High Speed Hubs

Hello, my name is Will

I am after a unicycle hub gear, preferably one with at least 2 gears that inevitably make you go faster.
Its for university. I am designing a shopping trike to be driven directly from the front wheel.

If anyway can lead me in the right direction it would be much appreciated.


English must be your second language but you are quite good. This forum has a search function that will lead you to all kinds of geared unicycle info. The internally geared hubs used so far have gear ratios of 1:1.5 to 1:1.6. The wheel size of your tricycle will determine your maximum speed as well as the gearing you use. Search for “epicyclic hub,” “planetary hub,” “geared unicycle,” uni.5, BlueShift, Florian Schlumpf, Frank Bonsch and you will find lots of internally geared information pertaining to unicycles.

A more flexible design with higher gear ratios for your particular project might be Pete Perron’s jackshaft design. He has produced a 1:1.89 ratio with this design but it is fixed while riding. He has it set up now to change the ratio without too much difficulty in your workshop at home, Search for “Purple Phaze,” “Outa Phaze,” and Pete Perron to find info on this gearing scheme.

I don’t know why people bother referring newbies to the search function; it’s all but worthless. Try a search for “epicyclic hub” (which should be very specific), and there isn’t a single useful subject line that comes up in the top 10. The only subject on the first page which seems useful at all is “The KH prototype geared MUni. (from moab)”, which sounds promising but contains no information which would actually help this person.

So to actually answer the question:

There is one geared unicycle hub in common production, manufactured by Florian Sclumpf. It would probably be fairly simple to adapt it to a front-wheel-driven tricycle, although I’m not sure Sclumpf is selling the hub separately at this point. You could try contacting him:


I think this a design project for a university course. He’s looking around for ideas, not to buy an existing product. That’s my take on it, anyway. The single words “epicyclic” and “planetary” should pop something up. The phrases could be used in Yahoo or Google but I failed to mention that. I was a bit lazy to search out the many, many threads on the topic. He could go to my website and get the full prints for a geared unicycle hub design but I think he’s going to develop his own.

I just don’t see the value in saying “use the search function”; the forum search function never provides useful results. And in any case, while there are many threads which discuss geared hubs, there is probably not a thread which discusses in detail the comparitive engineering of the various models available, and certainly no thread which discusses their applicability to a tricycle design.

How about this for a new forum rule: anyone who clutters up the forum with “use the search function” posts must actually use the search function first to see if it turns up anything useful.

Good rule of thumb, not as a “rule” but as a test instead. Good suggestion.

one question: why do you need to drive the front wheel? seems in efficient, and possibly a bad idea. why not just drive the rear wheels or reverse the thing and drive a single rear wheel? check out catrike.com for a good example of what i’m talking about. not saying it can’t/won’t work to drive the front wheel, but i’m saying it might be needlessly complicated.

My project

G’day everyone and thanks for replying.

My main question was, are there any direct driven gears (or hub gears like those used on a schlumpf unicycle, although one that rides faster not slower) out on the market by themselves i.e. I am not talking about finding a whole unicycle with the geared hub, only the geared hub itself. Are they available? I may want to incorperate it into my design. Speed is not much of a requirement for a shopping bike, but going at a geared speed of 1:1 is too slow.
By the way the university course I am doing is Industrial Design where we design things to be manufactured - like a unicycle! So to be more specific, I am after a directly driven geared hug that is manufactured and is on the market and you can purchase it seperately. I am not looking for one that is knocked up in the garage, but even so let me know if someone has recently created one like this.

Also, should I be looking for something like a 2:1 or a 1:2 geared hub if I am after more speed?

You have all been a good help, if you have any questions let me know

If you can get hold of VeloVision issue 12, you may find it helpful. Issue 13 may also be of some use:

Issue 12 had an article about the use of direct drive hubs for recumbents. Issue 13 covered unicycles.

1:2 means that for every 1 turn of the pedals you get 2 of the wheels, so this is gearing up and will allow you to go faster. Talk to florian sclumpf, as this is a one-off he may sell you just the hub, to be honest you don’t really have any other options, he is the only mass producer of epicyclic unicycle hubs.

high speed hubs

In view of the fact that an idea search is part of the project; have a look at Dynamic Bicycle shaft drive bicycle. They have a shaft drive from the crank to 7 or 8 speed rear hub. I have the eight speed “Switchback” MTB and have been pleased with it, though i live in a flat area with no "mountains ".
A shaft drive trycycle or two wheel up-front trycycle as is so common in Mexico with vendors might be interesting.

You need to change the order in which the results come up, from by date, to by relevancy.
That brings up lots and lots.

The schlumpf hub is the only hub being manufactured that I think will meet your needs. Contact Florian, he may sell you just the hub if he knows it’s not going into a unicycle. Expect it to be expensive.

The schlumpf hub is shiftable between 1:1 and 1:1.54