Freestyle Equipment

What kind of equipment do the “Freestyle gods” ride these days?

I’ve been away from competitive riding for several years. Unfortunately I
was not able to attend UNICON this year due to other commitments.

I’ve learned a lot about Muni and Trials equipment by reading this group but
am still curious about the evolution of Freestyle gear.

I’ve been to Unicycle.com and seen what they are offering, but am wondering
whether these pre-packaged units are really what the hardcore freestyle
people are using.
Perhaps it’s me, but it doesn’t look like much has changed very much in 10
years in the freestyle side, other than a few more vendors/colors.
Hearing that the latest Miyata seats are fragile sounds like a big step
backwards too, since that is/was a critical freestyle component.

With the amount of radical experimentation and custom design I see on this
forum with regards to off road/etc., I have to wonder what’s happening on
the Freestyle front.

Any feedback/thoughts/links to cool stuff are appreciated.

Thanks in advance,

David Winston

De-Lurking

Hmm… no replies yet. I’m no freestyle god, but I can tell you what they were using at NAUCC and UNICON.

The North American freestyle gods (mostly from the Twin Cities Unicycle Club) and a few European freestyle gods (I can’t remember who or where they were from) were riding the Wyganowski frame. A carbon fiber seat base is a great way to top off a unicycle like that (I’m told those side-rides will bend a standard Miyata seat in half).
<http://www.unicycle.com/shopping/shopexd.asp?id=80>
A chromed Wyganowski or a custom painted Wyganowski just makes it all the better.

The Japanese freestyle gods and many other North American freestyle gods ride Miyatas.

The Germans were also riding some other unicycles that I can’t recall and I don’t know who makes them.

Some of the riders from Denmark were riding this style of unicycle.
<http://pichlerrad.de/solo_1.htm>
I think that is just a cool frame design.

There are other cool frames too. Like the long necked frames that Max’s dad makes.

But by far, the most desirable freestyle unicycle of the gods is the Wyganowski.

Yeah, the Wyganoski is the one that most freestyle riders prefer. Although I haven’t ridden one, the pichler also looks like it would be a good choice for freestyle too. Basically, it’s all about the frame’s crown. That it has a large flat platform and is close to the tire.

As far as breaking the seat, the most common failure is from doing a unispin and landing a little too much to the front of the seat, where it’d put a lot of force down on the front of the seat.

Re: Freestyle Equipment

“john_childs” <john_childs.dhc8b@timelimit.unicyclist.com> wrote in message
news:john_childs.dhc8b@timelimit.unicyclist.com
>
> The North American freestyle gods (mostly from the Twin Cities Unicycle
> Club) and a few European freestyle gods (I can’t remember who or where
> they were from) were riding the Wyganowski frame. A carbon fiber seat
> base is a great way to top off a unicycle like that (I’m told those
> side-rides will bend a standard Miyata seat in half).

I agree that a CF seat base would be the way to go with lots of seat
dropping/dragging and side-ride type tricks in Freestyle.
I always used a Schwinn (metal base) seat modified to accept plastic bumpers
for that reason. These rarely broke.
Where they running air or just foam in the CF seats? What kind of bumpers
were they using? Modified? I don’t think a full handle in front would be
too nifty for freestyle.

Personally, the Miyata seat always felt too wide for my taste. Having grown
up with Schwinn I’ve never really felt comfortable on any other seat.
Does anybody make a CF version of the Schwinn seat base?

The “W” frame looks like a Miyata but with a flatter crown and a tall seat
tube instead of using the seat post extensions, both which are nice
improvements.
I wonder how much heavier the frame is that way. Obviously it’s stronger.
But I wonder rather than customize a frame to make it tall, why not use a
long CF post
in a standard frame instead? This would be a lot lighter and hopefully
pretty strong too. Has anybody tried that? I’d be interested in hearing
the results.

>
> The Japanese freestyle gods and many other North American freestyle gods
> ride Miyatas.

I have a “Schwinnyata”. The above mentioned seat with a 1985 Miyata Deluxe
under it. Custom long seat post by Tom(my) Miller of Unicycle Factory.
Hardened steel cranks
added after destroying the stock ones. Heavy duty bearing bolts added
after originals gave up. Overall pretty heavy, but sturdy.

