Hub width problems - need to find something skinnier!

Completely true and I’m sure it would be quite difficult but I can’t imagine it would be harder than fabricating one from scratch which foxxy said he was thinking about.

You say that like it hasn’t passed the point of absurdity already. I was under the impression that this project was just because foxxy was bored.

If you decide to try cold-setting your forks, was thinking you could use a quick-grip clamp and just flip the grip around and use it for a non-marring spreader. Checked the capacity on my smallest (12" Irwin) and the minimum capacity (with the grip flipped) is about 7.5". So that’s a bust. I don’t think the micro versions of these clamps are very strong. An exhaust manifold spreader might work if you have one.

You could use these (Strong Hand Expand-O Pliers) with non-marring blocks as spacers. They produce plenty of ft-lbs and would be more precise than brute force.


Please keep in mind that you are not turning and balancing the crankshaft for a Lamborghini. It’s a cheap unicycle frame. Bend it by hand. You could have done it in the amount of time it took me to type this paragraph.

Unfortunately, I tend to treat everything I do as if it’s a Lamborghini crankshaft. Overprep, overplan, etc. Probably some mild form of OCD.

But in this case I’ve been too busy cleaning up all the rust on my old Yuni Trials to mess with anything else in the meantime. :smiley: It’s on the agenda though, although out of curiosity I want to see if the Chinese hub matches spacing with the Eclipse hub first, since I may have a good lead on one of those.

Those things look awesome. Whether I end up using them on this particular project or not, I am definitely getting a pair or two. Right now the only thing I have that beats brute force is a bearing separator/puller kit like this one. Probably not the best tool for this challenge.

Would this hub be absurd enough? I think it’s 84mm, so you’d probably have to bend the frame in.

I… don’t know! Time to break out a ruler! :smiley:

Wow, that is teeny tiny.

I’m a bit late to the party but if you would be able to find an old Suzue hub that should do the trick nicely.

Never too late. This party never ends.

I did some searching and now you have me intrigued because that really does look like it’s the right size. Now finding one is a different matter…

It’s remarkable that even at an German site like Ajata (.de) I don’t see other than 100mm hubs.

So, find a pre-ISIS era unicycle producer who made hubs out of a non-modern impopulair material like some unknown unspecified but brilliantly working kind of steel. They can be retired, unfindable, gone, out of biz, unmotivated on not online; DM, Pichler, Siegmono, The Unicycle Factory, and probably I forget some.

However, you could try Semcycle, they are still there, and made the narrow hub below. Unless they like to keep them on stock because of their guarantee, I guess they could sell you one (and sorry, I prefer to keep mine).

To convert to 12/42 bearing holders you could 3D print converters (I estimate that will be between $2 and $6), or buy some existing ones.

To finance your project you now could put two hubs on sale. And you saved on welding. And bending tools.

What is the bearing pitch of the fork?


Hey FoxxyD, look what I found when I went home this weekend:

I think it is an old original Coker hub. I didn’t measure it but it is skinnier than the current standard 100mm bearing spacing. I don’t know a lot about it but it was in a old coker wheel with steel rim that Nathan gave me. If I ever use this wheel it will be with a different hub since I recently got rid of all my square taper cranks.

If I go home again before I head to Sedona I could rip it out and then send it to you when I am in the states.


If you want to measure it, I can measure mine when I get home and I’d be happy to take it off your hands / pay for it / whatever.

Eric, how’d that wheel do with so narrow a hub?

I wanted to also say thanks for the suggestions to look at Semcycle - just hadn’t had time to measure the bearing pitch yet so haven’t responded. And that’s a great idea about employing a 3D printer for bearing holders, I’ve never considered that.

That sounds a bit dirty… I should have time to remove it from the weel next time I go home. I didn’t have time this weekend past.

I would give it away for the price of shipping. If I go home before heading to Sedona shipping from the states would save a bit of coin.

I have actually never ridden it. The original plan was to use the rim for an ultimate wheel but then I decided to widen it for a high floatation 36er. I am not sure why I re-built it on the skinny hub, I must have been bored but never did make a tire to go with the uber-wide 36" rim.

Here is a video of Bryan McKenzie riding an old coker in the bush. Skip to 45 seconds to see why skinny hub, weak rim, and off-roading aren’t nessisarily a good combination.

Yes. Your photo of the Chinese hub looks like it’s a direct knock-off of the Suzue, which was what Miyata uses/used. A fine square taper hub.

The Semcycle (Deluxe) hubs were even finer, and were interchangeable with the Suzue hubs, at least back in the day. If you can get one of those it would probably be great as well.

Amazingly well. I have a Coker from 2002, with many thousands of miles on it and still with the original hub. It was raced in Ride The Lobster and ridden on many dirt trails, but mostly Road.

If you have trouble locating a Suzue or Semcycle hub, take the plunge and give Tommy Miller a call. He doesn’t use the Interwebs (unless he’s come around in recent years). I’m sure he has many of both lying around, along with a treasure trove of custom unicycles and a myriad of probably-unorganized parts. He’s in Kokomo, Indiana: 765-452-2692

He also has a web page, set up by a friend, which may be very out of date (but might not):

Thanks, Eric and John. I have two Suzues, and now at least one is going into a 36 wheel.

Just to add some balance…

I’ve used Suzue hubs, UDC square taper, original Coker hub, Nimbus equinox, KH original splined hub, Nimbus Cromoly, KH Ti, Schlumpf Road and Schlumpf Muni hub. The only ones to fail are the KH Ti hub (actually my girlfriends- she is 50kg and failed within 500km), and the Schlumpf- cracked the flanges after 3 rides.

One needs to take into account the rider and intended use. The Nimbus Eclipse is an excellent road race/XC hub/ touring or commuting hub because it’s narrow and light. I wouldn’t use it for trials and big drops. I imagine there is a lot twisting and lateral force in basketball. They seem popular for freestyle, I haven’t seen any failures there personally.

I’ve raced them on many long distance road events (60kg rider), commuted and travelled the world with them. They’ve been flawless…my favourite hub by a long way. Getting my third race wheel built around the Eclipse currently.

Which is typically what we do best. :stuck_out_tongue:

I still really want to try out an Eclipse, either the full uni or the hub built into something. I’m glad to hear that you’ve had such a good experience with them because they have always appealed to me, and I really want to give one a shot sometime.

I built a custom frame around the 89mm Eclipse hub:

The wheelset is Nimbus Elipse/Mavic Open Pro/Schwalbe Kojak. I love the Mavics but find them a bit narrow, so building another wheel around a slightly wider rim.

Wow! I love the look of that, especially the curved forks! Very cool!