New Prototype Unicycle Handle

I really enjoy reading about all the home-brewed uni projects like uni.5 and extension handles. I enjoy tinkering with things like this, and thought I might be able to come up with a handle on my own. The hardest issue to overcome is the fact that I don’t weld.

My goal was to build a seat post mounted extension handle, but with a more ergonomic grip, like gbarnes’ seat-mounted touring handle. So far, my prototype is all that plus has the added benefit of multiple adjustments.

The handle is based on a $20 bike from a thrift store. To make the boom, I cut the top tube out of the frame, just behind the head tube and just below the seat post clamp. A 22.2 to 26 mm shim was required to mount the boom on my uni’s Miyata seat post, using a quick-release seat clamp. By flipping the boom over, the bike frame’s original seat tube angle resulted in an upward pointing angle of the boom, allowing it to extend outward from just beneath the Miyata handle when mounted at the top of the seat post.

The original quill stem from the bike will fit in the boom with a shim, but would be susceptible to damage, and would lack adjustability. So, I attached a threadless handlebar stem I purchased on closeout from nashbar.com to the boom. Using a 25.4 to 28.6 mm shim provided with the stem, it is mounted just ahead of the Miyata handle. The stem is 130 mm long, which proved to be too long, so I have a 70 mm one on order.

The handlebar from the thrift store bike was cut down to a stub about 120mm long, and inserted in the stem. Attached to this is a pair of bar end grips from my LBS. The handlebar stub was then trimmed to the point that the bar end grips would just touch each other at the end. They’re covered with foam padding from the original handlebar. Handlebar plugs are fit into the cutoff ends of the handlebar.

A rubber foot from Home Depot is on the end of the boom to protect it during UPD’s. The boom is 1 inch x .056(?) inch tubing, and I’ll probably stuff a short piece of dowel in the end to prevent it from getting dented.

A standard handlebar computer mount should fit on the handlebar stub, and be protected by the bar end grips and front bumper. It should be visible while riding with both hands on the grip. Next project is mounting a brake handle, probably a drag brake/shifter style, connected to an Odyssey A-Brake on a Big Cheese adapter.

The handle can be adjusted for height by releasing the seat clamp and sliding it up and down the seat post. It can be adjusted for extension by sliding the stem along the boom, or reversing the stem on the boom. The entire handle can be removed in seconds without tools by pulling the seat post. The handle can be adjusted for angle by loosening the handlebar clamp on the stem and rotating the handlebar. It can also be used without the bar end grips, with just the handlebar stub as a T-handle. Total cost was $85.

I’ll post photos after the new stem is installed, the boom trimmed to length, and I take more pictures of my kids and get the roll developed, hopefully, this weekend.

Salivating for the photos, Will. Get the shutter shakin’ and finish that roll.

Pics please.

-Mike

Wait for it…

Wait for it…

Wipe your chin off, Greg.

Pics are up in the gallery. Quality is not too good…scanned photos.

http://www.unicyclist.com/gallery/albun56

Cool project, Will. It seems really versatile, too. How does it ride? The photos are nice but the resolution is a little low. Is that your camera/scanner or did you reduce the file size with a Photo program?

Yes to all the above. I’m new to this photo posting stuff. The pics are scanned 35mm images, reduced to smaller image size. I’ll play with them a bit to see if I can improve quality.

I haven’t been able to really wring it out, yet, as the farthest I’ve ridden is about 50 ft, arms waving all the way (still a newbie, only about 3 hours practice, total). I haven’t tested to see how much weight can be applied statically before deflecting, perhaps this weekend. If it has a weak point, it’s probably the single quick release at the seat post mount.

I CAN say that it’s very comfortable to grip, and I believe the adjustability will allow it to be positioned into most comfort zones. The bar ends may need a little trimming to allow the overall width to be narrowed an inch or so. As my skills improve, I’ll post more. Distance riding is my interest, so I’m eager for success.

looks like a nice comfy spot for level 11 too…

Amazingly clever use of low-tech techniques!

I found this on the Extreme Coker thread: A twist shifter for drag brake control. Neat idea! I just happened to have a spare one in the garage, so I tried mounting it to my DIY extension handle, but without success. The main boom is 1 inch in diameter, so the shifter won’t fit. I may try shimming a short piece of handle bar tubing into the end of the boom, attaching the shifter, then fitting the bumper past the shifter. The shifter may be a bit difficult to reach around the bar ends, though.

In the mean time, it occured to me that the Miyata seat post is 22.2 mm or 7/8 inch diameter, same as a handlebar. So, just for fun, I pulled the post, slipped on the grip shifter and remounted the post. Perfect fit. Not very accessible, though, so it would be hard to adjust while riding. Makes for a very clean installation of the shifter/brake/cable. Might only be useful as a parking brake.

Re: New Prototype Unicycle Handle

On Mon, 28 Oct 2002 08:13:12 -0600, willfcc
<willfcc.d8m3z@timelimit.unicyclist.com> wrote:

>Might only be useful as a parking brake.
A parking brake on a unicycle, hurray! I usually park my uni leaning
upright against a wall (or something else), and the wheel too often
rides out under it. So a parking brake was just THE missing accessory.

Klaas Bil

I posted only a single copy of this message.