A mate told me he’d bring his unicycle to the Morris event this weekend so I could teach him to ride it.
It’s called a Bracycle (yes, really… an example of the uplifting effects of unicycling?). There is a proper professionally made ‘BRACYCLE’ sticker on the frame to prove it.
The frame is made of two pieces of flat steel about an inch wide and about ¼ inch thick, bolted together for the top 1/3. Just below the bottom bolt, they are bent outwards and then bent parallel to make the forks.
The bearings appear to be ‘plain’ rather than roller or ball, and welded permanently into place. (I could be wrong on this one.)
The seat is a T shaped piece of steel (to be fair, it is curved slightly) with a hard moulded plastic cover and no padding at all. Just hard brittle plastic.
The seat ajustment is as follows: the seat is welded onto the top of an oblong section piece of steel tube which slides over the outside of the top of the frame. The seat tube has two holes drilled through it, and the frame has four holes, giving only 3 possible seat heights. The highest position is so low I couldn’t idle on it.
The wheel is a 16 inch with a steel rim, and about 1 inch wide. The cranks are cottered, and so long that it is easy to scrape the pedal on even medium tight turns.
I failed to teach him to ride it.
Is there a Bracycle owners club out there? Do you lovingly restore them and display them at rallies, before riding around a show ring and being judged? (Most excruciating seat in show…) Where can I buy one? ;0)
I am not a unicyclist but can help out with information on the “Bracycle”.
I was an apprentice toolmaker at the company that made them back in the 1970’s, the company name was Brason & Co, (Pressings) Ltd, based in Birmingham. I did quite a lot of work on the tooling for this product, the seats, seat stems and pedals and pedal arms were bought in. If I remember rightly they were pretty awful.
Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.
Honestly that’s really cool and why I love the internet so much. Someone posts a thread 17 years ago about some weird random unicycle no one’s ever heard of, someone responds to it who happens to have helped build them!
That’s cool, you can see more detail. Looks like the guys at “Bra” (you know, him and his son) combined the worst features of the Schwinn design and tricycle-type unicycles. But to be fair, if it came from a machine shop-type of place, they used parts that were solid, and not expensively custom made. Looks all right, except for the seat of course, but really, before Schwinn came out with their seat in 1967, pretty much any unicycle you could buy in a store had a pretty terrible seat.
As a beginner, I recently bought a new, red Schwinn Retro 20" beginners model uni and for my purposes it really is all I need, top to bottom a quality piece of machinery. True, it has its limits and even UDC warns its customers to not use it for stunts, hopping and such energetic tricks, etc., but it could work well and last long if used on flat floors and smooth roads, sidewalks and mowed lawns. And its price is attractive, too, relatively small money.
The two new “Retro” Schwinn unis, 20" and 24", have the same wheel sizes as the original models of 1968-1982 and a similar, two-piece frame, but there also are some improvements including new 40 mm bearing mounts and a hardened CrMo cotterless axle, so at a glance these unis look retro but they really have been updated.