Jon N. from the UK wrote this article about changing the seat on his Max Skatebike to a unicycle seat. My personal skatebike is a Minson which uses a traditional seat post and seat. The Garel/LeRun/Max skatebikes use a unicycle like seat connection.
BTW: A unicycle seat is often referred to as a unicycle saddle.
The skatebikes used in the photos are a black Max skatebike and a blue LeRun, the LeRun and the original Max seat are the same design and are shown for comparison purposes. When I purchased my Max skatebike from eBay the seat post was too short for me to ride in a comfortable position. The post was 250mm long which once you’ve taken into account the section required to go into the frame it did not leave a lot the space required for a person just over 6 foot tall like myself. I had hoped to simply replace the seat post with a longer one and all would be fine, however when I examined the fixing of the post to the seat I realised the seat itself had 3 shafts for nuts and were positioned in a triangular shape. I searched online and couldn’t find a replacement seat post that had triangular hole positioning so I decided to replace the seat too. The fixings on most bicycle seat posts are designed to work at an angle and for a skatebike it needs to be straight up which is how I arrived at a unicycle seat and post.
I used unicycle.com who had a good selection of seats and posts along with other supplies. The seat post width for my Max is 25.4mm (Lerun and Garel models use 25mm), I went for a 350mm long post and a zebra print seat for a total of £30. There are other colour variations out there but as soon as I saw this I knew it was the one for me! As you can see there are differences in the designs of the original seat and the unicycle seat, namely the width is reduced on the unicycle seat and the curve angle is increased on this ‘freestyle’ seat (flat unicycle seats are available on the website too). The unicycle seat is firmer than the original from the Max and is fixed to the seat post via 4 shafts in a rectangular formation and allows for tweaks on the angle of the seat rather than the fixed position of the original seat. The grab section at the front (there is also a grab section at the rear of the unicycle seat) is incorporated into the seat design rather than the ring design of the original, this can take a little getting used to at first if you’ve been using a ring for a long time. When I first put the unicycle seat on and went out on it I really noticed the width difference compared to the original and was concerned that it would take something away from the comfort aspect however I found it is easier to understand where my body weight is in terms of positioning. The original seat is wider and in comparison feels almost too wide for me now and there’s less clarity in knowing where your centre of gravity is, however the original is more comfortable and has more of a shallow sideways C profile. From a top down view the unicycle seat is an hourglass shape which helps position the rider and the original is a teardrop shape. I would suggest trying one out in a shop if you can, I’m average build and a unicycle seat may not be comfortable for everyone.
Out of the two seats I would say I prefer the unicycle seat as I find it better for comfort, response and firmness. The original seat works as a seat but there are other options out there and it might change how you feel on a skatebike and grow your confidence to try more moves or go for longer distances so why not give it a try?
Another change I made to the Max was to the seat post clamp and removing the quick release system. I decided a fixed seat post clamp would be better for me for when I lock it up outside a shop I don’t have to worry someone can pinch the seat, plus it looks slicker to me and matches in terms of colour. It was a simple case of taking off the quick release fitting and popping the fixed seat clamp post (I sprayed it black as it was chrome – 28.6mm seat post clamp for Max/Lerun/Garel) and tightening it accordingly.
Jon N. – UK
Lerun began its operations back in the 1970s, pioneering the manufacturing of mountain bikes for the local market. Lerun’s ‘claim to fame’ is the Skatebike – the one-wheel unicycle which was launched back in the late 80s. The introduction of the Skatebike created a cult following amongst youngsters and henceforth catapulted the Lerun Unicycle up to the top of every kid’s wish list. Since then, the Lerun brand has become a household name.
Headquartered at Puchong, Selangor, the Lerun head office controls all distribution and sales operations for its diverse portfolio of bicycles. The product range that is offered includes MTB, BMX, Tandem Bike, Folding Bike, City Bike and Racing Bikes with wheel sizes ranging from 16 inches to 26 inches, which are marketed under the popular “Lerun” and “Polygon” brands.
A pristine LeRun before the MTV branding.
By Jon N from the UK
Basic tin foil and cola were all I used to clean the rust off this crank and crank arms. If you pour some cola (doesn’t have to be a main brand, any cola will do) into a cup, take a piece of tin foil about the size of your hand, fold it over so the shiny side is on the outside and then dip into the foil into the cola and leave it for a few seconds. Then take the foil out of the cola and start to rub it on the affected rusty areas as if it was sandpaper. You don’t need to be heavy handed with it as the chemicals in the cola will do the hard work, for hard to reach areas an old toothbrush can be wrapped in foil (remember to have the shiny side out). The sprocket and the arm took me about 20mins and maybe a meter of foil. Be careful if you soak nuts or bolts in cola as if you leave them in there tool long the cola will eat away too much and could affect the thread.
Jon’s Garel Monocycle, his LeRun Skatebike and Max Skatebikes use an unusual skateboard truck. The mount is much smaller than traditional old and new school skateboard trucks. Minson trucks are Old School – 2 1/2″ X 1 5/8″. LeRun truck holes are 1 5/8″ X 1 1/4″.
Jon took some photos of the original LeRun truck for reference for this site. The bike has not had any work yet. As you can see the bushings in photo one are cracking.
Important: AXL Skatebikes use a similar but different skateboard truck setup.
Jon N. from Manchester, England recently bought two skatebikes on eBay. The first I had never heard of before, a Garel Monocycle. Garel Monocycles were made in Italy.
I purchased the Garel Skatebike from eBay thinking it was a LeRun Skatebike and had the intention of restoring it as the previous owner had changed the front truck to that of a skateboard truck. When I received the Skatebike I tried it out in my local park and the skateboard truck was far too flexible and made it unusable so I tightened it as much as I could and managed to get some straight runs and a few wide corners before one of the front wheel coverings peeled off as it had become brittle and cracked over the years, so they will be on the list to be changed as part of the restoration. You can see that the hole spacing on the skateboard truck is larger than the Skatebike mounting holes and additional holes have been added to the skateboard truck in order to fit correctly.
The pedals are not really to my taste so I will probably change them too, I’m not sure if they are original or have been changed over the years like the skateboard truck. I took the rear wheel to a local bike shop for them to true the wheel which did improve the stability, however I may try and have some of the spokes changed as some are bent.
It has a 12 inch rear wheel, a 32 tooth crank, pedal backwards to brake and skid, 25.4mm diameter seat post that is 350mm long, the saddle has ‘run’ printed on the sides and back. At first I thought it was a faded and partially rubbed off ‘Lerun’ however Wiki shows that the Garel Skatebike was also called the ‘Run’ which would suggest the saddle is original.
I was considering sanding off the green and respraying it a different colour however as I’ve not been able to find any pictures of other Garel Skatebikes I am tempted to leave it green and try to remove as much of the rust and weathering as possible, change the trucks, tighten or replace some of the rear spokes and take it for a ride!