As evident from my most recent post on www.barthaynes.com, I’m on a unicycling kick this week. Although I haven’t had much experience on the saddle of one of these incredible, one-wheeled contraptions, they live in the same family as road bikes and I thought I’d give them some thought. Upon researching, I’ve learned a great deal about the evolution and the current state of the unicycle. Head over to my article-based site to read The History of the Unicycle to find out more.
On this site, however, I’ll continue to share photographs of this incredible vehicle. As you’ll see and read below, the “one-wheeled bicycle” has come a long way in its roughly 100 years of existence. Please enjoy the snippets of information provided from online sources below accompanied by pictures of the incredible unicycle.
“A unicycle is a vehicle that touches the ground with only one wheel. The most common variation has a frame with a saddle, and has a pedal-driven direct drive. Unicycling is practiced professionally in circuses by street performers, and in festivals and as a hobby. Unicycles have also been used to create new sports such as unicycle hockey. In recent years unicycles have also been used in activities similar to mountain biking or trials.” -Wikipedia
“Typically, [the unicycle] it consists of a seat attached to a frame that is attached to the wheel hub. Seats are available in a variety of sizes and shapes. Unlike a bicycle seat, they are often curved slightly downward and symmetrical. They are padded and may have “bumpers” on each end to protect them during one of the rider’s inevitable falls. Some seats are designed with handles on the front to enable the rider to do various tricks.” -Encyclopedia.com
“Traditionally, unicycling has been seen as a circus skill which has been performed at events to entertain the public in the circus or during parades, carnivals, or street festivals. Recent developments in the strength and durability of bicycle (and consequently unicycle) parts have given rise to many new activities including trials unicycling and mountain unicycling. Unicycling is arguably now as much a competitive sport and recreational pursuit as an entertainment activity.” -Wikipedia
“Like many obscure niche sports, this extreme style of unicycling would not have reached the success it holds today if not for the enthusiastic popularity it had with the public. Due to this support, a number of companies and manufacturers started creating new designs to cater to this rising sport.” –Unicycle Guru
“In Japan where unicycling is a mandatory part of every elementary and middle school childs PE curriculum, there are now more than a million and a half unicyclists. Japans Chancelor understood the value of unicycling (building better balance) as an intrical part of life and decided it would be an injustice to not offer it to the population. Just one success story of many. A huge benefit of unicycling is the size. Not only are they more compact to fit in may more places than a bicycle would, they don’t require all the extra components such as chaines, gears, breaks handle bars and more. Much less expensive to maintain and obtain.” -justonewheel.com
“While the unicycle designs have changed little over the years, inventors have not stopped trying to produce a better cycle. Most of these attempts have been related to making the unicycle safer and easier to ride. For example, a patent issued in the United States during 1994 describes a unicycle that is designed to have a limited tilt. This invention uses a ground contact attached to the pedals to limit the amount of tilt that the rider experiences. Another patent issued in 1999 describes a unicycle that is equipped with handlebars that can aid beginning riders. In addition to these new designs, other improvements in unicycles will likely be in the form of new composite materials that make the vehicles stronger, more durable, and lighter.” -Encyclopedia.com
“No gears, no brakes, no handlebars, no problem.” -Muni Weekend T-shirts, 1998