I ended up buying this a while back when I first had the bug to build a unicycle. This lead me to buy a little stick welder (although I wish I had a nice TIG setup) and start sticking metal to metal.
For those who don’t know AtomicZombie, he’s like a mad scientist / insane garage engineer of cycles and vaguely-cycle-related things. With a little stick welder and an angle grinder, he makes the most…
The book is very interesting - he goes into detail on two home projects, a standard direct-drive uni and a giraffe. The thing about it that fascinates me is that he goes into a lot more than just making the frame - he takes a donor bicycle and makes every last part without the use of anything more than a welder and an angle grinder. He makes a wheel hub out of two round washers and a cold-rolled steel rod, drilled to match the donor hub. He builds his own cranks out of bicycle cranks. He uses a t-shirt as a seat cover.
Obviously, most builders would weld up a frame and leave the rest to preassembled parts. I am sure that his home depot hub wouldn’t compare to a machined ISIS one, but the whole project is quite cool considering that EVERY PART is hand made.
I would link to a PDF but I respect the guy’s intellectual property (since that’s how he makes a living), but it’s a pretty cool read if you haven’t checked it out.
If anybody has read it, have you ever built one? I’ve just been dabbling in frame-welding so far, but the concept is really intriguing.
I didn’t know there was a unicycle version of this book, I read his Bicycle Builders Bonanza a while back though. I liked a lot of the ideas in there but never got round to buying a welder. One day I might, but I don’t have the time just now between working, learning to unicycle and learning guitar.
I must have picked up The Bicycle Builder’s Bonanza in bookstores at least a half a dozen times. At the time I didn’t pay much attention to the unicycle projects. The recumbents and tadpole trikes were more toward my line of thought. But there was always something that left me cold in every one, a detail that was just a little sketchier than I could be happy about, like the Home Depot hub FoxxyD points out.
Maybe it all works well enough. The testimonials and gallery photos all seemed to be for just-completed rides so it’s hard to say based on that. But a plan I’m buying from someone else ought not to have stuff in it that I wouldn’t feel comfortable about if it had been my own idea. One way or another, I always managed got out of the store without buying it.
It looks like selling pdf files of plans from his website is his thing now, and one of them has two unicycle plans in it:
I guess that’s what prompted this thread. That home-made seat would be just heavenly after riding on it for an hour or so, no doubt about it.
I’ve gotten around to buying one. Learning to use it has been on the agenda for a while. It would be cool if there were open-source unicycle projects to play with.
It’s an interesting read for the concept, if nothing else. As a totally green builder, it really opened my eyes to the mechanics behind a unicycle (however simple they may be). But then I realized, “hey, if I use SOME preexisting components (like a good hub and cranks), I can make a far better unicycle while still having my own frame.”
I could see doing a seat too, but more like a custom motorcycle seat - actually upholstered - than a t-shirt covered bumperless fireball to the crotch.
I came across the AtomicZombie website recently while I was searching for front wheel drive (FWD) recumbent bikes. I’d like to try to turn the front end of one into a unicycle and the “FrontRunner” and “SpinCycle” might work for that. It’d be cool if those designs could be adapted into more modular design like the ones here:
I’m not going to cut and weld parts but I can order and possibly assemble them.