The Unicycle

The unicycle I’m riding on my journey is the 36” Nimbus Oracle. I decided on this uni solely on the fact that it has a bright green rim –  I’m kidding (although the rim is pretty swanky). I actually chose this unicycle because it is one of the lightest and most durable machines on the market.

One reservation I had with using a 36er is that replacement parts are difficult to come by in some areas of the world. I considered using a 29” unicycle, but un-geared it isn’t really fast enough. You could go with a geared 26 or 29er, thus having the benefit of speed and easier hill climbs, but then you have the same problem of replacing the hub if it goes wrong! So I decided my best bet was to go with a 36er, enjoy the speed and try to deal with anything breaking. And if worst comes to worst, I can always have replacement bits posted out.

Unicycle specs:

Frame – 36′ Nimbus ‘Oracle’
Saddle – Kris Holm ‘Zero’
Seatpost – Nimbus Pivotal
Hub – Nimbus ‘Oracle’ Disc ISIS – 36 Hole, (125mm) 36′
Rim – Nimbus ‘Stealth2’ Rim – Green
Cranks – Kris Holm ‘Spirit’ ISIS Disc Cranks – 127/150mm
Pedals – Nimbus ‘Studded’ Plastic
Tyre – Nimbus Nightrider 36′ x 2.25′ Tyre
Inner Tube – 36′ x 2.25 Schrader –
Brake – Deore M446 Hydraulic Disc


The Panniers

As you can imagine, one of the major challenges with a self-supported unicycle tour is where to put all your gear. One idea would be to wear a rucksack, but quite honestly saddle sores are bad enough without an extra 20 kilos weighing down on your crotch! So that idea’s out the window. The only other solution is to attach everything to the frame. You simple can’t just go out and buy unicycle panniers, so I turned to the current world record holder for ‘Longest Unicycle Trip’, Cary Gray. He rides an absolute monster of a unicycle setup and on his website suggested that he would be able to make a pair of panniers on request. The price for which was very reasonable. Just over 3 weeks after I had first got in touch, 2 shiny new unicycle panniers arrived at my door. I had caught him at a lucky moment as he was on a break from his own unicycle trip. He left literally only a few days after he’d posted them off! I really can’t thank him enough, because short of just bungee cording everything to the frame, I didn’t really know how to go about carrying everything I needed.


My unicycle panniers made by Cary Gray


Because the panniers themselves are just material, the challenge after receiving them was how to actually attach them to the unicycle. This is where my Grandad steps in. He has built all manner of amazing things from a grandfather clock to a scale model of a fire engine. Both of which he made everything himself right down to the screws and hinges! So if anyone was going to create a custom unicycle luggage rack it was him.


My Grandad and me in his workshop

The whole system is aluminium due to the strength and lightness of the material. The construction consists of a mudguard which takes most of the weight of the panniers and front and rear bars which anchor the bags and also offers a place to connect the handle bars.




The equipment

Unlike a bike where you can connect 2 front bags, 2 back bags, 1 handle bar bag and if you wish even more stuff on top of the 2 rear panniers, my setup is extremely limiting regarding how much gear I can take with me. On a bicycle if you add a lot of weight it just becomes slower and harder work to ride. The same is true for my unicycle, to a point, but if I add too much weight a literally can’t get on it! This limitation with capacity isn’t really a bad thing however, because it means that I really have to think about what I actually need and cut down my equipment to the bare essentials. Since this photo was taken a few items such as the playing cards, jumper, socks and my spare pair of boxers were ditched!


Photo of everything laid out a few days before I set off


Tent – Terra Nova Photon 2
Sleeping bag – Vango venom 300
Sleeping bag liner – Lifeventure
Sleeping pad – Kymit X-Frame
Stove – Primus Omnilite ti
Pans – Vango 2 person
Windshield – Vango

Clothing (cycling)

Specialized helmet
Shoes – Five Ten Impact Hi Shoes
1x Padded cycling shorts
1x Short sleeved jersey
1x thin short sleeved base layer
1x arm warmers
2x socks
High visibility coat
Prescription cycling specs

Clothing (non-cycling)

1x shirt
1x t-shirt
1x trousers
1x boxers!
2x socks
Thin hoody
Thick sweatshirt
Fingerless wool gloves


GPS – Gamin 800
Tracker – Spot Gen 3
Phone – iPhone 4
Lights – Front and rear on helmet
Computer – 11” Macbook air (with case)
Hardrives – 2x 1TB Seagate
Power adapters
Camera – Sony RX100 (3x batteries)
3x 32GB memory cards
Music – Mini speaker and MP3 player
Power cables for all of the above


Dry bags – Vango
First aid kit
Chamois cream
Toothbrush and toothpaste

Tools and spares

Allen keys
Spoke key
Spare 29” inner tube (it can stretch over the 36” rim)
Spare nuts and bolts
10x spare spokes
Punture repaire patches
Tyre patch
Zip ties
Duct tape
Needle and thread


My 26kg fully loaded unicycle over looking the 'Pont de Normandie' bridge

My 26kg fully loaded unicycle (The ‘Pont de Normandie’ bridge, France)