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Over here in North Van, I've been exclusively shredding my hard tail since we got saturated in November. Mostly sticking to the hardpack/rock armored trails, and usually when there are breaks in the rain. I'm in love with the thing, after dialing in so many parts/geo details over the summer.

RAF is in hibernation. Completely disassembled, currently refreshing all the pivots, with Diamond and Topaz service coming up soon. I'll probably grab a One Up 210 post before she's back together again. Damn NX parts have been a real pain periodically, since I bought the bike. I need to go buy a crank extractor ring and pre-load ring after work, since the extractor extracted itself trailside, and the preloader is a threaded device that appears to be made of soft cheese. A shame that I'll probably be dropping close to $40 just to keep a functional, yet shitty, pair of cranks going.
What grease are you using for the pivots?

I went with a heavier base marine grease for both uppers and lowers. Surprised they were so dry from factory.


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Lots of discussion regarding the Diamond’s inconsistency or lack of performance in general. Aside from my wrong settings in the beginning (too much psi and rebound too slow) , I’ve experienced inconsistency on mine once or twice where the fork just felt stiff. In those instances, it was quite cold out. It’s also subjective what we Arizonans consider as cold- let’s just say it’s below 50 degrees ambient temp.

And on days where I feel my RAF just isn’t plush enough, this is what I do- Go ride my 120 front travel hardtail back to back. Once I hop back on the RAF on the next ride, the plush was just amazing in comparison!!!


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Not that you want to hear this, but the Onyx SC fares much better in colder weather. I’m still running 75psi (I’m 205 riding weight) in mine even though it’s rare that I get to ride in temperatures above 32. One click faster on the rebound is all I’ve changed.
 

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Just another data point: I'm 205lbs RTR on a 475-575 spring. Gives me ~28% sag with as little preload as possible. Feels really great on the trail with no harsh bottom outs in the couple weeks I got to ride it at the end of the season.
Nice! How do you measure sag on the Jade? With or without the bumper? 28% of the 55mm stroke is 15.4mm of sag. I think I did that right lol
 

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What grease are you using for the pivots?

I went with a heavier base marine grease for both uppers and lowers. Surprised they were so dry from factory.
I go with slickoleum, because I usually service the bushing pivots every couple of months during constant use. The first time I did them, I tried a heavier waterproof grease too (Bel Ray), because they were also quite dry after the initial couple month's riding, but wasn't happy with how much resistance it added. Slickoleum keeps them running real smooth. Most of the pivot work this time around was spent completely refurbishing all 4 bearings (2 were completely siezed) . They're nice and smooth and packed full of grease now.
 

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I go with slickoleum......Most of the pivot work this time around was spent completely refurbishing all 4 bearings (2 were completely siezed) . They're nice and smooth and packed full of grease now.
This^^!

How are you refurbishing your bearings? Drifts you use? I asked Ibis about this and they pointed me to Enduro Fork Seals but did not specify which bearings model to go buy.


Ibis also don’t really recommend going this DIY route and instead encouraged replacing the Link assembly instead... which could be more cost-effective by the time you order all the bearings separate. But still, I’m interested to see how others are removing the bearings for servicing or replacement.


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Not that you want to hear this, but the Onyx SC fares much better in colder weather. I’m still running 75psi (I’m 205 riding weight) in mine even though it’s rare that I get to ride in temperatures above 32. One click faster on the rebound is all I’ve changed.
Oh! I beg to differ sir. The V2 I ordered will be specced with the Onyx. This is welcomed feedback! Thank you.


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This^^!

How are you refurbishing your bearings? Drifts you use? I asked Ibis about this and they pointed me to Enduro Fork Seals but did not specify which bearings model to go buy.


Ibis also don’t really recommend going this DIY route and instead encouraged replacing the Link assembly instead... which could be more cost-effective by the time you order all the bearings separate. But still, I’m interested to see how others are removing the bearings for servicing or replacement.


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I replaced the bearings in the rocker link when I was chasing a creaking noise in the rear suspension on the AF. They are all easy to get out and all easy to get back in again except for the last one. The two that go in from the inside of the rocker link have limited room to work with. You can get one in by working through the hole where the last one goes in but the last one is a real pain to get in without damaging it. They can all be driven in with an appropriately sized socket but you need to use a drift punch for the last one and work through the hole in the middle of the opposite bearing very carefully to get the last one in. It’s VERY tight and VERY frustrating but doable. Just make sure the rocker link is supported on the opposite side of where you are driving the bearing in each time.
 

