Bearings working loose

A few weeks ago I acquired a Nimbus 29" frame. I built a unicycle around it mostly using parts that I had laying around, including a Suzue hub that I bought 15 years ago from DM.

The hub’s a bit narrow for the frame, but the frame is steel, so I wasn’t worried about squeezing the fork legs together to fit the hub.

The problem is that as I ride the fork tries to spring back to it’s original shape, pulling the right-hand bearings away from their position on the hub. Then, once they’ve travelled as far as they can, the crank starts bashing the frame.

I can put the bearings back into the correct position easily enough, by laying the unicycle down and carefully applying a foot to the frame. But half a mile or so later the crank starts bashing the frame again and I have to repeat the process.

This morning I bodged a fix by wrapping a couple of zip ties around the axle between the bearings and the frame. That lasted about 3 miles. How can I stop the bearings from coming loose at all?

This thread:

suggests spacers, essentially an improved version of the zip tie bodge. Is there a better way?

Spacers are pretty much your only option besides attaching the bearings to the hub in some permanent manner.

Spacers are one way. You can probably improve the situation by cold-setting (bending) the frame, but if the bearings aren’t press-fit, they’ll still slide along the axle when you torque. Green (sleeve retainer) Loctite might help as well.

Thanks for the suggestions. Green Loctite is new one one me. I think I’ll give it a go if I can get some.

I fitted a much chunkier zip tie when I got home last night. I was able to complete the 5 miles to work this morning and the 5 miles home again without having to stop to apply foot to frame, so while not a perfect solution it seems to be a workable bodge.