Schlumpf Tattoo Design ⚙️

Early stages but aiming for something like this on my left wrist just past a watch strap line, outwards facing. To represent down shifting. The reverse design arrow wise on my right wrist to represent up shifting.



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  1. You’re nuts.
  2. You’d give a drill sergeant conniptions
  3. Your car is RH drive, right???
  4. If not, you’re from Iowa.
  5. How often do you hear “NO!, Your other right!”

Neat. What about having it on your ankles?

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For some reason I never felt like that was the right location.

More logical, for sure - but I kind of want these to be more visible and part of my expressive identity - which wrists seem to be more attuned to.

Also I’ve liked the idea of a “unicycle” tattoo for a while now, but never actually wanted the obvious unicycle design. This feels more cryptic and being on my wrists I think will help me connect more with the intention to shift up and down.

Yep a mind game really but they’ll be like my remote buttons - that help defocus me from my heels when shifting and get me more fully involved with my whole body.

(When I focus too much on my heels I tend to mess up a shift - but if I focus on all my motion / whole body, it works better)

And yes: to anyone wondering - I’m cog-nisant this can appear a bit nuts :nut_and_bolt: - but I like nuts and bolts and clearly cogs. So, you do you, I do me etc etc :grinning:


I’m surprised by how much I’ve been thinking about this since you posted it @mindbalance!
The old-and-boring bit of me is wondering whether your passion for your Schlumpfs will last as long as your wrists will.
The nit-picky bit of me wants to point out that there are no cogs of that shape in a Schlumpf hub or other planetary gears (at least I don’t think so!).
The creative bit of me has been trying to come up with some alterations or alternatives as a fun project, however I don’t have the skills to capture the.
However… I have a suggestion for a really simple alternative design that is more subtle, definitely Schlumpfy, and would probably stand the test of time or could be more easily modified in the future. Just a simple circular view of the outside of a gear change button with the it hole in the middle and indents on two edges, with some colour variation to give it a 3D look, with one wrist having a gold one and the other a silver one.
Just some thoughts from an un-tattooed, risk-averse older person! :wink:


MB captures the cogs quite well.

The design is still cryptic enough to break the ice for a conversation. Nuts? Yes! Not regimented for Drill, nor dangerous. But still not my cup of tea. In 40 years MB may still be one-wheeling it - there’s enough participation on this board from obvious senior citizens to make that likely.

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I stand corrected! Clearly not aware enough of the inside of the hubs. I suppose I was thinking on the bigger scale, as if it was representing a cog/sprocket of the size of the whole hub.

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I get it. I really do - and it is probably a deliberate “lock in” shall we say. Once I get this I am branded a geared unicyclist forever and I can’t back out or quit.

So it is a risk, but also it could be a turning point in my life - at least from a decision making perspective.

When I was in my early twenties I decided to learn Czech and found a route to go and live in Prague. I got hooked and determined to learn the language and once noted down in a notebook that what I was doing would be something I’d look back on with realisation.

Fast forward: my wife Terez is Czech and my two kids are growing up bilingual.

And in 40 years time the cogs will have a different OD but so will my experiences’ breadth and direction.

I’m all for verisimilitude here so I traced over a real cog from a photo I found on Facebook. It is a real cog and happily positioned at this angle. Can’t credit as I don’t recall the link - sorry if this is your snap.


When it comes to any tattoo going into the arm I’ll be sure to have it designed in such a way that it doesn’t look too dominant - so probably more line drawing that the concept drawing I’ve done but it serves as a guideline.

It’s probably hard to see what I see in my head (!). This will be small on my wrist max the size of a penny - so more a token of this passion. It has to be big enough to be of note but not too big I look like I belong in a tractor engine :gear: :tractor:

Really appreciate the thoughts John! Can see there being so many ways of doing this - and I’m not going to rush into it as I want to feel totally happy with it - so that even when I’m in my dotage I can shake hands with anyone with a proud smile :blush:


I plan to get a unicycle tattoo on my ankle to signify where I fractured my foot from a uni fall. (like you said, more visible location) And I plan to have someone do my specific mountain uni from a pic, not just a generic one. I did the same thing when I was hit by a car years ago while road cycling and broke my collarbone.

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A bit hard to see, but that’s a car knocking me off my bike


And they’re done and I couldn’t be happier!

You can see more shots if you’re so inclined on my IG - but I really enjoyed the experience and designing process as it was exactly how I pictured it. If not better.

Even if I were to have to stop riding geared wheels tomorrow these still speak to me and fit with my sense of self. And the lock-in and motivation to train and develop skill is already pushed up a bar, shifting my focus each time I glance at them :gear::heart: