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  1. #1
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    Tallboy bearing removal tool

    Hi all,

    Quick question for those that have used the Santa Cruz bearing removal tool for the lower bearings. I bought this tool from SC: Name:  nomad2_bearingremovaltool.jpg
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    But I can't seem to get it to work, despite having the directions on bearing service. It seems like the tool is not wide enough to grip on the bearing. Did SC send me the wrong tool or am I doing something wrong? Any tips?

  2. #2
    Ted
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    I have purchased the tools from Santa Cruz but have not used them yet. Before I ordered them I communicated with Colin at SC to make sure I was getting the right ones. According to him both bearing removal tools are required. Apparently they use two sizes of bearings so there are two tools. Perhaps you just need to get the other one in addition to the one you have. Good luck.

  3. #3
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    I do have two tools, but the other one looks different and I believe it is for pressing the bearings in. Any chance you can post a picture of the two tools that you have?

  4. #4
    007
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    Quote Originally Posted by EJ_92606 View Post
    I do have two tools, but the other one looks different and I believe it is for pressing the bearings in. Any chance you can post a picture of the two tools that you have?
    You need THREE tools. There are 2 removal tools, a large and a small, and a 3rd tool for the press. I ran into the exact same issue. Its not clear at all on the SC website.
    Alcohol may lead nowhere, but it sure is the scenic route!

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the info....what a bunch of knuckleheads they are at SC. My removal tool doesn't even seem big enough to grab around the smaller upper pivot bearings though.

  6. #6
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    I used the tool pictured above for removing the upper pivot bearings, and it worked fine.

    I replaced the entire lower pivot since one of the grease fittings was messed up, so I can't help there.

  7. #7
    007
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    Its hard to explain how you use it, but basically you need to separate the spike from the head (?) and insert the part with the hooks through the bearing. Then reassemble to tool so it looks like the pic above, and in doing so, the hooks should grab the inner bearing race. Then you pound the spike with a hammer to get it out.

    Sorry if you already knew that . . .
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  8. #8
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    Thanks...That's what the directions showed. When I couldn't get it to work on the lower pivots I tried with the smaller bearing from the upper and it wouldn't fit in the area with the hook either...although I must say I didn't actually try it on the upper pivot, just to size it with an upper pivot bearing from the kit. I bought the tools to simplify maintenance...if I knew it was going to be such a hassle I would have skipped the tools and just brought the pivots to the bike shop to have them do it.

    Thanks again for the explanation.

  9. #9
    007
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    Quote Originally Posted by EJ_92606 View Post
    Thanks...That's what the directions showed. When I couldn't get it to work on the lower pivots I tried with the smaller bearing from the upper and it wouldn't fit in the area with the hook either...although I must say I didn't actually try it on the upper pivot, just to size it with an upper pivot bearing from the kit. I bought the tools to simplify maintenance...if I knew it was going to be such a hassle I would have skipped the tools and just brought the pivots to the bike shop to have them do it.

    Thanks again for the explanation.
    It is actually fairly simple once you get the hang of it. If someone handed me a cleaned link, I could swap the bearings in under 20 minutes. It's the damned cleaning everything that takes so much time
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by 007 View Post
    It is actually fairly simple once you get the hang of it. If someone handed me a cleaned link, I could swap the bearings in under 20 minutes. It's the damned cleaning everything that takes so much time
    Well, simple yes if SC had sent me the right tools.

  11. #11
    Big Red
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    $111 for all three tools... ridiculous

  12. #12
    wafflemaster
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    Quote Originally Posted by p8ntsean55 View Post
    $111 for all three tools... ridiculous
    So, does free bearings + 2X LBS labor = $111? AND does 3-4 years = length of time you'll keep the bike?
    wafflemaster!

