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  1. #1
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    Nomad Pivots and care

    Had my Nomad about 3 months now
    It developed a squeak on weekend.
    Pulled it all apart on Monday.
    Lower pivot axle was a very dry (no grease)..
    Also the lower bearings dont spin too good and are gritty... not sure how long these will last.

    Just a word of caution for those with Nomads, be really carefull working on the BiG PIVOT SHAFT near the shock. The pivot shaft and the nut are both Alum and can strip easier... I almost stuffed mine right up, but had to go and buy an M18x1 Die and M18x1 Tap set (because I cannot buy another Pivot yet and this is a rare size thread). Anyhow spent a good 30 mins repairing threads on the nut and BIG Pivot Shaft and it went back together great.
    For the record my mistake was trying to tighen the Pivot Nut (M18 Alum) while I still had the pinch screws still in... not all that tight (but enough to do damage).
    My advice is please remove pinch screws on swingarm BEFORE tightening the BIG PIVOT SHAFT AND NUT... (sounds obvious but they are under so not in view)

    So my LBS is ordering some bearing and Pivots etc (hopefully u get the pivots like the VPFree...)

    Also there are still no instruction on SC website yet.

    Has any one seen / had any Nomad bearing kits?
    2007 Blur 4x
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  2. #2
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    3 F'n months? Sheeit. Good luck man.
    I am immune to your disdain.

  3. #3
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    In theory Push Industries is coming up with an offering soon. Hopefully Darren will chime in on this post with some news, it's been a few weeks at least since he posted/teased us with the kit he is going to be offering...

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by rogue
    Had my Nomad about 3 months now
    It developed a squeak on weekend.
    Pulled it all apart on Monday.
    Lower pivot axle was a very dry (no grease)..
    Also the lower bearings dont spin too good and are gritty... not sure how long these will last.
    If this is the case, then I am in big trouble.

    I was told about a zillion times by my LBS (who also sells Konas) that pivot issues are a complete thing of the past with SC, and that there would be no problems with the Nomad, even though it's a new design. I specifically raised this issue as I have pounded my Konas into oblivion without so much as a peep from the pivots.

    I guess there's one born every minute. It sucks when it's me though.

    My bike's still on back order. My LBS has told me I'm not committed to it. Maybe I should just suck it up and get a CoilAir which is what I had initally intended (they have one in stock this very moment). Or maybe I should have a few cold ones and chill out.

    I had a funny feeling things were too good to be true.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmmm...kona
    Or maybe I should have a few cold ones and chill out.
    I would go for this option if I were you. The Nomad is a terrific bike, plenty of people who have absolutely no problems with their Blur or Free. Yes, some also have problems but there are solutions, good setup, some preventive maintenance, Push upgrades,...

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by BanzaiRider
    I would go for this option if I were you.
    Okay. I will try that option. Thanks.

  7. #7
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    Overall the Nomad is an excellent bike.
    If you do buy a VPP design you have to be prepared to do the maintaince.
    I am just warning others mainly about the BIG PIVOT SHAFT/NUT being both Alum.. and the possible damage if not handled properly.

    The Pivot squeak (due to lack of grease) is actually quite normal on VPP bikes especially lower pivots. I use ROCK N ROLL Supercoat Grease as SC recommends.
    In my experience you could just check the 2 lower pivots and regrease them and it will be fine most of the time.

    I have only got the bike wet 2 or 3 times and it was moderatly muddy both times. Washed with low pressure hose....
    Not happy about the lower bearings.. i dont think they will last long now (can u take the sides of the sealed part for cleaning?? anyone.............)
    2007 Blur 4x
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  8. #8
    TNC
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    Sealed bearings.

    Quote Originally Posted by rogue
    Overall the Nomad is an excellent bike.
    If you do buy a VPP design you have to be prepared to do the maintaince.
    I am just warning others mainly about the BIG PIVOT SHAFT/NUT being both Alum.. and the possible damage if not handled properly.

    The Pivot squeak (due to lack of grease) is actually quite normal on VPP bikes especially lower pivots. I use ROCK N ROLL Supercoat Grease as SC recommends.
    In my experience you could just check the 2 lower pivots and regrease them and it will be fine most of the time.

    I have only got the bike wet 2 or 3 times and it was moderatly muddy both times. Washed with low pressure hose....
    Not happy about the lower bearings.. i dont think they will last long now (can u take the sides of the sealed part for cleaning?? anyone.............)
    Yeah, you can carefully pry those rubber covers off of most bearings with a small pick.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmmm...kona
    If this is the case, then I am in big trouble.

    I was told about a zillion times by my LBS (who also sells Konas) that pivot issues are a complete thing of the past with SC, and that there would be no problems with the Nomad, even though it's a new design. I specifically raised this issue as I have pounded my Konas into oblivion without so much as a peep from the pivots.

