Wheel on my new KH29

I just learned to ride. I started with a 24" which felt a bit slow as soon as I was able to ride a few kilometers.
I set a goal to buy a new KH29" as soon as I could freemount. This didn’t happen. I bought the KH29 before the freemounting :slight_smile:

Anyway, I took the thing for a ride about 5 km.
What a great monster! Much more comfortable and faster than my 24".

While riding I could hear the brake make a ssh sound every stroke, just as if I would have pressed the brake slightly. If I spun the wheel without sitting on the unicycle, there was no sound. I don’t think that the brake is too tight since I can press the lever quite a bit before it starts to brake and make the ssh sound.
Any ideas about this one?

I felt that I waned to have a bit more pressure in the tire. It felt a bit too soft and bouncy while riding on asphalt. I came home and pumped the tire a bit. Unfortunately I don’t have a gauge on the pump so I am not sure about the pressure. The pressure felt ok though pushing the tire with my finger.
I removed the pump from the valve. BOOM!
Five seconds later three of my neighbors come rushing and wondering what happened.
I was standing beside my unicycle, pump in hand still chocked ears ringing.
The tire had come loose and the inner tube was in shreds.

While removing the wheel to replace the inner tube, I noticed that several spokes were so loose that I could move them easily more than 5 mm sideways. Those spokes have a completely different sound than the rest. I was able to tighten the nipple on the loose spokes several turns with my fingers.
Is this normal on a new wheel on a new KH29"?
How should I tighten the spokes or should I do something else?

You had some bad luck with your new Uni :astonished:

A while ago I also blew up an inner tube on my 26 Muni whilst inflating it. It was quite an old tube so not sure if it was that or just me being a bit too enthusiastic. Since then I always make sure I don’t over do it :roll_eyes:

For what I’ve read on these forums sometimes the spokes in a Brand new Wheel unicycles might need adjusting/truing etc… So far I’ve never had that problem with the Unis I’ve bought.

I am rubbish at adjusting spokes/ truing wheels: when I get a broken spoke I usually replace it myself and tighten it as much as can without over doing it. In theory you should adjust the spokes/true the wheel properly afterwards but I’ve given up doing that a long time ago: the few times I tried I made it worse (I don’t think I’ve got the patience to do it).

Where did you buy it from?

It can definitely happen, I’ve had a few new uni’s come with loose spokes and nuts. Luckily there aren’t too many of them to check, but at the same time, I think the dealers could do a much better job of making sure the uni is setup correctly before it goes out the door. When you buy a new bike it goes to the mechanic before you get to take it home.

If you can take it to a bike shop they should be able to get you going pretty quick.

Sorry this happened, it is a bummer when you buy something like that and it doesn’t work correctly.

You just exploded an inner tube on that rim, I would tend to blame the loose spokes on that, not the manufacturer. I’ve seen flanges of rims bend and sheared of (on a steel rim) from overinflation, I wouldn’t doubt that it could knock a few spokes loose. Just tighten the spokes with a spoke wrench, until they feel like the rest, and you’ll be fine.

I talked to the salesman that I bought the bike from. He is very service oriented and I have only good things to say about him and his business.
The bike came in a box from the manufacturer and I didn’t check the spoke tension before taking it on a ride. The salesperson speculated in that the explosion made the spokes loose.
I think that the spokes were loose first and contributed to the tube exploding. The inner tube opened up on the exact same spot where there were the most very loose spokes. What I find odd is that all spokes on the wheel were too loose, not only the few that were very loose.

I tightened all spokes and will attempt to true the wheel myself.
The wheel wobbles only slightly sideways, which I should be able to correct.
I know where I can get help in case I fail.

I see this unicycling adventure as a great learning opportunity. Today I have learned not to overinflate and a lot about spokes and how to true cycle wheels. (How did people manage before youtube and the internet?).

Generally, it’s better to do it the other way around: true the wheel first, and then tighten every spoke half a turn or whatever. There aren’t many hard and fast rules, though. Truing wheels is highly subjective - almost an art. Maybe if you have some spokes that are extremely loose, you could just tighten them first, but my experience has been that new wheels are usually nice and straight. They usually need tightening, and this will become obvious sooner or later, but if you can do the tightening before the wheel starts to go out of true, everything will be much easier. When a straight wheel is brought up to tension, a lot of very loose spokes will suddenly not be loose anymore.

Once your wheel is trued, if you think it needs to be tightened, this post gives an excellent method for tightening a straight wheel.

Thanks for the tips. The last post was very helpful.
I think that I’m fairly happy with the result now. The wheel is more straight and spokes are not loose.
I’m at the stage now where I might start to overthink the problem.
How important is it for the wheel to be perfectly true?
I don’t have a stand for trueing wheels. I don’t have a tool to measure the tension on the spokes. I don’t have experience. The wheel goes less than one millimeter sideways on two places. No movements up or down.

If you are running a diskbrake (or no brake), that is more than true enough. I personally tend to go for even spoke tension much more than a wheel that is runnig true. I recommend checking the spoke tension by feel in comparison to another wheel (of a bicycle for example), that will let you know if you are in the general ballpark of a good tension. It’s not exactly rocket science, the window of spoke tension you can run without issues is relatively large.

It’s good practice to go back and check spokes once in a while, I usually do it every 5 or 6 rides, but my wheel gets abused more than most. Every half a year should be more than enough if you are just riding. I experimented around a lot to find a good spoke tension, too much tension and you will snap spokes/ have them loosen in one place a lot, too little and the whole wheel will lose tension relatively quick.

I have never had a truing stand or tensionometer either. I do have a guitar tuner, but have never found it necessary for truing wheels. If your 29" wheel only goes less than one millimeter sideways in two places, then it is straight enough, or at least it would be for me! Remember, no matter how fast you pedal, a unicycle wheel does not spin nearly as fast as the wheel of a car, a motorcycle or even a bicycle!

By the way, in the post I linked to above, I said that my spokes were snapping once every few weeks because they were too loose, but in fact, as I learned later, it was more because I had re-used them when I rebuilt my wheel, and I had not paid any attention to which ones had originally been leading spokes and which ones trailing spokes and so on. A loose spoke is something to watch out for, but in an otherwise healthy wheel, it is not a huge problem.

A stand isn’t necessary for any wheel work, it just makes it a little faster. I built wheels for 20 years before I got a tension meter. I learned to do it by feel, and on any traditional 32+ spoke wheel that is a fine way to go. Things get more particular with low spoke count, and exotic materials (Ti spokes, Carbon rims…).

Like any skill it just takes time and practice to get really good at working on wheels. The cool thing is that even someone brand new to it can do a great job with enough time, and patience.

Thanks for all the replies!
I was out on a ride. How fun it was!
The wheel feels more responsive than the first time.
I’m fairly certain now that the spokes were too loose on my first ride before the explosion.

Check out this thread regarding KH and disc brake issues: KH Spirit Cranks - STRAIGHTNESS of disc mount.