When you make a homemade unicycle, not only do you get to build a machine to your exact liking, but you also get to experiment without worrying about destroying an investment. Whether you are going to make a homemade unicycle for tricks, commuting or mountain biking, you can build one in a weekend using parts salvaged from an old bike and a few bought new from a store. The main mechanical skills you will need are the abilities to use a grinder and pound metal with a hammer.
Things You'll Need
- Bicycle wheel and rim
- Suze Fixed Gear Hub Kit
- Metric allen wrench set
- Pedal set
- Front fork
- Steel pillow blocks
- Seat post
Open up your Suze Fixed Gear Hub kit and install the axle into the hub of the rim. Put two spacers from the kit on each end of the kit. Do not install the lock rings yet.
Push the hub gear attached to your pedal cranks onto either end of the axle. Make sure the pedals are in the 12 o'clock and 6 o'clock positions before putting the lock rings onto the end of the axle and tightening them into place.
Grind off the body of the frame from the front fork you are going to use. Make sure all the sharp edges are ground down completely smooth.
Clamp the pillow blocks on the bottom of the forks and then attach the pillow blocks around the axle at the spacers, using the bottom lock nut provided. Test the forks; you should be able to move them independently from the pedals.
Remove the handlebars from the front forks. Use a hammer to smash the width of the handlebar post to a smaller dimension so you can withdraw it more easily from the fork. If you alternate between hitting the post where it is inserted into the fork and hammering the handlebars out from the fork body, the handlebar post will come out easier than if you just tried to pull it from the fork body.
Insert your seat post into the fork body and tighten the lock nut to hold it in position. Attach your seat, and your homemade unicycle is ready to go.
Tips & Warnings
- Hold the fork body upside down when striking the handlebars with a hammer; this way, you will avoid inadvertently pushing the handlebar post further into the fork body.
- Unicycles are just as dangerous as bicycles, if not more so. If this is your first attempt at making a homemade unicycle, get it checked out by a professional bike mechanic before you take off riding, to make sure all of the working parts are installed correctly and properly tightened to prevent injury.
- Photo Credit Steve Colligan
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