LiveWire/Hunter 36" - long time test

Testing time from august 2006 to august 2008. Two year and 2500 km.

Price (in Norway ): 4000$ including shipping and custom
Weight: 7,950 kg including pedals, mud cap and computer
Wheel build: LiveWire Unicycles, Dave Stockton. Machined Sidewall by Scott Wallis, 4-cross pattern
Rim: Airfoil 36"
Tyre: Coker 36 * 2 1/4"
Tube: Schwalbe 29er tube (AV 19), 40/60-622/635. (7.3 oz - 207.4 grams).
Spokes: Built by Tom Miller - The Unicycle Factory - Stainless Steel 14ga (Diameter 2.0mm/ 0.080in), Wide-flange 12g nickel-coated brass nipples.
Bearings: SKF 6203-2RSH, 17-mm ID, 40-mm OD
Cranks: Bicycle Euro Cotterless Steel Crank Arms 150mm (610g)
Pedals training: Azonic A-Frame (685 grams)
Pedals racing: Wellgo MG-1 Magnesium body (395 grams)
Hub: Widened Suzue hub, 135mm bearing spacing (centre - centre), 100mm flange spacing. Hub building by Tom Miller - The Unicycle Factory
Frame: Hunter - Frame building by Rick Hunter, Hunter Cycles at Santa Cruz, Cr-Mo
Colour: Custom orange
Seatpost: Thomson Elite 26.8mm
Seatpost Clamp: Dual bolt seatpost clamp
Seat: Wallis Design RoadRelief saddle, Carbonfibre
Handle: Wallis DeathGrip handle with V-Grip type “Stubby” extension, Carbonfibre
Brake: Magura HS33 Hydraulic Black with Steel-Braided Hoses converted with Carbonfibre curved CF levers
Computer: Sigma BC-500
Mud Cap: SKS X-3

Is it worth spending nearly 4000$ on a unicycle?

First. Much of the price is shipping and custom. It is expensive to get custom made parts to Norway. The unicycle was built with help from Nathan Hoover. Thanks so much for being inspiration for me Nathan! The building time took nearly half a year. First I ordered a frame from Rick Hunter. Custom paint to match my cycle jersey that time. Orange. Rick shipped the frame to Dave Stockton, LiveWire Unicycles who made the wheel and also assembled the unicycle to get the shipping cost down. Scott Wallis at Wallis Design made the seat and handle and also do the Machined Sidewall on the rim. Dave assembled all the parts and also set the unicycle up with seatpost, pedals, cranks and brake. It was a lot of mailing to finish the custom unicycle.

The first impression was that the finish of the unicycle was so good. I could take the unicycle right out of the box. All the nuts was tightened right. Noting was loose and nothing ever has loosened. The first winter I had it behind my TV. This unicycle is really beautiful. The finish is in a Ferrari class.

The first ride i felt the saddle was very hard. So hard that I not liked it at all. I also noticed that I got a different sitting position on this unicycle than I have had on my old Coker. Felt that it now was easier to spin faster on the flat and going fast downhill without wobbling the wheel from side to side. I cant describe even now what makes the feeling different. Maybe I sit a bit more on the front of the unicycle. But on one wheel this shall not make sense? Shall it? Another thing is that the hub is really wide! So wide that it felt strange in the beginning. It is 1 cm wider than the widest UDC hub! The wheel felt really stiff. Stiffer than anything else I have ridden. It felt like a hard sharp metal plate. I thought the frame was to light, thin and soft. The frame legs is thin and get a real “clung” when you pluck on it with a nail. The first climb I really felt what laying inside this unicycle. It climbs like a cat. It feels very light. The stiff wheel transforms all power from the pedals. I found out early that this is not a spinning unicycle on tarmac. The hub is all to wide. The bike was also built as a racing machine on gravel in mind, especially with The World Biggest Mountain Bike Race “Birkebeinerrittet” in Norway in mind. The handle is really good. So light placing the hands in a V-grip. What is better than having carbonfibre in your hands.

Now after two year and 2500 km (I have some other Coker’s also needs some rides :-)) What is the decision?

