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Discussion Starter #1
Much difference? Any benefit to one over the other?

I am not able to get the top needle bearing size(even with spacers) for my Tracer 2, so I am considering the FOX resin bushings instead. Or, I could run the needle bearing in the bottom eyelet and a FOX resin in the upper? Doesn't the top eyelet barely move, and the majority of movement in the bottom eyelet?

Any opinions?

Thanks
 

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Both needle bearings and the new Fox hardware can offer big improvements over traditional DU bushings.
How much gain you'll see can be dependent on your suspension design.
Yes, typically it is the eyelet closest to the rear suspension that sees the most movement.
Some needle bearings can still leave you with a slight bit of slop that mimics worn out DU knock.
The cool thing about the new Fox hardware is that no tools are required for install and removal(after you get your old DUs out of the shock)
The new Fox hardware is lasting longer for me than traditional DUs. It's not as active as a roller bearing set up, but it is close.
 

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The Bubble Wrap Hysteria
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It's my opinion, that shock and frame pivots are not serviced until their is a problem. So the obvious option that requires less service is the new Fox Bushing/Reducer System. Like I have stated elsewhere, I have used this system for the last eight months with good results but then again I didn't have any problem with my DU Bushings with Rock Shox reducers. I think their are a number of variables that should be considered before shelling out your hard earned money.

An example, that always amazes me is a coworker who rode with play in the shock eyelets for months. We she finally got around to telling me the reducer had almost worn through the metal backing of the DU Bushing. :thumbsup::thumbsup:
 

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....So the obvious option that requires less service is the new Fox Bushing/Reducer System.
As much as I respect your opinions, I have to disagree with this one. If less service is a higher priority than the best performance, then I presume you are riding a fully rigid bike. ;)

Fox took a big step forward in admitting their DU bushing system sucks. Not likely they would have gone that far if our needle bearing kits were not getting huge traction (yes, pun intended). Fox's own claim of performance with their new system is 100% less friction. This is a step forward, but remember that 100% better than crap is still not so great. They don't even come close to the needle bearing. Also, performance varies greatly from shock to shock as the shock eyelet bore tolerances vary. Some are significantly smoother than the DU setup, while others are nearly as tight as the DU/reducers. Of course it makes perfect sense that they only went half way with their "solution." Have three different sizes/tolerances of inner rings for each kit, as we do, is not practical for company that is mass producing shocks and hardware and also cannot rely on the many OE customers (bike manufacturers) taking the time to "dial in" the fit of shock hardware.

On the other hand, our product is for end users that are willing to take the time to get the best performance they can. So, yes, for Fox it's a step forward, but don't kid yourself that it's "almost as good" as our needle bearing kits. It's not even close.
 

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The Bubble Wrap Hysteria
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As much as I respect your opinions, I have to disagree with this one. If less service is a higher priority than the best performance, then I presume you are riding a fully rigid bike. ;)

Fox took a big step forward in admitting their DU bushing system sucks. Not likely they would have gone that far if our needle bearing kits were not getting huge traction (yes, pun intended). Fox's own claim of performance with their new system is 100% less friction. This is a step forward, but remember that 100% better than crap is still not so great. They don't even come close to the needle bearing. Also, performance varies greatly from shock to shock as the shock eyelet bore tolerances vary. Some are significantly smoother than the DU setup, while others are nearly as tight as the DU/reducers. Of course it makes perfect sense that they only went half way with their "solution." Have three different sizes/tolerances of inner rings for each kit, as we do, is not practical for company that is mass producing shocks and hardware and also cannot rely on the many OE customers (bike manufacturers) taking the time to "dial in" the fit of shock hardware.

On the other hand, our product is for end users that are willing to take the time to get the best performance they can. So, yes, for Fox it's a step forward, but don't kid yourself that it's "almost as good" as our needle bearing kits. It's not even close.
With all due respect you took my quote out of context. Let me clarify, how many riders regular service their frame/shoc pivots even when they do not need it? Is it something that is regularly checked? My experience says no. Or like my friend, rode her bike with shot DU Bushings for who knows how many years.

All shock fitment systems have pros and cons and it's how we choose to handle them is what determines the success of that system. For example, why do you offer three different sized innner rings? Some would say that's a con but others say it's the ability to dial in the system. You have done all the engineering for the end user; Whereas to get better performance out of a DU Bushing one would have to size (Burnish) the ID to fit the specific OD of the reducer pin. How many endusers have that knowledge? Only those of us that have used these in other designs. In regards to L280 wear characteristics, why did Fox use the third worst material for the reducer pin? They should have used 440c Stainless Steel. I'm sure cost was the driving factor verses the best performance.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for all of the qualified feedback.

What is the solution for sizing the upper needle bearing kit in my case? The width is 24.6, and it looks like even with spacers I will not be able match that size? Any suggestions? 2012 Intense Tracer, Marzocchi shock.

I do not mind regular maintenance, and am looking for maximum performance. I am wondering about longevity of the needle bearings though? Are they stainless or higher corrosion resistant like the XD-15?

Thanks

Happy Festivus
 

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With all due respect you took my quote out of context. Let me clarify, how many riders regular service their frame/shoc pivots even when they do not need it? Is it something that is regularly checked? My experience says no. Or like my friend, rode her bike with shot DU Bushings for who knows how many years.

