My custom travel frame

Ok, I will speak about it.
I don’t think that I ever spoke about it here.

I will start with a bit of backstory.
My little brother has wanted to make a world tour on his uni since a few years, and has modified his 26er with a handlebar and a luggage rack.
I wanted to have a similar uni to ride long distances on a few days, but I had a KH29, and I am not very tall, so I wouldn’t have a lot of room for frame bags. And I didn’t really like the idea of having a luggage rack, wich has a tendency to move, and the KH handlebar is really cool, but it broke on my previous uni, and I couldn’t add an extension, wich I wanted.

At the same time, I saw the @toutestbon custom uni, and after a bit of thinking I drew that:


The idea was to have two “triangles” in order to put bags in each one, with a handelbar in front.
So I contacted @jaco_flans for a custom frame, but I was annoyed by the fact that we couldn’t meet each other in order to take measurements, etc…
I also contacted a french frame maker (menhir cycles) wich was able to make similar prices than Jacob ones including delivering from Canada to France. After quite a bit of discussion and a meeting, he made that wonderful frame with a few advices from Jacob.

And around christmas, I received this wonderful uni:

After receiving the frame, I contacted https://lerouquinquiroule.com/ for the bags. And a few weeks after, I received my pair of bags:

And I have to say that this uni is just wonderful, very stable, not too heavy, really comfortable (even if the saddle is a bit firm for really long rides), and I can carry quite a lot of stuff (gaz bottle, stove, a few clothes, a hamac and a sleeping bag) without having weight on my back (just a camelback with cereal bars, water and a spare inner tube.

28 Likes

Are the stripes on the rear of the frame painted or cordage or wire? Looking at your first picture I initially thought you had used rebar to construct that part of the frame, which didn’t make a lot of sense to me. Glad that isn’t the case.

Edit: Never mind. It appears to be some sort of optical distortion on my tablet. When I open the image and expand it the lines go away. When I expand it within the thread the rear section appears to have stripes.

1 Like

That is a thing of beauty!

Any chance of a close up of the handle?

2 Likes

There you go:




7 Likes

Very nice!

Practical and slick.

2 Likes

Thanks!
That’s an impressive setup.

2 Likes

Wow! That is impressive. The arc frame piece in place of the traditional forks looks so ingenious. For me, I like the aero bar setup with the handles protecting the elbow pads.

2 Likes

Yes it is really a wonderful uni, with nearly no downsides. The single problem might be that it is quite tricky to mount on because of the weight of the frame, but all the rest is a dream.

1 Like

This is stunning. Congratulations on a wonderful idea and built.

Would love to see a video of how it looks when ridden.

I mean I can imagine much like a standard unicycle, but for some reason the lack of transitional frame legs it is very visually intriguing.

I presume this is all with steel? And it looks very ridged - no flex at all?

It’s so inspiring to see new designs like this come up. This does look to me like the best baggage set up I’ve seen yet - and great to see this on a 29er.

1 Like

Ohh, and the colours… matching red highlights, including the tyre.

1 Like

Add a “pushing” or “pulling” feature.

If you watched any of Ed Pratt’s video, there were many times the terrain was “unride-able”.
He had to push it for miles, days sometimes.

I commented that some kind of “lightweight” frame or harness could have made things much easier.
When pushing a top heavy unicycle that needs constant balancing, it can get very tiring.
It always takes two hands and you have to lean forward.

Imagine, if there was a way to strap to your chest or back.
Your hands would be free and you could walk more comfortably.
Any custom bag maker would be able to give you some ideas.

good luck

1 Like

I cannot film it properly, but I will be at the unicon with it, so you might be able to see it in real life (and maybe even to try it, who knows).

Yes, it is all steel, but there is a very little bit of flex (not really sure, but it might be possible).

Thanks, I’m really proud of that, even if most of the work hasn’t be done by me. And I think that both the frame maker and the bags maker deserve a highlight. The single down point on the baggages might be the volume available, it is not really suited to trips longer than a few days.

I love that too, and I really like the reflecting stripes on the bags, wich I think add a lot of safety when night riding.

I don’t plan on riding the same kind of way, I want to go for max a week, and to prepare really well my route. So I shouldn’t end up riding on that kind of terrain often.

I don’t know for Ed Pratt, but for me, my uni isn’t that top heavy, and during my last (and only) trip with it, I had to walk a few times, up to a few hours because my brother was exhausted, and I could hold it by the back and I didn’t have any problem balancing it.

I don’t really agree, because yes you would have free hands, but the uni would have a tendency to move on your back, so you would have to keep at least one hand on the straps. And due to the weight, it would end up being really tiring. There is also the problem of the height of the uni, wich goes to my belly button, so there would be something behind the legs, potentially being annoying. And due to that, you might want to remove at least one pedal, wich is really time consuming and might cause some problems in the long term. And the last thing is that the straps would end up taking quite a lot of room, and I don’t have that room available. Currently I want to reduce the volume of stuff I have with me (ultralight hamac, tarp and sleeping bag, same for clothes, thinner charging cables, etc), so adding straps isn’t exactly ideal.

3 Likes

Oh, I just remembered a funny thing. When I received my uni, the handlebar was reversered, so I had the brake far and on my left hand, and I was quite disappointed. And I had a feeling that it was really very large. I figured out quite fast that I could reverse the bar to have a brake really easy to access and on my right hand, but the large bar felt really awkward. After a few hours riding it however, I discovered that a larger bar allows to control a lot better the lateral torque, which is just wonderful when turning. Due to that, when I have to to turn, I go from my aerobars to my handlebars, and back to the aerobars right after. It also allows me to fight lateral wind way more effectively.

1 Like

I like the idea of this frame, I think the idea of building something to meet the need is better then trying to modify something. I have two questions.

  1. Looking at the configuration of the frame and how it supports the riders weight I would expect there could be some vertical flex in the seat post when loaded with the full riders weight. I would think that a little flex here would be a good thing and help to smooth out the bumps in the road. Of course too much flex could cause problems with permanent frame defection, frame fatigue and in the worst case causing the bottom of the seat post to contact the tire. Have you measured the flex with the full riders weight?
  2. Looking at the relatively wide width of the handlebar I’d be concerned about catching a leg during a front off UPD. How many off the front UPD’s have you done and if any, does the handlebar width cause any problems?

I think that there might be some flex, but I haven’t ever measured it, and it must be really very low. The seat post is held in place by four tubes (2 on top and 2 at the bottom), so it is quite stiff.

For the width of the bar, I have done something like 3 UPDs since I’ve got this uni, and my legs never touched the bar. I think that it is because the uni goes toward the floor, so I must go over.

1 Like

I saw this discussion first, and then the picture of your 30km ride. On that occasion you had only attached the front bag, and some water bottle also at the front. I reckon that having more weight at the front makes the uni tilt to the rear when riding, or you wouldn’t be balanced. That also changes the seat angle to more front-up. Do you need to adjust the angle, or is the change too small to bother about?

1 Like

Most of the time I ride with only the front bag, or both but with few things in the back one(pump, tools, locker). So the weight change doesn’t bother me. And when I did my century two weeks ago, I didn’t feel a difference due to the weight distribution, just due to the weight.

Most impressive. Thanks for sharing.

Sweet! Do you get any flex on the middle part? I’ve been thinking about a “half moon” frame for touring for some time. I just don’t ride uni’s all that much anymore.

Did you see my old V-36 frame? It is still riding solid.

Corbin

2 Likes

The great thing about this type of design is that you can pretty easily weld up a new version. I went through several before I settled on my favorite design.