If you’re old enough to seek advice on this newsgroup, then you’re mature enough to fix up your uni. While this newsgroup is read by many a helpful lad/lassie, what this newsgroup won’t do is send you a new tire or the money to purchase a tire. You may also need an inner tube if your tire goes flat quickly. You’ll need to exercise much creativity to make some money. You’ll need $15US to fix up your uni’s tire.*
So let’s set some facts straight. Your uni is not new but you have it. That’s a bonus because you can’t ride a .jpg image from unicycle.com. Cottered cranks, while not the best, are still acceptable and are rideable. Use duct tape to fix your seat. And if you don’t like the sound of your creaking wheel, then slowly learn what’s creaking and fix it.
You need to know your tire size. Look on the side of your existing tire to see if you can find numbers like 20x1.75 or 24x1.75. The first number is the important number and is your tire diameter, which you’ll need to purchase a new tire. Look on both sides of your tire for these numbers.
If you can’t find any numbers then get a measuring tape and measure from one side of your rim, to the centre of your tire, to the other side of your rim. Measure from rim edge to rim edge, going through the centre (hub) of your tire. If this measurement is around 16.5" then you have a 20" tire. If the measurement is about 20" then you have a 24" tire. If the measurement is about 22" then you have a 26" tire. You only have these 3 choices, so you don’t need to be so accurate.
Go to Wal*mart and get a tire marked with the same diameter, like 20 x 1.75". It’ll cost you $10US. You may need some tire irons, which should cost you $2US.
A unicycle tire and wheel is constructed the same as a bicycle tire. You have a rubber inner tube full of air surrounded by the outer tire, which keeps the inner tube inside and on the rim, and protects the inner tube from being punctured. Search the internet and find articles on how to change a bicycle tire. Print the clearest instructions you can find and try it.
You bike shop will be able to help you with the sizing as well. If you’re a little intimidated ask a trusted adult to go in with you. As well as size and change your tire they could also true your wheel and tighten any loose spokes, which may be a cause of your squeaking.
Don_TaiATyahooDOTcoDOTuk, Toronto, Canada
*Getting money: deliver papers (on your uni), shovel snow, do errands for a neighbourhood store, as someone for a part-time job, cut someone’s grass, pick up doggy dodo from someone’s lawn, paint fences, clean up garages, etc, etc. Make sure you determine how much you get paid before you start the work!