> Some of the riders from Denmark were riding this style of unicycle.
> <http://pichlerrad.de/solo_1.htm>
> I think that is just a cool frame design.

A take-apart frame? And no bearing bolts? That is way cool, not having any
bearing bolts to get in the way of your feet. I wonder how strong it is.
I wonder what the materials are…too bad I can’t read Danish.

>
> There are other cool frames too. Like the long necked frames that Max’s
> dad makes.

Who’s Max? Sorry for my ignorance on that. Anybody have links to these?

Thanks much,

David Winston

Re: Re: Freestyle Equipment

It’s in German. Here is what can be gleaned from the description of the fork:
(1) flat crown: made of aluminum (CNC machined)
(2) other frame components: chromium plated (so I guess they are made of some sort of steel)
(3) bearing holders: steel, single-piece; bearings secured with circlip rings (“Seeger clips”)

Have fun,
Fred

The intent is to reduce foot clutter. By using a long seat post, you place the seat post clamp down near the crown where it can interfere with your feet, or your foot may think that it is on the crown and actually be on the non-secure clamp. A possible side benefit to a long seat tube is to extend the frame color up into the seat.

On OWNL, however, you can see that all kinds of advanced skills are being performed with all kinds of unicycles. The key is the performer. But I would think that having the seat post clamp at the midway point would avoid not only foot clutter, but under-the-seat hand clutter and might be the best spot for the clamp.

No freestyle god here, either, nor could I make it to the conference, but I believe that another thing that is changing is the use of stronger rims to build freestyle unicycles. My 48-spoke BFR is super strong and reliable for my 185 pounds, and despite thousands of side mounts, kickups, hops, and crashes of all kinds hasn’t needed a twitch of truing since I bought it at uni dot com last spring.

The Miyata seat debacle is not only unfortunate and a pain in the butt, but I don’t think Miyata understands how much they’ve lost in consumer confidence, at least here in the United States.

aren’t lolipop bearing holders bad mojo? i thought this was universaly accepted,
so why do the wyganowski frames use them?
and why are miyata unicycles used by many freestylers?

don’t they come with unsealed bearings as standard?

or is there something about the miyata bearing holders that i’ve completly missed which makes them amazing?

I believe that Miyata lollipop bearings attach to the Miyata frame in a manner that is quite different from the inexpensive, Taiwanese unicycles. I think that the Miyatas have a capture flange at the bottom of each fork onto which the bearing holders bolt. In the Taiwanese versions, the lollipop stems are round aluminum bar and insert into the round tubing at the bottom of the frame. There are holes drilled in the frame tube through which bolts are inserted to hold the lollipop stems. The frames tend to crack in the region of these holes where the tubing has been weakened.

what about the Wyganowski?

i belive it is drilled to fit the miyata bearing holders

if i was buying a fairly expensive freestyle frame i’d expect cnc main cap bearing holders unless it was a weird design like the german pif frame or the semcycle deluxe

Re: Freestyle Equipment

“fred” <fred.dhjmy@timelimit.unicyclist.com> wrote in message
news:fred.dhjmy@timelimit.unicyclist.com
>
> David Winston wrote:
> >
> > > I think that is just a cool frame design.
> >
> > … I wonder how strong it is.
> > I wonder what the materials are…too bad I can’t read Danish.
> >
[/color]
>
> It’s in German. Here is what can be gleaned from the description of the
> fork:[/color]

Thanks Fred-I guess when I read Danish riders, I assumed Danish web
site…oh well.

> (1) -flat crown-: made of aluminum (CNC machined)

OK

> (2) -other frame components-: chromium plated (so I guess they are made
> of some sort of steel)

Sounds OK. Is that also what “Kurbel verchromt” means? Or is that
something else?

> (3) -bearing holders-: steel, single-piece; bearings secured with
> circlip rings (“Seeger clips”)

Hmmm. Looking at the expanded picture: http://pichlerrad.de/solo_2.htm

It appears (to me) that the bearings would be press-fitted into the holders
and with the Suzue hub wouldn’t require any circlip rings. I didn’t see the
phrase “circlip” or “Seeger” anywhere,
though being in German perhaps I’m pretty much lost on that.

