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Old 2018-09-17, 02:15 PM   #1
gwymer
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Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: Birmingham, AL
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Tightening your bearing bolts?

Recently, I helped a new unicyclist order their first non-beginner unicycle. They don't live near me, so they will have to assemble it themselves, or pay some bike shop a crazy amount to do it for them. It got me thinking about the first one I assembled. It was a while ago-it was a Torker 24. When I got to the bearings, it said to "tighten the bolts to 45 inch pounds". I just froze there. How in the world was I supposed to know what 45 inch pounds was? So, I asked a friend. He said that all his fancy tools measured in newton meters or ft/lbs. I figured since they were bearings and the whole thing revolved around them (quite literally), it had to be pretty important. So, I sat several days trying to figure out what to do, so I wouldn't mess up my new purchase. I finally got the advise to just tighten them loosely and try it.

Over the years, this same question has purplexed me.

Nimbus says, "Do not over tighten; they only need to be tight
enough to hold the wheel in place without it rattling. The wheel should spin easily; if it does not, loosen the bolts until it does.
"

Kris Holm says, "tighten the bolts with slight hand pressure. To test whether the bearing housing bolts are too tight, give the wheel a spin. The wheel should spin freely. If it does not turn perfectly freely, the bearing housings are too tight, and should be loosened slightly. Overly tight bearing housings will damage the bearings, and will not be covered by warranty."

I have worn out bearings and had bearings that ended up clicking. So I am extra sensitive to what is the exact right amount of pressure to tighten. I don't want too tight to bind the bearings, and I don't want too loose to have them wiggling around. ...and I don't want "will not be covered by warranty."

One friend said that he uses the short end of his allen wrench and tightens till it is tough with that end. Another person said that they tighten it pretty good and then spin the wheel and loosen just to the point of free movement. One person told me they go on the looser side but use some locktite on the bolts to keep them from loosing further. QX and a few other companies still put neoprene nuts on the other end to help insure that the bolts don't loosen themselves over time.

How would you advise a new person to the sport on how they should properly assemble their bearings???
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