Question On Pedal/Crank Grab, Public Property and Trials Tire

Going to try to learn pedal and crank grabs.

Question: Does the trick/technique scratch up your cranks? I’ve never done these kind of ‘stunts’ and the unicycle is the first. New world for me. I mostly see sort of rough stone ledges near me and I feel like it would in a sense, sand down my cranks.

When I start learning something, I become quite obsessive with it and was wondering before I start going all out to learn it.

Public Property:

I’ve always been a little nervous when it comes to public property. I like it quiet and I’m pretty conscious about how I treat others and the property around me. I was at the park recently and there were some great picnic tables and rows of stone benches that would be awesome to jump from.

Would it be okay to do that? I see you guys post videos of it all the time.

I try to understand it by switching places where I’m the person that visits with my family and there’s a unicyclist jumping up on the tables and benches and I would think that would be bad considering it’s a place where people sit and eat and the tires carry dirt and sometimes other even more disgusting stuff that might not be noticed like a bit of dog or geese poop (the park where I’m at have TONS of geese feces all over the grass or near the grass area and throughout the park pretty much).

I just want to have fun without being an eyesore to the other people at the park or place that I practice. Good o’ hard work and fun without the expense of everyone else’s comfort.

So how do you guys deal with it, for those that I commonly see that do hop on benches and pretty much wherever?

I do not have the space to setup my own course and I’m more of in the city area.


I’ve been noticing that my Equinox trials/street unicycle that comes with Cyko Lite tires wear out fast. Have done the basic research on why.

  • Soft
  • Quick swerves wears it out fast (but I find that to be part of the joy of unicycling)
  • Low pressure (but I’m running lower pressure because I’m concentrating on hops 25-27 PSI for my weight)
  • Rotate tire (which I’ve done yesterday)

Only had the unicycle for about half a month and one side shows significant wear. I mostly ride around paved street areas and on white concrete, I have to avoid in order to not leave tire marks.

Can anyone recommend me a trials tire that is still grippy, but is not as soft? Something more durable and longer lasting. I’m just planning to hop on all sorts of stuff like rocks, benches, wherever. Uniflips, all sorts, everything goes.

Just came back, tried a nice park near the lake close by.

Unfortunately, the area that I was hanging around, the tire left quite a bit of marks. I also tried the pedal grab but quickly realize that the pins on the pedals quickly scratched up the ledges that I tried it on. Tried a few but stopped after only a few tries because I didn’t want to leave any permanent marks.

Like the pedals for the grip, but :frowning:

No one has any good responses?

Didn’t know my questions were that advance :stuck_out_tongue:

I don’t think tire marks are that much of an issue, but pedal/crank grabs onto soft surfaces are pretty much a no-no unless you own the soft surface.

Skate parks are available for this sort of thing.

Don’t have any skate parks close by, at least none that is a riding distance away, especially on a 20". I just ride out a few blocks, practice, water runs out, go home.

I just see a lot of videos where riders do pedal grabs and jump all over the place and they seem like public areas.

I tried it on concrete ledges that are commonly found in public areas, are they considered soft surfaces? What kind of surfaces are considered hard other than metal because I don’t recall seeing one that I can remember.

The tire marks are very visible, that’s why. I did a quick search on it and it seems like you have to scrub down and sometimes apply a degreaser to get rid of them.

That’s funny. I just started attempting jumping on top of picnic tables where I work. Almost there! I wonder when security will come and tell me not to.

I wouldn’t worry about your tires being dirty. I mean this isn’t someone’s kitchen table. If they are worried about clean eating, it’s up to them to bring a table cloth. The table is outside and could be pooped on by a bird at any time anyway.

I would just use common sense. eg. if it’s crowded and people want to use the table, then no. etc. things like that.

If you don’t want to take the chance of damaging public property, then I wouldn’t advise doing pedal/crank grabs on public property. There are plenty of videos out there of unicyclers, skateboarders, etc. doing tricks in public areas. Cause a lot of them don’t really care. The world is their obstacle course.

As for Picnic tables and benches, those are made to be sturdy and survive the elements. They should be fine to with stand a unicycle jumping on them. Plus I can guarantee that some kid or teens have already jumped all over them with their feet. You know what the cleanliness of a park is when you go out.

I really wouldn’t want to get to the point where they have to call security to kick me out or band together to do it. What I’m trying to avoid is people considering it. I know in most of the cases they’ll try to ignore it or they’ll just talk about it negatively to each other, but I just want to stay away from that. I’d like to come back to that area again some day.

I don’t know, am I making the issue bigger than what it is?

I’ve never done this before on a bike, not to mention a unicycle, so I wouldn’t know what’s considered perfectly fine or not.

Like the tire marks I left up on the ledges yesterday, they are the only marks up there, it’s just that apparent, they seem to quickly leave marks in most places that are not darker gray. They stay there for a long time too.

Is that a good thing?

I don’t think so and I understand you. I often see things in videos that I wouldn’t do simply because I could destroy something. I usually check the condition of the objects I want to use. Chances are I won’t use it if an unsuccessfull attempt could make the object look clearly worse than it does before.

Yes, probably. You could get a white trials tire if you wanted. Other than that, it sounds like you are reasonably ethical. Trust yourself. But you are doing extreme unicycling. It’s going to attract attention. That’s just the way it is.

Get yourself some plastic pedals, then at least on any concrete/metal surface you will do no surface damage, and probably much less on wood surfaces. Cranks sometimes leave a mark, but not much, not any more than some kid throwing rocks.

I’ve been using twisted pc’s on my trials 19", they work fine. They actually offer good grip, not 1/4 inch metal pin grip, but a viable alternative.

