Sears unicycle

There is a Sears unicycle for sale on eBay

It looks like the type of unicycle made from a kids tricycle wheel. At least it has a pneumatic tire.

What I’m curious about though is if this unicycle has actual bearings on the hub? My suspicions are that it has some sort of plastic bushing rather than actual bearings. Anyone familiar with the Sears unicycle and know?

Definitely not a quality unicycle. Friends don’t let friends ride a unicycle like that. Unfortunately it has already gotten 6 bids. I hope they’re buying it for a piece of art and aren’t planning on riding it.

I’ll attach a picture to document this unicycle specimen.


Gotta love that seat! In a pinch, you can iron your shirts on it. That’s the Practical Side of Sears!

The wheel has 20 spokes that look like they are welded to the rim from the photo. I’ll bet they’re not adjustable. The bearing housings look like the kind that hold bronze bushings, a step up from plastic. You’re right that they don’t look big enough to hold ball bearings unless they’re loose bearings. The assembly procedure for plastic or bronze bushings for that configuration would be tricky if you think about it. The valve stem is crooked in the rim. I think Tom is right about the ironing board design for the seat. Another great find, John.

that is totally a sleave bearing…

My very first unicycle was from a Sears catalog, to see if i would persue the sport (i was young then, and the folks didn’t want to buy an expensive one in case i did not like it).

I cannot answer your question about the bearing system, as my copy of that lasted about one to two weeks, before the pedals came unwelded from the hub (the pedals were attached still, but spun freely of the wheel).

I brought the uni in to a metal shop, and had them re-welded, but that only lasted another week or so, and by that time i knew i wanted to ride, so i went out and bought one of the last old-style schwinn unicycles (and 12 years later, and close to a dozen ppl learning to ride on it, it still looks almost new).

As John Childs described, it is made with what I refer to as “tricycle technology.” Look at any cheap juvenile bike and you’ll see similar.

I’m pretty sure it’s some kind of bushing. Definitely no ball bearings in there. I have a similar one to this in my garage. It may have actually been made by Stelber (for Sears) but I’m not sure. The Stelbers were, if anything, a cut above that one. When you put any weight on a wheel with that type of bearing, there is quite a bit of friction against turning the wheel. It’s as if the cycle is saying “What, are you serious? You’re not supposed to actually ride me!”

Luxury. That seat looks like it has padding in it! My old Troxel had a seat with metal base, and plastic over that with a little air in between. Also it had a solid tire.

What makes these tricycle-technology cycles bad is their overall ill-suitedness for learning to ride, or even supporting a large rider. The tricycle-style pedals pop off the axle. The axle is a one-piece crank with wide radius bends, making the Q-factor fairly large. Combine this with the shorter cranks on some (like my Troxel) and you have pedals that are as far apart as their combined crank length. Add that to bearings that don’t want to turn, and you have an anti-learning unicycle.

Lastly, note the single bolt attaching the bearing holders. This was where my Troxel failed, in that a single bolt, without something else to hold it (like enough curve in the parts), can become a hinge.

I recomend someone buy this unicycle, spray paint it to match the color of your wall, and hang it up there. Art!

And if you make the mistake of trying to actually ride it, you’ll quickly prove that old adage: “Art is not eternal…”. :wink:

hey does anyone know what price these will bring? i have the same one maybe a little higher end but still an old sears

Holy moly! I had a uni exactly like that! :smiley:

it’s worth about 10 cents.

Uni Jon, the price is whatever a collector will pay for it. Please don’t try to sell this on ebay and hype it up as a learner uncycle gift, it will ruin someone’s christmas. As a collector’s item, it may pull in a few dollars, but I’d make it clear that it’s not really meant for riding. It’s really old technology, and even when it was new, it was pretty cheap.

anybody know why this thing has reflectors on the pedals?

And there aren’t many unicycle collectors out there. I mean really not a lot. And some of those collectors already have one. And most of the rest (the other three) don’t want one. :slight_smile:

Like all other unicycles, this has bike pedals. Except these are more likely tricycle pedals. Same question? Uh-huh. Actually, it may have been a requirement in some states/countries, so they just made the pedals that way to be compliant.

I took a closer look at the similar unicycles I have hanging up in the garage. Stelber, Hedstrom, Rutledge and Troxel. None is an exact match, but the Rutledge has a similar wheel (only 16 spokes; radial). It also has the one-piece tricycle crank but it has a hard plastic tire. My Hedstrom has that same red piece of plastic decorating the crown, but its 24" wheel has real, cottered cranks on it.

Looks just like my first uni.

Just looking at this unicycle pains me

Sad Christmas Memories…

Oh man! JuggleAddict you hit the nail on the head. I learned on my older brother’s Schwinn, then the following Christmas I got a brand-new unicycle that was all mine! :slight_smile: Unfortunately, it was the one pictured at the top of this thread. :frowning: I know my Mom meant well, and I appreciated the gift, but I think you’d have a better unicycle if you carved one out of wood.

The first day I was riding it, the pedal broke, and you couldn’t get new ones, because the pedal was part of the crank held in place with with some kind of hammered on retainer. It was all very depressing now that I relive the experience in my mind. If I remember correctly, my brother Eddy got a brand-new Suzuki RM80 dirt bike that year (he was always Mom’s favorite)! Oh well, that unicycle adversity probably made me stronger, so life is good.

Friends don’t let friends ride unicycles like this!

That looks alot like what I learned on also. By the time I was really figuring it out, the wheel wobbled so badly it would rub on the fork … I’m thinking it might have been the first unicycle braking system! lol. Even with the uni braking system I was able to learn on this uni, and it paved the way for the 24" Schwinn I got ~1975 that I still have and ride today. The seat on my oldie did look a little more like a uni seat, but had the cheap plastic/vinyl cover … I remember having to pull the front of the dented front part of the seat out with pliers from so many impacts from UPD’s.