Loose Pedal

I have a question:

I bought a United 24" about 4 months ago, and I liked it. After about 3 months however, I noticed my left pedal wobbled. When I tightened it it would stop wobbling for literally 3 revolutions, and start wobbling again! On closer inspection, I noticed it was loose in the crank arm. I simply thought this was because I rode it it the snow so I forgot about.

When I bought my Savage 5’ with the same kind of pedals, not even a week passed before the same problem occured!

I’m not sure if there is something wrong with my pedals, or my cotterless cranks arms. Has anyone had this problem :thinking: ??

These are the pedals:


Re: Loose Pedal

Which is loose, the pedal or the crank? Where does the wobble occur, at the point where the pedal screws into the crank, or where the crank connects to the axle?

If it’s the pedal; how did you tighten it? Did you use a pedal wrench, or just your fingers?

I have the same pedals, and they’re not “high-end”, but they’re good pedals. I don’t see how riding in the snow could have caused the looseness you describe.

Get a pedal wrench and some LocktiteTM, unscrew the pedal from the crank completely, put the LocktiteTM on the threads, and, being careful not to cross-thread the pedal, screw the pedal back into the crank by hand, and then tighten it down with the pedal wrench.

It’s silly, but do you have both right and left handed cranks/pedals?


I had the same problem with my Torker. For me the problem was with my cranks coming loose. For me the best thing was to tighten them as much as possible and bring tools when I ride. The RSU FAQ has instructions for installing cranks.

On a side note:
I live in Hawaii, where the weather is generally in the seventies and eighties. When I visited my sister in California last winter, I found that my pedals cranks never came loose. I don’t know why this is. As soon as I came home and started riding again, I found that the problem had returned. I think It might have something to do with the temperature and the expansion of the different metals.

Now a side question:
After riding my Torker for a little under a year my pedal fell off. I don’t know why, but the treads on my crank stripped out completely. Is this common? Did I do something wrong? I don’t think I over tightened them. I didn’t even use a crank wrench on them.


This same thing happened to me with my Torker. Do you remember riding with a loose pedal? because you probably did, and every time you pedal with a loose pedal it works the threads off of the inside of the crank arm until eventually it just falls off and you have a useless crank arm.

Is this what happened?


Well, I do remember riding a little bit with the crank loose. But the left side was the side that kept coming loose and the right is the side that got the threads ripped out. Is it possible that riding with a loose left crank caused the right side pedal to strip out?


I’ve only skim-read the thread, but the symptoms sound suspiciously like you’ve got the cranks on the wrong side of the uni. I did this by mistake once and one pedal in particular kept working loose and damaged the crank.

The right pedal has a normal thread (clockwise to tighten) and the left pedal has a left hand thread (anti clockwise to tighten). It is an easy mistake to put the pedals in the correct cranks, but the cranks on the wrong side of the uni. (Or even to put the cranks on the correct sides, but then put the seat in back to front!

If the pedal ends up on the wrong side of the uni, ofr any of these reasons, then it will tend to loosen, and damage the thread.

Even if you install the pedals and cranks properly, on a unicycle the left hand pedal will unscrew itself because of riding backwards and simple back pressure (idling, stopping, and the like), unlike a bicycle, which has basically no back pressure. The reliable solution is to use Blue Loctite on the pedal threads after cleaning them with alcohol and tighten a little harder than normal. It sounds as though all the other problems above were due to riding with a loose pedal.

I made sure to check that the pedals and cranks were installed on the correct side when I assembled the unicycle. I had no problems with my pedals working loose other then when the right side stripped out. Only the left crank would come loose.

Thanks for all you input and theories. Keep them coming.


Re: Loose Pedal

On Sat, 11 Jan 2003 08:26:10 -0600, U-Turn
<U-Turn.h3ikn@timelimit.unicyclist.com> wrote:

>Even if you install the pedals and cranks properly, on a unicycle the
>left hand pedal will unscrew itself because of riding backwards and
>simple back pressure (idling, stopping, and the like)

I don’t buy that. OK if you ride backward more than forward, the
pedals may come loose but then both pedals have that tendency (unless,
for completeness’ sake, you toofeno a lot on one side only). Back
pressure from idling, stopping and the like is not going to unscrew
properly installed pedals, it is the backward rotation that does it.

