Loose Parts

Today I had to go to the hardware store to buy a new nut for my unicycle seat. One came loose while riding, and fell off. So I replaced it.
That boring story takes me to my next point. Certain parts can come loose on a unicycle while riding. For instance, the crank arms, seat, bumpers on the seat, spokes, pedals, etc. I don’t think that all these parts are critical to catch immediately, but others are. So my question to those more intelligent than me is which parts should be tightened immediately (like the crank arms), which should be tightened as soon as you can conveniently do so, and which don’t really matter that much? Just curious.

nothing ‘doesn’t matter’

every time I get a new unicycle, or overhaul one, I undo all the bolts, loctite them, then tighten them back up.

Some loose bolts will affect the ride. Some loose bolts will cause the parts to fail.c(leading to personal injury)

Everything should be tight.

Use Loctite to secure them as Sofa said. The Red Loctite is the Best. Becareful not to overtighten them as this strips them off it’s threads. I found Loctite is the best soloution for this stuff.


In my opinion the screws or nuts that you can get away with not dealing with immediatly are:

  • seat to post nuts (Assuming the rest are tight you can probably lose one or maybe one front and one back diagonally without cutting your ride short but get them replaced as soon as possible.)
  • handles (As above assuming you realise something is loose and aren’t doing some some skill that depends on them.)
  • broken spokes (Wrap around another spoke to keep it out of the way until it can be replaced. Wheel could go out of true a bit but not generally enough to matter in the short term. A missing or broken spoke can lead to stresses on other spokes.)
  • bumpers (we don’t need no stinkin bumpers)

Everything else needs to be secure or risk damage to uni or self. I’ve found that If I pick up and bounce the uni a bit and have something loose in the bearing, crank, or pedals I will hear it as a rattle before I notice it otherwise.


I recently lost a nice steel dust cap on my muni, which I went 2 weeks without replacing, even though I tightened my crank twice during that period. I also performed trials on stage for an audience with a loose seatplate nut. I also have noticed my left pedal loose after repeatedly landing 2 foot drops and 12-14" ups. My advice is to get off and walk if anything that touches the drive train comes loose because a loose crank might get damaged and never tighten again, a loose pedal could damage the thread of your crank (although doubtful). Also be really careful with the nuts on main cap bearing holders. All you need is one loose bolt and you can loosen your entire frame-wheel attachment.

Happy Maintainence

Absolutely right, Sofa!
I’m so happy I didn’t have to mention Loctite in this thread.

Thanks for the advice guys!
The way I was looking at it is, let’s say I’m five miles from my car on a ride. Which things should I walk back to my car immediately to fix, which things should I ride back immediately to fix, and which things can wait until the ride is over? Obviously, anything that is loose should be tightened and I should probably lower the intesity level of my ride if I hear rattling, but I don’t want to have to walk five miles if I don’t have to. Are crank arms the only thing that should force you to walk home?

cranks arms and pedals.

edit: i forgot about the 4 bolts at the bottom, holding in the bearings.

A loose crank arm or a pedal that is starting to come unthreaded are two show stoppers. If you have aluminum cranks be especially careful about watching for looseness. A pedal that is getting loose can easily strip out the pedal threads on an aluminum alloy crank.

You should bring a set of basic tools with you on a ride. There are compact multi-tools that cover most basic needs for trail repair. For a basic minimal tool pack you’ll want to be able to tighten up the crank arm (the Park CWP-5 crank puller), have a spare crank retaining nut or two, allen keys to fit the various hex nuts, and a small adjustable wrench. If you have cotterless cranks make sure you have one or two spare retaining nuts.

A step up from the basic tool pack would be to include a tire patch kit, a spare tube, and a small pump.

When I travel light I carry allen keys that fit the various parts on my muni. Since I have Profile cranks I don’t need to worry about the crank puller. I just need the 7/32" hex key to tighten the big Profile bolt. I also carry a spoke key in case I knock my wheel way out of true.

When I pack medium light I’ll add in some sockets to tighten up the bolts under the saddle.

When I pack heavy I’ll add in the tire patch kit, metal tire levers to get the Gazz off the rim, a pump, and a spare tube.

Paco, I have solved your problem. You just need to ride like me. When I have ridden 5 miles, I AM BACK TO MY CAR!!! :smiley: :smiley: :smiley: Problem solved. --chirokid–

Re: Loose Parts

On Tue, 19 Aug 2003 14:23:02 -0500, Sofa
<Sofa.sfb4a@timelimit.unicyclist.com> wrote:

>edit: i forgot about the 4 bolts at the bottom, holding in the

I’m not sure about that one. On one of the first trips with De Dame
(my 28" soon 29"), I noticed a slightly rattling sound. It turned out
that one of the four bearing bolt nuts (or maybe both on one side, I
don’t remember, was/were completely loosened and on its/their way to
falling off. (I had followed someone’s advice in this group, possibly
John Childs, to tighten the bearing bolts only so much that the wheel
still spun freely, but I then discovered I had taken that a bit too

On that occasion, I had no tools whatsoever with me. I tightened the
nuts with my bare fingers as tight as I could and rode all the way
home (about 6 kilometres) without further problems.

Klaas Bil - Newsgroup Addict

I go a sort of ok speed on my Coker… - Roger Davies

Re: Re: Loose Parts

I assume a drop of loctite would solve this problem. Is there a reason NOT to put loctite on this bearing holder bolts/nuts? Or, is it a good idea? --chirokid–

Re: Re: Re: Loose Parts

Yup, a little Loctite on the bearing holder nuts will help keep them from vibrating loose. On the bearing holder nuts it isn’t necessary to reapply the Loctite every time you remove the wheel. Just having dried Loctite in the threads of the nut will keep the nut snug and keep it from vibrating loose. You can reapply the Loctite every time you adjust the bearing holder nuts, but it’s not totally necessary.

Damn! I got tricked into mentioning Loctite in this thread. :angry: