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  1. #1
    650b me
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    Time to change bearings...how do you know?

    I've been riding my Mach 4 half-time for 4 years now. All original bearings. Is it possible that I don't yet need to replace them? The vast majority of my rides are dry - I avoid riding in muddy conditions. What's the best way to check the bearings? Disassemble the rear triangle and turn them by hand, feeling for crunchiness? I just replaced the original DU bushing in my Fox shock earlier this summer, and believe it or not, it didn't look all that worn to me. I'd say I've put about 300 singletrack miles on it per year, for a total of around 1,200 miles.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by golden boy View Post
    I've been riding my Mach 4 half-time for 4 years now. All original bearings. Is it possible that I don't yet need to replace them? The vast majority of my rides are dry - I avoid riding in muddy conditions. What's the best way to check the bearings? Disassemble the rear triangle and turn them by hand, feeling for crunchiness? I just replaced the original DU bushing in my Fox shock earlier this summer, and believe it or not, it didn't look all that worn to me. I'd say I've put about 300 singletrack miles on it per year, for a total of around 1,200 miles.
    I put over 9,000 miles on my mach 429 before i had those replaced. I should have done it sooner as i noticed the rear was acting different over the last 6 months (2k miles).

  3. #3
    650b me
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    Ha! Maybe I have a ways to go then, eh?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by seandm View Post
    I put over 9,000 miles on my mach 429 before i had those replaced. I should have done it sooner as i noticed the rear was acting different over the last 6 months (2k miles).
    What, have you done the Tour Divide the last few years or something?

    Impressive!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by golden boy View Post
    What, have you done the Tour Divide the last few years or something?

    Impressive!
    Nope, just rode the snot out of it, with it being my only bike.

  6. #6
    Proud Thunderchicken ownr
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    If they look like this .... change it.

    Time to change bearings...how do you know?-1170775_10153114012040387_2129532862_n.jpg
    Common sense is not so common - Voltaire
    Never underestimate your own ignorance - Me

  7. #7
    650b me
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    Duly noted.

  8. #8
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    with the frame disassembled (from pivot points), rotate the bearings with a finger. If they feel notchy, clean and grease them, then get some new ones on order. If they feel crunchy, stop and find bearings NOW!

    I have not had very good life out of my Pivot bearings. Mach 4 is on its second set, the 5.7 is on its third (lots of miles), and the Phoenix needs freshies. I guess that averages 1000km per bearing set. I rinse with hose only, perform maintenance after every ride, and take good care of my bikes so I can hammer the snot out of them. Preventive maintenance maybe just isn't enough to keep up with the wet weather here.

    Bummer thing is the 7mm double-row bearings on the Mach 4 are stupid expensive.
    Go out and ride your bike


  9. #9
    650b me
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    Makes sense, eurotrash. Thanks. So what are some good sources for ordering replacement bearings?

  10. #10
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    I order from Enduro/RWC (enduroforkseals.com) and Competitive Cyclist. Sometimes, CC sells cheaper. In Europe, I order from Toxoholics. Lots of bike shops stock Enduro, all you need is the part number stamped on the seals.
    Go out and ride your bike


  11. #11
    650b me
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    OK, next question:

    I have the Pivot doc on replacing the DW-link bearings, but it glosses over the actual step of pressing in the bearings. Do I need a bearing press, like the Wheels Manufacturing economy press? Or will a bench-mounted vice work?

  12. #12
    Proud Thunderchicken ownr
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    I managed to do the DW on my firebird with nothing more than an 8" C-clamp. Don't recommend that method, lots of swearing at the pivoting head on it. Bench vice will work swimmingly.
    Brute force ... bad
    Perfect alignment ... good.
    Common sense is not so common - Voltaire
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  13. #13
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    Make youself a drift with a threaded rod, some nuts, a couple of washers, and the old bearings or appropriately sized wrench socket. It's nice to just push on the outer race when installing. If you get a thick enough threaded rod, you can also use the tool for bearing removal. If you have a rear triangle design that allows lots of lateral flex when not mounted, you can use two threaded rods to keep things from flexing.

  14. #14
    Appalachian Singletrack'n
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    My firebird bearings last about a year especially the DW link bearings. I ride in a very wet climate though. A bench vice, a few sockets and a socket extension was all i needed to replace them.

  15. #15
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    So after 4 seasons of riding the Mach 4 half-time, I finally completely disassembled the frame tonight. After removing the dirt build-up from the exterior of all of the bearings on the DW-link and the wishbone, they all appear to still turn smoothly to me. I'll get a second opinion tomorrow at the bike shop I used to work at, but they all seem to be fine for now. Guess that means I won't need to buy a bearing press. That's bad news for a tool junkie like me.

    On the other hand, the non-drive side bearing in the original XTR press-fit BB92 feels a bit rough to me. Interestingly, the drive side bearing feels OK. I'll get an opinion on that tomorrow as well.

  16. #16
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    My friend at the shop agreed that the BB needed replacement and did the deed. See the other thread (Warning for Mach 5.7 BB) for the outcome.

    He and I also agreed that only one of the wishbone bearings were bad, and none of the DW link bearings were bad. I decided not to replace any of them for now. So I'm good to go for another season it appears. Maybe the rest will catch up with the one bad one and can all be replaced at the same time.

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