New crank arms--BIG difference!

It is amazing how a tiny change on a unicycle can have a huge effect and change the whole feel of the ride.

I just got some new crank arms for my 26 inch Nimbus/Yuni Muni, and I was amazed at how much better I was able to ride.
The old ones were steel, and these new ones, the Nimbus X alloy crank arms, are aluminum, and as I was changing the cranks, I noticed how much lighter they felt in my hand.
Suddenly, it feels like I’m riding 10 times better than before! I mean, I’m not really that good of a rider, but for the first time, freemounting is not exactly an issue any more, I turn better, and I can ride as long as I want provided some truck or heavy scaffolding doesn’t smack me in the face.

That’s what’s cool about the unicycle–you can do some seemingly unnoticable thing, like adjust the seat post half an inch, or change the tire or put on lighter cranks, and the whole experience is altered. This is perhaps especially true for intermediate riders who are still getting the hang of it. An experienced rider could ride on anything, a beginner is falling all the time, but us geezers in the middle need to fine tune everything.

So if you’re a newbie and your unicycling experience is getting frustrating, consider a set of light weight crank arms! I noticed a big difference!

Here is the page from unicycle.com:
http://www.unicycle.com/shopping/shopexd.asp?id=754

Steve aka Dogbowl

Make sure you keep those suckers screwed on REALLY tight. I check mine before every time I ride. If you’re doing muni/drops this is really important. My roomate didn’t do this (markf) and stripped them so bad we had to epoxy one of them on. (it destroyed the hub too when it stripped so epoxy didn’t make the problem any worse)

As you ride the aluminum can slide up the taper making the bolt loose. The bolt will then vibrate looser (with the extra room) allowing the aluminum to slide back down the taper and then strip. Tightening before and during riding will eventually force the crank as far up the taper as it can possibly go and fix this problem. You can’t force the crank up the taper with the bolt (this will strip the thread and destroy your hub, don’t try it.) but if you tighten often you can “pick up the slack” when it vibrates up there by itself. It took about 7 rides doing trials type riding and muni before they got tight enough to not need constant tightening anymore.

Just from my and my roommate’s experience with those exact cranks. (they are nice though, aren’t they?)

Also, it is my opinion that locktite doesn’t fix this problem since the crank loosens itself by sliding up and down the taper, not by the bolt loosening originally. Others will most likely disagree with me on this. I hate to locktite things and am generally a grease nazi when it comes to bolts and screws on bikes/uni’s. (although I didn’t grease my crank bolts since I fear that might make the problem worse)

I put some Nimbus X cranks on my MUni quite some time ago and really like them. I only had to tighten mine a few times before they seated in. I do check mine quite often, and they are always secure. Be sure to keep an eye on them and they should last a good while. The added stiffness of the Nimbus X cranks over the stock steel cranks is very apparent. I think you mase an excellent decision in picking these cranks. They’re hard to beat for the price :slight_smile:

If you don’t mind what size are your crank arms, did you change size also when you got your new ones.

                                                                    Josh

Actually, the cranks I originally had were 165mm, and tthese new ones are 152mm–again, thats a small difference in measurement, only an inch or so, but man, it feels a hell of a lot better.
As everyone knows, longer cranks are good for off road, going up hill, etc, but for urban riding, I think these slightly shorter ones are better.
On the subject of long cranks vs short cranks, a few months ago I ordered some 125mm cranks (steel, not aluminum) and at the time I thought I had less control over my wheel than the 165 cranks–but, I did notice a smoother ride. Less control, but smoother in the stretches. Because I was worse then at the time, I switched back to the 165 cranks to continue trying to tame the muni beast.
After a while, I think I realized that the 165s were no longer helpful, yet I hesitated in returning to the 125s, and then I read here on one of these forums (or was in at unicycle.com? I forget) that the lighter weighing aluminum cranks were really good for control.
So I checked it out–and believe me, it was totally worth the 28 bucks. Good size, good weight, and I have not had a single UPD since!
Cheers,
Steve aka Dogbowl

I also made the same change on my Nimbus Muni 24X3. The first thing that I noticed was the huge difference in weight between the Nimbus X and the Steel cranks that came on the uni. Then I went for a ride and they just seemed to better and my pedaling was smoother.

I went from 150’s to 150’s, so there wasn’t any difference in length.

To avoid loosening and stripping of the cranks, I greased the hub, torqued them to 45 lbs and used locktite on the bolt. So far, really good.

I didn’t realize that switching from steel to aluminum cranks would make such a big difference. I am running some cheap steel cranks on my MUni, maybe I should try switching to something lighter.

I was wondering how wise it is to use loctite on the axel bolt when using aluminum cranks. I thought the need to tighten came from the crank settling on the tapers and less so the bolt loosening. If this were the case, wouldn’t the loctite prevent you from tightening the bolt when needed?

The grease on the tapers allows you to torque up the cranks further on than you would be able to with out the grease, and the locktite on the bolt keeps the it in place and the cranks from sliding back off of the tapers.

If you retorque the cranks, than you would need to reapply more locktite to the bolts.

The blue locktite holds the bolt tight, but is easily loosened with a wrench.

Due to the small diameter and thread pitch of the crank bolts, Loctite does not prevent you from tightening the bolts. I highly recommend the use of red loctite on the crank bolts.

Dogbowl, part of the reason the 152’s feel so right may be due to your inseam lenght, especially if you has short legs. I switched from 170’s to Nimbus X 152’s and gained much more control and my spinning became quite a bit smoother. The 170’s were uncomfortably long for my 30" inseam and had me wobbling on the saddle as I pedaled:)