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Old 2017-09-26, 01:38 AM   #46
Acrorebel
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Some updates:

I did my first group unicycle ride, unicycling from City Hall across the Brooklyn Bridge to Coney Island for the NYC Uni Fest during the Labor Day weekend. There were about 48 of us, I was on my 29". It was cool meeting so many other unicyclists! At least for me, everything was virtually flawless, I was able to idle pretty well at many but not all street crossings even though I do 95% of my idling practice on my 24" unicycle.

I'm also experiencing breakthrough after breakthrough juggling 3 balls while idling, sometimes doing it for 30 seconds without a drop or UPD, even in this extreme heat. I was on a plateau for the longest time and couldn't go beyond 10 seconds. I am slowly learning how to pivot while juggling, something I can do mindlessly while just idling. My idling technique is quite different in fact while I juggle: I need to use my upper foot more to stabilize the unicycle while idling. A minute is now within my grasp and once I figure that out I'll probably be able to do it indefinitely. It will certainly help that it will be much cooler next week. I sweat a lot more juggling while idling than juggling while riding.

Here I am juggling while idling https://www.instagram.com/p/BYMN9nfg...by=acrotrekker

Once I master this skill the sky's the limit and I will work on many other skills like one-footed, seat in front, among others. Thank you everyone for your tips.

Last edited by Acrorebel; 2017-09-26 at 01:46 AM.
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Old 2017-12-09, 04:38 PM   #47
Acrorebel
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Replacing United cotterless cranks

Ok, it's officially been 2 years since I've started unicycling.

Rather than start another thread about this, I thought I'd ask here if it is worth it to get Nimbus Venture2 Cotterless cranks to replace the United cotterless cranks(127 mm) that came with the 24" Club unicycle I got 2 years ago? I mostly do freestyle with this unicycle, and the pedals come loose during backwards or idling practice and I keep having to tighten them. Even when riding forward the pedals feel a bit loose and are a little creaky.

I already changed the pedals over a year ago, and when I first got the unicycle I was riding it "backwards" because it was shipped to me backwards(the front sticker was actually on the back) and this damaged the threads. Are Venture2 cotterless cranks longer lasting than the United cotterless cranks? I'll probably get the same crank length, I really like 127 mm for the riding I do.

Also, how long do the bearings last on the Club unicycle, how often should those be replaced?

Last edited by Acrorebel; 2017-12-09 at 04:45 PM.
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Old 2017-12-09, 05:45 PM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acrorebel View Post
[...]I thought I'd ask here if it is worth it to get Nimbus Venture2 Cotterless cranks to replace the United cotterless cranks(127 mm) that came with the 24" Club unicycle I got 2 years ago?[...] Are Venture2 cotterless cranks longer lasting than the United cotterless cranks?[...]
It seems a bit expensive to throw those on that unicycle (like it would be close to investing half the value). If you don't have the means to upgrade the whole uni, those cranks will be a big improvement, (but of course not as good as going to a stiffer ISIS-splined hub interface). They should last longer, but no cranks are immune to riding with loose or reversed pedals or mis-tightened pedals or crank bolts. I don't know what recommendation to give for lots of backwards riding practice, besides grease the threads and torque to around 35nm (pretty close to the same tightness as crank bolts) and make sure not to continue riding if they come loose.

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Originally Posted by Acrorebel View Post
Also, how long do the bearings last on the Club unicycle, how often should those be replaced?
I generally don't replace sealed cartridge bearings until they develop so much play, noise, or are seized enough that I can't stand it. If I was competing, I might have a different approach, but I ride mine until they are decently crunchy.
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Old 2017-12-09, 07:13 PM   #49
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In past threads others have reported success with loctite on loosening peddle threads caused by riding backwards. Given a choice I'd suggest grease on the square tapered crank and loctite on the peddles.

Another option is to reverse the saddle when doing a lot of backwards riding.

