Manufacturer unknown...

I acquired an unknown 20" unicycle a few months back, this resulted in rekindling my unicycle interest once more after a few years away from the fold. I have now purchased a much better 24". but I would lave to know who made the 20".
I guess it is for mass consumption, possibly of Oriental origin and is incredibly basic. Currently it is undergoing some radical modification work either by myself, or a very good engineer friend of mine. Hopefully this will result in a decent 20" for several years use by myself.
Can anybody recognise the maker by the attached picture. The remote circular part clamps the bearing against the forkleg and is retained by three small setscrews. If these screws are not tightened frequently, they become loose and the wheel wobbles horribly. This in turn makes the cranks turn weirdly off centre, and one tends to become somewhat unsettled on the seat… :astonished:

I have never seen bearing holders like that. And that’s saying a lot! I can’t comment on the rest of the cycle, since I’m only seeing the one picture.

It’s a little similar to some Japanese unicycles I have from the 70s; Oxford being one. But not the same at all.

I was sort of relying on your good self to tell me the answer to be honest. I know you know all sorts of stuff relative to unicycles, the font of knowledge in fact, but alas it is not to be.
I thought I may well have a Miyata ?? to be hopeful, but again, no luck there either… it is a strange design and we have a lot of complaints about it, but we are making new design bearing housings, far different than those original ones, plus, a strengthening length to overrule the butt welded seams shown in the picture. There is enough room between the fork and hub sides. A pair of new pedals, a new saddle and maybe an ability to ride it successfully again… thanks for your attempt though…!! :sunglasses:

Definitely not any Miyata I’ve seen, and I might have the oldest Miyata in North America (sent to USA founder Bill Jenack in 1978, and featured in the USA Newsletter that year). Essentially same bearing setup as they still have now.

Post pictures of the rest of the uni when you get a chance…

I’ve never seen such a bell bearing on a unicycle. But I know such bell bearings from old bicycle bottom brackets. Could you post a picture of the hub too?

I realise this is not very well taken, but the hub assembly as of today:

A full picture of the 20" under discussion shortly after acquiring it. It is all in bits now, but here she is in all her glory.
No labels, stickers or stamps evident anywhere that have anything on them that is discernible … !!

Thanks for the interest, it would be nice to identify the maker…:

Oh, I didn’t expect to find “normal” bearings in this construction. I thought the sheet metal bells would form a bell bearing like this.

Yeah, it’s not too odd. Square taper cranks, and as Eric aus Chemnitz said, it’s got regular bearings. The bearing holders are just a bit unique. I’m sorry I don’t know what brand it is. I would suggest using some Loctite 290 (it’s blue but comes in a red bottle) on the little set screws. You’ll still be able to remove them with hand tools, but they’ll stay put until you want them out.

The 290 is the green wick in variety, and very strong. 242 is blue, and what you really want for this. If the green gets in your bearings it will cause them to squeak or even seize up. Also, it could be very difficult to remove the bolts with the green. Not impossible, but a little heat helps. Unfortunately they all come in red bottles.

Ooops! Yep, you’re right. I meant the 242. Just checked my bottle in the garage. Right color, wrong product number. I’m pretty sure that’s what came on the bolts for the bearing holders on all three of the unicycles I’ve purchased from UDC. Good stuff!

Thanks guys for your help, but I tried Loctite already in all its guises. No, what we are now doing is making completely new housings that encase the bearings completely from solid billet. The screws are then to be enlarged in size somewhat, plus the fork leg bottoms are to be strengthened a bit.
The actual hub spindle has quite a significant side movement within the fork itself, this is also to be addressed when we strengthen the fork legs.
Apparently, and I have no proof of this, the unicycle originally was possibly purchased in France…??? How I have ended up with it is anybody’s guess, but still no nearer to finding the manufacturers name…

Very interesting. Too bad the Loctite didn’t work. Sounds like the problem calls for more drastic measures. Hope you’re able to find out where it came from. Good luck on the project.

I bet if you had ever tried loctite 638 you wouldn’t have gotten the screws back out without a drill.

That was a bit of a problem in actual fact, we applied a decent thread loctite, the bearings eventually loosened and we could not undo/do up the screws (in the field) without a jackhammer almost. This is what finally persuaded me to modify the thing. Three small screws each side to clamp the hub bearings by taper fitment is daft to be honest, especially with so much play in the fork proper. Our modification could make the unicycle a tad safer in build, and more rideable… we hope…!! :roll_eyes:

Well, after a while we have the modifications finished and the thing all rebuilt. Crude it may still be but it works a treat now. My very good friend who is the owner of Thundermold Engineering, made the bearing housings, plus strengthened the fork legs a mite. A brace of new pedals and away I go... excellent result in the end as you can see...:)

Good job, looks great! It’s very satisfying to do something like this. Ride it in good health!
Cheers! :slight_smile: