Lockable 29 Inch Unicycle Frames?

Hi everybody,

This is my first post. I’ve been lurking on these forums for the past 6 or 7 months and you all have been very helpful. I started riding last August on a 24" Torker. And I’m getting to the point where I’m beginning to ponder an upgrade. I’m looking at 29" and 36" unicycles. Here is my dilemma:

I work at a university hospital where officially bicycles and unicycles are not allowed in the building. I’m assuming that I might be able to sneak my unicycle in to my office following my commute – if I’m careful. However, I want to prepare for the possibility that I might get “busted” and be informed that I can’t bring it inside anymore. With that possibility, I’m interested in a unicycle that allows me to lock the frame. So, if I get a 36" uni, I’ll probably go with a Nimbus Nightrider or Coker V2. However, I have some very strong doubts about whether a 36" unicycle will fit in the back of my car (a 2000 Honda Insight). I need to find somebody with a 36" uni in Southeastern Iowa who might let me try to fit their unicycle into the back of my car.

So, assuming that a 36" unicycle won’t fit, my second choice would be a 29 incher. But, unless I’m mistaken, there aren’t any 29" unicycles with lockable frames. Am I mistaken? I would love to find out otherwise.

Thanks for your assistance!

All of them are lockable, but none will garauntee no tampering.

Are you certain that bicycles AND unicycles are not allowed into the building? Or is that what an overzealous security person told you in their interpretation of bicycle? Do they allow skateboards into the building? Do they allow you to bring a bag into the building? Surely a unicycle is a reasonable thing for you to bring inside if you can find an out of the way place for it.

I had an employer recently try to tell me I couldn’t bring my unicycle into their building and that I should lock it up outside with the bikes, but I did not listen and brought it inside anyway. I don’t think I should have to carry the weight of a lock just because people are untrustworthy. I bring my unicycle into shops wherever I go- and if someone tells me I can’t bring it I take my business elsewhere. You might be able to arrange to use a storage cupboard with your employer if they are reasonable, since unicycles take up far less space than bikes.

I haven’t found a car yet that my 36" unicycle doesn’t fit inside- although on smaller models I have to open the window to fit the T7 and cycle computer through. A quick release on the seatpost can make it fit in even tighter spaces in a hurry.

Hunter frames were available once upon a time for 29" unicycles according to this thread, but for commuting lockability I guess the Nimbus 36" would be easier to find and faster to ride. If only we could all trust people without locking things.

Good luck finding a solution- your employer should hopefully support you since you are doing a good thing by commuting in an environmentally friendly way.

If you are commuting to work by unicycle does it even matter if it doesn’t fit in your car? Or did I misread your post and the commute is by car and you just want the uni at work for playtime?

A stock 36" unicycle should fit in the back seat of pretty much any car. Are you talking about a 4-seat Insight or did they used to be 2-seaters? Anyway if you have a back seat, a 36" will fit in there unless you’re really tall, or have a big handlebar setup (or both) either of those makes a big increase on your space limitations. Mostly the handlebar, you can get away with a pretty high seat in most cases. Back in the old days, a 40" (handmade) big wheel would fit in the back seat of a VW Beetle.

As for being allowed in your building, a 36" being so big I can see security wanting to give you a hard time about it. If you’re allowed to bring that in, why can’t all the bikers? But you can try using an argument that you can’t lock it securely (if it’s a conventional-shaped frame). Also, whenever carrying the unicycle inside the building, hold it up off the ground. This is, of course, a lot easier with normal-sized unicycles but it shows you’re respecting the indoor environment.

Another possibility is that any conventional unicycle frame could be modified with an added “loop” to run a lock through, but it would require custom welding/brazing and refinishing.

The holding it off the ground argument is a stupid one but it works.

If someone were to ask me to hold it off the ground, I would ask them why, the obvious answer is that it is dirty. So then I ask, where has it been, that your shoes haven’t?

Shoes are often even more dirty than tires are (asides from maybe a muni tire), so holding them off the ground is just silly.

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That’s quite funny, I also started riding on a 24" Torker last summer, and I bought a KH29 a few weeks ago. My goal was also to get something that is a bit faster to commute to work, and I totally love it. I have tried a 36" a few times (mostly in a gym), and I found the wheel to be really big, and a bit hard to manoeuvre at my skill level in tight places.

I can definitely see the advantage of the 36" on longer distances on roads, but my commute include a few “technical” sections (wheelchair ramp around stairs, pedestrian overpass, sidewalks…), which I feel much more comfortable going through on the smaller wheel, and I don’t think I am sacrificing that much speed.

It fits perfectly in the trunk of my car (a Nissan Versa), I just need to lower the seat, and is easy to carry/wheel around into my office cube, and in the apartment. I don’t think I’d get away doing this as easily with a 36" wheel. I haven’t had to lock it up yet, although I haven’t tried stores.

