Extreme Downhill Unicycle brand in the making/looking for frame builder and/or help

Looking for someone who knows how to build Unicycle frames…I am looking to begin making and building a brand of Unicycles specialized for downhill use, this is not an immediate job offer unlike the first 1 (was kind of…but not technically if you had read it) since there is no officially established company, this is just more of a partnership or collaboration to start a company or if you can teach for a fee kind of deal. The thing is nobody offers college courses on how to weld together unicycle frames, so either you get help or learn how to yourself, which is the goal here.

One question presented to me in an earlier post i will answer below.

Why?: Downhill unicycling is a less covered almost non existing niche discipline within a niche of unicycling known a muni for short, also which unicycling in of itself a niche (as some on this forum have explained it).

While I am not the first to come up with the ideal of sport (some actually are participating in it), I am inspired to pursue the growth and development of this niche discipline known as Downhill unicycling as I truly believe there is much room for growth and development. This supposed room is what makes the ideal of being involved in such a sport so exciting.

However, i don’t believe technical progress will be made over night so making what I believe is a 4 year commitment to try building an ideal that has been with me for 6 years so far, and I intend to fine someone to work with who is just dedicated and passionate about this as I am.

If you saw the last post made by your truly there was indeed talk of “yours truly” building geared unicycles however there are many other more accomplished individuals attempting and/or succeeding in building geared unicycles, however it must be noted there designs and gearings are more suited for XC and/or “standard” use. As far as the ideal I am working on it’s a 4 YEAR COMMITMENT (don’t expect it to be in stores in 2017 if even in stores as a mass produced item), therefore it’seems much too early to talk about the concept that i mistakenly mentioned earlier. What can be said so far that what assuming is the biggest downside is that it would probably only be useful for a downhill application, due to weight, (assumed) poor efficiency (which is not as important when you are using gravity), and overdrives being only higher than 2:1 ratios…direct drive is possible but because of the current design limitations there can be nothing in between approximately something slightly higher than a 2:1 ratio and a 1:1 ratio at the moment, meaning it is really only useful for downhill, and perhaps that will be the “nail in the coffin” for marketing to most unicycle riders, regardless it still may… be useful for Downhill applications as the motion does not depend necessarily only on the riders strength, but on gravity. I am sure a good braking system would be a necessary commodity as well. A valid concern will be will a rider be able to transmit the necessary torque to keep the unicycle balanced.
However I am sure everyone has heard enough of my technical jargon on something that doesn’t currently exist :roll_eyes:

More about what this post is about.

Names have been decided for company IN THE MAKING, however if you have a good enough suggestion that we both can come to an agreement than I would be willing to consider it, but I am kind of firm on the names. Remember because there are no downhill focused unicycle brands at the moment the primary focus of the brand in the making will be making downhill specialized unicycles but other unicycle related designs/products may be a side focus.

Anyways, if you read all of the above and made it this far perhaps you may be interested enough to contact me at CLJOLLEY3@GMAIL.COM.

Feel free to post replys as well.

I agree, the geared unicycle hub market isn’t nearly niche enough, we should be targeting the downhill-only-geared-unicycle market.

At least it won’t be competing with my ideal for a geared-uni-hub targeting people who only ever ride skinnys. That probably won’t be available this year either, though.

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I have 10% hope left that you are trolling. But if you are serious, here are my 2 cents.

There are two ways you can go about it:

Find contacts to a company in taiwan, and discuss what they can make.
These should be your goals:

  • Lightweight
  • Strong (both breaking resistance and stiffness)
  • Disc brake mount
  • Compatible with other brands hardware (27.2mm seatpost, 100mm/125mm bearing spacing, 42mm bearings (or at least bearings that will with existing hubs)

Obviously, this option require a good amount of money as an initial investment. (at least somewhere in the 5 figures).

