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Old 2018-04-03, 08:26 PM   #1
Canapin
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Question Lesser known unicycle brands?

Hi.
When I look at the main online sellers I often always see the same brands: KH, Nimbus, Qu-ax, Impact… A handful, no more.

Are there other notables unicycle brands on the market? Interesting ones despite being not well-known ones? Up and coming new brands?
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Old 2018-04-03, 09:04 PM   #2
LargeEddie
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Originally Posted by Canapin View Post
Are there other notables unicycle brands on the market? Interesting ones despite being not well-known ones? Up and coming new brands?
I haven't seen any posts or announcements saying, "Hey, there's a new brand called URC," but a couple of folks have asked questions as if the rest of us would already know all about them. They look to be worth checking out. They're on the same site as Mad4one unicycles, unaruota.com, and apparently are a lower-level offering from the same guy, Marco.
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Old 2018-04-03, 09:32 PM   #3
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I have a Sun 24" flattop that has been good to me.
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Old 2018-04-03, 09:57 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by LargeEddie View Post
I haven't seen any posts or announcements saying, "Hey, there's a new brand called URC," but a couple of folks have asked questions as if the rest of us would already know all about them. They look to be worth checking out. They're on the same site as Mad4one unicycles, unaruota.com, and apparently are a lower-level offering from the same guy, Marco.
Speaking of Mad4one, their offerings look pretty competitive. I love the look of their MUni frames that come in all the colours of the rainbow!
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Old 2018-04-04, 01:20 AM   #5
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You can still get a new Schwinn if you want, but I can't imagine why anyone would want one. Apparently some "return" buyers, who rode when they were kids, will feel comfortable with that brand.

You can get Triton frames, which I believe are handmade, titanium uni frames for the true connoisseur. Very nice.

Mad4One come in a beautiful array of anodized colors, and look even better in person. Made in Italy, they may be a little pricy to get in North America (I'm not sure about that).

Silva Cycles will custom build for you (bikes or unicycles). They put together my KH 36" with Schlumpf hub, special powdercoating on the frame and Nimbus Stealth handlebar, and other build-to-order details.

Less expensive unicycles may often be found under various brand names. Often these are the names of the distributors, rather than the actual manufacturers (usually in Taiwan or China). Some are a good deal for the price, but others are total crap.

Miyata is still around, still making excellent unicycles for Freestyle and Track. But no official exporting to North America that I'm aware of, so you might have to order from the MYS website - - - which I can't seem to find anymore. It was basically the "store" for the Japan Unicycling Association, run by its parent company, more or less. They may have moved that into the JUA website, but I can't read it enough to find my way around...

Wait! Found it, by searching on "Miyata unicycles". Why didn't I think of that earlier?
https://ichirin.onlinestores.jp/

Qu-ax, from Germany

Yes, it seems like maybe less brands out there at the moment, but the quality keeps getting higher.

Here are some brands/labels on the unicycles in my garage, in no order:
  • Univega (a rebranded Miyata, early 80s)
  • Oxford (Japan, 70s)
  • Loyd (what later became the original Schwinn unicycles, 60s)
  • OGK (Japan, 80s or 90s)
  • Pro (Japan, 70s)
  • DM (England, 90s)
  • Columbia (USA, 70s)
  • Semcycle (Netherlands/USA, 80s)
  • Langenberg (Germany, 80s)
  • Juno Cykler (Denmark, 80s; I just have one of their saddles)
  • Reeder (one of his early Trials unis; he mostly made handles)
  • Troxel (department stores, 70s)
  • Stelber (higher-end department store models, 70s)
  • Concord (Japan, 70s)
  • Iverson (came from a garage sale in the 80s)
  • Hamilton (Custom pro uni makers, 70s)
  • Wilder (handmade aluminum Muni frame, 2000s)
  • Unicycle Factory (Kokomo, Indiana, 80s)
  • GB4 (handmade uni frames, 2000s)
  • fmsa (Taiwan, 80s)
  • Rutledge (similar to Troxel, 70s)
  • Coker (created the 36" unicycle; 2000s)
Those timeframes represent what's hanging in my garage; most brands existed in more than one decade.
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Old 2018-04-04, 02:54 AM   #6
JimT
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This may fit in this thread. Anyone know what type of spline or brand this is?


It is on this one listed for sale online:


Also see the same frame listed in the same general location on ebay:
https://www.ebay.ca/itm/152591327519

I was thinking that is was a one off homemade but then the second frame turned up on ebay. Maybe there are more around??

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Old 2018-04-04, 06:17 AM   #7
Eric aus Chemnitz
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There are also the folliwing:
  • Pichler (Germany; artistic unicycles, giraffes an specials)
  • Walther (Germany; 24" and 26" freestyle unicycles for the non-IUF discipline Reigen)
  • Comus (???, low level standard, trials and muni)
  • Hoppley (???, beginner unicycles)
  • Flansberrium (Canada, handmade framey by Jacob Flansberry)

And then there are the tons of cheap beginner unicycles you will find at big bike stores, discounters and coffee roasters like: Fishbone, Sport, Kettler, Puky
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Old 2018-04-04, 02:00 PM   #8
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Old 2018-04-04, 02:10 PM   #9
leo
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I doubt it's chique to promote yourself, but even I have a unicycle company.
So I was putting products on unicycle.builders, and an outlet on unicycle.boutique - which now will become unicycle.shop - but I'm not much in a rush.

Anyway, please have a look at my first major product
http://unicycle.builders/en/parts/frame/
It was designed for pair acrobatics.