Jim
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Old 2017-12-09, 07:40 PM   #50
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In past threads others have reported success with loctite on loosening peddle threads caused by riding backwards. Given a choice I'd suggest grease on the square tapered crank and loctite on the peddles.
It's a point of controversy to grease square-tapered spindles. I don't ever do it, as I was taught not to. I wouldn't disagree that some medium-strength loctite on the pedal threads can't hurt.
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Old 2017-12-09, 07:41 PM   #51
Acrorebel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jener8or View Post
It seems a bit expensive to throw those on that unicycle (like it would be close to investing half the value). If you don't have the means to upgrade the whole uni, those cranks will be a big improvement, (but of course not as good as going to a stiffer ISIS-splined hub interface). They should last longer, but no cranks are immune to riding with loose or reversed pedals or mis-tightened pedals or crank bolts. I don't know what recommendation to give for lots of backwards riding practice, besides grease the threads and torque to around 35nm (pretty close to the same tightness as crank bolts) and make sure not to continue riding if they come loose.
Thanks for the answers. I'll just replace the cranks with the United cranks. Also, no problems with the bearings as far as I can tell.
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Old 2017-12-09, 07:44 PM   #52
Acrorebel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimT View Post
In past threads others have reported success with loctite on loosening peddle threads caused by riding backwards. Given a choice I'd suggest grease on the square tapered crank and loctite on the peddles.

Another option is to reverse the saddle when doing a lot of backwards riding.

Jim
Thanks for the suggestions. I may try using Loctite in the future, but for now will replace the cranks and pedals, the pedals just keep getting looser.

I often reverse the saddle when doing a lot of backwards practice but it doesn't help as much as it used to.
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Old 2017-12-09, 08:09 PM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acrorebel View Post
I thought I'd ask here if it is worth it to get Nimbus Venture2 Cotterless cranks to replace the United cotterless cranks(127 mm) that came with the 24" Club unicycle I got 2 years ago? I mostly do freestyle with this unicycle, and the pedals come loose during backwards or idling practice and I keep having to tighten them. Even when riding forward the pedals feel a bit loose and are a little creaky.
I have Venture 2 cranks on one unicycle and United steel cranks on about half of the others. Guess which one has given me more trouble with pedals loosening when riding backwards?

The best advice I have is to snug them down every time before you ride if you're practicing freestyle skills like that.

Last edited by LargeEddie; 2017-12-09 at 08:10 PM.
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Old 2017-12-10, 02:19 AM   #54
Acrorebel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LargeEddie View Post
I have Venture 2 cranks on one unicycle and United steel cranks on about half of the others. Guess which one has given me more trouble with pedals loosening when riding backwards?

The best advice I have is to snug them down every time before you ride if you're practicing freestyle skills like that.
Thanks for the advice. I'm guessing the Venture 2 cranks give you more trouble

Months ago it used to take about 20 minutes before my pedals got so loose while riding backwards(without flipping the seat around) I had to tighten them with a wrench. Now it's down to about 5 minutes, so I always have to flip the seat to avoid having to do this. I'll just get the United cranks, I see no compelling reason to purchase the Venture 2s.
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Old 2017-12-11, 04:42 AM   #55
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I imagine your idle/juggling has improved a lot since September, but in the video you posted you can see that when idling without juggling, your arms move a lot. It almost looks like your arms are doing part of the pedaling work. If that's still an issue for you, just practice the idle without moving your arms. Cross them, or stick your hands in your back pockets. Try to isolate your whole upper body as much as possible, except for twisting at the waist, which is generally necessary to maintain your idle.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acrorebel View Post
I thought I'd ask here if it is worth it to get Nimbus Venture2 Cotterless cranks to replace the United cotterless cranks(127 mm) that came with the 24" Club unicycle I got 2 years ago?
I think that's been pretty well covered at this point. It sounds like all the wear & tear from loose cranks has eroded the threads in your current ones, so a new pair of the same should be fine. And I recommend adding a decent wrench for tightening the pedals also. Something with a handle longer than 6" or so, to give a bit of leverage. A purpose-made pedal wrench is thin, because some pedals don't give you much of a gap, and conventional open-end or adjustable wrenches might not fit in there.

