Maintenance help - bearing replacement (lollipop)

I’m still in the learning stages and fairly uncomfortable with cracking into my Unicycles. However, the bearings on my cheap 24" trainer are getting very stiff, so I need to replace them. (Yes, I’ve been riding in the rain) I decided it was worth it to do some exploratory surgery, since this uni is now my secondary ride.

I’ll post some other problems in a different thread, but my main problem now is, I can’t get the lollipops off. I tried a bunch of things, and maybe a few things I shouldn’t have, but those lollipops ain’t coming off. Please tell me how I can get them off.

After that, can somebody tell me what size bearings I need for a 24" United (lollipop style, of course).

I’ll also put this in the other thread I’ll start, but…next frame I get…main cap, all the way.

You need to use a bearing/pulley/wheel puller to remove bearings (even lollipop bearings) from an axle. They are available from

but you can also find them at automotive parts stores and hardware stores with good tool departments.

OK…that’s for getting the bearings off, right? I can’t even get the lollipops off. Can anybody tell me how to do that?

This is turning into way more work than I expected, requiring way more tools. Maybe I should wait till UNICON and get some help then…

The first time i took my lolly pop bearing holders off it was a REAL pig of a job. Huge amounts of brute force and any number of bystanders didn’t help.

In the end it took a fair bit of hammering. Hammering the forks around bearing holders to loosen the holders then hammering the bearing holders with a drift to pop them out. I was rebuilding the wheel so i took all the spokes out first to give me more room. It did a bit of cosmetic damage but this was my off road machine so it didn’t bother me. You could achieve a similar result by heating up the frame around the holders but this will definitely mark the frame and probably knacker the bearings.

Best not to put too much force on the axle as you don’t want to weaken this.

When I put it back together I put a smear of copper grease around the lollypops so they didn’t seize in again. Now they are easy to remove and I have done it several times. the beauty of hind-sight:)

Good Luck

A few ideas in no particular order.

Are the bearings really knackered? They will take a lot of hammer. I rode my old Pashley UMX in all conditions over a 15 year period with no maintenance and never had a problem. Have you tried the basic stuff like dripping oil in and so on?

Assuming you want to replace them, there are two things: removing the lollipops from the frame, and removing the bearings from the lollipops.

Removing the lollipops is either very easy (they drop out of my UMX) or difficult (they are solid in my Muni).

The obvious think is to apply traumatic percussion with a soft hammer. A development of this would be to apply heat (boiling water?) to the fram, whilst keeping the lollipop cold. Frame expands, lollipop doesn’t. Hey presto!

Failing that, you could try the following:

I’ve not tried this myself, but here’s a tip I picked up from my trumpet teacher many years ago. Cornet/trumpet mouthpieces can get stuck into the tube. There is one hard and tapered piece of metal wedged into a hard and cyclindrical piece of metal - a bit like the lollipop problem on your uni.

My trumpet teacher told me to apply gentle pressure over a long period of time. So, that might mean, for you, hanging the uni up in the garage with a heavy weight attached to the lollipop, or you may exert traction with a length of rope attached to the lollipop and to an immobile object. Double the rope over, then put a steel bar through it and twist it to wind the rope up.

Good luck.

Imagine a knob like an egg timer, that is supposed to turn, but clicks into and stays in a series of set positions. With the frame off, the bearing (left side only) will turn, but it won’t spin. It turns, clicks into position, and stays until I turn it again.

I could definitely leave it and I could ride the uni. However, 1) I expect it to just seize up at any time and 2) I should know how to do this stuff anyway. One day I might have more urgent repairs, so I might as well learn maintenance on my cheap uni, right?

Ooooooh! Have you seen a doctor?

This joke went completely past me…then I remember your from the UK…then I started to wonder what “knob” might mean in the UK…

British people are wierd.

They certainly are. Some of them are so weird that they ride those dashed awful one-wheeled bicycles, dontcha know.
(Some of the really weird ones think perhaps Tim Henman’ll win at Wimbledon next year. I’m not a betting man normally, but I’ve got 5 quid on a double with that and the Pope becoming a methodist.)

is there any way to get the lollipops off the hub without a bearing puller?