Re: Semcycle bearings, problems?!?

Karl Sitell wrote:
> I bought a Semcycle Standard uni this summer and I have had a lot of fun
> with it…
> I have a question about the bearings. Being a very expensive uni they should
> be good. But if I hold the uni up side down and spin the wheel, I can feel
> some strange vibration from the bearings and the wheel comes to a rather
> quick stop.
> Anyone else with a Semcycle with bearing problems? Or is a Semcycle supposed
> to function without these kind of problems?
> Should the wheel spin without vibrations from the bearings and should the
> wheel spin with a very slow retardation?
> (I have been riding indoor all the time.)

Of course a good bearing should spin with extremely few friction. But worn out
bearings is a quite common problem with unis. You can replace the bearings for
about US$15.

But on the other hand when speaking about the costs of a unicycle, there are
some points I’d like to clearify. Expensive unicycles cost about US$200 to $250.
Compare that price to some bike parts (e.g. a high quality front wheel including
hub, cover and inner tube plus a nice fork, a seat, a pair of cranks and a pair
of pedals) and you will see that your unicycle is quite cheap actually. Most
unicycles are manufactured in a manner that would be considered as complete
rubbish at the bike market. Can you imagine a bike is called something like
‘deluxe’ only because it has 36 spokes (instead of 28 of the standard version).
In unicycling business this is quite normal. Or have a look at the fork. Nearby
all unicycle forks are welded together from tubes of cheap steal. That’s the
quality level you can find at kids’ bikes in super markets, but nowhere else.
There are very view unicycling manufacturerers that at least try to produce good
quality. And if so, there may be other problems. For instance Myiata builds
quite nice unis with a CrMo2-fork, alloy rim and so on. All the things that are
standard for bycicles. But then they build their unis for the Japanese market.
So there are no long enough seat posts available for European or American
unicyclists who are much taller than the average Japanese. Ok, they offer seat
post extensions, but they are not very stable and there are some more screws and
bolts to scarve your legs.

It’s a pitty, but you are not able to buy a high quality unicycle that meets
your imaginations. Even if you are ready to spend some money on it. At least I
am not. So there’s no other possibility than building your uni yourself. But
when doing that it’s of course much more expensive than it would be if any
manufacturer would build it in a larger series.

So here are some suggestions for any unicycle manufacturer to implement in their
unis. At least I would be ready to spend some Deutschmarks or Dollars for each
of these things:

  1. A fork from a high quality material, like CrMo2 or carbon. It should be
    sleeved not welded. And it should be available in several different sizes. I
    don’t talk about the wheel size, but the size of the upper tube where the
    seat post is attached. When there are length from about 10cm to 50cm
    (measured from the crown of the fork) it should be suitable for people of all
    sizes (not available yet from any manufacturer as much as I know).

  2. A bearing that is not pressed between two peaces of metal but has a proper
    bearing holder like it’s usual for any industrial machines (available from
    Myiata or Pichler and maybe some others).

  3. A crank system like it’s used for BMX. It’s much more stable and durable than
    the axe with a square bolt at the end. And of course high quality cranks
    (look at BMX again).

  4. There are lots of parts you can buy at any BMX shop to upgrade your uni. Of
    course high quality rims with 48 spokes, great high pressure tires and so on.
    But of course it would be nice to have these things as a standard on your uni
    when buying it. Then you wouldn’t be forced to replace these parts and spend
    your money twice. First for the standard parts the trader wants to be rid of
    and then for quality parts you want to use.

When really implementing all these things a uni would cost maybe $400 or $500.
compared to a bike, a skiing equipment or some other sports it’s still quite

          | ~ ~ |
         (- 0 0 -) +----------oOOo-(_)-oOOo---------------------------------

| |
| Wolfgang Stroessner Phone: +49 30 4537159 (home) | +49 30 2093-2352 (office)
| | Bruesseler Str. 37 Fax: +49 30 2093-2727 (office) | 13353 Berlin eMail:
| Stroess@Mathematik.HU-Berlin.DE | Germany
| http://Spectrum.Mathematik.HU-Berlin.DE/~stroess | Oooo. |
±--------.oooO-----( )----------------------------------------------------+ ( )
) / \ ( (_/ _)