form factor. This very lightweight unicycle sports a light yet durable frame that can handle the normal bumps and falls that are typical of any kind of cycle. The small wheel size means that it maintains a small profile, keeping its portability yet still being reasonably large enough to help the user maintain balance. This makes this particular model quite good for young learners who are trying their first unicycle and learning how to ride one. Even so, this unicycle is also excellent for those who are already well adept at riding a unicycle, and this model should be found to be a quite solid and well balanced cycle.

Review of AW 16" Inch Wheel Unicycle

Adjustable Seat

The smaller size of this unicycle doesn't mean it's not good for taller people, although it is at its best with children. The adjustable seat allows for adjustments from 45" to 61", ensuring that your child can continue to ride it even as they grow, so it should not be easily outgrown. This cycle does have a lower weight limit of 110 pounds, but with children this weight limit should not be an issue for a long time. Even so, its durability means that it should last for a long time even through heavy and prolonged use. The balance of the frame is also excellent, optimized for somatology and movement, meaning that balance issues that users may find while riding it are never the fault of the unicycle itself.

AW 16" Inch Wheel Unicycle in the use

Great Tires

One of the best aspects of this unicycle is in the included mountain tire, which is designed for no skid operation over any kind of terrain. Although unicycles in general are not meant for off-road use, this unicycle's tire is capable of handing almost any kind of terrain that you can throw at it. The inner tire also includes a Butyl lining that ensures that the air pressure remains constant in the tire over long periods, ensuring that you should not even need to air it for the first three months. If you have a child who is either a beginner with unicycles or already a seasoned novice, you will find few models that will match this one either in features or price.

Detailed review of AW 16" Inch Wheel Unicycle

 

Infographics

Comparison of Unicycles

What Is a Unicycle?

As a small kid, what was your opinion of the 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 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.

What Features to Compare

Type

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".

Wheel Size

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.

Weight and Maximum Load

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.

Frame Shape

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. So we hope you'll find the right one for your needs.

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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