Help me identify this rusty, spider-infested garage sale find!

For the past few weeks, I’ve been working on a little unicycle project in my garage (hint: turning something purple and upgrading parts) and recently ran into some frustration (hint: old hub is not sized properly and the frame doesn’t like any better hubs). I’ll vent about that later in another thread.

Anyway, what do I do when I get frustrated? Buy more things, of course!

In this case, I did my usual thing and punched “unicycle” into my local Craigslist and found an ad from 30 minutes prior for a lady selling a unicycle at a yard sale. Within the hour, I swung by and snagged this rusty old pile of crap for $20, along with a knockoff women’s Rolex for 25 cents.

I’m really making it to the big time now.

My interest was piqued by the fact that it came from and had some parts I hadn’t seen before. I can’t seem to identify it, so I was hoping somebody would be able to help.

I thought the “dusty” unicycle I restored for my friend was bad, but this one takes the cake in terms of rust. But the price compelled me… :o

Cue pictures! Full size are available at this Imgur album.

The unicycle itself is a 20", flat-crowned, chrome and covered in rust.

At least I know where this came from at some point.

The seat is worn and has the color of a basketball from the 1970s, along with an interesting squareish grab handle.

Interestingly, the seat has a forward-facing tube on the underside, similar to the handlebar mount on a Nightfox.

Can’t read this logo at all…

The rim is an Alex Rim DX32, tire is a Luna Bike Trial. It actually holds air too.


More pictures to follow.

I’ve never seen this kind of hub before… a P with wings? Flying P? Any ideas?

Pedals are solid metal. Sakae/Ringyo (SR) SP-154.

OMGSPIDER #2! :astonished:

Seat clamp is Odyssey brand (upside down of course).

The inside of the forward-facing handlebar tube under the seat, or as it should be more appropriately called, “The Lair of the Beast Queen.” :astonished:

Nothing wrong with that one at all. It looks like a fine old steel trials uni. The surface rust through the chrome comes off with Coca-Cola, aluminum foil, and a reasonable amount of elbow grease. (Don’t laugh.)

It looks like a standard steel Nimbus trials frame. The forward facing tube under the seat would likely be a brake lever mount, similar to what’s on my 26" Nimbus muni. Can you read any markings off the tire? I’m curious as to which one that is.

The biwinged “P” would be for Profile, which was the mutt’s nuts for cranks and hubs back when. I’m guessing it’s a non-ISIS spline with tubular steel cranks, which seem to have gone out of style because they cost more to make than aluminum, not because they’re inferior at all.

Clean it up and ride the heck out of it. That’s a great find.

That is actually super sweet.

Typically when I see older unicycles, I throw up in my mouth a bit. But that is a unicycle I’d actually take the time to restore (including reupholstering the seat) and hang on to. Very cool!

P with wings = Profile though Eddie already said that.

I never find cool stuff…

Actually it might be a “Yuni” brand frame. used that name for a while, either before or instead of Nimbus. Well before my time in either case.

If you bought that for $20 that was a steal of a deal.

I am guessing that someone put that unicycle together from what were high end pieces in the day.

That is a Profile hub and crank set. Most of the early “heavy duty” unicycles used this hubset. It was the first popular splined hub used on a unicycle. The cranks need to be removed, and greased periodically to avoid creaking. This is actually really easy to do without special tools.

The Luna / DX32 combo was the go to combo for early trials riders. it really isn’t bad and the Luna tire lasts for ever but you don’t get quite the same bounce as a more modern tire on a wider rim. Most newer trials tires work better on wider rims but the stiff sidewalled Luna does just fine on the DX32.

One thing I never understood was there was a “put a rail adaptor on your seat and use a bike seatpost craze” 10 or so years ago. Lots of people did it, I don’t really know why.

That looks like a custom cover on a Miyata seat. They were the high end seats before the KH seats.

So this was a pretty high end trials unicycle 10+ years ago and still a solid collection of parts.