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I go with slickoleum, because I usually service the bushing pivots every couple of months during constant use. The first time I did them, I tried a heavier waterproof grease too (Bel Ray), because they were also quite dry after the initial couple month's riding, but wasn't happy with how much resistance it added. Slickoleum keeps them running real smooth. Most of the pivot work this time around was spent completely refurbishing all 4 bearings (2 were completely siezed) . They're nice and smooth and packed full of grease now.
I used Slickoleum initially when I was servicing my linkages thinking a nice thin slippery grease was the ticket for such tight clearances but my rear end developed a creak I couldn’t get rid of even after redoing the linkages 5 times in a row without even riding the bike off-road. It would literally creak straight out of the garage after a full linkage lube. As soon as I used a thicker water resistant grease the creaking noise went away never to return. The linkages were all good on Slickoleum for about 4 months then all of a sudden the creak appeared and would not go away. It was SUPER annoying. Hopefully you don’t have the same thing happen. If it does though change the grease you are using.
 

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We're all Ibis fans here but would any of you guys who've serviced the whole rear of these things, consider the serviceability to be a deterrent to getting one? My shop certainly gripes about Ibis bike service but the other main brand they sell is Specialized, which makes sense because I bet those are as easy as it gets.
 

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We're all Ibis fans here but would any of you guys who've serviced the whole rear of these things, consider the serviceability to be a deterrent to getting one? My shop certainly gripes about Ibis bike service but the other main brand they sell is Specialized, which makes sense because I bet those are as easy as it gets.
No not at all. While the DW Link looks quite complicated I find it’s design to be excellent to work on. It’s dead easy to pull apart and the hardest thing about putting it back together is lining up the hex with the sealing caps on the bottom link so it will slide back together. It’s way less hassle to work on than the linkage on the rear end of my wife’s Norco Fluid FS1. Also I just bought her a Canyon Neuron CF8 and looking at that I would much rather work on the DW Link as well over it.
 

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No not at all. While the DW Link looks quite complicated I find it’s design to be excellent to work on. It’s dead easy to pull apart and the hardest thing about putting it back together is lining up the hex with the sealing caps on the bottom link so it will slide back together. It’s way less hassle to work on than the linkage on the rear end of my wife’s Norco Fluid FS1. Also I just bought her a Canyon Neuron CF8 and looking at that I would much rather work on the DW Link as well over it.
Well, the caveat is that you maintain everything more than almost all of us! For us regular guys, we like to avoid that stuff!
 

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Well, the caveat is that you maintain everything more than almost all of us! For us regular guys, we like to avoid that stuff!
I get that and I am a maintenance freak, I actually enjoy working on my MTB and moto, but it’s not hard with a few basic tools and a torque wrench and it probably only has to be done once or twice a year at most realistically. Considering the amount of enjoyment our bikes give us giving it a bit of love back from time to time isn’t much to ask and it actually makes the bike ride better as well so you get an instant and long term pay off doing it.
 

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I get that and I am a maintenance freak, I actually enjoy working on my MTB and moto, but it’s not hard with a few basic tools and a torque wrench and it probably only has to be done once or twice a year at most realistically. Considering the amount of enjoyment our bikes give us giving it a bit of love back from time to time isn’t much to ask and it actually makes the bike ride better as well so you get an instant and long term pay off doing it.
Agree! Love working on my bike... when I get the time! I’m a sucker for nice tools too (habit formed from 16 years in the aerospace industry).

Where we differ in opinion is that you are way beyond the freak level. Freaks do it without reason. You do it out of love for your machines and components and dive deeper to improve a known method. I thoroughly enjoyed the damper maintenance video you made- not only the how but the whys fully explained.

As such, can you do a new maintenance video on how to drift or beat those blasted bearings out from the link? <~ see what I did there?

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This^^!

How are you refurbishing your bearings? Drifts you use? I asked Ibis about this and they pointed me to Enduro Fork Seals but did not specify which bearings model to go buy.
Ibis also don’t really recommend going this DIY route and instead encouraged replacing the Link assembly instead... which could be more cost-effective by the time you order all the bearings separate. But still, I’m interested to see how others are removing the bearings for servicing or replacement.
The thing is, I won't be removing the bearings this time around. I have a lot of experience with running tiny bearings that don't rotate much, from my last bike, '15 Giant Trance (GF has the same bike too). I've found that if I do this, I can get them running smooth again for a half-season, and then do it again at that point. I can get a couple seasons out of the same bearings this way, and then I'll pop them out for replacement after their 2-season tour of duty.
  • remove the one shield you can access, on all 4 bearings and shoot some penetrating lube into each one.
  • Use a tapered punch or something like that that fits into the ID of the bearing and get them spinning. If they're seized, use more lube and leave it for a while till they free up.
  • shoot out all the oil and grit with compressed air (or canned air if you don't have shop tools), and use a rag so you don't vape out your room with oil vapour. Repeat this process of lube/spin/de-lube a few times until you're sure most of the crap has migrated out.
  • Fill the bearing with lube once again, and use a dremel (or drill) to spin up the bearing at higher speeds, for a minute or two. Shoot out the lube.
  • At this point, if the bearings spins, but still feels notchy, you may need to respace the balls a bit. These little bearings are too small to have a retainer inside to keep the balls spaced apart, and they can get bunched together in high-load/low-rotation situations. Use a pointy object to space them apart more evenly, and spin them up again with lube.
  • I've done this 3 or 4 times with the Trance lower shock mount bearings, and with the Ibis, it saves me the cost of 4 bearings instead of 2.
If/when I need to replace the bearings, I'll just make up a drift in the machine shop at work. We've got lots of material on hand, and I'll just spin one up on the lathe, and use the arbor press to get em out.

