Where did AndrewA find his Flamingo unicycle?! 😲

Well, actually… it was just on the side of the road. And I was like “hey, I’m a strange guy that likes to go against the norm…” so I picked it up and learnt to ride :smile: I only found out that the Flamingo was actually not half bad about a month ago, before that I never did the research so I assumed it was just like a Chinese knock-off.
The seats are great, though, it’s crazy. I heard Miyata was at the top of the class for seat comfort.

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You found one on the side of the road? Or was someone selling it? That’s nuts! Where in Canada, if I may inquire? I don’t know if Miyata seats were ever famous for comfort; in those days nobody was at the top of their class for that. Pretty much all unicycle seats were drinking root beer. But Miyata led the way on making seats that could be dropped hundreds/thousands of times without being ruined. We used to add foam in side the seats to make them a little better.

I wonder how long they stayed available in Canada after they were gone from the US market? Darren Bedford would probably know. In the US, Miyata (the bike company) pulled out in the early 90s (or so) due to their prices being high because they kept all their manufacturing in Japan while most companies were moving it to Taiwan, China, etc. We were able to get the unicycles for about 5 more years after that, as they shipped them in with warranty parts. It was usually a long wait to get Miyatas or parts, because there were only two shipments per year. Simpler times…

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Just found. I was worried I was stealing it for the first couple days, but they’re neighbours in that zone of close-enough-to-see-almost-every-day-yet-far-enough-to-have-never-talked-to-them, and I’ve never had anyone run at me yelling “thief!” even when I pass their house so I think I’m good :wink:
Southern BC… like, 40 minutes from Vancouver.

I searched a couple things about the company. Spare catalogue from '89:

Unicycles are only mentioned on page 28 of the pdf.

They’re still available, in some cases. Looks like the Flamingo is sold out right now for 24" but available in 14, 16, 18, and 20. They also have a new (is it new?) line, the “Ultimate Unicycle.” Here’s the link to the 24":
You have to scroll way down to actually get to the unicycle, but it is there :slight_smile: Going for about $250 USD.

Even though I know something about them (they were used, I think, as one of the top unicycles for freestyle during the 80s/90s Unicons, right?) it’s kind of interesting to learn more. If you have any Miyata stories, etc. I’d be interested to hear them :slight_smile:

Oh, and of course if anyone needs a big unicycle rack… for their 10 flamingos…

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The weird things we find sometimes…

A long time ago, I’ve found a 50 pesos gold coin from 1946 at work. I made my colleagues know that I found “something” which I was waiting someone to claim. It never happened. :man_shrugging:

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Great memories! If you scroll to page 18, that’s my bike. Yes, I own a bike, though I haven’t put a seat on it in many years. And I bought it in '89! At that time, Jenack Circus Corporation was an official “shop” for Miyata USA. Though we only sold unicycles (and some occational parts), I was able to order a bike also. It’s a “cross” bike, which makes it kind of a lousy Road bike and a lousy Mountain bike, but a very good Commuting or City bike. It seemed appropriate at the time (“the time” being long before Cokers).

MYS is the sales arm of the Japan Unicycling Association. That’s the group of people that turned Japan from an almost-zero unicycle country in 1978, to possibly more unicyclist than the rest of the world combined. I don’t know if it’s a direct connection between MYS and the JUA, but I believe they grew up together. The 10-uni rack is a popular item for elementary schools, which is where (literally) millions of Japanese people learned to ride since 1978.

The English speaking world might not call it “Ultimate” due to Ultimate Wheels… Not sure how recent it is; I think it’s been around for a few years because the two young ladies that ride in Cirque du Soleil’s Amaluna show (the Sakaino sisters) have them. But I’m told theirs were modified, to angle the fork crown slightly upward from the center, to provide a little more secure grip. Steel frame, which is what you want if you’re a pro. It might bend, but it probably won’t break under normal use. :grinning:

More accurately, from Unicon I to the present. At Unicon I, both of the Individual Freestyle champions rode Miyatas (Teresa Hemminger, USA and Peter Rosendahl, Sweden). Pairs used Schwinns (I was half the pair; the other half was used to her Schwinn and we wanted to match). Group was all Miyata; it was the Japan team.

