Seeking geared unicycle prototype demonstrater/collaborator for startup company.

The list of possibilities seems to be narrowing from the original four.

a) Enthusiastic inventor of an amazing new unicycle product who needs some help with marketing to get it off the ground.

b) Slightly over-enthusiastic but genuine person who has a great idea but maybe doesn’t realise how big the gap is between idea and working prototype.

c) Delusional person who thinks the idea is the product and thinks he has already done all the important stuff and hasn’t bothered to read up on anyone else’s work.

d) seriously delusional person with a chip on his shoulder who is now convinced that everybody is against him and will claim that anyone who actually produces a geared hub during his lifetime has ‘stolen’ his idea.

Ooooo! Ooooo!
I know this one!

Yeah, yeah, yeah guys hardy, hardy Har Har.

It’s about time someone put more than 2 speeds on a unicycle, I don’t care who it is. I come have an understanding of sequential transmissions, but that’s not exactly how this ideal works.

Someone questioned my intentions earlier and my personal life, experience, and popularity in the unicycling industry that’s why I went there. I never said anyone is trying to steal my ideals here either, neither did I say I the bouin bouin was attacking me personally. Good greif

I know i don’t have the experience, been at this for 6 years, Schlumpf has been at it for 10 before he did something I get the point. It would be nice to think that 6 years of planning demonstrates the dedication to the cause.

Bouin-bouin I got lost on your page, I didn’t see any plans or sketches or drawings, i’m sure you have them. Perhaps you would like to share them? If not that’s fine.

Wor king with cars means stuff obviously takes years to get out as well. We and bouin-bouin share industries although different car brands and in different stages of development work.

Bicycle hubs have hit 14 speeds, so yeah I totally believe 3 or 5 speeds is definately possible.

I feel like it would help to work with someone else’s work but then i’d be the one who would be accused of stealing, or if someone thought and designed it long before I came up with a process of my own certainly no one would appreciate that…so I had to start completely from “scratch”…(note the quotation marks, scratch…somebody already invented planetary gears and engaging dog teeth)

Engaging dog gears work just fine in car/motorcycle transmissions

Not once have I made an attack on anyone, questioned intentions, or told people stuff like you think that is a good ideal? Or constantly reminded people about the money issue. I thought I have been quite positive, I hope that bouin bouin can successfully build his concept.

Yes production isn’t easy i’m currently working/collaborating with an engineering firm, Tommy from the unicycle factory, A bicycle/unicycle frame builder, and 1 very interesting unicyclist

I don’t know about big promises, but it is about time someone came out with gearing solutions for unicyclist Hopefully we will see bouin-bouins finished prototype soon. Because I would like no competition
And I meant no harm in that comment above just stating my reasons and 1 of those reasons was

I was trying to share :o

Also Part of were I come from means I don’t have access to communicate with Dorian Schlumpf…internal geared hubs are not as popular on bicycles in the USA, and it’s not like I can go to internal geared hub college so I know the odds,are stacked against me. Now I have 2 people who want 1 so far, if 3 people including me in the world wind up having 1 I won’t care at all because I owe those people a prototype and I would like to have 1 for myself as well.

I also just stated all the reasons why I do what I do. And yes this is personal. Unicycling is a very personal choice, it’s not just about money, who would actually just jump into a niche like this and do it for the money, obviously almost no one.

I guess you can’t have your cake and eat it too :smiley:

#why do you think I have a chip on my shoulder…I specifically stated I’m not trying to prove I am a better builder, or a better whatever, all the bases were covered

#2 No I never even claimed that, not even about the dual chain ideal I had 6 years ago, Justin actually make 1 before I thought of it.

#3 if I research other people’s work and then manufactured it nobody would appreciate that i’m sure

#4 obviously i’m not the first, no duh…bicycle geared hubs have been making 14 speed hubs, i spent 2 years trying to convinice Nuvinci, blah, blah, blah.

Thanks, I am definately trying to be considerate of other builders and unicyclist right now, they probably might feel like “who is this guy, what is he talking about, he has no experience therefore he has no right or he hasn’t earned the respect” the list goes on and on.

