these aren't supposed to break

well, i was out riding today, and i did some uni-spins, some one foot and two foot wheel walking, and practiced some hop-on-wheel. about 20 mins later, while holding my wheel, i notice something odd. one of my spokes is broken! “what the heck?” i ask, but i figure i can still do some mild tricks and ride it home. i did make 24" before it broke, but maybe that caused it to break…i dont really know. that wasn’t even the worst part/

later on it was dark out, and as i was hanging out with my friends, i saw a small 3-set, and decided to 180 over it. i rode, jumped, twisted 90 degrees and fell. why did i fall? because my SEATPOST BROKE. i thought those were hard to break. i was using the 350mm x 25mm? that comes with the stock KH 20" trials, and it broke at the weld. i was sad that it broke, but not dumbfounded by where it broke. i ask Kris Holm this question, “why does the seatpost taper down at the weld? doesn’t that make that one spot really weak?” the post gets thinner at the weld. bad stuff that was my day.

Optimists say: you improved on your one foot wheel walk and you hopped 24" today!
Pessimists say: you definitely broke a spoke and your seatpost. the spoke will be hard to find, while the seatpost is out of stock!
I say: long day

I’ve killed many a seat post over the years. Mostly Miyata posts, which were made out of low grade steel. I don’t think I ever broke one at the weld; the actual metal would rip from repeated seat flexing.

Today’s unicycle seat posts are subjected to way more stress than their original designs were intended for. Nobody expected, years ago, for riders to be doing what we’re doing, let alone yanking and squashing on the front of the seat. Adding an extended handle to that makes the problem worse. So sometimes the seat breaks, and sometimes it’s the post.

Over the years I’ve had several gusseted seat posts made, to make the seat/post joint more strong and rigid. This preserves the life of both the seat and post, and also gives you better power transmission because there is no flex in that area. This was most useful on my old track uni.

I believe future high-end unicycles will have lighter-weight seats, and handles that are built into the posts, so the seats don’t get stressed. This should allow for more overall lightness (assuming you need a strong handle) and less breakage.

Hard to find spoke? Many bike shops have tools to cut and thread spokes to whatever length you need. When I get wheels built (or rebuilt) I always order a few extra spokes to save hassles when I have to replace one. The hard part then is finding the right spoke several years later when I need it…