You might not be able to tell from the name alone, but here at Unicycle.com, we provide the crowd with more than just the one wheeler. Here on our website, with just a little bit of digging, you can uncover a treasure trove of interesting finds, not the least of which are some of our odd bikes.
What is an odd bike, and why would someone want to ride one? Well, for one, an odd bike is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a two-wheeled vehicle, propelled by crank arms (and sometimes a chain drive) that for one reason or another is not designed like your standard modern bicycle.
As for who would want to ride them, there’s too much diversity in the cohort to neatly and succinctly cover that. Some people who seek out the oddities are performers, others are trick riders, and some people just like the challenge of learning to conquer the eccentricities of a new machine. Some of these specific models are still raced, for example, by guilds around the world, which adds another level of practicality to the trial of learning how to ride them.
Even beyond this collection, there are plenty of odd bikes for you to discover out there that will both challenge and amuse you. Throughout history, people have created whimsical (if not practical) machines such as bicycles, tandem bicycles, and much more, including bikes that have been made from odd materials like wood.
There are plenty out there that you can discover off of our website, but if you’re looking for a short introduction to some interesting and cool bikes - that you can actually buy and ride - start here. The following are some of the very real and very rideable oddities that you can find in our collection.
Try a Minibike
Yes, we offer a UDC minibike here in our catalog, but this is not the minibike that some people think of. There are riders out there who think of those gas-driven pocket bikes when they hear the term minibike. Our version is an honest-to-goodness bicycle, complete with a chain drive and an adjustable seat post. It’s just a very small one.
Our little minibike defines quality and durability, too. On one level, it’s a tank, with a heavy gauge steel frame that weighs nearly 14 pounds. Considering the diminutive size of this bike, it’s extremely solidly built - that means it’s made for more than posing. You can ride this bike, and if you’re daring enough to try your hand, you can perform tricks on it too.
Adding to the toughness of this unassuming little package is the fact that it comes with solid rubber wheels, which will both handle and resist wear and tear better. With little wheels like this, you will need a sure grip on the terrain and that’s just what they can give you. Plus, since they’re solid, you’ll never have to fill them up, and they will hold up well to rough roads and tough tricks.
It’s not just tough. For what it’s worth, it’s built for comfort and practicality as well. This little bike comes with a straight seat post and a single bolt clamp that can be adjusted for the height of the rider. As for the saddle, it comes with a UDC big cush saddle, so that even though things might get a little cramped, at least you’ll be seated in comfort.
In a nutshell, this little bike is built to stand up to tough use and built to last, while still providing a semblance of comfort. If you want to learn more about the specific features of the bike, check out the link above and get in touch with a member of our team if you want to learn more.
A Penny Farthing: A Taste of History
Another one of the unique bikes that you are prone to find in our collection is a penny-farthing bike, of which we offer quite a few different styles. In our catalog, we offer Penny Farthings in wheel sizes from 29 inches in varying increments all the way up through 56 inches.
The reason for this variability is that, as you will notice if you investigate them further, these bicycles lack a chain drive and are actuated directly via the crank arms that are connected to the front tire. Therefore, the size of the bike that one can ride, as well as the top speed that one can achieve, is tied to the measurements of one’s inseam. That is, all other things being equal, the taller you are, the larger a Penny Farthing bike you can ride.
Interestingly, the Penny Farthing is a historical design more than an odd one and is one of the first designs to which the term “bicycle” was ever applied. It was an improvement over earlier designs that handled poorly and were much rougher on the road, not to mention slower.
In order to account for the fact that the pedals and crank arms would be attached directly to the wheel, the Penny Farthing was given a larger front wheel that would enable the rider to increase his speed without the need for a chain drive. In addition, the Penny Farthing was able to ride more smoothly over rough roads due to this larger front tire because it could absorb bumps that would otherwise create a rough ride, especially with a smaller wheel. In other words, the larger the wheel, the smoother the ride, and it is a well-known fact, especially among those who ride scooters, that smaller wheels do not perform as well on a bumpy road.
Our modern Penny Farthings are built to the highest standards of quality and are much more than an odd bike - they are fully functional replicas of this interesting historical bike. Our Penny Farthings are made with a CrMo frame that is very strong and come with a moveable rear fork. In addition, they come with a lower step that can help not only with mounting but also gives you a place to rest your feet while you are coasting.
