Sunday, February 12, 2012

Barracuda Unicycle

I saw a unicycle for sale on craigslist this weekend.  It was $20 and located in my town so I ended up getting it.
It's an older cheap 20" uni that would be good for a kid to learn on.  So I'll put in the garage and have it on hand when the need arises.
The seller said it was her son's from years ago and he didn't stick with it.

One interesting thing about it is that it has training wheels!  I'm not sure those will really help someone learn, but they're interesting.

Here's a picture of what a new one looks like.  Mine has surface rust on the chrome, but that will definitely clean off.  And of course it didn't come with the box.
 From the internet I gather it's a Rand Ross brand.  The model is Barracuda.


  1. there is a similar training wheel unicycle that goes up on craigslist in Vancouver about every 4months or so.
    I have seen about 4 different times now, and it keeps changing local city/suburb each time.
    except this one keeps going for $120.

    I assume people keep wanting to make their money back.

  2. This is the unicycle(ish) that keeps showing up on our CL in Vancouver.

      I've seen those around. They're called skate bikes.
      Have you seen this old commercial?

  3. This is the model I have. I’ve always wanted to learn to Uni, so I asked for one for Xmas a few years back and my mother bought me this one. I’m a 6-0, middle-aged guy. People on the Uni message boards had never heard of this model, and they quickly came to the conclusion that it was a “cheap” beginner’s model, with poor-to-mediocre cranks. (Looking at a dozen threads on the message board, I noticed everyone was all about cranks. Cranks this, cranks that. Splurge on good replacement cranks.) I wrote that my Barracuda came with training wheels and was told to take them off, that they won’t help, and I agreed. (When I think of kids learning to ride bikes, it’s usually when you take the training wheels OFF that they truly learn.) I’ve only practiced a little on this Uni, on my own, but I recently found someone in my office building who’s willing to teach me. He rides his Uni to work each day. I’d read on the Internet that it takes approximately 14 hours of effort to learn, but this guy says he can teach me in just 90 minutes. Thoughts?

    1. The strength/quality of the cranks on this uni are irrelevant for learning on. The bigger problem is that they're longer than is ideal. It won't necessarily be a problem, but if it seems to be, you might swap them for shorter ones. They're square taper (cotterless) which is common on older and low-end bikes. For now, I'd just make sure the crank bolts and pedals are tight. I would learn to ride on it and then if you're excited about riding, get a whole new modern unicycle. Torker LX or Nimbus are supposedly great, but do some research if you get to that point. If your friend is serious enough to ride to work each day, I'd be surprised if he didn't agree.
      90 minutes? I've never heard of anyone learning to ride in a pre-defined amount of time, but instead that everyone learns different. Your friend probably does have some advice to help accelerate learning versus learning on your own. But don't feel discouraged if it takes you days or weeks! Start a blog and keep track of your progress!! It's fun to look back.

    2. Thanks for the reply. I was thinking the same thing: that I’d learn on this one and buy a better one later, once I’m really riding. I had my first lesson with my new friend/teacher, and he insisted I practice on his 24”uni. He says my Barracuda is a perfectly fine 20”uni, but even when the seat is adjusted as high as it will go, it still sits WAY too low for an adult to use. (The Barracuda was probably designed for children.) I’m 6’ tall and all legs; I’ll need the seat to be much higher. Tonight I’m running to my local cycle shop, who’ve said they can order a seat post extension for me. That should work for the time being, and later – once I’m riding – I’ll buy a more serious unicycle.
      Regarding the time thing: he still believes that with just a few 30-minute lessons, he can get me to at least ride forward a fair distance – “across the length of the parking lot.” The 14-hour estimate I saw online, he says, would be for everything else: perfecting the ability to idle, go backwards, turn, hop, etc. Those are definitely things I’ll need to know to ride well, but the riding forward piece shouldn’t take long to learn at all.