Trouble with Torker Unicycle

I have a Torker CX (I think its CX) 24" unicycle. Today I went out riding along the bike path. Halfways through, the left crank arm (is that what its called? the metal connecting the pedal to the hub?) just fell off. I had to walk a mile home, carrying my poor maimed uni. :frowning:

I’ve had this unicycle for 9 months. Its my first and only one. From the begining I’ve had trouble with the tire going flat and have been unable to inflate it past 35 PSI (recommended is 40). Three weeks ago I had trouble with the tire again, and Dad tightened all the screws while he worked on it.

What we think happened today was the the crank arm’s nut unscrewed. My brother tried tightening it, but the pedals will not go on straight. He thinks that the metal somehow got twisted. (Dad hasn’t looked at it yet, though).

Mom thinks that this is inherent in the design of a unicycle. I’m not so sure. I don’t think unicycles are designed to fall apart halfways through a ride! :stuck_out_tongue:

I have not done anything that would hurt the unicycle. I’ve ridden it up and down the steep hills near our house. I can jump on it, but I’ve only done it a couple times and no more than 3 or 4 inches high. I’ve tried idling and riding backwards, but only a little bit and with no results.

My uni did not come with a booklet telling you how to care for it. Is there something I missed? Or is something wrong with my unicycle?

my first uni completely fell apart as well. it just happens. it sounds like you might have crossthreaded the pedals and possibly the crank nuts (yes there called cranks). Most non-learner unicycles dont just fall apart. Try pulling the crank off and looking at where the nut goes on. if it looks beat up and the threads arent fully there then it moght have benn crossthreaded and the nut might keep falling off. might be time for an upgrade…

Actually its a 20". Ooops. :stuck_out_tongue: Mine looks just like this: http://www.jugglingstore.com/store/detail.aspx?ID=494

Hmm. I don’t know much about unicycles, but I thought that Torker was a good brand.

your cranks fell off just cause the bolts loosened and you didn’t notice.

bolts loosening are common, try some locktite, and they should be fine.

but if your pedals are not goin on straight they’re probably stripped… make sure you’re turning the left one left to tighten.

torkers good…but the cx is the low end uni, lx is better and dx is bombproof

This is what I thought until my LX hub got bent. Torker CX or LX unicycles are definitely not a good long-term investment.

I think it’s time for you to get a quality new unicycle like Nimbus or KH :slight_smile:

Square-taper cranks, such as those on your Torker, need to be kept tight; if they start to loosen, the metal of the crank or the hub will get deformed, resulting in a situation where the crank is impossible to position and tighten properly.

If you’re lucky, you just messed up the crank, and you can replace it. If you messed up the hub taper, it’s probably not worth fixing.

The Torker CX is an acceptable starter unicycle, but most starter unicycles are designed with the fact that most buyers never actually ride them in mind.

A Torker CX will last a long, long time if you take proper care of it and don’t hop with it. The second a crank starts to loosen, you must stop riding and deal with it immediately or else the square tapered hub will be deformed and therefore ruined. Once it is ruined, the unicycle is then a parts unicycle. That’s because to fix it, you’d have to replace the hub. To replace that cheap part (if they sell it) you’d have to take the wheel apart, including the spokes, in order to replace the hub. In other words, you need to rebuild the wheel. That is a lot of time to put into a unicycle that can be replaced altogether for about $100.

I learned how to ride competently, idle very well, and ride backwards well on a Torker CX. I made the mistake of riding with a loose crank and turned my CX into a parts unicycle. I liked the CX so much however that I quickly found a used one just like it as a replacement. I like it because it rides very nice for freestyle type riding and is dirt cheap for the quality you get.

I wish someone told me this BEFORE it fell off! I think it should be mandatory for all booklets that come with unicycles to say this. (Although mine had no instructions, etc-- just "screw the peices together and ride.)

I’m really hoping that the hub is not deformed. I can’t afford to buy a new one-- $100 is alot for a teen without a job. :slight_smile: Also I am not advanced enough in unicycling to justify buying a new one.

If it does turn out that I deformed the hub… can I screw the nut back on as well as I can and just ride it like that? Not ideal, particularly if the cranks don’t line up, but I think I could still ride it. Would that increase the damage? If not, well, I’ve been riding it with a slightly twisted crank arm all along, so if the damage does not increase it shouldn’t matter.

If the hub’s taper is deformed, then yes, you can put it back together and try to ride it, but it will loosen very frequently. Unless the squares on both the hub and crank are actually square, the crank will wiggle as you ride no matter how tight the nut is. This wiggling will unscrew the nut, and also further damage the hub.

My first uni lasted about 2 months after my right crank started coming loose. I carried around the wrench with me and had to re-screw it in all the time until it wasn’t rideable. You might get some more use out of it, but its days are numbered.

