Could they make suspension on a unicycle?

I was wondering if you could put suspension on a unicycle. Could they? If so, Means Bigger drops.

that has been a reality for some time now

too much suspension would screw around with your legs…too short, too long

another thing…drops land with the feet taking the force., using suspension, you would have to land with the weight on your seat to make a difference.

Here’s what I though might be a cool thing…maybe with some money to spend in a few years…

Take a mountainbike suspension fork that can be locked out. one with 5 inches of travel. forks have been build into uni’s before.

As you were riding around, you would be locked out…like on a normal uni. sitting atop a high drop, you could lock it out, drop off, land with your feet, but not worry about your boys hitting the saddle (so I would think) gather your balance, lock it out again, and continue riding.

Sounds like it would be neat

There have been a few suspension unicycle designs made with suspension forks. Daniel Hopkins has made a couple suspension unicycles.
One was made using a Cannondale Headshock and another was made using a more standard Rock Shox fork. In both cases I don’t think they worked as well as he would have liked. With a Rock Shox fork you end up with problems with each leg wanting to compress and move differently while you’re pedaling. Both legs won’t want to compress in unison like they do when used on the front wheel of a bike. The strange pedaling forces and strange loads cause problems. The Headshock was another funky one. I think the main problem there was that he decided to use a narrow rim. Both unicycles were made before the 3" Gazz was discovered.

Suspension seatposts are a more realistic option for a unicycle. However, the telescoping style suspension seatposts have their own problems. They are too long for a muni so need to be cut down and have their insides reworked to operate in the shortened down space. They also aren’t designed for the twisting forces that you get on a unicycle so they break down, get loose, and need more maintenance.

A parallelogram style seatpost shock like the Thudbuster
is the best option for a unicycle. But they don’t work well on a vertical seattube like on a standard unicycle. The Telford unicycle has an angled seattube that allows the Thudbuster style shock to work much better. However, getting your hands on a Telford right now is very difficult.

I think a seatpost shock like on the Telford is best suited for XC style riding rather than freeride style riding. The seatpost shock will let you ride with the seat just a little bit higher which puts you in a better and more efficient pedaling position. It’s better for being able to pedal fast as in a XC race. The seatpost shock will suck up some of the bumps and help keep you from getting bounced out of the saddle and off the pedals even thought the seat is a little higher. If I was serious about XC racing on a unicycle I would be looking at something with a similar shock that worked like the Telford/Thudbuster combo probably on a 29er wheel.

Creative Geckos also has some very interesting suspension frames and some interesting ideas.
He brought several of his unicycles to the 2002 California Muni Weekend. Very original ideas for unicycles.

I don’t see suspension as something that would help much with big drops. The suspension is all in the seat so it only helps soften any impact you might get from landing on the seat really hard. Usually in drops that is not the problem. There aren’t any unicycle suspension designs that will suspend the pedals to take the shock off your legs and ankles where you need it for drops. Until someone figures out how to suspend the cranks to help absorb a drop, a suspension uni isn’t going to help much with drops.

yes but these unicycles only isolate the saddle from the hub. I do have a giraffe that is a proper suspention muni. It consists of the rear-half of a full-sus MTB turned on it’s side. It’s a bit fragile though and it bobs disconcertingly. I’m modifying it at the mo - if I ever finish it I’ll post some piccies.

The correct link to Hopkins’ site is:

I agree with Joe. All of the examples so far are of seatpost suspension. The real thing would be having the cranks isolated from the wheel axle. That would more closely simulate a mountain bike suspension. The setup would be pretty dicey. It could only be done on a giraffe or a split crank unicycle. The drive train (whatever it is) would have to have a variable length. In the case of the giraffe this would be a tensioning idler with a strong return spring that could be the spring constant half of the suspension. The damper could parallel the return spring.

Not true.
If you use the back -half of a MTB bike like I did it’s all done for you.
If you dont then you just make it a swinging - arm suspention system and have the pivot point at the bottom- bracket. alternatively you could use a flexi-drive system in the same way that they do on 2 wheel drive bikes. This is what I shall do on the next one

Joe, not only are you a troublemaker, you also have a huge backlog of photos to post, your 700c project among them. I like the swinging arm suspension idea but I think it would be heavy. You are of course correct that the drive train on a swinging arm assembly can be fixed length. But you’re still a troublemaker.

Correct??? Hurrumph. I’d vote for “better” but it certainly wasn’t an incorrect link. :frowning:
Google knows nothing of this I found the link I posted by doing a Google search on “suspension muni” and the first page Google showed was for the link. is nowhere to be found in Google. If it’s not in Google it doesn’t exist. :slight_smile:

I’ll put in my bookmarks now. Maybe I’ll be able to remember it next time.

Thank you :slight_smile:

By the way the hub is coming along slowly. I’m thinking of shrinking it as I’ve found somewhere with an EDM machine that might make the gears on the cheap :slight_smile:

Most (almost all) MTB rear suspension designs suffer from chain growth as the suspension moves. There are only a few rear suspension deisgns that you can turn into a single speed without needing a chain tensioner.

One example of a suspension that doesn’t suffer from chain line growth is the Brooklyn Machine Works TMX
There are some XC suspension designs that also don’t suffer from chain line growth. Somewhere on the Rohloff web site <> they mention some suspension frames that don’t need a chain tensioner when converting to a single speed or Rohloff speedhub.

Hurrah, a market for rubber cranks!

  • They won’t break
  • They will add a bit of suspension
  • They are probably lighter than metal ones.

Do you see? Do you Seeee?

Phil, just me

yea,they would stretch for more leverage and shrink at high cadence.brilliant!

I am preaty sure that phil was being sarcastic but I was thinking about making cranks out of some very stiff spring steel. stiff enough that they wouldn’t flex much with regular riding but if you landed on them when they are in the 3 and 9 o’clock position after a big drop they would be able to provide a little shock absorption. I suppose that they may tend to twist and dump your feet off of the pedals but that problem may be fixable. Anyone else have any ideas along this line?


Before I clicked the “quote” button I was being entirely sarcastic. After, though, I was only being mostly sarcastic. Hmmm…

Phil, just me

Yes, i have thought of the rubber cranks, and the steel spring ideas before. I like the steelspring one more, i think you would have your cranks being able to rotate a bit (determining your “travel”) and then you’d have the steel springs on the outside, so that they would naturally return to neutral position.

oops forgot to attach this:

This would be a VERY cool idea if there was a way to damp the motion. The spring steel part would be a flat plate with the edge along the crank and the wide part parallel to the ground at the 3 and 9 o’clock positions. It would be a normal crank with a 2 inch section cut from it. The remaining ends would be slotted and the spring steel inserted so that the original length of the crank is preserved it just has a stiff spring in the middle. If the motion is not damped, the energy put into the spring landing a drop would be put back into your legs by the restoring force of the spring. How do you add dampers?

Very artistic drawings m_extreme_uni.
would work, could work, might work.

What if they made some kind of spoke that acked like suspension. any thoughts?