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  1. #1
    Dude!
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    Changing Bearings: What tools are needed?

    I have a 03 S-Works Epic and need to change the bearings at the pivot points. I have the right bearings but need some insight on the tools I need to do that. Bicycle Research makes a SWEET bearing tool but it is big bucks. Are there any other tool options?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    The short of it

    Quote Originally Posted by Mo-Tay
    I have a 03 S-Works Epic and need to change the bearings at the pivot points. I have the right bearings but need some insight on the tools I need to do that. Bicycle Research makes a SWEET bearing tool but it is big bucks. Are there any other tool options?

    Thanks!
    If you have new bearings, use a hammer and punch to rap them out. This will ruin the bearing races, but since you are going to replace them anyway it doesn't matter.

    When pressing in new bearings HOWEVER, never use a hammer, and never press a new bearing in on the unsopported race. An example is if the new bearing is to be pressed into a bore hole, then use a socket that is just slightly smaller than the bore hole to press on the bearing outer race. Use a large bench vise or carpentry type C-Clamp.

    If you were to press a bearing onto a shaft though, you would press the bearing on using the inner race.
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  3. #3
    Dude!
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    AWESOME description! Thank you for the time...this is exactly the info I needed. The pics really help.

    I might try and clean the bearings up and see if they are still good. What type of tool could I use to get them out with no damage?

    Thanks!

  4. #4
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    Could try pressing out.

    Instead of simply using a punch and hammer to rap them out, you could also try to use a couple of sockets to slowly press them out. I included a picture because it's hard to describe.

    GIANT NRS shown. I sell kits for replacing all the pivot points in the rear triangle.

    This method uses a small socket to press on the inner race when pressing out of the bore, and on the other side, a socket which is just slightly larger than the outer diameter of the bearing itself. Then the C-Clamp method is used to press the bearing out of the bore and intot the large socket.

    The last picture shows how I started a main pivot bearing on an NRS frame out of it's bore until it touched the C-Clamp, then I used a punch and hammer to tap it out. I never keep them, I replace them.
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  5. #5
    Dude!
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    What can I say...you are the MAN! Seriously. Thank you for your time in explaining your methods. These discussion boards are so helpful in connecting with people that have more ideas, knowledge, and experience that I and to be able to utilize that is phenomenal. Thanks again man...

    If you are ever in St. Paul/Mpls MN area, I owe you a few beers...or if you don't drink, some lunch or something.

    Now one more for you...you said that you sell kits. What kind of bearings do you use? I have the specs for my S-Works and know which bearings I need. I have found 2 types of bearings...ABI Enduro and ABI Enduro MAX. Here is a link to a page with them on. One bearing I need is the 6800.http://www.mtbstore.com/find.php?cat...d=bearing&zip=

    What type of bearings do you use when replacing them?

  6. #6
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    Use the same bearing number followed by -2RS . The 2RS suffix means double rubber seals. Don't purchase 2S, which have a metal debris sheild, they aren't sealed against external fluid intrusion like the rubber ssealed bearings.

    Bearings are plentiful, and the company I bought 600 bearings from last June is now out of business, or they dropped there website, I haven't called them recently. Unless you are will ing to buy about 100 bearing of each size, stick with the bearings you can get online.

    Some people will claim that full Stainless Stell bearings are the way to go, but they are seriously expensive (over $20 a bearing) and don't last much longer than a standard steel bearing. Dirt and water intrusion will eventually ruin the races of any bike bearing.

    I recommend yearly replacement for any FS bike. $20-30 for all the bearings is cheap.

  7. #7
    pb2
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    john more advice required

    Hi John, you have clearly done more than your fair share of bearing work, I have a 2003 Enduro Pro in bits for a 100% overhaul and rebuild, I got all the bearings out apart from the roller bearings by rear mech hanger (seat stay) I was advised to lever them out however all that has done is remove the ball race leaving the bearing outer case or shell still it situ, I have lubed these with release oil and tried to knock them thro using a socket that is a great fit but no movement. I thought about applying some heat but backed off as I am sure the alloy would not take to being heated up.