I really like the seat now. The seat became a bit worn in the start. I have since then used Brooks - Proofide Jar after every ride. That makes the skin as new and you get a nice feeling with the seat. Before I liked a soft seat, but now I really like the seat to be hard. Not to hard. The seat must take out the bumps. Sometimes I should like my hands to be straight forward and not in a V-grip. But cycling on gravel and technically sections I like the unicycle to be as light as possible. The V-grip is short and places the hands close to the saddle. I like a longer handle on tarmac, but going gravel this works superb. The frame is very light. I think that it is softer than anything else I have had. But it feels so nice. I haven’t tried another wheel on the frame. If it is the god geometry of the frame or the wheel who give this wonderful feeling. Or is it the completion of frame and wheel? The Magura brake is on the back on the frame leg and you never touch it with your knees. The frame feel very stable, it feels like a 29". Maybe it is because the frame also is wide at the top of the frame? The brake takes smooth on the machined sidewall, and the curved levers on the Magura brake is right where you need it. The wheel is straight as it was when I got it. I have built some Coker wheels myself. But this wheel is very good. I like the big flange. I think that makes the wheel a lot stiffer than a small flange hub. Especially on a big 36" Coker wheel. I think it is strange why not factorys make hubs with big flange to 36" wheel. The spokes makes more momentum when the flange is big. The pedals is feeling very well, but Azonic have really bad bearings. I have now used two sets of Azonic A-frame. In race I use Wellgo MG-1 Magnesium as they are a lot lighter and makes me spinning faster.

4000$ - maniac? Okay! That’s a big price. You get a top Carbonfibre Mountain Bike with front suspension in Norway to that price. On the other side it is cheaper than a custom motorcycle. After 2500km I have never ever had a UPD whit this unicycle. It is so stable, feeling as a part of me. You are not sitting on top of this unicycle. You and your unicycle is a one part. In The Worlds Biggest Mountain Bike Race “Birkebeinerrittet” in Norway this year, 2008. I managed to race 92 km with gravel, single track and some running sections, climbs and descents up to 10% with 19,04 km/t in average. And the unicycle stays in top shape. Not like a Mountain Bike you have to replace many worn out parts.

If Unicycle is your favourite activity, you love gravel roads and singletrack. Have a girlfriend understanding what this means for you, or maybe not having a girlfriend! Go for it. Custom unicycles is really nice!

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wow, that is amazing :astonished: . why do you like the seat clamp backwards though :thinking:

Very nice, I am envious.

I need a new 36er. I am playing with the idea of getting a custom frame built. There is something extra awesome riding something that you know is one of a kind.

That is so cool… :astonished:

the clamps on hunter frames are always the other way atleast at all the ones that i have seen on the forums

but about your ride i like it although i’am not a fan of wide axels.
only thing in mine opinion you would like on your way to pricey unicycle is a geared hub:D

That is because the slice or pit in the top of the frame is on the front of the Hunter frame. A friend of mine is Bicycle engineer and he always set the seatpost clamp forward (when the slice or pit is on the back of the frame). This because not to press the edge of the pit in to the seatpost. This result in scratches in the seatpost (when adjusting the hight). Hunter has taken notice of this and has the slice in front of the frame. Then will the seatpost clamp be right back. But I personally think that you get a bigger pressure when you have the seatpost clamp the same way as the slice in the frame.

I use a narrower hub when I am unicycling on tarmac with short cranks. But a wider hub (and in mine opinion big flange hub) makes so much stronger wheel and so much more control. So a narrow hub will not work for me when going MUni on the Coker.

Of course I will love a geared uni. But I think it has been to much problems with geared hubs…yet. Some of the love with going Uni on a Coker is that you have minor parts to wear out and replace.

thats a point that i agree with you
although i’am looking for a way to make a multiple geared unicycle not like the schlumpf or something but those are just plans that take much time

So is the rider.

Beautiful machine, Unijuul !!!

Is it worth the money ? That only depends on the pleasure you had with it, and it seems it was on par, so I’d say yes :stuck_out_tongue:

Thanks for sharing your thoughts about the wide/narrow 36" hubs, it’s a very interesting perspective that comforted me in my choice of the Nightrider Pro ISIS 36" which has a wide hub too.

All in all, thank you very much for presenting your beautiful uni :slight_smile: