After a few years of smashing bearings out with hammers / sockets, I thought I'd do it properly with my Yeti frame - the back end is carbon and I don't like the idea of a screwdriver slipping and taking a very expensive streak of carbon with it. I couldn't find much information online about the superstar tool but thought I'd take a punt. I needed the 6903 bearing size, so the tool cost £22. As usual with Superstar, delivery was nice and quick.
Initial impressions - the tool is pretty simple. No more than a few chunks of iron. At least it's nicely finished, with clean machined edges that won't cut you. It comes in five pieces (and the bolt), and at least three of those are specific to the bearing size, so I doubt superstar will be selling adaptors for different bearing sizes any time soon. If you have more than one bearing size, you'll more than likely need more than one tool. Shame.
There were no instructions with it, and I imagine it might be quite difficult to fathom out. Fortunately, there's a youtube video which made it all very obvious: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sf1jUhjYiIg
Using the tool:
For extraction, the pieces all screw together like so
Hopefully you can see that on my frame, there's an angled chamfer to the bearing seat, which meant it was a bit tricky to get the tool aligned. Screw the bolt in, bearing pops out. Easy.
The NDS was much easier since the edge was flat.
Mounting the new bearings:
Pushing them in:
The angled chamfer wasn't a problem for pushing the bearings in, because the other side of the bearing seat was flat for me.
All in all, very straightforward.
This makes bearing changes a doddle, and doesn't put any undue stress / vibrations through your frame.
I didn't have to take the whole rear triangle off - just wheel out, cranks off and loosen the calliper to give some slack in the hose. If I was going to use a hammer / socket / vice setup I'd have needed to take the whole thing apart. The whole thing took under 20 mins for me, and most of that was taking the cranks on / off. Big plus for the superstar tool.
Price. It's not really a huge con in my book since you'd pay a shop a lot more to do this work. BUT your money only buys you one size. As I said before, if your frame takes 3 or 4 different sizes of bearings then you may need 3 or 4 different tools. Luckily I only needed one.
Whether it works exactly will depend on your frame design. On my frame, the drive-side bearing seat had an angled chamfer so the tool didn't sit exactly straight for taking the bearing out. In the end, not a problem for me but bear it in mind if your frame has deep, angled, bearing seats.
No instructions. A bit weird, but if you're reading this then hopefully you can see how it all works - Clearly they've just been bought in bulk from a Far Eastern warehouse, but I think Superstar themselves should really provide some instructions.
Overall, the pros definitely outweighed the cons, so thumbs up from me. Just make sure it'll work with your frame before you buy.