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View Full Version : Torker Unistar 20" unicycle


amosbatto
2003-01-12, 02:18 AM
After I posted this review of the Torker Unistar 20" to rec.sport.unicycling, UniBrier suggested that I repost it to this forum which I am now doing along with the replies. Enjoy, Amos
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My Review of the Torker Unistar 20"

The Torker Unistar is an amazing unicycle for the price. The Torker is mass produced in China (which might be an ethical issue for you), but it approaches the quality of the better brands of unicycles. The Torker has a very similar design to the Semcycle XL, but only costs a fraction of the price. The Torker is a little heavier and the seat is not as comfortable as a Semcycle. After riding a while, I find that the seat tends to chafe the insides of my upper thighs. Still, I would recommend this unicycle for anyone who wants to learn to unicycle, but does not want to invest a lot of money. It is the best *cheap* unicycle that you can buy--sturdier and better than a Savage, CyclePro, Zephyr, or other Tiawanese or department store unicycle.

The Torker is designed to take a lot of falls, although the plastic on the seat and pedals is soft and will get scuffed up by the cement, so it won't look as pretty after a couple months of use. Other types of seats such as Miyata are made of harder plastic which does not scratch as easily. The Torker seat has a little more padding than the United seats (which cost the same amount), but you might find the Torker seat to be a little small if you are a big person. I am 6'0" and can ride it OK, but I am really thin. You might consider buying a Viscount, Semcycle, or Miyata seat later if you find the Torker seat uncomfortable.

Although I would recommend the Torker for any beginner or casual unicycler, there are a couple things I don't like about its design. The quick release for the seat post is bigger than it needs to be. It sticks out an inch on either side of the seat post, although this has never interfered with my riding, I think it looks ungainly. I also find the seat difficult to raise and lower. The seat stem tends to get stuck inside the frame and I have to tug on it a lot to adjust the height of the seat.

The plastic plug covering the nut securing the crank tends to fall out. This little piece of plastic is not important and is mostly cosmetic. I think it is designed to protect the nut and bolt from the rain. I noticed that the crank bolt on my Torker has developed a little rust because that plastic cover fell off.

The nubs on the Torker pedals are a little too big, so they dig into my chins when I misstep and drive the pedal into my shins. I recommend wearing shin guards if you are learning to ride or practicing jump mounts. I got so tired of the scrapes on my shins that I finally took an exacto knife and cut down the nubs (which is easy to do because the pedals are made of plastic) so they wouldn't be able to puncture the skin. While on the subject of pedals, don't expose the reflectors on the pedals to excessive heat. The reflectors on my Torker started shrinking and misshaping when sitting on the heater in my apartment.

The standard Torker comes with a cheap Kenda tire which is only rated for 45 pounds of pressure. At that pressure, the ride is a little mushy for my taste. I have been overinflating my Torker to 55 pounds and I have had no problems so far. But it is a good idea to buy a better tire rated for a higher pressure, if you value a firm ride or plan to do any serious tricks (like 2 foot drops) or offroading. Torker makes a black stealth muni which only costs 20 or 30 dollars more than the standard Unistar model. If you want to mountain unicycle, you might consider buying that model and get the optional 85 lb tire.

amosbatto
2003-01-12, 02:24 AM
yoopers (Bruce & Mary Edwards) replied:

We've purchased 30-40 Torkers over the past year for our club kids because we find them the best value for a beginner's unicycle. I agree with your finds. The one thing I would add is that the Torker pedals are not as resilient as the rest of the uni. We've found that the plastic pedal's outer bearing housing will crack and expose the bearing after a short time. Once that occurs, the pedals become loose and sloppy and can affect riding and especially learning to ride.

Bruce

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Mikefule replied:

Nice review, thanks.

One minor point: those little black plastic caps are quite important. The thread that you can see when the cap falls out is the thread you need when you use a crank remover to remove the cranks to replace/upgrade or refit them. If that thread is damaged, it might be difficult to remove the crank.

The cap protects the threads from direct knocks, and keeps grit, dust and mud out. If you ride on unmade ground, or fall off lots of times, you will need the caps in place.

They are cheap to replace (via Unicycle.uk.com), and you can buy chromed plastic ones from bicycle shops for about the price of a can of Coke.

