'15 Tracer 275A - Box Link Questions

Discussion in 'Parts 'n Stuff' started by Chris Guiney, Jan 8, 2017.

  1. Chris Guiney

    Chris Guiney Cannon Fodder

    Hi All - hopefully tracer owners!

    Got a query about a mad creak when i sit down on the bike ( not seat or post or clamp ).

    So 12 months ago when i bought the Tracer new, i was having a look over it when i got it home and noticed one of the 2 grease nipples was hollow, and the second one was a one way valve (Standard). I assumed that being a brand new bike, this would be as is for a reason - so i left it. I also owned a 'Tracer 2' previously with one hollow grease nipple so thought nothing of it.

    No cause for concern as i kept servicing the bike after every 2 or 3 rides (clean, re-grease and re-torque everything).

    Only after noticing a creaking nearly 12 months later have i pulled it so far apart as to be able to see into the box linkage bearings - that i can notice the pair of bearings that belong to the hollow grease nipple, have 2 cracked balls inside each bearing (i assume because the grease nipple is hollow it lets grease out, and worse - shit in). Despite being vigilant ensuring the hollow grease nipple had a thumb full of grease to seal it before every ride - i couldn't help but to feel this was unnecessary for such a bike.

    Me thinks me shoulda stuck with my gut and replaced hollow grease nipple as soon as i saw it...

    I have emailed Intense twice, called distributors around Melbourne and even tried ordering parts from Overseas. Hence this post.

    Who's arm have i gotta twist to get a maybe on some bearings/box linkages around here??
  2. Plankosaurus

    Plankosaurus Likes Bikes and Dirt

    I've got a tracer2 and now a spider275 - wouldn't trust those grease points to be a full service style greasing myself. Theyd definitely add grease to the inside of the box linkage and prevent water getting in, but I can't see them getting enough grease past the inner bearing seal properly? I personally just flick the outer seals off and use my little grease gun to get some grease in there properly.

    One of they guys at ldtr recently had a siezed bearing in his spider, flogged out the linkage and he had to get a new one! Can probably just look at the numbers on the bearing seal and grab some same sized bearings from the local bearing shop, will save you a few bucks on enduro bearings and save you having to get a new linkage.
  3. pink poodle

    pink poodle Clinically Inane

    Hit up Pushy's. They recently ran a big clearance sale for intense and may be able to help you out. They generally have a reputation for excellent service.
  4. Balfa_Team

    Balfa_Team Likes Dirt

    Last edited: Jan 8, 2017
  5. Chris Guiney

    Chris Guiney Cannon Fodder

    Thanks for the info and your reply!!

    I am confident in the system that they have chosen as to bearing lubrication, and understand how and why everything is where it is, so have no qualms about weather or not it works. You shouldn't have to flick the black end caps off the bearings, as squeezing enough grease through the One-Way grease nipples will ensure that grease tracks through the internal side of the bearing, pushing any excess grease out through the exterior casing of the bearing and between the black metal outer bearing case (what youre describing).

    These are uncommon bearings and SKF is already expensive enough for normal bearings - i would rest easier knowing that the most expensive bearings, and most functional, have been installed and seated properly.

  6. Chris Guiney

    Chris Guiney Cannon Fodder

    Just added a needle to their haystack of enquiries - thanks for the thought, they can only say no!
  7. merc-blue

    merc-blue Likes Bikes and Dirt

    why not contact the place of purchase? if anyone has any reason to help you its them.
    12 months on a set of bearings on an aggressive trail/enduro bike isnt bad,
    What outcome are you hoping for??
  8. Balfa_Team

    Balfa_Team Likes Dirt

    Last edited: Jan 9, 2017
  9. NoFilter

    NoFilter Likes Dirt

    Tracer Creak

    Hey Chris,

    I've had lots of experience with Tracers, I reckon I've had more experience with Intense bikes than anybody else on this forum. I can tell you the Tracer is an ace bike and will run creak free once you get it sorted. You will need to do some periodical maintenance to keep it running nicely but that's the price you pay for great performance.

