What should I buy?

Hi everyone, this is my first post here. I have some questions that hopefully you could all help me out with.

I’ve recently become very interested in unicycling. I purchased an old 24" Schwinn off of craigslist last weekend. I am not too sure about the terminology, but I think it has what is called cottered cranks. The cranks are attached with a “pin” that has a nut on the end of it. So, supposedly it is from 1970 or earlier. The poor thing is covered in rust, and still has the original tire which is all brittle cracked. It’s kind of scary to ride, actually.

Today, everytime I mounted (with the right pedal at the 6 position) the thing would make this clanking sound. I have no idea what it could be. I did notice that the right crank has much more of a gap between itself and the frame/hub than the left crank does. I can see a thin washer loose in the gap as well. I also know for sure that at least one of the spokes on the wheel is very loose.

At any rate, I’ve been putting in around half an hour or so of practice a day. Usually after work, late at night. I’ve had about 5 or so of these practice sessions, and I seems to have gotten the hang of it fairly quickly.

At first just getting on, even with the aid of a wall, was very difficult. But I have graduated to riding wall free. I have been able to go about a block and a half, and I can even turn the sharp corners on the sidewalk. I am having a lot of trouble freemounting, so I am using a walking cane to help myself mount. Once I am rolling I can toss the cane. I am very pleased and surprised with my seemingly rapid progress. Every practice session is better than the last. But it’s still extremely exhausting, which I think has to do with the fact that I am “tense” when riding. Today though I loosened up a bit, was placing most of my weight on the seat, and trying to ride with the proper posture and forwards lean.

Anyway, I am thinking that I might want to get my hands on a newer,safer, and nicer uni. I really love the flat bladed design of the Schwinn and am considering getting a new one from unicycle.com. Actually, I am pretty set on it. After reading around the forums a little though, I can expect that most of you wouldn’t recommend it. I don’t aspire to ride my uni down mountains or attempt any tricks or anything. I just want to roll around town the same way I would on my bicycle (more or less).

So what are your suggestions? Should I stay with the current uni? Get a new one? What would you recommend for me to get? :thinking:

I’d suggest you use the search function. Search for terms such as “first uni” “beginner uni” or even “what should i buy” or “what should i get”.

Threads just like yours have appeared about once a week since the beginning of time. The answers are already here. You just gotta look for 'em.

Welcome and good luck!

I don’t see why you would want a new Shwin

It is rusty but trusty. Tap the spokes with something and if they sound real flat-loose, tighten them by turning the nipple counter clockwise.

At your skill level, it sounds like what you need is a new tire and a new seat. Never underestimate how much better an old uni with a great seat, can be over something newer with a mediocre seat. Seat comfort is a serious part of the sport.:slight_smile:

Most important is to check the pedal-seat front to back orientation of the uni. The pedal on the right should screw in clockwise, and the one on the left counterclockwise. Get this wrong and you can post the 654 th post asking why my left pedal fell out (it will unscrew if you have the cranks on the wrong sides, which will happen also if the seat is facing backwards.

I would strongly suggest buying this KH seat, and a new tire from the same place. That will set you up good first class as a learner. Then maybe later buy another uni. Remember, money on an excellent seat is never wasted, as you can move seats easily to another ride if your rusty Shwin collapses, although I bet it will last fine.


Your uni has cottered cranks. These don’t really suck, for basic street riding and learning, however, they are old tech. UDC has them cheap if you need a spare, but they should be fine.

Odessey twisted PC pedals are 12 $/ pr and are the best if you need new pedals. A lot of great riders like them, and they are unbeatable for such a low price. Metal pedals can give worse scratches in mishaps.

So a new seat, tire, and PC pedals, tweek a few spokes, and that should be a great starter uni.