It also looks to me like the bearing holders are welded to the fork pieces
(that would be cool).

David

Re: Re: Freestyle Equipment

I got the information from both the main page that shows the uni and from the page that goes with the detailed view:
Kurbel verchromt= chromium plated cranks.
Gabelscheiden aus Präzisionsrohr verchromt= Fork made of chromium plated precision tubing

…sind mit Seegeringen fixiert.= …secured with circlip rings.
I agree, the picture does not match the description. Let me call the manufacturer and find out.

Have fun,
Fred

Re: Freestyle Equipment

“fred” <fred.dj8qz@timelimit.unicyclist.com> wrote in message
news:fred.dj8qz@timelimit.unicyclist.com
>
> David Winston wrote:
> > It appears (to me) that the bearings would be press-fitted into the
> > holders
> > and with the Suzue hub wouldn’t require any circlip rings. I didn’t
> > see the
> > phrase “circlip” or “Seeger” anywhere,
> > though being in German perhaps I’m pretty much lost on that.
> >
>
> -…sind mit Seegeringen fixiert.-= …secured with circlip rings.
> I agree, the picture does not match the description. Let me call the
> manufacturer and find out.
>

That is awesome Fred - let me know I will gladly pay the phone bill - also
if you can find out whether they have any info in English would be great.

David

Re: Re: Freestyle Equipment

That’s Max Dingemans from the Twin Cities Unicycle Club (TCUC).

Here is a gallery of the muni version of that frame
<http://www.unicyclist.com/gallery/albun41&gt;
The freestyle version has a long neck just like the Wyganowski frame.

Anyone have a picture of Max’s freestyle frame?

Re: Re: Freestyle Equipment

I don’t think anyone is using an air seat for freestyle. Closed cell squishy mushy foam similar to neoprene makes a comfy seat. But closed cell foam will get flat on you after you’ve sat on it a while and will need to be replaced when the seat has lost its squish. Open cell carpet pad foam like what is used in the stock Miyata seat works OK too and won’t go flat on you.

The old schoolers still have the old style Miyata bumpers from the old old Miyata seats. The other people use the new Miyata bumpers on the carbon fiber seats, but they shave off the front handle so they’re left with a smooth front bumper.

Re: Freestyle Equipment

David Winston <winstond11@cox.net> wrote:
> site…oh well.
>> (3) -bearing holders-: steel, single-piece; bearings secured with
>> circlip rings (“Seeger clips”)

> Hmmm. Looking at the expanded picture: http://pichlerrad.de/solo_2.htm

> It appears (to me) that the bearings would be press-fitted into the holders
> and with the Suzue hub wouldn’t require any circlip rings. I didn’t see the
> phrase “circlip” or “Seeger” anywhere,
> though being in German perhaps I’m pretty much lost on that.
>
> It also looks to me like the bearing holders are welded to the fork pieces
> (that would be cool).

I own a Picherrad. They are popular with both Danes and Germans
(and me amongst the Brits). Bearings are indeed held in with
circlips. The bearing holders are welded to the forks. To change
the tyre you take apart the unicycle at the crown (2 allen bolts
hold it all together). It is a lovely unicycle - strong and smooth.

Paul

Paul Selwood
paul@vimes.u-net.com http://www.vimes.u-net.com

[B]Paul wrote:

[/B]

I just talked to Mr. Pichler on the phone. He verified that the bearings are secured with circlips. Mr. Pichler explained that his design of a flat aluminum crown and separate forks avoids the potential problem of the fork legs getting out of true while being brazed to the crown.
Mr. Pichler added that he may go ahead and prepare an English language website. He does sell internationally.

Have fun,
Fred

Yes, the Wyganowski uses Miyata bearing holders. They work fine. Bearings are almost never an issue on freestyle unicycles. On a MUni you need more weather protection. You need strength on both a MUni or a freestyle uni, and the Miyata ones hold up fine as well. Back in the early 80s, they had tiny little bolts that would strip all the time, but they have made several improvements since then.

