Friday, June 19, 2009

Parallel Uni-verse

The trouble with Internet browsing is that one thing leads to another.

When looking for a bike rack for my car, I got side-tracked into folding bikes.

Folding bikes took me to Brompton in UK.

Brompton led to Schlumpf in Switzerland.
There, I was intrigued, but not tempted, by the many 2-speed epicyclic bottom-bracket gearsets on display.
Including one for belt-drive bikes with Shimano 8-speed hubs.
Wonder how big that market is?

Even more intriguing was the section on Unicycle Hubs.
Had you ever imagined a multi-speed unicycle?
Me neither.
But they look real, Swiss & beautifully made.
Is somebody making a living from this ultra-niche market?
There is hope for the world yet.

And the KH version, for heavy-duty off-road use, including jumps up to 1.5 meters?
Oh sure, it does include a warning of possible death if you don't get your high-speed monocycling gearshift quite right…

Well, I must have led a pretty sheltered existence for the last 65 years.
Nowhere in my universe have I seen, read about, or even imagined, heavy-duty, off-road, 2-speed unicycles.

In fact, I have been back to the site several times, to make sure it is still there & to check it is not some kind of joke.
But no, it's quite serious though that is maybe not the best word.
With links to, for instance, the International Unicycling Federation:

And forums:
Where you can feel gripped by the plight of one unicyclist asking for help because his unike keeps turning right & he has to get 4 miles to work every day.

The real trouble is that I am beginning to feel a familiar itch.

Not for a heavy-duty off-road 2-speed unicycle, of course.
That would be pretty silly.
But maybe just a little flat, smooth, 1-speed job?

I hope it wears off soon.

Parting thot: "When you're finished changing, you're finished." - Benjamin Franklin

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