First, I should tell you that I have a fairly cheap Taiwanese unicycle with Pashley style bearings (“lollypop”).
I took my wheel off today to rotate the tire. When I did so, it became apparent that the frame has cracked between the two bolts holding the frame to the bearing holder on both sides of the uni. In one case, the small piece between the two bolts has come completely out.
I have put the uni back together and tightened the bolts. It seems stable, for the moment anyway.
What I need to know: Is there a way to save the frame or am I going to have to buy a new frame/unicyle?
You could salvage the frame, but it isn’t worth it. The frame failure that you describe is very very common on the Savage, United, and similar frames that have that style of lollipop bearing holder.
Don’t get the Taiwanese lollipop design confused with the Pashley lollipop design. The Pashley is better designed and not prone to the frame failure that you experienced with your Taiwanese frame.
Best bet is to replace the frame with a main cap style frame. You’ll also need to get new bearings because the Taiwanese lollipop frames use a bearing that is only sealed on one side. With a main cap style frame you need a bearing that is sealed on both sides.
I’d be going to a Torker for myself If my Juggleart (Taiwanese Modle) Unicycle is Damage. I don’t have a lollipop Bearings. Mine’s a main cap bearings holders which is good. If you want a photo of mine, I’ll see what I can do for a close-up shot.
The same thing happened to my Norco with the lollipop bearings: the frame cracked right between the two bolts.
There is a suggested fix at this link (though it is not up at the moment - when I used to look at this webpage, it was up and down with frequency (perhaps it requires the hosting computer to be online?), so maybe it will be up again later).
Anyhow, the owner of the webpage fixed his lollipop frame by cutting a section of steel pipe in half longwise, drilling it, placing it over the broken section of frame and bolting it on. The only problem with this fix is that then you may have metal bits sticking out to scratch your ankle with. Everyone I asked told me to get a new unicycle, and maybe patch the old unicycle up as a learner.
And if I recall, you commute on a 20" unicycle. It may be worth it to get a new unicycle with a larger tire, unless you want to progress into freestyle rather than commuting. It takes a bit of adjustment, but I think it is worth it. Just a thought.
If you decide on a new unicycle, Darren Bedford has a huge variety of unicycles in different sizes, prices and qualities. The info on his webpage is severely limited and rumoured to be updated someday. Send Darren an email (see John Childs post for contact info), ask a bunch of questions and get a quote. Shipping a Bedford 24" from Toronto to Vancouver last January was ~$20, I think. In Victoria, Fairfield Cycles (www.fairfieldbicycle.com) has a few unicycles in the shop, mainly lime green Miyatas. Puzzlingly, Fairfield is listed in the unicycle.com dealer section, but when I asked in the shop, they said that they didn’t do custom orders for uni.com. You could always ask again if you are interested. Otherwise, a bunch of your local bike shops should be starting to carry MUni and trials unicycles, as Vancouver Island appears to be a hotbed for offroad unicycling at the moment (according to a couple of shops in Duncan, anyway).
Do Taiwan lolipop frames crack between the bolt holes? Does a Chevy Vega burn oil? Yes, it’s inherent in their design. Just as the lolipop unicycle would be perfectly fine if you didn’t ride it much, the Vega would be fine on oil if you didn’t run the engine. Otherwise, these problems were guaranteed to happen eventually.
Another possible patch-up for your frame would be to find some seat clamps that fit down there. These could replace the two bolts, and potentially hold things together just fine. Cut a slot up the side, where the two bolt holes and cracks are, to allow the tube to compress when the clamp is closed. Bring the uni to the shop when looking at clamps to make sure the one you find is the rigit size to fit the frame, and not too thick to get in the way.
Then your uni can be used as a spare, a trainer, or whatever. It’s time to get a “real” unicycle…
I actually had a guy weld a piece of thick steel (about a half inch) over the holes, redrill the holes, and get longer bolts to fit through the bearing holders. It worked well… until that uni got stolen…
I would post pictures, but obviously I can’t (see above).
> The only problem with this
> fix is that then you may have metal bits sticking out to scratch your
> ankle with. Everyone I asked told me to get a new unicycle, and maybe
> patch the old unicycle up as a learner.
I never had that problem at all. The bolt heads only tick out 3mm
more than normal with the plate in place. The frame was fine for
a year of riding after that point, and never gave me any more
> If you decide on a new unicycle, Darren Bedford has a huge variety of
> unicycles in different sizes, prices and qualities. The info on his
I wound up buying a new Muni from Darren this summer, so my fixed-up
norco is sitting in the basement.
Gardner Buchanan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Ottawa, ON FreeBSD: Where you want to go. Today.
For poetic combination, try the other fix in this thread, but make your “half pipe” patches out of the exterior of an old Chevy Vega.
Better yet, invest in a new uni. My Piece of Savage broke exactly as your uni did…after posting a similar thread to this and receiving similar but Vega-free advice, I junked it and salvaged the still decent pedals, bought myself a nice new ride. No regrets.
hey all, i had a no-name uni with lillypop bearings and had heard about the problem of cracks around the bolt holes. What i did was get some chrome tubeing that snugly fits on the forks, drill some bolt holes and line them up with he origional ones. then simply glue it there with some silicone so it has just a little flex. I could do 3 foot drops on it and it never showed some weakness,
Hope that helps,