1) What's the longest amount of time and/or most money you ever spent on
a custom job that was a complete flop? What general principles or
specific facts did you learn from the experience?
My custom MUni took over three months to be completed. I had a frame
builder build it for me that was @2,000 miles away. I didn't know
anything about dimensions for the frame, but asked tons o' questions
here. The news group helped build the frame. It wasn't a flop, just
heavier than I had wanted. We were shooting for 1.5 lbs with a steel
frame. It ended up being well over two pounds. I was a little
disappointed, but below that of the cheaper KH frame.
Cost was $200.00 with $40.00 added to weld on the brake mounts.
I learned to go with a frame builder that has experience building uni
frames, not just a bike frame builder. Also expect it to take more time
than you bargained for. Have the builder, if possible send images as
the frame progresses.
My biggest frustration was finding out later that my image of oval
tubing was different than the frame builders. I thought oval tubing
like on a sem XLW frame, but the frame was being built with tear drop
oval tubing. This created some technical problems. The crown had to be
mitered to the blades because it was so tough to work with.
2) Ditto 1, but for a machine that proved near or exactly what you'd
I was disappointed, initially, when I got it out of the box, I expected
smooth welds, like a mass production frame. What I got was too
different looking welds on both sides and the brake mounts were not
symmetric. When I put the wheel in the frame, it was off center. Early
riding indicated, what I thought was, frame flex. Through,
experimentation, I used shims to correct this problem and that is now
eliminated. The brakes work very well after some minor adjustments
despite the problem with the brake mounts.
My biggest regret was not having built the frame with a wider hub, like
a Schwinn hub. I had it built with a Suzue hub because I wanted to save
money, so I had the frame designed around the Suzue hub of my Sem XLW
MUni in order to save some money and not buy a whole new wheelset. It
has come back to haunt me. I have now outgrown the hub and need
something stronger. Anything stronger is also wider. So, I can't reuse
my frame. Which means I have to purchase whole new frame, wheel and
After getting over the early glitches in the frame, I really enjoy my
MUni. It rides well on the trail and does well on light trials. I have
lots a fun! It rides as well as any mass produced frame. The best part
is knowing - it's unique - it is the only one like it in the entire
3) Was your first attempt at a custom unicycle motivated by a specific
need or the general desire to tinker?
My desire was based on trying to get a light weight steel frame with KH
brake mounts and for less than $200.00. At the time, you couldn't buy a
mass produced frame with KH brake mounts.
I was also motivated by a general desire to create something - I have a
creative bent. We were also talking about making this a prototype for a
small run of frames, but that went by the wayside.
Views are here:
4) What do your spouse, partner, significant other, children, parents,
guardian, etc have to say on the matter?
My wife isn't into unicycling. She didn't know too much about the
project when it was going on, but she would have gotten upset if I had
spent a thousand dollars on the project, but she puts up with my hobby.
My boys want to ride, though very young.
teachndad - The Munieer
You don't have to be a fantastic hero to do certain things -- to
compete. You can be just an ordinary chap, sufficiently motivated to
reach challenging goals. - Sir Edmund Hillary
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