Find someone that can weld the material of your choice (likely aluminium) if you can not do it yourself, or take a welding course. Find a supplier of bicycle tubing, make sure it’s all straight, there you go. You will have to offer something, that no one else has, especially since you do not have a name in the unicycle community (yet). It will have to be lighter/stronger/more highly equiped than the existing competitors (you seem to ignore that this tiny market is shared by: Qu-ax, Kris Holm, UDC associated Brands(Nimbus, Impact) , Triton and Mad4one/URC). You will have to figure out something there, since (excuse me if I am wrong, you do not seem to be able to pay someone much) why would anyone seek you as their business partner if you don’t bring a good idea.

I have seen 4 unicycle brands being created, as an inspiration, this is what they did:

  • Mad4One: Built high quality hubs and cranks to start with, lighter than ever seen. Continued trying to make things lighter and better (with a few fails, but had a really good return policy), sponsored many unicycle riders (covering, so I heard substantially more than most unicycle sponsorships involved so far). Also, sound silly, but he brought colors back to the high end trials/street/flat market.
  • Impact: created by Yoggi, who formerly ran Koxx-one the unicycle departement of Koxx trials bikes. Tested for a year, then came to the market with a really good line up of trials/street/flat unicycles. Knew almost everyone in Urban unicycling, was known by everyone. (he is not dead, just not as active in unicycling anymore)
  • Moocow: Created by David Moscoe, launched with a single product that solved the issue of breaking seatposts for many, the saddle adapter. Is a machinist by trade if I recall correctly.
  • Flansberrium: Jacob told you about how he started already. I would say he is largely successful because his frames are so configurable. [/LIST]
  • Competetion

    It is great idea but I dont’t think that you can compete against current frame producing companies. Btw. There’s new Impact DH Muni frame…

    Dmitri Netchev from Triton in Russia is producing Ti uni frames with very good quality but his main market is Ti custom bikes frames

    We’re or how can I contact this Dmitri Netchev…is he on this unicyclist.com forum?

    Your best bet would to find a bike frame builder that is lacking business, or lacks the equipment to build frames. Frame building jigs are very expensive, but I don’t think you would need one for unicycles, so finding an unemployed frame builder is not entirely out of the question.

    Or you could go to school and learn how to weld.

    What are we missing for Downhill unis? I like mine, I dont think I’d change anything on it. At least nothing that I could make.

    Do you think what we currently have on the market isn’t strong enough? To be honnest, most unis are way overbuilt. Nimbus and Qu-ax rims are nearly unbreakable. KH rims do break, but they are lighter and still take tons of abuse before anything happens to them. Frames, well… I dont see why we’d want something else. Pretty much anything is available on the market now, if it’s not, Flansberrium is there for you! But even then, there’s no brand of frame that wont do it for downhill unless you have a very specific design that can change the whole world of riding. I have lots of ideas that are drawn, but I doubt any of them will revolutionnize. The plan is still to make them and see what happens, it could be better, but expecations are negative haha.

    You were talking about heavier, but why? Yes gravity works with you as you go downhill, but a light uni is easier to control. If someone wants a heavy uni he can use parts that are currently available on the market and built it himself, but there’s no point.

    I dont see unicycling ever going as big as bikes are, I doubt we’ll ever see a unicyclist do a road gap over Tour de France, or competing at RedBull Rampage, or doing backflips on a 30 meter long jump. I could be wrong though… #gobigorgohome #cake

    If you feel it’s missing something, do like I did, make a product, test it, post it, get interest, lauch a brand! This is the best way to do it. If you want a really specific frame for your own use, send me an email, I’ll make it. Aluminum or Crmo I’ll be happy.

    1 Like

    You said it yourself, a niche of a niche of a niche. That is not inaccurate. That’s how niche-y you are getting, so remember there’s no point in mass producing for such a small market. We’re talking an entire world market of less than one cost-effective production run. This may change in the future, but not before that market is actually established. So far there isn’t one at all.

