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  1. #1
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    Greasing pivots ?

    Hi

    I have a dual suspension frame on it's way, and wanted to check out the pivots and bearings etc while it is still in pieces.

    I've seen plenty of youtube etc that talk about how to check for play, disassembling and reassembling, how to check the bearings, pull the bearings apart and repack them if necessary. That I can follow.

    But then after all that, sometimes they say "....and grease the pivots". What exactly does that mean? Where else is grease needed besides in the bearings?

    Thanks
    db

  2. #2
    since 4/10/2009
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    I don't think that work is necessary on a brand new bike, tbh. That's something you'd do down the road IF you start getting noises or play from the rear end, which is not likely to occur for thousands of miles, honestly.

    I also wouldn't necessarily pop the seals on the bearings, either. Others do stuff like that - I'm a resounding "meh" on doing so. On a metal-metal mating surface, you do want to use some grease (so, pressing new cartridge bearings into an aluminum frame). There is less consensus on pressing bearings into carbon. The only agreement is that if you do it dry, you're apt to get creaking. Some say using a carbon-friendly grease is fine, others say a mild thread locker/bearing retention compound is good, and you'll see other suggestions, too (I've seen a few teflon tape recommendations, too). I've never had to deal with pressing bearings directly into carbon, honestly.

    Also worth noting that Santa Cruz mtb's have grease ports in the lower link. The cartridge bearings Santa Cruz uses are only sealed on one side. On the other side, the bearings are open, so that grease you inject into the ports can get cycled into the bearings. Get a good grease gun for that job. On those bikes, you certainly "grease the pivots" by injecting grease into the zerk fittings. I use the same grease gun (and grease, for that matter) for that job that I use for my camper's axle bearings.

    Frankly, I think you're reading a bit too much into it. Ride the bike when it comes. If the rear end starts making noise, deal with any pivots that need servicing when that happens.

  3. #3
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    ^^^On a new frame/bike, I'd agree 100%. Sounds like OP may have bought a used one...in which case I'd definitely go over every bearing/bushing and make sure it's solid before putting it together. Shock, too, for that matter.

  4. #4
    since 4/10/2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by noapathy View Post
    ^^^On a new frame/bike, I'd agree 100%. Sounds like OP may have bought a used one...in which case I'd definitely go over every bearing/bushing and make sure it's solid before putting it together. Shock, too, for that matter.
    For a used bike, yes, I'd go over it with a fine-toothed comb. OP did not specify.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    For a used bike, yes, I'd go over it with a fine-toothed comb. OP did not specify.
    So then we're both right. I like it.

  6. #6
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    I really depends. On a good quality new frame that uses bearings at the pivots there should be little that needs doing.

    Cheap frames can use plastic bushings at some pivots.

    As the others have said, a second hand frame may need a good going over before assembly, before you put it together - to save pulling it apart again down the track if there are issues.

    My Stumpjumper developed a creak after about 6 months and I pulled it down myself and popped the covers off the bearings, which had very little grease in them. Using a syringe with decent grease, it was like butter afterwards.

    Remember also that lube floating around outside bearings and exposed to dust and water will attract dust and grit which is generally bad.
    Less isn't MOAR

  7. #7
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    Thx for replies.

    It's for a new carbon frame, but perhaps not so reputable brand XD. This was why I will be keen to check it out when it arrives.

    Yeah, I was also thinking that chucking grease around outside bearings was a bad idea! This was what prompted me to ask the question. Greasing bearings good. Greasing pivots? Why would I want to add something that with sand/grit is going to turn into a grinding paste around or even in between where the frame/rear triangle were 'joined' by the pivots!

    Thx

  8. #8
    since 4/10/2009
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    The only time I'll put grease outside a cartridge bearing is if there are extra external dust seals, so the grease winds up occupying what would otherwise be empty space. That prevents water from then occupying that empty space.

    I've done this for my headset (CC 110) and for my bb (Enduro PF 4130 with external dust seals).

    Might be worth opening up your chinese carbon frame pivot bearings. I'd expect they'll use the absolute cheapest of whatever they get their hands on to keep costs down. Might even be worth replacing them outright with some decent bearings. Enduro are pretty good midrange bearings. I've looked at SKF bearings as replacements before, and I'm not sure I can justify that price premium for pivot bearings. Ouch.

  9. #9
    Magically Delicious
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    Quote Originally Posted by db_Is_Me View Post
    But then after all that, sometimes they say "....and grease the pivots". What exactly does that mean? Where else is grease needed besides in the bearings?
    b
    Quote Originally Posted by db_Is_Me View Post
    Greasing bearings good. Greasing pivots? Why would I want to add something that with sand/grit is going to turn into a grinding paste around or even in between where the frame/rear triangle were 'joined' by the pivots!
    You mentioned and questioned "Greasing Pivots" a couple of times. This is synonymous with the bearings. Pivot bearings.

    Harold mentioned pivot bearing replacement...Enduro MAX Bearings are pivot specific designed bearings. Unlike your hub or bottom bracket bearings, pivot bearings spend their life never seeing full rotation. These bearings continually move back and forth. I regularly service (grease) my pivot bearings about every 500 - 600 miles. I prefer ongoing preventative maintenance over bearing replacement.

    And, like Harold mentioned, I feel that any high quality automotive bearing grease (his camper's axle bearings) will serve you well. In this case, I feel the frequency of service trumps the particular name brand of the grease used.
    A bad day of cycling is better than a good day at work

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  10. #10
    Dave's not here.
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    Personally, I would still do an inspection with a brand new bike. That's just me because I like to know for sure if it has been done properly. My brand new Diamondback Catch was lacking grease in two pivots and no grease/oil in the rear hub/pawl area. You get a lazy worker, or lazy QC, or a manufacturer cutting corners to save themselves money, and you might regret not inspecting the bike yourself from the get go.
    Yo no hablo inglÚs

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by MiWolverine View Post
    Personally, I would still do an inspection with a brand new bike. That's just me because I like to know for sure if it has been done properly. My brand new Diamondback Catch was lacking grease in two pivots and no grease/oil in the rear hub/pawl area. You get a lazy worker, or lazy QC, or a manufacturer cutting corners to save themselves money, and you might regret not inspecting the bike yourself from the get go.
    You statement has validity. Perhaps not so much with higher quality branded OEM's, but still a very valid point.

    I have seen this issue more frequently on individual components such as BB bearings inappropriately greased. Unlike full rotation hub or BB bearings, pivot bearings should be fully packed with grease. Full rotation bearings are commonly partially packed for reduced rotational friction. This isn't necessary for pivot bearings. I fully pack them.
    A bad day of cycling is better than a good day at work

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  12. #12
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    I pack my pivot bearings full of grease too, on the idea that its keeping water out.

    These days, im tearing my bike completely down and regreasing everything that moves once a year. Its fun for me, and my bike pivots are always fresh and smooth. Runs probably 20 cents in grease.

    I feel that if you over-maintain your bearings, you might not be replacing bearings for the life of the component. Some people hate maintenance and just trash their stuff until its due for replacement. I really dislike the quality and performance of my stuff breaking down until failure. Doing it once a year keeps everything like-new, even when its really pretty old.

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