Busted pedal

My Schwinn 24" has held up pretty well since I got it for Christmas, until now. The pedals have occasionally come a little loose and I’ve had to tighten them. But today I gave the right one a good tightening, and it still came loose after a little while on a slight angle. This is bad, the threading has been stripped a little. Mostly on the crank, and not so much on the threading of the pedal. I probably have done way too much jumping around than what this uni was built for. Anyways, do you think I should get a new crank and pedal? or just a new crank? And, I don’t know too much, but it seems to me that the component of the pedal connection to the crank is the most subject to abuse and breaking, not the connection of the crank to the hub. Are pedals attached to cranks the same way on all uni’s? or what’s different on the stronger more expensive muni and trials unicycles? How can I prevent this stripping of the threading? All advice and information will be greatly appreciated.

Pedals should never be threaded on dry. There needs to be grease (or Loctite) on the threads. If there is no grease on the threads you are more likely to cross-thread the pedals or cause other thread damage. When installing a pedal get the threads started by hand, don’t use a wrench (spanner). If you start it by hand you’ll be able to feel if things are not straight and it might get cross-threaded. After you get the threads started by hand then use a wrench to get the pedal tight. And grease those threads before you start. Be especially careful with aluminum cranks because it is much easier to cross-thread aluminum threads than steel threads.

It is also possible that the threads on your pedal or the threads in the crank were not cut correctly. On low end components this can be a problem. I had one cheap pedal that would never stay tight because the threads were undersized and out of spec. All you can do there is throw away the bad part, get a new one, and hope the new one fits correctly.

If there is thread damage in the crank you’ll likely need to replace the crank. If there is thread damage on the pedal you’ll likely need to replace the pedal. Your local bike shop should be able to diagonse if there is enough damage to warrant getting a new crank or pedal.

Greased pedal threads should stay tight. The grease isn’t going to cause the pedals to spontaneously come loose. If your pedals do come loose the crank threads or pedal threads are probably out of spec. If you’re really paranoid about a pedal getting loose because you ride backwards a lot then you can use Loctite instead of grease. Loctite will lube the threads as you’re installing the pedal just like the grease.

are you sure your left crank is on your left side? (and vice-versa)

If you have your cranks on backwards, your pedals will unscrew as you ride

The newer Schwinns have really basic, cheap, block pedals. Upgrading them can only be an improvement. But your pedals are probably fine. I’ve never seen pedal threads get damaged, except in extreme cases of cross-threading.

You got your Schwinn for Christmast, but it might not have been a new one. Here are things to consider:

  1. Check the crank arms. They should be marked somewhere with a L and R. Make sure the R is on the right-hand side as you pedal. Some bike shops tend to assemble unicycles backwards about 50% of the time. Sound random to you? :slight_smile: With a Schwinn, if the cranks are on the wrong side, just take out the seat post bolt and turn the seat around. Riding with the pedals on the wrong sides will cause them to unscrew all the time.

  2. Sounds like your crank is stripped, so you probably need a new one. Older Schwinns used 1/2" pedals. The rest of the non-juvenile bike industry is pretty much standardized on 9/16" pedals. This is the size of the holes, and not related to the threading. I’m not sure which size pedals the newer Schwinns use, or whether yours is a new one or not. Make sure your new cranks match your pedals, or get some new pedals at the same time. The vast majority of pedals these days are 9/16".

If you can’t order cranks from your local bike shop, Unicycle.com should have them.