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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The early VPP bikes had tons of bearing issues. Have the problems been fixed in the current versions with the newer axle designs and grease ports? I did a few searches and didn't find any recent complaints.

Thanks!
 

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I would say it's way better. I had 2 vpp1's and now a vpp2 for well over a year. Even if you have to dissaseble, clean, and re-grease, it take minutes with the new collet bolts on the pivots. I didnt need to service it, as everything was still totally clean and greased. I've had alot of bikes and worked on alot more and I've never seen a better design. I can remove th rear of the bike completely in 5 minutes.
 

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First Gen sucks. I'm surprised SC still has a good rep after all the bearing issues. My Blur 4x needed full rebuild after 6 months. My new nomad has been perfect for 2 years of heavy riding. I would say SC has their game dialed now. Though they need to protect the lower link and grease nipples better. If you ride rocky trails expect your lower link to take some hits.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the info. I had a Blur Classic and still have a Blur LT with the Ti link. Great bikes but I'm afraid to go through a puddle because I know I'll have to rebuild it. I'm glad to hear the newer set up is working better.
 

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Village Dirtbag
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First gens didn't suck. I think the first gen reliability was entirely dependent on conditions and how you washed it. My Blur classic spent most of its life in dusty, sandy, dry conditions. It'd only occasionally get muddy and wet, and that was usually the only time it got washed with a hose (taking care not to directly spray the bearings). In 8 years and, I estimate, ~6 to 8000 miles, it required one bearing job, and it was always quiet, and still is quiet, now that it almost never sees mud. My buds, who rode their Blurs about as often, but slightly more often in the mud, and washed their bikes with high-pressure HOT water FREQUENTLY, directly blasting the bearings, went through MANY bearings and often had noisy bikes. Those axle-shafts on the VPP1s were a PITA to get out though- lots of careful work with a punch and mallet. I eventually gave up and let 'em freeze in. Oh yeah- in that 6-8k miles, I also required new pedals, 2 new BBs (1 octalink failure, 1 external BB failure), new headset bearings, 1 shock and it's associated spherical eyelets (much longer lasting than bushings) and several rear wheel and freehub bearings, and even new bushings in my brake levers. So, I found the pivot bearing life to be in the same ball park as any other bearing on the bike, and much better than the BB bearings, which are right next door to the pivots.

VPP1 wasn't bad, but the new VPP2 with zerks and collets should be bulletproof.
 

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16 Months and counting...

...including two winters with mud and rain. I've cleaned and reassembled twice, replaced the DU bushings once, but not had to replace any bearings.
 

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certified mtb addict
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A bit like @dam I mostly ride in dry & dusty conditions, but take care when cleaning after a muddy ride - I've had very few problems. I do full maintenance about every six months just to keep things sweet and to prevent any seizing, but I've only replaced the bearings once since new in early '07. At the same time I installed a new lower link which has closed ends, I think this was a significant improvement over the original, as it stops debris from being dumped directly into the pivot axle (as happened with the original open ended link).
My new LTc should be here later this week so I'll be able to report back on VPP2 in a year or so!
 

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Tree Crasher
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slimat99 said:
Though they need to protect the lower link and grease nipples better. If you ride rocky trails expect your lower link to take some hits.
I'm blessed with some the rockiest, root bogged trails around and the link and fittings are unscathed...
Tire Bicycle tire Wheel Bicycle wheel Bicycle wheel rim


...can't say the same for the lower pivot boss. And this is after its first ride. You should see it now. SC says it's not an integrity issue, but they won't warranty it either.
Metal Iron Tread Bronze Spiral
 

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noMAD man
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I gotta agree with @dam too. I bought an ano Nomad in January '06. We sell SC through the shop I work at. After hearing about bearing creaking and failure issues on this forum, I ordered a bearing kit just to be prepared. Mine never creaked or squeaked, but I did apply antiseize to the pivot axles when the bike was new, which I think went a long way to trouble-free operation. Finally after more than two years out of just guilt, I installed the new lower link bearings...didn't touch the upper link. The old bearings are still in a bag in the shop and seem just fine. I finally got a crack in the frame top tube at the upper link after about 3.5 years of use. I never did have issues with the lower link or bearings.

