When is it best to stop upgrading a 70s Schwinn and buy a new uni? (and other Q's)

I have a an old 70s Schwinn 24" uni. I put a new seat post, a new tire and a KH seat on it, and I’m doing pretty well learning basics on it. I’ve been doing a lot of hopping lately, and taking drops up to about 6 inches–not much, but apparently enough to strip the threads in my crank arms so that the pedals fall off. Also, one of the crank arms seems to be bent inward a bit. The crank itself is straight, but the angle is off a bit–I don’t know if that’s because of the crank the thing to which it attaches (Is that the hub?)

I want to get good at unicycling. I want to be able to go up and down stairs and do some tricks. But I also use this as transportation, and 95% of the time all I’m doing is riding on roads.

I can buy new cottered cranks, but I’m worried that if I keep it up I’ll just need to replace the whole thing bit by bit until the only original parts left are a few spokes.

I’m on a pretty tight budget right now, but I start work again full time in a few days, so hopefully I’ll have some more money soon.

I’d hate to buy a complete new uni now that I just bought a KH seat last week, but I’d also like to upgrade other things–like a seat post with shocks–but none of the ones on Uni.com seem to fit a Schwinn-style frame where a bolt goes through the post and frame. Or can I just drill a hole at the correct position on the post?

Any advice would be appreciated.

oh…and any suggestions for cottered cranks that are cheap, good, and of a length good for both transport and fun would be appreciated.

Cottered cranks are kind of stone age. I don’t think any are being made today except for products that haven’t changed much in at least 20 years, or ones that don’t require high performance in the cranks. Like low-cost exercise bikes.

Though it’s possible to upgrade your Schwinn, you probably won’t save money by doing it. It’s like upgrading a 1959 Cadillac. It still looks good, and still works, but it’s still a tank, and you have to either totally replace the engine, or keep finding outdated parts. And it will still have the lack of safety features and lack of fuel economy of even a cheap car of today.

To upgrade your Schwinn properly, you’d have to replace the entire wheel. Not only is the axle outdated, the 38 spokes aren’t particularly strong, and the rim and tire use a Schwinn-specific tire spec that I don’t think Schwinn uses any more.

Better to keep your Schwinn and use it as a beater/cruiser/learning cycle, and get a new one made of modern parts. You can then either use the KH seat on the new uni, or just keep it as a backup. You’ll use it someday.

Old Schwinns never die. If you take care of them, they just get heavier. I have several hanging in my garage.

Welcome to the 21st century, and choice in unicycles!

Thanks for the advice.

I ordered the cottered cranks from uni.com today for the old schwinn, just so it’s usable, and I’ll pretty much just use it for transport, and when I can afford it, get a nice trials uni or something like that when I can afford it.

It sounds like in the long run, I’ll be happiest with a new uni(Wouldn’t we all?) that’s better suited to what I’ll be doing.

As far as the Schwinn tire goes, I had a heck of a time trying to get a replacement tire. I took it to all the shops in Northern Virgina with no luck. Then, a few months ago, I moved to Harrisonburg, took it to the first shop across which I came, and they took one look at it and said, “yeah, we’ve got one in stock.” So, I finally got one for $8. :slight_smile:

Actually, now that you mention it…would it be such a bad idea to change the hub/axle? Would a new one fit on the frame?