Freestyle pedal options, backward riding and pedals.

I will probably be replacing the pedals on my Nimbus II 24" unicycle quite soon, and I’m wondering what my options are for pedals. does not appear to sell the pedals that came with my unicycle separately, so I need something else. I have considered these United pedals, but they look a little flimsy, and I want something durable, but still good for freestyle riding. I often ride barefoot, and I like to pedal the unicycle with my hands sometimes, so I don’t want anything that has pins, or is even especially rough. Suggestions anyone? What pedals do all you expert freestylers use?

My second question concerns the effect of backward riding on pedals. A few months ago, I started practicing the backward spin (which I still can’t do properly) and spent quite some time at it, with hardly any forward riding. After a while, I began to notice a clicking and wobbling in the pedal (I’m guessing because of loose/misaligned bearings). I then did forward spins for quite a while, and the clicking and wobbling stopped for the most part, although the pedal has been just a little bit wobbly ever since. More recently, I have been working a lot on backward seat drag, and this seems to have made the wobbling worse again. The right pedal has been making a horrendous grating sound the past couple days, especially during seat out/dragseat riding. Why does backward riding mess up pedals, and what can be done to avoid this problem?

I can’t help alot but the wobbling in the pedal sounds like the nut inside the pedal which hold it together is loose; try prying off the end cap and see if the nut inside is loose.

I’m sure someone else will have a better idea of what’s wrong.

The United Deluxe pedals are actually quite sturdy. Not flimsy at all. The downside is that they are a bit slippery if you ride with them outside where you can get a coating of dust or dirt on your shoe. The advantage is that they are a bit slippery so you can easily move your foot around on the pedal which is necessary for freestyle. Would be a comfortable pedal for hand pedaling. UK carries a rubber coated pedal. Might be a good one for you. I don’t know where you can get it in the US.

Municycle dot com carries the Miyata freestyle pedal. They’re a nice freestyle pedal. A little more grip than the United Deluxe pedal. I don’t know where you can get the Miyata pedal in the US. I managed to pick up a pair at a convention. The Miyata pedals come in small and regular. The small size is for kids. They have a smaller platform. You want the regular size.

Here’s what’s wrong with your pedals:
When you pedal backwards, the pedals come unscrewed over time. You need a pedal wrench to tighten them (maybe can use a normal wrench) and you need to tighten them so they don’t strip and ruin your cranks!!!

the reason the left pedal screws in backwards is because that way the pedals won’t unscrew themselves when you’re riding forwards. so riding backwards for a long period of time does unscrew them. I expect you can just tighten them, I doubt any harm has been done. if it has, you’re buying new pedals anyway…but to prevent it in the future, you should check out everything on your uni before and/or after you ride every day.

The pedals don’t unscrew when I ride backward. I had some bad experiences with loose pedals/cranks on my first unicycle, so I check to make sure they’re tight quite often. The problem is in the pedal itself. The pedal wobbles around on the “axle” which goes through it’s center. The “axle” through the pedal is firmly attached to the crank. I’ll see if I can pry off the end cap and tighten the nut. The main problem is that my pedals are so worn from being dropped on cement, that I can hardly see where the caps are!

My unicycle currently has those pedals from UK. If I could, I’d probably get a replacement set. The Miyata ones look very nice, but since they’re not available here either, I’ll probably go with the United. In the meantime, I’ll just have to avoid seat drag and backward riding.

Thanks all for your help.

The bearings in unsealed pedals can get loose and cause play in the pedal. Unsealed pedals use loose ball bearings and a cup and cone system to hold the bearings. Sealed pedals have cartridge bearings. All of the plastic or rubber freestyle pedals I’ve seen have been the unsealed flavor.

You can regrease the bearings and tighten up the cup and cone to get rid of the play. Pop off the dust cap on the end of the pedal. Inside will be a nut. When you tighten the nut it will squeeze the cup and cone together which will get rid of the play in the bearings. If you tighten it too much you’ll get too much friction in the bearings and also cause unnecessary wear on the cup, cone and bearings. If you have it too loose you’ll have too much play in the pedal. It can be a very sensitive adjustment between too tight and too loose. Sometimes as little as 1/10th of a turn of the nut is the difference between too tight and too loose.

You can also take the opportunity to do a more thorough overhaul of the pedals. You can pull the pedal off the spindle and regrease the bearings and spindle. I would suggest doing this in a shoe box so you don’t loose any of the tiny ball bearings.

Brian MacKenzie has a pedal maintenance FAQ for overhauling unsealed pedals: Unsealed Pedal Bearing Overhaul

Its oh so easy to lose those balls. Even if you’re just ajusting the nut if it goes upside down they can fall out. There should be two nuts one to on the out side to hold the inside one tight so it doesnt loosen which I think is why you keep getting your problem. The out side nut might have moved out and the inside when going backwards is moving out then too. Then you ride farword it moves back to the right place. I don’t know if that right but its plausible. Unsealed is tough so may God be with you.

Re: Freestyle pedal options, backward riding and pedals.

The pedal you show, is available in a heat-treathed cro-mo version at Semcycle. Those two mentioned specs makes the pedal cost more. It can’t damage the floor, and is much stronger than any other pedal.

When a pedals is sitting in the same postion for long it is being pushed each time on the same place, as you’ll never have a 100% constant pressure on it. And so it become sole (? tranlation ?) also not constant. If you suddenly tighten the pedal is will have space on other places than before and it will protest.
Avoiding it? Have strong axes in your pedals. Still that wont eliminate the problem entirely. But it will go away itself as well.

These good?

I hate working on unsealed pedals. They can be a real PITA sometimes. Sometimes I get them adjusted just right and it’s all good. Other times I can’t get them adjusted right even after several tries. Fussy fussy fussy. And it’s just a mess dealing with the loose bearings and trying to keep them all in place while putting it back together. And it’s a mess with the grease getting on your hands.

Unsealed pedals do have some advantages. The bearings won’t fall apart on you like the sealed cartridge bearings can. If you ride through water a lot or ride in sandy areas you can rebuild and regrease the unsealed pedals. With sealed pedals you have to buy new bearings.

I think my next pedal buy will be those United Delux ones. They’re cheap, nice, and small so the shipping won’t be painfully pricey. I’ve started getting a $10 per week allowance plus $8 a week if I mow my neighbor’s lawn, so I’m starting to save up a little cash for uni parts (and unis). Right now I’ve got about $35 and growing, so in only one more month I’ll have a tad over $100! Dang, in only 4 months I’ll have enough for a Coker (if I don’t buy anything).

(Originally posted by jsm ) “Suggestions anyone? What pedals do all you expert freestylers use?”

Go with the Miyata Pedal…they are one of the best for freestyle.
White, non-marking (safe for indoor use) and won’t bust-up your shins. has them for $12. (+ shipping).
Here is the link:

I can’t stand white pedals! If only they came in black…