Plastic wheeled unicycles

One wheeled community-

I have seen some posts from the past indicating that some adults have purchased and ridden plastic wheeled unicycles. I have seen the blue, 20" versions available from Jugglebug and United. They are WAY cool looking and inexpensive. I fear that my size, 6’2", 180#, might limit the lifetime of the wheel. However, my passion for esthetics and bright colors is pressuring me to buy one of these rascals. What are the experiences of others with regard to the lifetime and durability of these gorgeous but toylike unicycles.

Thanks in advance for any input.

We have found that the plastic wheel bead is sometimes not sufficient to
hold the bead of the tire. Result: the rim and tire bead separates, the
tube squeezes out and pinch flats. I suspect that this would be more
pronounced with a heavier person.

Bruce http://move.to/daup

harper wrote:
>
> One wheeled community-
>
> I have seen some posts from the past indicating that some adults have
> purchased and ridden plastic wheeled unicycles. I have seen the blue,
> 20" versions available from Jugglebug and United. They are WAY cool
> looking and inexpensive. I fear that my size, 6’2", 180#, might limit
> the lifetime of the wheel. However, my passion for esthetics and bright
> colors is pressuring me to buy one of these rascals. What are the
> experiences of others with regard to the lifetime and durability of
> these gorgeous but toylike unicycles.
>
> Thanks in advance for any input.
>
> –
> harper Posted via the Unicyclist Community -
> http://unicyclist.com/forums

Hi,

I too was interested in buying one of these colored unis when I started out. However, when I called John Drummond at Unicycle.com, he said because of my weight at 150 lbs., Iwas probably too heavy for the plastic wheeled unis. He said that the wheel would probably eventually break at the hub.

As an alternative, I bought the United Petite with a yellow Viscount seat and a white primo tire. I rather thought the colors worked well together. You could mix and match as well.

If you get bitten by the uni bug, your uni will start to get beaten up a little and I don’t think the plastic wheel will last.

Good luck.

Bruce-

Was that with an adult riding? Let’s see if I can be tactful. What was the weight of the rider when the tire separated from the wheel?

Rod-

This would be my 5th unicycle, I think. I’ve ridden for 38 years. I was thinking of getting one as a novelty and at the same time buying a Torker 20" to practice skills. John Drummond told me exactly the same thing. I’m not thinking of it as my main mode of transportation either. That’s for the Big Boy…the Coker.

Thanks for the responses. I hope to see some from adult riders of plastic wheeled unicycles.

You don’t want a plastic wheeled unicycle if you plan on actually riding
it. They do not use a proper hooked rim to hold the bead of the tire. The
bead of the tire will slip right off the rim.

If you want a colorful wheel look at getting a custom wheel made with an
anodized colored rim, colored spokes and colored nipples. A red anodized
rim with red spokes, red nipples, and a red Primo The Wall tire would look
cool. Getting the wheel made with a 48 spoke hub rather than the more
standard 36 spoke hub would make it look even more cool. Or if you don’t
like red you could get the entire wheel done in blue. However, a custom
wheel like that would cost more than an entire Jugglebug unicycle.

john_childs

>From: harper <forum.member@unicyclist.com>
>
>One wheeled community-
>
>I have seen some posts from the past indicating that some adults have
>purchased and ridden plastic wheeled unicycles. I have seen the blue, 20"
>versions available from Jugglebug and United. They are WAY cool looking
>and inexpensive. I fear that my size, 6’2", 180#, might limit the
>lifetime of the wheel. However, my passion for esthetics and bright
>colors is pressuring me to buy one of these rascals. What are the
>experiences of others with regard to the lifetime and durability of these
>gorgeous but toylike unicycles.
>
>Thanks in advance for any input.


Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at http://explorer.msn.com/intl.asp

> thinking of getting one as a novelty and at the same time buying a
> Torker 20" to practice skills. John Drummond told me exactly the same
> thing. I’m not thinking of it as my main mode of transportation either.

As a novelty-only cycle, a plastic-wheeled unicycle will probably hold up
fine. Just don’t do a lot of hopping or hard pedaling.

Apparently the two weak areas are the tire bead issue (may be true with
only certain brands), and the hub issue. I don’t know how mag unicycle
wheels are constructed at the hub, but this is what separates them from
mag bicycle wheels. A mag front wheel doesn’t take any (drive) stress in
this area, while a rear wheel will be pedaled in only one direction.
That’s probably what brings is to the weakness in this area on unicycles,
the age-old problem that unicycles do get pedaled in both directions,
and manufacturers try to ignore this fact when engineering their products.

