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boba
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133 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My Mojo was commissioned in March 08, and after 9 months of riding 3 to 5 hours a week in what are ....often very wet, West Coast conditions, several of the lower link bearings are toast....almost frozen. The upper ones are better, but one is very rough. I have disgarded the upper links as I now have a Lopes link.

Upon researching the bearing quality, I found that the original bearings are fairly low quality and come with a minimal of grease which is not a waterproof grease. They can be replaced by my local shop which has a bearing puller and press and would cost $5.00 each.

However, they suggest replacing them with much better quality bearings...ie. $10.00 each which will last a lot longer and have quality lubricant. Also, before installing the bearings or a new link, use a sharp knife and lift the bearing seal. Re-pack the bearings with high quality, waterproof grease.

Also, on a DW link suspension, the bearings only move a fraction of a turn and tend to load and wear at one place. If you are for whater reason, removing the rear triangle, it makes sense to rotate the brearings so that they wear in a new spot and at the same time, repack the bearings.

Any comments or other suggestions welcome.

Bob, Comox, BC.
 

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aka dan51
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6,021 Posts
I debate this with myself every year. The conclusion I draw is, expensive bearings will make no difference. They only rotate a small amount. I've tried high quality bearings in past bikes, and in the end, they still fill with dirt and rust and are in no better shape than the cheap bearings would have been. And they don't feel any different either. The main reason to get bearings of higher quality would be for strength. I've crushed some OEM bearings before when bottoming out the suspension too hard.
 

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boba
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133 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
full complement bearings.

Thx. Bitterdave..I forgot to mention that the mechanic Darren said that the "full complement" style you mention would give quite a bit better results as they spread the load better with more bearings and no retainer. He also said that the type of seals...one or two lip and the quality of grease makes a difference. He repacks the bearings on his own bike with a red, sticky grease that is fully waterproof.

He also said that it did not really matter if the bearings were partially seized or would not spin at all, as long as they did not have any play...

For my part, I would rather not be ordering a new set of lower links or a new Lopes link when what determines their longevity is the bearing quality. I would rather replace the bearings. The lower link bearings on my bike...allowed water to get in and they were rusty and seized.

bob
 

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Reviewer/Tester
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Ive been using the Enduro Ceramic bearings in my crankset for quite a while, they are very very good. A set of the same bearings in the links would be a fine addition to the Mojo.


R.
 

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www.derbyrims.com
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bobAustin said:
Thx. Bitterdave..I forgot to mention that the mechanic Darren said that the "full complement" style you mention would give quite a bit better results as they spread the load better with more bearings and no retainer. ....
There's also the argument that while the MAX type bearings do have a a few more balls, but without the separator retainers they constantly rub each other, and so wear out just as fast or faster. I've noticed no real difference in wear life using both types in my last bike, with a horst link suspension design.

Repacking the Mojo link bearings with waterproof grease can be done fairly easily at home. Using a large pin or very small watch repair type screw driver, carefully peal back and pop off the rubber seal that is exposed on one side of each bearing while still pressed in the link and fill with grease. The seal easily presses back on with finger pressure. Using solvent, you could first clean out the existing grease which might not be water proof type grease, although normally there is very little grease in new ball bearings to replace.
 

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mtbmitch2 said:
a bushing set up would be the best solution.
IMO
Oi ... no thank you, you need to constantly grease them ... unless the grease dries up or clogs and then you cannot add grease any longer and need to take the thing apart (a looong procedure). Had bushings for years and I do not want to go back ... actually ...nobody in the bike industry does.
 

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After 6 months on the frame, I found that the lower link bearings were pretty rough, especially the smaller pair. This did not seem to effect the suspension at all but it did effect my brain.

So I squeezed in some nice Phil Wood Spec bearings with a little green Loctite and all is well. Only time will tell if a higher tolerance bearing with good grease and seals lasts any longer.....
:eek:ut:
 

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boba
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133 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for suggestions..will conduct an experiment.

