my report on greg harper


I had to do a report on an invention for my sience class and I chose to do it on Greg Harper and the Uni.5. I’m in 7th grade at Rochelle Middle Scool. Here is my report.


Unicycle point 5

Uni.5 is unique name for a 24” unicycle in which the hub of the unicycle is geared to make it ride like a unicycle with a 36” wheel. The unicycle looks like a normal unicycle but if you look closely at the wheel’s hub, you’ll notice that the hub is quite a bit larger than the hubs that you will find on other 24” unicycles. This is because the hub has to have room for all the gears that make the Uni.5 work. When you see people ride this unicycle, you’ll notice that the wheel spins somewhat faster than the rider is pedaling. That is what makes this unicycle go as fast as a 36” unicycle.

The inventor of the Uni.5 is a man named Greg Harper. Mr. Harper is a scientist at University of Washington in Seattle and works in the Center for Experimental Nuclear Physics and Astrophysics. His department does research and experiments in nuclear physics using particle accelerators. Mr. Harper rides unicycles and is a member of the Unicycling Society of America. Because of his interest in unicycling, Mr. Harper decided to make a unicycle that was different from any other unicycle. There were many other people with similar ideas of making a unicycle wheel go faster than the rider is pedaling but a lot of the other designs had problems. Mr. Harper intended to fix them. So, after much thinking and planning, he started to design the Uni.5. It probably made designing the Uni.5 a lot easier with the machinery at his work place. It also probably helps that Mr. Harper is obviously a very intelligent man.

As I said before, the Uni.5 hub spins the wheel one and a half times for every time the rider pedals one revolution as compared to a regular unicycle that has no geared hub. On a regular unicycle, one revolution of the cranks and pedals make the wheel spin one revolution itself. Mr. Harper designed the Uni.5 hub with internal gears to get his results.

There are a lot of people in the world that are in to unicycling. We call this big group the unicycling community. There is an online forum called where these people can come and share ideas about unicycling. Mr. Harper started posting his Uni.5 ideas on the forum and people were very interested in his work. They wanted to try his new invention so, when he finished building the Uni.5, Mr. Harper decided to start sending the new unicycle to other unicycle clubs around the United States. He built a crate to put the Uni.5 in and started it on a route around the country. Many people posted their reactions to riding the Uni.5 back on the forum. Here are copies of a couple of the posts:

Kevin Gilbertson of Minneapolis says, “Overall, I’d trade one of my cokers for a uni.5 as it provides a good cruising machine like a coker does, can fit into a car easier, has more options for choice of tires and rims, and can easily be brought inside with you in a store/office/wherever.”

Jeff Lutkus of New York says, “This unicycle definitely felt like it had a 24” and not a 36” wheel. Yeah, there was some play in the gears… it’s a little annoying, but not a problem. The 6” cranks feel very natural. Maybe part of that is since my 24” muni also has 6” cranks.

Mr. Harper wanted the unicycle back in time for UNICON, which is an event where the best unicyclists from all over the world come to compete. I went to UNICON and competed. While I was there I got to meet Greg Harper and take a ride on the Uni.5. Remember, this unicycle is supposed to ride like a 36” wheel unicycle. I’ve ridden both 24” and 36” wheel unicycles before and when I first got on the Uni.5, I was expecting it to ride like a 24” and I fell flat on my face. It was very awkward at first but with some support, I got used to it. Finally I got brave enough to try it on my own. I eventually learned how to ride it and I thought it was one of the coolest unicycles ever.

Greg Harper and I are now friends. He is very funny and I like him a lot. In the future, he says he wants to put the Uni.5 hub in a bigger wheel and I look forward to trying it.


I agree with Nick, Im dumbfounded
Good Report


Please consider sharing the grade and comments from your teacher, if possible

I just realized this. Are you the only father-son combo on the forum?
How does it feel?

i’m more interested to hear greg harper’s comments
and see the line for signatures…

Scott, I wasn’t sure if you were referring to me or to someone else. I am afraid I was confused. Ben is one of Bruce Edward’s boys.

Good question, nonetheless. Might be some lurking.

John Drummond’s son Casey might be a member, but not sure.

I think we’ll have to wait; his head is currently too large to fit through the door to the room with the computer in it…

Phil, just me

Hi Scott,

If your question was directed at us and not Rod, I’d have to make one minor correction. We are a father-sons combo but I know what you intended by your question. Brad is 9 and doesn’t post yet although he does have an RSU user name “Brad”.

It is a real joy for a father to share something so special with his sons, especially as the sons grow toward and into the teen years. We are still very close as a family and I credit unicycling with a big portion of that success. I wish the same for all families.

Good question. Thanks.

I assume you have included photos of the uni.5 and the inventor so good looking would be redundant.

Congratulations on a very nice report. I’m sure Mr. Humble is bursting with a little pride too.

You bet! Very proud of him…Ben that is.

Ben did include pictures and yes, good looking would have been very redundant. It was a very nice looking hub… :slight_smile:


Ben sent me a copy of his report by e-mail sometime before he posted it. The e-mail was a pleasant surprise and the post was even more so. It was alot of fun to design, build, ride, and share the uni.5. Having a report written on it for a school assignment was an additional and totally unexpected treat. It’s one of those aftershocks that make you realize why you’re really doing some of the things that you do.

It was also a real joy to meet some of the riders at NAUCC and UNICON this year and the Edwards clan was among these. Ben and Brad and their folks and I shared a few root beers and stories of riding. Ben gave me a demo of his 5 foot giraffe jump mount after which I decided he needed to have an “accident” before he got any better. Brad’s and his recent Coker advances indicate that I’m already too late on that count.

But when I read the end of the report, that is the part that made my head swell as Phil predicted. To be considered a friend by a guy like Ben Edwards is really an honor. Those who have met him know what I’m talking about.

Sorry if i wasnt clear, I meant Ben and Bruce as a father son combo, i guess it was too vague. So Bruce, do you post for him?

I sort of look over his shoulder and make a comment or two on spelling or punctuation from time to time, but no, he does his own posts under his user name.

Posting is sometimes a difficult task for him though as, like so many others, Ben has to put up with a condition. He has form of dyslexia called dysgraphia. It affects his writing and spelling ability so I give him guidance at times. It just takes him a lot of extra effort but he gets it done.


Re: my report on greg harper

yoopers wrote:

> It is a real joy for a father to share something so special with his
> sons, especially as the sons grow toward and into the teen years. We
> are still very close as a family and I credit unicycling with a big
> portion of that success. I wish the same for all families.


As a unicyclist and also a father of two unicycling children, I agree



Ben reports that he received 100% on his project and an extra 5 points for a well thought out and written report…

and, not to mention, the inclusion of such exquisite photos of the tall and handsome inventor.

Proud Dad

Was looking at old stuff when this came up. The Uni.5 seems like an ancient invention these days. Time for a repost for the new folks who haven’t seen the science report on Harper.


I wonder where uni.5 is. I think Jack Halpern unloaded it. I rode BlueShift on Sunday. I have had it out on loan to the local Seattle riders for several months since the Schlumpf visit here. I just got it back a week ago.

Thanks again for the report, Ben. I have a text version of it stored in my unicycling area on my home computer. That was really thoughtful of you. It must run in the family.

The whole time I was reading this report, I kept wondering if Ben turned it in with a picture of Dr Harper in his wifes swimsuit posing with a uni.:smiley:

A very clearly written report. This is not a common ability. John Childs is very good at it too. Ben, you’re in good company.