    But you may have something here. That is, an idea (since there’s no actual prototype yet) for a downhill-specific unicycle. I don’t think such a thing exists yet. Downhill bikes do exist. They are made specifically for going downhill and are different from other types of mountain bikes in a few ways. While they can be slogged uphill, they are best used for downhill only, since they tend to be heavy.

    So for whatever reason, you are thinking people will want a downhill-specific unicycle. First you have to “invent” what the difference would be. Even if you only ride it dowhill (which has inherent logistical issues), I would assume people would want to ride it on rough and varying terrain. So you can’t gear it up too much, or it may not work on the technical stuff.

    You may be expecting to use some sort of long-throw suspension. From what little I know about downhill bikes, I think that may be the major feature that sets them apart from XC bikes. So ask yourself why unicycles don’t have bicycle-style suspension (we here on the forums already know).

    For me, I don’t want a unicycle that’s only good for going downhill. I would expect to ride up the mountain first, at least most of the time, and if it’s terrible for the ride up, it might take all the fun out.

    Anyway, in “inventing” the downhill unicycle, you would first have to define the parameters for such a thing, and then design something to fit them. I’ll stick with something that’s made for rough terrain in general though.

    Before you have a product, or a prototype, nobody is likely to care about a company name. A company that doesn’t have a product or service is not interesting.

    Technically not, as none of them makes a specific Downhill unicycle. So again, you should start by asking yourself why that is.

    Like finnspin and Jacob have already noted, there are lots of great unicycle frames on the market, all of which are excellent and would work well on a Downhill-specific uni. So maybe your idea is not about the frame. Maybe it’s about suspension, which cannot be “taken lightly”. In other words, while people have theorized about designs for a fully suspended unicycle, none could be built without a pretty major weight penalty. So maybe that’s why you are thinking Downhill-specific.

    Your enthusiasm is good. Innovation is good. I recommend you find people near you that will let you try out various unicycle types you haven’t ridden, to start getting some hands-on (sounds better than a more anatomically correct description) experience on how they ride, and what makes them different. There must be several people with Schlumpf hubs, and at least a few oddball jackshaft or other unicycles around for you to try, if you live close enough.

    Great ideas are not great products. Probably one of the most boring and time-consuming part of Kris Holm’s product development is putting in all the riding hours on one prototype after another. Of course there’s one upside – he’s out riding! :slight_smile:

    Sure man your right, I give up man…but i personally think the Sport of Downhill Unicycling could benefit from higher gears for higher speeds, and the whole point of me trying to get into downhill unicycling was to avoid competition…but everyone seems take it personally like I am trying to get on there turf, or say i’m not famous enough to build a brand (of course that’s why I wanted to build a company instead of a career) it’s in fact quite the opposite goal, i’ve been trying to bring out reasons why my supposed product is intended for a different market.

    The thing is Nobody is trying to do 40-50mph runs downHill on a unicycle and it looks like nobody else wants to so i’ll just have to try it for myself man…no more UnimakerX unicycle manufacturing.it just seems time to move on to something else…or some other user name.

    Like i see now it’s about getting out there and riding for myself or whoever just likes riding unicycles for anything but just money as I am constantly reminded of there is no money to be made and it is pointless to do this for money and yet some people say nobody will ride for anything but money…sounds like a double standard to me :roll_eyes:

    But anyways I didn’t post to argue and i’d like to make friends here instead of arguments…yes it is a bad ideal…but it’s a good ideal for me and guess only me.

    Good greif I see why Justin had no commercial plans for his unicycle…you think you are trying to do this awesome thing by making it available and bam the general concensus it that nobody wants it, it’s a dumb ideal, the usual and I get this from other unicyclist who are passionate about unicycling which is disconcerting IMHO, but whatever.

    So far I got 1 very talented unicycle rider interested and it doesn’t look like I need more support at the moment from other folks who don’t find unicycles as unique and exciting as I do, or “worth the effort”

    No need for that negativity please

    1 thing I refuse to do is let bicyclist have all the fun when it comes to going fast, I know no boundaries and refuse to give in to this impossible can’t happen attitude…no I will keep on this as long as I live

    Comparing bikes to unicycles is like comparing apples to oranges though but yeah there is some crossover in the technologies used for a bike and a unicycle, why are we talking about using bike parts for example then.