Klaas Bil

The average length of film titles in English is 17 letters.

This is crazy. I am in the exact same bind as Muni. I literally just came in from unicycleing one footed and one pedaled outside because my pedal keeps coming off. I think the problem is from jumping too much or hard with cheep cranks. My problem started one time after vaulting a curb and my pedal somehow got pushed down from the landing so it was at an angle in the cranks which of course stripped it. The pedal threads were still fine so i took pedal out and put it back in aligned, but whenever i rode it, the pedal had a slight twitch. I rode it untill it got so bad you could take the pedal out without unscrewing it. As i said earlier, i have cheep cranks and i believe that is the problem. Im too lazy to see if your cranks are any good, but im going to invest into some profile or other good cranks. You should probably listen to them and get that Locktite stuff while your problem is still small.

I had an inexpensive plastic pedal that would never stay tight. It turned out that the threads on that pedal were out of spec and slightly undersized. As a result the pedal would work its way loose. I got a new set of pedals and the new pedals stayed tight.

The threads on the inexpensive pedals are rolled on instead of cut. The rolling results in a thread that is more rounded and not as deep as a machined or cut thread. I’m also not sure about how much quality control is done on inexpensive pedals. There wasn’t enough quality control on the pedal that I had to catch that it was undersized.

Try a different pedal and see if it stays tight.

Pedals should never be installed with dry threads. The threads should always be greased or Loctited. Loctite on pedal threads is really overkill though. You should not need Loctite to keep a pedal from working itself loose. If you need Loctite there is something wrong with the pedal threads or the crank threads. Grease is your friend. Greased threads are not going to cause the pedals to be more likely to come loose.

I just can’t agree with you, John. Last year when I was learning to ride backwards my greased left pedal was always coming off. I started the Loctite thing and haven’t had a problem since. These are Kookas and Wellgos and have performed beautifully in all weather, temperature, and trail conditions.

As far as your objections, Klaas, idling does involve backwards rotation. Conditions have to be right, though, for that unscrewing precession to accumulate. I believe you are correct, though, about the slowing down, downhill, and other back pressure that involves only forward rotation. Please accept my humble apologies!

Interesting. Maybe Loctite could be useful on the pedal threads in some cases.

Believe it or not, I’ve never Loctited the pedal threads on any of my unicycles. It’s one of the few threaded bits I have never Loctited or felt the need to Loctite.

Grease the threads, Loctite the threads, or loose the threads. :slight_smile:

Well seads! :smiley:

Re: Loose Pedal

On Sat, 11 Jan 2003 23:41:29 -0600, U-Turn
<U-Turn.h4oxm@timelimit.unicyclist.com> wrote:

>As far as your objections, Klaas, idling does involve backwards
>rotation. Conditions have to be right, though, for that unscrewing
>precession to accumulate. I believe you are correct, though, about the
>slowing down, downhill, and other back pressure that involves only
>forward rotation. Please accept my humble apologies!

Of course. And I might be wrong on the idling. I reasoned that there
is as much forward rotation as there is backward. But the whole thing
may be asymmetrical because of the way one idles, and that may cause
the unscrewing to accumulate some way.

Klaas Bil

Left-handed people could not become knights because it was thought that they were descendants of the devil.

The same goes for me. What I do, on the other hand, is tighten them well, with a pedal wrench.

What’s a pedal wrench? Just a purpose-built wrench that’s narrow enough to comfortably fit in there, and has a longer handle than a typical “regular” wrench. Even though the pedal wrench is big & heavy, I bring it with me when the unicycles fly, as well.

The only times my pedals unscrew is when I’m doing a lot of backwards riding, or on rare occasion when I’ve put something together backwards… :slight_smile:

The descriptions of loose pedals in this thread sound like a combination of pedals not tightened enough, damaged threads in the cranks, and possible poorly manufactured threads on the pedals.

The original person posting may also have had his wheel on backward. But once you’ve ridden on loose pedals, the damage may be done and your threads may be too damaged to hold the pedals tight.

The same applies to loose cranks; ride when they’re loose, and you wear away the contact surfaces on the crank. But loose crank details should be saved for a different thread.