Strange policy at UDC - US

I talked to them today and inquired about upgrading to Venture cranks over the standard Qu-Ax on a freestyle uni and was told that the only option was to buy them outright.

I find this strange in that I can upgrade via web-form to Moments for an additional $53 instead of the full price of $80. A credit of $27 dollars for the Qu-Ax cranks.

Part of it is style, I like the idea of the dark cranks.

It’s their store and they can do what they want but it seems strange to me since I would upgrade for the price difference but I’m not going to buy Ventures for full pop until I bend the Qu-Ax. I’m a novice rider and who knows I may never bend Qu-Ax and they are going to give before the ISIS axle.

I just find the policy strange given that I’m allowed to bump all the way ‘up’ to Moments, but not the mid-point Ventures.

Maybe for the small price difference they don’t want to have to uninstall/install the cranks, maybe they have some agreement with KH.

$55 for the ventures is not a lot of money but I’m not working right now and need to watch every penny. I’m not going to lose sleep over this, but found the policy strange especially for a house brand product.

I admit that I do not know how UDC-US operates. It is possible they buy the Qu-Ax as a full unicycle, and if they break it up they end up with some Qu-Ax cranks that have little resale potential. On the other hand, if they switch out some Moment cranks they can easily sell them later. You cannot expect them to eat the price of the Qu-Ax cranks if there isn’t a market for them.

Call them and ask.


I agree that it is very strange for to not want to change the cranks to your preference. Seems like someone on the phone was too lazy to make it happen rather than store policy.

Somehow whatever is on the site is never good enough to me and I always want to change things around, even if it is the length of cranks. It might be a hassle for whoever packs the unicycle, but in my opinion it is valuable to the customer to be able to choose what they want and not be stuck with something extra they could have upgraded to begin with. Tony said I might have to put the cranks on myself but at least in NZ they seem flexible with crank choices that aren’t listed.

Qu-ax ISIS cranks- $24
KH ISIS cranks - $80
Difference - $56
Upgrade price - $53

Qu-ax ISIS cranks-$24
Nimbus Venture ISIS cranks- $55
Difference - $31
Theoretical upgrade price - <$30

I wouldn’t take no for an answer- demand a custom crank upgrade!

The Qu-ax ISIS, Nimbus Venture ISIS, and KH Moment ISIS cranks are all sold seperately. The same pair of Qu-ax cranks will be left over regardless of which upgrade option the customer chooses so that can’t be a reason not to sell ventures.
It sounds like calling and asking is what got the answer “no”. It would be interesting to hear a good reason why there is product discrimination.

Even if it costs you a little extra money you should be able to choose what you want. Good luck getting your custom order sorted!

It get’s stranger…

My first unicycle from them was as stock 24" nimbus II except for picking crank length. But from talking to them about he 24" purchase and from reading here there has always seemed a willingness to swap components to get you what you want…hence my surprise at the rejection of a simple upgrade while an upgrade to the Moments is possible.

I just checked and there is no option to upgrade the seat on the Nimbus II 20" freestyle. I had planed to upgrade to a KH seat but now I wonder… Nimbus II 24" has no seat choice either. Nimbus X 20" Freestyle only lets you choose seat color. Wonder why no seat color choice on Nimbus II in either 20" or 24" but its available on the X??? And no choice to upgrade to KH seats on the web. There used to be seat choices on the club but no longer…

Makes me wonder about choosing tires that are not in the pull down list.

Hopefully UDC will be along to clarify their current ‘upgrade’ policy.

Product discrimination is too harsh a term, you think?

If the profit on a pair of substitute cranks is more than the cost of a pair of stock cranks, even if there’s no demand on the pair of stocks, it’s still a net profit regardless of the fate of the stock cranks. If the cost is less, you’re offering a value-added customization service and you’re making a loss.

If UDC has excess old stock of Moments to clear off, the upgrade might just be a limited time promotion.

Those are conjectures of course and probably aren’t true but they are valid. Did they offer a reason in the call?

Mumbled something about it “not being worth it”. I didn’t push it because it was a call for information, not to purchase and this is not a deal breaker for me. So I moved on to my next questions. It wasn’t till after the call that I thought to check if they still offered the upgrade to the Moments on the Web and I become curious why upgrade to Moments but not Ventures.

I’ve never seen them not offer Moments as an upgrade on the web, but it doesn’t seem like they offer Ventures as an upgrade on any Uni. They come standard and the Moments are the upgrades.

