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Old 2010-02-22, 10:21 PM   #1
amiantos
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Grrrr... New Nimbus 20" Sig Trials from UDC USA troubleshooting

I just got my 20" Sig Nimbus Trials uni from UDC USA and I put it together and I'm kind of miffed...

1.) One of the bolts to hold the wheel in place is really stiff, can't even tighten it the whole way, so the cap is kind of crooked in order to get it tight enough to hold the wheel on without the cap shaking.. not a big deal unless it's bad for the uni to have one of the caps on crooked. Can someone advise?

2.) The seat wasn't really fastened to the seat post at all. Not a big deal but I didn't think to check for it even though I had read forum posts saying that UDC USA doesn't seem to tighten the seat to the post. Oddly enough two of the bolts were tightened and two weren't, which makes me feel like this was just a sloppy job.

3.) The wheel isn't centered in the frame, there's a good centimeter or two difference between the two sides of the frame. How upset should I be about this? It's pretty obvious, one of my co-workers noticed from a distance and didn't say anything about it until I said something.

4.) Worse than that the rim is obviously not true. I spin the wheel and sure enough the tire wobbles back and forth like a newborn baby deer. I don't have a spoke key but I can take the uni to my local bike shop and buy one I guess, maybe see if they can get the rim true... but if that is going to cost me money I am going to be super annoyed at UDC USA and just want a replacement or SOMETHING. I don't even know what to ask for really.

Obviously I should email UDC USA about this but I just wanted to voice my concerns here and get some opinions before I throw a fit. $360 == maybe a little better quality control and assurance? Does no one at UDC USA actually inspect these things before they go out to a customer?

The only order UDC USA hasn't screwed up so far is the pair of KH gloves I bought. My first uni order from them a was a Nimbus 29" that they put the wrong tire on so when I inflated it the first time the tube exploded and nearly deafened one of my co-workers and made all the warehouse guys run into the office wondering if someone got shot... and then exploded another tube before I emailed them and learned that they put the wrong tire on it. Glad it didn't explode while I was riding it. I'm a total newb at any sort of cycling so it's not like I know about these things or what to look for, but I don't think it should be expected that the customer has to do the quality control for them...

...I just want to order something from UDC USA some day and have faith that it's going to be right, and not have to wait another week or two for them to fix it.

If I have no right to be upset, I hope someone will tell me.

If someone from UDC USA is reading this and wants to save me the trouble of emailing you, my order # is 100001327.

- Brad

Last edited by amiantos; 2010-02-22 at 10:23 PM.
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Old 2010-02-22, 10:36 PM   #2
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On closer inspection it looks like if I manage to get the rim true, the wheel might actually be centered in the frame... so my main annoyances are that the rim isn't even close to true and hopefully my bike shop can fix this without charging me a lot, and that one of the bolts that fastens the wheel in place takes major strength to even begin to tighten.
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Old 2010-02-22, 10:53 PM   #3
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Sorry to hear you're having trouble with the new uni. Is it possible that bolt is cross threaded? Have you taken it all the way out and tried to thread it in by hand a few times? It could turn out to be a problem with the bearing holders but I'd want to rule out cross threading first.

When I buy bikes or unicycles online I generally assume I'll have to do the assembly. This is much more involved for bikes than unicycles but pretty much means going over everything. I've been fortunate in that the unicycles I've ordered from UDC have needed only minor truing and tensioning of the wheels.
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Old 2010-02-22, 10:59 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidp View Post
Sorry to hear you're having trouble with the new uni. Is it possible that bolt is cross threaded? Have you taken it all the way out and tried to thread it in by hand a few times? It could turn out to be a problem with the bearing holders but I'd want to rule out cross threading first.
I just did what you said and that pretty much fixed it. When I got it back out a lot of the blue holder tape stuff flaked off, looked like it had gotten scrunched up in there and was gumming up the works. Now it goes in much easier. Thanks for the advice. Looks like my reaction to this one was on the side of "kneejerk". After waiting a week to get it and being all excited it's hard not to be all "MELT DOWN" when something isn't just right. I blame my parents for spoiling me as a child.

