Intuitive Design in Unicyclery- Help Seeking Forum!

I am taking on a challenge to build the world’s first bamboo unicycle frame.
I am of moderate experience with riding, as well as do-it-yourself construction.
However, to complete this feat, I could use some help.
I was wondering if you could provide me with the typical specifications of a 24" unicycle.
I have an old 16 inch unicycle laying around, which I plan to take the dropouts from.
But, I still need some specs like:
-leg length [there are two legs on the frame]
-leg diameter [diameter of the metal piping of each leg]
-main pipe length [the length measured from the top where it meets the seat post, to the bottom, where it splits into each leg]

  • main pipe diameter [I believe it may be a bit larger than the diameters of the legs]
    -measurement between each leg [at the bottom, where the crank is situated]
  • bolt sizes
  • seat post diameter
    -anything else you think may be critical

I hate to burden you with all this, but I believe this could be revolutionary in the industry, and wish only to test it out on my own.
Please, if possible, provide the model of the unicycle with which you are taking the measurements, as models may vary slightly
I am looking to do some mild commuting with it, so hope that helps with the process of choosing the right one to size up!

Thank you so very much,


are you going to use the unicycle off-road at all or only on-road?

For an offroad I would go with a crown height of about 13" with a inner width of about 3-1/4" so the frame can flex a bit an not hit the tire (if you want to be able to run a 3" tire)

If it is a on-road unicycle you could still do the oversized frame but it might look better with the frame a bit closer to the tire.

how are you going to attach everything together? Carbon fibre and resin?


I wish to use the cycle for commuting around campus, so, entirely street-developed.
As for the questions pertaining to constructive technique, yes, I intend to use some carbon tow lashings followed by epoxy resin and hardener.
I have NOT yet determined the following:
specific tensity of carbon line/fabric
preference of solid/hollow bamboo (both present equally appealing incentives)

I hope to hear from you again shortly, and thanks for your interest!
I shall keep you updated when my schedule permits it. School can be hectic at times.

Your innocently insatiable inquirer,

Not the first:

James Sui’s bamboo unicycle (pdf)

Bamboo bike frame


“The industry” takes quite a bit to get a revolution going, it seems. We’re still trying to really get one going with steel and aluminum frames. :slight_smile:

On looking at James Sui’s frame, I can only guess that it has trouble with (tortional?) stiffness. In other words, a unicycle frame gets a lot more twisting force on it than most people think. A LOT. This may not be a big issue for a cruising cycle, but keep that aspect in mind when designing.


Way to be both pompous and worthless in the process.
Destroying a kid’s dream, real promising with respect to you and where you’re at in your life. Hope it’s as magical as my unicycle will be!
…Your life that is, not that unorthodox contraption you call a unicycle.

Let me get this straight. You announce you’re going to build the world’s first bamboo unicycle frame". MuniOrBust does a little research and points out that it won’t be the first. Who’s pompous again?

Go ahead and let your dreams be destroyed by a post on an online forum if you want. Or build a better bamboo unicycle and post it in his face! :slight_smile:

Now you have a possible source of more information on making improvements. James Sui might be able to tell you what his needs to improve it.


He’s 18yo, just started college, has a “plan”, now someone has poked holes in his plan, so he’s going to be upset.

Seriously, this is not the first time someone has posted to the forum with a plan to revolutionize unicycling, so nothing new there.

But I have to admit, his response was not exactly mature, esp if he wants help from forum members :smiley:

Hey Truman,

You’re new to the forum, so I’ll lay it out for you: we regularly have new people posting to the forum with ideas about how to build a better wheel, a better frame, etc… And though I can appreciate your desire to improve on existing technology and materials used in building unicycles, please understand that, as a forum, we tend to be a bit cynical :roll_eyes:

So, this is what I say is this: Build it, test it, report back.

But until that time: Don’t be a nuisance, feel free to ask your questions, but take no offense, be prepared to be ridiculed, keeping in mind that this is the nature of “free” inquiry.

Remember, you came here asking for our help, we didn’t seek you out.

Personally, having some experience with materials such as bamboo, I would be suprised if you can develop anything that will resist torsion equal to metal. So think design, ie how are you going to maintain structural integrity.

For example: I have a custom made titanum uni frame, it looks awesome, but in practice it is flexy and prone to breaking.


My goal was not to upset you, but to inform you. How is it pompous of me to point out information to you? And it’s a bamboo unicycle and a bamboo frame construction info. How is that worthless to your project? :thinking:

Are you frustrated you’re not the first bamboo unicycle builder? That was a fact before you posted here.