My best guess is that they don’t want to cannibalize upgrades to Moments. If you want to purchase Ventures, fine, but not as an upgrade with a price allowance for the standard crank.

Stuff like that happens in the retail channel.

Nimbus Street X comes standard with Ventures but no upgrade to Moments offered on the web ordering page.

Nimbus Standard Trials comes with Ventures and does allow upgrade to Moments.

something similar happened to me and it really makes me sick. kinda makes it seem like udc is just turning shady and will do anything for the extra buck nowadays.

before they updated their site, and only had one nimbus signature trials, i emailed them about getting that particular nimbus upgraded with moment cranks.

“oh, no we can’t do that, you’ll have to order the kh cranks additionally”

1 month later…

there’s like 10 different nimbus signatures, ALL UPGRADEABLE WITH KH CRANKS.

really pissed me off. I would have got the damn kh cranks. Instead I just ordered the uni with the ventures…and now the ventures are just sitting there. I will never use them. 125mm, i don’t even like that length, and they’re not even strong enough.

why sell a trials cycle like that? one designed for hardcore trials use…but, oh the cranks suck.

so don’t be surprised if in a month the quax is avail with ventures.

actually, this has motivated me now, thank you…

i got so fired up writing this, that i’m emailing udc complaining. i won’t get get anything out of it, but damn i’m mad.

UDC Canada may be the solution

I’ve been starting to look at getting a new 24 for my son, also interested in Ventures rather than Qu-Ax cranks, and was wondering why they’re not listed as an upgrade option.

A quick look on the UDC Canada page indicates that Ventures are a standard option there (at least on some uni’s - I didn’t check the whole web site).

Perhaps pointing this out to UDC-US will get them to be more reasonable. And if not, even with extra shipping, it may be cheaper to order from UDC Canada with the options you want, rather than having to buy replacement parts.

I don’t think they read their emails I have emailed twice in the last three days and no answer.

It sure seems like they are trying to limit upgrades. I call them upgrades because you pay more for the higher quality component.

Economy is probably causing them to try to streamline operations, and/or move towards off-the-shelf or buying part by part which runs the price up quick.

They wouldn’t let you upgrade to moments, I couldn’t upgrade to ventures, and fewer choices in seats (at least going by what is shown on the web).

I’m calling them in a few minutes (as soon as this coffee I’m drinking kicks in) and ask them for some explanation of what is and isn’t upgradeable.

I don’t think it is too harsh a term.

Moments are excessive on a freestyle unicycle- the person on the phone should know that because

The customer prefers the colour black- and moments do not come in black, so adding weight and not changing colour is not an upgrade it’s an expense to make it worse. Also- who would want an old pair of moments when they know that new ones that are lighter are available? Are these old moments or the new drilled ones? Adding rotational weight to a freestyle unicycle seems silly- the person on the phone should have suggested you get a trials tire and a KH Touring handle too to make your pirouettes tighter with that kind of logic. The dropdown menu is at fault- it should offer venture upgrade for freestyle!

I think customer service needs to be consistent. If a lot of people are made happy by being sold what they want, then other people should not be denied the choice arbitrarily. Thank you very much NZ for setting a good example- although you do have a lot less customers to please than USA so they have a tougher job.

It’s understandable to become frustrated, but let’s be fair.
Unicycles and accessories are an extremely niche market - UDC isn’t McDonalds or Starbucks or Dell or Amazon.
Any retail business survives on volume - it buys the highest quantity of items it thinks it can realistically sell from a manufacturer (or intermediate wholesaler) at wholesale price, then resells the items in smaller quantities at a slightly higher per-item price.
A retailer will often offer package deals, like the nimbus signature trials unicycle, because it estimates that the package will be attractive enough to enough people that it will be able to purchase a larger-than-normal block of parts, thereby getting a lower wholesale rate and being able to sell a large number of the packages at a lower (than per-part) price while retaining its profit margin.
When doing this, a retailer cannot feasibly order a large bulk of every conceivable part variation - the more popular ones would sell out quickly, leaving it with a warehouse full of unwanted parts. Additionally, each less-popular variation will “steal” sales from the more popular variations, which may reduce the number sold enough to increase the per-unit price.
All of this stuff has to be figured out by businesses before they begin selling things. When done right, it involves a lot of analysis of past sales, market research, and trend tracking. When done wrong (seemingly a depressing majority of the time), it involves a lot of wild guessing, gut feelings, and petty office politics.

