Building your own unicycle

I am interested in building my own unicycle but the one thing I do not want to do is lace a wheel. Is there a place a person can purchase a wheel already put together? Sizes other than what UDC offers? I was think of a heavy duty 26".

UDC used to have 26" MUni wheels in stock, but it looks like they aren’t listed right now. They seem to be out of a lot of stuff. I would guess that the next shipment will have wheels in it. Anyway, if you get a hub (UDC, Bedford, etc…) you can pair it up with any rim of the right spoke number. A lot of shops should be able to build it for you, or you could have a go yourself with Sheldon Browns guide to wheelbuilding.

Why don’t you want to build the wheel? it’s probably the most useful skill you can learn as fas as uni maintenance goes.

You can just buy a hub and rim and bring them to a bike shop and have them build the wheel for you.

I have built motorcycle wheels

Uni wheels look similar. Anyway, my tip is to install all the spokes and nipples with 1 turn. Then start at the valve, and tighten each spoke exactly as you can one turn. Wa la, because the spokes are identical, this usually will result in a true wheel.

Except unfortunately it doesn’t. Maybe motorcycle rims are stiff enough that slight variations in spoke tension don’t make that much difference - they do on a bike/uni wheel.


Simply follow “the Bible of wheelbuilding” written by Sheldon Brown:

He’s broken it down to incredibly simple, easy-to-follow steps.

At the end you’ll have a wheel you’ve built yourself (you get street cred for this!) and you know exactly what’s gone into it and how to fix it should anything go wrong.

Depending on the LBS to do this for you leaves you with less money, less cred, and less brains. Don’t be a dummy, save your money! :stuck_out_tongue:

There’s nothing special about building a uni, the parts are pretty limited and they go together easilly, but building your own wheels, now that’s really someyhing you make. It’s worth trying, just read Sheldon’s directions and take your time. If you get stuck, ask on here and we’ll set you straight :stuck_out_tongue:


My first wheelbuild was a 36" wheel for a unicycle I built up from parts. As others have suggested, I followed Sheldon Brown’s method. It was simpler than I had thought it would be but did take some time. I did the initial lacing in one evening. Then the tensioning and truing (and tensioning and truing, and tensioning and truing…) another evening. Don’t rush it and it will come out well. Since then I’ve also built up a 26" wheel (again for a unicycle built up from parts), that one went much faster due to having 16 less spokes in the wheel (48h vs 32h) and the shorter spokes have less windup so relieving the wheel is easier. I did splurge on a Park spoke tension meter; it’s not strictly necessary but having concrete numbers to work off takes a lot of guesswork out of the process.