    The causes of the creaking issue are:

    - The dust caps that cover the bearings on the lower link MUST be clean, dry and most importantly grit free. If these are greased they will attract dust into the interface and cause the creak. Sometimes people over-grease the axle when re-installing it and it creeps out onto the dust cap, Santa Cruz bikes will do the same as they run the same system. Make sure all 4 dust covers on the lower link are clean and dry and try to keep it that way. If you use the grease gun to purge your bearings you will force grease into the dust cap/frame interface and it will creak.
    - The dropout/frame interface is dirty. Remove rear wheel, then with a 5 or 6mm allen key (don't remember which one) remove the outer bolt that holds the dropout in place. Clean it all up, both dropout and frame area, apply waterproof grease and reinstall. Make sure to loctite the hanger bolt or it will come off.
    - Shock hardware: Make sure the sides of the shock hardware that contact the frame are clean and free of grit. Clean and reapply a small amount of waterproof grease and reinstall. Do the same for shock bolts.

    Edit: DO NOT use non-genuine bearings on your bike, if they are not directional like the Intense ones are they will collapse.

    Hope this helps you sort it out mate, good luck!
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2017
  10. NoFilter

    NoFilter Likes Dirt

    FYI there is no inner seal on the lower link bearings.
  11. Joe_MTB

    Joe_MTB Likes Dirt

    I bought a Tracer a couple of months ago so just now looking into greasing bearings etc.

    How exactly do those Zerk fittings work? Is it just a case of pushing the needle of a grease gun through and pumping it up?
  12. NoFilter

    NoFilter Likes Dirt

    Your bike should have come with a fitting for a standard grease gun, it's a pointy interface so the one you have might work, give it a try. Just depress the ball bearing in the centre or the zerk fitting to open it up.
  13. Joe_MTB

    Joe_MTB Likes Dirt

    Thanks - I do have that fitting. Wasn't sure if something needed to be loosened/unscrewed etc.

    In your previous post you say if you use the grease gun you'll get oil in the bearing seals and therefore dirt leading to a creak. How else would you lubricate these bearings without removing them?
  14. NoFilter

    NoFilter Likes Dirt

    Ideally what you'd do would be to purge the bearings whilst in the bike and then remove the link from the bike and clean the dust caps off, making sure the part that contacts the frame is completely dry as well as the frame where it contacts the dust cap. Doing it this way is almost like double working it and most certainly a messier way of doing it. You can remove the link altogether and insert the grease manually but it would not get fresh grease through the bearings like purging it will. When I say 'purge' it means you push grease through the nipple until it squirts out through the dust caps, keep going until you see brand new grease coming out of the dust caps. It's messy as fuck but its the best way to do it. I ride SC now and its how I do it.
  15. Plankosaurus

    Plankosaurus Likes Bikes and Dirt

    a wise man once said "you should never make assumptions, it makes an ass out of you and mumptions"

    i'll eat my words, and learn from it thanks very much mate ;) i made an assumption based on the older spider and 5.5 i've had in the past. my tracer never had the bearing out because i barely rode it and the spider 275 is a month old so hasn't even seen a service yet. the older models used a common sized bearing and it was sealed both sides, but it makes a whole lot more sense that they're not sealed both sides now with that whole greasable pivot think they've got going on now.

    what do you mean by "directional bearings" being used by intense? i'd like to know a bit more about this because in the past i've had no better luck with enduro bearings than i've had with cheap bearing of the same size. are these newer bearings only able to be obtained through intense?
  16. The Dude

    The Dude Likes Dirt

    They are called angular contact and are designed to be "preloaded" from one side. Hence they need to be installed only in one orientation - and they practically fall apart when you try to remove them!
    I think you'll find they are 7xxx series (ie. the ones in my 5010 were 7900 1Z and 7900 2RS of the Enduro brand)
  17. NoFilter

    NoFilter Likes Dirt

    You got it. Intense use the 7902-1zrs-max bearing

  18. Joe_MTB

    Joe_MTB Likes Dirt

    Cheers mate, that's cleared it up a lot

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