My adventures in Unicycling

So a few years back I saw the “Unicycle Freestyle” video from DevinSupertramp on youtube, and I was immediately hooked. At the time I was in 7th grade, and had a Cyco Cycle

I was able to successfully modify it so that it could be ridden as a unicycle (removed the “training wheels”, modified the seat mount, but don’t exactly remember how, If I find pictures they will get posted) and I tried for a few weeks trying to ride it, and had some good headway, but not great. Eventually I got a Torker LX, and started to make some great headway, but sadly I stopped because I didn’t seem to be making as much progress as I wanted, which for my 12 year old mind was good reason to quit.

The next year we moved houses, and I moved schools (surprisingly totally unrelated) and my unicycle was “found” (my Dad noticed it while we were moving) and I got bugged to ride it for some time, but never really tried.

Late last year, I watched the DevinSupertramp video again because I was bored and almost immediately the fire was rekindled. I knew I had to learn, no matter what it took. So I set out to learn, when my family went for a walk, I tried to follow them on my unicycle, this happened a couple times, and on the third time I ran into a fellow on the trail we were on, who had a custom Titanium bicycle that I was basically drooling over. As we were chatting I basically made him a promise that he would see me out unicycling more. That was the turning point, since that third ride would have likely been the last, I was pretty fed up.

As soon as I could ride longer distances with some consistency I decided to ride to school (about 2.5 miles), I did that a few times, and then decided I wanted to get into trials/street, so I’ve been practicing that, and it’s been going well.

I am terrified of heights, but I decided that I wanted to get over that fear, so about 2 months ago I picked up a Nimbus Performer giraffe unicycle. This thing is advertised as 5’ but even with the seat at the absolute lowest it is taller than I am (at 5’ 6”) It’s terrifying to ride, but I’ve gotten pretty good at it, can’t free mount yet, but it’ll happen.

Recently I decided I wanted to get into mUni, and so I began to look at my options, I was thinking of a KH26, but then I came across a thread about carbon fiber/aluminum unicycles. I was immediately “hooked”. I love to fabricate things, I’ve built a custom track bike, and make metal sculptures among other things. I’ve never worked with carbon before, but with a little research I was ready to begin. I have a bit of experience with CAD from a few classes, and a close friend of mine has a lot, so with his help we designed the parts I would need.

This is the Crown

And this is the bearing holder

This is the full Unicycle shown as a 20", I have since decided to make it a 26", whats pretty cool about this is all you need to change the size of wheel is longer or shorter carbon legs.

I went with a Spirit Hub, VentureII Cranks, an Alex DX32 Rim, and Wheelsmith Spokes. I work at a bike shop, and was able to get a deal on the Rim, spokes, nipples, tire, etc. This was the second wheel I have ever laced and it went very well, and is very true and strong, so It should be great for mUni. I don’t have it with me, or have a picture of it, but it basically looks like any other 26" mUni wheel.

I got the Carbon Fiber tubing from DragonPlate.com, two 24" sections, it should allow for both legs and whatever length seatpost necessary, and they were on sale. I am having the Crown and Bearing holders made by a machine shop, and I’ll post pictures as soon as they have arrived. It should be done before the end of the month (fingers crossed) the machine shop I am working with has been rather busy, and hasn’t had time for my parts, but it’ll happen soon enough.

I am also building a 26" freewheel mUni, inspired by Waaalrus. As soon as that is done I will post some pictures of it. I have to weld an ISO disc tab to the frame (nimbus mUni), which should work pretty well, and be a bit better and less likely to break than the Nimbus D’Brake.

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I’m curious to know where in utah you are. You seem to far advanced from most 15 year olds as far as the CAD work and fab skills are concerned…

I’m in Salt Lake, Killian, where are you at? If you are free this Friday, you should stop by the Millcreek Venture Out I’ll be there with my bike store, It’d be cool to meet another Unicyclist in the area.

Thanks! My info is correct, I am 15. As far as CAD goes, I really don’t think I am that good, I need to practice.

I’m up in Ogden. Don’t get down to SLC much. There are a couple riders down in SLC though that I’ve enjoyed riding with. UPD in Utah, Uber nerd and KCtheaycee on the forum here.

If you do get down to SLC, and want someone to ride with, hit me up, I’d love to meet you. I’ll definitely check with them and see if they might be closer. So far I’ve only seen 1 other unicyclist in Utah, and didn’t have the time to talk to him sadly.

Your post inspired me to check out that video again. It is beautifully made! Though the name is a bit of a misnomer; while what we call “Freestyle” encompasses all forms of riding, what that video shows are the Street and Flatland forms of unicycling. And shows them very well.

Your unicycle looks like it will be a beauty! I look forward to seeing pictures of the finished product(s). Good luck!

It was also super cool when I saw it, since it was all filmed in my hometown, Salt Lake City. When I first saw it I had no clue about the naming, but I just recently watched it again and realized that.

Thanks John! I am super excited to get it finished.