"29" nimbus road unicycle - what's essential?

  1. Cost to build up a 32:

Wheel from Kent $50 (includes tire, tube, spokes, and rim), UDC Cotterless Hub $30, Cotterless cranks $20 (take your pick this is an average price more or less), seatpost $20, Saddle $50, pedals $20, oh yeah and a frame. I used a Qu-Ax 36er frame that was $30 from Goudurix.

         Total $200-$250.  This is for a basic build.  You could cut some cost by using part that you already have, like swapping a saddle/post between two uni's.  And you could add some cost for a premium saddle.  If it's going to be a road uni I don't see much advantage in going with an ISIS hub, and cranks.  I also added a U-Brake for another $15 to mine.
  1. Brakes:

Rim brakes work great, maybe too good. Disc brakes offer great modulation, and are less likely to lock up. For a rim brake I think you would do better with a BMX style side pull caliper than a hydro (Magura). Cable operated brakes are easier to de-tune to adjust the lock-up/modulation factor. A V-brake mounted to the lower Magura boss is a great option as well. It has a lower profile than a Magura so it is less likely to catch on you pants, or hit your leg (this is from experience for anyone who wants to argue the point).

I have no experience using a brake on a uni in the snow, but on my cargo bike I put discs on after a couple of harrowing rides when my brakes iced up. So I would guess the same to be true for a uni.

  1. Uphill: Hmm. As a bike rider, and unicyclist I would have to disagree with this. I don’t think a uni is harder, but certainly not easier. I think many cyclists choose to use a much lower gear than necessary for hills, and it makes them climb slower; however, it is “easier” to make the miles this way. So, that said, I think it is likely a unicyclist will climb a grade faster than a biker, but will be working harder to do it. Having ridden the same hills on bikes and uni’s I would say that I work just as hard, and that I go faster on the bike.

Great stuff there! Do you mind saying what software you used to make that awesome grid of shaded scatter plots? Also, what was your criteria for deciding that some men were more/less male than others? :wink:

build a 32?.. Hmm…

jtrops I think you give me pause…

hmm… stay tuned…


I use a statistics program called JMP: The default for this graph is to have “dither” on. I think that is what is is called. So it moved each point slightly so you can get an idea of how many there are. “more/less male”! LOL.

It is a great tool for a statistician.


I was hoping to get stats like this from a bunch of unicycle events so I could put a value on schlumpf, cranks size, etc. So build a model adjusted for all the different factors. So for each mm of cranks size you get z change in speed - on average. However, the details seem to only be available at the events, the sample sizes are small, and there are obvious biases to who owns a sclumpf.

Ex. I have a good income, but not much of it is disposable - kids camps, vacations, etc, etc. If it was my choice I would skip camp and buy a schlumpf. Actually not, it was priceless hearing the stories from my daughter’s week at space camp in Alabama. Plus, I now have a photo of her unicycling under a space shuttle.

But once they are out of college it will be schumpf time. Oh wait, I may be afraid of breaking a hip by the time that happens!

Thanks for the info, Jigywigy. I’ve run into mainstream SAS a few times but didn’t know about JMP. Looks really nice if you’re willing to trust your data to Tobacco Road slackers. :slight_smile:

Your analysis of unicycling results brings to mind The Signal and the Noise. Too bad unicyclists aren’t as obsessive as baseball fans, where every game for well over a century has been fanatically documented and the dataset is enormous. Then again maybe unicycling is intrinsically more interesting than baseball and so unicyclists have less need to occupy themselves with the meta stuff.

Good luck with your Schlumpf quest! If you need a rationalization now, you wouldn’t have to go away for many weekends of skiing or golf to spend the same amount of money if your hobby was one of those. But yes, “empty nesters” with lots of disposable income are the marketer’s dream, aren’t they?

OK, now we’re way off the thread topic, but that’s life.

Here’s my Schlumpf story. I like to unicycle along with my wife, while she rides her bike. Well, it so happens that a bicycle is usually somewhat faster than a unicycle, on level ground. (Yes, this varies greatly, depending on the riders, but follow along a minute.) Since the goal was to have a pleasant ride together, I was able to make the point that a Schlumpf hub would benefit her, by making it easier for me to ride alongside her at her normal cyclng pace. See what I did there? You can get away with a lot if you make it seem like you’re doing it for your wife. You’re welcome.


If you start collecting parts just make sure to get a 48 hole hub since that’s what the Kent wheel has.

The tricky part is the frame, but used 36er frames aren’t too hard to come by. There’s a good bet that someone upgraded a Titan frame to an Oracle. I had an idea to make frame extensions to add to a 29er that would accommodate the bigger wheel. I still think that could work if it was done right.

Oh, and you might want to call Goudurix and talk to Benoit. He was very helpful when I was putting my project together and had an old steel 36er frame that he was happy to send my way.

Also, if you get a steel frame you can bend it to fit the narrower spacing of standard hubs so the hub width isn’t that important.

LOL! Hey, after 36 years, you learn to play the angles! (Although I will admit that being in the “empty nest” demographic helped. It would have been a pretty hard sell if we still had kids in college.)

As mentioned elsewhere, there are many Michigan roads whose spring pot hole season is severe enough to destroy cars. From my experience, additionally, we don’t always believe in sidewalks with consistent level paving. (although limiting oneself to bike paths, the trails are smoother.)

For this reason I wonder how the cost equation would change to go with a splined hub and pedals. Has anyone built a 32" uni from a splined hub and with a disc hub?

I think a 32 build discussion warrants its own thread… so… please join me there…

As to the 29 …we are discussing this at home, if the 32 is becoming an excuse to not commit to a commuting uni and give up on my fitness program that I’m currently in. …honestly it might be…

Guy’s gotta do what a guy’s gotta do, just remember the N -1 rule, where N is the amount of unicycles in your garage required to make your significant other leave you :wink: He just made the equation balance in his favour.

ha! You guys are cracking me up! I’m not married yet, but I’ll take some notes. The notebook will be entitled “Convincing Your Significant Other: Expensive Unicycles Are Necessary for Survival.”