I bought a 28-inch Yuni frame and a 700c wheelset with Suzue hub from Unicycle.com. When I put the frame on the hub, I had to squeeze the fork
legs together a bit to get the bearings to drop in the slots. Is this a
problem? Should I leave it alone now that it’s assembled, or should I take
the frame off and try to bend the fork legs together permanently to fit the
distance between the bearings?
The bearing spacing on the Suzue hub is a little bit narrower than the run of the mill Taiwanese hubs. To get a Taiwanese frame to fit the Suzue hub you usually have to bend the legs of the frame in to get it to fit. Roger has a nice little frame bending FAQ that tells you how to go about bending the legs in so it will fit the Suzue hub.
Thanks for the very helpful replies. I bent the Yuni frame and now it fits
the Suzue hub.
By the way, I noticed that the wheel on my 24" Miyata Deluxe is much closer
to one fork than the other (though not touching), and following Roger’s
checklist the wheel does not appear to be bent or dished. I tried bending
the frame but did not have any success. Is the Miyata Deluxe chrome
molybdenum frame bendable? And while I’m tweaking, is my KH24 frame
Most likely one of the bearings on your Miyata has slipped on the hub. The bearings are just press fit on the hub. If the press fit is not tight enough the bearing can slip and slide outwards towards the crank. This can make it look like the frame is bent, but in actuality the frame is just fine.
The solution is to pull the bearing off the hub and press it back on fully. Roger has a FAQ on changing bearings. One additional thing you can do when reseating the bearing is to use some Loctite Sleeve Retainer to “glue” the bearing in place. Loctite Sleeve Retainer is designed to secure press fit parts. You want the high strength sleeve retainer (part 64000). It says high strength, but you’ll still be able to pull the bearing off later using a bearing puller. You can get the sleeve retainer at an auto parts store. Unicycle.com also has the Loctite retaining compound. They have part number 609 rather than 640, but it’s still adequate for the purpose. unicycle.com Loctite
Your Miyata frame should be bendable. But don’t bend it because the problem is most likely a slipped bearing. Or it could be that one of the lollipop bearing holders has slipped a little off the bearing.
The KH frame is not bendable except under extreme circumstances. You should not try to bend that frame unless it gets bent in a crash or rough luggage handling at an airport. You would need to take the frame to a professional bike shop or to a frame builder to correctly bend the KH frame. They would have the equipment necessary to correctly bend the frame.
Why shouldn’t you try bending the frame yourself? I was just wondering what kind of equipment are you referring to. I think if I took a KH, which I don’t have , to a bike shop they’d take a (rubber)hammer and hit it a couple of times to bend it.
The KH frame is very stiff and strong. It is made of heavy duty steel. You aren’t going to be able to bend it easily yourself. And even if you could bend it, there is the issue of making sure everything stays in alignment.
Frame builders and the better professional bike shops have special tools for straightening bike frames and bike forks after they have been damaged in a crash. These tools allow them to bend the frame back into place while making sure everything gets back into alignment.
The nice thing about steel frames (like most unicycle frames) is that they can be bent back into shape if they get damaged from a crash or other abuse. Aluminum frames are more problematic and can’t be bent back into shape.
I might be able to do something like that myself, since I have access to some nice machinery. Like a hydraulic press and a lathe. Welding machines are also available. I think I might try making an aluminium frame or a rail adapter for the saddle next summer.
The special tools that the frame builders and professional bike shops have are special jigs for bending and aligning frames and forks. Park Tool has some of the tools here
Something similar to this tool could be used to check if the bearing holders of a unicycle frame are in alighment. It would be necessary to design the tool yourself since the Park Tool FFG-1 won’t work with unicycle bearing holders. But using the same general idea, you could make one yourself to fit in the unicycle bearing holders.
For bending the legs of the frame you could use something like the Park Tool FFS-1