I guess the point I’m failing to make here is that there are generally a lot of considerations beyond “what stuff do I have available right this second” that have to do with keeping the doors open. Many (most?) companies are avid to screw people over for an extra dollar of profit, but it isn’t reasonable to assume that one is doing so by failing to accommodate your every whim.

You should actually be ecstatic about that. It means that UDC is paying attention to what you and others want, and actively trying to accommodate those wishes.

They’ve been pretty responsive with me via email, both for questions and problems. Probably a phone call will be more difficult for them to put off. :wink:

Note: I am in no way affiliated with - I just felt that the comments were, on balance, unbalanced.

Remember they just launched the new web site, and it still has some rough edges. Don’t assume the site is 100% accurate (now or otherwise); best to call to confirm things. When you get answers, ask if it’s a policy or something temporary, possibly due to stock on hand or not wanting to accumulate too much of certain parts.

If that is how you perceive UDC you really should shop elsewhere.

The arrival of a container can make big changes in what’s available…

Not frustrated, confused, and I have limited opportunity to call them because of my sleeping hours and I have not gotten answers to my emails. Both of which included the simple questions, how much to upgrade to Ventures and how wide a tire can I put on the 20" nimbus II.

The guy I got on the phone sounded like he was guessing. How hard is it to know what width tire will fit on your house brand uni? for $40(guessing) and 5-7 days of shipping I want to know for sure.

At this point I don’t even ‘need’ Ventures I just thought for ~$25 dollars extra they would be a nice upgrade (probably last me forever) and I like the dark color. But I am not interested in buying ‘spares’.

I hope I don’t come off as bashing UDC. I fully understand the necessities/realities of ‘retail’ sales. Customer service vs profit will always be a balancing act.

I agree that Unicycles are a niche product, but in some ways it works the other way. I am not buying a Torker on Amazon, I am shopping at the premier full price shop for UNI’s. And god love em for being there.

Changes were always allowed on the web site and some changes still are but not as many as before and me and DSchmitt were denied upgrades while other upgrades are allowed??? He couldn’t get Moments, but I can on the Nimbus II??? Not seeing the rhyme or reason to that.

For instance I don’t see the option to specify seat clamp or colors of seat clamps any longer. Not quite sure when that dropped off the web but it used to be there on uni’s I was window shopping for.

This ‘confusion’ is making me think to just buy the stock $215 dollar uni, specify the 125s and call it good. UDC gets a $215 dollar sale instead of ~$300 dollar sale.

It would be nice if they stop in on this thread and make their policy clear on choosing cranks/seats/tires/clamps, via Web and on the Phone.

I got busy today and lost the chance to call them.

The above is going to be my last post on this topic. Without UDC’s participation its getting to be a pointless thread. There has been enough bickering about UDC threads and that was not my point in posting. My intent was to express my confusion at what seems to be an inconsistent policy of what upgrades are and aren’t allowed. I was hoping that UDC - USA might jump in to explain.

I can’t speak for UDC in the US but I can tell you that some of the crank upgrades we do in NZ actually cost us money.

To change a crankset requires cutting open the box strapping, opening the box, removing the wheelset, extracting cranks, mounting new cranks, carefully repackaging all the material and then taping/restrapping the box.

All of this takes time (which costs money in terms of staff wages).

Added to this is often the added cost of having to write off stock. If people break their cranks they are unlikely to spring for the exact same crankset, they’ll go for the next level up. If the crank you are removing is unlikely to sell and you are only charging the difference in crank price, you will have no way of ever recover the rest of the money you would have made selling the better crank individually.

The US has relatively high wage costs so this may mean that a venture upgrade costs them money whereas a moment upgrade may break even or make a small profit. It is a good idea to keep your customers happy but if you consistently lose money on selling products you eventually go out of business and have no customers at all!

Also note that circumstances can and do change (and as the customer you may not know the reason behind the change). For example if a company has a large surplus of KH moments but are nearly out of Ventures, they are probably going to be ok with doing a crank upgrade on moments but perhaps not ventures. This all assumes that they have the manpower to do the work. During December sales often sky rocket, meaning it is all staff can do to get stuff out the door, let alone answer emails and do custom upgrades. Sad but true.

I have had nothing but smiles, helpful tips, and multiple discounts from UDC. They are NOT in it for the extra buck, and if you talk to them, they’ll explain why they do things the way they do. From what I’ve seen, they know that they have a limited consumer base, and they’re very lenient on prices. They want you to come back.

