Here in Tucson we have an awesome bike co-op place called Bicas that takes in old unwanted bikes and teaches people how to fix them up. Today my roommate and I were going to head down there to drop off a whole bunch of decrepit bikes that were lying around our yard, and at some point I recalled a custom road handle I saw on these forums a while back. It was made from an upside-down top tube of a bicycle, using the the seatpost tube to clamp to the seatpost of the unicycle (I can’t seem to find it at the moment…). I realized that Bicas probably had all the parts I needed to make my own crummy version for cheap.
I rummaged around their throwout frames (which they turn into bicycle artwork, very cool) and came across an old trek frame with a 1" seat tube and an OD of 1-1/8" for the top tube. Perfect.
Of the many bins of parts inside, I was able to find a threadless stem to fit over the top tube, some bar ends, and an appropriate handlebar to cut down. The frame was free, since it was junk, and the bars and stem cost me three bucks.
I built it up over the next hour and stuck it on my 26" unicycle, just in time for the Tuesday Night Bike Ride. I was surprised at how easy it was to adapt to the bars; by the end of the six or seven mile ride I was able to turn gracefully and ride comfortably in a straight line without effort. The ride was more comfortable, too, since I could adjust my weight without having to ride standing up. It still wasn’t pain free… I need to upgrade from the Nimbus gel seat someday soon. Oh, and a bigger wheel to put under the handle bars…
Looks smart. I was eyeing a setup like that too and tried to get the seat extension bit custom made. It cost something like $50 to make according to the metal smith. Definitely a good bargain at your price!
I was surprised, too. The tube sizes vary quite a bit from bike to bike… I saw a wrecked Bianchi frame (lugged) that had a top tube OD of about 7/8" but took a 27.2 mm seatpost. I was planning on having to compromise and do some shimming, but I got lucky.
Whoops, I forgot to make sure to check the poetry on the fridge. Fortunately all of the naughty ones are out of frame!
Spudman, your handles are reminiscent of Eric’s (Saskatchewanian). looks like they’ll do the trick and probably won’t flex as much as T7s would. The price is definitely right. There’s a future for you in unicycle R & D.
Well done and welcome to the world of custom handles.
This design is way stiffer and stronger than a T7.
The only problem I had with my setup was the integrated seatpost clamp started to strip and I didn’t leave enough room to add a separate seatpost clamp.
I also used the long boom to clamp onto when using a bike rack like this. I was a bit worried that the bike frame was not meant to take those kind of forces but it was fine for thousands of Km on and off road no problem. My 36 was on the rack when I got rear ended and my 36 was completely smashed but the handle was only slightly bent with no cracks.
I think I will replace the boom when i get a new 36er but I am now very confident in the strength and durability of this design.
Nice set-up there Spudman. It’s a great thing when a scrap or morsel from the bike industry actually works for something you have to build for a unicycle. Makes the prototype building process much easier.
I tried my first handle (very similar to this one) on my 26 in Muni mode and found that it just got in the way. I find I want to be much more upright when MUniing than when road riding and it is more important to have your hand close to the saddle so you can pull up without the seat moving too much.
I would like to try a nice short handle like a Reeder or GB4 Handle for MUni.
I didn’t like it but that doesn’t mean that you won’t. I say go for it anyway. What do you have to loose? $3 and half an hour to build it up. If you decide you don’t like it you have a handle waiting for that 36 you are eventually going to buy.
Yes, for MUNI and polo, I’ve found this handlebar to be much better for pulling up on over bumps and drops. Its made from a handlebar section welded to a rail adaptor and cutting a half moon shaped relief in the front lift handle. Its tucked up nice an tight to the seat and and I’ve made these in left and right handed versions - a lot of Unicycle Bastards use these on their 29ers for uni-cross racing.
A Thomson seatpost makes the handle rock-solid.