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidp View Post
When I buy bikes or unicycles online I generally assume I'll have to do the assembly. This is much more involved for bikes than unicycles but pretty much means going over everything. I've been fortunate in that the unicycles I've ordered from UDC have needed only minor truing and tensioning of the wheels.
I'd prefer it then if UDC USA just sent me all the pieces at that rate. If they're going to build the wheel set they should at least build it right, ya know? At least if they just sent me everything separate with instructions on how to build a wheel set I could screw it up myself, haha.

Assuming me or my bikeshop can get the rim to true, and assuming the true rim will make the wheel center in the frame, then I'll have no complaints... I mean, aside from expecting my uni to be delivered to me pretty much ride-able and flawless.

Last edited by amiantos; 2010-02-22 at 11:03 PM.
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Old 2010-02-23, 12:35 AM   #5
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Wheel building is an art. Factory built wheels can usually be greatly improved with proper tensioning and straightening. If there is someone at your LBS who is good with wheels it should come back truer and stronger than you could hope from the factory and it shouldn't be too much dough.

A spoke wrench is a good investment in any case unless you are going to bring your mechanic around with you. Tight spokes make up strong wheels and a little time spent learning to adjust them can go a long way.

I am expecting a new toy from UDC USA tomorrow so thanks for reminding me to scrutinize carefully.
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Old 2010-02-23, 12:47 AM   #6
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Factory-built wheel or no (it probably is), it shouldn't be visibly out of true when it comes out of the box. Get a second (experienced, objective) opinion from your bike shop. Factory-built wheels often need a little tensioning after a bit of riding; this is why proper bike shops usually have a free 30-day check-up. Unfortunately this is impossible for an online retailer so some of that maintenance will be expected by the consumer.

But it shouldn't wobble like a newborn deer out of the box.
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Old 2010-02-23, 01:06 AM   #7
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I took it into my LBS (handy abbreviation) and the guy there (who I only kind of trust) said if the tire not hitting the frame, it's no big deal (though he didn't even look at it at all), that it's a small wheel so it probably shouldn't bend, and added that his mechanic guy wouldn't be around til Wednesday and I can bring it in then.

I just did about an hour of practice on it... in short, this thing is a joy. With just a little practice I can ride forward, stop, hop 90*, ride, stop, hop around a bit, ride some more... something I couldn't do on my 20" CX (for fear of breaking it) and I couldn't even stop and hop in place and not eat it on my 24" DX, so all in all... I kind of love this thing! I just wish the wheel wasn't crooked/wasn't kind of wobbly. My "newborn deer" comment might be a little of an exaggeration: the total amount of back and forth wobble is ~2cm. Is this acceptable? If it is, then I guess I am satisfied, it doesn't seem to effect my ability to ride it. Regardless I'll take it in to my LBS on Wednesday and see if his guy can straighten it out a bit, and if it costs me more than a couple bucks be I'll email the bill to UDC USA and see if that gets me anywhere.

The KH Fusion Street saddle is weird, didn't know it had a hollow line running down the middle of it. (So weird to me that I am inclined to ask: is it supposed to be like that?) I guess since I won't be sitting on it much it doesn't really matter, but that is a weird seat. I would not want to ride any sort of distance on that thing, but since it's "street" I guess it isn't meant to be ridden on much?

Summary... maybe I panicked and my new uni is mostly fine, unless anyone can tell me differently.

(Had a fun wipeout where I fell sideways and slammed myself into the back of my dad's truck... glad those things are soft. Another wipeout I fell backwards and landed, shirtless, right on my back on the pavement, but that one felt pretty soft too, so all in all... I had a damn good time.)

Last edited by amiantos; 2010-02-23 at 01:12 AM.
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Old 2010-02-23, 01:20 AM   #8
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The depression in the KH freeride is to relieve some pressure off your taint.... or pudendal nerve(s) whichever doesn't offend you

Even on a 20" uni you'll spend a little time in the saddle.... you'll like the freeride.... epsecially if you were riding a stock torker CX and/or DX seat.