Exactly. It’s not about logic but about showing respect for the building, and having an optimum relationship with whoever it is who controls whether or not you can bring it inside.

BTW, last time I looked, my Coker’s tire as a helluva lot more tread area than my two shoes…

Well, the written rules don’t specifically mention unic ycles, but I don’t want to be the one person who causes the University to rewrite the rules. :slight_smile:

I hope so. I’ll try to bring it in through a less trafficked area with the hopes that I can slide under the radar.

Hmm, I’ll have to look further into this one. Thanks, Bryan

Its a 2-seater. Much smaller than the new version coming out soon. Its a hatchback. The hatch area is larger than most hatchback cars. It will be close. Its about 36 by 32 inches. The opening is even a little smaller, perhaps 32 by 32. A 36 inch unicycle might fit in diagonally. And if I move the passenger seat up all the way, it might give me enough room for the seat tube and seat.

One option would be to get an extra-large duffel bag that can fit a 29er. Carry the duffel bag with you and put the uni in it once you get to work, then carry it inside. There have been special made unicycle bags that could fit a 29er (or even a Coker), but I don’t know what is in production now.

You can use the arguement that “all the bikers” can’t fit all their bikes in the building without taking up a large area (which some employers will provide secure bike parking and showers etc to promote healthy commuting employees), but while it is only you who is desiring to commute on your unicycle it only takes up a reasonable amount of space. I’ve thought about this for the shops that I park my unicycle in. If everyone else starts doing it I will have to leave my unicycle outside or take it in with me instead of leaving it inside the door. You can be an inspiration to the other employees- I think you will find it leads to many interesting discussions and people wanting to try it.

use a good bike lock , make sure the lock goes round and through something solid and through the wheel. so your loop of bike lock has inside it- solid thing, rim and trye of uni, maybe a leg of the frame, maybe a pedal- all this makes it harder for someone to fiddle with your uni and harder for someone to nick the wheel ( the expensive bit). If you have QR seat post you can take that off and into the building.

If you’re not planning on using a brake, there’s no reason you couldn’t put a 29er wheel in the Nimbus 36er frame. You’d just have a few extra inches of clearance.

I admit that I am from a fairly safe area and people don’t really steal that much here but I would not worry about someone stealing your frame if the wheel was locked to something.

If you are still worried I am sure there are some kind of security bolt you could use on the bearing housings to prevent people from taking the bearings caps of to steal the frame. Put one of those security bolts on your post clamp too and you should be set.

There are a variety of security (tamper resistant) fasteners. Unfortunately, they tend to have larger heads than the standard hex bolts used on the bearing holders on a unicycle. The larger heads of the security bolts won’t fit on many current unicycle frames.

Getting the special tools for the common security fasteners is actually easier than you’d think. I picked up some security torx bits and security hex bits at a local Big Lots store for only a few bucks. Harbor Freight also has some. I was planning on putting on a security bolt on my bike for the seatpost collar, but haven’t gotten around to it.

An alternative is to fill the hex bolts with melted candle wax or fingernail polish, or something similar. Some people have used solder, but you need a high powered solder gun to heat the bolt head enough to properly fill the hex hole. The problem there is that you’d have to remove the material every time you needed to to maintenance or make an adjustment. The goal is to just make it inconvenient enough that a thief/vandal will choose a different target.

Some college campuses have problems with bike theft and petty theft of seats and other bike bits.

Does anyone know of an instance where someone went to the trouble of taking the locked wheel off of a unicycle in order to steal the frame? I doubt that it has ever happened. Where do you fence a unicycle frame?

the only thing i can think of would be that someone would steal the frame/ seat for a prank.

Security torx is prety standard stuff now in nearly any DIY shop, I even got a set of bits of various security keys, including the security torx.
Bought it just so I can use bolts that are more secure then others.
It’s still saver then normal bolts…

I haven’t. In fact I’ve never heard about any thefts of unicycles secured by bike locks at all. All the thefts I can think of were either unlocked unicycles in the open, or from cars (locked), garages or yards.

I haven’t had any stolen with bike locks attached, but one went from inside my house, one from a person I loaned it to, Greg Wynn where are you? And two (four but two came back) from a school where the room they are kept is often locked but it is open a lot of the time for school use.

Identifiable unicycles

With the advent of mass produced unicycles that look similar to each other, wouldn’t it make sense to put some sort of unique identifying code on them like they do on bicycles? It would make it easier for police perhaps because with the large volume of unicycles that now exist it would be nearly impossible to prove with certainty that someone else didn’t buy a stolen uncycle legitimately- unless the owner permanently marked it or modified it in some way. I thought my unicycles were so unique that that would be enough to deter people but it didn’t. I really need to engrave the school unicycles or something but I haven’t gotten around to it yet. A locator beacon would be cool- you might catch the theives easy then!