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'18 Transition Sentinel
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
How often do you replace the pivot bearings? (for FSR/FSRxc/Enduro)

This is kind of a novice question here :eek: , but how often do you replace the pivot bearings (for FSR or FSRxc or Enduro)? Is there a general rule of thumb (ie. miles, seasons, etc)? Also, should I always replace all of them together, or more freqently (or less?) with the main-pivot bearings vs with the rear-triangle bearings?

It's just that... On my older '99 FSRxc (with MRP drop-out bearing kit), I didn't replace any bearings (before the frame cracked). On my newer '03 FSR, I already replaced one bearing (at the top of of seatstay on the drive-side) at 750miles a few weeks ago. Was that a random fluke, or should I also replace all the rest now?

Also, any good 'after-market' bearings that are better-quality & longer-lasting than 'stock' bearings (whatever kind Specialized may install at the assembly line)? I only know a few things about bearings from Rollerblading (ie. ABEC-5 vs -3, etc), but not much...

Thanks for the info in advance,
- PiroChu
 

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Your question is a good one, because after my '01 Stumpy's right rear (derailleur) pivot bearing seized, it "spun" in the frame (seatstay part), doesn't fit tight any more, and the bolt holes in the chainstay part are now a bit worn and there is some play. The sign of seized bearings was creaking in time with my pedal stroke. The upper bearings (shock linkage and top of seatstays) are fine so far. The main pivot bearings are original, and just starting to get notchy (swing arm centers itself). I got some sealed bearings from a bearing place (duh) - type 608 (main pivot) and 688 (all others). My LBS is going to check with Speclzd in case they can/will do any kind of deal on replacement chain/seatstays, since if I swap in the new bearings there still will be a bit of play because of the wear from the seized bearing, but I might have to live with it if the new parts are too expensive.

Because of this, I think it's definitely a good idea to replace your bearings *before* they seize and possibly ruin the frame! I might suggest you unbolt the pivots so you can turn the bearings by hand and replace any that are notchy or rough. The bearing quality is probably no better from a bearing shop, but just get a quote for Spec. factory bearings and you should find a big difference in price.
 

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I have found that by filling the bearings with grease before you install them help prolong the life of those bearings especially the 688s because they are so small. Just carefully ply off the rubber seals, fill the bearings with a thick grease on both sides (I currently use the Shimano DURA ACE Special grease which perhaps is the same as their Spin Doctor grease) with the help of a syringe and push the rubber seals back on. Since these bearings don't spin at high velocity thick grease is fine and it helps to reduce pitting and water damage.
 

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'18 Transition Sentinel
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1,015 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the feedback & info, guys.

fsrxc:
It's funny you should mention it. The busted bearing I replaced was found as the result of searching for a creaking noise, too. I first checked the whole drivetrain (pedals, crank, BB, etc), because the noise was consistant with pedaling --- until I finally found it to be coming from that one busted bearing. (That, and I also found one of the two derailluer hanger bolts to be stripped, though this wasn't causing the noise, per se.) I'm learning things everyday... :eek:

WOY:
Thick grease sounds like a good idea. I have the following handy; FinishLine all-purpose grease (white), Manitou's Prep-M shock grease, RockShox's Judy Butter shock grease, and some Pedro's something-grease (for inline-skate bearings). Judy Butter "looks/feels" to be the "thickest" in texture, but I'm not sure if it's appropriate for this application...? Probably the regular FinishLine is the safest bet here...?

Luckily, from my rollerblading days, I know how to reservice servicable bearings, and I still have a few dozens of standard 608-size ones left from back then. I only need 2 of those at a time for my bike, while I don't have any smaller 688-size(?) ones handy with me, which I'll need more of at a time for my bike anyway.

The one (big) problem, however, is that I don't have any tools/kits to pop these "pressure-fitted" bearings out of my chainstays/seatstays. Replacing that one was such an unbelievable bi*A*tch. (I tried without success, then took it to the 1st LBS to break out just the inners, and the 4th to finally get out the outer ring that was still stuck/left in.) How do you guys do it? :confused: Is there any kits to make this procedure easy? (If so, how much?)

Thanks again,
- PiroChu
 

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Unfortunately I only have experience the Finishline grease and I think it would be fine. To extract the press-fitted bearings can be difficult, I used bolts, nuts, washers and sockets to extract and fit all of the bearing without any problem.
 

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'18 Transition Sentinel
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Cool... Do you happen to have any pictures of how these being used, etc? (I'm no handyman, and need a bit of visualization. :eek: ) Also, could you let me know the sizes/length/diameter of your washers/bolts/nuts?

WOY said:
I used bolts, nuts, washers and sockets to extract and fit all of the bearing without any problem.
Thanks again,
- PiroChu
 

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Use Extreme Care With Seatstay/Chainstay Bearings

I just had to replace my rear triangle because I hamfisted the job of removing my bearings at the chainstay/seatstay junction. I do not know about the regular FSR's but the Enduro's have a small lip between the bearings in the seatstay. Getting those bearings out was a $H!T job!! To get the bearings back in, however, just took a little patience and a variety of bolts, washers and nuts. Some folks use sockets and a vise, I fabricated a variety some "mini presses".

Oh yeah, the original question. I replace every two years unless I ride in really crappy weather for a season.

Good luck.
 

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'18 Transition Sentinel
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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Do you happen to have some sample pic's of your "mini presses" being put to action?

As you can tell, I really want to see some of these things. ;)
 

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The rear dropout pivots, have 2 x 688s in each side, and like CCRiderKY said, there's a small lip between them, and a sleeve going through both bearings. I think you need to press the sleeve out one side, into a large enough hole to allow that side bearing to come out with the sleeve, then the other bearing should be accessible from inside. That's my plan anyway.
 
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