DasDingus
2003-01-14, 04:02 AM
how wide is the original torker seat?

amosbatto
2003-01-14, 05:08 PM
According to my tape measure, the Torker seat is 11cm long, 7.5cm wide at front, 6.5cm wide at narrowest point in middle, and 13cm wide at back of the saddle. Those are the measurements from the bottom of the saddle. From the top, the saddle is about half a cm smaller. One problem with the Torker is that the seat flares out slightly. Because the seat is wider at the bottom than the top, the seat rubs at the top of my inner thighs. The Torker seat is 6cm tall(high), so it can chafe the thighs.
--Amos.

DasDingus
2003-03-16, 02:15 AM
those little black plastic caps are quite important

My 20" black torker's crank and pedal dustcaps have been popping out recntly. I just lost my right pedal's dustcap b/c i was unicycling at night and it was too dark to find it. Anyone have any suggestions on how to keep them from popping out?

Max_Dingemans
2003-03-16, 05:17 AM
the crank dustcaps dont matter. the pedal ones however do. my best solution has always been, to quote red green here, "the handymans secret weapon, Duct tape!"

john_childs
2003-03-16, 07:34 AM
The plastic press fit style crank arm dust caps do like to come loose and fall off. The solution is to use dust caps that are fully threaded.

The crank arm dust caps have three purposes
* Protect the crank extractor threads
* Look good
* Keep the crank nut from falling on the ground if the crank nut ever gets loose

Unicycle.com has some plastic dust caps.
http://www.unicycle.com/shopping/shopexd.asp?id=185
That style works OK on some cranks, but on other cranks they still continue to pop off. The problem is the tabs. Plastic dust caps that have full threads, rather than those tab things, will hold better.

The best solution is to find some metal dust caps. These dust caps are fully threaded and will not fall out. However, these dust caps can be expensive and hard to find. The design of bicycle cranks has changed and these style of dust caps are Old School. The bike parts companies have stopped making them and are probably no longer in their catalogs. If you can find a pair of metal dust caps get them. In a few years you probably won't be able to find them anywhere.

Ask your local bike shops if they have any threaded metal crank arm dust caps. If you're lucky the shop may have a pair hidden away in an old parts drawer. I found a pair of metal dust caps made by Sugino this way. Best strategy is to check older, more established bike shops that are likely to have acquired a good supply of items in their old parts drawer. You can probably get a deal on those dust caps too as long as you can find them.

Two companies used to make nice alloy dust caps.

There was a brand called Alloy Accents that was distributed by Quality Bicycle Products. These retailed for about $10. The last time I looked they were no longer in the QBP catalog. There is one place on the web still selling them. http://www.lickbike.com/i0245250.htm They're $9.95 plus about $5 shipping.

Vuelta USA also made pretty alloy dust caps. http://www.vueltausa.com/acc5.html You can check with your local bike shop to see if they can find them in a catalog. I don't know if Vuelta still makes them.

First choice for a dust cap connoisseur would be the alloy dust caps if you can find them. Second choice would be plastic ones with full threads. I have alloy dust caps on my freestyle unicycle and those dust caps are never going to fall off even though that uni gets banged around a lot from my failed attempts at freestyle skills.

I wonder if we'll still be able to find alloy dust caps in 5 or 10 years. Already they're hard to find. In 5 or 10 years they may be impossible to find. Yet another reason for unicycle hubs to change their design to use an internal thread for the crank bolt, like what bikes are now using for the bottom bracket.

jagur
2003-03-16, 08:17 AM
Originally posted by john_childs
First choice for a dust cap connoisseur would be the alloy dust caps if you can find them. Second choice would be plastic ones with full threads.my first choice would be the titanium dust caps that came on the C-Record Gruppo by Campagnolo :cool:

zonehitz
2008-05-07, 03:48 PM
Torker Unistar Lx Unicycle 20 Dark Metallic Grey (http://astore.amazon.com/torker-unistar-cheapest-20/detail/B000BRQAUQ/002-8475155-0036034)

Product Description
Torker Unistar LX Unicycle, 20, Dark Metallic Grey.20 in wheel. This is a great unicycle for the money.