Unicycling: Pedal review

General, Unicycling

I’ve had many horrible experiences with pedals. After my latest set of pedals pulled out, I decided to start recording my experiences for the benefit of others. I’ll go through them in the order I acquired the pedals.


1. Wellgo (unknown specific kind). My 2004 24“ Kris Holm Mountain Unicycle came with these pedals. They have a horrible flaw; non-replaceable spikes.

Welgo 2

Welgo 1

As you can see in the above pictures, the spikes have worn down to nearly nothing, making it really hard to keep your feet on the pedals when doing really rough riding. In addition, the bearings have worn away quite a bit, and they don’t spin quite as freely as they once did and I can hear some grinding in the bearings.

Good points:

  • Cheap
  • Pretty strong (they have yet to break)

Bad points:

  • Non-replaceable spikes (a deal breaker!)
  • Non-sealed bearings

2. Snafus. These pedals come stock with the KH mountain unicycles, and in general are pretty good pedals for the price. However, they will quickly fall apart after some use. I’ve gone through 3 or 4 sets of Snafus, all of which I acquired for free.

Img 4763

One thing to notice is the end design, seen above. The X on the end is a very strong design, and something to look for when buying a pedal. I’ll cover more on this later.

Good points:

  • Very spiky spikes. They stick to my feet really well.
  • Strong pedal design.

Bad points:

  • Only 4 replaceable spikes. Two are non-replaceable, and will quickly wear down and become useless.
  • The non-sealed bearings will quickly erode.
  • Ball bearings are loose, and sometimes get chewed up
  • 4 spikes just aren’t enough!

I’ve had some pretty bad experiences with Snafus. My friend, Mark, had a set seize up on a ride, making the pedal not turn at all. I’ve also had this same experience. The pedal kept locking, and finally, I pulled the bearing bold off and shook out all the remaining bearings in order to make it back home. I’ve discovered that ”maintaining them“ by taking apart the bearings and regreasing them has little to do with them lasting any longer. The non-sealed bearings quickly get trashed, especially if you ride through water or a dusty area.


3. Oddessy. At first, I was very happy with these pedals. They were relatively cheap, and seemed to have a very spikey grip for my feet. There are a total of ten replaceable spikes. I love the feel of these pedals.

Odyssey 1

Odyssey 2

Now, for the bad. Take a look at this picture:

Odyssey 3

The pedal front/back design has a huge hole. While this probably produces a lighter pedal, it sacrifices a lot of strength. One day, I was riding my muni along a railroad track and slipped off. The pedal hit smack dab on the weak spot, and broke right off! The still relatively new pedals became instantly useless. In addition, I was starting to get a scratchy feeling in the pedals; probably from the fact that these ones were non-sealed.

Good points:

  • Very spiky spikes. They stick to my feet the best and are replaceable.

Bad points:

  • The non-sealed bearings will quickly erode.
  • The pedal design is weak, and broke.

    4. Wellgo B-57. I finally decided to splurge and get a nice, expensive, sealed set of pedals, in the hope that they would last. I specifically looked for a set of pedals that had a strong front wall, to prevent the same breakage from happening again. The B-57s fit the bill perfectly:

    B-57 1

    Now these pedals were great! I loved the size and the spiky pedals, until…..

    B-57 2

    … the whole insides just pulled out!! I had put these pedals on my trials unicycle for one day and after hopping down a 3-set the pedal just fell off!!!

    B-57 4

    It appears that the end connection is not very strong. Well…so much for trying that set of expensive pedals. They are definitely not worth it!


    5. Crankbros 5050. Now we get to my current set of pedals on my same KH 24. I bought this set from REI, since they have an excellent return policy if you aren’t happy. These pedals appear to be really strong, with lots of spikes, and sealed bearings:

    Crankbros 1

    The end looks good:

    Crankbros 2

    The front side looks good:

    Crankbros 3

    So far, I have only one complaint with these pedals. They aren’t quite spiky enough. The slight triangle spike just isn’t quite enough to grip into my shoes. So, in really wet weather I was slipping off the pedals quite a bit. Other than that, they are great. In fact, if the spikes really bother me I may end up going down to Ace hardware and getting a few replacements to screw in, so it isn’t a horrible problem.

    Well, I do have one small other complaint; they sort of make a funny rattling noise, as the way you remove the spikes is by removing a piece of the pedal. Strange design, but it may make it stronger.

    For now, they have only gone on two muni rides. Only time will tell if they last….

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    Jason

    Corby, the only pedal tuff enuf for a beast like you is the Shinburger… go for it!

    Scott Bond
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    Scott Bond

    Good idea with REI – They’re so good to us with their lifetime guarantees… I lucked out with a pair of Tiogas that were somewhere in the ballpark of $50-60 and love them. They’re built strong, have sealed bearings and a Cro-mo axle, are lightweight, really spikey 1/4 inch spikes, and best of all, they have holes drilled all over them, so you can go and rearrange the pins to other places if you want more or less in certain areas. Thanks for the doumentation. I wish I had seen something like this before going through my first couple of… Read more »

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