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  1. #1
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    Shock needle bearings for previous generation frames

    Got this from Chis @ RWC,
    Hi, Jeff:

    Well, we were way off on the timing, but the kits are finally done:
    They are the last kit listed on this page: RWC SHOCK EYE NEEDLE BEARING KITS

    Best regards,

    Chris Streeter

    Real World Cycling, LLC

    chris@realworldcycling.com

    REAL WORLD CYCLING AFTERMARKET COMPONENTS, BEARINGS, & SEALS

    Phone: (877) 363-8761

  2. #2
    Just A Mountain Biker.
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    No shims needed for that size? I got the same email from him, but I thought I read somewhere the Ventana size was like 54.4mm? I could be way off, I can't find the thread about that now.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by azbeerguy View Post
    No shims needed for that size? I got the same email from him, but I thought I read somewhere the Ventana size was like 54.4mm? I could be way off, I can't find the thread about that now.
    I'm pretty sure it's 54mm.

  4. #4
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    No Shims needed and the correct size is 54mm. 54.4 would require you to loosen the rockers to fit them.

    I tested out the prototype kit for Chris. There is a noticeable difference.

    -A
    -Aaron G.

    "Before D.W., "anti-squat" was referred to as pedal feedback."

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ciclistagonzo View Post
    No Shims needed and the correct size is 54mm. 54.4 would require you to loosen the rockers to fit them.

    I tested out the prototype kit for Chris. There is a noticeable difference.

    -A
    when i was considering trying them about a year ago, i called Mr. Gibson to see what he thought. he wasn't a fan. has he changed his opinion since? don't mean to put you on the spot, if you don't want to answer for him, i get it.
    breezy shade

  6. #6
    Just A Mountain Biker.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ciclistagonzo View Post
    No Shims needed and the correct size is 54mm. 54.4 would require you to loosen the rockers to fit them.

    I tested out the prototype kit for Chris. There is a noticeable difference.

    -A
    Aaron can you elaborate on the "noticeable difference"? Positive or negative? It's about a $100 investment (tools included in that figure), and I'd like some feedback. The only other Ventana-specific thread in this forum isn't much help as it sounds like the wrong size was used or it was installed improperly. Thanks in advance...

  7. #7
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    NHodge/AZBeer;
    Here's is my feedback I provided back to Chris.

    From: Aaron Gonzalez (mailto:ciclistagonz)
    Sent: Tuesday, March 27, 2012 4:29 PM
    To: chris@realworld
    Subject: Re: Ventana (54.2) Needle Bearing Kit Proto



    Chris,



    I've given the Needle bearing kit a pretty good work out. With enough varied conditions and some repeated test for confimation of what I was feeling.



    I can honestly say, I was MORE than a bit suprised how much of a difference I did indeed feel. With all due respect, I did go into this thinking this might be more hype than fact. I was wrong.

    As to the specific 54.2 (54.0 future perhaps?) Kit's. Initial fit was an issue as the seals caused the Alu. spacers to sit too wide and sliding them into place between the rockers wasn't possible without loosening the rockers. A minor quibble, that was soon resolved after installation as the compressive forces set the seals tight and I was able to slide the whole unit in between the rockers with minor spreading of the rockers by hand (no hardware loosening required).

    Function on the trail. -

    Pros:

    -Improved small bump performance, very active suspension in the first 1/2-3/4" of stroke. Past that, was hard to feel difference as bumps causing that much suspension movement are significant.

    - Improved braking traction/suspension action, single pivot 4 bars are prone to suspension squat, and while the RWC kit does not change the physics involved, I noticed the suspension tracking better under rear braking AFTER the kit was installed.

    Cons:

    -increased pedal induced bob. Despite bumping my ProPedal to Level 3, I had significantly more pedaling bobbing with the Needle bearings.