    Any thoughts or tricks on how to get these out would be much appreciated, finally where do you think I should go to get a really good set of replacement bearings, some magazines recommend the BETD bearing set, what do you think ?

    thnx in advance Paul B

  8. #8
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    Re: Blown bearing Race

    Throw a couple of pictures from each side of the bearing of your situation so I can see where it is and how it's lodged. If the inner race and bearing cage is gone, and the outer race is all that's left, it depends how much can be seen from the side it has to be hit from.

    If the outer race is invisible from the side that would normally be pressed or tapped out from, you may have to get a mounted diamond point for a Dremel and cut throught the outer race on opposite sides, this will release the outer race in two pieces without too much damage to the frame bore.

    Usually, the bore hole that a bearing is pressed into is one way, meaning you can only insert and remove the bearing from one side. If the inner race and cage knock free, there are a couple tricks, on involves cutting the stuck outer race, and another involves drilling two small holes from the side you have to hit from, and using small drill blanks or dowels to knock the race out. The latter technique is somethin I have done in the shop for machinery with stick bearings, but it would work on a bike frame too.

    The first picture shows the main pivot bearings on my NRS frame. These are single sided bore holes, the bearings can only get pressed in from the outside of the frame. I used a socket to hammer the old ones out, luckily no breakage of the bearing. In the second picture I used a marker to show where I would drill 2 small holes, probably 9/64" in diameter, so I could then use a 1/8" punch and hammer them out a little at a time.

    Don't use heat, it won't do jack for you if you can't actually hit it out. As far as quality bearings, I'm a believer in cheap and replace often. Any double sealed bearing with proper grease will last about a year or more depending on conditions. Why pay extra? They all wear out eventually, and you cannot tell the difference in the ride between a $1 bearing and a $30 bearing in the suspension.
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    Last edited by John; 02-04-2005 at 05:37 PM. Reason: I wish I had spell check!!

  9. #9
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    Aside from replacing the bearings each year and keeping the exterior clean, are there are maintenance steps that need to be taken?

    Just got my first full suspension bike and not sure if anything else is required to keep things running smoothly. Thanks.

  10. #10
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    No extra steps

    Quote Originally Posted by SplijinX
    Aside from replacing the bearings each year and keeping the exterior clean, are there are maintenance steps that need to be taken?
    No extra steps. I just hose the bike off after a dirty ride, and roll it into the basement until the next ride. I do all my yearly maintenance in the first couple weeks of December. If the bearings are still smooth (with the rear shock disconnected, move the suspension through full travel) I don't replace them. But if just one feels cruddy, I replace them all.

    Of course, a bearing could fail at any time, so if I notice that there is asome play or clicking in the suspension I investigate. Almost always though it's the crummy design of the air shock reducers. I am still wondering why Fox uses a raw aluminum reducer. They should develop a sealed bronze bushing pivot instead, with seals to keep dirt out, so they don't wear out in a few weeks and start clicking.

  11. #11
    kneecap
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    So John, what's your opinion on the grease that comes in new bike bearings? I usually remove the seals, clean out origional grease & repack w/ something substantial & waterproof. Seems like bearing co.'s like really thin stuff.

  12. #12
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    This is a very informative thread. I was actually looking at replacing the bearings on my '04 Stumpy fsr, but I saw the following at the Specialized Site:

    "After many miles the rear pivots sometimes develop play. Bolt kits and bearing/bushing kits are available at your authorized Specialized dealer. We have specific kits for BigHits, Enduros, StumpJumpers, Epics, etc. The cost of these kits is very reasonable. Your dealer needs to install the bolt/bushing/bearings, as to ensure proper technique and tools are used. The frame warranty will be void if the work is not preformed by a authorized dealer."

    Is this an idle threat? I don't want to void my warranty, but I can't see paying a lot for this service.

  13. #13
    kneecap
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    How the hell are they going to know? I've also always wondered about the "using a too much travel fork" will void frame warrenty thing. Seems like all you'ed have to do would be to install an acceptable product on the bike before turning it in for the claim.
    "Cheaten Kneecap"

  14. #14
    Dude!
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    Just for all your info, I have done some research on bearings and found that most places sell the (and very common) 6802 and 6800 bearings for about 5 bucks a piece. Well, I found a guy on ebay who would sell lots of 10 for about 10 bucks! So for 20 bucks I have 20 bearings...as opposed to buying 8 bearings for 40. He said many mtb'ers buy from him and they work great!

