I have been wondering which is better the hand built Wilder 24" MUni with its aluminium frame and “indestructible” Poznanter hub with Profile cranks or a KH (made in China?). The KH has square shoulders for tricks and a standard although practical design but the WIlder is beautifully constructed and possibly on of the most aesthetic unicycle ever made. The KH is about £450 from Roger (a substantial amount of anyones money) and the Wilder when available was over £1000 (a quite ridiculous amount of money) but you get what you pay for.
I am selling (UK) a wilder of course (see post in For Sale forum) which finishes on EBay Sat 1st October 1330. Currently selling for a very ridiculous £121, I hope this uni will go to someone who rides it in the highest hills and cherishes it and not a trader/dealer who will sell it on for an obscene amount of money later. However, if such hand-crafted uni’s are now a thing of the past perhaps we should start up a Museum of Unicycling and preserve such a pristine example whilst its available.
In my opinion, although such a MUni is built for riding and should not for sitting in a museum, a hand-built aluminium frame etc like this represents an important milestone in the history of the MUni.
What do you think?
The Profile hub is not indestructable, but it is heavy. Seriously, the spline on the Profile hubs and cranks are prone to wear and in time you will have slipping cranks.
The KH are prone to a different kind of slipping, but that may be fixed now; it had to do with insufficient spline contact between the spindle and hub body, or so I was told.
Best bet for a quality hub is the Nimbus Isis. I have replaced all of my KH hubs with Nimbus hubs and have had no problems.
Wilder: Creak, creak, creak!
Having said that, I have hopes that some of my unicycles will eventually end up in museums. I don’t know if my Wilder will survive until then, or I’ll ride it until the frame breaks. But it is a beautiful, hand-made frame, which sets it apart from the factory-built KH ones (yes, I know the early ones were also hand made). They both have a place in the “museum of unicycling history.”
My first intended museum piece is an Oxford 24" uni from the 70s. It was assembled entirely from components found in USA founder Bill Jenack’s garage after he passed away in 1982. It carries some of the history of one of unicycling’s most sigificant pioneers.
I have an unridden Summit trials and a Rowing Blizzard 24 for sale if anyone’s interested in “vintage” unis.
The older hand-made unicycles tend to get a bad reputation here, for some reason which I never understood. I have a Hunter uni with Profiles and it has served me well for almost 10 years of riding. When I first got it, I sat in awe looking at the welds and the flawless power-coated finish for about 20 minutes. There was obviously a lot of care put into the construction that could never be equalled by a mass-produced uni.
Maybe everyone likes the newer unicycles just because they are new. My feeling is that you don’t throw some away just because it’s old. There seems to have developed a culture where people throw out old things even when they still perform as well as the day they were built.
John is unfamiliar with taking off cranks and applying anti-seize. That fixed my creaking profiles when I owned some- Unicycle.com USA seemed to be oblivious to the needs of high end unicyclists and left the splines dry without instructions on what to do, and I had to order a profile tool to get to the problem.
My Wilder got stolen in 2004 and at the time I regretted losing such a costly investment, and I still wish I had the carbon fibre airseat with the reeder handle. But now I am kind of glad I am not stuck with such a heavy beast when KH unicycles are lighter and cheaper. The frame was the coolest thing about it I reckon since it looks unique.
Another one of my 24x3" unicycles got stolen in 2009 so I don’t have a 24" MU any more so that is a bit annoying too.
If I still had my Wilder I would keep it, but I wouldn’t buy another one since it cost me $4000 for an ungeared 24x3" and I could nearly get two Schlumpf hubs for that now.
My Wilder came with 170s, which I later changed to 160s and most recently to 145s. They’ve been re-greased many times (can’t remember if they came with any though). I’ve had bike shops do it, and other unicyclists.
Creak, creak creak!
It’s possible that the damage was done early on, where re-greasing only quiets things down for a ride or two. The wear must be on the axle, as changing the cranks didn’t fix it.
Yes, the Wilders and other handmade unicycles sure were expensive (especially shipped to New Zealand!). People forget that they got bought becuase there weren’t any factory-built equivalents at the time. You could get a cool, top-of-the-line uni, for a high price, or ride something way less top-of-the-line. Those were the choices ten years ago.