So when I ordered Zach’s summit I thought “awesome, a unicycle with which I can start doing trials. It may need some maintenace but it won’t cost me $400 bucks, like a new KH20 would.”
I was wrong. I took it in to my LBS (because I have none of the tools or know-how to fix these problems, I ought to learn) to get everything tightened up because it was creaking all the time. I get a call this morning saying the nipples are rounded out so they can’t tighten the spokes and therefore can’t true the wheel. My shielded bearings are shot to hell, and apparently the fact that it’s 32-spoke is bad.
My thought would be to get new nipples and cut new spokes and then true the wheel and tighten everything from there. Also buy sealed bearing for 25 bucks or whatever it is. Please tell me if this is a legitimate solution.
Mike, my best LBS friend, says I ought to buy a whole new wheelset for 150 bucks.
Don’t give in too quickly. By removing the tire from the rim, you should be able to remove the spoke nipples from the backside using a screwdriver. Next, simply install new nipples and then have the wheel trued. I don’t see any reason to replace the spokes if they’re not bent or otherwise damaged. I wouldn’t worry about replacing the whole wheelset
(sorry, Sofa, but think this may be a good, cost effective alternative)
You purchased a used Trials unicycle from Zack Baldwin. Be proud to own some hardware formerly belonged to the world champion of Trials!
Be also realistic. I have a Trials unicycle I bought used from Chris Reeder. I expected it to be beat to crap. That’s what you do with a Trials unicycle. When buying a used something from someone, always ask yourself why the’re getting rid of it. Hmm?
You got a good deal. To keep your expenses low, you can replace the nipples, but remember you’ve got a wheel that’s been used and abused so it won’t last forever.
I know Zack. Your wheel was probably abused and abused, with a little bit of used.
Small flat spots in the rim are not going to ruin a trials wheel. The fat low pressure trials tire will make it so you won’t feel small flat spots. All of the trials riders who go big have flat spots in the rim. You can still ride with flat spots. As long as all of the spokes can be tightened the wheel will still be strong. If the flat spots are really obvious when you spin the wheel then it may be time for a new rim.
I agree with Kenny and John, with the observation that “low on funds” is just another way of saying “tremendous opportunity to learn how to do your own repairs.” That’s how most of us who have knowledged of repairs got the knowledge of repairs.
If the rim is pretty badly dinged up get a new one when you get the new nipples and transfer the spokes. Slacken all the spokes (go around the rim several times undoing the spokes 1/4 to 1/2 turn at a time. Ken is right - a flat screwdriver from the tube side works fine, or you can gently use vice grips since you’re not going to re-use the nipples.), then tape the new rim alongside the old with the valve holes lined up. Then do the final undo of each nipple, transfer the spoke, and screw on the new nipple. Remember to use some sort of lubricant to make truing and tensioning easier. Then discard the old rim and learn to true and tension. It just takes time and observation. If you really screw up your LBS friend can help you out.
PS: Get a decent spoke wrench. They aren’t expensive and make a world of difference.
And put a drop or two of light oil on the threads of each spoke before threading the new nipple on.
Most likely all the spokes are still OK. I wouldn’t go replacing all of the spokes unless you opt for a new rim.
The thing you want to avoid when reusing spokes is putting them in a different location in the wheel. Once a spoke gets used to bending one way, and then you put it in a new location where it needs to bend a different way, well, the spoke isn’t going to like that. If you just replace all of the nipples the spokes will still be in the same locations and all will be good.
If you do rebuild the wheel, see if you can get some “spoke prep” from the your local bike shop. A few drops of this on the threads lubricates them and will also help to keep the spokes from loosening up on their own