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Video: How to make an offset unicycle

Tinkerer takes angle grinder to old bike to give it new purpose

Professional bike mechanics, look away now. Lou of decided to hack up and on old bike into what he describes as the world's first offset unicycle and made a video of the process that will set your teeth on edge if you've ever wielded a spanner.

They say that to a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail. To a man with an angle grinder, everything looks like it's in too few pieces.

That includes the donor bike's frame, which Lou butchers to leave only the bits he needs, and the chain, which he shortens because he only needs a single gear ratio. Yes, he shortens it with an angle grinder.

He also needs a non-freewheeling drive, but rather than swap out the freewheel for a fixed sprocket he just ties it to the spokes with baling twine.

To his credit, Lou manages to build the unicycle almost entirely from bits of the donor bike, though we're not sure how long it'll last, as it's held together mostly with a few screws.

HT to

John has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.

He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.

Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for Along with founder Tony Farrelly, John was on the launch team for and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.

John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.

He joined in 2013. He lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

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Danny Colyer | 9 years ago

Hardly the world's first. I rode this one in 1995 and the one shown at in 1996. I do like the way he's done it, though.

Grizzerly | 9 years ago

Angle grinder? Angle grinder? What's wrong with a hack - saw?

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