In fact the only creaking, bearing, or link issues we ever had with SC VPP bikes through the shop was with the 1st gen BLT that had the Ti upper link, and I think that was mainly because the upper link was a little too wimpy on that model. We never sold a VPP bike through the shop that we didn't apply antiseize to all pivot axles. When those axles don't gall to the bearing's inner races, it seems like creaking or bearing grittiness almost never occurs. Other people's circumstances may vary, but personally and through our shop's experience with 1st gen VPP we never had any of the horror stories I had seen posted here. We don't have much or frequent mud in our area, and they may have helped. I now have an '08 1.5 Nomad which was the replacement for my '06, and I still prefer its suspension action over the gen 2...but that's strictly a matter of preference.

Regardless, I think the newer bearing/link design with grease zerks is a brilliant idea.
 

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I agree that local conditions play a big role in how well fist gen vpp holds up. I'm in CO now, very dry, when I had my blur I was in Asheville NC, very wet. Carolina Fats, at the time the biggest distributer of SC bikes in the South East was out of Pro Kits due to so many needing rebuilds. That tells you something. For those living in dry areas I'm sure you didn't have the same issues, but the overall consensus seemed to be that vpp= very problematic pivots. I knew someone would take offense to me saying that design sucks. No one wants to hear that, but I call it like I see it. After spending a premium price on my blur and having it crap out after 6 months will piss anyone off. Then when you go to your LBS to get it fixed and they say sorry, we are out of pro kits and SC is trying to get more due to high demand that really tells you something. Solid designs don't sell out of rebuild kits. I've owned many SC bikes: Blur, vp free, nomad, bullit, heckler, roadster. I'm an SC fan for sure, but I have to call it like I see it, first gen vpp sucks!
 

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SS Pusher Man
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This wasn't just a problem with SC VPP1 bikes......Intense had the same bearing problems.....looks like it was just a byproduct of the design.

VPP2 bikes have been problem free......remember: SC now offers lifetime warranty on bearings.
 

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Yes, intense did have the same issues. vpp design puts a lot of stress on the lower bearings so it really needs to be designed well to be durable. vpp 2 is bomber! My lower link looks haggard. I've busted 4 grease nipples off, but the bearings are as smooth as new after tons of riding. Once I busted a nipple off and in the place of the nipple was rotted wood, (from the downed tree I hopped) and loamy soil. When I pulled the lower link to clean it and replace the nipple there were no contaminants in the bearings and they felt perfect.
 

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I've blown through a few bearing sets over the last couple of years. The first set were so blown even the balls were cracked in half when I pulled them out. Of course it's no problem, SC just sends you replacements when you send in your old stuff :thumbsup:
 

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i was worried abt the same issue when i was shopping for bikes. so far, i've had my Blur LT2 for 2 years, and have not had any problems w/ the bearings. i've had to re-torque the top link bolts a few times, and have squirted grease into the lower pivot from time to time (and anytime i ended up on a wet or rainy ride).

i ride in nor cal, so most of my riding is in dry and dusty conditions, except for winter time when it rains.
 

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Australien
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I've just picked up a second hand Blur LTc which is about a year old. There was some play in the suspension. I grabbed the service manual from the Santa Cruz website and basically just retorqued everything to spec. No play now which is great. The main issue the axle wasn't torqued to spec (35 in/lbs) which allowed one of the pivots to move around a bit. Will see how it goes over time, but I imagine if you follow the instructions with Loctite etc, it should be fine.
 

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MRC said:
I've just picked up a second hand Blur LTc which is about a year old. There was some play in the suspension. I grabbed the service manual from the Santa Cruz website and basically just retorqued everything to spec. No play now which is great. The main issue the axle wasn't torqued to spec (35 in/lbs) which allowed one of the pivots to move around a bit. Will see how it goes over time, but I imagine if you follow the instructions with Loctite etc, it should be fine.
I've had 2 VPP2 Nomad's and they both had to be retorqued after a couple of rides, then were fine after that. Well, on the second one I pulled it apart when brand new and put a ton of blue loctite on the threads, and it's been great since the retorque.
 

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I had my axles do that on my nomad 2 as well. As long as the axles are kept tight and the collet head too, vpp 2 stays play free and tough as hell. I'm VERY impressed with the durability and ease of service. Best design on the market imo.
 
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