Harware troubles

Harware troubles

Post by Jez » Fri, 15 Sep 1995 04:00:00


> I think the key thing to make of all this discussion is:

> 1. Unicycle wheels and cranks are essentially bicycle-grade items

> 2. Unicycling exerts significantly more stress on cranks/spokes/etc.
>    than bicycling ever will

> Conclusion: we should be suprised that unicycles work as well as they do
> considering what we put them through!!!

I think we need to be more precise about these statements, and exactly
what's mean't by a 'bicycle grade' item.

I wouldn't expect a 200q 'mountain bike' to last more than five minutes
on some of the downhills I do. That's why my cheap mountain bike cost
over 800q. Yet unicyclists buy cheap steel frames and cheap steel rims,
the kind what are found on 100q bikes and then expect them to last.

'bicycle grade' equipment takes far more pounding on a bike than on a
unicycle, with the possible exception of cranks. Lets take it bit by bit:

20" rims:
        Go to a BMX shop, get a 'Perigrine' rim. They cost lots, because they
        are designed to cope with fearless manics airing ten feet then
        decking out. 48 spoke too, for people who like doing kick-ups.
        95 spoke versions are available. Seriously. You can try to break
        them. You'll break first.

26" rims:
        I've hit rocks at 40mph on my mtb, trashed the tyre, landed in a
        heap in pain and found the rims undamaged. Mavic M231 rims cost ~25q
        here. Alloy, light and much stronger than a steel rim. Changing from
        a steel to an alloy rim is the biggest improvement you can make to
        a standard unicycle.
        Again, cheap plastic ones might cost 5q but they won't last. Decent
        beartraps will cost 25q and last.

What I'm saying is that the products exist to make bombproof unicycles.
But it'll cost you. However, trying to use cheap bicycle components will
just result in lots of broken cheap bicycle components. Unicycling is
harsh (tho not as harsh as mountain biking or BMXing) so there is a
certain minimal level of quality that you don't want to go below.

This minimal level of quality (alloy rims, cotterless cranks, decent
pedals) results in a unicycle that'll cost more to buy than the 95q
machines that most people sell. But, if you ride regularly, then you
choice is to pay for that minimum level, or spend even more time and
money replacing half the components on your machine.