Heroic Failure

You may remember a while ago I asked whether anyone had unicycled in a
triathlon… the same mail which resulted in a tirade of geared unicycle
postings.

Well, the triathlon is in two weeks time, and I have spent the better part of
many weekends in bike shops trying to work out a feasible way of gearing a
unicycle in preparation for my 40km ride.

My original plan was to take something like a Sturmy Archer hub, or a Sachs hub
with internal gears and make it fixed. After what seems like years of harassing
the Sachs rep, they decided that it couldn’t be done. Hmmmph.

By now, I was a little obsessed with the entire idea of building a uni with
multiple gears and started to come up with really bizzare designs; all of which
sadly had some small problem which would cause the breakdown of both the
solution and indeed my patience (and should I also say my mental health:)

I finally came across one solution which seemed like it may work. If I could
find a hub which had a righthand thread on both sides, I could put two identical
set of bicycle gears on both sides but in the oposite direction. This means that
when one was freewheeling backwards, the other was driving forwards. Excellent.
I had a way of fixing the gears. The only condition was that dual chain was
always on the same gear on both sides, otherwise the wheel would lock in one
direction. I soon realised, though, (after making this wheel) that I couldn’t
change gears at the same time on both sides unless the derailleurs were both
facing the same direction. This invariably meant the when I went in the opposite
direction, the chain would fold up. If I put one derailleur in the opposite
direction then I can go both ways but only change one set of gears and hence
lock up. Uggghhhh… What I need is a mirror image of a derailleur, however
when I enquired about this, I found out that it would cost somewhere around
A$15000 to manufacture… :slight_smile:

The next solution was to have one set of gears in the drive side, and have a
gear on the reverse side, which is equal to the size of the smallest chainring
on the drive side but in the opposite direction. I built this but sadly it
didn’t work as well as I planned, and it is insanely hard to ride. The main
problem being that the higest gear is the only gear that I can idle and start
in. When I made it, I had it geared up to something like a 100" wheel which made
control become a utopian ideal. I have since realised that I won’t need to gear
up a 26" wheel much at all to realise the speeds that I wish to obtain, without
killing myself :slight_smile:

Not to be beaten, I have come up with one last solution, which, although isn’t
ideally what I set out to do, I will end up having multiple gears on a unicycle
which can be changed without too much hassle - it just means that I will have to
dismount for a sec. HOPEFULLY.

If it works I will post tomorrow and let you know how I did it, and how it is to
ride etc. If not, then I will conceed defeat and wait until I am insanely rich
so I can afford to comission someone to build one for me

Cheers, jason

Re: Heroic Failure

What you need is some inspector gadget legs so you can lengthen and shorten them
to get various gearings :slight_smile:

Chris.