I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Your V-frame is by far the best solution for a road unicycle. The riding position on a unicycle should not be all that different to a bike position. The only reason it is so upright is that unicycles have been traditionally used for doing tricks with instead of riding any significant distance on. Lowering your position improves power and weight distribution (less on your butt), and stability (lower centre of gravity).
It makes no sense to make longer and longer things sticking out from the fork. I hope unicycle manufacturers ditch the single fork design and make something like a V-frame. It wouldn’t be too hard to modify the existing say, a Nimbus 36" frame, into a V-frame. Just widen the angle and stick a seat tube on the front fork. Then you’d be able to use a normal bike stem and bar.
Unisk8r - would you mind if I sent a picture of your v-frame to Rick Hunter to see what he says about manufacturing something similar. Also if you are ok with it, is there anything you would change if you where creating it again?
Ah, what goes around, comes around! Rick made my very first V-frame in 2004, which “proved the concept” as a standard direct drive uni. It was delivered unfinished. After building it up and finding it most roadworthy, I then welded in the jackshaft housing box assembly, and painted it purple. Hence it became known as “Purple Phaze”.
Rick might still have some specs, but as I recall I set the seat & bar tubes 8" apart as measured at the top of the tire. That spec should now be 10". The handlebar positions can be adjusted accordingly, but you want the stem mount far enough in front.
Rim brake mounts should be attached on the rear legs. I tried it on the front for better looks, but the brake housings then hit your knees. A disc brake mount is fairly simple, but welding in a disc mount has to be even more precise than a rim mount.
In addition, that first model had 2 seatstay tubes (1/2" OD) connecting the seat and bar tubes. Later arrangements are more complex, like the “web” on Florian Green. You only need 1 horizontal connector tube, combined with a way to connect the frame downtubes further down the legs, for better overall stiffness.
haha crazy idea to mount it to the brake mount have never thought of that, but looks alot like the t7 bar .
offcourse you will have some more room to place your hands.
but if you ask me its no close to the normal seat.
i find it easer to ‘‘tuck’’ on a longer handlebar and more stable.
that would be ideal for a 36 inch frame.
i alway’s liked the v shape frame.
currently alsow working on a prototype but have to find some shaft collars to make bearing holders out. this seems to me the easyst way to make some.
Corbin, here are some pics of those handlebars that Pete made for Florian Green. There should be enough detail so that you can figure out the construction technique. I included a comparison with the handlebars I currently use side by side with these alternate handlebars. It gives you an idea how close to the seat the grips would be. When I was test riding the alternate bars I found that the main handlebar tubing that extended back toward the seat interfered with my thighs. As you can see, the grips (Power Studs!!!) that mounted to that tubing, mount very close to the stem. Therefore there is a lot of extra tubing could be cut off. You’d then have tube ends near the stem cross piece that can still gouge your thighs. My current bars have relatively nice and round ends that attach to the stem cross piece. At times my thighs do bump into them, but not much and the ends are round enough that it never hurts. If I were to mount the Power Studs to my current handlebars I would weld on two short lengths of tubing, pointing towards the seat, to the stem crosspiece closer in to the vertical stem peice. Does that make sense? If not, I could take another picture with a mock up.
Hope this helps.
having ridden Florian Green 1000+ km I agree that it is a very nice ride. The bars are very strong and stable. It weighs in at just about 19 lbs (including Schlumpf) which I think is just a tad heavier than Brycer1968’s uni with his long handlebars, arm rests and no Schlumpf.
No uni is perfect at everything, though. If I were raise any issue it would be that the forward hoop, to which the handlebars are mounted, do interfere slightly with my knees. For the first couple weeks my knees would get dinged by that hoop. I quickly learned to adjust my riding style and since then it hasn’t been a problem. But I know from riding my previous unicycles that when I get spinning fast I like to tuck in my knees closer to midline. I can’t do that on this setup. I don’t think it slows me down though.
What can be learned from this is that the angle of the two hoops that make up the “V” can make a significant difference. If you were to decrease the angle of separation between these two hoops (bring that forward hoop back towards the seat) then you could reduce or eliminate knee bonking. The drawback of this is that the handlebars have to reach out farther forward, which weakens them. Kind of like the T7. Everything is a bit of a trade off.
If one has longer legs, it might be possible on the V frame to set the bar stem a bit higher for knee clearance, and have the bars angled down a bit, to a lower hand position.
Just remember that the V can suffer the same issue as regular bar setups, if you don’t make the V angle wide enough, you’ll still have alot of handlebar running forward from the mount stem.
I just think the V-frame offers many positional possibilities, such that a production version of the frame could accomodate alot of aftermarket bar designs. Plus we could fix the tube ID on both ends to a (relatively) standard 27.2mm.
This is just the sort of innovative product that a company like Nimbus could offer. The same tubing and finishes could be used. It would take the Nightrider frame and up the ante even more!
Sounds pretty cool! Maybe one could even make a cf v-frame somehow? The tubes would probably have to be a little wider than the Nimbus ones, and it would get a little more expensive. The crowns would be difficult to do too, I guess.
Corbin, let me know if you need other detailed pictures or info on materials etc. Of course you can also ask Pete (unisk8r). He made them, after all, and would have more insight on how to build another similar set.
I am going to have Rick start on one after the first of the year. My plan is to have him use a fork steer tube as the “head tube” which would allow you to use different stems to adjust for riding position. With this in mind would you still suggest moving the fork leg seperation from 8 to 10 inches at the top of tire?
Also, is there an angle to the stem tube or does it follow the line of the fork legs extending the reach the taller the tube? Would you possibly use something closer to the head angle on a bike?