zen and the art of lucifer maintainance

ive been quite happy with my lucifer/nimbus ii trails uni since i got it in january,

when the parts came through the door i spent a while deciding which way up to put the carrage bolts that keep the bearing holderes on,
nuts down, like the pictures on unicycle.uk.com?
or nuts up, so they don’t get trashed from doing crank grabs?

initaily i thought nuts down, but then changed my mind when i ripped off the rounded end doing a grab.

this afternoon i was out practicing wheelwalking down some steps and i noticed that one of my pedals was loose and went home to fix it.

after tightening up my pedals (i’d been praciticing pedal grabs yesterday and had forgotten to tighten them up)

i realised that the bearing on the left hand side of the frame had moved out away from the hub towards the crank where it was just milimeters away from touching.

it seems that the lucifer/nimbus ii frame is just a bit wider that the suzue hub likes, when i put the uni together i had to just slightly pull the forks together to get them to fit on the bearings.

so i began to take the unicycle apart to press the bearing back into place, but when i took the bolts out of the bearing holder one of them didn’t want to come out, the pin on the underside ofthe carrage bolt that locates into the notch in the frame to enable tightening the bolt had sheared off. in the end i just took it off all the other bolts and it created enough space to remove the wheel. i then put mushroom end the offending bolt into a vice and put a spanner on the other and undid it with a bit of brute force, it snapped. it looked like it had become cross threaded from being landed on obstacles

a couple of taps with maxwells silver hammer put the bearings right.

i replaced the carrage bolts with with some real bolts that the bike shop were kind enough to give me for free ( stuart wilsons cycles in stirling, they don’t realy know much about unicycles but they do know how to make people come back and spend monney)

it seems to me that the bolts are under a lot of stress, not only from just holding the bearing on, but especialy if like me you ride trials a lot (like daily) because try as i might to avoid doing it, i occasional land a crank grab on my bearing holder.

i suppose that changing the bolts every 6 months or so isn’t a real hardship. especialy if thats 6 months of completly abusing my unicycle.

i supose someone with a cnc milling machine could make some bearing holder end caps that fitted snugly into the top half of the bering holder. and fitted on with recessed hex grub screws.
and then sell me a set, and i suppose with all the interest in the lucifer frame i’m sure that a few others would like a set too.

well, after all that now my unicycle is happy again! (well appart from the impending death of my suzue hub…)

Loctite sleeve retainer will help keep the bearing from sliding on the axle. I have had that problem on several of my unicycles. I pulled the bearings off, put some Loctite sleeve retainer on the axle and pressed the bearings back on. No more bearing slippage.

You can find Loctite sleeve retainer at some auto parts stores. Unicycle.com also carries the retaining compound. <http://www.unicycle.com/shopping/shopexd.asp?id=424>

Aftermarket bearing caps for the Nimbus II (and all the other Taiwanese main cap frames) would be interesting. With the right design they could take a lot more abuse than the stock bearing caps and protect the bolt from damage during crank grabs.

Do you have the head or the nut pointing down? Putting the bolts on upside down so the head of the bolt takes the abuse instead of the nut might work better for trials stuff.


i have the head of the bolt facing down, and the nut facing upwards,

i often wonder how much it would cost to buy some time on a cnc milling machine

Re: zen and the art of lucifer maintainance

If you can possibly manage, try NOT to land on your bearing-cases… ouch, I
grimace… Landing purely on the pedal is alot better eh?

)—(x) Dylan Wallinger
Keep Riding http://www.extremeunicycling-bcmat.cityslide.com

o.k. youre right, but i’m not quite past that part of the learning curve yet.my pedal grabs are less than satifactory at the moment

perhaps when i can consistantly grab using just the pedal i won’t need to worry about the bearing holder so much.

i try not to land on the bearing holder but i’m not perfect. and i’m sure i’m not the only one.

i also worry about the stresses that doing crank grabs puts on the cranks, you can actualy see them flex when you land and adjust you ballance

Re: zen and the art of lucifer maintainance

yeah, I know what you mean. I’ll go to do a pedal grab and I might hit the
bearing case… ouch…
hopefully I can get my pedal grabs down pretty well soon, I’m only sufficient
at crank grabs currently… man I sound intelligent…


You definately need to be careful about your bearing holders when doing any kind of grabbing.

Also another problem with landing on the bearing holder is that if you have your frame on an angle you can bend the bearing caps so they start touching. This can also be done by over tightening the bolts. So when practicing grabs and you find your bearing holder bolts are loss you may have bent the holders.


AccordNSX said, “You definately need to be careful about your bearing holders when doing any kind of grabbing.”

Be careful around here… harper loves these lines :slight_smile: (At least to take them out of context).

Geez! I’m turning into harper! Skewed thoughts pass through my mind when I read posts! Aaah!