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My three month old BLT has a worn out lower pivot bearing, i have ridden it mostly in the dry apart from a couple of wet days, i have cleaned very carefully around all the pivots. My LBS called Santa Cruz and they say that they only warantee cracked bearings. Surely they should last longer, has any one had similar problems?
 

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Got A Lust for Life...
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Welcome to Santa Cruz...the land of 90 dollar replacement bearing sets that aren't any better than the cheezy set they will replace. I wonder if some bearings wear out faster because of the alignment issues SC apparently has a problem with. I hear some wear 2-3000miles. Some, only 1-300. I wonder what gives. Read similar posts about bearing issues. There are a lot of them.
 

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Replace the stock bearing with better quality versions from a bearing supply house. They'll last longer and roll smoother.
 

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Hardtail Freak
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I have a question, I just finished building up my VP Free last week and only have 2 serious rides on it. I have rear-end play, and thought it was my rear hub (DT Hugi FR saint centerlock), but I checked and did process of elimination, grabbing seat stays, seatpost, chainstays and wiggling, even took my rear wheel off. My lower pivot bolts are loose! I can't seem to tighten them because when I use the 5mm allen, the pivot axles just spin, what should I do besides take it to my LBS?
 

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Hardtail Freak
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Richard said:
Put an allen key in the other side as well:)
I tried that, tried tightening but it won't budge anymore, and the bolt is slightly stripped :madman:
 

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Scant abuse
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Well ... remove one of the caps and check and see if the shaft/pin sits proud of the inner race. If it does pull it out and run it across a flat file so as to take enough off the shaft so it sits slightly below the inner race when fitted. This allows the the inner races and the pivot (black thing) to make a solid connection and ensures the bearing turns and not the shaft.

;)
 

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All Mt, DH
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Enduroforkseals.com also sells bearing kits for Santa Cruz...

I had to replace 2 of my Nomads lowest bearing (on the swingarm) as they has got sand or grit in there and been pitted.... this is after 3 months.

You have to maintain a VPP bike.
 

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It seems that i've been lucky. I've owned a VPF and ride it in mainly sandy conditions. Sometimes wet sandy conditions. its been covered in mud and done loads of shuttle days. 12 months later, the rear end is still tight and flex free. Sounds like a quality control issue in the alignment of the frame.
 

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Downhill rides, via shuttle, can be easier on bearings than long climbs where the pivots barely rotate and wear the same spot on the balls... over and over. That, plus miles, wear them out.

Sounds like a design / bearing choice issue.
 

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Hardtail Freak
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Does anyone have experience with retrofitting needle-type bearings into the pivots? and how do they perform etc.

What about bearings from NTN? How doe those compare to Enduro Fork Seals
 

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Trail Rider
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Check out the SKF site

brodie_rider said:
Does anyone have experience with retrofitting needle-type bearings into the pivots? and how do they perform etc.

What about bearings from NTN? How doe those compare to Enduro Fork Seals
Needle bearings handle can only handle one type of load very well(straight up and down) unless the pivot is designed for needle bearings. Loads from the sides and combo loads are handled better by other types of bearings.
 

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Quattro said:
Needle bearings handle can only handle one type of load very well(straight up and down) unless the pivot is designed for needle bearings. Loads from the sides and combo loads are handled better by other types of bearings.
One thing for sure, the needle bearing in my Devinci Banzai were really GREAT. I sold the frame to get a Nomad this year but the bearing design of the Banzai was definitely much better then the SC or most other bikes I've seen to date...
 

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I think the key is getting good quality grease in the bearings. My blur classic is 2 years old and probably has 6,000 miles on it and the original bearings work fine. I removed the seals while the bearings were on the bike and cleaned them and repacked with Rock n Roll grease and they work well. I think it's probably something that needs to be done every 6 months or so if you ride a lot. I learned how to do this through posts on this board, so search and you'll find detailed descriptions.

Also, as another poster mentioned the length of the pivot axle bolts is also an issue. I filed mine down (dremel) and the occassional creaks are now gone as the bearings are turning rather than the pivot turning on the axle bolt. Also, the pivot bolts now remain tight whereas before they would easily loosen up, causing creaks as the pivot would turn on the axle and not the bearing.
 
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