Wheels don't roll free

I just bought a Torker LX uni and I notice that when I spin the wheel it only rotates about two times and stops. Is this normal? I expected it to be more free wheeling. This is my first unicycle so I am I am not sure what is normal.


If you know anything about maintenance, the short answer is this: loosen the maincaps.

If not:
Where the frame attaches to the hub/axle, there is a clamp that holds the wheel in place. Loosen this clamp evenly on both sides, being sure not to overdo it.

Don’t worry about it. I noticed that with mine when I first got it, it didn’t spin at all compared to my friends. After about a week of riding it was the same as his, so give it a bit of time. If it’s still doing that in a few weeks, then worry about. Well that’s what I think at least.

My torker LX did the same thing.
Dont worry unless it makes noise or somthing.

If your wheel isn’t spinning freely, loosen the maim cap bearings. If you leave them on too tight, you run a very high risk of dammaging the bearings.

As a general guide to how tight they should be follow these instructions:
-Start with the wheelset off of the frame
-place wheelset into bearing holders on frame
-place main cap bearing holders on bearings
-hand tighten the main cap bearings a couple turns (but leave real loose)
-spin the wheel and remember about how free the wheel is spinning.
-hand tighten the maincap bearings, every couple turns spin the wheel to make sure it is spinning as freely as it was when the bearing caps were loose
-Once you notice the wheel not spinning as freely as it was when the bearing caps were loose, loosen the bearing caps until the wheel spins free again.

I know that was a little long winded, but it is very important not to over tighten your bearing caps.


Re: Wheels don’t roll free

On Sat, 11 Sep 2004 01:24:48 -0500, “daino149” wrote:

>-Once you notice the wheel not spinning as freely as it was when the
>bearing caps were loose, loosen the bearing caps until the wheel spins
>free again.

If the wheel spins really free, the bearing clamp nuts must be on
rather loosely and you need to use loctite on the threads to prevent
the nuts from falling off - been there. Alternatively, tighten the
nuts a little more. The wheel will not spin completely free, but
sufficiently so. That latter option is technically less preferable,
but a lot easier.

Klaas Bil - Newsgroup Addict

“The more you think, the less you have to do. - Leo Vandewoestijne”

I followed the instructions that you gave me here and it spins freely now. I didn’t have to use locktite yet because the nuts are new locknuts and are holding tight. I cant believe that the small local bike shop that I bought them from didn’t know how to set them properly. I always try to purchase things like this from our local retailers if possible so I get good skilled service. I also see now that their is a sticker on the frame that states that the maximum torque on the main bearing caps is 45 inch pounds. So much for expert service.


I wouldn’t be too hard on the local bike shop. It is very very common for the bearing caps to be too tight on unicycles assembled at bike shops. Even unicyclists regularly overtighten the bearing caps. Let the bike shop know that they are tightening the bearing caps too tight and why that’s not a good idea on a unicycle. A unicycle wheel works a lot better when the bearings are not binding.

The one problem with main cap bearing holders is that it is so easy to overtighten them. I would wager that the majority of unicycle with main cap bearing holders have bearing caps that are to tight. Even unicyclists who should know better end up with overtightened bearing caps. I’d bet that if I went around at nationals and checked all of the unicycles that have main cap bearings that I’d find some with overtightened bearing caps. People who go to nationals tend to be serious about their unicycling and should know better. But still it happens.

The Torkers have a note in their assembly instructions to tighten the bearing caps to 45 inch-pounds. I don’t have a torque wrench that measures that low so I’ve never measured the actual torque that I use. But I think 45 inch-pounds would be too much.

My general rule of thumb is to never make a fist around the tool when tightening the bearing cap nuts or bolts. If you make a fist around the tool you’re likely going to get the bolt/nut too tight. I hold the tool with my finger tips.

For bearing caps that use a nut and bolt I use a nut driver (looks like a screwdriver and is designed to tighten nuts) and hold the nut driver with my finger tips.

For bearing caps that use an allen bolt I hold the allen key with my finger tips.

The method that daino149 gave is good. I generally use the same method. I’ll just add that his method doesn’t work as well with heavier wheels like a Coker wheel or a heavy Gazzaloddi muni wheel because the mass of the wheel keeps it spinning even if the bearing is too tight. The method does work well for your standard 20" or 24" freestyle wheel and other lighter wheels.