The truth is there right. Let’s just “chillax” for a moment…I am just some guy, please feel free to come back in a couple of years lol

This guy has an actual 3 speed hub. Check him out! Good luck I hope hope he succeeds in commercializing it and he is entitled to the market…no sarcasm spinningwoman…i kind of brought something I shouldn’t have, but I believe I am probably not on the European “home team”, apparently I am not on the USA “home team” either,. I just believed we typically root for those in close proximity to us, just saying. I love the whole earth however and consider myself a member of the human species.

Have a good day. I am still DETERMINED to work on my ideal even if I don’t sell a single 1 at this point…and spinningwoman i didn’t call myself de-owning the European market either please forgive me, I don’t own anything.

Again have a good day.

Bouin Bouin feel free to post your links of your project.

The point of everyone is not that it can’t happen. It’s that you dont seem to know how to do it and we dont know what your background is.

For example, when I came out with my first Flansberrium frames, I already had been on the forums for many years and already had over 2500 posts. I have shared my knowledge about parts and mechanical repairs and riding experience and all and all. People know who I am in the comunity and they know that I have the proper experience and level in the sport to know how to make something great that I can test to the limits. I first posted my frame after going for my first ride on it, the product was already there and was being tested (I already had 3 prototypes riding at that stage). If I posted something I wanted to make, people would see my name and know that it would happen because they know, and in lots of cases, met the guy behind jaco_flans.

I haven’t studied in engineering, not designing, not marketing, I’m a bike machanic and a welder. I did highschool and the off to welding. I’ve built stuff that I broke on purpose, I’ve built stuff that I tried to break, I tried lots of different things until I started selling my product which is now being ridden all over the world. The first frame I ever made was horrible, a fat crmo frame, arc welded, I dont even think I posted here.

People are not saying what you want to do is impossible, they just want to see something to prove you have the knowledge do to it the proper way. That’s what you need to prove to get interest in your product/plan.

Most products came out with people doing it for themselves and sharing on the forums and then others found interest in it. I made 3 frames at the start, ended up selling my 41st before leaving for my trip, and I’ve got requests waiting!

I’ll be helping the way I can, next step is to get stuff on paper of even better, get pictures of parts so people can trust the product you are making.

You should see if you can borrow one from somebody and get some riding experience on it. You’ll have a much better idea of the ratios that are likely to make sense to potential buyers. Even jackshaft types; doesn’t matter how the transmission works, but riding it to feel the sluggishness of the gearing in relation to a regular 1:1 setup.

My experience with geared unicycles started in 1980 with putting different sized top chainrings on Schwinn Giraffes (again in Livonia, MI). The higher the ratio, the more sluggish the thing will be. Even a 2:1 ratio on a giraffe is quite a lot! I rode Tommy Miller’s jackshaft 20" (rode like a 40") back when he first made it, which I think was 1982. It works! but sluggish.

I didn’t get my own Schlumpf until 2010, but it renewed my interest in learning stuff on the unicycle because it’s so challenging to ride, at least on a 36" wheel. I might like it with a little bit higher ratio, but 2:1 is probably too much for 90% of geared enthusiasts on a 36" wheel. I might be wrong about that. What would work for me would be 1:1, maybe 1.3:1 and maybe 1.6:1. Serious racers would probably want a wider range.

A downward gear, such as for climbing steep hills, would seem to be more of a curiosity; not sure how useful one would be. I’d love to try one though. Market-wise, I doubt it would be worth it.

The bicycling world (in which I include unicycling for this topic) has always attracted inventors. The machine is simple enough for anyone to understand, and there are always new ideas. But it’s hard to make successful new ideas because human-powered cycles are very sensitive to weight, and in a wider market, also sensitive to cost. So we’re not so worried about cost, since unicycles are expensive, but if it’s a product to buy, it can’t be too expensive either. I guess the benchmark for that would be today’s Schlumpf hub.

So there are always new inventions. You go to the big cycling trade shows and there are innovative new products on display every year. Very few make it because they usually involve some sort of compromise; most often weight. A Schlumpf hub adds a bunch of weight to a hub, but you get speed out of it so it’s an acceptable trade-off. A 3+ speed hub, to be viable, probably can’t weigh too much more than a schlumpf to be competitive, because it would be all about performance. If the goal is more speed, you have to avoid adding much new weight.

Good idea. Perhaps just keep us posted on the development of an actual prototype. Lots of people here will offer useful advice as things go along. We have some of the smartest unicycle people in the world here, offering advice for free!