If you think it’s a manufacturing defect please contact Torker. In my experience they have been very good about standing behind their products.

Having said that, the CX is a great learner uni but not ready for prime time beyond that. The LX is more durable and ok for freestyle but not not meant for jumping. It’s really easy to push their limits when you start getting the itch to try something snazzy.

Well, I’m still in learning mode. I haven’t progressed beyond riding forward and tiny hops. The farthest I have ridden is 2 miles.

We tightened the nut today, and I went out for a half mile ride. Halfways through, I felt the pedal start to wiggle. I got off and the nut was gone. (The plastic cover over the nut had snapped when my brother tried to take it off). That’s after less than 10 minutes of riding. Until yesterday I had had no problems.

I haven’t been tightening the nut every time I ride-- I think I’ve tightening it three times since I got the unicycle, and I haven’t ridden that much.

Well, now that the nut is lost there’s no use trying to fix it until Dad makes it out to the hardware store.

I really, really hope that I didn’t break it. Like I said-- I can’t afford a new unicycle. I’m saving up for both a laptop and a Nimbus… but don’t have a job, not even babysitting.

I have had a previous issue with the unicycle (the tire deflating the day after I got it, before I could even ride). If Dad doesn’t have a magical fix, should we try contacting Torker?

My first unicycle had square taper cranks. The nut on one side seemed to fall out pretty randomly, but I always managed to find it so I guess I was lucky in that respect. Eventually I put some Loctite threadlocker on the crank bolts. You can get it from most hardware places or online, it looks like this:

(Illustration only - I’m not sure if “243” is the right type to get. Perhaps someone else will chip in and help you out with that, but the bottle will look the same.)

Anyway, I still ride that uni occasionally and haven’t had any issues with the bolts coming out since. This is a cheap Chinese ebay uni too, not a Torker. I think if you threadlock it everything should be OK for a good while yet. I appreciate that it’s not always possible to just go out and buy a brand new uni! :smiley:

Edit: The tyre deflating could be an issue with the valve in the innertube, or it may be that the tube got pinched between the tyre and the rim and has a slow puncture somewhere.

Do not use red Loctite. You want to use blue Loctite or Permatex. Red is for things you don’t want to take apart again. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thread-locking_fluid) If you put a drop of blue Loctite or Permatex and properly tighten the bolt before you ride again, you should be OK for quite a while. I had this problem on a bike eight years ago, added Permatex, and it has been fine ever since. You just have to remember to clean all the contact surfaces really well before you put it together. Otherwise the grit will prevent the Loctite from working and will grind down the the taper surfaces. The crank bolt needs to be much tighter than you’d think. Torker doesn’t say, but on bikes, it is in the 30 to 50 N-m (280-390 inch-pounds) range.

You shouldn’t need thread locker on a new unicycle, but I put blue Permatex on the bolts when I bought my unicycle (Torker AX24) anyway. I haven’t had any problems with it yet.

New Problem

Thanks everyone! That was really helpful.

I’m reviving this thread cause I’m not sure my question is worth a whole new thread. :stuck_out_tongue:

Same uni, different problem. My dad managed to mostly correct the crank issue and it works fine as long as I tighten the torque every few rides (which I gather I should have been doing all along).

However, I still feel a strange wobblieness in the pedals. I’m pretty sure its the pedals and not the crank arm. Its not very bad, but I thought I’d ask before I do some irreparable damage. Basically when I ride it, it feels as though the pedals are ever. so. slightly. bouncing. in a way that just doesn’t feel right. :stuck_out_tongue: I’ve still got the original plastic pedals in it, btw. Now, I am overweight so its possible that I bent the plastic-- I can’t see any bends in it, though.

retighten the pedals where the go into the crank. if you try this and it never gets tight, and you just keep wrenching away, then you have stripped cranks. it happened to me–easy fix. just buy new cranks on amazon, in the same size.

If the crank or axel is slightly bent the axis of the pedal may not be parallel to the wheel axel. In that case the there would be a bit of a wobble at the pedal.

If this is the problem you could replace the crank or the pedal depending on what is bent. If the wheel axel is bent it probably makes no sense to replace it. If the effect is small you might just ignore it until you get used to it.

Scott

+1

I had this problem on my cheap uni. Not the end of the world, just annoying.

does it feel bent or loose? The pedal should not be coming loose in the crank but the pedal body may be coming loose on the spindle.

to check if the pedal is getting loose on the spindle you can set the unicycle on its side and push and pull the pedal along its axis, then wiggle side to side, if there is play in the pedal you should be able to feel it in this way.

not sure what pedals you have but you may be able to tighten the bearings inside if they do have play. It is a really finicky adjustment though and may not be worth it on cheep pedals.