Getting my first uni

I’m 16 and getting my first unicycle next week. Its quite difficult to get one in my country, especially with the Covid situation. I’m getting a QU-AX Only One 24’’ unicycle, if that means anything to you. Just wondering if there’s anything i should be looking for specifically when purchasing it as i am by no means a skilled mechanic and in fact don’t even know how to ride a bike. (190cm/6’2’’)

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Hello Marko. It’s always good to see another person taking up unicycling.

QU-AX is a reputable brand. That should be a decent unicycle. You’re fairly tall, so you may benefit from a longer seat post if that’s an option. You want the seat at a height where your knee is only slightly bent when the pedal is at the bottom.

When you put it together, make sure the left crank arm is attached to the left side and the right crank is attached to the right. The cranks and pedals will be labelled. If you get them backwards, you could end up with the pedals loosening and falling off when you ride. Besides that, there’s not much to worry about with unicycles. They’re pretty maintenance free.

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Good luck! I guess, if you have even gotten onto a stationary bike and pedalled that, it’s the same leg motion… but you’ll move along the ground!!
No more real advice except that I learned by going along a fence, and wrist guards are a good idea, and make sure your shoe laces are short :slight_smile:

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I think learning to unicycle is mostly a matter of persistence. If you get out and practice every day you should be riding within a month. Periodically check the various bolts on your unicycle. Just make sure they’re tight and check your tire pressure. That’s about it for maintenance. They’re very simple machines.

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It’s a nice hobby! I started 6 months ago myself and have been riding every day since :wink:

When assembling the uni, just make sure you don’t tighten the bearing caps too much.
Put your uni upside down, rotate the wheel and see how it responds when you tighten them. Your goal is to have as less drag on it as possible while preventing play on the caps (both bolts should create an even gap between the frame and the cap).
Once setup you’ll notice that they are not tight at all. This can result in vibration unscrewing the bolts, so check them very often, especially in the beginning.
It does help to fill the thread with a non-permanent thread locker like bison lockbond or loctite 243.

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I’d reiterate the point on not tightening the bearing caps too much. If you’re using an allen key, once it starts to give resistance when using one finger to push the key, you should be good but keep monitoring while in use. I over-tightened on my first unicycle and had to replace a bearing within the first few months because it cracked.

Assuming you ever need to take it to a bike shop, don’t assume they know more about unicycles than you do unless they usually service unicycles. Better to the check the forum and direct them accordingly. (see point on overtightened caps lol) But as far as maintenance goes, very minimal.

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On my stamped bearing holders I tighten the nuts to the point that the bottom bearing holder and the bolts and nuts don’t rattle. I then push on the different parts with my finger to see if anything moves, twists, etc. and then I might tighten up to an 1/8 turn more on each nut.
When setting up a unicycle make sure all parts are facing the right way. As long as the wheel and seat are the right way you will probably be fine. Backwards frames or seatpost clamps just look weird.
Most people find the front of the saddle pointing upwards to be more comfortable.

+1 on angling the saddle upwards. It’s counterintuitive, but it helps take pressure off your crotch by centering your weight on the back of the saddle rather than on the middle.

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