    I guess there's one born every minute. It sucks when it's me though.

    My bike's still on back order. My LBS has told me I'm not committed to it. Maybe I should just suck it up and get a CoilAir which is what I had initally intended (they have one in stock this very moment). Or maybe I should have a few cold ones and chill out.

    I had a funny feeling things were too good to be true.
    mmmm...kona,

    I have had my Nomad for atleast 6 months and ridden it in the worse possible conditions through the winter. I have had no problems with any of my pivot bearings. IMO Nomad is worth it even if you had to replace bearings every so often. Chains and cassettes aren't cheap, but require regular replacement, and you don't hear people complaining about replacing them. I just replace both my cassette and chain, not the pivot bearings though. They are still good.

    Blurry

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by rogue
    ...If you do buy a VPP design you have to be prepared to do the maintaince...
    What maintenance? I've never touched a pivot point on any bike in my life, and I've never had a problem. Eva. Mind you, I think they've always been sealed, so I doubt there would have been any maintenance even had I been more diligent.

    I ride in rain, snow (unexpectedly sometimes) and often very muddy conditions. I also ride in bone dry conditions with very fine dust getting everywhere. We almost never cancel planned rides due to bad weather.

    I wash my bike after every ride with a garden hose (being careful not to blast anything).

    I would be very grateful if someone could tell me what kind of maintenence is involved with VPP pivots because I'm really not too impressed with this whole whack of news, especially when I raised this very point a number of times with my LBS.

    In riding season I weigh about 185 or 190 without gear. I am far from a smooth rider and I will pretty much (within reason) ride whatever comes along. I am amazed that I have never had a pivot issue in the past, but I never have.

    So...I would really appreciate it if someone could summarize really briefly the maintenance required - specifically, what and how often.

    I need another beer. I knew I shouldn't have gone off my friggin' meds.

  11. #11
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    TNC
    how do u recommend cleaning the lower pivot bearings without taking the bearings from the swingarm...
    I have a compressor if that helps

    Many Thanks
    2007 Blur 4x
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by BLURRY25
    mmmm...kona,

    I have had my Nomad for atleast 6 months and ridden it in the worse possible conditions through the winter. I have had no problems with any of my pivot bearings. IMO Nomad is worth it even if you had to replace bearings every so often. Chains and cassettes aren't cheap, but require regular replacement, and you don't hear people complaining about replacing them. I just replace both my cassette and chain, not the pivot bearings though. They are still good.

    Blurry
    Fair enough. But do you know what the preventative maintenance is which is discussed above?

    If the bearings need replacing, is this something easy to do? Are the parts readily available? Are they costly?

    Sorry - I've been working way too hard of late. I'm obviously over reacting to all this. I need a good night's sleep and everything will be happy again.

  13. #13
    TNC
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    Cleaning

    Quote Originally Posted by rogue
    TNC
    how do u recommend cleaning the lower pivot bearings without taking the bearings from the swingarm...
    I have a compressor if that helps

    Many Thanks
    Well, I wouldn't recommend trying to clean bearings while they're still pressed into their mounts...if we're talking about the deal of prying off their rubber seals. In fact I wouldn't waste time cleaning/lubing old bearings, even though it's possible. Even if you can access the bearing to a degree, you usually can't properly clean the old grease out, and if you use a solvent, like you should, the solvent can do some funny things sometimes to the interface between the bearing and the surface it's pressed into. I'd use new bearings and pry off the seals to insure they are fully packed or even packed with your own favorite grease.

    Rogue, can you tell where the squeaking is coming from...specifically? I mean is it actually coming from the bearing itself, or the interface between bearing, pin, link, etc.? Anyone using antiseize on any of these interfaces?...I don't mean in the bearing, obviously.

  14. #14
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    4th and counting

    I decided that I am going to start counting the vpp's that encounter this problem this is the 4th that I know off. 3 santa cruz and 1 intense.

  15. #15
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    TNC
    Thanks for your advice. The bike is back together now, but I havent test ridden due to work/rain over last few days. I think the squeak was coming from the pivot (lowest one)/bearing intrerface. [the Pivot was real dry - no grease]
    I had same problem on my Free last year and a re grease of the pivots solved the squeak.
    For now I will do a short test ride soon and my LBS is trying to order some new bearing kits.... there are a lot of Nomads here in Hong Kong... i know at least 8 guys with them...and counting

    mmmmKona
    You really should be checking and or greasing the pivot axles every 3 to 6 months...
    I havent replaced any bearings myself. I have the SC VP bearing press though. SC have instructions for the VPFree on their website. The bearings are not that cheap...
    2007 Blur 4x
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmmm...kona
    Fair enough. But do you know what the preventative maintenance is which is discussed above?

    If the bearings need replacing, is this something easy to do? Are the parts readily available? Are they costly?

