Tutorials

Unicycle Spoke Calculator

How to work out your spoke length

Here at Unicycle.com we are the unicycle specialists, so of course we support the building and maintenance of unicycle. We have built in to our website a tool that allows you to work out the length of the spokes you need to build your unicycle or penny farthing.

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[How-To] Removing and Refitting Tyres

Removing Tyres


Removing tyres is easy, but if you are unsure here is a quick video showing the way I do it. We've had a few messages from customers that were unable to remove tyres from Unicycles with wide rims, these feature on all the Kris Holm Unicycles and many others.


Inner Tubes


Inner tubes are sensitive things. Even with a protective rubber tire over them, sharp objects can penetrate your treads and puncture the tube. This can occur very suddenly and take your Unicycle out of commission. Most long-distance riders carry a spare tube (sometimes two) with them when riding their Unicycle. If you have to change out your inner tube, one of the toughest aspects of the procedure will be removing the tyre from the rim.

YouTube Channel


We don't "Vlog" but we are trying to release frequent videos on all aspects of Unicycling. We are mainly focusing on "How-To" videos at the moment, giving helpful tips on keeping your Unicycling going. To checkout our channel click here.

 

Building a simple unicycle truing stand

It is often a problem that bike shops have when they come to building unicycle wheels, their truing stands do not fit on to unicycle wheels.  This is due to bikes having internal bearings and unicycles having external.

There is a solution with the KH 42mm truing stand adaptor.

truing stand adaptor

These work great once they are set up which takes a long time to get right and have difficulty with changing width of hub.  In our office we have these set up for truing wheels KH wheels or when we do not have the frame.

What we prefer to use for the majority of our wheel builds is our simple home made seatpost wheel truing stand.

Truing stand for unicycleNot only is this stand incredibly simple to build but has an advantage over using a traditional truing stands.  As it aligns the wheel to the seatpost, not the frame legs so the wheel is absolutely correctly trued for riding.  For riding a unicycle this is the most important criteria.

Our stand uses a 300mm long 25.4 seatpost screwed to a block of wood.  We then have a small part of an old frame with it's seatpost clamp just slipped over it.  Although you can use the frame's own seatpost clamp to secure it to the post if you want.  When we are truing a wheel in a 27.2 frame we use a shim.

detail of unicycle truing stand

When truing the wheel you use the seatpost to align to the centre of the rim.  This will guarantee that the wheel is both round (not egg or centred vertically) and true left to right.

This solution does not work for all frames as you will need a frame that has a seatpost that passes through the crown.

Top 5 Tools for your Unicycle

There isn’t much that can go wrong with your unicycle, but when it does, do you have the necessary tools to get you riding again. Most things can be fixed or adjusted with a basic selection of tools that don’t cost the earth. Here is a list of our top 5 tools that we think all unicyclists should have, in no particular order.

1. Multi Tool

A carefully selected multi tool could be one of the most useful tools you will ever have. The Nimbus Multi tool has been specifically designed with the unicyclist in mind. This tool has all the allen Keys, spanners, spoke keys and even Torx T25 (for your disc rake rotor bolts) you will need, all in a handy lightweight tool.

Nimbus Multi Tool
Qu-Ax Multi Tool
Tacx Pandora Allen Key set

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2. Pump

Making sure your tyre is pumped up before you start riding can make the world of difference, and of course if you should get a puncture while out riding you will need something to get that tyre re-inflated.

Unicycle.com Air Supply Mini Pump
Airace Track Pump

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3. Repair Kit

A puncture repair kit (including Tyre levers) is obviously going to help you fix that puncture and get you riding again. This is one of those items that a lot of people don’t think about until it’s too late, so be prepared and have one with you. In addition to the repair kit lots of riders will carry a spare inner-tube with them, changing an inner-tube can be quicker than fixing a puncture (good for those rainy day rides)

Weldtite Cure C-Cure Puncture Repair kit
Foss Tube Repair Patches

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4. Pedal Wrench (spanner)

Pedals are often just taken for granted, but we do need to check that they are securely attached to the cranks. If they are ridden loose this could lead to damaging the cranks. So regularly checking that they are tight will you keep you safe on your Unicycle and could also save you money.