    Learning to ride a unicycle takes determination and defiance to convention (that’she what it was about with me). I spent 6 years on coming up with this ideal and am not about to give up on this when I amake as stubborn as a goat like I am now :smiley: , apparently I was a little unaware that there was already a big thing going in the downhill muni, but Mann why not try tout put 110% into everything you do.

    Like that 1 guy Saskatchewan said love is better than hate, something is better than anger…and optimism is good, etc. …

    Most of this isn’t in response to Jaco_Flansberrium

    maybe 1 day I will buy 1 of your frames Jaco_Flansberrium but you know what i have passion for pushing the boundaries of this sport if I can.

    I learned to ride a unicycle without help…and i’m going to try to build this without any help that anyone refuses to give…PEACE OUT and happy unicycling to everyone even if we don’t see “eye to eye” on every thing.

    Mad props for the Unigeezer and kris holm who did this without needing people to tell him whether his ideal was a good ideal or not.

    Props to any other innovative unicyclists like John Foss, etc
    Any others that I didn’t mention

    I would basically say the same as everyone else, I thought we had downhill muni’s covered but John Foss made a good point of perhaps you think there is some other change that we should make that would make the unicycle better for purely downhill. Heavier, suspension etc.

    You mentioned that you want people to be able to go 40-50mph downhill on a unicycle and that you think a geared downhill unicycle will give this.

    Based on the fact that you have never ridden a unicycle at that speed on flat level ground (I am assuming this based on you having only a 29 and never ridden a schlumpf) I think you would want to get to 40-50mph using a unicycle on flat even ground before suggesting people should be doing it down hill. I think you may find that it is incredibly risky and could result in early death.

    There are probably few who are keen to go that fast on a unicycle and even less who would want to on uneven terrain. You may struggle to find a business partner who thinks it will sell so may need to just pay someone to build what you want. However if it becomes a massive hit that means more money for you.

    The thing is I assume almost nobody makes a downhill unicycle for the same reason that before Kris holm started doing the stuff nobody started making a mountain Unicycle, at the time it’seems just not big yet.

    So like you said I got to get out there and ride for myself, John Foss, and stop with all the silly post about products that aren’t out yet.

    I also am going to try to make a career out of Downhill Unicycling or (“speed” unicycling) instead of making a company out of it, because while there are a few downhill unicyclists already it seems that making a career would be less “impossible” than trying to make a market out of it, so I am done with the whole company thing…although I will be attempting make a few prototypes mostly… for personal use now.

    I say that not out of Malice but out of realism.

    Forget the market! Forget the money, I have a job that I can make money with…the goal now is to do something unique and rare.

    Peace out.

    Your truly…
    Clifford Jolley III

    Are you serious? :astonished:
    No, nobody wants to try extreme unicycling at 50 mph which is 80km/h on one wheel.
    I know top level unicyclists use to do fantastic and extremely dangerous stuffs on unicycle, starting with kris himself, but riding at 40 to 50 mph on extreme dh, I’m pretty sure that’s not gonna happen.
    Are you sure you aren’t trolling us?

    No, you are missing their point. If you make a product, people will judge said product on its merits. If you talk about a nonexistent product, it’s just talk. And we do an awful lot of that on here. If your talk is of building something better than people who have developed over years to where they are now, there’s still nothing wrong with that, but people may see it as arrogant.

    And someone did mention about “having a name”, but the name follows the product. Kris Holm was a name before he made product, because at that time he could outride anyone else, and he seemed fearless and indestructible (when in reality, I think he was just smart enough to not get hurt much). This gave him an advantage in the market for developing product, but people wouldn’t still be buying it if it weren’t good stuff. Others didn’t have a name. They made things, and when people liked those things, then they started to have a name. Roger Davies is one of many of those people Even Schlumpf, who had a solid name in the bicycling world, but nobody had heard of him in unicycling. But then he made these cool hubs, and they have never stopped being in high demand (in relation to their small numbers) since 2005.

