Cheap Unicycles: What to watch out for, and what to get next?

Julian Orbach <> writes:
> * The Tyre: My tyre is rated at 32 psi which is too soft. As suggested in the
> FAQ, look for a higher presser tyre.

or just pump the one you have up some more … then you don’t need to buy a new
one (unless it bursts, which is unlikely…)

> * The wheel/spokes: Either the spokes were loose which allowed the wheel to
> buckle, or the wheel buckled which has since made the spokes loose. So far,
> I don’t think it is affecting my ride, but there are definite kinks in the
> wheel. Perhaps it has just been ill-treated; many first-timers have been
> giving it a go. Have other people had similar trouble?

my wheel is still fine, I can’t really see what a beginner could do to the
wheel that would damage it in the way you describe, since it is already on the
ground so isn’t going to be falling far… it sounds to me as if its a cheap
wheel. If you take it into a bicycle shop, they should be able to tighten the
spokes etc as I’m sure its the same principle as a normal cycle wheel…

> * The adjustable shaft is not tall enough for me (5’11"), let alone some of my
> friends (up to 6’3"). My height is not extreme; “tall” aspiring unicyclists
> should be careful that their unicycle can be adjusted high enough.

mine was similar (I’m about 6’1" I think), but I put it out to the full
extension and its not too bad. (I expect its a conspiracy by short people,
because they know we are better and they need an advantage :wink:

> I am left with the choice of looking for a new seat (One person tells me he
> bought one for $AUS25; that’s 20% of the total uni cost that needs replacing
> each month), or just writing the uni off, and buying a more expensive one
> (this time with a higher seat, harder tyres, and maybe a bigger wheel) - it is
> only a matter of time before I “outgrow” this unicycle anyway.

A new seat (more expensive) would probably be of much higher quality and less
prone to bending anyway…

> Sorry for the long ramble. I would appreciate any advice people can give me to
> get a longer lasting, better value unicycle next time.

There is some stuff in the FAQ about different types and quality of
unicycles… I think the named brands are better than the cheapo taiwan ones…

I have something that says `A SemCycle Product’ on the fork, and has a Sem
seat (apparently one of the better ones), but I only paid about 90 UKP for it
(5 years ago)… I got a catalogue from Oddballs (where I got it from) recently
though, and they advertise something called an OddCycle, which is a custom
made one apparently (co-project between them and Sem)… I was surprised at the
price of a real SemCycle (200 UKP), and wondered if mine was sold to me
accidentally since the shop was quite busy (just before christmas) and I was
served by a young chap who didn’t really seem to know what he was doing… but
it says that the SemCycle is “The Rolls Royce of Unicycles. It has a flexible
frame which was designed in the 70’s which really enhances maneuvering and
surpisingly it also makes it easier to ride in a perfect straight line…” but
my frame is not flexible at all (that I can see), so maybe I have one of the
cheaper ones…

I had some initial worry about riding up kerbs damaging the rim, but I’ve
since learned to jump up so don’t worry about it any more…