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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jul 2015

    2019 Stumpy bearings

    I recently picked up a used 2019 29Ē aluminium Stumjumper. Iím happy with the bike.

    However when I recently took it to my local mechanic to fix some problems with the tubeless set up, he told me I can expect all the suspension bearings to wear out quickly and that this it will be an ongoing problem. He said itís a known problem with the bikes. Is this true?

    I also noticed on a recent ride I was losing modulation on my rear brake and the gear changes started to become erratic. I stopped and had a good look and I found the back wheel was loose!

    I then I realised the axle has no cam locking in the tightening mechanism. It is reliant on how hard you can torque it up by hand. Is this design apt to loosening of itís own accord? What if it gets knocked while riding and you donít notice?

  2. #2
    Elitest thrill junkie
    Reputation: Jayem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    That axle has to be tightened quite a bit, it locks just fine, but you have to get it past a certain "point" at which it will stay in place after. Just the nature of the DT Swiss axle system.

    On bearings, I don't think that design is any different than anything else as far as wear. I had a Specialized Enduro 29 a few years back, similar design, and after 2 seasons I definitely had to change the bearings, that's normal IME for most bikes. Things like mud and water, how you clean the bike (not using pressurized sprays) all play a role here, but inevitably ball-bearings in a limited-rotation environment like bicycle suspension will wear divots into the races and get crunchy, it usually takes a season or two. The real question is whether the bearings are "meant" to be replaced, often on big-brand bikes, they kind of aren't, the bikes are meant to be sold, but not necessarily intended to be kept up and ridden year after year. It doesn't mean you can't and that you won't be able to, it just requires a little more work if you truly want to keep up the maintenance. There was no way to remove the horst-link bearings on my Specialized, a blind-puller wouldn't do it due to no lip, so I'm not sure what the solution is there if they still use the same design, but everything else I was able to get at with my blind-puller kit, punches, etc. You can look up the bearings online, go to a bearing store in your industrial area or often order a kit from RealWorldCycles (enduro bearings). Again, if you are riding the bike for a few seasons, it's a good idea to set aside some time to do this, it'll keep your bike running well and minimize wear on other parts. Once bearings really start to go, they can damage the bearing receptacle and other parts. Since your bike is a 2019, it's unlikely you need to do anything this year, maybe towards the end of next year. The other thing to stay on top of is shock bushings, not to be confused with shock reducer hardware. The bushings are the delrin or teflon-impregnated rings in the eyelets of the shock, these are wear items and when they wear, they can create play, that play can destroy the shock mounts on the bike rather quickly when you are riding around with it being "loose". The bushings are relatively cheap, something that you may need to replace a little more frequently to stay on top of things, like once a season, sometimes more if you are using it hard. Then there's the hardware, I HAVE had the hardware wear out too, rare, but worth considering if everything else is "tight" and you can't find any other source.

    The bottom line is the bike should be "tight" and the bearings should be replaced for wear on a schedule. If either of these things doesn't happen, it tends to destroy other stuff. It's hard to assess the bearings from movement unless you physically take them out of the frame, because under the normal leverage ratio of the suspension, there's a whole lot more force moving them so even if damaged, they tend to still move.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    ^^^Educational response there, good stuff. How do personally tell when a bearing is going bad? Is it a noise or a "feel" kind of thing for you?

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Captain_America1976's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Quote Originally Posted by svinyard View Post
    How do personally tell when a bearing is going bad? Is it a noise or a "feel" kind of thing for you?
    Both or either. Usually bearings will start to make noise as they die. The feel part is more side to side movement.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    With the larger bearings, like crank bearings, just remove the cranks and the axle, put your finger inside the bearing, and feel for any side slop or friction/ grinding when you turn the bearing. Iíd be really surprised if those bear8ngs are worn out on a 2019 bike.
    However, if the PO ran with an improperly torqued crank and there was side to side movement, that would speed up the destruction.
    I disassemble my suspension bearing points annually, clean everything up and add a bit of lube. Iíve yet to have to replace a suspension bearing on my 2015 Stumpy FS.

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