New cranks and tight pedals should be all you need to hold you for plenty of backwards riding; just check them from time to time to make sure they're staying tight.
Quote:
Are Venture2 cotterless cranks longer lasting than the United cotterless cranks?
The main advantage of using aluminum/alloy) cranks is lighter weight. That's great for high speed riding, and general lightness, but at the expense of the threads being a little more fragile. You have to be careful whenever you put pedals on. I have old IDOL cranks from Miyata unicycles from 35 years ago that are fine, but one rushed install could chew up those threads. Steel is a little more forgiving, and also cheaper!
Quote:
Also, how long do the bearings last on the Club unicycle, how often should those be replaced?
In my experience, pretty much forever for a freestyle unicycle, especially if ridden mostly indoors. If you do stuff like this (#1) or this (#8), that becomes very untrue. I recently rebuilt the wheel from my old Miyata 24" that I use for Track (with the 35-year old cranks). I did replace the bearings at that time, but mostly because I wasn't sure if the old ones would get damaged when being removed (they go on TIGHT!), so I ordered new ones in advance. The old ones are still fine.

I rode my Wilder Muni from 2003 until last year before I finally researched and ordered some replacement bearings. That one has been ridden in all kinds of dirt, mud, rain and a little snow.
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Last edited by johnfoss; 2017-12-11 at 04:47 AM.
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Old 2017-12-12, 01:47 AM   #56
Acrorebel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnfoss View Post
I imagine your idle/juggling has improved a lot since September, but in the video you posted you can see that when idling without juggling, your arms move a lot. It almost looks like your arms are doing part of the pedaling work. If that's still an issue for you, just practice the idle without moving your arms. Cross them, or stick your hands in your back pockets. Try to isolate your whole upper body as much as possible, except for twisting at the waist, which is generally necessary to maintain your idle.
I think that's been pretty well covered at this point. It sounds like all the wear & tear from loose cranks has eroded the threads in your current ones, so a new pair of the same should be fine. And I recommend adding a decent wrench for tightening the pedals also. Something with a handle longer than 6" or so, to give a bit of leverage. A purpose-made pedal wrench is thin, because some pedals don't give you much of a gap, and conventional open-end or adjustable wrenches might not fit in there.

New cranks and tight pedals should be all you need to hold you for plenty of backwards riding; just check them from time to time to make sure they're staying tight.
The main advantage of using aluminum/alloy) cranks is lighter weight. That's great for high speed riding, and general lightness, but at the expense of the threads being a little more fragile. You have to be careful whenever you put pedals on. I have old IDOL cranks from Miyata unicycles from 35 years ago that are fine, but one rushed install could chew up those threads. Steel is a little more forgiving, and also cheaper!
In my experience, pretty much forever for a freestyle unicycle, especially if ridden mostly indoors. If you do stuff like this (#1) or this (#8), that becomes very untrue. I recently rebuilt the wheel from my old Miyata 24" that I use for Track (with the 35-year old cranks). I did replace the bearings at that time, but mostly because I wasn't sure if the old ones would get damaged when being removed (they go on TIGHT!), so I ordered new ones in advance. The old ones are still fine.

I rode my Wilder Muni from 2003 until last year before I finally researched and ordered some replacement bearings. That one has been ridden in all kinds of dirt, mud, rain and a little snow.
I always love hearing about your old unicycles! 35 year old cranks that are fine, that sounds incredible. I will stick with the United cranks, though now I'm contemplating going from 127 mm to 114 or 110. In your experience, are shorter cranks easier to idle/freestyle on? Luckily the United cranks are so cheap I may get 2 sets to experiment.

I don't move my arms like I used to while idling, in fact on a good day I can juggle 3 balls while idling for about a minute before screwing up. I still need to practice this a lot so I can do it indefinitely. I figure if I can joggle for 20 miles without dropping, I should be able to juggle while idling for 3+ hours without dropping.