    Yes, you will. This will give you a realistic starting point. Right now you don’t have one.

    Nobody rides for money. Maybe a few circus and street performers but that’s about it. Unicycle racing doesn’t pay (at all). Winning the World Championships doesn’t pay (at all). Sponsorships (in unicycling) generally don’t pay at all; it’s usually just free product.

    I would LOOOOOVE one of Justin’s power-assisted unicycles. But for him to make me one, he’d probably have to charge many thousands of dollars. And that’s only if he had the time in the first place, and was willing. So instead I dream about one of those Chinese electric unicycles with the large tire (around $1400 US). Because somebody did manufacture those, and they were able to do it because there is a much larger potential market (than unicycles).

    You tell 'em! No go out and do that, and make sure you get it on video! The fastest unicyclists in the “conventional Unicon world” are pretty amazingly fast. They are already way past speeds that are safe to run out of. Make sure you gear up for even higher speeds, with materials that will slide on pavement!

    But maybe they did get lots of feedback and advice (they did). Now who would have done that? :sunglasses:



    40-50 mph sounds terrifying, but not impossible with the right equipment.

    I’m not a good enough rider to really get a Schlumpf MUni clipping downhill on rough terrain significantly faster than I would with a standard unicycle. I mostly use the geared hub for easier XC and commuting.

    If you want to go ludicrous speed perhaps we should just take pedaling out of the equation, I mean when is the last time you saw someone actually pedaling a DH bike? It might be worth checking out some of waaalrus’s threads and videos of freewheel unicycling.

    The only way I can see 40+ mph is on a freewheel, with balls the size of a house.

    If you want an answer to Saskys question, look no further.

    Don’t laugh, at that Acme rocket-powered unicycle with diaper seat (for when you poop your pants from the speed)…

    What is a downhill unicycle to you? How is it different from the other unis we currently use for downhill? What do you want to see in Downhill unicycling?

    I have personnaly ridden my Schlumpf for muni alot (and too much it didn’t like it), going downhill on a geared uni is way harder than ungeared. Not saying impossible, but I will take pedaling faster rather than going faster. To me, going fast is not only about the actual speed, but also about the speed of the pedaling.

    I’ve taken my uni over jumps and drops. My brother used to race DH bikes so I rode the same trails and tried doing the same thing as bikers.

    I dont want to talk like I think I am better than everyone, because it’s not the case, but I have lots of experience at fairly high level of riding, I have tested different configurations. Slowly unicycling is going towards bigger wheels and shorter cranks for DH. My first unicon I had 24x3’’ wheel with 150mm cranks. Second unicon I was up to a 26x2.5’’ wheel with 137mm cranks. At the last unicon, I raced on 27.5x2.35’’ wheel with 137mm, but should’ve used 127mm cranks. Bigger wheel and shorter cranks give you more speed, but also less controle. Geared up will be even less. I think most riders just enjoy the current speed of unicycling and just look for more technical riding.

    I dont think anybody here is riding to make it to a career. We all push our limits like we want to. Some will want to push the limits of the sport, some will wait to know what’s possible to try it, some will just be happy riding the unis they have. I constantly want to push my limits, and I ride with bikes alot more than I used to. I try to adapt to their speed and styles. I love going fast, the fastest I’ve been on a trail was 35kph, that was on a geared 27.5’’ muni. Saying trail is a big word, it was more like a gravel road with more bumps.

    I enjoy the speed I get on my current muni, a 27.5x2.5’’. I can do big jumps, big drops, ride super techy terrain. Look out for my next video, you should like it.

    So, what is a downhill unicycle to you? That might help people visualise what you are talking about!

    This is British Columbia, 2014, riding downhill on a 26x2.5’’ on 137mm cranks. Photo by Stephanie Dietze!