I don’t see a problem doing these tricks at a park, but I wouldn’t practice on one obstacle and leave marks all over it. For learning, find an obstacle that can take it (concrete items, landscape timbers, metal benches). Once you get good, leaving a tire mark on a picnic table is a right of passage :)… (depends on where you are though, still probably frowned upon)

When I learned, I made my own.

Yeah, that’s what I do too. Most of the places I go to are pretty nice and I’d be nervous to go to the not so nice part of town to practice.

The ledge yesterday got me really nervous because it was nice and clean and after a few tire marks it became an eyesore, not to mention that ledge I practiced a bit with the pedal grab. It was the only place around that has high but not too high and had a soft landing spot in case I fell off.

I totally forgot about that because most of the time I did a search on I see black trial tire. Just did a search over at municycle and they seem to have one white trial tire called Blizzard. Have to check reviews about that, not to mention it’s about 200 grams heavier (always see people do tons of stuff to shave off every gram they can). I’ll do a search later but any recommendations on white trial tire would be welcomed. I’ll search about it in a bit.

I just applied some blue threadlocker on my pedal thread. Maybe I can just take off the pins on the default nimbus pedals that came with the unicycle.

Hopefully the pedal grabs won’t grind away at whatever grip the plastic parts have though.

I was considering this before but I liked the grip on the pedals and I’m low on funds to afford some really grippy shoes like five tens any time soon.

You guys ever get called out or thrown out for riding in all those places?

Thanks for the tips I’ll check it out.


Just did a search on the white Blizzard trial tire. I do a LOT of hopping and it seems that it might not be good for it. Seems like there’s not a lot of options. Oh well.

Ah, but this is an interesting place but $55 for a small tire ouch.

Oh, there seems to be a sale on it right now. Edit, seems like the only white tire available is the impact and it’s 1362 grams.

I’m 44, most people are surprised I can even ride a unicycle, usually the last thing on their minds is that I may be messing up the place. :stuck_out_tongue:

…and not that you need to worry about this as you seem to be very considerate (hence this thread existing), use good judgement wherever you ride, smile and be nice to people, it goes a long way and they won’t question what you are doing.

My attitude riding bike trials was always that you shouldn’t be leaving anything more than tire marks on public property. I’m not good enough at unicycle trials yet for it to really matter, but I think it’s a pretty good rule.

Also, +1 for the twisted PC pedals, I’ve been very pleasantly surprised by how well my pair has held up (3 years now!).

Do they handle well with all the pedal grabs? My concern is that after a short bit of pedal grabbing on cement ledges which are the most common around, they’ll have little to no grip.

I currently have these that come default on the nimbus unicycles:

I was thinking of trying to use them with the metal pins off, unless you guys think I should switch pedals.

Thanks everyone about your thoughts on riding and hopping on stuff in public areas. Part of the reason I asked is because I’m just trying to keep the good name of unicycling. I don’t want to bring a bad name to the hobby/sport, that’s why I’m consulting with you guys to make sure I have it right.

I guess the best thing I can do is see how much of a mark I leave on stuff and if people tell me to stop I’ll stop hopefully it won’t get to that point though and hopefully find a place where there’s not many people (which I try to do all the time, but it’s not always easy but I try).

I’m guessing for the question on if pedal and crank grabs scratching the cranks, I’m going to try to answer that, fix me if I’m wrong:

Pedal grab when first learning, I’ll probably bump against it and scratch it a bit but as I get better I’ll scratch it less often, but it will get scratched on the side a bit. And crank grabs are done on softer stuff like wood blocks or the such and not on rough surfaces like cement ledges.

Did I get that right?

My experience with plastic pedals is when they get chewed up from contact with concrete that they maintain their grip. You could try your pedals without the pins, but I’d be afraid of the pins never able to be reinserted due to damage to the metal parts. Twisted pcs can be had online for around 20 bucks, so if it was me I’d buy a set and not mess up your current pedals.

In my opinion the crank grab is less useful than a pedal grab, I would focus on the pedal grab more. Cranks grabs are going to scratch up your cranks quite a bit. You should be able to do a few cranks grabs to get the feeling (do them on wood, shouldn’t scratch up your cranks), then focus on pedal grabs. Doing pedal grabs you may get some scratches on the end of your cranks near the pedal, but thats about it. Pedals will take most of the damage, but they are replaceable.

Thanks for the helpful replies, I’ll check up on everything and see what needs to be done.

Bye everyone.

Try-All makes a white trial tire. I think they went out of business, but you might find one online.
(found one)

Instead of buying plastic pedals, you could take all the pins out of only one side of your pined pedals and mark the up side (eg spray paint it white, then it’d be easier to see when it’s getting dark).

And/or you could make a pedal grab board to put on the ledge before you practice. Take a couple 1/8" (~3.6mm) pieces [say 8" by 12" (~20x30 cm)} of plywood and connect them w/ a couple of hinges. Place it on the ledge so one piece of the plywood rests on the surface and the other hangs over the edge, protecting it from possible damage from your cranks. When done fold it up and put it in a backpack.
(If you use metric)

i can’t ride a unicycle and i don’t own one yet so…
i can understand where you are coming from and personally when i see skateboarders or bmxers around the government buildings near where i live i think good for them that they are doing a sport and not sniffin’ glue and vandalising the bus stops. but not everyone is as laid back as me.
i think it’s great that you have respect for public property and public spaces.
a polite friendly attitude and a smile will always stand you in good stead even if you are being hassled to move along.
the problem sometimes isn’t wether the “obstacle” can handle the skateboard or bmx or unicycle in this case, but rather the perception of the general public towards the rider. uncouth ,impolite, disrespectful, antisocial yob vs well mannered, polite, respectful, young man or woman with an interest in extreme sports.
there’s always going to be some grumpy old git telling you to clear off but you seem to have a good attitude. i think you’ll do ok.