  13. #13
    007
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    Quote Originally Posted by furball View Post
    So, does free bearings + 2X LBS labor = $111? AND does 3-4 years = length of time you'll keep the bike?
    Yup. Definitely worth it. I've had the bike almost 3 years and have done the bearings twice, and will likely do them once more before the frame and I part ways. 3 complete bearing services would be WAY more than $111 at my LBS.
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  14. #14
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    I've been looking into a Tallboy as my next bike and have been hearing horror stories of bearing life/service intervals. Is the expected life span of the bearings about one year?
    A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way.

  15. #15
    007
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    Quote Originally Posted by silent713 View Post
    I've been looking into a Tallboy as my next bike and have been hearing horror stories of bearing life/service intervals. Is the expected life span of the bearings about one year?
    Horror stories? Like what? From who? A bike shop that doesn't carry SC trying to sell you something that they do carry?

    The VPP2 frames, with sealed bearings, are very easy to service at home in about an hour. I replace mine once a year, but only because its good preventative maintenance, the bearings are free and its easy to do. I'm sure you could go more than a year, but why would you?

    Granted, the VPP1 frames (of which the TB is not), were a bit more persnickety, but the redesign solved most, if not all, of the issues that plagued the VPP1 frames.
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  16. #16
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    A few guys I know from the motorcycle scene work(ed) at bike shops that dealt with SC, and didn't have many good things to say about them. I am not sure what time line they dealt with the brand, but they made it sound somewhat recent. These guys aren't local to me, so don't have anything to gain/lose by recommending any particular brand, so it's not really that. Regardless, I'm not trying to bag on anything, just curious about the frequency this needs to be done.
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  17. #17
    007
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    Quote Originally Posted by silent713 View Post
    A few guys I know from the motorcycle scene work(ed) at bike shops that dealt with SC, and didn't have many good things to say about them. I am not sure what time line they dealt with the brand, but they made it sound somewhat recent. These guys aren't local to me, so don't have anything to gain/lose by recommending any particular brand, so it's not really that. Regardless, I'm not trying to bag on anything, just curious about the frequency this needs to be done.
    I hear ya . . . I think "needs to be done" is relative. I live in dry, dusty SoCal and my bike very rarely gets wet. I could probably go 2-3 years without doing the bearings, riding a couple times per week. It's such a simple process though that I just don't wait that long.
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  18. #18
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    I have owned 2 VPP2 bikes (blur LTC and Nomadc) and just recieved my thrid (a tallboy) and all three have used very simular bearing hardware and bearings. the BlurLTC and Nomadc have never had a bearing issue during the time that I have owned them. to be honest I have never changed the bearings and on the Blurltc I owned it for over 2 years and the bearing still felt like new. I ride in varing conditions from bone dry (aka desert) to the east coast of the USA (AKA crappy ass mud most of the time) and still they never needed maintance. I only grease the bearing on occasion and make sure that they are preloaded properly.

    the reason I got the Tallboy is because my riding needs have changes but I still wanted a low maintance bike and the current generations Santacruz bikes are just that, very low maintance. Having worked in a bike shops for a very long time I can attest to bikes that have bearing/pivot problems and Santacruz VPP2 bikes are not one of them.
    27.2 miles ridden (going to be a slow start because of work )

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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by silent713 View Post
    A few guys I know from the motorcycle scene work(ed) at bike shops that dealt with SC, and didn't have many good things to say about them. I am not sure what time line they dealt with the brand, but they made it sound somewhat recent. These guys aren't local to me, so don't have anything to gain/lose by recommending any particular brand, so it's not really that. Regardless, I'm not trying to bag on anything, just curious about the frequency this needs to be done.
    been on a Blur LTc for 1.5 years.. Havent changed my bearings yet. I do check them every few months, but theyre always super clean, and move freely so i havent bothered yet. i do have an extra set of bearings but havent shelled out the money for the tools just yet. kinda hoping that when the time comes, i can find someone who has them and just borrow them for a 12 pack or something.

    i ride in rather dry conditions (Austin, TX) and my bike very rarely sees water so that probably helps with the bearing life, but still, you really dont see too many bearing problems on these forums.

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