Semcycle bearings, problems?!?

Semcycle bearings, problems?!?

Post by Elevpos » Mon, 01 Dec 1997 04:00:00


Hey

I bought a Semcycle Standard uni this summer and I have had a lot of fun
with it.  This week I managed to go backwards in
a figure of eight for the very first time. I can tell you I were very
pleased.

I have a question about the bearings. Being a very expensive uni they
should be good. But if I hold the uni up side down
and spin the wheel, I can feel some strange vibration from the bearings
and the wheel comes to a rather quick stop.

Anyone else with a Semcycle with bearing problems? Or is a Semcycle
supposed to function without these kind of
problems?

Should the wheel spin without vibrations from the bearings and should
the wheel spin with a very slow retardation?

(I have been riding indoor all the time.)

Karl Sitell

 
 
 

Semcycle bearings, problems?!?

Post by Wolfgang Stroessne » Tue, 02 Dec 1997 04:00:00

Quote:

> I bought a Semcycle Standard uni this summer and I have had a lot of fun
> with it...

> I have a question about the bearings. Being a very expensive uni they
> should be good. But if I hold the uni up side down
> and spin the wheel, I can feel some strange vibration from the bearings
> and the wheel comes to a rather quick stop.

> Anyone else with a Semcycle with bearing problems? Or is a Semcycle
> supposed to function without these kind of
> problems?

> Should the wheel spin without vibrations from the bearings and should
> the wheel spin with a very slow retardation?

> (I have been riding indoor all the time.)

Of course a good bearing should spin with extremely few friction. But worn out
bearings is a quite common problem with unis. You can replace the bearings for
about US$15.

But on the other hand when speaking about the costs of a unicycle, there are
some points I'd like to clearify. Expensive unicycles cost about US$200 to
$250. Compare that price to some bike parts (e.g. a high quality front wheel
including hub, cover and inner tube plus a nice fork, a seat, a pair of cranks
and a pair of pedals) and you will see that your unicycle is quite cheap
actually. Most unicycles are manufactured in a manner that would be considered
as complete rubbish at the bike market. Can you imagine a bike is called
something like 'deluxe' only because it has 36 spokes (instead of 28 of the
standard version). In unicycling business this is quite normal. Or have a look
at the fork. Nearby all unicycle forks are welded together from tubes of cheap
steal. That's the quality level you can find at kids' bikes in super markets,
but nowhere else. There are very view unicycling manufacturerers that at least
try to produce good quality. And if so, there may be other problems. For
instance Myiata builds quite nice unis with a CrMo2-fork, alloy rim and so on.
All the things that are standard for bycicles. But then they build their unis
for the Japanese market. So there are no long enough seat posts available for
European or American unicyclists who are much taller than the average Japanese.
Ok, they offer seat post extensions, but they are not very stable and there are
some more screws and bolts to scarve your legs.

It's a pitty, but you are not able to buy a high quality unicycle that meets
your imaginations. Even if you are ready to spend some money on it. At least I
am not. So there's no other possibility than building your uni yourself. But
when doing that it's of course much more expensive than it would be if any
manufacturer would build it in a larger series.

So here are some suggestions for any unicycle manufacturer to implement in
their unis. At least I would be ready to spend some Deutschmarks or Dollars for
each of these things:

1. A fork from a high quality material, like CrMo2 or carbon. It should be
sleeved not welded. And it should be available in several different sizes. I
don't talk about the wheel size, but the size of the upper tube where the seat
post is attached. When there are length from about 10cm to 50cm (measured from
the crown of the fork) it should be suitable for people of all sizes (not
available yet from any manufacturer as much as I know).

2. A bearing that is not pressed between two peaces of metal but has a proper
bearing holder like it's usual for any industrial machines (available from
Myiata or Pichler and maybe some others).

3. A crank system like it's used for BMX. It's much more stable and durable
than the axe with a square bolt at the end. And of course high quality cranks
(look at BMX again).

4. There are lots of parts you can buy at any BMX shop to upgrade your uni. Of
course high quality rims with 48 spokes, great high pressure tires and so on.
But of course it would be nice to have these things as a standard on your uni
when buying it. Then you wouldn't be forced to replace these parts and spend
your money twice. First for the standard parts the trader wants to be rid of
and then for quality parts you want to use.

When really implementing all these things a uni would cost maybe $400 or $500.
compared to a bike, a skiing equipment or some other sports it's still quite
unexpensive.

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