If being first is important, you can still be the first to revolutionize the industry with bamboo unicyclery design. James Sui hasn’t done that.

So keep at it!

Good shit.

You can all fuck off for all I care.
Immature as it may be, partaking in forums insinuates your contribution to a social experience, none of which should inhibit those experiencing it. Just because you’re cynical, doesn’t mean the world is. Just because you ride a unicycle, doesn’t mean you’re an expert. I don’t care how many years you’ve been riding, if you didn’t come up with the damn thing, then as far as I’m concerned, you can’t take credit for shit. And by posting a photo of a poorly constructed uni, I glean absolutely nothing, so why do it? This is true, I came searching for help, but not for YOU or this bullshit. For those of you who actually contributed worth-while tidbits, I commend your actions. For those of you looking to ride the rest of your lives with the seat post up your ass, I hope you know the repercussions of your actions.

Me thinks Truman has lost it.

A photo and a pdf document with a writeup and a load more details. Plus the original creator acknowledges and points out the failings in his design and states

On its own, that’s pretty damn useful for someone looking to build a bamboo unicycle, I’d have thought. But no! There’s more! In the same post, MuniOrBust linked to 2 separate bamboo bicycle-building projects. again, relevant, and one of them is even broken down into “even a moron could follow” steps.

So far from being pompous, worthless, cynical and aimed at “destroying a kid’s dream”, that’s a reply that is realistic and helpful. Most of the replies on here are, it seems. Still, if you can’t see beyond the “not the first”…

this guy doesn’t sound like the nicest of people does he.

I remember when I was 18 and I knew everything too. It was great while it lasted, but eventually I had to grow up.

None of us invented the unicycle (including you). I guess we’d better stop talking about it.

Hey man, you had a great thread with great comments going up until the point where you got frustrated you weren’t the first bamboo uni builder. The three comments that followed questioned your frustration, but then encouraged you to keep moving with your project.
I’m obviously seeing things much different than you.

You’re right. That’s why no one here has claimed that.
I’m no expert in bamboo unicycles either. I simply did a google search when I saw your post and the sixth result was the pdf I referenced.

Again, you’re right. Are you suggesting someone here is taking credit for the invention of the unicycle, bamboo or otherwise? Though, there are people in this forum who have designed and developed some impressive unicycles and components.
By the way, I wouldn’t assume James Sui made the first unicycle either. I know he made one, and thus I know you wouldn’t be the first.

Some people don’t bother clicking links to PDFs. By posting the picture I was giving a quick visual summary of how you won’t be the first to construct a bamboo unicycle. I didn’t think being the first was the important part of your project. At this point I’d estimate something like 0.0000001% of the Earth’s population knows a bamboo unicycle has ever been made. Significantly fewer know James Sui made one. Don’t let his fame and fortune dissuade you from your dreams. :wink:

Perhaps you forgot the seat in your initial design? :wink:

Despite the repercussions? :roll_eyes:

lol this thread is really entertaining

Someone should make a scandium unicycle with hockey sticks or some nice tubing (if anyone can get their hands on it)… I doubt if anyone has used scandium before so that could be interesting to try.

Wow, I think you are being completely unreasonable and immature. You can’t let your feelings get hurt every time you are wrong. It’s impossible to always be right, and if someone gets angry every time they are wrong, they’ll always be angry because people are wrong about things every day. It’s understandable that you may be a little upset that somebody beat you to your idea, but that is no reason to go around telling people to f*** off. You completely over reacted.

That being said, I think a bamboo uni would be cool. I agree with the statements of others that it would have strength problems if you designed it like a normal unicycle. However, I think if you designed it more like a motorcycle’s front forks, it would make it significantly stronger. That way, the forks would be attached to the seat post tube in more than one place, which would give that joint more strength and much more leverage to resist the stress put upon it by the forks.

In the same news letter James Sui is also shown riding a “double wheeled unicycle.”


James sounds like someone who thinks outside the box.


3 years ago were in negociation with The Bambo Bike Company in Taiwan about working together on a frame project. The company makes the most beautiful bikes, they are very sleek and very light.

The company was very willing to go ahead, but the project did not come to a conclusion because of problems in the basic design constraints of the unicycle frames and the cost.

As has been said, this is not a totally origional idea. I am sure we were not the first to look at this either. It is certainly one that we believed may hold some merit.


If you wanna be the first, make the frame out of adamantium. It’s real strong stuff, just make sure you choose adamantium nine, not one of the other thirteen allotropes.