Joel Leek of Australia has a Twisties promotion edition 1983 Minson Skate Bike. You had to collect 10 Twisties packets and then mail in with the money to get one. Joel has never found another Twisties edition with the rear sticker – life is pretty straight without Twisties and also the red frame with yellow wheels and tyre (red and yellow Twisties packet colors).

Anyone else know about the Twisties Minson Skate Bike?

Nice pix!

I found the original owner’s manual for my Minson Skate Bike. I usually save owner’s manuals and while cleaning found it.

It is interesting that the manual refers to a 16″ wheel version (which is what I have) and a 12″ wheel version. I have never heard of the small wheel Minson. The LeRun used a 12″ wheel.

Here is the manual.

Minson Owners Manual-1

LeRun Patent

I recently found the original patent for the LeRun skatebike. I wrote about the patent for the Minson skatebike. The Minson patent was filed on Mar 14, 1983. The LeRun patent was filed on June 18, 1981. The LeRun focus is on the front truck including an adjustable angle.

LeRun adjustable angle

I don’t believe this was ever implemented on a production skatebike.

View Patent US4417743 Google patent site of 4,417,743

It is interesting that both the LeRun and Minson patents offer a front bar to make steering easier.

US4523770 minson look lapsed handle-2 Skate Bike with GoPro US4523770 minson look lapsed handle-1

While exploring the history of the Minson skate bike I found the original US patent for a “Roller bicycle“.
View patent US4523770 Google patent site of US4523770
Filed: Mar 14, 1983 Granted: Jun 18, 1985 Status: Lapsed

Some interesting quotes from the patent.

This invention relates to a roller bicycle having rollers rotably mounted on the front wheel shaft and a single rear wheel for a common use as a sporting and playing apparatus on which one can ride forward and backward by keeping his balance, thereby improving his agility and developing his physical strength.

Translation: The wheel is a fixed crank like a unicycle so that you can ride forward and backward.

“Unlike the usual bicycles, one must keep his balance continuously while riding on the roller bicycle of the present invention so as not to fall. Furthermore, one must step on the ground with both feet at the moment of falling to prevent himself from falling, and when stop ping said roller bicycle, one should also brake it by stepping on the ground. In other words, said roller bicycle doesn’t need any additional brake means.”

Translation, the original design didn’t have brakes, coaster or the under seat hand unit.

As illustrated by dot-dash-lines in FIGS. 1 & 2, said front roller base 4 may be extended forwardly to form a projecting support plate 5′ on which a front support tube 5 will be vertically mounted, whereby a grip bar 18 can be inserted into said front support tube 5 and the height of said grip bar 18 can be adjusted by means of a adjusting clamp lever 6′ so that unskilled beginners can use said grip bar 18 for mounting and riding on said saddle 17.

While unskilled beginners may require said grip bar 18 and said adjusting clamp lever 6′, skilled people will not need them. Therefore, in view of the production cost and the manufacturing process, it may be also recommendable to omit said projecting support plate 5′.

Translation: An optional support tube was in the original design. This would help beginners to steer. The SQRL Skatebike has such a tube. You can see it in action in this video.

Minson logo plate
Minson logo plate
Notice the original drawings even had the round plate over the wheel for the logo.

Someone asked me the question where my Minson skatebike was made. Answer: it was made in Taiwan.

I have been experimenting with mounting a GoPro on my Skate Bike. Originally I had the camera on my helmet but this resulted in a floating camera shot with no reference points to set the shot in context. The skatebike is not exactly loaded with spots to mount a camera. I finally found this position. Note: when the bike falls over the camera has a tendency to change angle. Check after a fall.

Skate Bike with GoPro
Skate Bike with GoPro
GoPro mounted
GoPro mounted

I made two improvements to the skate bike. First was replacing the old seat clamp. The old clamp was working fine but it was rusty and didn’t look very nice.

Old rusted seat post clamp
New seat post clamp

The second change is the addition of Chain Tugs. Chain tension is controlled by positioning the axle. The challenge is when you tighten the bolts the axle tends to move. A chain tug restricts the movement of the axle during tightening.

Brake side before
Brake side with Chain Tug
Gear side with Chain Tug

Thanks Myles at Spoke O’Motion for your help.

I took the skatebike out on the weekend and tried riding at the local high school parking lot. There was too much slope for me and I found braking a challenge to control speeding up. I tended to either apply the coaster brake with too much force bringing it to a quick stop or when I reached for the hand brake it was harder to balance.

Original Minson Skate Bike Ad

There is some interesting discussion on the Max skate bike at skate and annoy. They pointed to the origin of the Skate Bike ad. It was printed in the Nov and Dec 1984 issues of Thrasher Skateboard Magazine.
Original issue (about 1/3 of the way down. Page 18/19)

Original Trasher Skateboard Magazine Ad - page 18 Nov 1984
Original Trasher Skateboard Magazine Ad – page 18 Nov 1984

Spike

Now here is a Skate Bike from a different angle, more scooter like.

Complete Skate Bike

GoPro

I have been trying to figure out a good location to mount my GoPro camera on the skate bike. My original mount was on my helmet. As there are no reference objects in the field of view it gives a floating in space view. When I watched the GoPro video on using the bike frame mount most shots show enough of the bike to give a context to the shot. With a skate bike the problem is one of frame geometry. As the bike is basically vertical, you don’t see part of the bike. I even tried on the tubes going to the back wheel but then too much of the view was blocked. Also I do not want the camera hanging out to the side where in a wipe-out it would be damaged. I tried on the seat post looking down but you get too much of the legs. I think farther down the frame. Might try behind the down tube in front of the thin tubes going down to the wheel. This could be a nicely protected spot and give a nice shot.

One last thought, I learned last weekend that knee pads only protect you if you wear them.