If they are selling something a certain way, it is for a reason. You are more than welcome to buy all the parts individually for a unicycle, but it’ll cost you. Is it so bad that you have a backup set of cranks? is it so bad that you spend an extra 60-80 bucks on top of a 350 dollar unicycle? Yes, people struggle with expenses, but so do businesses. I think people are getting upset because they can’t get the exact deal they’re looking for, and it’s just impossible to do that sometimes. If you go to a bike shop and buy a madone, but want sram red cranks on it with everything else shimano, you’re more than likely going to have to buy it separate, I don’t see why this would be any different.


yes, yes it is bad. like i said, it’s not a backup set. I can’t even use them, they’re too weak. and yes, it is bad having to spend an additional $80
after spending 350. i’d like to save as much as possible…

3 weeks ago the signature was not available with kh cranks, AND i had checked to see if kh cranks were finally in stock(because they hadn’t been in a while) and they were.

it just doesn’t make sense at all. all the other nimbus trials are available with the upgrade. it’d be different if ALL of the nimbus unis just came with ventures, hands down, that’s it.

also…the signature is $310. ventures are 53$. kh are 80$…so they’d take off the ventures…310-53 = $257…add $80 for kh cranks. that should be $337. but the upgrade costs $363. so $26 extra for nothing. that can make up for the cutting open the box/less than 5 mins of labor of switching cranks.

if they were going to wind up with some excess amount of ventures, they probably wouldn’t offer any of the nimbuses with the upgrade.

if this was like a year later i’d understand. but it’s been 2-3 weeks. I should be entitled to the upgrade.

it’s just like when places offer a deal like…you buy something, and if it goes on sale in 1 month, then you are entitled to a refund to match the sale price. and again, they weren’t short on kh cranks.

I’ve never been to a place like that. Sounds unheard of. In my opinion if they knew they should have let you know that cranks are coming in 2-3 weeks and you could have decided to wait or get the other ones. The price you pay is the price you agree upon on the day not the sale price weeks later, unless you are on some sort of payment plan and then it would depend on the contract whether the price could change.

You seem to be ignoring the fact that are offering crank upgrades so they are willing to pay their workers to open the box and replace the cranks, and that he is ordering a Freestyle Unicycle not a tractor so moments are too much. It seems to be a simple mistake on the new website and one that could be easily fixed without getting defensive about’s reputation. Sure people at make mistakes- by saying there is no mistake and not admitting it then I think that is a mistake! Would you want moment cranks on your freestyle uni Peter? (you probably would since you are big and heavy and bent Tony’s cranks).

I think John Foss is affiliated with UDC USA somehow so his words seemed to be on their behalf (I could be mistaken).

Excuses! I agree it’s probably a problem with the rough edges on the website, but this was a phone call already trying to sort out the problem. Who rides with Moments on their freestyle uni? Do you John?

My most recent order at has an Axis 24" unicycle with a Nimbus II frame upgrade to get the square crown and a 24" hookworm tire and 127mm cranks instead of 150s. This is to emulate the product they used to have but now they only have ISIS 24"s. None of the upgrades were available on the website as dropdowns but over the phone it got sorted out, and for the effort I am most grateful. It is that service that keeps me coming back- getting what I ask for! Hopefully my next order will be less complicated.

I like the feeling of unicyclists working to help unicyclists get riding which is how I am sold the image of I don’t want to hear nit picking about the cost of changing cranks- just change the cranks and get out riding! Incorporate the labour cost of changing cranks with the total price if you must…

I’m not about to open my own unicycle store and do it any better. I endorse products and love most of what they do- I just wish everyone could have as good a customer relationship with them as I do and get what they want.

Now where on earth am I going to get a 650x23c racing Qu-ax unicycle? One was supposed to arrive today for me but I was sadly disappointed. I’m frustrated at the Bike shop policy for telling me I would get it and then alas no luck. Waiting for months then “oh it doesn’t seem like they packed it”. Next time I should go to not a bike shop!!!

Never heard of that and they didn’t offer that so you are not entitled to anything.

Get over it.

Edit: I have ordered from UDC US a few times. had a couple minor problems but they were all sorted out in a timely fashion. I was especially impressed with their warranty policies. I do everything through a local shop and the Canadian UDC now, not because of anything wrong with UDC US but because the guys i deal with now are even more awesome.