Unicycles, since most of them lack a chain drive, are different from bikes in the sense that one of the primary determinants to whether or not you can ride a given unicycle is your height.
True enough, you can adjust the height of a unicycle’s saddle by moving the seatpost up and down, but at a certain point, a unicycle just might be too large for you.
Here’s what you need to know about how to pick one based on inseam measurements, as well as how you can make adjustments if necessary.
How to Choose a Unicycle of the Proper Size for You: Inseam Measurements
Your inseam measurement is the distance between the uppermost inside of your thigh (groin) to the ground with the shoes you would most likely be riding with.
This measurement also corresponds, roughly, to the length of your leg; that is, it affects how large of a unicycle you can ride because if your inseam measurement is not adequate, you won’t be able to reach the pedal when it is the 6 o’clock position.
You can easily take your inseam measurements by straddling a book or DVD case and then measuring from the top of the book to the floor.
You will need this measurement when evaluating a unicycle, especially when shopping online, since, when you shop online you won’t just be able to get in the saddle to see if a unicycle is too large for you or not.
Not to worry, though, you can see recommended minimum inseam measurements in most if not all unicycle product listings – and, if you have any questions, call the seller, don’t gamble.
Changing Seat Height in the Field
Up to a certain point, you can adjust the height of a unicycle’s saddle in the field, to accommodate different riders or clothing.
This is done either by loosening the bolts or the clamps at the outside of the seatpost clamp and raising or lowering the seatpost to get a better fit.
Are All Seatpost Clamps Compatible?
Not all seatposts are compatible with different unicycles. There are four main sizes of seatpost clamps (for unicycles, given in mm). These are 25.4, 28.6, and 31.8 seatpost clamps; there are also 34.9 seatpost clamps.
It is important to know this information about seat post clamps because if you want to replace yours you will need to get a version that is compatible with your unicycle.
For instance, if you have a 31.8 bolt-configuration seatpost clamp, and want to replace it with a quick-release clamp, you need to make sure you get a 31.8 seatpost clamp.
Cutting Down Your Seatpost
If you cannot get a good fit for your unicycle by adjusting the seatpost up and down, you may need to cut the seatpost down directly.
There are two methods for doing so. One involves the use of a hacksaw and one involves the use of a pipe cutter.
For more information on how to cut down your seatpost via either method, please see the previous link.
Also take care and measure twice. You can always cut down a seatpost further but you can’t add height back on if you go too far.
Where Can You Get Parts for Unicycles?
If you’re looking for parts for your unicycle, such as a seat post, a saddle, or a seatpost clamp, visit Unicycle.com.
They carry a wide range of unicycles, unicycle safety gear, and unicycle parts and tools. As the authority on all things unicycling, they almost certainly have what you need.