Ultimate Wheel Build

9/16” nuts are hard to find in reverse thread. If you use 1/2” pedals the nuts are easy to find at the hardware store. I had this idea for pedal mounts when I stumbled across 1/2x20 left nuts at the local Ace. With tee nuts, and fender washers I don’t think I spent more than a few dollars on all of the hardware for both pedals. I already had the pedals in my parts bin (it’s a popular BMX size).

Day 7 & 8

Well, the original post was to hold me accountable–and following the time frame–it hasn’t done the best job. I am still determined and according to pure days of practice, I am still poised to be basically riding by 2 weeks of “practicing”.

Day 7 & 8 still saw huge gains. Biggest thought:

If it has been a LONG time since you learned to ride a unicycle and you are teaching others–I STRONGLY suggest trying an ultimate wheel. It is VERY much like starting over and feeling what new unicyclists are feeling.

Examples: Day 7 saw little gains from letting go of the rail some but on day 8 I had the epiphany of what I do with new riders–if you don’t leave the rail, you will stop seeing large improvements.
Day 8–started with only 3 sections left of the fence–then the open parking lot. Learned much faster how to keep up longer with no rail. I also discovered as I know with new unicyclists–you are so focused on NOT falling, you have NO concept of directionality/steering in a particular direction–I veer heavy right.

By the end of Day 8 though I had two times where I made it 50-60 feet (20+ revolutions) without the rail though–HUGE improvement. Now, the insides of my legs are raw, but still massive steps forward. I even ended up gathering quite an audience of strangers cheering me on!!

So close to having it down. No weather excuses and about to be out for the summer, so more time–running out of excuses not to just GET THIS DOWN!!

Pedal mounts

While I still have no clue when I might find the time to do the wood work (next to full time job, baby and the unicycle group I train), the metal parts already look fine (disregarding painting).

I used 9/16"-20 UNF to 1/2"-20 UNF adapters, 1/2"-20 nuts, big washers and two laser cut steel plates, 3 mm each. The one with the slot locks the adapter against twisting.

That is a great way of doing it. I have seen inexpensive “universal” pedals that come with the adapters like you are using.

Now I finally found the time to timber.
I decided that I’m not able to cut the plates with my jigsaw accurate enough to guarantee true running of the wheel and ordered three NC-milled plates (6.5 / 12 / 6.5 mm) from a company nearby.

I printed stencils from my CAD construction to mark all holes. As the middle plate has exactly the inner diameter of the rim, I had to file grooves for all nipple eylets

It perfectly fits the rim.

To Save some weight, I made cutouts, that gave the middle plate kind of a spoke design.

Then I added all the other holes for screws, pedal adapters, valve, …

This is, how the pedals are mounted:

As you can see, the outer plates are larger than the middle one to provide a snug fit. All three plates are full surface glued and then screwed together. The middle plate is screwed with the rim through every spoke hole.

And finally: the fully painted and mounted 26" Ultimate:

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I have not have much practicing time on it yet (due to closed gyms during the pandemic and being the trainer of the group) but I’m making progress. I can ride a few meters on every try. Sometimes I can do 2 meters or more and even half circles. Started freemounting this week and have a success rate of maybe 1/3 now.

What I can say so far about my design choices:

  • (nearly) same width of wheel and tire is pretty ideal. This flush side surface reduces abrupt stopping due to wheel contact and makes it easy in the beginning to stabilize the wheel with your legs. It also helps in freemounting
  • 125mm (virtual) crank length feels pretty nice on a 26er
  • 1.1" tire with is not to slim and not wobbly. feels good on gym floor
  • having the wheel a bit heavy (compared to an aluminium off-the-shelf UW) stabilizes it really well when rolling. Especially for UW beginners this is a real advantage
  • my pedal mounts hold up really well
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If enyone wonders about the color markings on the pedals:
red = right , purple = left
or in german:
rot = rechts, lila = links
thats easier and faster than to look after the valve stem, that directs in rotation direction.

Why do you only want practice in a gym? I found a fence along a quiet cycle path to learn. It also sloped downwards a little bit to make the rolling go easier. Do you wear shin guards when riding yours? I have think KH shinguards that always move around my leg while riding and often it would act as a brake, so nowadays I just wear jogging pants which I stuff into my socks. Even though when done perfectly the wheel shouldn’t touch your legs, by touching my leg at a rotation, I retain some of the lost balance.

Your home made UW looks very nice. Hopefully it is stronger than the one UniGeezer made. It seems like a more decent product anways. Well done.

When designing and building it i had not thought about the need of riding it outdoors some day. The mail purpose was to use it as training device for drag seat in our club. So I chose a tire that was originally designed for bicycle trainers. But this one can not be ridden outdoors, its only for smooth floor. And additionally I also had not so much time to train it. (we used our regular training time to ride muni in the woods).
I don’t use shin guars for this. I wear leggings (fist time in my life to use long pants for indoor sports, haha)

Do you think that by being able to ride UW, dragging the seat actually becomes easier to learn? Seat dragging on a unicycle adds the whole Q-factor which makes it much more wobbly. It might be that riding SIF becomes easier, because then you have a handle to keep the wheel in the center. I haven’t tried SIF since and I found it difficult to mount a unicycle like I do the UW.
The reason I wanted to learn UW is because the wheel easily fits into the car and uses less space than a unicycle. I figured I could just hop on and do some exploring with it, but it turned out to be extremely tiring, since you can’t sit and unfortunately my knees became a problem. Nowadays I only ride it because it feels good to have mastered it. It was much harder to learn than to ride uni.
Passers by are more impressed when they see me ride UW than when I ride a unicycle. :slight_smile:

I’ve ben practicing SIF and am able to hold the saddle with two fingers and my arm stretched out for years now. But never managed to ride drag seat. In my mind, UW is the perfect “bridge” from SIF to drag seat. I’m sure, drag seat will be way easier to learn if you can ride a UW.

No doubt they are related and by riding UW as well as SIF, the two can be well combined when dragging the seat.

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These are mine. The the custom modified wheel shields make tire rubbing a thing of the past. Truly a joy to ride these.