    -decreased lateral rigidity in the rear tri - You can't get around the fact that the upper shock pivot is a stressed member of the rear triangle, your kit does an excellent job of keeping side loads out of the needle bearing, but it does not match the thru-pin design from Ventana. It was evident on the trail, best translation is, during high load turns I could feel the rear NOT track the front end. At first it felt more like a squirming feeling, fearing it was a low rear tire, I pumped up my Tubeless setup to 40 psi, and rode the same turn over and over, with the same squirmy feeling. I decided to further test if it was something else by swapping out the wheel/tire combo. Went from a Mavic 717/Bronson 2.3 to DT Swiss 5.1D/Nevegal 2.35 with the same squirming rear end feeling.

    I then conducted a shop experiment, placing a torque load on the crankarm at the 6 O'clock position, and feeling for movement at the Shock Eyelet/spacer interface, I can feel the spacer moving slighlty.

    Same experiement with the thrupin design yeild much less lateral movement, barely any in fact.

    Conclusion:

    I think the Needle Bearing kits are another tool to consider, they offer pro's and cons. They definately remove the last appreciable friction within the suspension system, and thusly you are left with the JUST the shock doing all the damping. On a stock, RP23? Not a good thing, as my Mid-Compression Tune shock felt WAY underdamped. On a more user controlled damper, such as DHX, RC4 or RS Monarch Plus then it can be considered a plus as it's strictly the suspension movement you are damping and not the friction within the suspension.

    For me, I can't get past the fact that I'd need to send in my shock to Push to add more compression damping to eliminate the bobbing and the loss of lateral strength in the rear tri. Ventana's are known for that strength, perhaps if I haven't been riding Ventana's for the past 11+ years I wouldn't have noticed as much. Or perhaps lighter riders (I am over 220)won't be as effected. But for now, I will be sticking with the DU/Thru-pin.

    I do thank you for oppurtunity to prototype this for you. I enjoyed it immensely.
    -Aaron


    BTW - A side note on the design, I really liked how you made one kit universal for 5 or 6mm bolts, very clever.

    NH - I think Sherwood still isn't a fan, and after my experience I understand his point more. I'm more neutral although I think Chris doesn't think I am.

    AZ - Hope this helps. Again, I do think it's viable tool, you just have to go into it understanding the pro's AND con's. BTW, I did not need to get the bearing tool from RWC, I used the Mtb4life DU bushing tools I already had to press it in with out issue.

    -A
    -Aaron G.

    "Before D.W., "anti-squat" was referred to as pedal feedback."

  8. #8
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    Thank you for sharing that - can't say it made my decision any easier, but comprehensive nonetheless! Have a great weekend~

    AZB

  9. #9
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    I ran stock du bushing and reducer setup on my 2012 ciclon(rp23) and now have 4-5 months on the rwc needle bearing on the upper shock mount. I think Ciclistagonzo feedback is spot on. First few rides I wasn't sure about it, but after several rides and re-adjusting my suspension settings to work with the needle bearing I actually prefer it over stock reducers. Setup with needle bearing was harder to setup than it was with stock reducer. On the stock reducers I was running 25% sag and 5 clicks rebound from closed with the needle bearing it's around 17% sag and 2 clicks rebound from closed. One of my favorite things to do is slow grinding technical climbs and I feel the needle bearing has improved traction for me in those situations. I also feel like it improved fast speed trail chatter noticably, but again at the cost of more bob and can feel like it drags on climbs. Still a good pedaler, just more active than before. I can see how some people will not like the needle bearing. If you try it, give it a bunch of rides before you decide. I do think a shock with more adjutments would make it easier to setup than it was with an rp23.

    Pro; improved traction, improved braking, improved fast speed trail chatter

    Con; more bob, heavier feel while climbing, maybe overly active for somes taste, have to run alot of rebound damping and less sag on stock rp23 shock.
    Last edited by fuenstock; 05-03-2012 at 02:35 PM.

