Well, the inevitable has happened. My Norco 24" finally died.
I have had it for the last 10 years, but never really started riding it
until this year when I met Mike King. I have been trying to follow him
around on the dirt trails all summer, and it has been one continuous
replacement process. First it was the seat clamp, which was woefully
inadequate for my acrobatic contortions. Then it was the tire, which went
from a street slick to a knobbier 1.95" wide one. After that, one of the
cotter pins on the cranks snapped. Replaced them, but on closer inspection
found that the holes where the axle goes through was stretching out.
Welded the cranks onto the axle. Things had been going well for about the
last month, with me rapidly improving and my crappy seat rapidly losing
vinyl. Who could’ve anticipated what was to happen next?
Anybody with half a brain, I guess.
I was out last night on the streets by my house practicing going up curbs,
the rounded ones that other people in this group probably don’t even think
twice about. About 10 minutes into the ride, I felt that one of the crank
arms were bent. About 20 feet further, I could feel that it was loose. Did
the welds break? I got off to check, no, they were still just fine. Got on
and rode another 20 feet, when Bessie dumped me on my butt on the
sidewalk, pulling a muscle in my knee.
Oh Bessie, why hast thou forsaken me???
The axle snapped where the groove is cut in to make room for the cotter
pin. I admitted defeat and walked back home, not feeling like learning how
to one foot with a jagged piece of metal sticking out the other side of
So, what do I do now? The way I look at it I have 4 choices:
One foot. Everywhere. Not an inviting proposition at this point.
Get hold of a cutting torch and turn it into an ultimate wheel. This
doesn’t intrigue me much either.
Buy a new unicycle. This one appeals to me very much, but I wouldn’t be
able to ride for the rest of the season until I save up enough money to
buy a new one.
Put a new hub and cranks on this one. The cheapest solution, so
therefore the most viable one.
I looked on unicycle.com today and saw that they have Suzue 28 hole hubs
for sale. Does anyone know if this could be fitted on to an older Norco?
My rim is a 28 hole, but I don’t know how wide the existing hub is. My
Norco has cast aluminum lollipop bearing holders. I have access to a
bandsaw to get them off the broken axle.
I looked at new unicycles as well, for something that would last me a year
or so until I can buy a good quality Muni. The ones that I might be able
to afford are the $179 United or the $279 Semcycle XL. I would like to buy
the cheaper United wheel, but I am concerned about strength as I am
185lbs, grew up on a farm, and have stronger than average legs. Is there
any difference in the axle strength between these two wheels? I’m not too
worried about wheel strength because at the moment I have problems going
off a 4 inch drop (I’m not that good yet :). However I can exert quite a
bit of force on the pedals.
So, if anyone is still reading at this point in my long post, feel free to
contribute your wisdom. What should I do?