    Sorry - I've been working way too hard of late. I'm obviously over reacting to all this. I need a good night's sleep and everything will be happy again.
    mmmm...kona,

    I am not sure what they cost. I've never had to replace them. I owned a blur prior to the Nomad and had good luck with it as well. However I did use TNC's technique of removing the bearing seals and repacking every so often. No schedule, just when I had the time to dissassemble the pivots. You can also use the corner of a razor blade to pop the seal cover off the bearing. Its pretty easy. I use Philwood grease to repack. Thanks to this thread I think I'll repack my Nomad bearing today.

    Blurry

  17. #17
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    Okay. I had a good sleep and don't feel so freaked about the pivot issue today.

    Why is it though that there appears to be some kind of issue with VPP pivots? I don't want to sound like a broken record, but why is it that Kona, for example, has bulletproof pivots (and I mean bulletproof)? Is this something that could be addressed at the design phase by SC? Is it just the nature of the beast with the VPP design? If so, why?

    Good God. I thought I had done my homework on this before dropping 5 large. I knew there had been issues in the past with SC's pivots, but I really thought those had been addressed by SC in the design phase.

    Anyway, I'm still going to take my Nomad when it arrives but I guess I'll have to learn what preventative maintenance I'll have to do. I have a funny feeling I'm going to absolutely destroy the bearings in no time, regardless of what I do (owing largely to my very unsmooth riding style).

    I presume that SC will have something up at their site at some point regarding this (it's silent now). If I were to use the maintenence guide for a different SC bike, which one most closely resembles the Nomad in terms of pivot deesign and bearing maintenance? At least I can read up on this and get ready for the arrival of my bike.

    Thanks. And sorry for dragging you into my world of madness.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmmm...kona
    Okay. I had a good sleep and don't feel so freaked about the pivot issue today.

    Why is it though that there appears to be some kind of issue with VPP pivots? I don't want to sound like a broken record, but why is it that Kona, for example, has bulletproof pivots (and I mean bulletproof)? Is this something that could be addressed at the design phase by SC? Is it just the nature of the beast with the VPP design? If so, why?

    Good God. I thought I had done my homework on this before dropping 5 large. I knew there had been issues in the past with SC's pivots, but I really thought those had been addressed by SC in the design phase.

    Anyway, I'm still going to take my Nomad when it arrives but I guess I'll have to learn what preventative maintenance I'll have to do. I have a funny feeling I'm going to absolutely destroy the bearings in no time, regardless of what I do (owing largely to my very unsmooth riding style).

    I presume that SC will have something up at their site at some point regarding this (it's silent now). If I were to use the maintenence guide for a different SC bike, which one most closely resembles the Nomad in terms of pivot deesign and bearing maintenance? At least I can read up on this and get ready for the arrival of my bike.

    Thanks. And sorry for dragging you into my world of madness.
    S/C uses really small bearings on their Nomad it is kind of silly. On the other hand Intense uses much bigger bearings on their pivots. One of the reasons that if I ever was in the market for a vpp bike I would consider Intense over S/C now if only Intense got rid of their silly rear derrailleur hanger they would be set. If you get the chance just compare the bearings from a S/C and an Intense you will see what I mean.

  19. #19
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    I was emailing with SC in the fall when I was investigating the Nomad. They said they were going to revamp the Nomad at some point and address the pivot durability issue in the future, possibly through larger bearings. They quoted me a bearing life of about 7 months for my local conditions. Not good enough imo.

    I believe that the VPP pivots go through larger degrees of angular rotation than other linkage designs do for a given amount of wheel travel, and this leads to greater movement at the seal interface, and a greater opportunity for contaminants to be introduced.
    My video techniques can be found in this thread.

  20. #20
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    No free lunch.

    Quote Originally Posted by mmmm...kona
    Okay. I had a good sleep and don't feel so freaked about the pivot issue today.

    Why is it though that there appears to be some kind of issue with VPP pivots? I don't want to sound like a broken record, but why is it that Kona, for example, has bulletproof pivots (and I mean bulletproof)? Is this something that could be addressed at the design phase by SC? Is it just the nature of the beast with the VPP design? If so, why?

    Good God. I thought I had done my homework on this before dropping 5 large. I knew there had been issues in the past with SC's pivots, but I really thought those had been addressed by SC in the design phase.

    Anyway, I'm still going to take my Nomad when it arrives but I guess I'll have to learn what preventative maintenance I'll have to do. I have a funny feeling I'm going to absolutely destroy the bearings in no time, regardless of what I do (owing largely to my very unsmooth riding style).

    I presume that SC will have something up at their site at some point regarding this (it's silent now). If I were to use the maintenence guide for a different SC bike, which one most closely resembles the Nomad in terms of pivot deesign and bearing maintenance? At least I can read up on this and get ready for the arrival of my bike.

