The best way for a Gym Dandy to learn to ride quickly is to have their own unicycle. This isn’t just so they can practice at home, it is also so they can have something consistent to ride on every time. When a GD is first learning, everything that changes on a unicycle is going to throw them off. A slightly different seat height, type of seat, or even how the pedals feel will make a difference.
What unicycle you should buy really depends on how long your Gym Dandy intends to stay in the program. If you plan on staying in for only a few years then any unicycle will do. If you plan on staying longer you may want a stronger and sturdier unicycle with a comfortable seat that will last through their teen years.
If you buy a unicycle you need a 20 inch wheel. Wheel size has to do with speed. A 20 inch unicycle travels at parade speed.
- Torker CX – The CX stands for child. Torker makes good unicycles. This is a great started unicycle. It usually runs around $100. This is not a great unicycle to grow into. Great for kids, but not sturdy enough for teens. The seat is sometimes referred to as the “Torker Torture” seat. Torker CX’s do last a long time, but will be out grown.
- Sun unicycles – You usually find these in bike stores, they look a little nicer than the Torker CX, but they cut back in durability. They are a cheap option, but they tend not to last. Prices range around $100.
- Hopply 20 inch – Unicycle.com $99. Again a good starter unicycle, but not to grow into.
- Cheaper options: EBAY, Craigslist, Play It Again Sports and Scarborough Garage Sales. Do not purchase older unicycles with metal pedals. They are not allowed on the Gym floor.
Unicycles that last:
- Club Unicycles from Unicycle.com. A great unicycle that a GD can grow into. These are sturdy unicycles that have good seats. Good for adults or kids. Cost: $130. This unicycle will last and are great for learning tricks like wheel walking, one foot idling, standing wheel walk, etc. It can stand up to some hopping as well, but it isn’t recommended for hopping. They also have a few colors to choose from.
- Torker LX (LX stands for luxury). Also a great unicycle. Very sturdy and durable. We have two in our home. One has been ridden down stairs several times without falling apart. Again it isn’t recommended for that. It is a great uni for learning a variety of tricks. Cost: Ranges from $130 to $150. A bit more than the Club, but sometimes you can find a great deal. These are comparable to the Clubs.
Shipping should always be free for unicycles.
Inseam: The length measured to the floor, not to the length of the GD’s pants. You will see this on the unicycle.com site when selecting the seat post length. Unicycle.com now charges more if you want a different seat post than what is standard. You can cut the seat post that it comes with to the size you need, or you can order the extra seat post for $10.
Kids with short inseams may need a smaller wheel (16 inch).