  10. #10
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    hey there Aaron,

    really appreciate the extensive report. i'm gonna make it easy on myself & stick w/ what Sherwood likes. your description just makes it easier.

    thanks
    breezy shade

  11. #11
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    More food for thought, read the blurb on shock mounting hardware on some other website.
    Since when did Need have anything to do with this?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by icegeek View Post
    More food for thought, read the blurb on shock mounting hardware on some other website.
    That looks very promising, too bad it doesn't provide any availability info, and a google search has turned up empty.

  13. #13
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    I rode the needle bearings on my 2012 El Ciclon. Took them off after two rides. I really hated the way they changed the feel of the bike, even after adjusting the shock settings. The biggest issue was the lateral play. That was the deal breaker for me.

    I think someone said I had the wrong size bearings, but I don't think that was the case. I called RWC to ask what would work for my bike, and I used those. The DU bushings just had that much of a tighter fit than the needle bearings IMO.

  14. #14
    PMK
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    Have read and re-read this several times. The information posted is detailed and explained.

    The one item I just don't understand, is why the rear damper would be utilized as a stressed structure. Ideally the frame should see the loads and the damper only see telescopic motion.

    If we do convert or test the bearing setup, it will be on a tandem where loads will be even greater at times.

    PK
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by PMK View Post
    Have read and re-read this several times. The information posted is detailed and explained.

    The one item I just don't understand, is why the rear damper would be utilized as a stressed structure. Ideally the frame should see the loads and the damper only see telescopic motion.

    If we do convert or test the bearing setup, it will be on a tandem where loads will be even greater at times.

    PK
    In a perfect world the shock would only feel the up and down forces without any side loads. But this is far from a perfect world.

    In saying that though I might wonder if you'd feel less of the affect of the side to side movement to the rear end on a tandem? I know on my tandem I'd be hard pressed to feel that sort of small detail. Going to fast, slightly out of control at all times, not riding fireroads, is how the tandem usually gets raced and I wonder if I'd or any others would notice a bit more flex? On a tandem that is. On my single bike it would drive me nuts....but there's enough other stuff going during a tandem ride I might be too busy to notice.


    Given all that, do you really need more small bump compliancy out of the back end of your tandem??


    Hammer down!
    www.velocitybicycles.comWhere customers become friends, not simply a dollar sign.

  16. #16
    fai
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    I have used the needle bearings on a 2012 El Ciclon and it does make a difference to shock movement, allowing the shock to move more easily because of less friction in the eyelet. I liked the feel and had to increase the air pressure because the shock moved much more easily. The downside is the amount of play that quickly sets in. I tried a couple of the kits and this problem soon reappeared. I now use the latest Fox pushes that allow the shock to move more easily in the mounts without any issues.
    AJR

  17. #17
    PMK
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    Quote Originally Posted by Internal14 View Post
    In a perfect world the shock would only feel the up and down forces without any side loads. But this is far from a perfect world.

    In saying that though I might wonder if you'd feel less of the affect of the side to side movement to the rear end on a tandem? I know on my tandem I'd be hard pressed to feel that sort of small detail. Going to fast, slightly out of control at all times, not riding fireroads, is how the tandem usually gets raced and I wonder if I'd or any others would notice a bit more flex? On a tandem that is. On my single bike it would drive me nuts....but there's enough other stuff going during a tandem ride I might be too busy to notice.


    Given all that, do you really need more small bump compliancy out of the back end of your tandem??


    Hammer down!
    I would not say I need better compliance, the oem Ventana pivot has no drag on our tandem. It does get ridden hard and I was hoping for better longevity of the pivot.

    In our opinion the rear frame does flex as can be seen in this video, I just don't want to induce more flex. Is this the flex and movement others that ran the bearings felt.

    https://vimeo.com/18418786

    As for a perfect world of no side loads, granted nothing is perfect, but it seems odd that with so much capable side load, even single rider frames are feeling something. Maybe it's not so much the idea of flex, but the real concept of having the shock be a stressed component in side loads.

    PK
    Reps! We don't need no stickin' reps!

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