SH 26/39 Unicycle

I’m curious to know how the winner of the SH 26/29 unicycle likes it? How about a short write up.

Bad timing. Mike Scalisi is the guy who won, and he’s currently at Burning Man. He won’t be back for a few more days. I can tell you what he’s told me, though. He really likes it, and plans to spend a year just getting used to riding it, and then he said he might make it into a blueshifted coker. He said that it’s not the strongest hub in the world so you really have to stay on somewhat smoothe roads with it(translation: no trials/muni riders on it, as hopping won’t be good). Also, the next time I get to ride it I’ll give a slightly better writeup if you want. Try re-posting this thread in like 3 or four days.


Do I like it? Of course, I LOVE IT. I will do a write up at some point, but I am currently strapped for time. I intend to bring it to the Cal Muni Weekend for those who want to try it.

I will tell you this however:

The first week I got it, it was the only unicycle I rode. It’s a bit twitchy, but you get used to it after a while. I discovered that it’s very different than the coker. How different? Well, after riding nothing but the 26/39er for a week, I went for a coker ride with Scot Cooper. I wound up doing a face-plant while trying to mount the coker. On a VERY busy street. It was QUITE embarassing.

I do like the geared uni for commuting to work. A train (BART) will take me within’ 5 miles of my job. It’s much more convenient to bring a 26er on the train than a coker. The other thing that’s nice about it is that you can make a much sharper turn on a 26" hookworm than a 36" coker tire.

Riding the 26/39er has yet to bring me to the zen-like state that I feel on the coker, however.

I am contemplating tranforming it into a 36/54er sometime in the future (at least a year out). I wish I could ride Kris’s first to see what it’s like.


Mike, what’s the biggest con to this geared hub? Is there any slack in the apparatus?
What crank length are you using?
And what speeds have you had it up to? 12? 14? 16?

I think the biggest con is that it’s a little squirrly to ride. You always need to be a bit more focused. When you UPD, you hit the ground very fast.

There is some slack, but I don’t think if affects the riding in a big way. The nature of the beast is that it’s generally going forward. It doesn’t lend itself to idling or other skills other than riding forward.

Currently it has 165’s on it. The extra length is nice and I don’t have plans for shorter cranks at this point.

I don’t have a cycle computer on it, so I don’t know exactly what speeds I’m doing. Because it’s a little squirrly, I don’t really push it as hard as I push my coker. I’d guess 14 is probably fastest I’ve ridden.

Thanks for the info! Always nice to hear from someone riding a geared hub. Progress is inevitable, and I firmly believe we’ll have some choices in that department within a few years.


yup, saw that earlier… i meant choices in addition to the Schlumpf, which appears will be the first obtainable production fixed-gear hub suitable for unis.
i myself am working on a prototype chain-driven uber-coker, with the cranks on the same axle as the hub. the wheel is all done, and now i’m trying to get a custom frame built.

Been There Done That:o (Not literally). I warn you, although you probably know already that you’re not the first person to try this, it doesn’t work. Chains have too much inherent slack in them, and the shifters and chain tensioners are too difficult to design. I drew up some rough sketch for a 21 speed 24" uni that runs on the same principle as you seem to be doing. I had about 7 different ideas for how to develop and build a shifter/chain tensioner. After talking to Scott Wallis and some other people I noticed it wouldn’t work due to the slack of chains and gave up. Did you design and build a custom hub, because normal uni or bike hubs don’t work. Also, please, make me eat my words. I really want to see a uni of this design work, becuase it’d rock.

This one’s gonna rock alright…take a crank w/ chainring, a 180mm wide bottom bracket axle, and a narrow jackshaft 5" off the axle to run a 2nd chain back down to the track hub, which will rotate on the same axle but faster than the axle itself. The frame tubes will run between the inner & outer jackshaft cogs. The design is so simple, yet the hard part has been fabricating the parts. I’ll report more after I’ve taken that all-important first UPD!