Where do you live? If there's a unicyclist.com community member, they may be able to help you true the wheel also, youj could go to Sheldon Brown's site for more info on how to do it yourself. Here's a big piece of the pie..... BE PATIENT and don't do too much at once while trying to make the wheel true.

You can't knee-jerk while working on wheels..... it'll be dissasterous. Oh, the dude at the LBS just didn't want to work on your wheel; no respectful LBS mechanic would tell you it's OK as long as the tire doesn't rub. Yes, it may be OK but here's an opportunity to help someone out and make a couple of bucks for your shop..... not cool.
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Old 2010-02-23, 01:23 AM   #9
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I have definitely learned to check every bolt on my uni when they come. Many loose nuts and bolts on UDC USA uni's, it's pathetic.
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Old 2010-02-23, 01:29 AM   #10
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I'm glad most of your problems are resolved. For sure get the wheel wobble checked. The line down the seat is what allows me to sit on my seat for a couple of hours before getting very numb. That cut-out takes off a lot of pressure from your crotch area. I have a plan to widen mine a little more. I'm hoping that will help ease the pain I get after riding a bunch of miles.

Have fun on your new unicycle. It's always fun to get another toy in the barn.

edit: Y'all type too fast and beat me to it.

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Old 2010-02-23, 01:38 AM   #11
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As long as none of the spokes are noticeably loose (test by squeezing pairs) you are probably ok. Since there aren't any brake calipers involved and the speeds won't be too high I doubt it will make much difference.
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Old 2010-02-23, 01:43 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Tirving View Post
Where do you live? If there's a unicyclist.com community member, they may be able to help you true the wheel also, youj could go to Sheldon Brown's site for more info on how to do it yourself. Here's a big piece of the pie..... BE PATIENT and don't do too much at once while trying to make the wheel true.

You can't knee-jerk while working on wheels..... it'll be dissasterous. Oh, the dude at the LBS just didn't want to work on your wheel; no respectful LBS mechanic would tell you it's OK as long as the tire doesn't rub. Yes, it may be OK but here's an opportunity to help someone out and make a couple of bucks for your shop..... not cool.
+1 on that! Don't do too much at once. Sheldon Brown's site is a great resource. LBS dude doesn't sound helpful.

I have had a million similar experiences in bike shops. Like they make too much money and couldn't be bothered - I KNOW that is not the case.
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Old 2010-02-23, 02:50 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by amiantos View Post
My "newborn deer" comment might be a little of an exaggeration: the total amount of back and forth wobble is ~2cm. Is this acceptable? If it is, then I guess I am satisfied, it doesn't seem to effect my ability to ride it. Regardless I'll take it in to my LBS on Wednesday and see if his guy can straighten it out a bit, and if it costs me more than a couple bucks be I'll email the bill to UDC USA and see if that gets me anywhere.
~2cm seems pretty excessive for a brand new wheel. Definitely take it in to the bike shop on Wednesday but ring up Unicycle.com first and let them know what you are going through and they will possibly tell you a solution. It seems fairly common for wheels to be either untrue or not centered so you will not be the first complainer. I had a Kovachi wheel arrive from USA Unicycle.com seemingly not true, and the bike store said a spoke could have been bumped in transit or something. Maybe it was the bung Gazzaloddi that was uneven.
Quote:
Originally Posted by amiantos View Post
The KH Fusion Street saddle is weird, didn't know it had a hollow line running down the middle of it. (So weird to me that I am inclined to ask: is it supposed to be like that?) I guess since I won't be sitting on it much it doesn't really matter, but that is a weird seat. I would not want to ride any sort of distance on that thing, but since it's "street" I guess it isn't meant to be ridden on much?
Lucky, you got the 2010 Fusion Street! I wanted to get one but I accidentally bought a 2009 one without the groove. Kris Holm says they make good long distance seats- I want to try one. Hopefully you will sit on it plenty and get used to it.
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Summary... maybe I panicked and my new uni is mostly fine, unless anyone can tell me differently.
That is right- it is mostly fine and at least you can ride it. It is disappointing the wheel was not perfect to begin with but at least you can learn more about maintenance in the meanwhile.
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I have definitely learned to check every bolt on my uni when they come. Many loose nuts and bolts on UDC USA uni's, it's pathetic.
In a way it is a bit slack but it is good practise to keep your bolt tightening skills up. I think it is good in a way how Unicycle.com unicycles come in a box and you have to assemble it yourself- learning how the simple parts fit together first hand. You are almost guaranteed to do something wrong even though everything is labeled left and right, but that is how you will learn best, when you have to redo everything cos you realise the frame is on backwards and the pedals are unscrewing.
Unicycle.com can't do continual bolt tightening maintenance for you so it is good for you to get the hang of it from the start, identifying potential loose bolts and making sure they are all tight- seat, frame and cranks.

