New mountain unicycle with road aspirations...

Just got a new Nimbus 29er muni for my birthday! I’m a novice road unicyclist with some experience on a 28er. I’ve had a couple of falls and the pins on the pedals have really torn up my calf (twice in the same spot)! I know that the pins are important for muni, but do any of you who prefer road ever use them? I’m not sure that shin guards would help on the back side calf…any brand that would offer protection there? I’m tempted to find a way to take them out, or buy another pair without them.
Any comments/suggestions would be really appreciated!

James Williamson

Hi James,
Welcome to the forum!
I think pinned pedals are pretty useful. In unicycling, you tend to use your feet quite a bit for controlling the uni, and pins help keep your feet attached to the pedals. Pedal bites can be wicked, but look around and you’ll find leg guards that includes calf protection. (i.e., KH Leg Armor)
Good luck! :slight_smile:

If they are the usual plastic pedals with metal pins, you can take the pins out easily. (I actually don’t know if they are threaded, and you turn them, or if you pull them out, but friends have done it). You can also get similar pedals without the pins in your local bike store.

Most Mountain bike Shinpads protect the calves. I really don’t like KH Leg armour personally. I tend to think that there are brands that focus completely on making good fitting and working protective equipment, and their stuff is justa lot less bulky than KH Leg armour. However, I would guess that the kind of falls where you hit your calves will stop after a bit more practice with the 29".

Good luck on your new unicycling adventures!

Pins do unscrew, I used linesmans pliers. When I was learning they scared me.

A couple months later I put them back, to avoid slipping off the pedals.

I couldn’t figure out how to unscrew my pins or pluck them off easily, but I didn’t spend night and day on the problem either. My local bike shop only had other pedals with pins too, even Walmart only had pedals with pins, but they were shorter, so I got a pair of those.

Most importantly – and I have the KH leg guards, they only put some fabric over the back of the calf/ankle area, I wouldn’t really consider it much protection – I got some Adidas “ghost” soccer shin guards and just put them around my lower leg under the calves rather than in front over my shins. With socks, tape, or under other protective gear, you can sometimes find something that will still protect the back of your lower leg and get it held/stuck on somehow.

I have the KH Leg Armor and I find that it works well for me as the fabric totally covers my calf. If you have large lower legs they may not fully cover your calf area and give the protection you need. As stated above you could add some additional material underneath.

I think the KH shin protection is sufficient. When you have pedalbite, it mostly happens in the middle, in the area that is covered by the KH Shin guards. I now use them when learning to ride UW, but mostly because my legs rub against the wheel. The UW pedals don’t have pins.
On my usual rides I don’t wear them as they are too warm and uncomfy. The times I hop are always when I’m warmed up and just to see if I can do my ride hop and ride trick.
Unless you expect to do trials uni or very rough terrain muni-ing, I would just leave them at home.

I started unicycling this past Summer and don’t currently have any aspiration for muni (maybe that would change if there were a muni track available to me). On both the 20" freestyle uni that I learned on and the 29er road uni that I’ve recently progressed to, I’ve switched out their aggressive stock pedals for traditional rubber block pedals like what a European city bike or English roadster would have. I love these because they’re wide, have serviceable bearings and allow me to easily re-position my foot on them while still having all the traction I need. I can’t say how long they’ll hold up but, so far at least, they show no indication that they won’t last awhile. Not all of them have serviceable bearings, of course. The MKS 3000R do, which are very similar to what I use.