brakes for UDC 32"

OK so I had a little fun with a post in the for sale wanted section but it looks like I was right, it is easier to find a unicorn than a good used 32 uni :smiley:
I/m surprised how many people looked but not 1 single reply
but on a more serious note, I see there is a hole drilled in the bottom of the frame of the UDC 32 and I’m guessing it can be used to install wheel rim brakes. I feel pretty sure I will need brakes when I move up to a 32 as there are times now I wish I had them on my 29. So has anyone out there put rim brakes on the UDC and if so how well do they work.

I cannot comment on how well the brakes work but i will say i think you will enjoy the 32” size. I bought the 32” oracle awhile back and am enjoying it immensely! I can free mount it in the grass with 100mm cranks and hold a 10+ MPH average speed on distance rides (up to 30 miles so far) and top speed of 17.7 (according to strava)

FWIW i rarely use the brake. Most use they get is to make a kinda graceful rear dismount with short cranks and Steep hills which i tend to avoid anyway :roll_eyes:

Buy that thing and start enjoying it :+1:t3:

The crown looks pretty tall, but a caliper brake might reach, it’s been quite a while since I’ve used one.

If the hole is too high you could use the cut-off part of the seatpost to make a lower mount location. You would just need to drill a couple holes then use that hole to bolt it into place above the tire.

I don’t remember there being that much clearance when I used a caliper brake.

Brakes are by no means necessary, but are useful in some situations (like long downhills) and a whole new skill to learn.

Have fun!

My 32" came with a disc brake. I have some hills where the brake is handy going doing and it saves my knees.

Looking at the UDC Titan 32" on the US unicycle.com and the ‘32" Adult Trainer’ on the UK site, I see the hole you mention (I guess these could be the same unicycle). It looks like you would need a pretty long arm brake caliper to use that directly, but it might be possible.

A potentially bigger problem is that both of these are specified as coming with the Nimbus Stealth2 rim. Now UDC doesn’t seem to sell the 32" Stealth2 separately to get rim specs (at least on the US/UK sites they just sell 32" Dominator2 rims), but the 36" Stealth2 rim is down as being “without a braking surface”. So you’d need to check that before you committed if you really want a rim brake on it.

A caliper brake on an anodised surface would be fairly ineffective I would think. I guess you could grid off the anodising but I don’t think that would be a great idea.

Thanks everyone that is some good info. I didn’t realize the wheel was anodized. I would not want to grind the surface even if it would help. I don’t see much in the way of hills around here so I guess I could do without the brakes for now, maybe try something like saskatchewanian suggested.I wouldn’t need strong brakes just to help on the few hills I do see
I was thinking of using 127 cranks like I have on my 29 now

Do you have a welder or know somebody who is handy with one? It’s relatively straightforward to add a disc brake tab and Spirit cranks.

actually I am a good welder and our shop is full of welders. I was more concerned about how to get the rotor on the stock wheel. OK I see what your saying. I have to say if I’m going to go to all that work of replacing the hub and adding the brake tab and buying a disc brake kit I might as well pony up and buy a better uni than the UDC trainer. honestly I love riding but I just can’t justify the $$ for a new 32 with brakes right now.

Get one of these. Also, the Mad4One ISIS hub is set up for the brake to attach inside the frame.
https://www.municycle.com.au/catalogue/UP-BRAKE-DBRAKE-BLK_item.html?ref_cat_id=Brakes

Ah, I didn’t realise it has cotterless cranks. If it had an ISIS hub then it may have been something to pursue but if you need to replace the hub then I agree that it’s probably not worth the effort.

I kind of agree with you on that. I was going to suggest a dBrake and an outboard disc brake earlier but figured it would be a pretty expensive compromise – so out of curiosity I had a look at the current prices for what you’d need, all sourced from UDC US, so you might be able to get some stuff cheaper (eg brake)… hopefully I haven’t forgotten anything:

  • Titan 32" Unicycle: $350
  • KH Spirit dual hole cranks: $120
  • Shimano disc brake: $99
  • dBrake: $30
  • Brake mount: $16

Total for Titan + disc brake: $615

Oracle 32": $775

Difference: $160

You’d save $30 if you weld a tab on the frame, but you’ve got to make it, align it properly, and repaint your frame too, plus you might heat damage the frame.

So you save a bit. One advantage of going the Titan+dBrake route is that you can buy the brake stuff later if you decide you need it, but it is still $265 extra onto a $350 base uni, which seems a lot to get a brake.

Edit: You might need a post adapter for the brake too…

yeah that is my thoughts as far as adding disc to the UDC
my thoughts were more along the line of picking up a used bike with the old rim brake set up and then mod it to fit the UDC frame if possible
I can make a post or handlebar for the brake lever, I would make one anyway just for riding. I made one for the 29, I’m still getting used to it (but I really like it), not as in using it to ride but being able to use both hands on it while riding. for some reason I am really struggling with that, I can ride either hand on but can’t seem to do both at the same time. I did a ride this last Saturday and I practiced as much as I could and did better but can’t seem to get more than 30 to 40 yards before I get all out of whack and have to let go with one hand or the other or UPD. didn’t mean to get off topic

Works well enough, but takes the ano right off.

Before i bought mine i went back and forth between it and the UDC trying to justify the extra cost of the oracle and i ultimately picked the oracle because it was/is everything i want right out the box. Disk brake, isis hub for multi hole cranks, aluminum frame etc

But after putting some miles on the oracle i realize i would have been perfectly fine with the UDC. the multi hole cranks are awesome but not a must, the brake does get used but i would have been fine with the rim brake and i do not think i would have noticed a bit of difference in the steel vs alum frame for the riding i do.

I have zero regrets but if i knew then what i know now i could have saved myself some dough

The UDC frame will accept a brake and the rim is brake compatible so according to my original research you can have a 32” with brakes for $400 with the UDC

That is a good point, the Titan 32” seems to have a square taper hub so the Spirit cranks and disc brake aren’t an option without a new hub too.

It would still probably be best to check with UDC about the rim, both the UK and US sites explicitly say the Stealth2 does not have a braking surface. It might not just be the anodising, the rim side might not even be flat. That said, it isn’t on a downhill mountain bike, so you might be okay for braking force. :slight_smile:

We are all different of course by FWIW I have a UDC 36" that I commute around Oslo on. Oslo isn’t flat but I don’t use brakes and I run with 125mm cranks. So it is certainly possible to get away with no brake.

OK I’m sold, I’m going to go with the UDC 32 and look at adding caliper brakes to it after I ride it and see if I really need them
Thanks for all the helpful responses and info

I just called unicycle.com USA and they did confirm that the frame and rim are compatible with a rim break. I’m not sure why they do not offer a machined version since that is the only brake option for that frame but the braking surface is there nonetheless

Post pics and your thoughts when you get it AJ! I’m sure I will eventually end up with the 36” version since I already have the 32” covered

WeaponizedBacon :smiley: too funny
Thanks for that, I was thinking about doing just that before I pulled the trigger.
now I just have to decide if I’m going to wait until after the holidays and just go for it. I think this time I’m going to get a couple things to change right off
like the pedals,seat clamp and shorter cranks, I don’t care for the rounded pedals that come with them and I like the easy release clamp rather than the alan head screws and I’m used to the 127 cranks with the 29 so I think I will be OK with the 32. I think the seat might be OK

Thanks for that, that is pretty decent of you to call them – it is good to get confirmation direct from them. Like you I have an Oracle 32", so I’m not looking to get one of these, but as well as aj1500 it might well be useful for someone in the future.

I’ll be interesting to hear what caliper fits and how it performs.