I've seen a lot of unicycles put together at the local bike shop- Action Wheels, the local Qu-ax dealer. It is shocking how terrible the skills of the bike people are when they don't know anything about unicycles. They don't know and they don't care about knowing- so they repeatedly make the same stupid mistakes. Not only is the frame on backwards with the slot at the front, but the bearing housings are tightened way too tight so that the wheel does not spin freely. Surely if someone at the bike shop took a bit of time to learn how unicycles are assembled they could do it- I've criticised them many times and they should know by now. It is a shame for first time unicycle riders to have to figure out things that should be done properly to begin with- when they have no reference of previous experience to know any better. Sometimes I think bike shop owners wish that unicycles would be even harder than they are so that people will give up sooner and get a real bike.

Keep landing on your feet Brad and have fun on your new unicycle! Good luck with the wheel wobble reduction.

Last edited by Rowan; 2010-02-23 at 02:53 AM.
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Old 2010-02-23, 03:34 AM   #14
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Sometimes I think bike shop owners wish that unicycles would be even harder than they are so that people will give up sooner and get a real bike.
Funny that you say that, 'cause my LBS guy was like, "Next you need to get a real mountain bike." I responded, "What would I want to do that for?" and he started going on about stuff like "getting speed" and "catching air" and I was like "uhhhh..." Then he tried to tell me that 30 years ago back when he used to unicycle he picked it up "his second try" and how he's lucky he's just "immediately good at everything" and I was like "uhhhhhhh...". No offense to mountain bikers, but similar to something unigeezer said in a recent article, I am pretty sure a bicycle would bore me.

Maybe I just won't go back to him. I'll take it by Whittier Cyclery tomorrow, they're apparently an authorized UDC dealer, not that that probably means much but I figure they won't tell me their mechanic is gone 'til Wednesday.
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Old 2010-02-23, 09:16 AM   #15
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Maybe I just won't go back to him. I'll take it by Whittier Cyclery tomorrow, they're apparently an authorized UDC dealer, not that that probably means much but I figure they won't tell me their mechanic is gone 'til Wednesday.
It means they have more than likely sold unicycles in the past, which dramatically increases the chances they will know what they are talking about. (No guarantees though - just a better chance). It is *well* worth hunting out a good bike shop, with a decent mechanic and taking your patronage to there. Unfortunately many places just don't have staff who care or know much about basic bicycle mechanics, let alone unicycle mechanics. If you want a good wheel builder it can be helpful to find somewhere that specialises in freeride moutain bikes or trials bicycles. Those guys really abuse their wheels and need strongly built wheelsets by a decent mechanic. A local online bicycle forum might be a good place to ask about bike shops. Good local riders will generally have figured out the best bike shops around, so pick their brains.

It is a *very* good idea to get the wheel of a new trials unicycle (or Muni) trued after a few rides anyways and I would recommend doing that regardless of how true the wheel looks. Find a decent wheelbuilder and shell out a few bucks to get the wheel trued and retensioned. It will extend the life of your wheel. I plan on doing this whenever I buy a new uni (and factor it into the cost).
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