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What can you tell me about this unicycle?

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  • What can you tell me about this unicycle?

    Hello, I hope you can tell me something about this old unicycle! I bought this for my dad about ten years ago at a flea market. He loved it but never really learned to ride it. He passed away a little over two years ago now and his unicycle has been taunting me from the garage for a couple of weeks. I dug it out and aired up the tire and have been playing with it a little bit every day.

    Anyway, I don't know anything else about it other than the fact that it may be trying to injure me, LOL! It does not have any makers marks other than WALD 7100 on the pedals and FRONT 17 on the underside of the seat. Does anyone know how old it is, who may have made it, or where it may have come from?

    Any info would be greatly appreciated as I am very curious!
    Attached Files

  • #2
    I can't answer the questions you asked but I can give you some advice.

    1.) Post unicycle related topics in RSU where they will be viewed by those with more mechanical interests. This forum is just conversation for all other topics.

    2.) Don't try to learn to ride on this unicycle. Among the many obvious mechanical and design flaws, the worst is indicated in your second photo. Here, a single (rather than double) bolt system is used to attach a lollipop bearing to the frame. The bolt is going through backwards and is just waiting for an opportunity to shred your ankles. The seat is a brick. You will find no comfort there, only pain and abrasion. The wheel has welded on spokes that are not adjustable. The axle is a weak, one-piece design like old Troxels and Sears brands. These are the same axles used on kids tricycles.

    3.) Look into buying (new or used) a unicycle with a good saddle, a good wheel, a real axle, and main cap bearings. New they are less than $100. Used they are whatever Craig's List or eBay will yield.

    Sorry about your dad. It is a wise son who would want to get him into unicycling.
    -Greg Harper

    Nipples...do you ever have enough?

    Change is good. Bills are better.

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    • #3
      Thanks for the info!

      And I am my fathers daughter.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by ccracer View Post
        And I am my fathers daughter.
        Originally posted by harper View Post
        It is a wise son who would want to get him into unicycling.
        But it is a crazed daughter who would do such a thing.

        Hope you learn to ride. Good luck.
        -Greg Harper

        Nipples...do you ever have enough?

        Change is good. Bills are better.

        Comment


        • #5
          Ha!

          I think that is what most of the family said when I bought it for him, and more recently after I dug it out and decided to ride it. I think now I may just hang it on my wall as art, as I like the way it looks. Crazy again, I know! I will be keeping an eye out for another one now. I do see them for sale every now and again.

          When I bought it for my dad, it's not like it was out of the blue. He had bicycles, pogo sticks, ultralights, rickety ladders, and 6 foot stilts, LOL!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by ccracer View Post
            Hello, I hope you can tell me something about this old unicycle!
            Yes, hope you didn't spend too much.
            Originally posted by ccracer
            It does not have any makers marks other than WALD 7100 on the pedals and FRONT 17 on the underside of the seat.
            The saddle was made by Messenger, in Massachusetts. Same company that made the old Schwinn seats (thru 1983; then Semcycle bought the tooling and produced an improved version, of the Schwinn seat that is). Yes, nearly any of today's unicycle seats will be much more comfortable and functional.

            Your unicycle most closely represents the Stelber I have hanging in my garage. It shares some components with another one I have, which is labeled Rutledge, and one other one which I believe is a Hedstrom, but I don't think it has a name on it. Yours would have had a head tube sticker with the brand on it. Looks like you have a pneumatic tire, not the solid plastic tire like the Rutledge. It's probably from the 1970s.
            Originally posted by harper View Post
            Here, a single (rather than double) bolt system is used to attach a lollipop bearing to the frame. The bolt is going through backwards and is just waiting for an opportunity to shred your ankles.
            In reality, the cranks put the pedals so far out from the frame you probably can't even touch that bolt without trying really hard. It's either a replacement bolt, or it's installed backwards. But yes, having a single bolt there is what caused a three-year gap in my own learning to ride. I couldn't get my original cheapie to stay straight; the wheel kept slipping crooked and hitting the side of the fork and I couldn't ride it.

            Thankfully, yours is better than that one, but still suffers from nylon bushings instead of bearings (more weight on it makes the wheel harder to turn), wide tricycle cranks, tricycle pedals, and the possibility of not being able to raise the seat to a proper height to fit you. Those were hard enough for lightweight kids to ride; and would be much more difficult for an adult male of average weight to learn on.

            Go to eBay or Craigslist for used, or Unicycle.com for a large selection of new ones. Yes, yours could make some fine wall art. I've always wanted to take a unicycle like that and paint it all one color, like white, then hang it on the wall. It could look pretty cool in the right type of space.
            Last edited by johnfoss; 2011-06-04, 02:15 AM.
            John Foss
            www.unicycling.com

            "Who is going to argue with a mom who can ride a unicycle?" -- Forums member "HiMo"

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            • #7
              ^^^ How many of us here were just waiting to get the definitive word?

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              • #8
                i was :P
                Roses are red, violets are blue, may I procreate with you so I can ride a g32!! - Alan hogan

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by uni57 View Post
                  How many of us here were just waiting to get the definitive word?
                  Foss is the man with the straight dope.
                  -Greg Harper

                  Nipples...do you ever have enough?

                  Change is good. Bills are better.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    It's not that definitive. I can't zero in on a year; I just know those things were around in the 70s. I go out in the garage, and match up the parts in the photos with the ones hanging in there. In this case, the Messenger saddle was on my Hedstrom, but the rest matched my Stelber. You too could be an expert; just let friends buy you all the crap unicycles they find at garage sales and flea markets!

                    Yes, that's how I got those examples of unicycling's low-end.
                    Last edited by johnfoss; 2011-06-04, 03:03 AM.
                    John Foss
                    www.unicycling.com

                    "Who is going to argue with a mom who can ride a unicycle?" -- Forums member "HiMo"

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Magicians and wizards should never explain the trick. How you went from "FRONT 17" to the name of the manufacturer of the saddle was... ASTOUNDING! But not any more. (just kidding)

                      Actually, I don't care how you do it. You are unicycling's unparalleled historian. Because you were there.

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                      • #12
                        You are awesome!

                        Thanks for the info johnfoss!

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                        • #13
                          I have to ask... do you offer tours of your garage?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Yah--c'mon over! And yes, I know where Kitchener is.

                            Maybe for MUni Weekend in the fall? Thinking of doing it locally again, like the early ones. If so, my house will be "the dorms".
                            John Foss
                            www.unicycling.com

                            "Who is going to argue with a mom who can ride a unicycle?" -- Forums member "HiMo"

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              you should do a video tour of your garage
                              Roses are red, violets are blue, may I procreate with you so I can ride a g32!! - Alan hogan

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