I tacoed my last cheapo sun uni by dropping off of a foot or two ledge. I was looking on ebay recently and noticed that there are a number of Torker 24" 48 spoked unis on there. I was just wondering what is the higest drop you guys have been able to do on a torker without tacoeing the wheel? Oh btw I weigh 150# if that matters.
Having never tried a torker, I’d say that most unicycles, even cheap ones, can withstand drops that are 3-4 feet high, provided that good techniques are used. Lining it up straight, and rolling out (or maybe seat out in front) are essential to minimise equipment failure. The moment you twist in mid air it makes a taco more likely because the weight is distributed unevenly when you land. I am not suggesting you try 4 foot drops on a Torker, but maybe it would survive several drops. The wheel is not the main concern, a taco can be un-tacoed, trued, or straightened. If you bend your cranks, that is really annoying because they need to be replaced. The worst scenario is bending or breaking an axle. Regardless of how true your wheel is, if you break your axle it will take a complete wheel rebuild to be fixed. It is not worth putting a really strong rim on cheap taiwanese axle and crank combinations because they are likely to fail first.
Yeah, cheap cranks are terrible for drops. I’m pretty new at that stuff, but i can tell you that the first time we (my brother and I) tried a 15 inch drop on a 24 inch Torker, the cranks got all twisted. Makes for a pretty squirlie ride now. Enh, new cranks are in the mail.
My friend went off a 3 or 3.5 drop on his Torker, and came out okay. But he has a feeling he might have slightly dented the rim. But that of course can be prevented by inflating the tire more.
Also, Torker seats are awful for hopping. They’re fairly comfortable, but there’s basically nowhere for you to hold on to.
If you’re going to be riding “aggressively” on a Torker the first thing you need to do is take the local bike shop and have them tension up all of the spokes. The Torker wheel is made by a wheel building machine and those machines don’t tension up the spokes enough. Tell the bike shop that you are going to be jumping around on the wheel and that the spokes all need to be tight or else you’ll taco the rim or flatspot the rim. It’s a quick and easy job for the bike shop. It will be in the $10 to $15 range.
If you know someone who has experience fixing wheels they could do the job too. Since the wheel is new they won’t have to true the wheel or do anything complicated. They just need to tighten up each spoke the same number of twists.
The black Torker has a better than average rim. It’s only a single walled alloy rim, but it’s still much better than the steel rims you’ll get on almost every other sub $100 unicycle.
I don’t know how big of a drop you can do on a black Torker. You could likely do drops from a picnic table. But the problem is that you’ll eventually break the hub doing drops like that. You likely won’t break the hub right away, but those drops will weaken and fatigue the hub till it eventually breaks. When it breaks it may do so on a small drop or on a small hop because it will fatigue enough that the small drop is what eventually does it in.
You also need to use proper technique to save your equipment. If you land like a lawn dart and just go THUD you’ll do a lot more damage to the uni than if you roll out the drops and land smoothly and lightly. Technique is the biggest factor rather than ultimate drop height.
Using that logic, my sun doublewide built by Kovachi should be true. The spokes all seem to be tensioned well, but ever since I got my Unicycle the wheel has never looked true. The first indicator was the red line on Gazzaloddi, which wobbled from side to side slightly when the wheel spun. I did not take that as an accurate gauge of trueness and guessed that it must be my eyes that were wonky. The other day, I put a small grass stump thing next to the wheel and spun it, and the grass would rub on the same spot on the rim on every revolution. I thought it might be part of the breaking in of the spokes or something, but now I am wondering if it is normal for a wheel to not be true when new, especially one built by a master. Kovachi offers free trueing for wheels built by him, but I can’t be bothered sending it back to America.
I was surprised that they were still for sale too. While I was doing a Google search to find a link with a picture of a lawn dart I found this news article: Michigan City boy recovering after lawn dart mishap
The article mentions that lawn darts have been banned from sale in the US since 1988. I played with lawn darts when I was a kid, but they were always an adult supervision item.
I included the link to the lawn dart site because there are probably people in the forum who have never played with them since they’ve been banned from sale for 15 years.
I use the lawn dart analogy because a lawn dart just sticks abruptly when it lands. There is no roll out. It just goes thunk in the ground and doesn’t absorb any of the impact by bending. It’s as if you landed a drop on a unicycle with your legs completely stiff, your body completely stiff, and didn’t do any roll out.
I have to admit that I’ve got too much lawn dart in my landings. I don’t roll out landings to flat ground as well as I should and I don’t absorb the impact with my upper body as well as I should.
It’s possible that the wheel took a good whack during shipping that caused it to go out of true. A smack to a single spoke from something inside the box (like the seat, the seatpost, a pedal, etc) can knock the wheel out of true. Or the box could have been dropped during shipping.
Take the wheel to a bike shop that is known for their wheel building skills and they will be able to get the wheel fixed up.
When checking the trueness of a wheel look at the rim and not the tire. Tires don’t sit evenly on the rim and there will be some wobble in the tire. However, the rim should be true with no wobble.
To roll out a drop you get the wheel rolling the instant you hit the ground. To soften the impact of the drop you also should relax the legs and collapse the upper body.
Jump off a 1 foot drop with the legs stiff, the upper body stiff, the pedals horizontal with no roll out. Then do the same drop again with the legs relaxed, the upper body relaxed, get the wheel rolling the instant you hit the ground, and collapse the upper body. You’ll notice a big difference in how much impact and force the unicycle hub and cranks have to absorb.
For an additional exercise watch someone else do a 1 foot drop with a stiff body and then with a roll out. You can hear and see the difference in how much impact the unicycle has to absorb.
Ya, Ive had my “new” torker for about a week and a half now. The spokes are very creaky and the seat is also. Ive learned how to hop up and ride down stairs properly, and how to ride backwards. I just hope I get a job soon so I can get a “real” unicycle.