my bearings are suddenly noisy...

i was hoping down some stairs today when i heard an extremely loud pop eminate from the hub area of my uni. when i got home i took of the main caps and checked it out(i also had to bend my frame a lil it was widening at the legs) anyway i put the uni back together and spun the wheel. there was a very faint little cliking noise coming from the bearings. the wheel still spun fine but i checked it out anyway. i retookapart the uni and removed all of this gunk from the bearing holders. it still makes the noise. any ideas what it might be and a solution? lube maybe? it has nothing to do with the holders rubbing anywhere and the main caps arent too tight so thats not it.

they are the stock bearings that come on a suzue hub.

It sounds like it’s time to replace your bearings.

Bearings don’t last forever. The harder you ride, and the dirtier the conditions, the faster the bearings will wear out. I replace the bearings on my muni at least once per year. The bearings on my freestyle unicycle last longer because I don’t ride my freestyle unicycle through the mud.

It’s not too difficult to replace the bearings. If you’re handy with tools you can do it yourself. Roger has a Bearing Changing FAQ.

You can take the uni to a bike shop and have them do it. But if you have several unicycles it is cost effective to learn to do it yourself and to get the tools necessary to do it yourself. USA has a bearing puller. They also sell the bearings that you’ll need. If you don’t already have a crank puller you’ll need that too.

The only thing I’d add to Rogers info on changing bearings is that it is a good idea to use Loctite or Permatex sleeve retainer when you replace the bearings. The sleeve retainer will “glue” the bearing in place on the hub. It will keep the bearing from slipping. It’s not a permanent bond. You’ll still be able to pull the bearing off later when it’s time to replace it. NAPA and other auto parts stores carry the sleeve retainer. Here’s a link to the stuff on the Permatex web page: Permatex sleeve retainer. You don’t need to use the sleeve retainer, but it is helpful to use it especially if you jump around on the uni or pedal hard with it.

The other tool you’ll need is a short section of pipe to press the bearing on with. You’ll need something with approximately the same Inside Diameter and Outside Diameter as the inner race (the inner metal ring) of the bearing. A short section of a 22.2 mm unicycle seatpost is approximately the right size. Be careful not to put any pressure on the bearing seal as you press it on. The bearing “guts” are very fragile, and putting pressure on the seal damage the bearing.

It’s an easy operation. Your unicycle will enjoy it.

So are my knee’s.

We must have the same brand, then. :frowning:

JC is right, replace the bearings. If you can take the bearings apart (sealed bearings are not easy to take apart) you will probably find that one of the balls has broken in half. That was very likely the pop you heard. The two halves are held nicely together by the other balls and the two races but will now wear very quickly. That’s the clicking you hear.

thanks but i dont think i broke any of the bearings. you may be right, but it doesnt sound like the broken bearings ive heard before. i know how to change them so i probably will anyway, but im angryu that i have to wait a week for shipping. i think ill oreder two sets.

You should be able to find an automotive outlet or bearing retailer in Philly that stocks them where you can go and pick them up. Or, order them from McMASTER-CARR, they usually deliver much more quickly and are cheaper. Are they 6203 bearings? If so, they’re about as common as they come. Double sealed ABEC-1 6203 bearings are $4.67 each at McMaster-Carr.

a question for bearing experts

a strange question: does it exists something like “light” bearings
with a huge inner diameter. by huge I mean something like 30cm for inner
diameter and small witdh that may lead to an outside diameter such as 33/34
is it possible to imagine a “thin” and light bearing with such a dimension?
don’t they use such things for washing machines?
any hint appreciated.


Re: a question for bearing experts


are you dreaming of a single-bear-, ups, single-bearing-unicycle with full-metal tire? :slight_smile: has a nice online catalog.

Their lightest “big” bearing seems to be
“Needle roller bearing AXK 160200”, inner diameter 160mm, outer diameter 200mm, 0.25kg.

The large diameter ball bearings are all above 10kg. Should give a nice fly-wheel effect, even if not all of the mass is moving :slight_smile:


Re: Re: a question for bearing experts

So much for: “The Unbearable Lightness of Bearing”!


Re: Re: a question for bearing experts

no, absolutely not…

I’ve seen the skf catalog before but that is not the style of bearings I wish
these are for heavy duty BIG things.
I do not see why a 300mm bearing should weight that much
if you do not use it for heavy machinery.
how much weights a standard bearings? 10 times that weight would be
ok for the use I dream of.


thanks for the help everyone. the bearings are the ones lists as generic. they are on a suzue. 40mm.

thanks. if any of you can help more…