EDIT: looks like a few people responded while I was typing. looking again at the sticker I am going to say Yup, that’s a Yuni frame. I had a 26" Yuni frame which was the stiffest (and heaviest) frame I have ever owned. Profile hubs pre-date the ISIS standard. They use square cut (instead of tapered) splines with a pinch bolt and end cap. You can actually move them in or out on the spine with spacers without affecting the splines fit.

Well, it looks like I found a diamond in the rough here! I was actually pretty impressed from the 4.9 seconds I rode it before discovering my first spider. It feels a lot like my Nimbus trials uni. At first I was having a bad weekend because of all the money I sunk into my last (currently unfinished) project, but it seems like snagging this thing for $20 more than makes up for it! :smiley:

Now, the real question: what color should it be when I restore it? :smiley: (Edit: I’m leaning toward just keeping it chrome. Kind of has that cool oldschool look and also might be mistaken for a Triton at a distance. :P)

I’d keep it chrome. I’d give you 21$ for it too…

Tempting! But I’ll hang onto it for now. :wink:

The front handle looks like a Kinport grip of the type manufactured by Steve Howard about 10 years ago.

I guess the rail adapter allows you to adjust seat angle. I’ve never seen that on a modern trials unicycle. Pretty nice find, I’ve never seen a trials unicycle with a profile hub for sale before.

This is seriously getting more and more interesting by the minutes. I think I really struck gold on this one and I’m feeling quite giddy about it.

Minus the spiders. But all the ones I’ve found so far have been mummified.

…so far.

I am absolutely amazed. This is by far the most powerful de-rusting combination I’ve ever found. I’m tempted to leave a glowing review for Coke, along with photo evidence.

The bearing bracket on the right hasn’t been touched, and the one on the left is the result of about twenty minutes of scrubbing with coke and aluminum foil. This thing is going to sparkle when I’m done with it!

I remember that in grade school a student lost two baby teeth at the same time. We used them for a science experiment, leaving one in a glass of milk for a week, and the other in coke. The one in milk was just the same. The one in coke was maybe a tenth of the size, shriveled, and almost totally black.


Very good barn find for sure!

Coke and foil is a great tip. You can also use 0000 steel wool from Lowes or any other diy store, with washing up liquid. It’s great for surface rust on chrome.

You should keep it chrome. Because it’s cool and old school, but also because it’s too smooth to paint on. And removing all of it would be a real pain…

If you think coke is good, try diet mountain dew. I don’t drink it anymore after seeing it in action…

Oh no. I’m a diet soda kind of guy and diet mountain dew is my favorite. :frowning: Maybe I should stop eating aluminum foil on those days…

Nice, I’ll give all of those ideas a try. I’m definitely going to keep it chrome, especially after seeing just how much this thing shines after cleaning up one bearing bracket. I could use this as a mirror.

Aside from possible evolution over time of house-brand name labels, that looks basically identical to the current small/medium-wheel Nimbus frame, where an effectively flat crown is achieved by welding two closed end fork tubes to a seat tube by way of short sections of slightly sloped tubing.

Impressive! With a bit more time you’ll have to remove the rusty bit from your signature.

:slight_smile: I’m glad its working for you! Part of the deal here might be that rust through chrome usually looks worse than it is. Once you get it off, the surface that’s left looks basically brand new, so it’s really rewarding to see it happen.

I should try them back to back sometime. I haven’t used steel wool for that since I learned about Coke and foil. I like idea of using the electrochemistry and foil seems like it might be less abrasive, but I haven’t tried both ways on the same piece. If they worked equally well, I’d stay with Coke and foil, definitely. :wink:

There’s a technique I like, mainly used on Italian steel bikes I think, called “cromovelato”, where a layer of tinted lacquer is sprayed over a polished chromed frame. E.g.:

I’ve seen a few in person, though not this particular frame, and it looks even better in the flesh.

I want a unicycle that color! It would match my jersey and helment.

Cromovelato is really cool until it starts chipping, and flaking off of the chrome. Candy colors are similar, but over brass plating/paint which seems to hold up better.

If you wanted to do cromovelato you could use the same candy color paint over the chrome, and it would be cool while it lasted.