I have been riding my unicycle for about a year now and haven’t had even a touch of guilt that my mountain bike is still hanging from the garage celling with dust on it. So I have begun going through my repair kits to make them muni friendly. When I would mountain bike I took everything I would need for a repair since a two hour ride could easily put me two days hike back to the car. With my unicycle I don’t travel as far and was wondering what equipment for repairs everyone else brings with them, or if most just walk/jog back to the car and make the repair there.
very handy Muni tool to have in your backpack…
if you wanna be prepared, a tube/patch kit and a set of allen wrenches, and maybe a crank tool (depending on what kind of cranks you have) should be more than enough. oh and for a muni, regular mountain bike tire levers might not be strong enough, but flats are pretty rare.
I carry a patch kit, pump, tube and a wrench(es) that fits basicly everything (6mm for seat clamp, allen wrench for my crank bolt for my Profile set-up and a 6" crescent wrench), water and a PowerBar (or some other energy back-up fuel source). If there is any chance of rain/foul weather I tote along a rain vest - more for warmth than for wet. I put all of this in my Camelbak “Mule.”
I would carry a 14 mm socket or specialty wrench for your crank arms if you have a taper crank.
I ride with a pump, 10mm socket on a socket driver, metric hex keys, a spare tube and tire levers. The 10mm socket is to tighten the nuts under the seat and bearing holders. The Hex keys are for my seatpost clamp. I don’t carry a 14mm socket because it’s heavy, so I check the crank nuts before the ride.
Fortunately you don’t get as far away from civilization in an equal amount of riding time to your bike. But it’s still good to be prepared instead of having to walk out.
Generally what I like to carry is enough tools to tighten anything tha can come loose on the uni, and a patch kit. That means you also need tire irons and a pump. I have a tiny little pump that work on Schraeder or Presta, so I’m well covered there.
The actual tools I usually have on me are a Park multi-allen wrench, a Swiss army knife, and a stupid 5/16" allen wrench because both my Wilder and GB4 frames have this one set of ridiculous non-metric screws holding the wheel on. No proper tire irons.
Also bring a phone if you have one. Though you might not have a signal, I’m always surprised at the places where I do get a signal (middle-of-nowhere Salmon Falls Trail) and where I don’t, such as downtown frikkin’ Moab (Nextel). Maybe they’ve updated their coverage since last year.
My last trail ride ended with about a 4 mile walk out, carrying the unicycle over my shoulder. Unfortunately there isn’t much you can do when your tire explodes, breaking the wire on the tire’s bead and blowing a 2" hole in the tube. I still need to order a new tire!
I got some 8 or 9mm? Allen bolts for my tapered cranks from the local bike store. Easy to carry an allen wrench.
Re: Muni trail equipment
I keep a MUni tool kit in a Camelbak dedicated to the purpose.
Plastic tire levers
Schrader valve tool
10mm flex socket (fits saddle nuts) with extension and wrench
15mm cone wrench (for emergency pedal tightening)
14mm(?) socket (for tightening tapered crank nuts/bolts)
The weight of the tools is 17 oz (480g).
I don’t usually carry spares (spokes, pedals, tire, tube, etc.).
I tend to carry what I consider to be appropriate for the ride.
For shorter rides by myself I’ll bring just the minimum which is an Altoids tin full of allen keys and other small tools. Just the minimum to tighten things that may come loose during the ride. My little kit also contains a spoke key and a schrader valve tool to tighten a leaky tire valve.
For longer rides, or rides that take me farther from civilization, I’ll carry more. For the longer rides I’ll take the pump and patch kit, tire levers, and a nut driver to tighten the bolts under the seat. And a 14 mm wrench if I’m on a unicycle with square taper cranks.
For epic rides where I’ll be out for many hours and for group rides, I’ll take even more. On these rides I may bring along a spare tube along with tools that will fit other unicycles and little extras like spare crank nuts and a 14 mm wrench to tighten a loose crank. Strangely, my little tool kit gets more use on a group ride than when I ride by myself. It seems a lot of people on group rides don’t bring tools with them or don’t have all the tools that they need.
I have had to walk back to the car a couple of times. Once was on a muni ride back when I was riding a Pashely with the standard square taper cranks. A crank came loose and I couldn’t get it to stay tight even though I had a 14 mm socket wrench with me. Fortunately I was within a mile from the car so it wasn’t too bad. Another time was when I broke my Profile crank during a muni ride. No trail side repair for that. Another time was when a sealed bearing in a pedal fell apart and the pedal fell off the spindle. Fortunately those failures also happened close to the car.
Twice I’ve rolled my Coker to a bike shop to get a crank tightened (I didn’t have my crank tools with me). That was all before I knew how to properly tighten the cranks. Now I know how to properly tighten the cranks on and I haven’t had a loose crank problem since. A torque wrench is the key to getting the cranks properly tight.