If you want to learn more about these interesting relics from a bygone age, you can give our team a call or read our blog, particularly our post on the history of the Penny Farthing.
Show off on a Circus Bike
We also offer a circus bike in our collection, specifically a Hoppley 20” Circus Bike, that combines a few features of the two models previously investigated into one unit. Overall, this bike is specifically designed for trick riding and incorporates a lot of features that make it desirable to trick riders.
For example, this bike, like the Penny Farthing, has no chain drive, although in this case the crank arms are connected directly to the rear wheel. While this limits the speed you can achieve, it also gives you precision control over the rear wheel which can be critical for balance, control, and tricks. In addition, both wheels are the same size and can rotate fully and completely independently of one another. This gives you a lot more flexibility in the control that you can exhibit over the bike.
It also comes with stunt pegs on the front of the bike that give you some flexibility. Maybe you want to pull off some tricks with another rider perched on the front; maybe you want the ability to mount the front wheel of the bike; either way, the stunt pegs at the front give you a lot more flexibility.
If you were wondering about the matter of quality, this, like the UDC minibike, is a tough piece of equipment. The frame of this bike is made from steel and is solidly built to handle a lot of force, while the steel rims of the wheels can do the same. It may be on the heavy side, but that’s so it can hang with you through your toughest tricks and rides.
Among our odd bikes, you may even stumble across some of our more interesting designs in unicycles as well. While we offer plenty of rugged, dependable unicycles for street riding, touring, and mountain riding, we also offer ‘odd’ unicycles like giraffe unicycles and wheeler unicycles.
Take, for example, our Nimbus Performer Series Convertible Giraffe Unicycle, which is ideal for performers looking to show off their skills. As the name implies, a Giraffe unicycle is particularly tall and requires a great deal of skill to handle and ride. This one even converts from 5 to 7 feet tall with the utmost of ease, and little will turn heads like a skillful rider adroitly maneuvering a 7-foot tall Giraffe Unicycle.
While unicycles like this should be reserved for riders who are extremely experienced and confident in their skills, this unicycle also comes with a double chain design that improves the rider’s control over the machine to increase the safety of the design. In addition, this particular unicycle disassembles into four sections, making it ideal for itinerant riders who like to show off their skills on the go. It can even be packed into a suitcase so it can be all the more easily transported during a course of travel.
You might also be interested in a ride like our Club 20” 3 Wheeler Unicycle, which, like a Giraffe Unicycle, requires an uncommon degree of skill and experience to pilot. Whereas you may have been used to seeing unicycles referred to as one-wheelers, a model like this is the metaphorical “tricycle” of the unicycle world, at least categorically.
A stunt unicycle like this will challenge your skills if you already are a proficient student of the art and will give you a new avenue to explore by which to hone your skills. If nothing else, it’s a great model for performing riders to take out to showcase their abilities. Anyone who sees it will marvel at your ability to balance, handle, and maneuver it adeptly.
Challenge Yourself with Another Unicycle
With all of that in mind, there’s no reason to give yourself such a challenge with one of these performing unicycles, and in fact, if you have never ridden before, we would discourage such a proposition. Learning to ride a unicycle is hard enough, and the stunt unicycles should be reserved for those with a great deal of experience.
Whether your interests lie with getting a great workout, giving yourself a unique way to commute to work, tackling a new sport like mountain unicycle riding, we can provide the equipment and accessories to help you make that personal goal a reality. We offer collections of Beginner Unicycles, Mountain Unicycles, Touring Unicycles, and more; all you need to do is to figure out which direction you want to go with the sport and we can make it happen.
Also, the personal challenge isn’t the only reason to take up the sport. Riding a unicycle is a physical trial, to be sure, and it’s a great way for those with a busy lifestyle to work some activity and exertion into their lives. However, there are some other interesting benefits to riding a unicycle. Make sure you read our blog post on the matter; some of those key points may surprise you.
Call us for More Information
If you’re reading this and you have no experience whatsoever with a unicycle or any of our odd bikes, this landslide of information can seem overwhelming. You might have questions about safety gear or other accessories, questions about learning resources, product questions, or more.
If you feel like you could use a little guidance, don’t be shy about reaching out to a member of our team. Sometimes you can catch us via live chat on our website, but if we’re not around at the moment, give us a call. You can get us at 678-494-4962 and let us know what you need. We’ve introduced riders to this great sport before, and we can do so for you, too.