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I'm just saying for those that maintain or replace components as needed, a teardown is unnecessary. Maintenance will be out of sync so there's no way to avoid piecemeal maintenance throughout the riding season that will address crud build up in all the nooks and crannies. I check pivots when I service the shock. Check the headset when I pull the fork for a damper service. I check and clean the bb when I replace the chainring. The only other place that gets build up is behind the cassette. I'll pull that periodically because they last so long I can't wait until it's worn out. Cables and housing replaced when needed. Nasty weather dictates anything outside that regime. Because components have out of sync maintenance needs, everything a teardown accomplishes will be address it's just piecemeal instead of all at once.
Does it matter if things are out of sync, or if you do a particular cleanup more often than is minimally required? Usually it doesn't.

If you want to break down the bike when you're not riding it so you can be more thorough, then have at it.

A lot of people's cleaning/maintenance routines will depend on riding conditions, too, and not just mileage. I'm checking/cleaning/replacing grease around my headset and bb bearings with some regularity riding in Pisgah. Same with my freehub pawls. Folks riding in the desert wouldn't need to be checking those things as often.

Plus, some people like a cleaner bike than others. I got over trying to keep my bike pristine a long time ago, but I understand it. I focus my cleaning/maintenance efforts in specific spots. Otherwise, meh. If someone else wants to, then that's up to them. Unnecessary, maybe, but if it makes them happy, who am I to harp on them over it?
 

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Nice workstation setup OP. Like the bike stand/holder setup. I'll be doing my full teardown once it starts warming up or at least until I finish building my HT so I won't be without a bike.
 

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@Jackie_N, very cool I was already thinking about some very involved solutions and what you did is simple and works.👍
I might copy that.
 

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I knew some smarmy southerner was gonna chime in with a smart remark. Shove that sunshine and warm weather up yeeerrrrrr :)

Thanks guys. I guess I'm gonna look into replacement bearings and a press tool!
Unless your pivot bearings are shot, I would just pop the outer seal, clean and repack. Go head an invest in some bearing tools, I just wouldn't punch bearings out unless they needed replacing. I think of pivot bearings like PF BB cups or headset cups. The fewer times you mess with press fit interfaces the better.
 

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Discussion Starter #25
@Jackie_N, very cool I was already thinking about some very involved solutions and what you did is simple and works.
I might copy that.
Awesome, if I remembered who to credit for the idea I would do so here!

Post pics of your setup if you go this route! My only misstep was the cheap Besey clamp from home depot. It's poorly cast lightweight junk. It's fine for the task, but if you stretch your budget for a good quality pipe clamp you won't regret it.

Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter #26
Unless your pivot bearings are shot, I would just pop the outer seal, clean and repack. Go head an invest in some bearing tools, I just wouldn't punch bearings out unless they needed replacing. I think of pivot bearings like PF BB cups or headset cups. The fewer times you mess with press fit interfaces the better.
Solid tip. I think I'll take out the shock and inspect the main bearings visually , give em a clean and new grease and call it a day. Unless I can feel or hear something nasty going on when manually moving the pivots I'll leave it be.
 

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Solid tip. I think I'll take out the shock and inspect the main bearings visually , give em a clean and new grease and call it a day. Unless I can feel or hear something nasty going on when manually moving the pivots I'll leave it be.
Quick tip on cleaning. WD40 is great for clearning because sometimes parts cleaner will remove the old grease and clean really well but in the absence of lubrication the clean bearing can seize up. Sometimes fresh grease frees them up easily, but I've had stubborn bearings not want to move even with fresh grease. WD keeps this from happening. Usually I do brake parts clearner followed by WD, but you can use just WD. You will want to flush out the WD with compressed air before packing fresh grease. I like heavy marine grease for pivot bearings. Cheap and seems to lasts longer than the thinner grease I use on bearings that see full rotations at higher speeds. Some people like to put a grease film on the outer seals to keep water out but I find that's more likely to attract dirt which can be drawn into the seal when the bearings rotate. I keep the seals as clean and dry as possible for that reason. I used to overpack too. I've been told it's good to allow for a little space so when contaminants get in, which they will, there's enough room for the grease to suspend the particles away from the balls and race. Overpacking, which is easy to do, will also cause some grease to purge out which will attract dirt.
 

