unicycle.builders

Gino history

Semcycle Pro
Rolls Royce Cloud II and Semcycle Pro 20"

I've started unicycling exactly on January 1st 1995. Since then I have tried and owned a lot of unicycles! I will disregard the many special custom-made models, and mention a few notable unicycle frames below.

Semcycle

My learner model was a Semcycle XL 24". It's distance covered per revolution comes close to one footstep, and so -to someone of my length- is more ergonomic than a 20".

Semcycle XL freestyle
XL freestyle

Because I started to work among vistitors of events, adventually with doing juggling and later started to serve dangerously hot coffee with my head while riding a unicycle, I switched to a 20" Semcycle Pro, to become more maneuverable than my 24" XL was. They called it the Rolls Royce among unicycles, as it drove like a Cloud, due to it's flexible frame. Today still many people use this unicycle happily after 20 or even 30 years now. Which says a lot about it's durability, comfortable and strenght! Back then, in particular the hub and cranks were the choice of for example mountain-unicycling pioneer George Peck.

However, the Semcycle does not really allow stand-up skills, or pair skills where the partner stands on the frame. This came in the Semcycle XL Longneck, which at my request got a wider crown than the previous XL model. The bridging part had nice round edges, such that you would not hurt yourself more than needed, unlike the Myata frames that many US and Japanese freestyle riders then still used. Today I still use Semcycle XL frames.

DM Ringmaster / Nimbus Eclipse

Nimbus Eclipse
Nimbus Eclipse

At Unicon 9 (Bottrop/Germany, 1998) David Mariner, of DM unicycles, introduced a new variant of the Ringmaster. Back then digital photography was not common, and so there are not much images of it on the web. But it's simply exactly as today's Nimbus Eclipse, the only main difference not being aluminium, and pre-ISIS era parts. I liked the grip, but I disliked the round tube to stand on: flat crowns (as on my XL Longneck) provide better distinct of the position of your feet. Even in 2016 I noticed that for example Philipp Henestrosa was using an Eclipse.

DM Advanced

DM
DM Advanced
Impact Reagent
Impact Reagent 2

The final unicycle model build by DM was called the Advanced, which continued to use his inovation of the grip. As you can see, Kris Holm's innovation started not really very far beyond where DM stopped. Especially as DM is credited for being the first to use splined hubs. But also nowedays construction of the Impact Reagent 2 isn't that far off. The Advanced became a popular choises for many freestyle unicyclists, for example Julien Monney became worldchampion in 2000 using this DM.

KoxxOne Signature

Koxx-One Signature
K1 Signature

Another thing I wished for was a fork with a bit of an angle, which came in the KoxxOne Signature frame. But soo much that the pointy points would press painfully. And -despite of the high-end price- those frame snapped a lot! Just like Kris Holm frames did [1] [2] [3] [4], and just like Eclipses. It is safe to state that alloy is a great material to build light unicycles, however NOT too great in providing strength. For example Daiki Izumida became worldchampion in 2006 using the Signature.

Kris Holm double crown
Kris Holm Double Crown

Kris Holm Double Crown

Although probably not designed for it, the Kris Holm Double Crown was an ideal unicycle frame for pair acrobatics, and still is used for that by some couples. But, as result of seeing so many failures on that generation Kris Holm frames, I never felt confident and comfortable enough to perform slight intensive pair skills on it, which would cause above-average stress on the joints. The "Double Crown" was choise of for example Spencer Hochberg in the days he defined flatland as dicipline on it's own.

triton
Triton
Yuri Chavro's own unicycle frame, my Nimbus titanium
Left: Yuri Chavro's own frame design
Right: my Nimbus titanium

Triton

The 20" Longneck of Triton was never meant for freestyle. The fork isn't very friendly for riders in that dicipline. However, titanium is a great metal compare to the number of snapping aluminium unicycles. And therefor you spot this frame more often in the more extreme diciplines of unicycling. It's weight and strength makes it ideal for trail. I've been using this frame for a while, since the light weight made me less tired when doing hours of non-stop idling (while performing at events).

Nimbus titanium

The most recent frame I used was the Nimbus Titanium. Only a limited number of 10 or 15 or so were produced in Taiwan. Despite the pricetag of £ 400,- I owned 4 of those. It's price exceeded the Triton 20". But the quality became outstanding: AFAIK till date zero failures! It still does not provide all of the characteristics that I wish for. But what want is anyway contradictonairy. Still for my purpose it -till now- was the unicycle with the least disadvantages. This frame was also the choise of for example Eli Brill.

Mongoose
Mongoose Squid 20

Telford

Nimbus Oregon
Nimbus Oregon

One other memorable frame is the Telford frame, which actually is a frame for long distance. Later Coker's Hunter was also using the concept of forking to four tubes, in stead of two. Another unicycle that uses a fork with four tubes is the Mongoose Squid, which never became very populair at all. And a variant of that is the project by Corbins Dunn. Another of the same concept, but probaly the best is the Nimbus Oregon. It's construction made the unicycle flexible, like what makes the Semcycle Pro outstanding. And so the telford frame was kind of inspiration of the design of the Gino unicycle frame.

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