Lollipop trouble

I have a 1991 miyata that I’m just now getting back into. The bearings felt rough, so I pressed them out, cleaned them and re-greased them, and they felt fine. When I pressed them back into the lollipops, they felt “ratchety” again. Pressing them back out, they roll smoothly. My question is, if they feel fine out of the lollipops, is changing the bearings going to make a difference? Should they feel a little rough when pressed in? I would think not. I just don’t know if new bearings are going to be a solution.

Hoping maybe someone else has dealt with this before to offer some advice. Thanks in advance!

The bearing is being over-compressed on the outer race by the lollipop holder, the inner race is being over-expanded by the axle, or both. What was the order of re-installation and at what stage or stages did you check the bearing? Did you check the bearing after pressing it into the lollipop holder and before pressing it onto the axle? Was it already rough at that point?

It is kind of unlikely that the bearings themselves are out of specification but certainly not impossible. More likely it is the axle, which I think is on a Suzue hub, or the lollipop holder itself.

Thanks, Harper. The lollipops were removed, the bearings felt rough; bearings removed, felt smooth, cleaned and greased, reinstalled into lollipops and they felt rough again. There are no spacers and I haven’t put them back on the axles yet. I took both bearings back out of both lollipops and they are smooth again. These are the stock bearings from 1991 and it is the first time they have ever been taken out.

When putting them back in, I used the same press that I used to remove them. Should I try putting them back in with a mallet, using a piece of wood or sheet metal to distribute the force over the whole surface of the bearing? Is it possible the press is applying too much pressure on the inner race?


Pressing the bearings in or out by applying force to the inner race is bad practice. It really stresses the bearings. It’s difficult to get bearings out of a lollipop holder. I’ve drilled three holes around the outside of lollipop holders before and then tapped out the bearings using a drift punch on the outer race at those three points but the amount of time spent doing it probably isn’t worth it. Just buying new ones is probably cost effective. I think they’re 40mm OD, 17mm ID, 6203 bearings and they’re pretty cheap at auto supply stores or McMaster Carr. At McMaster they’re $4 to $6 for double shielded or double sealed. You can always get them out by pressing on the inner race. Put the new ones in by pressing on the outer race only.

Ok, thanks! Are you the same harper who designed the geared hub? That thing is pretty cool!

Yes, indeed.