Is this normal or am I being anal? (bearing holders...)

Okay, so some background…

Been riding my 29er for around 6 weeks, and have recently noticed the slightest little click when I twisted my seat from side to side. Just a small sound, and I noticed it usually while mounting the uni.

Did some investigating, and decided to tighten my bearing caps a touch and that seems to have solved the problem. Sound is gone.

My issue is, my holders were already tight, and when I put the allen wrench on, it did take some effort to turn. I’m not using my fist, but I’m tightening with the long side, using my thumb on the longest part.

However if I spin my wheel on the ground (like I’m positioning my pedals) the wheel will sping a few times, gradually slow down, and then settle until the pedals are vertical, meaning it’ll spin one way, then the other, then the other, gradually coming to a stop.

This seems free enough to me, but I’m worried with how tight my bearing holders seemed to be.

I did do a search and alway see stuff about your wheel spinning so many times, but I can get it to spin 5 or 15 times depending on how hard I turn it…

Thanks for helping a newb…

Should also mention that I worry about how tight the bolts are because from what I’ve read, many riders use locktite to keep their bolts from falling out. Mine are tight enough to where they really shouldn’t be going anywhere…

Over-tight bearing holders can cause the bearings to prematurely fail I guess. As long as it is relatively free and does not slow down extra fast when you spin it, should be OK. If they are too loose you can usually feel it by pulling the wheel sideways and getting a slight movement or clunk.

The sound disappearing is a promising one. Maybe ease off the pressure a bit and just tighten it firmly not over-tight. It is normal for bearing holders to come loose slightly after a few weeks of riding if they haven’t been overtightened initially.

Thanks for the help! I know it’s been gone over many times, just wanted to be 100% sure.

Doing some bigger rides this summer and don’t want to be worrying about my bearings…:o

Thanks again I appreciate it.

I have had this question also. For my 36" I tighten up the bearings with mild hand pressure. I hold up the unicycle by the seat and spin the wheel briskly. I like to see about 8-10 rotations of the wheel before it comes to a stop. If the bearings are really too tight the wheel stops in 2-4 rotations, for example, and I then back off on the bearing cap pressure.

The KH machined bearings are a bit tricky because they must be firm to seat well, but over-tightening is a problem.


This gives me the impression your bearing holders are not too tight. It’s what I like to see when I tighten mine. The fact that the clicking has gone tells me you’ve found the sweet spot.

Bearings can take a lot of abuse, wet is not your freind, neither is too much bearing cap presure. More than likely, what happened when you compressed the bearing further by tightening the cap is you stopped some minor bearing movement.

You probably could have solved the problem by putting a thin layer of grease between the bearing and caps, this prevents sticking which was probably the noice you heard.

Of course it could also be your seat creaking, or the seat post, or the hub, or the cranks, or the spokes, or the pedals. Did I miss anything? :wink:


^gears or rocks (in the head) :smiley:

I feel a slight click when I move my frame. I got off the unicycle and investigated by rolling the wheel forward, back and side to side. It seems to be coming from one of the bearing holders. When I looked closer at the bearing holders I found that there is much more space between one screw than the other (it’s this way on both sides). I can see the screw through the gap on one side but not the other. Shouldn’t they be more or less level?


Check if your bearings sit tight on the axle. I had similair sounds (changing with tightening the bearing caps) that came from a loose bearing. A spacer solved the problem.

Ok I’ll have to adjust and tighten them. I haven’t touched them since I first took the uni out of the box last week. The frame was already on the wheel and I figured UDC would have put it on correctly but I guess they didn’t.

Hello Vertigo, I would suggest tightening the bearing cap bolts fully. Then loosen them off equally until your wheel turns 8 revolutions approx following a hand spin.

Hope this helps.

Thanks, I’ll try that. Just got back from the bike shop with a new crank puller. I’m going to change my cranks and work on the bearing holder.

Here are photos of the holders. Maybe they did it this way because of the D’brake. There is no space on the right side bolt of the bracket but tons on the left side.

Thats the way it has to be. Don’t change this! Allways tighten the right side first, really tight. And then tighten the left side, handtight. It’s because of the d’brake.

Aha, I didn’t know you had the d’brake bracket on your uni. Yes, you’re meant to leave a gap of 3mm on one side. Your set up looks fine.

I have the d’brake instructions here and it says that on the disc side you should fully tighten the bearing cap on the side where the caliper is mounted and leave a 3mm gap on the other side.

On the non disc side tighten the bearing cap bolts screws to normal tolerance.

Oh, didn’t know we were talking D-brakes. Leave it be.

I have however, found that occasionally I still get a loose bolt primarily on the open side of the D-brake. It’s still good practice IMO to check the bolts regularly and make sure they haven’t loosened on you.

I have gotten clicking noises before from loos bearing caps. That’s why I started this thread back in the day.

Hello Killian. Yes it’s a good idea to check the cap bolts before each ride although mine rarely need adjusting even on the gap side.

Just check that the cap bolt on the gap side is long enough. I only adjust the cap bolts if they have become loose. I think that adjusting them too often might erode the blue thread grip coating which might lead to the bolts loosening more frequently.

Sorry to pull this up again, but…

Is it still state of the art to tighten those bearing caps until they’re just about to “brake” the turning of the wheel? (Sometimes recommendations change, so just making sure.) If so: Several threads have people saying they only hand-tighten the caps. I guess they have stronger hands than I do because I’ll need a key to tighten them enough to “brake” the wheel - ?!

And what happens if you don’t tighten the caps enough–I guess that’d result in more torque when doing hopping, esp. side hopping, so that really woudn’t be good for the bearings?? Just wondering if it’d be safe to err on the side of not-tightening-very-much…
(Yes, I’m not yet at the level of side hops and they’ll never be very big… but then again beginner level riding is probably quite hard on the material as well due to uncoordinated stresses… and I want my uni to last forEVER… :))