    This thread has been great and I have removed all the bearings from my frame. Something that I did, and this may be wrong, but I used sockets that could actually go inside the bearing and put a larger diameter socket on the outside and used the press to puch the bearing out into the larger socket. The smaller socket stayed inside alot better and didn't slide around. Worked like a charm!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by kneecap
    So John, what's your opinion on the grease that comes in new bike bearings? I usually remove the seals, clean out origional grease & repack w/ something substantial & waterproof. Seems like bearing co.'s like really thin stuff.
    Whatever comes in the bearings is usually adequate. For new bearings, I check the grease to make sure it's actually in there!!! I have bought sealed bearings that had no lube at all. It's the seals that make a bearing really last, regardless of the grease that's packed in. If water can contaminate the grease, it will eventually rinse out. When neccessary, I use a good marine grade grease. I only use steel bearting, not stainless, they're to expensive. As long as there's enough grease inside the bearing and the seal isn't worn out (yes, they do eventually weear out), the bearings last a long time.

    For expensive stuff like bottom brackets, headsets, seatposts, and hubs, I use Park green grease. It's resists washout. I still have over 2/3 of the can after 4 years. That's $10 well spent.

  16. #16
    Dude!
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    Here is another question. Are the bearings supposed to be flush to the outside or are they supposed to be pressed all the way in? Some of my bearings could go further back into the bearing "cup" and actually be inside it if I pressed them all the way back.

    My bearing press worked pretty well. Just used some longer bolts with variety of washers and cranked them on using a socket wrench. All for about a couple bucks. Not bad!

  17. #17
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    All the way.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mo-Tay
    Here is another question. Are the bearings supposed to be flush to the outside or are they supposed to be pressed all the way in? Some of my bearings could go further back into the bearing "cup" and actually be inside it if I pressed them all the way back.

    My bearing press worked pretty well. Just used some longer bolts with variety of washers and cranked them on using a socket wrench. All for about a couple bucks. Not bad!
    I would press the outer race all the way into the bore. If you have the same size replacement bearing, it will function identically the the original one.

  18. #18
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    Specifics

    Your detailed posts are fatastic!

    The kits available for my '01 FSR are expensive and I found a site http://www.bearingsdirect.com that sells individual bearings for a lot less. I need to know which specific bearings and bushings I need to replace all the important suspension area of my bike. Do you know the exact part numbers or a source for the owner's manual detailing this?

    Thanks

    Kevin

  19. #19
    kneecap
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    Most bearings are # labeled/coded on the outer race, remove your existing bearings & take a look.

  20. #20
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    Pressing bearing out of Epic carbon link:

    Will the big socket/little socket method work or will it harm the carbon fiber?

  21. #21
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    Good Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Cevan
    Will the big socket/little socket method work or will it harm the carbon fiber?
    But I don't know the answer to that one. Carbon Fiber is very strong and stiff, but it is not metal. I really don't know how the carbon would take the pressure of a socket when pressing out the bearings.

    Ask your bike shop how they would do it. Maybe they have bearing pulling tools. These tools lock the bearing, and then hit with a hammer to pop it out. I played with the idea of making a bearing removal tool out of threaded rod and a couple nuts and washers, but my socket method works for me.

  22. #22
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    Yeah, fantastic thread, thanks all!

    http://www.bikerbolts.com/ also sell bearing kit for specialized bike, have a look!Biker Bolts


    Edit: ummm bikerbolts look to be down now... loot at enduroBearing (link provided below)
    Last edited by Yanick; 07-20-2006 at 11:12 AM.

  23. #23
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    Another thanks...

    took a while to find this thread, but well usefull info.

  24. #24
    This is bat country.
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    You need to check your link - that doesn't go to anything concerning bearings.
    If the rig made the rider, I'd be pro...

  25. #25
    Dude!
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    Here is a link to bearing kits...

    http://www.enduroforkseals.com/id55.html

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