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Some people like to put a grease film on the outer seals to keep water out but I find that's more likely to attract dirt which can be drawn into the seal when the bearings rotate. I keep the seals as clean and dry as possible for that reason.
The only time I put grease outside the bearing seals is if there's an external dust shield over the bearing seals. That way, the external grease catches any of the contaminants before they get past the bearing seals. Maintaining it is pretty quick and easy, and it seems like it does a pretty good job of prolonging the life of bearings. At this point, the only places I tend to do this are with my headset and my bb. My headset (CC110) has more of an external seal (o-rings and such) so the grease stays good for longer.

I've never bothered with pivot bearings, though I've had a few different applications of those over the years. My first FS bike didn't have any sort of external shields on the pivot bearings. They were small, and they tended to wear out kinda quickly, too. Later FS bikes got much better life out of the bearings. My second FS never needed pivot bearing attention at all. My wife's FS bikes have always been Santa Cruz or Juliana. And they use the lower link with grease ports and bearings that lack an inner shield. So you're supposed to pack that link with fresh grease, in part, to flush out the old.
 

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I recently washed one of my bikes because I thought of selling it. It had been six years since the last wash, which was just a rinse in the motel shower after my race run at the Ashland Enduro. It was interesting to see all the different dirt in various places. Sand from the White Tanks from a wet ride. Red silt from Sedona packed in one the rear hub bolt sockets. Organic moon dust from local rides. Fine black volcanic sand from Iceland. There was even years old puked up recovery drink on the downtube from riding in 108* Kernville. After I washed it, I decided to keep it. I pulled the shock and cycled the rear end and good to go.
 

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2020 Specialized Rockhopper Expert 1x / 2010 Specialized Hardrock Disc
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Personally, I tear my bike down once a year. I like to get it all cleaned up, replace cables and housings, change seals and oil in the fork and shock, clean and lube the bottom bracket and headset bearings, inspect, clean and service the pivot bearings. I usually replace the chain as well. Every 2 years, I swap out all pivot bearings whether they need it or not. Then, I go back together with everything lubed and torqued just right.

Is this overkill? Probably, but I do all of my own work, so it's not expensive. Plus, my bike rides sooooo well, and outside of a crash or other heavy impact, I rarely break down during the heart of the season.
Bro, you're doing it right. Having everything setup to do it all once a year is the level I am trying to get myself to. Almost there. Good on you though.
 

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I tear my bike down once or twice a year partially for fun and partially just to check over every aspect of the bike. It's actually how I found the chain stay cracked on my last frame. The suspension was creaking which wasn't to unusual for that bike. Did the tear down to service what was usually creaking pivots to find a nice long crack in my drive side chainstay.

One of my favorite things as a kid was my dirtbike's complete tear down every winter. It always performed so much better the following ride and I loved everything about the whole process. My mountain bike always seems to ride at least a little better and more quiet after a complete tear down and rebuild.
 

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I recently washed one of my bikes because I thought of selling it. It had been six years since the last wash, which was just a rinse in the motel shower after my race run at the Ashland Enduro. It was interesting to see all the different dirt in various places. Sand from the White Tanks from a wet ride. Red silt from Sedona packed in one the rear hub bolt sockets. Organic moon dust from local rides. Fine black volcanic sand from Iceland. There was even years old puked up recovery drink on the downtube from riding in 108* Kernville. After I washed it, I decided to keep it. I pulled the shock and cycled the rear end and good to go.
[/TE]

Haha. I suspect part of the reason your bearings are still smooth is because you don't wash it. When I lived in WNC all the creek crossing, rain, humidity, and bike washings killed bearings. I moved to a dry climate, stopped washing my bikes and bearing life increased dramatically. Sure most of that is just dry vs wet climates but bike washings def play a role too. Only time my bike sees water that didn't fall from the sky, or roost up from the wheels, is when the mud is so bad I have to wash it. The mud has to be really bad because usually I can let it dry and brush it off. Water is our bikes worst enemy. Plenty will say I never pressure wash. Water still finds a way. Simply wetting down dust hanging out on a bearing seal and especially behind the cassette, can turn that dirt into a slurry that has an uncanny way of finding its way past seals. The best maintenance we can do is dry brush around bearings to minimize build up, and keep everything dry.
 
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