In recent years, there are almost always Japanese riders in the medals for Freestyle competition, and almost all of them are still riding Miyatas though you may see more customization to the unicycles. The brand would remain popular worldwide, but doesn’t seem to be exported nearly as much as in the past. So it has been superseded by newer brands, with international online stores. I believe the MYS store can ship internationally, but they are mostly Japan-focused.


Now I’m curious. What does this flamingo unicycle look like? (Pictures)

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Canapin, what on earth is with this topic title??? :joy: My goodness.

I’ll send some pictures later if no one else chimes in.

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This probably doesn’t help, but it’s the one I’m holding here: :wink:

Anyhow, this is the only picture I have on hand of it, and it happens to be next to my 26er. If you want another picture/more specific angle, let me know!


I haven’t done anything to it except changing the nut and bolt on the seatpost so that it would actually stay up. Since I’ve never spoken with the original owner, I don’t know how much of this is a stock Flamingo and how much was customized. @johnfoss could probably weigh in here, to some degree?
The hub is super rusted and the cranks are rusted on to it. One pedal flew off once but we super-glued it back on (please, don’t yell at me, this was a couple years ago and I didn’t realize that that was a bad idea). The tire has a sidewall bubble but it’s never been addressed, and the innertube leaks air (if I could, I’d want to replace the tube and possibly tire if it’s necessary). The seat is cracked and cracking underneath, but other than those things it’s in pretty good shape.
Thinking it was a useless and weak knock-off as I did, I wasn’t too concerned about all this but instead opted for a new one.

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How about some close ups? This is good stuff!

Why is it called Flamingo unicycle? My daughter has to give a presentation at school and she chose Flamingos as a topic and then I saw this thread, so I figured the seat must look like the bill of a flamingo or something, but to my disappointment it just looks like a normal uni with a bit more blue (fits nicely with the Unicyclist.com blue. You should place it in front of the black 26", so it fits with our dark theme) :smiley:

Not entirely sure… nothing to do with the bird, I assume (as in, the name is derived from the bird but it’s probably just a catchy name rather than a tribute to something).
A Flamingo is in fact a boring old normal uni :slight_smile: If you were expecting a more exciting image based off of the thread title, I believe that was more or less a joke :wink:

I thought it would be a screaming bright pink :slight_smile:

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… with one leg …


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you mean in your picture the front of the uni is on the left, and when you sit on it, your knees bend like a flamingo’s? That would be quite the invention. I will let someone else try it.

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No, it`s just the frame of the unicycle, with one leg like the cannondale lefty, the other leg hanging useless around like a flamingos.

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I guess it’s pink and one of the fork legs is tucked up under the seat instead of going straight down to the hub. :wink:

Aaaand… the tube died.
For replacing it, I’m not missing anything important when I say that this seems to be the right one?

As long as the width is right, it should fit? This is my first time ordering a tube, so be patient please :slight_smile:

Anyhow, while I’m at it, is it worth replacing the hub on my 20"? Decisions, decisions…

If you’re in a pinch waiting a long time for shipping, I have a slightly fatter tube that might work for you.

Here’s a great resource I used for learning how to build wheels. Building a wheel is repetitive, tedious, and awesome, pretty much like learning to unicycle. You’d enjoy it.

Generally, if you’re changing the hub with a different model you’ll need to get new correct length spokes for the new hub if the flange will not be the same diameter. You can carefully measure the existing hub and see if it actually is very close to the same size. In either case, you’ll probably want new nipples.

The advice I’ve read is spokes should be the correct size to within about 1mm or 1.5mm. You could even measure the actual un-laced diameter of the rim and the diameter of the new hub, then use the spoke-length calculator (see the wheelpro.co.uk link) and order the correct length spokes. The wheel-building book has info on how to measure these bits.

…ya, a bit tedious…