The main problem with bearing holders on most mass-produced unicycles is that they’re just cheap stuff. All we need is for the bearing to be held securely without squeezing it. And by something that isn’t attached to the frame in a retarded way (aka Taiwanese lolipops).

Lolipop applies to too many bearing holder types. The ones on Pashleys and Miyatas are good ones. It’s the ones that use flat bolts on a round fork that are evil wastes of money.

Re: Freestyle Equipment

For all you youngsters, David Winston is one of the Freestyle, if not gods then experts, from the mid-80s. He came in second in overall men’s artistic at UNICON II in 1986. I’d say he won the silver medal, but all the medals were pewter-colored zinc, and every competitor got one :slight_smile:

The Japanese Freestyle experts are mostly riding on stock Miyata Deluxes, or the more customized stuff you can see at the MYS Web site:
http://tinyurl.com/5fu

The German experts are riding a variety of stuff. Julien Monney (Switzerland) was last seen by me riding a customized DM Ringmaster.

The Americans seem to have a lot of Wyganowskis. including me.

Yes, the high-end Wyganowski offerings are intended to be what the experts from Minnesota are using.

It hasn’t. Outside of MUni, Trials, and road/Cokering, unicycling is moving along at the same old pace it always seems to have, since I’ve been around. What does this mean? It seems to mean that there’s a lot more energy and activity in those newer areas than in the older ones. If this is true, it means our conventions/competitions are getting out of step with the unicycling community.

But I don’t know what more you could need on a Freestyle uni. You want it to be strong yet not too heavy, and you want good places to put your feet for one-footing and stand-up, without interfering with your space for wheel walking.

My Wyganowski is heavier than a Miyata. I think this is mostly due to heavier gauge steel, and the fact that the seat tube is very long. A carbon seat tube might be a little too flexy for Freestyle. I wouldn’t want one, because what happens if you fall on the unicycle while it’s laying on its side? Crack! The same could be true of other materials too though, I guess.

I would like a Wyganowski frame, in titanium. Stiff and light. Then I would play around with some foot plates on the fork crown, to try to maximize stand-up convenience without taking away from wheel walk/gliding space. It would have the gray Freestyle pedals from MYS. I bought some of those at UNICON and they’re great.

The seat issue is up in the air. The new KH Velo seats will hopefully cure our need for Miyata seats. I think they are planning a version of this seat without the handle, for the Freestylers. These seats should be great.

Otherwise, carbon in a Miyata seat works well. Your Miyata seats may be really old. They made narrower ones in later years, so check them out.

:slight_smile: :slight_smile:

The new Chinese-made Miyata seats are a bummer. They’re fine except for the weakness in the front bumper. I might cut the handle off mine for Freestyle, and the problem may be eliminated. I will probably switch it to air eventually as well.

The folks at Miyata never seemed very interested in us folks over here in the US. they could have sold at least three times the number of seats they used to ship us, and they never seemed to care. We were always waiting for more. Now this. The Chinese-made Miyata seats should cost less than the old ones. If this doesn’t change, I think they’ll lose their status as the seat of choice. That’s why we’re all waiting with baited breath for the Velos.

Crank length? This is a matter of preference of course. I used 125 on my old one. My new one has 102. The Japanese prefer short cranks, as they facilitate better spins and sharper turns. But I still have to get used to the loss of leverage. I might switch to 110s, but the jury is still out. Kazuhiro, the UNICON X men’s champion, used 89mm cranks. You should have seen him move. Like a cross between a ballet dancer and Michael Jackson.

Re: Re: Freestyle Equipment

Don’t get me wrong. I expect a “professional” frame to be heavier, because I expect it to be more durable. Try picking up a full-time professional circus performer’s unicycle. Heavy!

There’s only one thing missing from my Wyganowski, and that’s a chip-proof finish. If it’s a professional-level model, where’s the chrome option? But he doesn’t do chrome. I think this is due to a lack of his having access to quick or affordable plating, and not that he doesn’t like chrome.

The paint looks great, but my 4-month old frame already has scratches all over it. And you know the paint’s coming off on the fork crown where my feet go. But most of the wear and tear happens in the car, and otherwise when unicycles are parked and piled up. I want chrome, and eventually I will have this one plated.