The costly budget of producing such custom frames is not exactly commercially-minded - not that most unicycle manufactures are...
In the first place it was designed for my own needs, or better said desires. But that counts for many unicycle brands.
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Old 2018-04-04, 02:10 PM   #10
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Don't forget the appropriately named SAVAGE!

Zephyr was also a cheap Asian brand.
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Old 2018-04-04, 06:03 PM   #11
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My first unicycle was a Savage. It was about 25 years old when I got it, but in brand-new condition. The seat was so savage that, to prepare for each ride, I had to cover my inner thighs with medical tape. The seat post also swiveled in its socket. Once I replaced that seat, post and clamp, I immediately managed my first freemount. When the frame began to split just above the lollipop bearings, I bound it together with hose clamps. On this forum, I even learned about a more permanent fix, involving spot welding and some drilling, but I didn't have the tools. Shouldn't have sold that uni, though. It would have been good for teaching or lending.

No one has yet mentioned Koxx. They went out of business a few years ago, but their unicycles are high quality, and can sometimes still be found here and there.
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Old 2018-04-05, 05:18 AM   #12
johnfoss
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimT View Post
This may fit in this thread. Anyone know what type of spline or brand this is?
I've seen that unicycle before, but I can't remember when. Early 2000s though. That one for sale may be the only one, though it appears pretty pristine. You should buy it! I'm going to post a couple of pictures below of one that I think was made by the same guy. Those pix are from the Damento Juggling Festival in Davis, CA in 2002. The big "splines" gave us the idea to ride it as a Kangaroo, and then something weirder.

Quote:
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Don't forget the appropriately named SAVAGE!

Zephyr was also a cheap Asian brand.
Those are good examples of what I believe are distributor names, or labels made by the distributors, of basically the same products from Taiwan. Savage had the most appropriately named saddle (a better fit than the exact same saddle on a Zephyr, or Torker, for example).

So I dug around, and found pictures of that green frame! I'm embarrassed to say I can't remember the guy's name, even though he came with the group on my second-ever trip to Downieville.

Pictures:

1 & 2: a unicycle with same spline setup (possibly handmade??), and probably made by the same guy. This one was brought to the Damento Fest by Andriko Zavadell, and the maker may have been his brother.
3: Downieville Downhill, June 2002: That dude, Nathan Hoover, Bronson Silva, Scott Arnold, me, Tim Bustos. Only the 3 unis on the left have splined hubs; the green one and two early KHs. The yellow one is a Telford, I'm holding a Steve Howard beauty and Tim has a no-name, basic frame extended to fit a 26" wheel.
4: That uni, after being dropped in a water crossing. Even had the disc on it, way back in 2002!
5: If that one on eBay is the one and only, note that it does have some wear & tear on it
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Old 2018-04-05, 04:20 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnfoss View Post

Those are good examples of what I believe are distributor names, or labels made by the distributors, of basically the same products from Taiwan. Savage had the most appropriately named saddle (a better fit than the exact same saddle on a Zephyr, or Torker, for example).
I agree that the labels were probably those of distributors. The Savage brand had the unique torture saddle. The Zephyr and Sun had a more comfortable, contoured saddle but still pretty hard. Not as hard as the Viscount saddle. At one time, the rounded-crown frame with lollipop bearings was indistinguishable between the Club, Savage, Sun, and Zephyr brands as well as a few others. I only remember the Torker being made with a flat crown and main cap bearings but it perhaps had a predecessor similar to the others.
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Old 2018-04-06, 05:22 AM   #14
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I agree that the labels were probably those of distributors. The Savage brand had the unique torture saddle. The Zephyr and Sun had a more comfortable, contoured saddle but still pretty hard. Not as hard as the Viscount saddle.
Zephyr and Sun definitely upped the saddle quality while Savage apparently couldn't get away from their name. I remember in the early days of Unicycle.com they sold unicycles like that, but a great many riders would order them with upgraded saddles. They developed a huge stockpile of Savage (or extremely similar) saddles and basically couldn't give them away. I think they tried selling them two for one, but who wants to pay for something they don't want?

Viscount saddles: though I had a hand in their design (I did drawings for Schwinn in 1984 in answer to "how would you improve our unicycles?" I drew a morph of a Schwinn saddle with a Miyata one, but trying to keep it looking like the familiar Schwinn shape. No idea they would actually make something so similar to what I drew! But only room for two fingers behind the bumper (bulges for the screws on either side), and not so comfy.

They made blue ones for the redesigned Schwinn 24's in the late 80s. I still have an early version of that, which has a much softer foam than the black ones so it's a bit better. It may have been a pre-production sample; they gave us one of each (a complete black 20" and blue 24") for Unicon II in 1986, months before the unicycles were on the market. The person who won the blue one swapped out the seat and I acquired it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by harper
At one time, the rounded-crown frame with lollipop bearings was indistinguishable between the Club, Savage, Sun, and Zephyr brands as well as a few others. I only remember the Torker being made with a flat crown and main cap bearings but it perhaps had a predecessor similar to the others.
I think Torker had similar humble beginnings, and I'm not sure, but I believe all of those brands may have shared parts that all came from a single set of sources. But the people behind Torker had bigger ideas. Torker was also once a house brand for a distributor, West Coast Cycles. But they were not content with just selling somebody else's designs, and started speccing their own stuff, at around the same time Unicycle.com was doing the same thing. Today the Torker brand represents good, solid unicycles for the price.
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Old 2018-04-07, 04:06 AM   #15
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I also have a blue Jugglebug...the ones with the plastic mag-style wheels.
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