Crank/Pedal issues

Hello from southern California!
I’m a fairly newbie rider as I’ve started maybe 3-4 weeks ago. But I am now able to freemount, ride a decent distance, ride off steps/sidewalks, turns, and dismount somewhat gracefully.

I own a Torker CX 20" which seems to be one of the lower quality models out there, but hey I can’t complain, this was just sitting in our garage because someone gave it to my dad and I decided to put it to some use.

My main problems occur after extensive riding: initially, my cranks would start feeling wobbly because the nut/bolt that secures it would start coming loose very easily. I checked the threading, and it is not stripped at all, just unscrews all the time. realizing that perhaps my seat was facing the wrong way, I flipped it around. this remedied the loose crank problem, but soon after that I discovered my pedals were coming loose from the crank. It was so bad that I had to get one of the crank replaced because the threading was all stripped where the pedal attached.

What I’ve been resorting to doing is keep the uni set up where the pedal would come loose, and just tighten them whenever I can, before any stripping occurs, but i feel its only a matter of time before it gets completely screwed up again. Are there any riders out there who’ve had similar problems? I strongly suspect that my cranks could possibly be on the wrong sides, but I’m not sure if switching them would make any difference. [right now, with only the pedals coming loose, my left foot is pedaling the crank+pedal labelled ‘R’ and my right foot is pedalling ‘L.’ [again, the only reason I am doing this is because the cranks themselves come loose very easily If i’m riding the other way around, and they are more of a pain to tighten every time i dismount.]

Any suggestions or tips would be greatly appreciated…

loctite?

This sounds like the cranks are on the wrong sides of the uni.

Your right foot should be on the pedal labelled “R”, and your left foot should be on the pedal left over. :0)

To tell which way the frame should be facing, look for the slot in the top of the seat tube - the bit that is nipped tight when you tighten the bolt or lever that allows you to adjust the height of the seat. That slot should be at the back.

It doesn’t really matter which way round the wheel goes (unlike on a bicylce) but it does matter which side the pedals go.

The right pedal has a right hand thread (conventional thread: clockwise to tighten). The left pedal has a left hand thread (anticlockwise to tighten). This is very very very important indeedy. If you have the pedals on the wrong sides then they will loosen as you ride, and the pedals and cranks may be damaged.

It is not clear from the description that you gave whether the cranks are held on with cotter pins or with the more modern cotterless system. A cotter pin is a strangely shaped bolt with a flat side that makes it act as a wedge to hold the crank on. A cotterless system has a single central nut or bolt that screws onto or into the end of the axle.

Either way, it should be an easy matter to swap the cranks round so that you have the left one on the left and the right one on the right. I can’t emphasise enough how important this is. I wrote off a brand new crank in 400 yards once.

Now, fitting the crank: make sure all the surfaces are clean. Put it on absolutely straight. If cotterless, give it a sharp tap with a mallet to bed it onto the square taper of the axle. Tighten the nut (or bolt) then ride for a short distance and tighten it again. If with a cotter pin, be careful not to overtighten as they can shear easily. Cotter pins are a disposable item, and can be replaced at a local bike shop or even a good toy shop or hardware shop.

To tighten the pedals, use a 15 mm spanner - don’t rely on the screw slot or hex socket in the end of the pedal axle.

Things loosen on unicycles, unless you fit them well, and tighten them after a short ride.

Look at the shop page at www.unicyle.com for examples of the various types of cranks.

Thsi bit of your post was refreshing: <<but hey I can’t complain, this was just sitting in our garage because someone gave it to my dad and I decided to put it to some use. >> and this bit was impressive: << I’ve started maybe 3-4 weeks ago. But I am now able to freemount, ride a decent distance, ride off steps/sidewalks, turns, and dismount somewhat gracefully. >>

Welcome to the fold. :slight_smile:

Mikefule, thanks for your help! I’ve gone ahead and switched my cranks [which seem to be cotterless] and everything seemed to fine, until a tall friend of mine tried it out and one of the pedals came loose again [stripped the crank threading where the pedal is attached]. I believe this is due to not keeping the pedal tight enough and it happened with the crank that had not been replaced yet [taken too much abuse perhaps]. Plus, this taller friend doesn’t really know what he’s doing on the uni, so it endured some more abuse. Lucky for me I purchased a set of cranks when replacing the one that originally got wasted, and I simply need to pull this stripped one out and slap the new one on.

Anyhow, thanks for the advice, I only have one more specific question: is there any way to remove the crank without having to purchase the tool that is specifically designed for crank removal? I originally removed them when swapping them around by simply pedalling the wrong way to loosen them up again, but now i cannot do so since one of the pedals have fallen off, and i’d much rather not do it that way again as it’s probably not doing my uni any good. Sorry if I sound cheap, I just like to do things as most conventionally as possible.

Mikefule said, “Welcome to the fold.”

Thanks, glad to be part of this community. I just wish there some nice areas around the Los Angeles area where i can take my uni [if anyone knows of any, please let me know]. For now, I practice at my church. we luckily have a fairly spacious, flat area and an amphitheatre where i practice going down big steps.