This morning I removed all the links from both our ibis bikes, plus the headsets. On my bike the lower links and Lopes are new and unused. Jane's are 8 months old. They still turned but were rough. What was amazing was how little grease is in the new links....lower and Lopes! Lots of room for moisture and dust. In Janes the grease was almost non-existant.

So, I removed the outer seals and washed out the old grease with gasoline and re-packed the bearings in a heavy, sticky red, waterproof grease given to me my a heavy duty mechanic friend..It is used on bulldozers. I have diarized to pull my bike apart next September and see if the bearings are in better shape after the same amount of riding in similiar contditons. I cannot see how the repacking of the new and Jane's old bearings cannot help....bob.
 

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Bearings

I found the same with my bike - you are definitely not alone with this. I've had my SL for approximately the same length of time as you and have ridden in some pretty awful conditions this year. I now have a complete set of replacement linkages to fit to the frame, including a Lopes link. The previous set of upper bearings were actually doing fine, but I figured that if I was going to strip the bike down I'd rather install the new improved upper link while I was doing the work. The rear triangle also popped out of alignment during one of my big rides in Wales this year. It was a substantial enough shift to noticeably affect the front mech and make it rub against the chain; I hope the design of the Lopes link will prevent this from happening in future.

Before fitting them to the bike, I took the seals off all the bearings in the new links and packed them with as much grease as possible. I am hoping this will slightly improve performance and extend the service life. I am doubtful whether improved quality bearings will really help matters. It might be a better strategy to simply accept that replacement once a year is the sensible option. Is it worth stressing about whether or not you can extend the service life with possibly time consuming investigations into alternatives to the stock bearings? I'm sure the Ibis guys would change the design if they felt there were substantial benefits to doing so? While the guys on these forums do perform an extraordinary amount of experimentation/investigation, maybe insufficient time has passed for anybody to really come to any good conclusions on this stuff yet?

- Matt
 

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boba
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133 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Good Post Matt

Thanks for the good post...It is nice to know that others are having the same experience. I am not "concerned" about the early wear of the bearings, but I do like things to work well and last as long as possible. If I can do something when installing new links..(installing the Lopes Link raised the matter)....that extends their lifespan quite a bit, all the better...and packing the new links with waterproof grease is a quick'n easy, but messy job...

I own a Beta 4rt trials motorcylce. A lot of trials guys strip down their new bikes and pack all the bearings ...from headset to wheel bearings to swingarm bearings with waterproof grease before extensive use. They tend to come with a minimum of grease and trials sections often have runs with two or more feet deep of muddy water,

Anyways, I enjoyed spending the morning on the bikes. We never get snow on Vancouver Island (Comox Valley) and this year our riding has been interrupted by a foot of the stuff...which is melting as we speak. I feel good knowing that the Ibis's are ready to go once the trails re-open. Enjoy the New Year.

bob
 

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Has anyone used this tool?

I pulled my lower link today and the bearings are pretty crunchy. I ordered some new ones from enduro as I want to just swap the bearings vs. replacing the whole link. I was going to jerry rig a bearing puller/press together to swap the bearings out and I ended up running across this tool on Jenson. Seems like a good deal, only issue is nowhere does it list what size bearings it works on. So I was wondering if anyone has had any experience with this particular tool. I have an email in to FSA but I thought I would see if anyone here has seen or used this tool. Thanks!
 

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More Torque
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sessionrider said:
I pulled my lower link today and the bearings are pretty crunchy. I ordered some new ones from enduro as I want to just swap the bearings vs. replacing the whole link. I was going to jerry rig a bearing puller/press together to swap the bearings out and I ended up running across this tool on Jenson. Seems like a good deal, only issue is nowhere does it list what size bearings it works on. So I was wondering if anyone has had any experience with this particular tool. I have an email in to FSA but I thought I would see if anyone here has seen or used this tool. Thanks!
Don't bother if you have a socket set with a variety of sizes.

Lots of good info here:

http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=242343

-D
 
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