As always, thanks for your advice!

Last edited by Acrorebel; 2017-12-12 at 02:15 AM.
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Old 2017-12-12, 05:03 AM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acrorebel View Post
I will stick with the United cranks, though now I'm contemplating going from 127 mm to 114 or 110. In your experience, are shorter cranks easier to idle/freestyle on?
They're cheap, so it can't hurt to try those different sizes. For idling, longer is better (easier). But idling and mounting are just two things. Like everything else, your choice of crank size is a balance between things that are desirable and less desirable.

I learned most of my Freestyle skills on a 24" with 140s, then probably a 24" with 125s, and then a 20" with 125s. Today, probably nobody who competes Freestyle at NAUCC or Unicon uses 125s. Today my Freestyle uni currently (for the last 10+ years) has 110s or 114s on it, I think. They still feel kind of short, but I like the shortness.

125s on a 20": Lots of leverage, but your pedals can hit the floor a lot when turning. As a performer, one good hit on a slippery floor can mess up your routine big time! Having that leverage is good for skills that benefit from it, but can get in the way for others. And you can't pedal as fast, at least not smoothly!

Many top Freestylers use 89mm cranks, especially many Japanese riders. Their style contains a lot more fast, flowy, rolling stuff, with jumps up to the fork crown and back down, but with less hoppy, side-ridey stuff where a longer crank might be helpful.

I know I could learn some great spinny tricks with 89s. There was something I used to do I called "Idle Spins," but it was always tough to do, even on a nice, smooth floor, because of the long cranks. With shorter cranks, it's easy to maintain plenty of spin momentum while, basically, idling. It's half a rotation of spin with each half of the idle. I'm getting dizzy just thinking about doing it with shorter cranks. Maybe it's time for me to put some 102s on my Freestyle uni...
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Old 2017-12-17, 10:48 PM   #58
Acrorebel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnfoss View Post
They're cheap, so it can't hurt to try those different sizes. For idling, longer is better (easier). But idling and mounting are just two things. Like everything else, your choice of crank size is a balance between things that are desirable and less desirable.

I learned most of my Freestyle skills on a 24" with 140s, then probably a 24" with 125s, and then a 20" with 125s. Today, probably nobody who competes Freestyle at NAUCC or Unicon uses 125s. Today my Freestyle uni currently (for the last 10+ years) has 110s or 114s on it, I think. They still feel kind of short, but I like the shortness.

125s on a 20": Lots of leverage, but your pedals can hit the floor a lot when turning. As a performer, one good hit on a slippery floor can mess up your routine big time! Having that leverage is good for skills that benefit from it, but can get in the way for others. And you can't pedal as fast, at least not smoothly!

Many top Freestylers use 89mm cranks, especially many Japanese riders. Their style contains a lot more fast, flowy, rolling stuff, with jumps up to the fork crown and back down, but with less hoppy, side-ridey stuff where a longer crank might be helpful.

I know I could learn some great spinny tricks with 89s. There was something I used to do I called "Idle Spins," but it was always tough to do, even on a nice, smooth floor, because of the long cranks. With shorter cranks, it's easy to maintain plenty of spin momentum while, basically, idling. It's half a rotation of spin with each half of the idle. I'm getting dizzy just thinking about doing it with shorter cranks. Maybe it's time for me to put some 102s on my Freestyle uni...
I will stick with 125 mms for now. Thanks for all your help, John! I owe a lot of my progress over the past 2 years to your advice. Happy Holidays!
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Old 2017-12-17, 10:52 PM   #59
Acrorebel
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2 years of unicycling

It's now been a little over 2 years since I've learned to unicycle.

I've made a little bit of progress over these 2 years, here's a short sample of what I can do:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YGupM6aFuUE

Happy Holidays, everyone!
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Old 2017-12-18, 05:21 PM   #60
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Looks very good to me!
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