38" 48" 52" Antique Unicycles

Have any of you ever rode a 52" before?

Hey cool I was just looking at these. (I haven’t had the chance to try one out though.)

I had the same thought earlier. Pretty overwhelming feedback saying novelty
use only, not for riding.

They’re basically penny farthings with the back wheel and handle taken off.

Which is what the unicycle originated from- it was a way of making penny farthings a bit safer, as quite a few people got hurt/killed during UPDs on their penny’s, due to it’s tendency to trap their legs under the handlebars and face plant them from a huge height if they went over forwards.

So they are ridable, people rode them way back then, and, a few still do.

Due to the solid rubber tyre, they are way less comfortable than a pneumatic tyred modern big wheel unicycle and probably not as fast.

In the thread you link to, note that bungeejoe has ridden 40,000 miles on his 36-er, and only 4 or 5,000 miles on his solid tyre 43": but 4/5k miles indicates to me that the things are most definitly ridable.

So I’d say they’re ridable in a similar way to the fact that a penny farthing is ridable: clearly a modern bicycle is way more practical than a solid tyred one gear penny farthing, but the fact remains than quite a few people have ridden round the world on the old pennies.

were is ben??? he needs one for muni!

He is waiting for a 52" with a selectable geared down hub :stuck_out_tongue:

He is sewing his 52 x 3.0 Knard Frankentire.

When I was first looking at them I thought the 52" 120 radial spoke wheel would be too cool. Approx. 37lbs of cool. No brake option so stopping the monster could be interesting. Even with all the negatives I think they are neat looking. Have to buy a tophat or derby to ride it I suppose.

Sorry, I should have made my statement clearer. Yes they are ridable as proven by many miles put on them. So are giraffes since they have been ridden cross country.
I think bungeejoe’s 43" weighs half as much of one of these.
Ridable as they are, from what I’ve gathered, 52’’ wheels and giraffes fall more into the novelty catagory. AND I still think they are neat looking.:stuck_out_tongue:

He can dream cant he! i am dreaming for a super strong 29er rim

He will be unstopable with it to!

Waiting for China to stock Walmart with 50" bicycles once the 48" and 52" unis become standard.

It might be fun to ride one on the beach bike path, but yeah, I see it mostly as a novelty and/or a interesting collector’s item, but without much practicality. If you want an even larger giant wheel, a geared 36er would be like a 54" in high gear.

A geared 36er may seem to those who have never been on a large wheel like riding with the same gear ratio. But treading a 43 inch wheel through a crowded street or side walk, climbing hills, or UPDs are more like riding a geared up giraffe. The 43 with it’s thin wheel will turn on a dime and give you back change if you want it as JC demonstrates.

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HAHAHAHAHA that truly made me laugh!

I aleady have to watch my head clearance riding muni on a 36er, so to ride a 54" on the trails I’d probably need a facemask :smiley:

That hard rubber has got to be tough on the parts, the personal parts that is :roll_eyes:

Wow, same old picture of the same old unicycle. Your design hasn’t changed for years and years! If you don’t watch out, your design is going to become outdated. :slight_smile:

I don’t think I’ve ridden a 52" unicycle before. I’ve ridden 40", 42", 43", 45", 50", 56" and 63.5". Maybe a few in between. Big wheels are cool.

Yes and no. If you want to crank out thousands of miles, I highly recommend a 36", or anything else with a pneumatic tire. But if you want to show off in parades, ride a retro, antique-like unicycle or simulate what it was like for uni-roadies of days gone by, I highly recommend a larger wheel like those. My 45" (Unicycle Factory) big wheel is perfect for parades, and rides very differently from a 36". Mine was made to twist and spin, while the modern 36er is made to go straight (and far). I rode my 45" in several 50-mile charity rides, and several other 36-mile tours of NYC. But I did those things because better large wheels were not available.

Radial spokes would definitely look cool, but I don’t recommend them for a unicycle. If you only ride it a little bit now and then, it shouldn’t matter. If you ride it a lot, you will have to replace a lot of broken spokes, which could get expensive on a uni like that. On the other hand, not having brakes is less of a problem than you might think. Brakes on unicycles are better for riding downhill than they are for quick stops. You’re going to have to swerve if you haven’t planned ahead, but this is totally doable.

As for weight, my 45" weighs about 28 pounds, so 37 doesn’t sound bad for a 52" wheel. Those cycles are made to look authentically retro. And you might as well be honest with the weight if you’re going for that…

It’s all a matter of attitude. You have the advantage of being able to detect every nuance of your riding surface. Oh, did I just run over an ant? CRUNCH–Oh look; more broken glass (not a worry when you have a hard tire)!

In other words, that is the main reason to use a 36" for distance riding. :slight_smile:

Mine was made to twist and spin,

John, What made it special to twist and spin, the skinny tire. I saw bungeejoe’s post about how it turns.

That made my day, well almost:D

Yes, mine and his are very similar in terms of the hard, narrow tire. I think his is a few pounds lighter too.

Imagine a 1" tire at about 100 lbs PSI. It makes for a very small contact point with the ground, which makes it really easy to spin, turn, slalom and otherwise twist the wheel all around. If you aren’t used to riding one, be careful high-fiving people on the ground. Do it too hard, and you’ll have trouble maintaining a straight line! You can learn to spin and pirouette on them, which looks quite beautiful when done well.

do you get alot of leg rub?