I know how to weld and machine, and I’m JUST starting to get back into unicycling after 12 years.
I’ve found that custom built performance bicycles seem to be showing up in droves, I was wondering if their would be any interest in performance unicycles.
My idea is to make everything that can be made out of titanium, made out of titanium. Also, eliminate the adjustable seat and make it fixed to shave off a little weight. Ofcourse the size would be dictated by the customer. Cranks and everything else made to customer specifacations.
I’m sure I’ll think of other things to customize after I’ve been riding a while. I will probably use a standard wheel, as from my understanding it requires specialized skill to make a wheel.
My question is, has this already been done? Would YOU buy one?
If not, what would you want out of a custom unicycle?
I would guess, the main areas for that approach are frame, hub, and cranks.
There are already Titanium frames available. And at least Triton builds custom ones (just have an open order with them).
Titanium hubs are nice, but I don’t see the need for custom ones, except of the number of holes.
And when it comes to cranks, I think the advantages compared to the standard alloy cranks available are not significant.
I strongly recommend not to make the seat fixed. Because then you are no longer able to swap to another crank size.
I think the OP meant to take away the seat angle adjustability. That makes some sense indeed once you get into custom design, although I personally would like to retain it. I agree it would be foolish to do away with the height adjustability.
@Zeusophobia: Off-the-shelf unicycles and parts are already so nice that there is IMHO only a very small market for even better products. You should have asked your question 12 years ago (Not that I would have known at the time what I wanted…)
Custom unicycles? Yes! The market will be small, though. My favorite unicycle at the moment is my Silvacycles custom 36" with Schlumph hub. It was built to order, though with no actual custom parts. Adding a Schlumph to anything is already expensive enough. But in the future I would be interested in a custom frame for road riding.
Yes, for crank changing and also for terrain changing. I might raise the seat really high for a “known” ride on smooth pavement, but lower it for a first-time ride on unknown pavement. And that’s just for road riding. The seat goes even lower for offroad.
But I wonder if there’s a way to simplify things, leaving like a 1-2" height adjustment without all the added weight of telescoping tubes?
Yup, you missed out on a major revolution of unicycle technology, where they went from being mere toys to being much more serious pieces of equipment for a variety of types of riding, many of which didn’t even exist at the turn of this century.
But there’s always room for custom, especially in the area of frames.
Personally, I would much prefer a custom wheel rather than a custom frame. The KH 36 frames I have are light and strong (although I believe I can feel something flexing when cornering at high speeds over bumps). I would pay good money for a very stiff light 36" (possibly carbon spoked) wheel.
If you would do a V-frame and if I had any money I would be listening very intently.
Could an aluminum (or even titanium) V-frame be made at a reasonable price? I don’t think I’m the only one who would be interested. My t-bar is very flexy with an aero-bar mounted, and having broken it once already, not exactly confidence-inspiring.
We have what, five choices for standard 36er frames? KH, Nimbus, Coker (two types), Triton. They are all basically the same thing! On top of that, all current handle-bar options that I know of are inadequate for long distances, in my opinion. But the market can, again, support many: Shadow, T-Bar, Pi-Bar, T-7… all basically the same and they all suck. Surely there is room in this market for a V-frame?
I think it would be a safer bet to start with accessories that complement the existing frames. Uni frames are not very complicated and have not really changed over time because geometry is a constant.
It would be hard to undercut the current mass produced frames made by UDC and KH, at least if you want to do more than break even. In terms of frame material, there’s a few very good reasons why UDC and KH use steel and aluminum.
If you are not experienced in bicycle frame building, it may be a steep learning curve that’ll have you burning up a lot of time and materials. First things first, you need to decide how you’re going to mass produce the bearing holders and caps.
The uni market is small, very small.
If you are going to target a unique portion of the market, I think the V frame is not a bad choice, esp when it comes to having a secure handle system. I’d take one for muni.
So, steel or aluminum is fine for me, I’d prefer a standard tubing diameter so I can swap over parts from a Nimbus or KH (seat post ID 25.4 and 27.2 respectively).
Now what about that forward V? I’m more interested in a grab handle set up for muni, so I wouldn’t want the V to be too wide. What’s a good dimension/design?
Also, If we’re doing a V, I’d like the bearing holders to benefit from the design in a way that helps control for torsion, so attaching the legs on top of the “bolt flange”, beyond the bearing holder, that would be about as wide as possible.
A thin plate or brace to stabalize the legs on each side
Disc brake mount
Water bottle cage mounts
Touring rack mounts.
I always enjoy building and riding unique unicycles, and have built 4 of them in the last 5 years. There are pictures in my profile. I have the skills and access to a lathe, milling machine, digital TIG welder, etc.
The wheel is the thing I like the most about my current ride. Twisted spokes. flush color lighting, hidden rechargeable battery, remote control for the lighting. It also has a custom aluminum frame, but it is conventional design.
The next custom uni planned is a 4" x 26" tire uni, just for fun & grins, as I doubt it will be very practical for riding.
Carbon fiber is also fun to build with… never seen a carbon fiber uni before.
What other wild ideas do you have for a unique uni???