sealed bearing pedals

I would liketo get some decent sealed bearing platform pedals for muni, and wanted to get ideas and advice. Here is a wellgo sealed bearing platform with removeable pins for $49. Seems like a good price. See the pic. Thanks;)

wellgo sealed.jpg

get premo balance pedals they amazeing and i think there like only a little more and there magneasem and the wont bend the axel is like 1/2in thick

Those pedals aren’t really that great. I used a set, the spindles bent, adn then the berings dissolved and the pedalliterally just fell off the spindle. This happened to both.

I have mosh step sealed bearing pedals, they r strong, and they r also still on my old broken uni, im not sure whether to stick them on my kh trials instead of the snafu pedals tho :thinking:

this is them there:

The majority of regular sealed bearing pedals are a potential problem. The standard design for a sealed bearing pedal puts too much side load on the bearing. Sealed cartridge bearings are not designed to be able to handle side load well. Too much side load will cause the bearing to fall apart. Muni puts side load on the pedals. The unicycle twists as we ride. We do side hops. When the unicycle crashes it bashes the side of the pedal. All of that is bad for the bearing.

I have used sealed bearing pedals with the same design as those Wellgo’s for muni. The bearings went “crunch” and the pedal body tried to slide off the spindle. At that point you’re walking back to the car. Not a reliable pedal.

So I looked around for better pedals that wouldn’t fall apart like that. I found the Atom Lab Aircorps and they were good. They don’t put as much side load on the bearing. The bearings last longer and if the bearing does fail the pedal body will stay on the spindle well enough for you to ride back to the car.

So the '02, '03 and '04 Atom Lab Aircorps are good. They’re reliable. But Atom Lab went and changed things late in '05. They made them a bearingless design. There are no more bearings in the pedal (sealed or unsealed). Instead the pedal uses bushings. In theory this is great because now there are no bearings in the pedal to fail. Should be a super reliable pedal. Problem is that I have not had a chance to try the new design yet so I don’t know how they’ll hold up long term. I would expect the bushings to wear out after a couple years of regular use. And they’re likely going to require more frequent overhauls (taking the pedal body off, putting grease on the bushings, and putting it back together again).

Specialized also makes a nice pedal that I’ve wanted to try. It’s called the Lo Pro and it has a magnesium body. It looks all nice. But they also went and changed the design for '06. Now it uses a needle bearing in it. I don’t trust needle bearings. This design may be OK, but I’m not sure. The overall design of the pedal looks good from the schematics that Specialized had on their web site. It’s another pedal that I want to try.

So in summary:
Sealed bearing pedals like the Wellgo’s are bad. They’ll fail on you. Just ask Greg Harper because he’s had to walk back to the car more than once because those pedals failed (well, the bearing failed).

The '06 model of the Atom Lab Aircorps should be good. They’re about $100 from online bike shops.

The '06 Specialized Lo Pro may be good. They’re $75 from any bike shop that carries Specialized bikes.

Both the Aircorp and Lo Pro are low profile pedals. I love low profile pedals for muni. They have more grip and are less likely to roll under your feet.

If you’re looking for a good reliable muni pedal the Aircorps are the best bet now. If you’re willing to take a bit of a chance the Specialized Lo Pro should be good.

Atom Lab can’t give a direct link to the Aircorps because the site uses Flash
Specialized Lo Pro

I’ve been using sealed bearing Odyssey Jim Cielinski pedals for muni for over a year now and they haven’t complained yet. Lots of hoppage, droppage and bashing, and they still spin like the day I pulled 'em out of the box. I wouldn’t use unsealed for Muni as I’m often going through sand, mud, water, etc. and before too long my pedals would be crunchier than a box of stale grape-nuts.

JC makes a good point, though, I’ll be shopping for a backup set of bearings soon… what’s the MTBF for an average sealed bearing pedal?

terrybigwheel, you don’t need to make the same thread in both forums. Most people here read both forums, and you end up with two fragmented threads in two different places. it’s a forum no-no that’s on par with spam… pick one forum and stay with it! If it’s unicycling related, post in RSU, otherwise, post it in JC. Simple enough?

Good point posting in different forums; I wasn’t sure aboot that.:smiley: Thanks!

John, I think the bushings are better than anything else, however you are right, if you are greasing them they won’t last more than maybe 6 months. Bushings need oil. Grease is too viscous to fit between the outer and inner bushing.

Both of my lathes have bushings for spindle bearings, not roller bearings. One of the lathes is over 100 years old and still going strong.

The only problem I see with bushings is seizure or looseness in temperature extremes. If you ride in extremely cold climates, the aluminum pedal body may seize up on the steel spindle until you warm them up. Similarly, the bushing may be loose if you get things too hot. This may be a minor factor though…

Ok, now that we have a new pedal thread, I guess it’s time to chime in here. Last August, based on the new Atomlab Aircorps bushing design, I went ahead and bought a pair with great expectations. They went on my muni, which gets ridden averagely 3-4 hours per week on pretty technical trails. I started noticing looseness after the first couple of rides…pedals would wobble slightly…kind of like an unsealed pedal that needs adjustment. This got worse and worse until I could wiggle them by hand probably 1/8 inch back and forth, i.e. what I would consider major looseness. This was after only 2 months of riding them. The bike shop where I purchased them suggested I contact Atomlab, which I did. Atomlab said the ones I had were drilled incorrectly and sounded like they were aware of the problem. They warranteed them out, and after nearly 2 months of waiting, I finally got my replacement pedals.

I’ve now ridden the replacements for 3 rides. They, like the originals, were totally tight when new. After the first ride, I noticed very slight looseness in one, but not the other. After the second ride, both were slightly loose. After the third ride, they are both still what I would call slightly loose.

