gear shift (fwd)

Forwarded message:
> From Sat Jun 24 08:15:07 1995 From:
> Date: Sat, 24 Jun 1995 14:10:29 +0200
> Message-Id: <9506241210.AA27382@aixcip13.Math.Uni-Augsburg.DE> To: unicycling
> Subject: gear shift
> Hello everybody!
> A problem came up some days ago and I was thinking a lot about it. But there
> is no solution yet. Perhaps anyone has an idea (or has even solved) my little
> mess: how can I built a gear shift for a unicycle. Traveling at a speed of 7
> to 8 miles per hour is a nice thing, but riding at 20 or even more miles per
> hour would be an exciting experience too. Of course I can include a chain and
> make my uni faster, but then riding at slow speed is almost impossible. If I
> include a standard gear shift, I loos the ability of pedaling backward, and
> that would be a pitty. If anybody has a gear shift or knows how to build it,
> so that pedaling backwards is still possible, please contact me. Perhaps there
> is a factory that builts these things as standard components? I can’t emagine
> that, but miracles occur…

Here’s the answer from the FAQ:

  1. Why don’t you get a unicycle with multiple speeds?

    Someone has built a unicycle with multiple gearings. Here is an account
    from Peter Lister (

    I know Bob Knight who built it. I haven’t had the opportunity to have a
    go on it (I haven’t really got the hang of giraffes yet - severe lack of
    people prepared to lend me theirs to practise on).

    I can assure you that it’s no problem to change gear. Bob can shift up
    and down happily while going forward or idling, or probably backwards,
    knowing him. As I understand it, the only requirement is that one reduce
    the pedal pressure during a shift, but then as anyone (like me) who rides
    a two-wheeler with a Sturmey hub knows, that applies to normal bikes and
    isn’t a problem unless one is really standing on the pedals.

    Just in case it isn’t clear from the photo(another person brought up this
    topic when they saw a picture of the unicycle. ed.), this beast uses a
    fixed Sturmey Archer 3 speed hub not a derailleur (it’s surprising how
    many people assume that the derailleur is the only possible cycle gear
    shift). The hub itself is an antique (early 1950s I think), probably
    worth more than the rest of the unicycle (which was made by Bob and his
    dad). The equivalent wheel sizes are 20", 24" and 28".

Beirne Konarski | Subscribe to the Unicycling Mailing List
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