Some historic unicycle photos

A friend found some interesting old unicycles while in a museum in Slovenia.

I’ve pit his photos up here:

The 28" unicycle is geared, has toe clips and handle bars! The cottered cranks look quite solid too. Not sure of the age of this unicycle, can any one decipher the tags?

I’m guessing the mini giraffe would be one of the earlier ones made.

Hope these pics are of interest,


Wow! They are fantastic, do you have even a rough idea of the ages of them? And was it the donator who made them?

Would handle bars like that allow a different style of hopping? Closer to bike trials?

Very cool shots. The geared one doesn’t actually look all that old. Frame seems pretty solid, well constructed.

Not sure Blue Shift is in any danger here…

I was looking at the 26er with out gears and noticed something behind the frame. It looks almost like a brake, but appears to go through the wheel. Do you know what it is?
Attached is a pic with an arrow to what I’m talking about.


I think it’s a wheel lock. A lot of bikes in europe have them. It just puts a little thing through the wheel when you lock it to stop people riding off.


Cool unicycles. But I don’t think they are very old. The geared one, if I had to guess a decade, is probably from the 80s based on the fork design. My second guess would be the 70s. I highly doubt it’s older than that.

I don’t know much about Solvenia, but those steel rims and cotterless cranks may still be very common there.

The workmanship looks very clean and nice on all of them, and I would imagine were done by the same person. These are probably props that were used by a single performer. Why else would they all have the same basic handlebar setup?

On the 26", yes, looks like a wheel lock to me. This probably helps stand the unicycle up, so they keep it in the locked position. Though this cycle may be older, I would guess it’s less than 10 years older than the geared one.

The mini-giraffe has a Tom Miller-style frame at the bottom. I would not be surprised if the builder got the idea from one of Tom’s; they are all over the world.

What’s with all the handlebars??

They all appear to have the same seat, and all the seats look pretty new. I wonder if they are original? On looking at the pictures in large size, I noticed the geared uni also has a wheel lock.

I’m imagining those handlebars in the event of a high speed faceplant.

As for the translation, I think the little writing in the corner says, “Made by Gregorovitch Harperski” but I wouldn’t swear to it.

That looks like a Basta lock, or something very similar. I found some at a surplus store here a couple of years ago, and have them on two of my bikes. I had no clue what they were for when I bought them, except that they were some kind of bike lock. I had to post a question to a group somewhere; it may even have been this one, I don’t remember. Apparently they are popular in Europe. The ones that I have have odd mounting brackets which I believe are designed to clamp onto particular types of bike fenders or frames; I had to futz a bit with them to figure out how to mount them on mine. The lock is mounted permanently on the bike and has a big round shackle that goes through the spokes when closed, so that the bike can not be ridden. Just locking the wheel won’t keep your bike from being stolen of course, but it lets you turn your back on it for a second without someone pulling a grab-and-zoom on it. I’ve seen them with keyed locks; mine all have an odd sort of combination system with six little plungers that can be either pulled up, pushed down, or left alone, yielding what I believe are 729 possible combinations. Having one on your bike is really quite handy; putting one on a uni doesn’t make a great deal of practical sense to me, and may have been done as a joke, as may (possibly) be the case with the handlebars as well.

Here is a pic of a Basta in its open and closed states, shown sideways. The “body” of the lock has two small levers sticking out of it. The one on the top in the picture resets all of the six combo plungers to neutral. Then you set the combination and push the opposite lever, and a powerful spring retracts the shackle with a rather startling KASHLACKK!! The third lever, on the top of the shackle sleeve in the picture, closes the shackle again. The little fob hanging on the shackle is a keyring thing that has the combination stamped on it. The label reads, “Made In Denmark.”