Stay on top, John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone jfoss@unicycling.com
www.unicycling.com

“Freedom is not free”

> thinking of getting one as a novelty and at the same time buying a
> Torker 20" to practice skills. John Drummond told me exactly the same
> thing. I’m not thinking of it as my main mode of transportation either.

As a novelty-only cycle, a plastic-wheeled unicycle will probably hold up
fine. Just don’t do a lot of hopping or hard pedaling.

Apparently the two weak areas are the tire bead issue (may be true with
only certain brands), and the hub issue. I don’t know how mag unicycle
wheels are constructed at the hub, but this is what separates them from
mag bicycle wheels. A mag front wheel doesn’t take any (drive) stress in
this area, while a rear wheel will be pedaled in only one direction.
That’s probably what brings is to the weakness in this area on unicycles,
the age-old problem that unicycles do get pedaled in both directions,
and manufacturers try to ignore this fact when engineering their products.

Stay on top, John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone jfoss@unicycling.com
www.unicycling.com

“Freedom is not free”

While in Japan for a year all the elementary school kids rode plastic
unis. Many stores sold plastic unis in 16", 18" and 20" models. With
different mag spoke designs they came in many primary colours. I actually
did not see a spoked uni ridden by anyone in my little city of
Miyakonojyo, Kyushu. The rare shop did have expensive Miyatas in hospital
green, but I never saw on on the street.

I retired my red plastic uni because I thought that I’d bust it up if I
hopped on it, and I’m only 125 lb. It’s ok to ride, no problem with my
weight. If I pumped it up to 60 psi and simply left it in it’s uni stand,
the bead would slowly separate from the rim, there’d be a loud bang and
I’d be looking at a broken inner tube. I did this 2 times before I figured
out what the problem was.

The ride was great. The bearings were ok. The cranks were cottered, which
sometimes loosened, especially if I did backwards riding. But it was my
first uni and I did learn a lot on it. I really do like the colour, but
I’ve replaced it with a Semcycle 20".

I’m not a plastics engineer, but the rim and spokes were made of quite
thick plastic, which did not break. I didn’t get any white stress
fractures either. But uni and bicycle wheels do take a lot of abuse and
stretch and absorb lots of energy. Spokes and rims are really great for
this, dissipating the energy across a wider section of the rim. And if you
stress it too much then you break a couple of spokes, which are
replaceable. I think such a machine is really quite elegant.

I agree with John Childs that a much more rideable solution would be the
red anodized coloured rim, red coloured spokes, red nipples, and red Primo
“The Wall” tire. You might even try a red seat. That would look great!

Don_TaiATyahooDOTcoDOTuk, Toronto, Canada
http://torontounicyclists.tripod.com

harper wrote:
>
> One wheeled community-
>
> I have seen some posts from the past indicating that some adults have
> purchased and ridden plastic wheeled unicycles. I have seen the blue,
> 20" versions available from Jugglebug and United. They are WAY cool
> looking and inexpensive. I fear that my size, 6’2", 180#, might limit
> the lifetime of the wheel. However, my passion for esthetics and bright
> colors is pressuring me to buy one of these rascals. What are the
> experiences of others with regard to the lifetime and durability of
> these gorgeous but toylike unicycles.
>
> Thanks in advance for any input.
>
> –
> harper Posted via the Unicyclist Community -
> http://unicyclist.com/forums

We have two Jugglebug uni’s, an 18" and a 20". We’ve never had a problem
with the 18" but the 20" has caused us some bead separation problems at
full tire pressure with my 85 lb. son riding. A young girl in our club at
about 65 lbs. bought an off-brand 20" with a black plastic wheel. Almost
nothing could keep her tire on the rim. Quite disappointing.

Bruce

harper wrote:
>
> Bruce-
>
> Was that with an adult riding? Let’s see if I can be tactful. What was
> the weight of the rider when the tire separated from the wheel?
>
> Rod-
>
> This would be my 5th unicycle, I think. I’ve ridden for 38 years. I was
> thinking of getting one as a novelty and at the same time buying a
> Torker 20" to practice skills. John Drummond told me exactly the same
> thing. I’m not thinking of it as my main mode of transportation either.
> That’s for the Big Boy…the Coker.
>
> Thanks for the responses. I hope to see some from adult riders of
> plastic wheeled unicycles.
>
> –
> harper Posted via the Unicyclist Community -
> http://unicyclist.com/forums

“Don Tai” <don_tai@yahoo.co.uk> wrote in message
news:3BCDFE6D.40390CE4@yahoo.co.uk
> >
> I’m not a plastics engineer, but the rim and spokes were made of quite
> thick plastic, which did not break. I didn’t get any white stress
> fractures either. But uni and bicycle wheels do take a lot of abuse and
> stretch and absorb lots of energy. Spokes and rims are really great for
> this, dissipating the energy across a wider section of the rim. And if
> you stress it too much then you break a couple of spokes, which are
> replaceable. I think such a machine is really quite elegant.
>

I haven’t ridden one of these plastic wheeled unicycles but it looks like
the material could be glass filled polypropylene.