I’ve only had one flat on a unicycle ride, and that was a flat air seat on an epic ride. I had a patch kit and pump on that ride so it was an easy fix.
Other failures during a ride have been broken spokes, but those have never caused any problems and I’ve been able to finish the ride.
And there were two times that I broke a Miyata seat during a ride. That was before I switched to the carbon fiber seat base. In fact, it was before the carbon fiber seat bases were even available.
The most annoying failure I’ve had was a pedal bearing that failed in the parking area right after I pulled the muni out of the car. I got all suited up, hopped on the muni, did a small little hop in the parking lot, and the pedal bearing went crunch. The ride was over before it even began.
Was that with the 29er?
Yup. Nanoraptor tire. I don’t think I was riding too aggressive or anything, but sometimes these things can just happen. I was going down a litle rocky patch, and hopped over a gap and probably hit the landing point on the edge of some rock. BANG!! It sounded like a gunshot. Probably scared away all the wildlife within a quarter mile.
Could the tire have been seated improperly? I don’t think so, maybe slightly. But I would otherwise notice if the tire had a lump in it as it went around. I usually check the bead fit when I install a tire, but I admit on this cycle I’ve had to go back and forth a lot between road and dirt tires.
Thanks for everyones input.
3 liters of water(or less depending on distance)
A set of spoke wrenches
Set of metric wrenches(for saddle, and frame)
Allen wrenches(hub, seat clamp)
First Aid(military issue)
Snacks ‘n’ junk
Ipod or Rio(music is a must for lone rides)
Camera(never know when youll need one)
Wallet with: ID, Rights, 20 bucks
However, if I am on a shorter ride, I take out all of the unlikely-to-use items.
Having a small, or larger first aid kit is a good idea. I will never forget the day I had to ride 2 miles after a rock gouged a 3/4 inch hole in my elbow.
I have had my NanoRaptor blow out twice; once while I was pumping it up, and once while it was sitting innocently in the auditorium where my bridge game is held, a good 2 hours after the game had started. (I still have not lived that down).
I think the bead on that tire may not be as grabby as it should be.
My toolkit is a ToPeak Alien combo tool, patch kit, pump, and stupid little allen wrench for the Profile cranks. Oh, and a spoke wrench, which saved my butt in Moab in 2003.
Tell that to Ryan. he popped 2 seperate innertubes in less than 1000yds at moab. Then the patch came loose.
At moab I popped 1 tube on my trials uni. I landed a gap to the sound of pssssss.
I’ve had 2 airseats pop.
I’ve had a tire bead pulled off the rim.
I carry a few bucks, a clif bar or two, a m5 allen key, profile key (whatever size that is), a spoke wrench, ID, med insurance card, a small first aid kit (guaze, med tape), 6" crescent wrench, legal definition of a unicycle in SF, a small pump, and 8-20 oz of extra water for long rides. I used to carry an extra pedal, for when my wellgo inevitably broke on me. It came to good use.
Those of us that ride with John Childs carry little in the way of tools. That is his job, and you can see from his post above he takes it seriously.
There are a few things I always bring (aside from water).
- The basic allen wrenches I need for the uni I’m on. I try to always check my non-allen bolts, so I don’t worry about bringing along a socket wrench.
- A “Crash Packs” road rash survival kit from Brave Soldier. It’s super light weight, and has been the most used piece of equipment I carry…someone is always getting scraped up.
- A small can of Bell “Repairs Flats in Seconds!”, rather than all the patch and pump stuff. I’m not a big jumper or gapper, so most flats I’d expect to get (and so far am flat-free) won’t be big blowouts or tears. If it’s a bigger puncture than “fix a flat” will fix, I don’t think I’d want to do a trail repair anyway. I might change my mind for certain really long rides with no easy hike out, like a downieville or porcupine rim.
- Last–besides a $20 bill–is a card with my name address and phone number on it. This way, if someone finds me unconscious next to the trail, they’ll know who I am.
thats why Rockville sucked for me on 03’…i was worried about that very thing happening on the 1st days ride of the event so i treaded very lightly.
what sucks is a 29er tyre with a ticker side wall will most likly never happen since they are made for bykes and the industry is bent on the “light weight” selling point.
There’s also the issue of what you carry all that stuff in. I use a Camelback that is also a small day pack (don’t know the model name–there are a dozen) with a few pockets for wrenches, grub, cell phone, et al. A low profile hydration day pack that has cinch straps so you can snug the thing to your body when the terrain gets technical–that’s what most of us use in SB.
I have alot of mountian biking equipment that has been realocated to muni including several CamelBacks. I am just trying to decide which equipment will be staying and what I will leave at home.
I am planning on attending the Moab muni fest this year and look forward to meeting everyone.
On a side note. I could use a little help with the forum short hand. What is LOL, POW, etc.