As I lurk around the postings, I notice that many extended discussions are concerned with parts. Lots of interest in wheels, pedals, cranks, tires, seats etc. As a novice, I‘m more concerned with riding skills than parts but I do find it interesting. In the anticipation of the day when my attention can move on to parts because my basic skills have been mastered I’d like to ask the following questions.

  1. Where does one go to find out about building a unicycle with particular application to various kinds of unicycling? What is in print? What books or magazines are essential to keep up with new things? What do you read and what sources of information are important to you as it applies to your interests in unicycling? How does one know how to customize a unicycle? (Muni, Street, etc.)?

  2. Is all this customizing of unicycles really as necessary as the postings imply? Is the parts thing more about art than technique? Not that there is anything wrong with art for art sake.

I think for trials, and MUni, then it’s all in the tire (24X3.0" for MUni, Monty 20X2.5" for trials) and a set of profiles is mandatory if you’re going to go “big”. but for freestyle, i wouldn’t be the one to ask. Also, a big coker, or 28" wheel is good for distance, and then it’s just light weight, does it have a brake?, and tire size. Oh, and for saddle’s it’s all comfort and durability (for application)

that’s about it, someone please put something in for freestyle, i’m pretty clueless here!


As I understand it, there is very little in print. Others can give you the names of the few useful books that are available (I have never seen them, myself). One of the problems, particularly the newer sects of unicyling such as trials, street and MUni, is that parts and standards are evolving so quickly that there are no real set rules for customizing your ride. Everything is in flux as people try new moves and new parts. I think this is probably one of the best places to search for customizing information, along with a few other places on the net. I have learned the (currently) optimal ways to customize unicycles from people in this forum (though I haven’t really had the cash/time/skill to apply these pearls of wisdom!).

On the question of parts as an art instead of a necessity: I agree that customization is partially an art - some people want a uni that stands out, or that is somehow an extension of themselves. However, a lot of customization, at least in the aforementioned uni sports, is focused on making the unicycles stronger, so that you don’t have to replace your parts every few months/weeks/days. So if you don’t want something crazy special and you aren’t breaking things, you probably don’t have to upgrade your ride.

  • andrea

Re: Parts

In my opinion: No, it is not necessary.
Do what you want on what you have. Then when you get annoyed that your wheel is to small too roll over objects or too heavy to do the tricks you want to do etc. then you will have more fun on a custom uni.


For sources of information there is this forum (the RSU newsgroup), going to unicycing events like a muni weekend, going to a convention, and traveling to other unicycle clubs. The big one is to go out an attend events like the convention. You see lots of new things there, talk to new people who have new ideas, see new unicycles, and all sorts of other good things.

Keep in mind that the community here on the forum (newsgroup) is a small proportion of the unicycling community. There is lots that goes on outside of the forum, lots of new ideas that are shared face to face and don’t make it to the forum.

Re: Parts

Some parts are necessary for some riders, like decent splined cranks/hub - they’re vital for people who do a lot of very big drops and either land them hard or weigh a lot. Fat tyres aren’t vital for muni, but they make it much more fun. Customized seats are useful for some people for long distance riding. Great big spiky pedals are good for muni and for road riding in the rain.

The customisation I don’t understand is frames, people always seem to end up spending a fortune on something that looks like a standard square shaped uni, is quite heavy and isn’t that well made, where a nimbus II/Yuni frame would probably be better made, is strong enough not to get broken or have noticeable flex, doesn’t weigh much and costs £30.


Enthusiasts in any field like to play around with their tools or toys. Until recently, this was very hard to do with unicycles as there were very few choices of parts you could actually buy that would fit and work.

As has been mentioned, RSU is a gathering place for the enthusiasts, and many of them like to custom build, design, tweak, and share their results. Even better, some of them actually make production runs of their ideas, and the rest of us can buy them from places like What a great service!

But the vast majority of unicycle owners buy them off the shelf, and ride them the way they came.

As for stuff in print, there is On One Wheel, the newsletter of the Unicycling Society of America. It’s up to date in the fact that it comes out quarterly ( You should be a member. But it’s not a book, and it doesn’t focus on equipment and parts.

All the books on the market are either a few to many years old, and predate today’s wide variety of parts and cycle choices. But what’s in them is mostly timeless, and they are valuable resources. The most “complete” one is called The Complete Book of Unicycling by Jack Wiley. It’s also available through the Unicycling Society of America.

The world could use a new unicycling book. Hmmmm.

I’m interested in the parts discussions, to some degree, but I’m not real interested in experimenting with my unicycles. I’m happy to let someone figure out a new solution, and then buy what they came up with. Otherwise, I’ll find someone locally to weld me what I need, such as an unbendable and non-flexing seat post for the Miyata seat on my MUni. But mostly, I’d rather have someone else figure out the solutions, then bolt them onto my cycle so I can spend more of my limited time riding.

How does one know how to customize a unicycle? By reading here. Use the powerful search feature to find enough parts discussions to make you puke. Normally, you would get together with fellow unicyclists to see what they’re doing, but we are pretty spread out, so this may not be a viable option for you. This forum right here, and, are the two places with the vast majority of customizing information.

But wait a minute, you live down the street from Dan Heaton and John Childs. You’re in a unicycling mecca! So you could hook up with lots of local riders if you want.

If you are trying to figure out what type of unicycle is best for a specific activity, read the “Education” section on for a brief overview of the main unicycle types. Beyond that, you make adjustments to a given cycle to enable you to do the activity better.

For example, in racing, you want your unicycle to be as light, narrow, and stiff as possible. Beyond that, it has to fit with the requirements for racing (wheel size and crank length).

And yes, much of the customizing is about art and the love of the unicycle. Technique goes way farther than a certain seat post. A good rider on a bent-up piece of junk can usually outride an average rider on the latest, most expensive hardware.

Choosing a unicycle is sort of like choosing a car. A new car comes available with many kinds of options – color, wheels/tires, engine size, trim packages, radio, seats, etc.

Of course, the dealer or manufacturer oftens installs the car’s options, whereas a unicyclist would probably install the options themselves.

If a unicyclist could “test drive” their purchase, then there’d probably be less post-purchase customization. But I think most people tend to buy their Unis via mail-order, so that’s not often possible.


Thank you all for the usual excellent insights you thread.

I knew Dan Heaton and Adam Ryznar who made the UNiVERsE Extreme Unicycling video.
I looked over their shoulders everyday as the project was being made (Editing). I had nothing to do with the video but the guy I work with was their video instructor. Well, I did inform them as to how to get the rights for the background music but that was really nothing.

I guess they planted some seeds of interest in me to start unicycling though juggling has had a lot to do with it too. I saw Adam Ryznar do an exhibition at a bicycle show in Seattle a few years ago. I must say Adam is one great rider. We talked unicycles a bit at that time.

Back to parts: I’m going to start a list of stuff I think is “cool” just for the art of it. When I feel I’m an OK unicyclist, I just might try building a uni for fun. Maybe I can reinvent the wheel.

Thanks again.