How to Size a Unicycle

by Jeremiah Blanchard
A unicycle requires great balance to ride.

A unicycle requires great balance to ride.

Popular in the circus, and used by many individuals to practice balance and exercise, unicycles are indeed a neat contraption. Though not thought of as very popular, unicycles are used for freestyle riding, long-distance touring and racing. The simple design incorporates a single wheel, seat and pedals, just a fourth of what a traditional bicycle offers. Sizing a unicycle is much like sizing for a bicycle, and this is largely dictated by your height and inseam measurement.

  1. Stand against a wall wearing the shoes that you'll be wearing while riding the unicycle.

  2. Place a book between your legs, with the book spine pushed up against your crotch, mimicking the unicycle seat. Make sure that this is a comfortable position--i.e., don't force the book up into your crotch, creating pressure.

  3. Place a mark on the wall at the top of the book where it meets your crotch. Measure the distance from the floor to the mark with a tape measure, and you'll have your inseam measurement.

  4. Consult a unicycle sizing chart corresponding to your inseam measurements. An inseam measurement of less than 23 inches will be a junior size unicycle, typically available in 16- or 18-inch wheels. An inseam measurement between 23 and 27 inches will suit an all-purpose unicycle with a 20-inch wheel. If the inseam measurement is more than 27 inches, then a 24-inch wheel may suit best.

  5. Choose a few unicycles and try them out to see which one feels the best. Choose one that matches your inseam size and two others that are a size up and a size down. Ride them around for a bit to see which one you like best.

Items you will need

  • Book
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil


  • Some unicycle brands have different measurements if they are designed for specific uses. Consult with the dealer or a buying guide before buying a unicycle.


  • Always use caution when riding a unicycle.
  • If it's your first time riding a unicycle, you should expect to fall once or twice before you get the hang of it.

Photo Credits

  • boy balancing on a unicycle image by Galina Barskaya from Fotolia.com