Geared hubs are NOT available for public sale

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I keep getting e-mails and PM’s about when geared hubs will be available for sale and how much they will cost. They are still not available. I have had alot of trouble communicating with overseas manufacturers to get bids and samples. Without a bid, I can’t tell you how much they will cost. Without a sample I can’t tell if they are any good or if the process is cost effective. The unicycling market is not a big one. It really isn’t regardless of what you think. No one will sell as many geared hubs for unicycles as they will fishing poles, donuts, HumVees, or televisions. It is difficult to convince a manufacturer to produce a very small run of an item that has to be approved before resale. I will continue to work on this problem when I can but I get the same PM’s and e-mails twice a day. It may not EVER be possible to produce them at an affordable price.

Manufacturers want to produce a thousand units which is a VERY SMALL run. Can you think of 1000 people who want a geared hub for a unicycle? I was trying to get a run of 100 done which I MIGHT be able to sell and not lose any money doing. I’m not talking about making a profit I’m talking about trying not to lose thousands of dollars or end up personally reworking 100 units to make them safe or usable. I also wanted to sell complete unicycles so that they would have frames that would accommodate shifting hardware. Shifting on the fly is an absurdly difficult problem. Shifting without using tools is already prohibitive in that it would introduce substantial backlash. Not everyone who is willing to RIDE a geared unicycle is willing to WORK to shift it to a different mode.

If I can find an overseas manufacturer that can produce a short run at an affordable price that will produce working samples I will do it. If I can’t, this endless stream of requests for price and availability doesn’t make it happen. Others are welcome to try this. It is not a patented product nor is it patentable so try to get a few hundred manufactured inexpensively.

Let’s go a different route. How many people do you think want to buy a geared hub at say $200 a pop (if I could buy, ship, and distribute them for that little), have a wheel custom built around it, and then kluge together some means to make it work with a frame that may or may not fit it? Kris Holm spent months trying to get Norco to build a Coker wheel around a geared hub but they wouldn’t do it because they were too chicken to drill the spoke holes out to accommodate 12 gauge spokes. We finally had Dave Stockton special order 14 gauge spokes from Tommy Miller to build a really cool wheel. It took alot of money, alot of donated time, the participation of several people, and alot of shipping to make that one unicycle. People are going to want something they can take out of a package and have all of the parts fit together except for a select few who want to own esoteric things and do some of the work themselves. But there aren’t hundreds of those people.

Roger Davies has tried to do a production run of geared hubs also but I think he ran into the same problems. This is a high risk venture with any easily saturated market.

Complete plans for the original hub (not the serviceable one I am trying to produce) have been publically available on my website for two years. Take those plans to a machine shop and find out how much it costs to make one…or ten. I got a ridiculously low quote in the US to make one hub for $750 and two to ten for $400 each. That is just the hub without shipping, distribution, the frame, the tire, the rim, the spokes, the cranks, the pedals, the seatpost, and the seat. Add up the parts and labor and you’ve got one expensive domestically produced unicycle. I know a few people who would want one. I don’t know a few hundred.

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Thanks for that, Greg.

My dad and I get VeloVision, and know the guy that makes it. I was reading about the geared hubs in the last issue.

I hope you can get a very small production run, and wish you the best of luck in doing so,


What about the Schlumpf unicycle hub? It looks like he’s currently testing a prototype with expected delivery in late Summer 2004. The Schlumpf hub was first discussed in this thread: Schlumpf gear-change unicycle hub prototype revealed

This could be good news in that a quality geared hub will be produced without you needing to take any financial risk. The bad news is that the Schlumpf hub is most certainly going to be more expensive than Greg’s hub.

There really isn’t a market for two different geared hubs. There just aren’t that many people who would pay that much for such an expensive and impractical unicycle. Having two different geared hubs would guarantee that neither of them would sell enough to make it financially successful.

hey greg when r those geered hubs u’ve ben talkng about b out 4 sale i no at least 1 other person who might possibly want 1 if there under 100 dollers.


Ralph Laser

Greg, how much for one of them geared hubs??? :smiley:

It’s hard for me to believe you are even mentioning $200, Greg. I would expect much more than that for a nice full production hub with huge market. The ancient Sturmey-Archer 3-speed fixed gear hub goes for several hundred dollars at auction and is very rare. So I was thinking more of $450-500. Just for the hub. This is a low volume specialty hub.

In addition, you have to build into the part the cost of warranteeing it and having spares around and maintaining the ability to service them, not to mention replacing/reworking the odd internal part that turns out to be high wear. Marking up the hub for sale doesn’t make any profit for the seller until these other things are taken into account.

As a simple example for people who haven’t looked into this kind of thing, 3-4 months ago I bought some very strong, quality cardboard shipping boxes to ship Strongest Coker wheels in. The search for a company to do them took a couple of months. They were generous and gave me a minimum order of 110 boxes. Those boxes are taking up space everywhere. I was able to sell 10 to the local UPS people. Until I can sell them, one by one, they occupy prime (clean, dry, fragile) space. However, that is what was required to ensure that the wheels I put so much time into arrive safely.

Take that and magnify it by 10000 for Greg’s hub.

I think, though, that most people are just curious and like to know what’s out there and what is available and how it wants to be ridden.

R@ph wH@t @ kik. u r3ly got yur @cT tgthR.

Greg, as a Yankee by upbringing, I appreciate your thrift. But I agree with U-Turn. As you point out, the risk of having 50 hubs sit in your garage is not remote, and a design or manufacturing flaw could be very expensive to fix. Not to mention the fact that you’ll probably need to take out liability insurance and hire a lawyer to draft a waiver.

Small runs of high-quality hubs - 10 at $1200, 20 at $1000 or 40 at $800 - seem like the best courses of action if you ever were to go into production. Sure, $1K prices out most unicyclists but there are a few who would pay that much considering that a bare frame for a bicycle can go for as high as $3000-$4000.

And no, I’m not in the market (yet). I have enough trouble with the unicycles I already own.


Raphael (aka Ralph)-

That was a riot. Whoever said librarians were not funny? You’d be surprised how many people were amazed that the prototypes I built effectively cost $1800 each and also that they wouldn’t be available for under $50 in two weeks.

Thanks to everyone else for the funny responses. Ralph wins this round.

Why does the “world’s strongest Coker wheel” even need a box? :smiley:

Yes, I think today’s market is too small to make an affordable geared hub. In coming years, as unicycling continues to ramp up, this could be different. But until then, it’s a lot of money to make a wheel harder to ride, while going a little faster. At $200 I would definitely buy one, but I don’t think that price was realistic. I don’t know how interested I’d be at $400 or more (hub only).

Greg your my boy did i eva tell you that?

yo hook me up with one of those i got the goods

tim dog

Greg, thanks for the hub you sold me, what a great deal.

I have one of those boxes. Glad to hear they are so rare, because my wife is giving me a fit about the space it is taking up. Thanks for the tip on auctioning it off…I’ll post with a $200 minimum bid.

Geared hubs are NOT available for public sales

I don’t understand why you’ve decided to go out of business and not fulfill you’re obligations. When I sent you my money order for the production hub, it was with the understanding you were a quality supplier. Jagger vowched for you as an established dealer in new and used goods.

So furst where’s my money back, and second how do I now get a .5 geared uni with you backing out? Am I supposed to cut one of my leg’s off? I can’t believe you’re trying to market this under the Chris Holmes brand. I smell class action.