Rusted bearings?

I was spinning the wheel on my unicycle today and noticed the wheel wasn’t spinning well.

The last time I rode it was 3 days ago in the snow, could the bearings be rusted? I have a friend who longboards and his bearings were rusted.

If so, should I leave them in till the snow goes away for good in the spring, or would replacing them ASAP be better? As far as the feel when riding I don’t care whether I replace them now or later but if it’s doing damage I’d switch them out.


uni bearings are best left alone

They are the same bearings I have checked on motorcycles for decades. To do a good check, like I did every time I changed a motorcycle tire, you just spend some time moving the race with your finger. On unis you take the wheel out of the frame and then move the outer race(shell) of the bearing with your finger.

On the motorcycle I was very fussy. A bit different, on motorcycles you turn the inner race, because the outer part is pressed into the hub. However, the bearings are more or less the same. Turn the bearing many times with your finger. It should feel like Paris Hilton’s ass in a wet dream. Anything less, the slightest hint of anything other then “turns forever like new”, the bearing is replaced. However, when you are doing a 300 $ tire job on a motorcycle, a 5 $ bearing is nothing. Getting it wrong on a uni is not so bad.

I have never had a bearing go bad on a uni. The way to check them on unis is to have the wheel out of the frame and turn the outer part of the bearing with your finger to see how smooth it is. Safety-hassle wise, bearings aren’t so critical on unis. On motorcycles, it’s a big deal to be stuck somewhere with a bad bearing. On a muni, I think you would get a warning, a noise for many miles , before it all just went crap.

Now there’s a quote I haven’t heard before!

…Sorry, I don’t know anything about bearings though :stuck_out_tongue: I’d just keep riding them until they become uncomfortable to ride. Because if the bearings are rusted and you keep using the uni, the worst you can do is break the bearings amiright?

My bearings are SO bad, they spin like 5 rotations at most, but I get by :roll_eyes:

I only bother replacing bearings when the wheel won’t turn at all because the bearings have seized solid. Even if it feels quite rough when spinning by hand you won’t notice it while riding. You might find that going for a ride will make the bearings go smooth again.

If you’re really bothered you could prise off the bearing seal and put some fresh grease in there, but… well… life’s a bit too short for that, really…


ya, I’m fine riding it the way it is, I guess I was just wondering if I was doing damage to the uni, but I guess not.

If I was going to change the bearings sometime, would I need a crank arm puller to take the cranks off first? Or any other special tools?

Rusted Bearings

To remove the rusted bearings you’ll need a crank arm puller and a bearing puller. There are a couple of choices I have seen. The nice unit that UDC sells would be the first choice, or you could try a pitman arm puller (auto repair tool). I have one that has been around since I last needed it 20 years ago on my Jeep, and found that it worked great to pull bearings off unicycle hubs.
As to when to replace the bearing, I’m a little anal about bearings: If it doesn’t feel perfectly smooth, it’s history.