The enemies of plastic products like this are: sunlight, heat, scratches
and nicks. Sunlight will degrade the plastic if it doesn’t contain a UV
additive or carbon black. High heat (such as leaving it in the trunk of
your black car on a hot day) could stress relieve and warp it. Scratches
and nicks would be stress risers that would be the start of a crack.

Armor-all would be healthy for it. Just keep it off of the wheel and
especially the pedals.

Plastic can creep under a constant load. It would probably be best to
deflate or partially deflate the tire when not in use.

I am a plastics engineer in the automotive industry where many of the
engineers want to convert metal products to plastic materials. Amazingly,
I spend a lot of time talking them out of all plastic and into a
combination of metal and plastic.

Go for the metal rim and spokes. I think the 48 spoke setups look great,
not to mention it would help with my 200+ stress on the uni if I
converted to one.

Doug Massey

The consensus seems to be that plastic wheels are funky even with no rider on the unicycle. Thanks very much for the feedback.

Greg,

I didn’t include the following information, because I thought you wanted a full time uni.

My first uni was a 16" or 18" red jugglebug-like uni that I bought through the JC Penney catalogue for $45 including delivery. It was a meager investment to see if I would like to Uni.

I learned to ride on it in my bedroom. I rode it(when not falling off of it usually in 5 - 6ft distances and straight) for about 5 weeks usually 20 to 30 minutes 4 times a week until I bought my United 20" because I realized it was too small and I would probably eventually break it as I became a more serious uni rider.

I kept the tire pressure at about 35 psi. I never had a problem with the tire coming off. The red uni now sits in the garage for my 3 year old to grow into it.

The seat post was a 3 - 4 inches short for me. I am 5’9" and 150 lbs. but I could still ride it decently. The seat was unusually large and actually quite comfortable. The seat post looks like it is a Miyata knock off, so a taller Miyata post would probably work with the seat.

Heck, for 45 bucks, maybe you might want to try it. I bought it back in April, 2000. I am sure it is still available.

Ride on!

harper <forum.member@unicyclist.com> wrote in message
news:<9qhu22$r2$1@laurel.tc.umn.edu>…
> One wheeled community-
>
> What are the experiences of others with regard to the lifetime and
> durability of these gorgeous but toylike unicycles.

My first (and currently only) uni was/is a yellow plastic wheeled thing.
It took a fair amount of abuse, firstly from me learning to ride up and
down kerbs and then from my friends having a shot. The wheel is still
fine, which is more than I can say for the seat, which only lasted about 5
years (but without the level of use that most other newsgroup subscribers
would have). I’m also 6’2" and about 180lbs, so at least on unis with
similar designs of wheel to mine, you should be okay.

Have fun!

Graeme

So…did you ever get one?

Yes, I did. My wife eventually bought me one for Christmas, probably in 2001 or 2002. I’ve ridden it quite a bit. As warned, the tire popped off of the rim while it was just hanging on a hook in my basement. It never popped off when I rode it, though. I put a little thumb bell from the Netherlands I got from some Dutch friends under the saddle on the seatpost. It’s my novelty cycle.

You’re not your.

If “you’re” going to be the giver of internet etiquette, do we need to tell you not to include the picture in your reply? :roll_eyes:

I have a plastic-wheeled unicycle. One of these days I need to take pictures of it because it has a built-in kickstand! I bought it on eBay and it clearly originated in Japan (JUA sticker on it). It’s got pink frame and pink wheel. But I have no feedback on tire problems because I’ve never pumped it up. It still has the Japanese tube in there, and I don’t have a pump to fit! If it wasn’t so short I would have done this long ago. Oddly enough, I’ve actually used that unicycle in a show or two, without even riding it. I just demonstrated the kickstand, and seemed to get a decent audience response!

I personaly think bringing back old threads is a good thing. Why is it bad?

That’s just weird. So you just have to keep riding it? :roll_eyes:

Don’t worry. Nothing is wrong. People are just jealous that some of us think to use the search function and find these well-aged threads.