I bought a 36"er off eBay from JCP Corporation out of Miami. The new wheel was only $279 INCLUDING shipping. What better way to learn if I really would like a big wheel than starting out with a good deal?
It arrives. I assemble it. I take it to my back yard to try it out. I step down on the right crank to mount the new toy and… Wait… The crank moved without the wheel moving. Did that really happen?
I try it again. Yep.
I sit down, put the wheel in my lap, and torque the cranks with my arms. Yes, the wheel can move separately from the cranks. This is a problem.
I call JCP. They are very kind, very apologetic. We agree that I’ll try to fix it here first.
I TIG weld the flange to the axle. It holds. All is good.
Until…the left crank won’t stay tight. I travel everywhere with a socket wrench. I finally try LocTite and J. B. Weld. This holds for only 2 weeks. Aargh!
I call JCP. They agree to ship another wheel. I’ll return the old one in the shipping box. They will pay for shipping.
The new wheel arrives. I’m excited. I assemble it, step on the crank, and…
You guessed it - the crank moves a bit before the wheel.
Has anybody else had this problem with the Chinese 36" unis? If so, what?
I’m thinking of getting help from a bike store. Any thoughts?
I’ve considered getting a new hub, 100 mm bearing-to-bearing, 66 mm flange-to-flange, 36 hole. Any thoughts on replacing the hub?
I want to point out that the company has been VERY nice, very accommodating and very apologetic. They seem to be very sincere folks. It is just too bad that I have gotten two defective units.
This is my first time hearing about the Chinese-made 36ers. Do you have a link? Also, I’d love to see some pictures of it, both of the whole thing, and close-ups of the various components. Based on your experiences so far, I recommend returning the whole thing for a refund; it doesn’t sound like you’re going to end up with a viable unicycle at that rate.
Also I will note that JCP Corporation seem to have treated you very well, aside from having an apparently junky product. This could be their first time finding this out as well, if it’s a really new product.
I remember a discussion on here earlier in the year about these unicycles (at least i think it was these, i didnt try a search yet).
I don’t think anyone had bought one, but it was being discussed that if someone did buy, could they let the rest of us know if the products were any good.
The company are obiviously trying to fix the problem for you. The fact that they paid the return shipping says alot.
Personally i would try 1 more replacement, asking them if it is possible for them to check the uni before they send it.
If you get a working uni, fantastic.
If not, i would simply ask if a refund is possible. If the hub is causing problems/ not made correctly from the beginning and you replace that, you may have further problems in the future. It may just be easier to pay extra to get a better quality product.
This is what i would personally do. If the company are willing to fix the problem for you, i’d say let them fix it
I think you might have beat me out in the auction for your 36. Now, I’m glad I lost.
The JCP guy e-mailed me a few times letting me know that they are a legitimate company (from Spain) and are trying to get into the US market. Their idea was to sell a bunch of unicycles at cost to get the name out there and drum up more business. The 36 is brand spankin’ new to them, apparently.
The folks at JCP, the sellers of my two ill 36" unis, have been VERY understanding and honorable. They really are a legit company selling a new product. My adventures with them may just be a good way for Sebastian and his father to get the kinks worked out of this particular unicycle. I can recommend dealing with this company. I bet we’ll have this problem worked out quickly. Sebastian of JCP reports no problems with any other products.
Peripatet - how cool that you were the competition on the eBay bid. What did you end up getting?
This uni can be an economical way to see if you really want a 36"er. If I can get this fixed, I’ll either 1) ride it forever or 2) sell it at a minimal loss and then move up to a KH or Nimbus or Coker. When perfected, this really will be a good introductory 36"er, I think.
I already looked at unicycling.com for a replacement hub but didn’t find one that would fit the bearing spacing, the frame spacing, the needed number of holes and the flange diameter.
The problem MAY be a matter of physics, perhaps using the same hub that was used on 24"ers, though this 36"er puts 1.5 times the amount of torque on the hub.
Thanks for posting a photo. That is indeed my uni.
Who has some (intelligent) thoughts on KH vs. Nimbus vs. Coker? Is this another case of getting what you pay for? What are the tradeoffs?
I rode yesterday with a couple of local big wheelers. They noticed the slippage right away. One tried to mount my uni but couldn’t. The other didn’t want to try. I then took the uni to a local reputable bike store. He told me the obvious, “That’s not right.” But that was free. He also recommended a local machine shop.
