Cleaning all the pivot bushings, how and how often?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Cleaning all the pivot bushings, how and how often?

    How often do you take the triangle, link, and shock off and clean all the grit out of the pivots? Every ten days of shuttling? Once a year? Every other?And how do you do it? Ultrasonic cleaning tank? Soak in kerosene? Other solvent? Soap and brush? I have all three available to me.

    -Peter

  2. #2
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    Whenever I do an air can service on my shock I feel if the pivots are gritty or not. If there's any kind of grittyness or binding I check out the bearings. By the time they feel gritty the bearings are most of the way toward being trash already. A good quality grease can keep things working smoother but won't take the play out of a worn bearing.

    It really depends on the conditions you ride in and how often you was your bike. Water will find it's way in the bearings no matter how good the seals are which will reduce bearing life.

  3. #3
    Big M, Little organ.
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    Short answer, almost never.
    Your bike frame likely has sealed bearings. While you can clean/re-grease them, IMO its easier and better to simply replace when they are gritty or have play. I get years out of a set of bearings. I will clean the pivot area every so often because they do attract dirt but thats about it. If there is any play, then I replace.

    For shock bushings, I will wipe down/re-grease those a couple times a year. Once the bushings are really easy to remove they aren't far from being worn out so I replace them. It helps to have the right tool for this job.

    You should never need to completely remove grease with solvents or anything like that. Just wipe out the old grease and add new. If you really want to re-grease sealed bearings, Park tool has a recent video on it with Seths Bike Hacks.

  4. #4
    Magically Delicious
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    I clean, inspect and service my pivot bearings about every 500-600 miles. It's a reasonably easy task that will extend the service life of your bearings.

    Sealed bearings are not sealed to prevent service, but to seal out unwanted contaminates. Additionally, there some common tricks to prevent water or other contaminate from ever getting past the external bearing or pivot caps. Servicing bearings is a normal, ongoing task unless you prefer to spend more $$ and just replace them. I much prefer to maintain my equipment over tossing more $$ towards replacement. It's certainly not faster to replace them over servicing them.

    If your bearings have managed to allow some contaminates past the seal, you will hear and feel the distinctive crunchy sound when they are rotated. This does not mean that they are necessarily trashed or due for replacement. It does mean that you'll need to use a clean solvent to purge and flush all grease and contaminates from the bearings, thoroughly dry and re-grease despite some misleading opinions.
    A bad day of cycling is better than a good day at work

    Work Truck - Dassault Falcon 7X

  5. #5
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    Like any maintenance issue it all depends on how much you ride and in what conditions. Whether it's riding the bike park, shuttling, or pedaling up the local free-ride area, at least half of my riding is in wet conditions. I have to address my linkage bearings about once a year x 2 bikes (DH bike and AM bike). The upper linkage bearings last longer, lower ones not so much.

    If the cartridge bearings are feeling crunchy, I pry the seals off the cartridge bearings, flush the grit old grease and water out with solvent (odorless mineral spirits) then re-grease with thick waterproof marine grease. I usually only do that once per bearing. It's not worth it to keep pulling things apart, and by the second time around the bearings are usually pretty well shot, so I replace at that point.
    No dig no whine

  6. #6
    Magically Delicious
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    Lower link bearings defiantly are exposed to more abuse than the uppers. One way to combat this is to apply grease to the outer portion of the bearing seal prior to placing the exterior or aluminum bearing cover. This layer of grease is an added barrier to prevent water and general bearing dirt/dust contamination. In the summer we ride dusty trail and that manages to find its way into everything.

    Cleaning all the pivot bushings, how and how often?-20180429_160907.jpg Cleaning all the pivot bushings, how and how often?-20180429_161346.jpg Cleaning all the pivot bushings, how and how often?-20180429_161743.jpg

    Reinstall bearing seal, apply a quality marine grease over top of bearing seal and reinstall aluminum bearing cover.

    Cleaning all the pivot bushings, how and how often?-20180429_162057.jpg Cleaning all the pivot bushings, how and how often?-20180429_162124.jpg Cleaning all the pivot bushings, how and how often?-20180429_164904.jpg

    Wipe off excess grease squeeze-out, clean with alcohol and torque to OEM specifications

    Cleaning all the pivot bushings, how and how often?-20180429_165231.jpg Cleaning all the pivot bushings, how and how often?-20180429_165333.jpg

    This added grease over the bearing seal does a great job of keeping additional contaminates out of the bearings.
    A bad day of cycling is better than a good day at work

    Work Truck - Dassault Falcon 7X

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