As for Ibis pointing you toward Enduro seals, they probably intended to send you to Enduro Bearings, which are the ones used in the link. I just checked and the code on the bearing seals is 6800 RS FB, if that helps you at all.

I used Slickoleum initially when I was servicing my linkages thinking a nice thin slippery grease was the ticket for such tight clearances but my rear end developed a creak I couldn’t get rid of even after redoing the linkages 5 times in a row without even riding the bike off-road. It would literally creak straight out of the garage after a full linkage lube. As soon as I used a thicker water resistant grease the creaking noise went away never to return. The linkages were all good on Slickoleum for about 4 months then all of a sudden the creak appeared and would not go away. It was SUPER annoying. Hopefully you don’t have the same thing happen. If it does though change the grease you are using.
Oz, I've been through some epic creak-chasing adventures with this bike, so just reading this is giving me a bit of PTSD. In the end, I don't believe my bushing links have been the culprit yet, for my bike. There was a really bad one that came from side-loading and rear compression, that didn't go away until I removed and lubed around the bearing link. That said, I'll keep your data point in mind, if I find myself going creak-crazy again next season. I really don't like how it feels with heavy grease when cycling by hand, so I'll avoid it if possible.

We're all Ibis fans here but would any of you guys who've serviced the whole rear of these things, consider the serviceability to be a deterrent to getting one? My shop certainly gripes about Ibis bike service but the other main brand they sell is Specialized, which makes sense because I bet those are as easy as it gets.
I'll fully admit that I am looking forward to a bike in my future, that isn't quite as needy for pivot maintenance. I'll keep riding the Ibis for at least another season, but the next bike will probably be something different. For me, part of this is due to living in a very wet climate, and the combination of lots of bushings and teeny-tiny bearings is a turn-off for me. I like the ride of the Ibis DW Link, I love the value aspect and the geo of the bike, but I can't help myself from dreaming of a Banshee frame with huge bearings everywhere. Over the past 5 years, I've had quite a few close friends on those bikes, and they are so robust. The bearings just don't die, the bikes just don't break, and they descend REALLY well.
I'm also just not a huge fan of maintaining bushings in the first place. I did a few Engineering internships at Rocky Mountain from '13-'15, during their bushing days. I maintained so many of those bikes, mine included, and I just don't think bushings are suited for my riding areas (very wet and lots of gritty-sandy-soil).
 

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Does anyone have a picture of the drive side bottom bracket with the ISCG05 mount installed? I'm installing ISCG mount, an AB chain ring and bash guard this afternoon and want to make sure I have the spacer orientation correct. Ibis site says... "2mm spacer inside the drive side crank arm against the bottom bracket shell", but i'm not sure if that is in addition to the spacer that is already there. I have the Deore build with Shimano BB. Here is what I have now,,,

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Nice! How do you measure sag on the Jade? With or without the bumper? 28% of the 55mm stroke is 15.4mm of sag. I think I did that right lol
I've measured using the bottom out bumper and working some garment measuring tape under the spring, that worked OK but still feels pretty imprecise. This time I rigged up some zip ties at each end of the shock with the uncut ends pointing directly outboard from the center of each eyelet bolt, making it easier (for my wife) to measure the eye to eye (distance between zip ties) while I was seated on the bike. This actually worked really well, although I'm sure I'm still off +/- 2mm. Hope that makes sense; I should have taken a picture of it, if not just to document the stupidity of the situation 😆
 