And we know it’s not about money. If it were, you wouldn’t be around very long. :frowning:

That would be a motorcycle, of course. :slight_smile: But if that is truly your goal, you should consider playing around in the field of electric unicycles. I rode one of these last summer, and it’s really cool. But it only goes about 10 mph. With sufficient electronic tweaking, it should be capable of much higher speeds, and weight is much less of an issue!

And here’s the big reason to invest in it: an exponentially larger market! These things are much, much more likely to be ridden by non-unicyclists so your market goes from hundreds to at least tens of thousands. That’s enough to pay for some of your research!

Don’t worry about bicyclists (or unicyclists) giving you a hard time. Whatever you come up with, it will be whatever it is, even if it’s as fast as a conventional bike. Which it basically won’t be anyway, so no need to worry about it.

Absolutely. But don’t think of it as one speed; if you make something, make it easy to swap out cogs/sprockets so the gearing can be changed. Otherwise it will again be more of a novelty and less interesting for the nerdy market of unicyclists.

I really like the idea of a “kit” that can be applied to an existing unicycle, though I don’t see how that would work. Perhaps better to design frames and hubs, then let people build out the rest as they desire. If lots of people start wanting it, you or someone else can pre-build them to a standardized set of parts, or custom setups for people who can pay more.

That is no different from the Schlumpf hubs being made in Switzerland. That’s part of why they are expensive, aside from the numerous parts to be manufactured and the labor of getting it all done. Speaking of Schlumpf, part of me thinks that if someone else came out with a cheaper hub (assuming near-equal quality), he might be relieved to stop making his because I doubt he’s making any meaningful money doing it. Greg Harper freely shared his design back in the early 2000s in the hope of finding a manufacturer. There’s little need to be secretive about your design, since that’s the easy part. Making prototypes, tweaking them toward viable products and then getting actual production off the ground is the hard part. And you wouldn’t have to worry much about marketing, since the unicycling market is fairly insular. We would do a lot of the spreading of the word.

Don’t worry about competing with Schlumpf, or anyone else. If you actually make it to market, you are unlikely to upset anyone else who is manufacturing something. If it’s affordable, people will buy it!

You keep mentioning that. Each time you go back to that it makes us wonder if you understand the mechanical requirements of a unicycle hub; namely that it can’t freewheel. If you haven’t worked with that part of it, you’re still at the drawing board.

Ooh, math. Don’t go there. If unicycles were indeed a whole one percent of the bike market, we’d have something to work with. But unfortunately we’re not. From its 2005 beginnings, Schlumpf has sold less than 1000 unicycle hubs. I’m pretty sure that number would be higher if they were always available, but still probably under 2000.

If the cost can be reduced, the sales numbers would go up. It’s hard to guess by how much, but it’s a moot question until there’s a product to apply to the question. It’s hard getting over the hurdle between batch production and actual mass production. I don’t know if any high end unicycle parts qualify for that. Schlumpfs are made in batches; not sure how many at a time but I think it’s in the 30-50 range. KH and Nimbus saddles might be made 1000 at a time? I don’t know if even that counts as mass production. To really get costs down you have to be around 10,000 or something, which would be out of the question for a product like this, even a jackshaft system.

Your market wants to go places. The 36" wheel revolutionized unicycling in terms of distance. Larger wheels had always existed, but they weren’t comfortable due to the solid rubber tires. But a Coker (the original 36" brand) could be ridden 100 miles in a day! Suddenly people started doing bike-like distances on unicycles. Before Cokers, this was a very, very rare thing. It’s what I do the most with unicycles these days.

Not sure what your point is there, other than liking to go fast. Speed is probably the most difficult part of riding a wheelie at high speed on a motorcycle. The side to side balance is pretty solid and you have lots of power. Kind of the opposite of the effect of gearing up a unicycle wheel, but it looks a lot cooler!

BTW, Kerry McLean has built many motorized monocycles, and he sells (or sold) them. Sem Abrahams has one. I’ve never seen one in person but someday I hope to try one out.

Seriously you should see if you can limit yourself to one post per day. And use caution with your contract. Already signed something? I hope you are not being taken advantage of. Generally this kind of stuff is more of a public domain-type thing, since it’s hard to make money from the ideas. But I hope people can. The more people are able to monetize unicycle inventions, the better it is for the unicycle market, and better for us unicyclists.

Do you have a plan to manufacture someday, or not known until you figure out your prototype?

