If the cranks are on the wrong side the pedals would also be on the wrong side. Make sure the right pedal is on the right side and the left pedal is on the left side. The pedals often have an “R” or and “L” stamped on them. Unicycle cranks also sometimes have and “R” or an “L” stamped on them. Bicycle cranks usually don’t because the side with the spider (chainring attachment) is the right and the other one is the left (unless you’re dealing with tandem cranks).
If the pedals are on the wrong side you’re going to have problems with the pedals getting loose while riding. The cranks will stay just as tight whether they’re on the left or the right side.
Sorry, another question - if i find that something’s come loose again and i dont have anything handy to tighten it with (which happens frequently), am i going to completely screw my uni if i just ignore it and keep riding?
It won’t completely screw it…but it’s definitely not good for the cranks. The square hole in the crank can wear and get bigger if it’s lose. Then even when you tighten it up it’ll seem loose. If it’s loose enough and you’re doing drops then you have a higher chance of snapping the crank, but you generally shouldn’t be doing high drops with square taper.
So just do your best to always keep them tight to maximize the life of your cranks and axle.
be cautious when whacking cranks from the outside towards the uni.
i did it once to get my crank on, but because i whacked it the threads that are used to get the crank off with a crank puller got bent in and now i have to whack the absoloute crap out of the crank from the otherside to get it off cause the crankpuller doesnt fit in anymore.
the best thing to do is to get a flat piece of wood, put that over the crank and then whack the piece of wood
You shouldn’t ride with a loose crank. Especially hard riding where you pedal hard or do any kind of jumping or drops. The loose crank will round out the tapers on the crank or round out the tapers on the hub. If you have aluminum cranks you will damage the crank tapers. If you have steel cranks you will possibly damage both/either the crank tapers and the hub tapers.
If you have regular problems with the crank getting loose then carry a tool with you to tighten it up. But if you follow the instructions that I linked to from Livewire Unicycles you should not have any more problems with the cranks getting loose. If you do continue to have problems then the crank tapers are already damaged and you’ll need to replace the cranks.
There is no need to tap the cranks on with a hammer (you should actually use a rubber mallet or place a block of wood between the hammer and the crank). If you follow the instructions from the Livewire Unicycles Square Taper Crank Installation guide and grease the tapers before installing the cranks there is no need to tap the cranks on with a mallet and doing so is actually more dangerous for the cranks, especially if they’re aluminum cranks.