Spherical bearings for shocks- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Spherical bearings for shocks

    Has anyone tried them?!

    The spherical bearing, which is sometime referred to as a ball joint, is used to disengage the shock from frame flex forces which reduces friction on the internal seals and increases performance.
    They talk about it on that video (starts at 3:27)

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=8P4jwUpL7sU

  2. #2
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    Yes. My Cane Creek DB used them in 2011. Lots of Google chatter from a search.

    https://www.shockcraft.co.nz/bearing...rical-bearings

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by digev View Post
    Has anyone tried them?!



    They talk about it on that video (starts at 3:27)

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=8P4jwUpL7sU
    You need to have shock with eyelets big enough to allow using them first... Which you most likely don´t have.

  4. #4
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    Progressive/5th Element was using them back in the early 00's.
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  5. #5
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    Specialized did it years ago with the epic fame that had the brain and shock integrated into the same unit. It worked well when brand new but after a few miles they get play in them.

    These are similar to heim joints used in some offroad applications (rock crawlers and what not)whole travel.

    I have a couple on my jeep and they don't last long. A little road grim and trail dirt ruins them quick,

    The biggest problem on a bike is the rattle they cause. I've had very good luck with the RWC needle bearing kit.

    But I see what you are trying to do. Limit the amount of force a frame can inflict on a set of bushings inside the shock increasing life of seals, damper and making the shock smoother through its travel. With most frames having some kind of rocker the shock isn't loaded near as bad as past designs (McPherson strut)
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    ^^^ yeah. I had a SC Blur with 5th Element back in 2003 that had spherical bearings. I later ran a FOX dps on the bike with the typical DU bushings. Spherical is good as it isolates the shock from any bending loads. Auto and moto shocks have spherical bearings or rubber bushings for this reason, but evidently the bike industry doesn't think it worthwhile. Personally, I haven't run into any problems associated with the typical DU/IGUS bushings.
    Do the math.

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    I don't like the lack of sealing...

  8. #8
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    Ohlins used them on the TTX.

  9. #9
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    It's been used on and off for years, it's a great idea and I would love to see it used more but I think they main problem is they are way more expensive than a DU for good ones and also heavier...

    But there is all sorts of binding and flexing in rear shocks so it would increase performance and lifespan, I think the other reasons it hasn't worked in the past is they used cheap unsealed bearings or attached them to horrendous dampers like the brain shocks so you wouldn't notice any performance gain
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  10. #10
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    My S-Works demo had them, it's like a rose joint/spherical bearing.

    Every 6-8 runs the bearing would pop out of the eyelet and end up allowing the shock to contact the carbon frame resulting in damage. I ended up replacing it with a good old pin/bushing arrangement. Could not notice a difference besides complete and utter reliability from the normal bushing arrangement.

  11. #11
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    How are these different from the needle bearings that RWC makes?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    How are these different from the needle bearings that RWC makes?
    More along the lines of a ball-and-socket arrangement.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    How are these different from the needle bearings that RWC makes?
    A spherical bearing can pivot in all 3 planes, not just 1 so it eliminates twisting and side load on the shock
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    More along the lines of a ball-and-socket arrangement.

    Gotcha. I have a coupla older DT Swiss rear shocks that have that sort of arrangement, stock. Always seemed smart to me. Can't say I ever had a problem with them either.

    Not sure if they still do 'em that way.

  15. #15
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    I had a Conejo in the early 90s with spherical bearings in the single pivot. They were the only thing about that bike that was bombproof. Ah, the good old days of wacky fs frame design.

  16. #16
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    You can see how much my shock rolls around. Nevermind the far too low pressure I was running in my fork


  17. #17
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    Spherical bearings for shocks

    Nice video! You can really see how stressed the shock/frame is. That’s what those spherical bearings are for

    Less deflection and less stress on the shock and frame under side load. They keep the suspension points exactly where they should be!

    I really like the idea as it seems logical!

    To improve your shock ability to dampen suspension movements and reduce friction in your suspension is already great but I wonder if you can feel it?!

    Does less flex, deflection and friction will improve handling?! Or is it just great for your bike?

    For example you can feel needle bearings straight away, the breakaway force is ridiculous and it makes the shock erase small bumps more efficiently. OK that’s not handling, but it’s a side effect that you can feel.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by digev View Post
    To improve your shock ability to dampen suspension movements and reduce friction in your suspension is already great but I wonder if you can feel it?!

    Does less flex, deflection and friction will improve handling?! Or is it just great for your bike?
    It's extremely difficult for me to tell. I have two air shocks for this bike as well, neither of which have a spherical bearing. So the change to coil is so dramatic I can't tell if the bearing has an impact. The only fair way would be to have two of the same shocks, one without the bearing, and one with it.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by digev View Post
    Does less flex, deflection and friction will improve handling?! Or is it just great for your bike?

    For example you can feel needle bearings straight away, the breakaway force is ridiculous and it makes the shock erase small bumps more efficiently. OK that’s not handling, but it’s a side effect that you can feel.
    In simple answer, yes, in more detailed answer:When we received the first of the shocks equipped with spherical eyelet bearings it was quite damp on the trails. I had on the front of the bike a freshly built Mojo MORC 36 for with dual crown system so static and sliding friction at the front was minimal and I had the stock ‘normal’ bushing shock to ride back to back with the spherical shock…



    The first trail I rode was a local, flowy trail with leaves, and flip-flop turns all with a very slight wide groove made by my tyres over many years! I normally use the whole of the groove and rely on both wheels sliding to the outside camber when it’s wet. It’s a great trail for that delicious but not quite predictable, feet up turning but sliding feeling. Love it! Did some runs on the normal eyelets and did all the usual things and loved it!



