The Death of a Unicycle

Back when I first started riding (3 months ago), I always wondered how my unicycle would go out. I was hoping that one day, I’d be riding down a 50% grade and I would have to bail right before the 500 ft (150 m) cliff. As the unicycle fell tumbling towards its death, it should burst into flames. That would be a truly heroic death.

Well, yesterday, when I put my foot on the pedal to mount on my very flat driveway, the pedal broke off. I thought, “Shoot, there goes my day”. (I’m a long way from one-footed tricks) Then, as I was sulking about the pedal, I noticed that my wheel was no longer straight. Looking down on the wheel, I could see some significant warping. All my 90+ degree turns must have bent the wheel. I guess I got what i paid for (ebay uni). This unicycle is totaled, right? Beyond repair?

Sounds like all you need a new hub, a new rim and a wheel re-build. The parts are readily available and you can do the build yourself if you are feeling brave.

A new unicycle is always nice though…

Hmm…probably going to cost more than the $65 that I paid for this unicycle. I believe a new unicycle is my next step. :smiley:

I wonder what the wife thinks of this idea. :frowning:

Re: The Death of a Unicycle

jdkimble.dcjjn@timelimit.unicyclist.com writes:
>
>Back when I first started riding (3 months ago), I always wondered how
>my unicycle would go out. I was hoping that one day, I’d be riding down
>a 50% grade and I would have to bail right before the 500 ft (150 m)
>cliff. As the unicycle fell tumbling towards its death, it should burst
>into flames. That would be a truly heroic death.
>
>Well, yesterday, when I put my foot on the pedal to mount on my very
>flat driveway, the pedal broke off. I thought, “Shoot, there goes my
>day”. (I’m a long way from one-footed tricks) Then, as I was sulking
>about the pedal, I noticed that my wheel was no longer straight.
>Looking down on the wheel, I could see some significant warping. All my
>90+ degree turns must have bent the wheel. I guess I got what i paid
>for (ebay uni). This unicycle is totaled, right? Beyond repair?
>

eBay doesn’t make unis, so we don’t know which brand you got. I’m guessing
Torker, which are sold a lot on eBay. Torkers are decent unis and would
generally NOT break as you’ve described. Perhaps it’s an older and less
common model by a defunct manufacturer. That could explain the problems.
Generally unicycles can take all sorts of abuse without having a pedal
BREAK off, tho if by ‘break’ you mean ‘fall,’ then it could just be a
simple repair (and maybe some goop that holds pedals on tight). And
un-trued wheels aren’t going to happen just because of too many turns
unless you are really straining the wheel, which is unlikely.

I had a Torker on which I jumped, rode fast, went up and down curbs, and
learned many new tricks. It was great. Then it got stolen. But I really
liked it and thought it was pretty well made for those purposes.

David

By “ebay uni”, I just meant a cheap uni. It is a lollypop bearing uni with a generic brand name. I believe they are made in taiwan and redistributed with many names. I have a Gravity Designs unicycle, but I’ve never heard this name before.

The pedal broke off. The long bolt on the inside of the pedal sheared in half and the whole thing fell into pieces, bearings and all. I do not do pedal grabs, non-standard mounts, hopping, or anything else that would be strenuous to the pedal. I’m just not that good yet. My guess is that it was just a cheap pedal.

As for the wheel, I have no idea. I assume my weight (200 lbs) combined with a cheap wheel equals “not good”. Other than the weight issue, I don’t know what bent this wheel. Your guess is as good as mine.

In the end, it doesn’t matter. I just know I don’t have anything to ride. :frowning:

Re: The Death of a Unicycle

jdkimble.dcmbm@timelimit.unicyclist.com writes:
>
>By “ebay uni”, I just meant a cheap uni. It is a lollypop bearing uni
>with a generic brand name. I believe they are made in taiwan and
>redistributed with many names. I have a Gravity Designs unicycle, but
>I’ve never heard this name before.
>
>The pedal broke off. The long bolt on the inside of the pedal sheared
>in half and the whole thing fell into pieces, bearings and all. I do
>not do pedal grabs, non-standard mounts, hopping, or anything else that
>would be strenuous to the pedal. I’m just not that good yet. My guess
>is that it was just a cheap pedal.
>
>As for the wheel, I have no idea. I assume my weight (200 lbs) combined
>with a cheap wheel equals “not good”. Other than the weight issue, I
>don’t know what bent this wheel. Your guess is as good as mine.
>
>In the end, it doesn’t matter. I just know I don’t have anything to
>ride. :frowning:

Apparently you got what you paid for, which is too bad. This new
description makes it clear that this was a substandard uni. I can’t recall
ever having a pedal shear off! Good thing you weren’t hurt. The 200 lbs
doesn’t help (I know from personal exp), but a good uni can take it.
Better luck with the next one. Holiday season is just around the corner!

David

Sounds like you only broke the pedal. Pedals are cheap! Plus it’s rare for decent ones to break. You keep them even when you change unicycles.

Your bent wheel could be simply out of true, or something mroe serious. The description doesn’t really say. You’re at the high end of the weight curve for your wheel, I’m sure, but it probably came poorly trued. A bike shop might be able to straighten it out fairly cheap. This will at least make it usable as a second-string ride, or for a kid you may know. The wheel may be a little weak for a guy your size, but properly trued and tensioned it might hold up for a long time.

I’m not a fan of lolipop-bearing cheapies. Eventually the bearing bolts are going to break your frame. So the time to start thinking about your next uni is now. But it may still have some life in it.

Good luck,

What part of Cincinnati do you ride in?

I’m moving to Miami Township from Milford. I have encountered only one other unicyclist in the 4 months that I have been riding in.

Josh-

You’re a big boy. A 20" wheel could take your weight better than a 24" wheel. I don’t know which you have. Spoke wrenches are cheap and this may be a good opportunity for you to try your hand at truing a cheap wheel. Sheldon Brown’s site is a good place to get info on wheel building and truing.

Thanks for your guys’ help. I might just try to true this wheel myself and see what happens. Good practice at least.

To Ground-Rider: I live on the border of Fairfield and Cincinnati, 12 miles north of downtown. There is a club here in Cincinnati that meets on Saturday mornings (10am at Winton Woods, for now). I’ve only been once, but they say they average 1-5 people a week. Here is their site: Cincinnati Unicyclists. If you’re going to go, send them an email to make sure they show up. :slight_smile:

From your more detailed description it sounds like you just need to ‘true’ your wheel and replace the pedal.

Darn… you nearly got a new uni.

(Best get a new one anyway, you can never have enough)