All shock fitment systems have pros and cons and it's how we choose to handle them is what determines the success of that system. For example, why do you offer three different sized innner rings? Some would say that's a con but others say it's the ability to dial in the system. You have done all the engineering for the end user; Whereas to get better performance out of a DU Bushing one would have to size (Burnish) the ID to fit the specific OD of the reducer pin. How many endusers have that knowledge? Only those of us that have used these in other designs. In regards to L280 wear characteristics, why did Fox use the third worst material for the reducer pin? They should have used 440c Stainless Steel. I'm sure cost was the driving factor verses the best performance.
Sorry, did not really mean to take your quote out of context. I was deliberately stretching the point to the extreme (put the "winky" face there to try and indicate that) to point out that we are about performance and a bit more maintenance is worth it for those who want the best performance.

I never considered that someone might find our including the 3 inner rings of different OD tolerances as a negative thing. If someone were not willing to put 30 seconds worth of extra time into checking the inner ring fit after the needle bearing is installed into the shock, then I would agree that maybe they should stick with OE product.
 

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Thanks for all of the qualified feedback.

What is the solution for sizing the upper needle bearing kit in my case? The width is 24.6, and it looks like even with spacers I will not be able match that size? Any suggestions? 2012 Intense Tracer, Marzocchi shock.

I do not mind regular maintenance, and am looking for maximum performance. I am wondering about longevity of the needle bearings though? Are they stainless or higher corrosion resistant like the XD-15?
We would not be doing you a service by selling you a needle bearing kit for the top tube mount end of the shock. Very little rotation, if any, takes place inside the shock eyelet at that end. If you were to change it, it would be for cosmetic appearances only. The other (swing link) end will be well worth the change.

There is a significant amount of load on the needle bearings. I'm afraid most stainless steels for bearing applications would be a bit too soft. The XD-15 would be great, but it is an extremely difficult metal to work with. The price of a finished needle roller kit in XD-15 steel would be ridiculously high. Therefore, we use chromium bearing steel in a "MAX" version for the best load handling ability at a reasonable price. We've got a good sealing system and carefully pack the bearings with quality grease. When riding in dry conditions, the bearings require very little maintenance. Removing the shock on an annual basis and packing the needle rollers with new grease, spinning the inner ring around several times, inspecting the seals, and re-installing the shock is all that is normally required. In very wet environments more frequent inspection and greasing is recommended.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
We would not be doing you a service by selling you a needle bearing kit for the top tube mount end of the shock. Very little rotation, if any, takes place inside the shock eyelet at that end. If you were to change it, it would be for cosmetic appearances only. The other (swing link) end will be well worth the change.

There is a significant amount of load on the needle bearings. I'm afraid most stainless steels for bearing applications would be a bit too soft. The XD-15 would be great, but it is an extremely difficult metal to work with. The price of a finished needle roller kit in XD-15 steel would be ridiculously high. Therefore, we use chromium bearing steel in a "MAX" version for the best load handling ability at a reasonable price. We've got a good sealing system and carefully pack the bearings with quality grease. When riding in dry conditions, the bearings require very little maintenance. Removing the shock on an annual basis and packing the needle rollers with new grease, spinning the inner ring around several times, inspecting the seals, and re-installing the shock is all that is normally required. In very wet environments more frequent inspection and greasing is recommended.
Thanks. Ordering through Joy Ride Bikes tomorrow.
 

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Sorry, did not really mean to take your quote out of context. I was deliberately stretching the point to the extreme (put the "winky" face there to try and indicate that) to point out that we are about performance and a bit more maintenance is worth it for those who want the best performance.

I never considered that someone might find our including the 3 inner rings of different OD tolerances as a negative thing. If someone were not willing to put 30 seconds worth of extra time into checking the inner ring fit after the needle bearing is installed into the shock, then I would agree that maybe they should stick with OE product.
I guess that's the nerdy engineer in me....taking sheet way to literal. But you missed my first sentence "All shock fitment systems have pros and cons and it's how we choose to handle them is what determines the success of that system." In engineering we use pros and cons when investigating new designs or say a new tooling system..........and they can be very subjective depending on one's own technical agenda and experience. It's neither good or bad......but the solution better be based on good engineering.

BTW, it takes me 30 seconds to burnish my DU Bushings and I can get at least 18 months of trouble free usage.
 

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You can't just say that without giving us the details. I am very interested in your opinion.
I'm not an engineer, but the difference in friction just rotating the shock with the front eye detached was very noticeable. I didn't ride the bike enough prior to making the switch, but I was surprised.
 

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what about serviceability of the needle bearing? how often do you need to do so, what whats the process to do it? (how involved)?
 

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Servicing the needle bearings is simple.

1. Let the air out of your shock
2. Take the shock off the bike
3. Clean the seals and bearing with a rag if needed, but usually the inside is clean.
4. Slap some new grease in the needle bearings and work it around
5. Re-install the shock and air it up

I don't even know how long that would take by itself, because I have done it when doing an air sleeve service kit on my shock (every 6-8mo). It's already off and I'm cleaning/relubing all the pivots and bolts anyways.
 

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Servicing the needle bearings is simple.

1. Let the air out of your shock
2. Take the shock off the bike
3. Clean the seals and bearing with a rag if needed, but usually the inside is clean.
4. Slap some new grease in the needle bearings and work it around
5. Re-install the shock and air it up

I don't even know how long that would take by itself, because I have done it when doing an air sleeve service kit on my shock (every 6-8mo). It's already off and I'm cleaning/relubing all the pivots and bolts anyways.
What he said, but just remember the needle roller elements can fall out of the bearing cup, so be sure you are prepared for that (don't want to lose any!).
 

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Sorry for reviving an old thread, just want to learn.

Would it be correct to say that tapered roller bearing would be a very suitable suspension Pivot bearing from a load and sensitivity point of view, but perhaps overkill as water and mud ingress will eventually be the limiting factor?
 
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