Riding my crank-slipping uni is kind of tricky, the slip occurring when going from uphill to down hill, braking, or accelerating. I’m adapting but would, of course, rather be riding a healthy wheel.
The JCP guy actually offered to sell me a 36 (incl/ shipping) at something like $10 more than my max bid was. It was tempting, but in the end I opted to upgrade my 24" Muni and save the cash for a while.
Fast forward a few months to April and I got to ride a Coker V1 belonging to a very nice member of this forum. Two days later, I ordered my KH36.
Segway into my $0.02 on 36 inchers:
Nimbus: most common gripe is having a flexy frame; didn’t seem good for off road riding, to me. Aesthetics didn’t do anything for me, either.
Coker: Fine riding cycle. I was about 90% convinced I’d get a V1 after riding one. My reservations were: the button tread tire is noisy/vibrates a lot on the road; the fit/finish seemed adequate, but not awe-inspiring or overly durable; and I was going to need a KH seat. Didn’t really like the V brake, either, but that’s more a personal preference thing.
KH: bought 100% on reputation and recommendation of forum users. Excellent quality in every aspect. Noticeably smoother ride than the Coker, and the 2 hole cranks are reeaaaallly nice. To boot, the flat crown makes my one foot riding much easier (and hopefully gliding, one day). It’s a mileage machine and it’s equally at home on the pavement and rooty singletrack. My only reservation was spending $800 on a unicycle (and having to sell my giraffe so my wife wouldn’t kill me), but that went away as soon as I mounted the KH for the first time. Also, I knew I’d be putting many, many miles on it (on and off road), so putting down the $$$$ early for quality and (hopefully) trouble-free riding seemed worth it.
36 hole is standard
100mm bearing spacing is pretty standard.
Flange spacing can make a difference, and it is more dramatic as the wheel gets smaller.
Flange diameter can make a big difference in spoke length, what is your flange diameter?
On a coker wheel I don’t think a little difference in flange spacing will mean new spokes. 5mm is less than a quarter of an inch.
The original Cokers were made with off-the-shelf “unicycle hubs”, 36-spoke. Size doesn’t matter as long as the build is solid. I’m still riding my 2002 Coker and cranking out the road miles on its narrow hub. The Chinese hubs you’re describing may have a small defect, or a designed-in defect.
Not to say the old Coker hubs were not from China, they were probably from Taiwan. We’re at a place now where country of origin is not really a factor in quality. China makes everything from top-quality KH components (I think) to total crap.
The big thing with buying out of China instead of Taiwan is that you generally have to be very specific about what you are ordering. I remember when I was in korea they had a few examples of bulk ordered products of various quality levels, that looked apparently the same but upon close inspection you could tell which ones were the cheaper ones. Great example of you get what you pay for from them, but still everything worked, so sounds like someone made a few mistakes somewhere along the lines.
I have two nimbuses (nimbi?) nightrider 36ers. I find the frames very stiff. I assume you must be talking about the Nimbus Titan 36-style frames. Otherwise, perhaps bearings that aren’t quite the right size might result in an experience otherwise?
I just wanted to clarify before unknowing readers become mis-informed and start dirty rumors.
These slipping hubs are common on very cheap no name unicycles. If you are very lucky you might get one that holds up on a 20" for a small kid but for normal sized people and bigger wheels, they are useless and will break quickly. Good hubs are designed to avoid this problem. Personally, i’d send it back, as there are most likely going to be other less obvious things wrong with it, but otherwise you need a replacement hub and a wheel building.
After looking at the JCP web site, I have to concur with Feel The Light. With the amount of information provided, there is little to go on in terms of making a multi-hundred dollar decision. If someone wants to sell a product online, more information (and bigger or more detailed pictures) is needed. I recommend you pass this advice on to JCP with your request for a refund.
But whatever you do, we would still really appreciate it if you could take some detailed pictures of your 36-er so we can see what it’s all about. There may be some great bits to it, but from what little we know, it sounds like a cheap imitation of the stuff you can buy from the other vendors.
When in doubt, buy what the unicyclists ride. If you still can’t decide, buy what the unicyclists make. If you let price be your only guide, pitfalls like this are always a possibility…