What to look for in a Ti Frame Build?

I have a frame builder who is considering making Ti unicycle frames. I’m going to meet with him next week. I was planning to bring a KH and a couple Nimbus frames so he can take measurements.

Any feedback as to issues I should discuss with the builder other than the obvious, such as clearance, dropouts, etc…?

If this works out, this could lead to there finally being a USA Ti frame builder :slight_smile:

And yes, he knows what he’s doing, as he used to be a builder/designer for Litespeed :smiley:

Machined bearing holders, longneck option (custom lenght)

Tires that have to fit:
Trials -> Monty Eagle Claw
Muni 24 -> 3.0 Gazza
Muni 26 -> 3.0 Gazza

Make it knee friendly! Like the KH. Dont show him the Nimbus frames :wink: hahaha


Muni 26 -> 3.0 Gazza with large marge rim 65mm
36" XC ?

keep enough clearance for mud at the munis


Depends what sort of unicycle you’re making!

For a 29" or 36":
-Enough clearance for the tyre (preferably a 29x2.6" for a 29er)
-But keep the overall crown profile low so it doesn’t rub on your thighs
-Rounded off crown- less likely to cause problems
-Short seat-tube, especially if you’re short. If you’re mass producing then can make them longer, but with a long vertical slot so that the seat-tube can be cut down to fit the rider
-The hub measurements are critical- there is very little clearance between the flange and fork legs with the Nimbus or KH ISIS hubs
-Flat or thin tubes- more clearance so your ankles don’t rub
-42mm OD bearing holders- fits most of the ISIS hubs, as well as KH Schlumpf hub
-Threads in the loose bearing caps, not the fork leg (means for whatever reason if you destroy the threads, you can replace the bearing cap rather than having to try retapping the tread on a titanium fork leg :astonished:
-Brakes, if that’s your thing. And then it’s a decision between Maguras vs V-brakes

i would show him some photos of broken uni frames. I think it would be easy for a non-unicyclist to underestimate the forces that occur in uni frames. Showing him some sheared off ally tubes will impress upon him what’s trying to build for.

You could show him all the threads on here about someone who knows a welder who is going to make a ti frame, just so he knows what he is up against :Dl

You might have him contact Rick Hunter at Hunter Cycles. He has been building cromo frames for some time now and has always been very generous with his time and knowledge.

To add to Ken’s post, the original KH Titanium hub has very tight clearances (see the recent/ongoing carbon frame thread). It would be a reasonable assumption that many potential customers would want to match up the two.

… or the tire.

  • stiff frame, little flex on hills and using a brake.

I remember KH writing about an aluminum alloy he was testing and it would flex on hills, the rim rubbing the brake. Also, if I remember correctly, it would flex when the brake was applied, altering the handling. He ended up using a stiffer alloy.

I’ve been riding Tholub’s Yuni w/ a 26X3" Gazz on a Alex DX rim. The frame would always flex and the tire rub the left side on hills and big bumps. It usually was only mildly anoying, but it’s gotten a lot worse and now rubs all the time, on both sides, even if I just spin it in the air (LBS reports the rim to be relatively true).

It is probably obvious, but I’ll say it anyway. He has to be prepared to make every frame specifically to each customers need. There’s not going to be a big enough market that he can do a run of a few hundred identical frames and expect that it will be what everyone wants. Apart from different wheel sizes, some people will want them with or without brake mounts, long necks, short necks, integrated seat clamps etc. My Triton frame even has a bolt hole for the Schlumpf torque arm.

There is no ‘one size fits all’ at this end of the unicycle market.


i would spend a few dollars more for a custom frame…for example an integratet seat post clamp…etc

I met with the frame builder yesterday, worked through the sticking points for uni frame construction, left a KH 24 and a wheel set for him to use as models.

Frame should be done in a two weeks, review with pics to be posted ASAP!

BTW, he is a very well known builder/designer and he’s very intersted in making this a regular thing, so assuming he delivers (as I’m sure he will), expect to have a domestic Ti frame option in the near future.

Oh, and he expects to do custom work on each order, so start working on your wish list :slight_smile:

I explored some other options as well, including a disc brake and a quick release bearing holder, he said they were doable :smiley:

my wish-list:

26" frame with enough clearance for a 3.0 tire and magura brake mounts (discbrakes would be also cool, but i think i would bend the disc all the time…)

i would buy such a frame!

Me too.

And me.

Surely the hard thing about a disc brake is the hub not the frame? Or does he have a cunning way to fit a disc to a unicycle hub without tons of machining?

Also you’d have to get a caliper that doesn’t stick out too much and catch the cranks, but I’m guessing that’d be obvious.


I was just thinking that, the hub would be the difficult part. But if it is possible then it would be cool.

Well, my idea is to use a Ti hub, welding tabs to the inside of the flanges, then use spacers passing through the spokes so that the disc is placed flush with the flange. There are spacing issues, so it’s a down the road project, but we’ll be looking at that in a couple weeks when I bring my Ti hubbed muni over for a looksie.

I think the quick release bearing holder is the cooler deal :smiley: