Crazy Unicycle Modification Ideas

Hey everybody,

I just had a really crazy idea for modding a unicycle, and I searched and couldn’t find any thread relating to this idea, so I thought I would start one.

My idea was:

Somehow (i have yet to figure it out) you could hook up your cranks so that if you pulled a lever, it would disengage the pedals from the wheel and you would glide. Therefore, you could (once you had the skill) pedal backwards, whilst moving forwards!!! :thinking:

What do people think?

Does anyone else have ideas for this thread to continue?


This is an idea I’ve had for a while. Mainly, I think it would be best used for long smooth descents. Some sort of clutch system would have to be created to allow the wheel to be fully engaged with the cranks for normal riding, and be manually disengaged for coasting. To make it easier to ride, there would have to be the ability to vary the friction between the cranks and hub.

One idea someone posted was to use a disc brake. Try running a search for it. The idea sounded all right, but there was some problem with it.


i think i’ve heard of something like that, but i can’t remember where…

you mean a freewheelin’ hub? Yeah, that would be really neat.

certain death

Picture re-engaging that clutch on the fly, when you have come to the end of comfortable gliding speed

yeah, a freewheeling hub, i mean, I don’t know if it would excite many people other than unicyclist though. They would probably say:

“Hey, I can allready do that on my b**e, why would I want to do it on a uni.” Silly people.

the re-engagement I don’t think would be that bad. I guess the pedals would just start moving. obviously, you would not have your feet on them at the time of re-engagement.

Well sure, if you feel like cheatin’

I was thinking of doing a peg type system. Like put extentions out from the hub to behind the wheel and then to strengthen it, connect it to the seat post to make a triangle. Then find a way to put pegs on the 2 back points. I dont know what the purpose would be though.

WOW! I have thought about this idea almost since the day I could unicycle.
It would be cool, the ultimate downhill uni.

I have another thought though - to create a unicycle just used only for downhill. Instead of having cranks attached to the axle attach pegs, like those on a BMX bike, i dont think that would be too hard either. You wouldnt be able to ride anywere with no slope but it would be like a ‘La Twike’ (i have no idea how to spell it, it is a bike my friends brother made, with no seat and pegs you stand on on the back wheel, we used to take it downhilling, it was crazy)

Wouldn’t that just be an impossible wheel with a seat?? That would be cool to see though! :sunglasses:

And of course the height of danger don’t you think. I mean, with the freewheeling, at lease you could engage the pedals again to slow down. But I guess with a brake on, and just the pegs, it might be ok. Scary thought though.


Well it’s not exactly a modification but my seated ahdn-driven unicycle which I will eventually get around to making. There are a few threads about it somewhere.


Thatd be awesome. Instead of using pegs, you could just weld the threaded part of the pedals straight to the hub. Hopefully the heat of the welding won’t damage the bearings in the pedals, otherwise its 100% pure death. It shouldn’t though, I actually welded a pair of pedals to some crank arms cause they kept falling out and angering me (it was like a $12 pair of cranks), and they worked fine after that.

I think I might actually do that one.

Be real people. None of the above is possible (except the uni with pegs in back I’ve wanted to see if that’d work for years) without some really complicated mechanical or computer-driven logic and some really damn big gyros. It’s hard enough to ride a b.c. wheel, let alone one with a seat! And come one, how would coasting with disengaged cranks and your feet off the pedals be any different from normal coasting?

The only thing I can think of that’s even remotely possible and remotely related to what you guys have described is a freewheeling hub where the cranks are attached to a cam brake. When the pedals are level, there’s a very slight bit of drag, but not really noticable. When you lean forward and roatae the cranks forward a little bit, it disengages the cam, and the wheel speeds up, thus catching up with you. When you lean back and the pedals rotate backwards, more pressure is applied through the cam brake and the wheel slows down and you catch up with it. But I can’t say whether this’d be really that easy to ride. The cam brake would have to be very accurate, and the pedal motion to engage it be very fine. But, the range of motion and brake pressure would have to be highly variable, hence flat pedals having a slight amount of braking force, so the wheel has a way to speed up. You’d probably want to err to the side of leaning back, because that’d be easier to recover from than leanign forward. It’d basically be a much easier version of coasting, where when you get too far forward you inevitably fall, but you can always apply more pressure with the foot.

But, supposedly, if you really got the wheel going fast with a dead weight attached to the pedals, precession (gyroscopic effect) and the cam brake should keep it up. And if that worked, keeping a human up wouldn’t be much harder. Just an idea.

Edit: Actualy, a few more of those are possible, such as the hand -driven uni, now that I read closer.

Perhaps that is why people would want to ride it.

I think that would definately work. I’d imagine it would be a lot like riding seat out, only you would have to push the seat away from you to keep your balance.

Freewheel unicycle

I was at this years British Unicycling Convention, and somebody there had a uni with a freewheel in it. I’m not sure how it actually worked but nobody could even get on it, never mind stay on it. Mind you it was quite late and there was alcohol involved…


One thing I’ve been wanting to make for a while now is a BC wheel with handle bars. It would basically be the from fork/handle/wheel/pegs from a BMX, but I think it would be cool.

Another idea I had was for a similar device but have the fork legs extend down past the axle of the wheel (this time the rear wheel of a BMX would have to be used) and have some sort of chain drive system where the wheel would be powered by the rocking motion of the rider. I’m sure none you understand what I just said, and that’s just as well because I don’t think it’s possible anyway.


A BC wheel with a seat? Well, what about an ultimate wheel with a seat?

Of course, there’d be no frame or forks, otherwise it would be a unicycle. So the seat would be attached to the rider’s backside with Velcro, and would serve no useful purpose…:smiley:

I wouldn’t expect to hear such defeatist language from one living so close to Berkeley. So many things are possible that once were only imagined… Just ask Albert Hoffman.

Remember the thread from iunicycle complaining about his shoe wear from gliding? I envision a unicycle where an artificial shoe, the sole of which consists of a combination of brake pad material and asbestos, is held in place just above the tire. The heel of the shoe is anchored to the crown, and the toe is controled via a hydraulic extension mechanism controlled by a standard magura brake handle mounted under the seat. Squeeze the brake handle, and the shoe clamps down on the top of the tire. In this way, a deft rider could simultaneously coast and glide. Both feet up on the crown, while controlling their speed and balance through the artificial shoe controlled with the brake lever.

Harper? Showard? You guys grew up in the right decade…tell me it’s possible.

You’re short circuiting the feedback loop. But I thought you were going to say something else: the brake pad is held in place over the tire, with a hinge/spring-like connection to the frame. With your foot you can push down on the top of the brake, saving shoe wear, etc. But I also noticed in some videos I made that I move my foot back and front along the tire, providing more range of pressure by a simple knee joint action.

Yes, but then you can’t simultaneously glide and coast. Goal is to free both feet to go up on the crown. That’s why the handbrake control of the artificial shoe is critical.