How’s about this: I was out with the Morris dancers last night and was doing
a little bit of ‘warming up’ idling on the unicycle outside the pub when a
passer-by asked, ‘Would you like to buy one of those?’
He then told me he lived next door to the pub and had an old unicycle he’d
not ridden for years that I could buy. Ten minutes later, I had a new old
unicycle for 10 pounds (about 16 US Dollars?).
The bloke told me he’d owned it since he was 19, and that he was now 62,
making the unicycle about 43 years old (I’m only 39 myself). It was made by
a chap in Holland and in those days all the kids rode them, he told me.
It weighs 13.5 pounds (about 2 pounds more than my Nimbus II), has a 20 inch
steel rimmed wheel, a leather bicycle saddle (similar to a Brooks) and a
really weird frame.
The frame is as follows: standard bicycle seat post in a standard seat tube.
The seat tube is butted at right angles to a wider section of tube making
the cross piece at the head of the forks (the ends of the cross piece are
blanked). The forks are distinctive: each appears to consist of a short
section of round tube, of about 1/2 inch diameter, and a short section of
round tube that’s a fair bit narrower. The two sections are joined by a
tapered bit like an inverted cone. Total effect: imagine a party popper
only much much longer and thinner! The bearing holders appear to be wrought
rather than pressed or cast. It’s clearly a quality piece of kit, for its
day, although primitive by today’s standards.
So, is there a vintage unicycle enthusiasts’ movement, with London - Brighton
runs and so on? Have I bought a collector’s piece worth thousands? Or,
having bought two unicycles in 2 days, do I simply need therapy?
Let’s see if I can beat Harper to the punch…
Re: VINTAGE unicycle!
Buying two unicycles in two days IS therapy.
Too bad the Edwards beat me to the punch. Do you happen to have photos of this little gem?
RE: VINTAGE unicycle!
> So, is there a vintage unicycle enthusiasts’ movement,
> with London - Brighton runs and so on? Have I bought
> a collector’s piece worth thousands? Or, having
> bought two unicycles in 2 days, do I simply need
Someday there will be a “market” for vintage unicycles. When that happens,
I’ll be ready. If they decide to ride them London to Brighton, I think I’ll
pass though. For the moment, the few of us collectors probably need therapy.
My guess would be that your unicycle was hand made rather than
mass-produced. Somebody in that guy’s neighborhood was making them, and he
lived in the middle of a local unicycle craze. This is understandable in
Holland, a land of a zillion bicycles.
I hope you’re able to take some pictures and post them for us to see!
John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone
“You’re not supposed to wash your Roach armor” - Nathan Hoover, on safety
equipment cleaning methods
Re: VINTAGE unicycle!
On Fri, 3 May 2002 11:34:44 EDT, MikeFule@aol.com wrote:
>The bloke told me he’d owned it since he was 19, and that he was now 62,
>making the unicycle about 43 years old (I’m only 39 myself). It was made by
>a chap in Holland and in those days all the kids rode them, he told me.
I lived in Holland all my life (well, in The Netherlands which is not
quite the same). 43 years ago I was 5 years of age. No way that all
the kids rode them here at the time, or I should have remembered.
Maybe a local craze as JF suggests.
“To trigger/fool/saturate/overload Echelon, the following has been picked automagically from a database:”
“SECURITY, 707, STARLAN”
According to e-bay, the “vintage” unicycles are great. There are a lot of them there. hehe
UPDATE on my progress:
The frame and forks have cleaned up reasonably well. There are a few tiny rust spots, but the overall effect is shiny and clean. The bearings have been overtightened and are a bit oval, but they spin reasonably freely. The rubber block pedals are clearly very tired and one of the spindles is a bit out of true. The left pedal won’t tighten into the crank very securely, and the cranks don’t fit the ends of the axle very well. It seems the two cotter pins are slightly different sizes, and the axle was made on a lathe and the ends are not identical.
Having said all that, it’s up and running. I rode it tonight. It would be a pity to overuse it, and I’d rather keep the original components than replace them with modern ones. (I might be able to match the pedals, I suppose.) It will do very nicely for gentle use. Indeed, the seat is impractical for anything more than gentle use. Even the slightest up hill makes it threaten to fall out behind me.
10 quid well spent.
Re: VINTAGE unicycle!
You didn’t mention the wierdest thing - those bearing holders.
There are no rebate/flange thingies at the sides to hold the fork
onto the bearing when/if the holder is loose. I guess it’s safe enough
when tight, but I think I’d call this “under-engineered”
Are there other unis out there like that?
Thanks for letting me ride it, Mike.
Arnold the Aardvark
Re: Re: VINTAGE unicycle!
Originally posted by Arnold the Aardvark
<<Thanks for letting me ride it, Mike.>>
What, even with the horrible rock hard polished seat that slips out from between the buttocks like wet soap from between clumsy cold hands?
(Nice to meet a fellow enthuniast today.)