DM Ringmaster

What is so good about the DM Ringmaster that it is so expensive?

235 quid for a 24" unicycle.

Is it worth the money?

Anyone actually got one of these?

Thanks

JJ

DM Unicycles are hand made by D M Engineering. Run by Dave Marriott who reads and sometimes posts in this forum.

The Ringmaster is made of “aircraft grade steel”. The whole thing is very strong and well made. I think D M have carried out quite a lot of scientific research into aspects of design, and have done clever stuff like measuring the force applied to the pedals at each part of the pedal stroke.

That said, I think that DM’s products might be on the heavy side compared to many current models. What you get is quality hand made engineering and a personalised design.

Here’s a link to the site. Note there is a cheaper version with cheaper tubing.

http://www.unicycle.co.uk/dm_ringmaster.htm

I think that DM tend to cater more for the juggler/entertainer end of things, amongst whom their unicycles have a reputation for quality and long lasting toughness.

Professional entertainers like their giraffes cos they’re tough, and for 20/24" unicycles for gigs, the Ringmaster is considered ‘unbreakable’.

Certainly a few years back, before the rise of muni etc, many unicycles by other companies could be a bit shoddy, with lollipop bearings and truly awful seats; so DM stuff stood out.

Now things are different with lots of budget, but well thought out unicycles from unicylist.com, Nimbus etc.

I think DMs could be an option using in workshops or for entertainers; but for other uses (muni, distance, trials etc) I’d get something else.

I think there’s now plenty of models out there that are just as long lasting as the Ringmaster, but cheaper, and with more options (seats, frames that can take the bigger tyres etc).

Isn’t it Dave Mariner? From my visits to various juggling/circus skill/random cool stuff shops like Oddballs I gather that DM stuff is performance level stuff. The Giraffes look beefy and very nice…

Doesn’t Kris Holm use a DM ATU in Universe? If so I think that is testament to the quality of DM products.

Out of curiosity, is the term “quid” used much in Africa?

i have the standard ringmaster (20") its lovely or it was lovely, the wheel is long since dead as the uni got used and abused on the street, the frame has some battle scratches but the wheel (also handbuilt i believe did verywell for what it got put through) they are nice unis and are built to last (providing your notriding it like an idiot on terrain that a freestyle uni shouldnt really see

Ooops! yes. My mistake. Dave Mariner. I know a Dave Marriott and the typing fingers obviously got as far as “Dave Mar” and then jumped to a conclusion of their own! :o

There are different models of the Ringmaster brand. There’s the Ringmaster (the standard or beginner model), the Ringmaster Advanced, and the Ringmaster Expert. The one you’re looking at for 235 quid is the 24" Ringmaster Advanced.

Is it worth it? Well, that depends on what you’re looking for in a unicycle. I’ve got a 20" Ringmaster Advanced for my freestyle unicycle. I think it’s an absolutely fantastic unicycle. It was expensive, but not too much more than other custom made unicycles. It’s a very well built frame and it comes chromed.

I got mine through unicycle.com in the USA. I got it a while ago when the exchange rate was better. It’s currently going for $499 USD. I didn’t pay that much for mine.

The frame is very sturdy. There is no flex or bending no matter what you do. It has machined bearing holders which hold the bearings nicely. Machined bearing holders allow the bearings to spin more freely than the stamped metal bearing holders on lesser unicycles. I also like the chrome which is something you’ll pay extra for if you have a unicycle frame custom made.

The crown is knurled which gives it good grip for putting your foot on the crown. The crown is also very close to the tire which keeps it out of the way when doing things like wheel walking. However, the crown is probably a bit too close for standup skills on the crown. I don’t do any standup skills so that has not been an issue for me. For someone doing standup skills the Ringmaster Expert would be a better choice.

I didn’t care for the DM saddle that came with it. The saddle was heavy which made the unicycle feel strange. I also didn’t like the metal loops for the handle and bumper. I replaced the DM saddle with a Miyata saddle.

I really like my 20" Ringmaster Advanced and feel that it was worth the cost. If I ever get to doing standup skills on the crown I may have to consider getting the Ringmaster Expert. But unless you’re looking for something special in a unicycle it’s hard to justify the cost. A freestyle unicycle based on the Semcycle Long Neck frame would be far more economical and plenty good enough for most people.

Quid - <grins> No - just my use of words. Pound.

Thanks for the comments of the DM Advanced.

I want a unicycle that will last for years - They now offer a KH saddle with the DM unicycles.

Have seen that you have to wait too! 3 weeks, for it to be actually built - Quite remarkable.

The DM ATU that is 450 quid? Rather expensive. They have them on Unicycle.uk.com

Angola, soon to be London.

JJ

Yeah D.M trials would be really nice to see,but i am very happy spend £170 on a 24" splined muni thats gonna last just as long. The fact is for me DM’s are just to much money for there worth,I know they are well built ect ect but nimbus frame’s are good enough for pretty much every rider at all levels and styles if you break it it’s what £30 not that much really.
Ben

“Have seen that you have to wait too! 3 weeks, for it to be actually built - Quite remarkable.”

i got my standard ringmaster through butterfingers, the juggling stockists and i dont beleive i had to wait for that, i think they stock the advanced, the girraffes and the standard ringmasters

Quid, noun, (plural the same), British slang: one Pound Sterling. “Not the full quid”: Australian slang for mentally deficient. “Quids in”: slang: in a position of profit.

Probably from “quid” meaning “the nature of the thing”, from latin “quid” meaning “what, something”.

Also, Quid, noun, a lump of tobacco for chewing. Dialect variant of “cud”.

(Concise Oxford Dictionary)

You can get that with a more standard unicycle with upgraded parts and spend less than the cost of a Ringmaster Advanced.

Start with a frame like the Yuni, Semcycle Long Neck, or Semcycle XLW (the W is for Wide).

Then add a Unicycle.com Chromoly Hub a good double walled alloy rim and a professional wheel build.

Get a good double bolt or triple bolt BMX style seatpost clamp.

The wheel is the most important part because it’s the wheel that makes the unicycle. A cheap or poorly built wheel will cause you problems and will affect the performance and reliability of the unicycle.

The seatpost clamp is also very important. Nothing is more annoying than having the seatpost slip or twist when the unicycle takes a hard fall. A good BMX style seatpost clamp will stop that nonsense.

Build up a standard unicycle with good components and a good wheel build and you’ve got a very nice unicycle that will last.

Now this type of unicycle is for freestyle and cruising. If you start doing trials or aggressive riding on it, it’s going to start breaking. Stick to the type of riding that the unicycle is designed for and it will last a long time. If you want to do trials or aggressive riding then get a trials unicycle with a splined hub and other beefed up components.

If you’re really looking for something special and with just that little extra bit of strength and quality, then go for the Ringmaster Advanced. But for most purposes a standard unicycle with upgraded components will be durable and reliable and all the unicycle you’ll need.

I’ve got a ringmaster advanced.

DM frames are worth getting if you know exactly what you want, what seat height etc. because you can get a custom build. Although that’s only really useful for really serious freestyle riders.

The DM seat is worth avoiding, it’s only okay as far as comfort goes, weighs a ton and breaks really easily. I gave mine away to someone for their giraffe.

The wheelbuilding is a little bit iffy too, I had to retension mine pretty soon after buying.

The giraffes are good because they have a twin chain which makes them nicer to ride and just don’t break ever, which isn’t true of some cheaper giraffes.

I’m not sure I’d buy a DM ATU though, they seem to be pretty old technology nowadays and the new cheaper DM unicycles are just playing catch up with unicycle.com, they’re not custom frames or anything special for the extra money.

Joe