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  1. #1
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    Enduro needle bearings and my Ciclon

    I recently bought some endro needle bearings for my carbon nomad and new ciclon after reading on the santa cruz forum about how much they improved the small bump compliance with the air shocks on the nomads. Well after several test rides on both bikes, I would say that the needle bearing on the nomad hardly made a diffrence. The ciclon however was more plush than before. I actually had to add some air to firm up the shock and add 1 click more rebound after I installed the needle bearing on it. Small bump was great before, but now feels just that much better. I only installed a needle bearing on the upper link/shock for the ciclon as recommended by Real world cycles. They said it was not needed on the lower mount since it hardly rotates at all. The stock du bushing and adapters had alot of drag, I needed a tool to even get it to rotate. The needle bearing spins like butter. Pretty cheap upgrade so i gave it a shot and I'm happy with the results. You'll need a bushing remover/needle bearing installer along with a vise to get the job done. I only spent 30 minutes to do 2 bikes, it's a simple job.
    Last edited by fuenstock; 11-10-2011 at 07:56 PM.

  2. #2
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    Good to hear. I'd been meaning to buy one of these for my Ciclon, and this pretty much cinches it.

  3. #3
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    fuenstock - is this on an older Ciclón or the 2012?

    Also, where do you get the needle bearings?
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stripes View Post
    fuenstock - is this on an older Ciclón or the 2012?

    Also, where do you get the needle bearings?
    Yes, this is on my 2012 ciclon. I bought the shock needle bearing from RWC, heres a link
    RWC SHOCK EYE NEEDLE BEARING KITS

    It's the same kit you would use for the santa cruz nomad version2 and newer that fits the ciclon. It was the 2185 needle bearing kit, no shims needed. You only need one needle bearing for the upper shock to link. I also bought the tool to remove the shock du bushing and press in the needle bearing from a member here who sells them on ebay. I think his name here is Mountainbiker4life. You'll need that tool and a vise, or just have your shop do it for you. the tool alone cost a little over $40.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by fuenstock View Post
    Yes, this is on my 2012 ciclon. I bought the shock needle bearing from RWC, heres a link
    RWC SHOCK EYE NEEDLE BEARING KITS

    It's the same kit you would use for the santa cruz nomad version2 and newer that fits the ciclon. It was the 2185 needle bearing kit, no shims needed. You only need one needle bearing for the upper shock to link. I also bought the tool to remove the shock du bushing and press in the needle bearing from a member here who sells them on ebay. I think his name here is Mountainbiker4life. You'll need that tool and a vise, or just have your shop do it for you. the tool alone cost a little over $40.
    What shock are you running? I have a Monarch Plus, and I'm not sure if that changes it or not.
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    Im running a fox rp23 shock. Im petty sure your monarch would take the same size needle bearing, but you might want to talk to RWC just to make sure.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by fuenstock View Post
    Im running a fox rp23 shock. Im petty sure your monarch would take the same size needle bearing, but you might want to talk to RWC just to make sure.
    Thanks, I emailed RWC and waiting for a response in regards to the RP23 vs the Monarch Plus spacing.

    LBS said it would be no problem to do, so hopefully I'll get a quick answer from RWC. Appreciate the info--it's cheaper than a new shock or sending to Push (which I might do anyway if they can increase the amount of adjustability on the shock, but this is a great start ).
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by fuenstock View Post
    Im running a fox rp23 shock. Im petty sure your monarch would take the same size needle bearing, but you might want to talk to RWC just to make sure.
    So I tried the needle bearings yesterday and immediately took them out today. I don't think they're for everyone, and with my setup of a Monarch Plus, it may have a different impact.

    It completely changed the handling of the bike, particularly the axial load. It's the first time I've ever had a Ventana that felt lateral flex. I had to adjust the shock settings a bit (add 10 psi and take off a bit of the rebound) but still didn't feel right to me at all.

    Pretty sure I had the right ones (they were the 2185 you ordered) and pretty sure they were installed correctly. Just didn't like the feel of my bike with them in.

    Fuenstock - a word from my wrench: make sure you change them out regularly because they can develop play over time.

    Thanks for the recommendation though. It was a relatively inexpensive experiment
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stripes View Post

    Pretty sure I had the right ones (they were the 2185 you ordered) and pretty sure they were installed correctly. Just didn't like the feel of my bike with them in.