That’s where I am now. So, I just don’t know if these will hold up or not. Maybe the looseness will stabilize, which would be ok. If it keeps worsening like last time, then eventually there will be so much play that the pedal will self-destruct I’d expect. We’ll see what happens.

Oh, and Bevan, they seem to come with grease in them from the factory, based on that’s what oozes out the end for the first couple of rides.

If anyone else has experience with these bushing-design Aircorps, I’d love to hear how yours have performed. I love the grip and ride characteristics of the pedals, and in theory, they should hold up way better than the sealed bearing designs. As for other designs, I’ve had the same experiences of Wellgo’s, in particular, falling off as others have described, after a surprisingly short time. My unsealed Snafus were pretty good, although they required frequent adjustment, and eventually the spindles bent.

Hope this helps.


The Atom Lab pedals use what they call a DU bushing. It’s some sort of strong slippery synthetic material. They aren’t your metal bushings like you’d have in a lathe. Here’s what Atom Lab says about them:

The looseness is most likely due to the O-ring being fitted badly or wearing. I hope the O-ring doesn’t wear out that fast.

Even with my old style Aircorps, that have the sealed cartridge bearing, I have to replace the O-ring regularly to keep the pedals tight. I had to experiment with different size O-rings to find a size that worked best. The O-rings are standard parts that can be found at better stocked hardware stores. They come in a variety of sizes. Experiment to see what works best. At one time I was using a size that was slightly too thick and sanding them down a little with an emery board (fingernail file) to make them fit. That gave them extra wear area so they lasted longer.

The O-ring is what adds the friction to keep the pedal from freespinning when your foot isn’t on the pedal. The O-ring also takes up the slack so the pedal is tight and snug.

Here’s what Atom Lab says about them for the new pedal:

You might also experiment with putting grease on the o-ring. That may make the o-ring slip better or fit better. I find that grease helps with the o-ring on my old style Aircorps.

John – regarding the o-rings…I’ve experimented quite a bit with different sizes on these and found that a tighter fit works better…also a bit thicker in diameter helps keep them in place. I also like a bit tighter pedal so it doesn’t spin quite so freely…just personal preference. One achilles heel is that the o-rings pop out of their groove with any significant side hit, such as a typical upd (of which I do plenty), even with a thicker and smaller diameter o-ring. To solve the jumping out problem, I simply put a rubber band around the axle adjacent to the o-ring or slightly over it and that seems to keep it in place. I’ve also used a short length of rim tape (which worked ok but came off too soon), and I’m considering a section of road bike inner tube as a more aesthetic solution when the rubber bands fail.

As for the looseness, I don’t think it’s the o-ring. The o-ring prevents axial play but doesn’t really help much with wobble which is my main issue. The wobble must come from an enlargement of the bushing relative to the axle/spindle. As this tolerance grows, the pedal can wiggle back and forth…not axially. I don’t really have axial play, just the wobble.

How this happens remains a mystery given Atomlab’s description of the bushing’s toughness. It shouldn’t get sloppy…certainly not so quickly anyway. If this pair gets worse to the point I’m worried about failure, I’ll probably disassemble them and try to identify what’s going on internally. I didn’t do that with the first pair, especially after they admitted to a drilling issue in their production process.

Thanks for the input.


I’ve been using DMR V12’s on my Muni for about 6 months, as has Kington99 for a considerably longer period, and I haven’t noticed any looseness or rattling developing in them. I have to take them apart very regularly (every 2 or 3 rides) and clean a slurry of fine dust & grit mixed with grease from the spindle, regrease and reassemble, but thats more a side effect of the sandy-soil area where I typically ride, rather than the pedal itself. The fine powdery residue ends up on everything, and the university bikers have a particular problem with chainrings and brake discs getting covered in it and increasing wear.

The V12s are very easy to service, and are a very strong and capable pedal. They are at the more expensive end of the sealed-bearing range, but you get what you pay for, and mine should last me for a considerable period of time.


Not necessarily. My first pair of sealed pedals for my muni were Easton platform pedals. They’re about $90 US and well regarded in the MTB community as good pedals. The Easton’s have the same flawed bearing design as the Wellgo’s pictured by terrybigwheel. The bearings were a constant problem on those pedals and needed to be regularly replaced. Then one failed on me during a muni ride and the pedal body slid off the spindle. I stopped using those pedals at that point and looked for something better. That’s when I discovered the Atom Lab Aircorps and I was a happy camper again.

So expensive doesn’t always equal better. Even expensive pedals can use a flawed design. Muni is more abusive to pedals than mountain biking so any flaws in a pedal design are more evident during muni use than MTB use.

I purchased some sealed jimc’s about 2 months ago and in the last week one of the nuts holding the pedal body to the axle completely stripped, meaning that the axle could just slide in and out of the pedal body. I noticed that it was starting to happen to the other pedal too. NOT GOOD!
it started out just like loose-ball pedals that need adjustment, but soon got much worse.

I took the pedals back to the bike shop where i got them and they are in the process of ordering in new nuts for me (because they are not a standard size).

Im not sure if it was a one off problem or if it will happen again. i hope not.

Do you think i would be better off with unsealed pedals? Do they last longer with propper care and adjustment?



I think it’s a fluke. I have put many pairs of sealed jimc’s on unis and have a couple in operation on my own with many hundreds of miles and have had no problems at all.

where did luke get his pedals?
those square ones

I’ve got a set of Kona Jack Schitt (I think that was the model) sealed bearing pedals that I used to replace the stock Nimbus II pedals on my muni, and they’ve lasted with 0 problems for I don’t know how many hours and miles now.

The Snafu’s I have on my 2-month old trials are clunking though…