Incorrect. Sturmey Archer, NuVinci and others have not made unicycle hubs. They aren’t interested. Aside from the difficulty of making something work (they can easily overcome that), they know the numbers just aren’t there to do it in an affordable way. They think in much larger scales of production, and a mass market.

Replace greedy with realistic. They just don’t want to spend a bunch of money on a product that sells less than 1% as much as their least popular bike or bike product.

So? Many of the great inventors were not great experts at how to use what they invented. Lots of non-unicyclists have done amazing things for our sport, such as Carol Brichford. Not sure if she is from before your time or not. The Redford Twp Unicycle Club was started for her kids.

Good, since I don’t think anyone asked you about your personal life. You are new to all of this. Take a breath, read more, and post less.

Almost sounds like you are describing our most recent presidential campaign… :stuck_out_tongue:

Last but not least, UnimakerX (hey, are you related to Racer X from Speed Racer), If you are able to develop a product that people want, it will sell all over the world to unicyclists that want it. Speaking their language won’t be that important. Bring samples to Unicon the big European events, and let people ride around on them. That will cover most of your marking needs.

I mean that really got out of hand fast.

I thought that we were talking about jack shaft designs here. That should be much faster and cheaper to implement than designing and prototyping multi-speed internally geared hubs.

When I saw that the Nimbus trike hubs were on sale I thought about making a jackshaft unicycle utilizing the hub with a tommicog bolted to the disk mount and a jackshaft hanging down from the Magura mount. I would also have to buy a short square taper bike crank for the chain ring mount (think Mountain Uni disk brake system).

If someone were to build the jackshaft portion and supply the rest of the parts to convert to a single speed geared design I could see a few people going for it. One major problem I see with my idea is you loose the easy options for adding a brake (kind of essential for geared unicycles in my opinion) but you might be able to make the jackshaft hanger incorporate a Magura or V-brake mount.

If I am not being clear I can make some drawings.

Pretty sure you don’t have to be an engineer to use CAD…

Appreciate all the suggestions. As an aspiring designer, note the words aspiring…I didn’t mean to drag this out of porportion… rest assured the posts from John Foss, Saskatchewan, Flansberrium owner Jaco_Flans, Pinoclean, Cousin Itt, are most appreciated and it certainly seems like everyone has been polite about voicing there opinions, advice, and factual information…

Free dual chain kits for everyone on me!..and while i can’t fulfill that promise i am certainly in that mood…just you better believe those prices are going to be lowest yet…even Better yet it would be awesome to see someone else succeed in selling some, it would be fun to try 1 without having to make a custom kit from scratch…an it sure sounds like it would be possible and I could share some ideals for kits if asked, but don’t worry I won’t shove it down your throats, but neither will I be secretive with it.

Anyways 5 speeds might be overkill on a unicycle, but it would be a fun project to just pour money into it just to attempt to build it to say it existed…which that is exactly what this guy(UnimakerX) is going to waste his money on trying to build, with professional help. That being said let’s all feel free to disregard all those last posts. I really wish I never had posted them.

If you want to go places fast go by yourself, if you want to go far than work together or however the saying goes…

That being said i’m going to avoid posting for the entire week, promise…lol

Tons of free tutorials out there, and with 3d printers being really affordable/accessible (there’s one in the public library up my street!), making models and proof of concept prototypes is within reach of everyone nowadays. Ok, everyone in the western world. :slight_smile:

I’d love a 3 gear and as John stated, 1:1, 1.3:1 and 1.6:1 would be great for most of us. Since you seem pretty advanced on how to do it, please do it! We all watched Jacobs as he started to share his first welds, there was a lot of advice and ideas as he progressed and now a lot of us want to get one of his frames!

Who wants to create a betting pool for “How long till UnimakerX posts again”

Low odds on “Today” and “Tomorrow” Very high odds on “not for seven days”


New guy: shows up with an idea he wants to share.

Rest of the forum: “Quick, shoot him!”

There’s a lot of great information in this thread and includes discussions by people whose posts I always check out. I would say that my unicycling experience is in the intermediate range and my skill is in the low range. I don’t have an engineering background and have no aptitude either but I have put in a good amount of time and money trying to apply technologies not originally designed for unicycles into unicycles with varying degrees of success.