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The thing is, I won't be removing the bearings this time around. I have a lot of experience with running tiny bearings that don't rotate much, from my last bike, '15 Giant Trance (GF has the same bike too). I've found that if I do this, I can get them running smooth again for a half-season, and then do it again at that point. I can get a couple seasons out of the same bearings this way, and then I'll pop them out for replacement after their 2-season tour of duty.
  • remove the one shield you can access, on all 4 bearings and shoot some penetrating lube into each one.
  • Use a tapered punch or something like that that fits into the ID of the bearing and get them spinning. If they're seized, use more lube and leave it for a while till they free up.
  • shoot out all the oil and grit with compressed air (or canned air if you don't have shop tools), and use a rag so you don't vape out your room with oil vapour. Repeat this process of lube/spin/de-lube a few times until you're sure most of the crap has migrated out.
  • Fill the bearing with lube once again, and use a dremel (or drill) to spin up the bearing at higher speeds, for a minute or two. Shoot out the lube.
  • At this point, if the bearings spins, but still feels notchy, you may need to respace the balls a bit. These little bearings are too small to have a retainer inside to keep the balls spaced apart, and they can get bunched together in high-load/low-rotation situations. Use a pointy object to space them apart more evenly, and spin them up again with lube.
  • I've done this 3 or 4 times with the Trance lower shock mount bearings, and with the Ibis, it saves me the cost of 4 bearings instead of 2.
If/when I need to replace the bearings, I'll just make up a drift in the machine shop at work. We've got lots of material on hand, and I'll just spin one up on the lathe, and use the arbor press to get em out.

As for Ibis pointing you toward Enduro seals, they probably intended to send you to Enduro Bearings, which are the ones used in the link. I just checked and the code on the bearing seals is 6800 RS FB, if that helps you at all.

Oz, I've been through some epic creak-chasing adventures with this bike, so just reading this is giving me a bit of PTSD. In the end, I don't believe my bushing links have been the culprit yet, for my bike. There was a really bad one that came from side-loading and rear compression, that didn't go away until I removed and lubed around the bearing link. That said, I'll keep your data point in mind, if I find myself going creak-crazy again next season. I really don't like how it feels with heavy grease when cycling by hand, so I'll avoid it if possible.

I'll fully admit that I am looking forward to a bike in my future, that isn't quite as needy for pivot maintenance. I'll keep riding the Ibis for at least another season, but the next bike will probably be something different. For me, part of this is due to living in a very wet climate, and the combination of lots of bushings and teeny-tiny bearings is a turn-off for me. I like the ride of the Ibis DW Link, I love the value aspect and the geo of the bike, but I can't help myself from dreaming of a Banshee frame with huge bearings everywhere. Over the past 5 years, I've had quite a few close friends on those bikes, and they are so robust. The bearings just don't die, the bikes just don't break, and they descend REALLY well.
I'm also just not a huge fan of maintaining bushings in the first place. I did a few Engineering internships at Rocky Mountain from '13-'15, during their bushing days. I maintained so many of those bikes, mine included, and I just don't think bushings are suited for my riding areas (very wet and lots of gritty-sandy-soil).
Great info man! Really appreciate the tips on the bearings. I have never taken apart an Ibis linkage. I can't help but hear my high school shop teacher and my professional bike mechanic friends telling me "if ain't broke, don't fix it". I also come from some very low maintenance bikes in the past. I still have a Transition Covert that is a 2012 and I have never touched the bearings! Still smooth and no play but I do live in the Sierra Nevadas where riding season is almost totally dry and there's not much sand. I also ride a KTM dirt bike that has no linkage, so I'm spoiled when it comes to low maintenance suspension. I do stay on top of lubing the fork and seatpost and will give the Topaz some love this winter, unless I put the bike up for sale. Thankfully my Ripmo is smooth and creek-free but I'm still oogling the new Stumpjumper EVO and Santa Cruz lower link bikes. The Stumpy is just such a stellar deal and has a very light frame. If I fenagle a bit I could get the Evo Expert with carbon frame, 36 Grip 2 and XO1/GX for about $4000 total with tax. That is a steal really and only maybe $500 more than I'd sell my Ibis for. Not so sure about servicing the linkage on the Santa Cruz bikes. Kinda looks like a pain like Ibis but I believe they are all bearings and no bushings, for whatever that's worth. I do know they're extremely smooth and have a rigid rear end, since I've demo'd two with it. I'll say, that Banshee Rune is a rad looking bike in raw alloy. Not sure I could do another link driven single pivot though. That's what my Transition is and it's not very supple. Maybe they've improved a lot since then? I'm guessing so because people rave about some of the new single pivots like the Transition Spur.
 

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Great info man! Really appreciate the tips on the bearings. I have never taken apart an Ibis linkage. I can't help but hear my high school shop teacher and my professional bike mechanic friends telling me "if ain't broke, don't fix it"... I'll say, that Banshee Rune is a rad looking bike in raw alloy. Not sure I could do another link driven single pivot though.
No problem. Also, Banshee bikes are dual link bikes (KS Link). I'd probably look at a Titan if I were to migrate over to Banshee at some point: NSMB.com - Banshee Titan - Part One
 
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