Homemade Geared hub - high speed only

I recently finished building a geared hub that is simple, hopefully robust and inexpensive for road riding. I have been doing muni for the last 3 years and love it. I am planning to give RAGBRAI a shot if my body can hold together. Training will tell in the next few months.

I’m really comfortable on my 29’er, but I feel it is too slow. I’m not comfortable spinning super fast. The most practical thing would have been to buy a 36’er, but I am a little concerned about the size (it seems like a long way to fall) and haven’t found any used ones anywhere close. I couldn’t bring myself to spend $1700 on a Schlumpf hub since I’m really not into road riding.

Anyway, I needed a winter project and thought I would give this a shot. It came out much better than I had hoped. I have it laced up in 24" wheel now and set a lot of personal bests today - 14.3 mile ride, average speed just under 9 mph with a top speed of just over 15 mph (according to Strava, although in some brief out of control moments, I could believe it).

I found my butt, crotch and knees were all fine afterward compared to a 14 mile ride on my 29" wheel two years ago where I felt like a wreck after. I think the higher gear helps put more weight on the pedals, which takes weight off the seat.

Anyway, it’s been a fun experiment. The video is kind of long, but if you’re into geared hubs, check it out!

An impressive project!

I wonder if John Deere Corn Head Grease would work in it. It is supposed to limit leaking by converting into a heavy oil in use but changes back to a grease that will not leak out when stopped. You can get it at any John Deere dealer or online.


I can suggest you using a huni-rex. I’m using a 26" with a 3.5" road tire. It has no low pedal stroke issue, but it has low pedal so any UPD is really unscary compared to my other 29" kh muni. I use the huni-rex for XC and Kh for light muni (I’m a beginner so no real muni right now)

Wow! Great Project, great skills. It looks really nice. I’m sure, you could sell a bunch of them if you wanted to. What is the cost compared to a Schlumpf hub?

Very impressive and beautiful design/build! Seems like an extreme workaround for raising yourself 3.5" higher by riding a 36" wheel. :slight_smile:

Of course it’s not just the height; 36" wheels are heavy. That inertia is great for stability, but you still have to move it.

How many hours do you think were spent on the design and build of your hub?

Beautiful piece of work.

I’m surprised at how many unicyclists here seem to own or have access to machine tools. Is it just because I notice the stories of a few or are we really more mechanically inclined than average?

Hi uniscott

That hub looks fantastic! I wasn’t expecting such a professional set up before I watched the video. The whole process looks really complex to me (no clue about the engineering bit, machines to use etc…). It is really impressive that you have made it yourself.

Have fun with it in your long rides :slight_smile:

Uniscott that is some serious skills and a beautiful build. Great job!

wow, congratulation for this home made project!

Looks great. One of the top guys in marathon race had a similar setup with 1x2.6 gearing.
Ability to create something like this yourself amazes me.

Awesome workmanship! Great job, congrats! :slight_smile:

Your homemade geared hub is a wonder to behold. If you ever want to play with a Schlumpf in a 36" wheel, come on over. I’m at the south end of the Twin Cities - a mere 6 hours away.

Really nice work!

I bet it will be even more smooth and stable (although more intimidating too) in the 29” wheel.

This looks awesome! I just finished an electric-assist unicycle yesterday and am hoping to add gearing to it eventually. One question I had is that I wanted to use an ISIS splined hub, which is nice because A) ISIS has better cranks and B) there seem to be more 20mm ID bearings. However, it seems like that 17mm square-tapered hub from UDC is the only hub without a taper in the middle, making it the only one usable for this sort of project.

Did you also start off trying to use an ISIS hub? I’d love to find a way to get an ISIS hub that doesn’t have this taper but it seems like they’re not made anymore :confused:

It might be of interest to some if a simpler lower cost than Schlumph geared single speed hub was made available.

Awesome. Please keep sharing what you have been doing. I look forward to reading about and watching how your geared hub goes.

Do you have an as-built drawing set, Scott? What gears did you use? I’m also interested in the robustness of the aluminum planet carrier and the pinned attachment to the shaft. It’s a pretty project.

The video at 3:20 said he used gears from KHK Gears, Carbon Steel, 0.8 pitch, 8mm wide. Sun - 40 teeth, Ring - 80 teeth, Planets , 20 teeth.

Thanks. I didn’t have the audio on.

Great geared hub!