Other interests that can be somewhat similar to unicycles are front drive recumbent bikes, drift trikes, and custom tricycles. I say somewhat because bikes and trikes usually want to freewheel and unicycles usually do not. This difference may or may not mean technologies can transfer, depending on the design. I haven’t ridden Justin’s design but I feel it’s the most promising option I’ve seen because it leverages existing complex bike hubs. However I don’t think it’s a solution for even slightly technical off road riding and an internal hub is almost always going to be the best option there.

The owner of a company called JR Drift Trikes developed two prototypes for geared drift trikes that are relevant to this discussion, the GameChanger and the GearChanger. The first is an internal planetary hub which was produced by Sturmey Archer in at least one batch of 100 (I’m not sure if there were more batches and if so how big they were). The second is a very compact chain design that didn’t get out of the prototype stage. I made a unicycle out of the GameChanger and while it’s generally fun it has limitations that make it more of a novelty (it’s geared up 3.8x and doesn’t shift). Both designs utilize disc brakes.

I’m kind of breaking a promise not to post this weekend, but thanks for the ideal about moving the sun gear and multiple planetary gears. AJKJ.:)…it has inspired me to rethink some of my old ideals and modify them…now with that being said the number of potentials speeds are virtually “limitless”, limited only by the width of the hub I would assume.
…so even if the gear ratios produced,are unridable it would be a fun build just to do it.

Now I decided to “reincarnate” the old principle design keys you mentioned… Of course I have added a few twist to the ideal, including underdrive…

Let me also tell you I scrapped the third bearing size in the ideal and came up with a bearing race structure ideal consisting of many smaller bearings…which will greatly increase the ability to make it a reality, since manufacturing bearings sizes from scratch would be far too expensive (trying to keep the prototype project under $25,000) according to an employee of Timken bearings.

Now I like to think there is room for everyone to make a geared hub, especially bouin bouin…

Note: still planning on getting the dual chain kits out there but now more interested in making the hub a reality just for experimentation for experimentation sake…for example dual chain unicycles have been done, nobody however has done a 4 speed chain less hub that I can think of.


If nobody else “nudge, nudge, hint, hint” puts a dual chain kits out there then It will sure be on the agenda to aim for manufacturing of said such a product first.

Back to the geared hub current ideal:

Suspected pros: almost any number of gears, more straight forward
Design, no need for extremely large bearings, hand shifting…

Suspected cons: complexity, too many parts, high manufacturing cost, heavy weight, the more gears with unicycles perhaps the more difficult to ride…

There are people who have or are building hubs who would know more about this for example bouin, bouin…

For example see below:

3 advantages with bouin bouins ideal

#1, he is farther along the design, and development process.

#2 after making a sketch I would assume his ideal manifested in reality is or will be much lighter

#3 it probably has less parts, complexity is not always a good thing in fact it seems to be the general consensus that the simpler you can make a mechanical solution the better…for example less likely to break down and last but not least it will be easier to manufacture, …(also perhaps more affordable).

One day I will actually open a thread about the project when I have made progress. It’s been a long 6 years since i have wanted this and it’s been longer for more skilled individuals, but now this is an exciting possibility under the right circumstances that I refuse to accede.(give up).

Maybe down the line I will post another thread if not on this thread once notable progress has been made, sooner or later, which could be as soon as month or at the end of the year.

Here it is.

I moved long time ago to 125mm bearing distance with disc on the hub ! This is compatible with Nimbus Oracle frames, no more with KH

I forgot to tell that Mad4One from Marco Vitale in Italy is also doing very nice stuff

You said hand shifting?

There was a guy, from Denmark maybe, who had modified a Schlumpf setup for a hand-operated shift lever. Me likey! Sure, shifting with your foot is a great skill to master, but it doesn’t let you shift when you want. It usually takes me several revolutions of the wheel to get it, and of course you can only make the shift at one point in the wheel’s rotation, which is a pretty long distance on a 36". I would love the ability to make a definitive shift-on-the-first-try, whenever I need to. It would totally change the way I rode it, and how often I would shift.

That said, it will obviously complicate the system. The reason Schlumpf uses the hub buttons is to keep things from being more complicated. I hope you can come up with a solution for that!

I said that a little wrong, i plan to incorporate hand shifting in my design…in fact it might not even be possible to install foot shifting in my current ideal theoretically because it will have a solid axle…but anyways John Foss, the Flansberrium frame builder told me all about you. It is a pleasure to have communicated with you sir.