    Then I put the spherical eyelet shock on (same settings) and was pleased to feel the amount of energy I got back from the suspension as I was riding the first straight(ish) flowy bit of trail pumping the bike on the features. I was still thinking of that great difference in feel as I turned into the first flat turn, dropped the outside pedal and then kept steering and gripping in the middle of the turn so much that I ended up turning too much and coming off the track over the adverse camber on the inside of the groove!



    It was such an amazing difference…



    I decided that the rear shock was not binding mid-turn but was settling further into the travel than the ‘normal’ shock changing the dynamic angles and making the bike steer more but without losing grip! So by steering too much I was losing speed mid turn.



    I then started adding high speed compression to mimic the action of the stiction (but without the un-predictability) to keep the bike on a straighter faster path. Worked a treat! I still had the pop and dynamism coming back from the shock on the rebound side, I still had the grip and feel in the turn but now the slide is linked to angle I push the bike to not a random stiction based tyre flex or chassis flex feedback loop…
    Chris Porter.

  20. #20
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    They've been used plenty by Progressive (5th element), DT, Cane Creek, Ohlins, etc. But there is no need, a DU or IGUS bushing eyelet has enough sideways give to deal with frame alignment/flex.

    The mount you all should be concerned about is trunnion. That's the worst idea ever for shock life.
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dougal View Post
    They've been used plenty by Progressive (5th element), DT, Cane Creek, Ohlins, etc. But there is no need, a DU or IGUS bushing eyelet has enough sideways give to deal with frame alignment/flex.

    The mount you all should be concerned about is trunnion. That's the worst idea ever for shock life.
    I dunno mate, These short yoke Specialized enduro/stumpy's are shaft killers!

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghostbiker View Post
    In simple answer, yes, in more detailed answer:When we received the first of the shocks equipped with spherical eyelet bearings it was quite damp on the trails. I had on the front of the bike a freshly built Mojo MORC 36 for with dual crown system so static and sliding friction at the front was minimal and I had the stock ‘normal’ bushing shock to ride back to back with the spherical shock…



    The first trail I rode was a local, flowy trail with leaves, and flip-flop turns all with a very slight wide groove made by my tyres over many years! I normally use the whole of the groove and rely on both wheels sliding to the outside camber when it’s wet. It’s a great trail for that delicious but not quite predictable, feet up turning but sliding feeling. Love it! Did some runs on the normal eyelets and did all the usual things and loved it!



    Then I put the spherical eyelet shocks on (same settings) and was pleased to feel the amount of energy I got back from the suspension as I was riding the first straight(ish) flowy bit of trail pumping the bike on the features. I was still thinking of that great difference in feel as I turned into the first flat turn, dropped the outside pedal and then kept steering and gripping in the middle of the turn so much that I ended up turning too much and coming off the track over the adverse camber on the inside of the groove!



    It was such an amazing difference…



    I decided that the rear shock was not binding mid-turn but was settling further into the travel than the ‘normal’ shock changing the dynamic angles and making the bike steer more but without losing grip! So by steering too much I was losing speed mid turn.



    I then started adding high speed compression to mimic the action of the stiction (but without the un-predictability) to keep the bike on a straighter faster path. Worked a treat! I still had the pop and dynamism coming back from the shock on the rebound side, I still had the grip and feel in the turn but now the slide is linked to angle I push the bike to not a random stiction based tyre flex or chassis flex feedback loop…
    Chris Porter.
    Wow, that's quite a detailed answer! Thank you so much for taking the time to feed back so much info. Can spherical bearings be fitted to any EXT Storia or is it down to your frame?!

    Thanks again

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by brash View Post
    I dunno mate, These short yoke Specialized enduro/stumpy's are shaft killers!
    I've not yet replaced a shock shaft on a Specialized Yoke bikes and they've been out most of a decade.
    I have replaced broken shock shafts on Trek and Giant trunnion bikes and they've only been out a few years!

    I'm not a fan of the yoke design at all. But Trunnion is worse in every way.
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  24. #24
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    Does the «Shock extender» on the new Yetis emulate the spherical bearings?! Because the base of the shock can now move up/down/left/right and I guess horizontally and vertically at the same time. But no tilt.


  25. #25
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    I feel like I see a specialised with a worm shaft every other week. The clevis and narrow pivot spacing is a killer.

    The twisting on shocks is pretty substantial, and any shock with a shaft less than about 10mm especially is in for a rough time if you’re not careful!

  26. #26
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    So my CCDB IL Coil with 8mm shaft attached to the shock extender is suffering?!

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dougal View Post
    I've not yet replaced a shock shaft on a Specialized Yoke bikes and they've been out most of a decade.
    I have replaced broken shock shafts on Trek and Giant trunnion bikes and they've only been out a few years!

    I'm not a fan of the yoke design at all. But Trunnion is worse in every way.
    Wish I could say the same. 2x DB IL coils gone to cane creek heaven on my 19 stumpy evo. My old enduro murdered some ohlins ttx’s too.

    If I didn’t have the support of my local shop I’d stop paying good money for these bikes.

    I’ll be in your neck of the woods next month, doing a bucket list bike trip to Queenstown for a while.

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