    Thanks. And sorry for dragging you into my world of madness.
    Well, Kona, I know you realize that nothing comes free. The amazing qualities of the VPP suspension system require a bit more maintenance because those links and pivots do a great deal of moving to achieve that magic. I've had similar issues with my older FSR bikes, even after going to roller and/or needle bearings in all the pivots. This stuff works because it moves. Because it moves, it needs more attention. Anyone who is put off by multi-link suspension maintenance should stay with a quality single pivot design...no flame suggested here, just a mechanical reality. I have two very good single pivot bikes, but they lag behind in the performance results compared to my Nomad.

    The good news is that bearing maintenance isn't really a high tech procedure like working on some of the internal damping systems of today's forks. It's a very straight forward operation to maintain bearing and pivot health. I'm as lazy as the next guy, but no one should expect to be able to ride any of these modern bikes into the ground without any necessary attention.

  21. #21
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    Right On.....

    Quote Originally Posted by tscheezy
    I was emailing with SC in the fall when I was investigating the Nomad. They said they were going to revamp the Nomad at some point and address the pivot durability issue in the future, possibly through larger bearings. They quoted me a bearing life of about 7 months for my local conditions. Not good enough imo.

    I believe that the VPP pivots go through larger degrees of angular rotation than other linkage designs do for a given amount of wheel travel, and this leads to greater movement at the seal interface, and a greater opportunity for contaminants to be introduced.

    Exactly! That is what the mayor problem on this design is the torsional loads. There is another problem that we haven't address yet. So I will bring it to the forefront and if anybody here rides a vpp bike, be on the lookout cause if you ride long and hard you are bound to deal with this sooner or later, and that is the ovalizing of the lowe pivot link, this is due to again torsional loads, eventually no amount of torquing of the lower pivots is going to fix the looseness down there cause what happens is that the actual link holes ovalize and they cause the looseness. For a recreational rider who rides once or twice a week this will take a couple of years to appear but for a hardcore rider that rides a lot it can come as fast as 11 months.

  22. #22
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    I think the mechanical reality is a cop out TNC. No offense, but we are talking about a mountain bike built in 2006. A mountain bike built at a time where engineering is the top of its game. My point is, there is a way for this problem to be solved. An upgrade by PUSH shouldn't be an option. Would you agree that a rider should not have to upgrade a crucial part simply to get it to last more than 6 months? It can be done and it should be done. I am thinking about ditching my heckler for a VPP. I am not afraid of added maintenence. But, if the thing starts to squeek I think that would annoy me. Taking two hours out of my day for a squeek...hmmm. These bearings should last at least two years. A question, does SC warrantee these bearings if they go in less then a year? I am trying to look at it this way, these problems tend to be statistical outliers. That is, a majority of VPP owners do not have bearing problems. Okay, I am getting closer to talking myself into a VPP.
    I am immune to your disdain.

  23. #23
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    This whole thing causes me concern. And why is it that PUSH would have some kind of upgrade that presumably SC could be incorporating into the design in the first place? I really don't get any of this. I ride hard, very unsmoothly, and I'm a bit of a clyde. And as I've said, I ride all scheduled rides regardless of weather. I've had bikes where I've changed tires countless times, never riding on asphalt. Never had a problem with pivots on any of them in the past.

    So - not that anyone cares, but if I don't hear something before Saturday that makes me change my mind, I'm buying a CoilAir. I had a funny feeling I would pay the price betraying the Kona gods. Last time I did I ended up in the hospital 3 times in one summer (Spec FSR - over the bars every ride).

  24. #24
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    From looking at the Pushed Pivots - which have been machined for lightness, it seems there is more chance of dirt getting in the the bearings/pivot inteface surfaces?
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but that was my first impression of those pivots.

    In summary the Nomad isnt too heavy. Mine can get down to 32.5lbs.
    Recently we did a Team (relay) race on our Nomads for 5 hours and came in 3rd behind a lot lighter bikes... 22 to 27lbs..
    Although not the fastest on the climb sections, it climbs so well over the rocks that you are fast, and on the DH section we really motored down.
    Everyone I know that has is one is amazed by its capabilites...

    I now have the swingarm off and are cleaning the two lower bearing in the swingarm (with solvent and my compressor... better than before, still a little rough)
    The bearings inner race is about 10mm wide whereas the outer race is about 6mm wide.
    Has anyone ever bought replacement bearings for the Nomad yet? Or are they Blur bearings?
    2007 Blur 4x
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  25. #25
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    Something arrived in the mail today... from EnduroForkSeals...

    I had asked them about a kit for Nomads and they hadnt done one as no one had provided the bearing codes to them... anyhow as I have to replace some of mine I was glad to help out.

    Thanks Chris at Enduro for sending me the kit quite fast

    Hopefully it will be available to all soon.

    Thanks
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