    The one's you want for Ventana is the 2220. Better to be a hair oversized than a hair undersized.

    Although I don't think this would have added to your issues.

    Did you do top and bottom?

    I'm assuming you used the same bolt correct? I haven't heard anyone complain of lateral flex while using this set up in the past. Maybe it was just more active than what you're used to? Maybe that made the bike feel like it was 'flexing' because it was gliding though the travel with much more ease?

    Dunno. I'm curious.

    I've used them in the past, although not on the new gen. 2 Chucho yet. I just got burnt because of the higher maintenance required and fast they 'pitted' out.

    I've been curious to try them out on the new bike because I'm also running the Monarch and feel that it's small bump climate is not on par with Fox and was wondering if the difference of the needle bearings might be enough to take that edge off a bit.
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  10. #10
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    I put one on my Ciclon last week, and definitely didn't feel any extra flex. What I did feel is a dramatic loss of friction, which allows the shock to run much more freely into its travel. I had to add quite a bit of air, however, to make up for the reduced friction "damping."

    Whether or not that's a good thing might depend on whether you like your compression damping as it is, or whether your shock has real compression adjustments to compensate. For me, so far kind of a mixed bag overall with the rp23, but I'm still figuring out whether or not to just leave the propedal on 1 full time.
    Last edited by albeant; 11-27-2011 at 08:31 AM.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by albeant View Post
    I put one on my Ciclon last week, and definitely didn't feel any extra flex. What I did feel is a dramatic loss of friction, which allows the shock to run much more freely into its travel. I had to add quite a bit of air, however, to make up for the reduced friction "damping."

    Whether or not that's a good thing might depend on whether you like your compression damping as it is, or whether your shock has real compression adjustments to compensate. For me, so far kind of a mixed bag overall with the rp23, but I'm still figuring out whether or not to just leave the propedal on 1 full time.
    Same here, and I could deal with that.. had to add another 10-15psi.. it was the side to side that I felt in the rear I really didn't like. I had more fun today riding with my bike behaving like I expected it to.

    Quote Originally Posted by Internal14 View Post
    The one's you want for Ventana is the 2220. Better to be a hair oversized than a hair undersized.

    Although I don't think this would have added to your issues.

    Did you do top and bottom?

    I'm assuming you used the same bolt correct? I haven't heard anyone complain of lateral flex while using this set up in the past. Maybe it was just more active than what you're used to? Maybe that made the bike feel like it was 'flexing' because it was gliding though the travel with much more ease?

    Dunno. I'm curious.

    I've used them in the past, although not on the new gen. 2 Chucho yet. I just got burnt because of the higher maintenance required and fast they 'pitted' out.

    I've been curious to try them out on the new bike because I'm also running the Monarch and feel that it's small bump climate is not on par with Fox and was wondering if the difference of the needle bearings might be enough to take that edge off a bit.
    Myke - I only did the top-- they said not to mess with the bottom and the RWC guys said the 2185 is what I wanted.

    Same bolt--nothing changed in that case. If I liked it, I would have ordered some extras because I heard they develop "play" over a certain time.

    It was weird--it was like the rear of the bike had a mind of its own and the rear felt like it was sliding all over the place. Not very Ventana-like at all.

    Today without them, the ride was much better. I might still send the shock (Monarch Plus RC3) to Push to get a little bit better small bump compliance, but otherwise, I like the shock how it is.

    It was worth it to try the needle bearings, but just not for me.
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  12. #12
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    Stripes,
    I installed the same 2185 kit on my Ciiclon and have zero flex or any type of play. Do you know if your lbs installed it with the + or - tollerance sleeve? Maybe they used a sleeve with to much play. I don't fell any flex in the rear, it feels just as stiff as the stock shock spacers did.
    I will agree with you that it may not be for every one. My first ride with the enduro bearings, it just felt like it was bobbing like crazy. It toke some time to get it to feel right. I had to add air and mess with rebound, but it feels much better now than my first ride on the needle bearings. Small bump is def better than stock, but it also bobs more so it's a trade off. If your more xc, long rides with long hills you might want to keep the stock setup. More all mountain type riders might prefer the added plushness of the needle bearing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fuenstock View Post
    Stripes,
    I installed the same 2185 kit on my Ciiclon and have zero flex or any type of play. Do you know if your lbs installed it with the + or - tollerance sleeve? Maybe they used a sleeve with to much play. I don't fell any flex in the rear, it feels just as stiff as the stock shock spacers did.
    I will agree with you that it may not be for every one. My first ride with the enduro bearings, it just felt like it was bobbing like crazy. It toke some time to get it to feel right. I had to add air and mess with rebound, but it feels much better now than my first ride on the needle bearings. Small bump is def better than stock, but it also bobs more so it's a trade off. If your more xc, long rides with long hills you might want to keep the stock setup. More all mountain type riders might prefer the added plushness of the needle bearing.
    The LBS installed it with the correct sleeves, yes.

