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Suspension bearings advice
#1
What sort of price per bearings would you recommend paying - assuming more £££s == more quality - "minature" bearings, 626-2RS, 608-2RS. On Simply Bearings, can be had for around £1.85 (ex vat) each, for budget, or  Ã‚£4.25 (ex vat) for Enduro ABEC3 LLB, or for a little more, another "budget" bearing for £4.85 (ex vat).

Is it worth paying more for these bearings when they're only going to get showered in mud and grit?

TIA
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#2
You can put cheap bearings in but you will probably be changing them out in a year, I found it depends on how much they rotate, the bearings in my rocker link have around 25% of a full turn and are good for that but feel a little notchy on a full rotation.
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#3
It's important to remember that bearings are very precisely made from seriously tough to work materials & that only relatively few companies make them world wide.
A cheap bearing is a cheap bearing because corners have been cut somewhere, not because someone got a bargain on a job lot.
All bearings are designed for application & then they are reverse engineered to fit a price point.
A cheap bearing is nothing more than a cheap version of the proper one.
The corners cut can only be materials, tolerances, sealing.
The most important of these to an mtber is sealing; unfortunately this is usually the first corner to cut.

So that's the geeky stuff; the advice is to buy only bearings from a reputable manufacturer in a sealed packet if not from a bearing supplier.

It's likely you'll be fine with cheap'n'nasties, but worst case they could damage your frame - pretty unlikely, but entirely possible.

It's also worth noting that a full set of decent bearings will be £30 or so.  You pay that for decent tyres & probably don't consider cheapies there or don't think twice before locking the rear wheel up outside the local girls school....... no? Just me then?
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#4
Thanks for the replies. I became a bit thrown after getting a set of four the Enduro ABEC 3 bearings for £12 (thinkng they were high quality bearings) and then walking into a local bearing shop and being asked £23 for four other bearings.

The Enduro bearings came sealed in wrappers within boxes, ordered through a bike shop. The bearing-shop ones (a pair of 626 and 608 ) were handed to me in a single bag, with nothing to tell me anything about them what so ever.

Edit: just in case you think I'm paranoid, it worries me you might, I'm not, I don't really suspect at all that every purchase I make I'm being ripped off for.
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#5
Abec rating applies to the roundness of the balls and the flatness of their track, maybe necessary in a turbo or breezer's demented RC car, but on a bike it'll make next to no difference. Sealing is of much greater importance.

Skateboard bearings also carry the abec rating (all round balls should I think) but back in the day abec 9 were 5x the price of abec3 and there was No Difference due to the application.

Just looked at a skateboard shop online, this is still the case, bonkers, you're riding on gritty pavement, rounder bearings are of such insignificant improvement as to be nothing but a scam.
Keep it foolish...
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#6
I had a few sets of bearings from this guy and they have held up well.

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#7
OT grease removed from my rc bearings and a light lube used instead to lower friction....

Bearings are a faff to fit so don't go real cheap. Use the old ones as support to tap new in or proper tools, take care if using a socket as most have slightly rounded edges, easy to slip and damage the bearing.
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#8
^^^^^----- what Alkai said; sort of.....

ABEC is a tolerance control system that has no relavance to any application on bike suspension.
It will only make a difference in high speed applications, but is typically applied to things rotating like RC cars, skatebaords, rollerblades etc.... through a language techicality & sales patter.
The turbo reference was much closer to the mark - an ABEC 1 is perfectly suited to all of the above applications, bar the turbo.  Yet an ABEC 7 could collapse before the turbo reached 1/3rd of full speed.

The ABEC scale covers the allowable tolerance of all of a ball bearings dimensions, not just balls & races.
To contextualise the scale an ABEC 3 can have eccentricity of 0.005mm, whilst at ABEC 9 nothing greater than 0.0012mm is acceptable :o
Much more difficult to make a 9 than a 3, but equally redundant in detail when used over about 25% of it's travel in an MTB suspension link & in fact most applications below around 30,000rpm.

The ABEC system does not cover materials or sealing.
Technically if you made a bearing with cheese races & cucumber balls & didn't seal it at all, but it was within allowable tolerances you could slap the relavent ABEC rating on it.  ABEC doesn't imply quality, there are many other factors to consider in bearings, but again little to none of it is relevant here Sad

Skateboarders prefer high ABEC bearings beacause they spin easier as they are usually filled with oil rather than grease..... & the salesman says they're "faster" :Smile

In short - "Enduro" bearings are fine for the application, but are likely to be of inferior quality than a bearing from a bearing supplier, because they are made for the purposes of mtb not turbo shafts or other high precision machinery.
The bearings from a bearing supplier should be suitable for the high end applications, applicable ABEC compliance is almost a by product of making the thing fit for it's designed purpose.
Therefore "ABEC" bearings & "MTB specific bearings" are cheaper than industrial bearing like SKF's or Koyo's.

Rest easy pilgrim Wink
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#9
Hmmm food for bearings... Ok, I know 2RS means two rubber seals, One per side of the bearing, What about LLB? Which also has two rubber seals? Is LLB better than 2RS? Or what!?!?  :Smile

Uh hang on just looked a bit further down the page I had been getting round to perusing...
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