Pedal Wrench
Unicycle.com Wrench

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5. Crank extractor

The crank extractor is used for removing the cranks from your unicycle wheel. Changing the length of your cranks will change the way your unicycle rides and feels. If you aren’t lucky enough to have a Unicycle for all the different disciplines that you do, then changing cranks can allow you to use the same unicycle for a few different activities.

Crank Extractor - Multi Function

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Fitting brakes to Unicycles

You basically have two main options, Disc Brake or a Hydraulic rim brake (Magura)

For a rim Brake you will need a frame with Magura mounts welded to the frame (Alot of Muni frames already have these) they will look like this

MaguraTabsIf the frame has these mounts then all you need to do is get a Magura brake, some Magura clamps and a brake lever mount and you have everything you need. Here at Unicycle.com UK we have a Starter brake kit which contains all you need to get riding with a brake.

StarterBrakeKit1

For a Disc brake setup there are two paths you can take, Internal or external.

Internal

For this option you will need a Disc Hub* (such as the Nimbus Oracle Disc Hub), Nimbus D’brake (if your frame does not have a disc brake tab), Brake lever mount and a Disc brake.

*we offer a wheel building service

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External

For this option you will need a pair of disc compatible cranks (such as the Kris Holm Dual hole Spirit Cranks), Nimbus D’Brake (if your frame does not have a disc brake tab, a few washers may be required), Brake lever mount and a Disc brake.

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Bearings

Bearings on unicycles generally last a long time; even when you take your unicycle in a fountain, or the sea, or just splashing around in the mud. They do give up in the end though; normally at the worst moment possible. You hear them grinding first, then when you turn the wheel slowly by hand you can feel the restriction in the movement.

What you will require:

Tools

Replacement bearings - see here for quality replacement bearings, Crank extractor and bearing puller - again we sell these. Pedal spanner, 14mm Socket or 8mm Allen key, Rubber hammer/mallet and some cut of sections of seat post.

To remove and fit bearings:

1. Remove the dust covers from the cranks (if you have them).
2. Remove the nuts/bolts from the centre of the cranks
3. Remove the cranks using a crank extractor. (Be sure to screw the extractor fully home before you start to extract the cranks).
4. Remove the wheel from the frame, in most cases this involves removing 4 bolts from the bracket that surrounds the bearing.
5. Fit the bearing puller over the bearings and use a spanner to pull the bearing from the hub. Be sure to seat the legs of the bearing puller securely under the bearing so that it is not destroyed before it is removed from the hub. For ISIS hubs use the ISIS cap from the crank extractor to prevent the bearing puller damaging the threads in the hub.
6. Once both bearings have been removed clean the hub shaft with wire wool and little oil to remove any rust or dirt.
7. Fit new bearings over the shaft (be sure to fit spacer on first if one was fitted) and gently push, ensuring that it is square with the shaft. When it can not be pushed any further on by hand, slip an old piece of seatpost over the shaft on both bearings (Ensure that the Old seatpost is pressing on the centre of the bearing, not the outer ring or rubber seal). Place the wheel on a solid surface or floor. Hit the old seatpost with a hammer until bearing is seated home (see pic below)

Hammer
8. Clean the bearing holders to be sure that there is no dirt or rust.
9. Re-fit the wheel in the frame. Be sure not to over tighten the bearing cups as this will impede the performance of the bearing.
10. Re-fit the cranks on the hub. Be sure to check that the cranks are on the correct side. There should be an L or R on the cranks to indicate which is which.
12. Tighten the crank nuts/bolts these must be secure. Tighten well but do not over tighten.
13. Replace the plastic dust caps (if you have them).

14. Go for a ride :-)

David Scott's Bamboo Unicycle Project

Our friend David Scott approached us a few months ago asking us to sponsor him, few emails back and forth we found out that he planned to create a Bamboo Unicycle frame. We happily accepted and David got to work. Here is what he created...

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Here is also a couple of great videos of David riding, and building his creation.



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