Cleaning/regreasing a unicycle

Two days ago, I was riding with some friends, and, all of a sudden, my unicycle started making funny clicking noises. I’m not sure why they’re doing it, but I want to take all the pieces apart, clean them, grease 'em up again, and put it back together. Hopefully, this will solve the problem (the unicycle hasn’t been cleaned/greased at all in the ~7 months I’ve had it).

To put it simply, when it comes to working on mechanical stuff, I am an idiot. I dunno where to start. So what all do I need to do to take it all apart, clean it, and put it all back together again? And which parts will need to greased after they’re all cleaned?

Thanks to anyone who replies with tips.


Check and tighten your wheel. If you have a spline hub, open it and puts some locktight in. Your cranks could be making the noise. The pedals too, check for play. Also, if you do have splined set up, rotate your cranks 45 degrees (it adds to your wheel life). If you have time, regrease every bolt on your uni.

That’s what I’m planning to do…i think the main hard part will be just figuring out how to take stuff apart/where everything goes back together.


Search for the spline mantinence guide. As I remember from your video, you have a DX so that should help with the wheel set, which is probably all you need to do. Also, check the nuts under the seat, and tighten as needed. Just be sure not to overtighten them because the round top part will pop off.

If you have a digital camera, take lots of pictures of each step in the disassembly process. Then you’ve got a trail of how to get it back together. Also, I use plastic cups to hold my parts when I take apart complex assemblies… you can write on each cup a description of what’s inside… also you can fill each cup with a little degreaser (I use WD-40) so your parts get soaked and and are easier to clean.

The general rule for how to take stuff apart… you should never have to use excessive force. If you feel you need to use force you’re either using the wrong tool, taking something off in the wrong direction, or there’s something else that needs to come off first. Tools can be expensive but so can broken parts.

You are not an idiot you are just inexperienced. Try to determine the source of the problem. Spokes, pedals, scraping. If you narrow it down you do less unnecessary work.

I good thing to do is to take the cranks off (axle bolt and pinch bolt), grease, and rotate the cranks around. I do this every month or so, it stops the crank creaking for awhile anyway.

I find on the DX that when they paint them, they inevitably get some paint on the splines. After a bunch of riding, the paint comes loose and kinda wiggles around in the spines. So, I like to wire brush the splines lightly to get off any loose paint before putting the cranks back on.

The steps to clean/regrease it would be the following:
1)Take out pinch bolt.
2)Take out axle bolt.
3)Take off cranks (this may be difficult as this is the first time you’ve done it.)
4)Take off bearing caps, and lift off frame.
5)Slide of washers and spacers, noting carefully the order in which they go on. If the bearings come off easily, go ahead and remove those too.
6)Degrease/wipe all parts and splines, including the inside of the crank’s splines. Scrape/brush off loose paint on spline/crank interface.
7)Regrease the splines with good bike grease/anti-seize, and lightly grease everything else (bolts, washers, etc.).
8)Put the bearings, washers, and spacers back on.
9)Put the frame back on, and replace the bearing caps. Remember, they don’t have to be very tight. The wheel should still be able to spin freely. Also, it would probably help to put a little Loc-Tite blue on the bearing cap bolts.
10)Slide the cranks back on as far as you can by hand, replace the pinch bolt finger tight, and put in/tighten the axle bolt pretty well. Then tighten the pinch bolt.
11)Remove the pedals, clean and grease the threads, and reinstall.
12)Probably wouldn’t hurt (if you have a spoke wrench) to go through and tighten the spokes, check the tension, etc.
11)Ride around a bit, and then re-tighten axle and pinch bolts.
12)Enjoy the silentness of the uni. mmmm…

That’s what I would be doing, but I figured that while I’m doing some, I might as well do all of it, because I haven’t done any maintenance in the ~7 months I’ve had it.

I’m not sure what the actual problem is though…I don’t know if it’s in my head, but when I’m bunny hopping in place, the right crank (front foot) makes a funny clicking tension-releasing sound, and it feels like I fall forward a little bit (this is the part that I’m not sure about…because I’ve looked at the cranks and alignment, and they look perfectly straight.

Another question: What exactly are splines, and how do I get to them? I thought they were many small metal rods inside the frame/cranks/stuff to keep them rigid and/or stronger…am I just wrong?

Splines are ridges on the spindle that keep the cranks from rotating around the spindle.

The two attached pictures are before greasing and after greasing.

So, if those are crank splines, what are hub splines?

The term “splines” discribes the shape of the interface; each one of the raised grooves on the hub is a spline. The part of the crank that slips on the hub is machined with a matching pattern.

The splined interface simply a way of firmly attatching the cranks without removing very much material (The more metal you machine off of the axle, the smaller and weaker it becomes).

only two months into engineering school, and spudman is getting all technical on us!

Those are hub splines in the picture. The cranks are just the oppisite of the hub, and the teeth (splines) fit together.

It all makes sense after you take it apart and put it back together again.:slight_smile:

well…the good news is, I figured out what’s wrong with it…the bad news…

My DX frame has finally had enough. It’s breaking at the infamous weld…:frowning:
I’m gonna email UDC tomorrow and ask about the warranty

UDC just sent me an email saying that my frame is on the way to them from Torker…they’ll send it to me as soon as they get it.

I can’t wait!


Nice, but I would personally just bend it straight and weld it for some extra strength. Unless you have to ship the frame back to them…

There’s cracks in the actual frame too.

And either way, it’s a free new frame.

thats what they said to me, and that was like 2 weeks ago.

and i still havent gotten it…



Ain’t nothin a little (big ass globs) of welding can do.

Don’t forget the duct tape…

I’d gladly take the cracking frame… but I doubt you want to give it away… and shipping will be expensive.