Thursday, July 22, 2010

It's the little things

See, now there is very little in this world that gives me greater pleasure than tweaking my already amazing mountain bike. To my surprise over the past month I have started getting bushing knock in my rear shock at the top bolt mounting point. Now I know this is a somewhat common ailment of dual suspension bikes but I was still surprised seeing as this is my first Fox rear shock that has developed busing play since I started riding them in 2007. I am now on my 4th bike with a Fox rear shock since then so I was actually not expecting it to fail.
However it was a good excuse try out a fun new-er-ish product on the market from the folks at Real World Cycling. They are based out of Arizona I think and appear to have some sort of partnership with Enduro Bearings. They make a nice little kit that replaces your shock bushing(s) with needle bearings.
I installed them right when I got off work this afternoon since I wanted to go riding but the bushing knock was DriViNg mE CraZy!!!! Not that I could actually detect it while riding but I knew it was there. Only took about 10minutes and the new bearings pushed in really easy and it mounted up to the Giant without the need for any spacers or reducers which was nice. As soon as I tightened the bolts back up the play was gone! Zero! no more knocking. Now I've heard that these develop a bit of play over time but it is normal (since you don't want bearings to be super tight) and it levels off and doesn't get any worse. Well after a 2 hour ride there is still zero play but I'll have to ride them for a while before I can decide on a verdict. The way I see it, if they last a full 12 months then they are worth buying. They were around $25 too which is amazing. I swear the suspension now operates a bit smoother but who knows. Certainly got rid of the klunk so I am expecting good things.
I also decided to try out their fork seals since OE seals leave a lot to be desired. They have built their reputation off of the fork seals which are also only around $25 so I thought there's no harm in trying (unless they destroy my $1300 fork, but such is life). They also installed very easily which took about 10minutes. I installed them after my ride so I will post back about them in a couple days once I get some miles on them. I hear they have a short-ish break in period.

The goods :-)
Needle bearings to replace your shock bushings
Fork seals
Fork seals installed
Needle bearings installed

It is only possible to replace the top shock bushing with bearings since there is quite a bit of proprietary hardware used in the lower mount. Lower mount is pretty much impervious to wear anyway so it's not necessary to replace.
Only beef is that the blue fork seals look ugly on my bike. I wish they came in black (or orange ;-D ) Enduro, please give us a choice of colours! Yes I am high maintenance.
I'll do a write up on these products once I get some mileage on them.


  1. Hi,
    Any reason for changing the wipers?
    I'm asking because I'm not to fond of the ones sitting in my two Magura forks. The oil that magically disappear from the lowers is really not a problem, since refill of lubrication oil is super easy, but having to remove the lovers to get rid of dirt on the inside of the wipers after not that many hours of riding is not ideal.

    Greetings from Norway

  2. I think you just answered your own question multiple times haha. Like you said I got them to stop oil seepage out and dirt seepage in. I got tired of servicing them every 4 months. However I don't have enough miles on the Enduro seals to comment on their quality so I can't vouch for them yet.

  3. Hehe;)
    Fingers crossed...

  4. so how have the bushings been treating you? still solid? i have replaced mine a couple times this summer and looking for a little more reliability. Thanks for the input!!!

  5. Bushings are solid. RWC cautions that the tolerances on shock eyelets are not super tight from the factory so you might have to slightly enlarge your shock eye to accommodate the bearings. Mine pressed right in no problem and they have been amazing ever since. Maybe I got lucky?

  6. Just to follow up. After 3 seasons my RWC shock bearing and Enduro fork seals are still going strong.