    I don't run my shocks firm, but I didn't didn't prefer it. AM isn't a matter of running whether or not your suspension is active, it's a matter of running too much travel for most things, or not enough for others

    Didn't notice any better feel on the DH because it didn't feel more plush--just more movement both up and down and side to side. The up and down I can deal with,but I didn't notice any better small bump compliance either.

    Still might check out the DBair or sending the shock to Push to get the better smaller bump compliance. For now, I'm doing fine with the Monarch Plus.
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  14. #14
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    Sounds fishy to me. The amount of lateral load carried across the shock is secondary to that across the down tube and the seat-stay yoke. Sure your shop didn't just leave something loose?
    Since when did Need have anything to do with this?

  15. #15
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    Just for general info, I used the 2185 kit with the "+" tolerance sleeve. Fit is perfect, with no discernable play.

    I'd also be surprised that some bushing play could cause significant frame flex...

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by albeant View Post
    Just for general info, I used the 2185 kit with the "+" tolerance sleeve. Fit is perfect, with no discernable play.

    I'd also be surprised that some bushing play could cause significant frame flex...
    Did that, maybe flex isn't the right word--just didn't feel right as far as laterally.

    Putting the DU bushings back in fixed the problem, so I'm not concerned with it at this point.
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  17. #17
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    Stripes, your description of the rear end having a mind of its own is familair to me - it sounds like you needed more rebound damping, not less (now that the stock bushes arent adding their own 'rebound damping' and you added air to the shock which on its own would warrant more damping).

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    older El Ciclons

    This thread got me interested in trying out the needle bearing kit, so I contacted Chris at RWC, since I have a 2009 EC and there was not any information on which to use. I assumed all the posts above were in reference to the 2012s.

    Here is the meat and potatoes of his reply:

    "The very latest Ventana frames have rocker arms that curve in toward the shock
    and use our NBKRWC2220 kit. However, the 2009 models have a very wide span
    (54.2mm). Our longest kit is 43.74mm, which would require 5mm of shims on
    each side. That's a bit excessive. Knowing that there are a lot of Ventana
    owners out there that would benefit from a kit specific to this upper rocker
    mount, part number NBKRWC5420 is next in line for production. That means we
    should have one in about 2 months. Sorry we don't have one already..."

    I hope this helps.

  19. #19
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    I've got some more time now on my needle bearings on the 2012 ciclon and i'm still liking the performance. I was unsure about them at first and had to completely reset my suspension. For me it almost felt like the needle bearings added more travel to the suspension. The 150mm setting almost felt to active for me and to close the my nomads suspension feel. The needle bearings made the ciclon bob more than I liked at 150mm unless I ran high air pressure. I moved the ciclon to the 140mm setting to add some more seperation between my nomad and ciclon. So for me the sweet spot has been the 140mm setting in the rear with propedal on firmest setting and 150mm upfront. This lets me stand and mash the pedals like a hard tail and still feel supple when needed. The biggest improvement for me with the needle bearings is that anoying trail chatter when at full speed. The needle bearings do make it eaiser to bottom out the suspension. Im running about 15% sag at 140mm which gives me a very good pedal platform, but because of the needle bearings it doesn't feel harsh at all. I would explain it as having the stiff pedaling of the 140mm setting while at the same time feeling the plushness of the 150mm setting. The biggest problem for me is probably that at 140mm travel with 15% sag I have bottomed out the shock hard a couple times. If I run any more than 15% sag the suspension gets to harsh for my liking. Overall Im happy with them, but I would agree that some might not like them. I think the suspension was also harder to get to feel right with the needle bearing than it was with the stock du bushing.
    Last edited by fuenstock; 01-01-2012 at 01:06 PM.

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