Bearing replacement Giant Trance X -staightforward or nightmare?

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  • Bearing replacement Giant Trance X -staightforward or nightmare?
  • Premier Icon fabs

    I am starting to notice some play at the back of the bike, and thought it is probably the bearings.

    I saw these instructions, with pictures and thought it should be a straightforward DIY job:

    Three questions:
    1) Is it worth the effort in doing it DIY (I am guessing it might be pricey for a bike shop, and am generally happy getting my hands greasy!)

    2) Is it as straightforward as it seems? Anything to bear in mind? tips/hints?

    3) Where is the best place to buy bearing kits from?

    Thanks for your help.


    Check TF tuned for bearing kits, got a kit from them for my Spec FSR and they’re spot on.

    Be prepared for it to be a complete pain in the bum. My frame is a 2005 and I replaced the bearings last year, havn’t owned it long so don’t know if they have been replaced since new. I ended up having to dremel the bearing race since it would not come free from the frame.

    If you’re happy for it to get difficult, then just crack on. My advice would be (assuming the bearings are fitted in a similar fasion to an FSR), use a sock set and a vice. One socket on the bearing, a large socket on the frame and vice the 2 parts together forcing the bearing to move.

    If it’s not budged in a long time, you might hear a crack. Little unnerving, but don’t worry.


    I changed the bearings on my Antherm X this week and as I have a lathe made up some tools to remove them which worked well but I found out you have to be very carefull pressing the bearings in as you can not seem to put any load on the centre part of the bearing using an old bearing like the instuctions said as it did not do the first one I fitted any good but got the other 9 where ok after I made sure I only pressed on the outer edge of the bearings using machined down sockets. The first bearing should be ok as you could not feel any roughness when the suspension is moved.
    I changed mine as there was a cracking sound some times over big bumps and found some of the bearings which came out where very stiff and rough. Rear suspension now feels miles better.

    Premier Icon cakefacesmallblock

    Try Kaesae ( on here )..

    he does a set for your bike. He also does a press to aid the job.
    I bought the bearings from him and did the job myself, the first time I’ve ever done a bearing refit.
    Quite straightforward. I used a vice for some of the easier ones and made up a press from plywood and a bolt and washers for the more difficult ones especially the upper rear triangle ones. Use an appropriate sized socket to press the new ones home.
    This was two months back. No issues whatsoever.
    Job’ll cost £40 ish.


    If u can get hold of the Maestro bearing removal kit.Will cost u £50 but will save u a lot of of hassle with sockets and damaging frame.
    Thanx Max


    Kaesae aka Katec bearings on eBay is your man. I think the removal tool is £25 and the bearings are £29.99 or something. He’s a top guy who will see you right.

    Herman Shake



    Kaesae’s got all the bits on ebay as said above. I’ve got a Trance and have wondered the same. Looks less complex than I expected.

    £27 for BEARINGS, £50 for TOOLS though.

    Premier Icon Johnny Panic

    Where’s the play?

    If you can feel a little bit of play when lifting the bike by the seat it’s conceivable that it’s the top shock bushing. Was on my Anthem.


    Yeah I’d definitely locate the source of the play before taking it all to pieces…

    Premier Icon kayak23

    Yeah check the play isn’t in your wheel, take your shock out and cycle the travel to gauge how smooth it is.

    I’ve changed the bearings on my reign a few times since I’ve had it, pretty easy really using sockets and a vice and lateral thinking.

    My advice? Don’t bother buying a ‘bearing kit’. You’re just paying for someone else to simply read a code off the bearings. Get the codes off each bearing, google a bearing supplier and order what you need in decent quality bearings..
    Bearing kits from bike shops tend to have the price wacked right up, but if you want to pay for the convenience then fine.


    Used Kaesaes bearing kit for my Reign as it was cheaper than buying separate branded bearings from a bearing specialist.Stay away from the e-bay 2 quid stuff.
    Easy to do if you’ve got a vice but make sure the bearing you’re pressing in starts off parallel,and stays like that until its seated.

    Premier Icon fabs

    Thanks for all the tips, some very useful ideas. I think I will check it isn’t the shock bushings first.

    Also about the bearings – I think the katec look like the cheapest deal. In the katec ebay ads they talk about bearing races, but over on mtbr they are saying that the bearings should be max complement (i.e all balls and no races). The enduro bearings that are popular seem to be of the latter variety. Is this all internet rumour and/or marketing?

    Also just a thought, but it might be worth spinning the bearings every now and then so that they wear evenly – although they may be full of a greasy emulsion of mud and water by now anyway!

    Herman Shake

    Excuse me for being dense but I thought the races were the inner and outer rolling surfaces of the bearings? Therefore you can’t have a cartridge bearing without races as it would just be a pair of shields, some balls and maybe a cage/crown/retainer?

    Is it cage you mean?

    Premier Icon fabs

    Yes, my bad. I think I am probably confusing terms. I think I read races and thought it meant retainer.

    I guess my question is – is it important that the bearings are full complement? (And, if so, are the katec bearings full complement?)



    Hey, changing most of the bearings is easy, the only tricky ones are the upper rear triangle.

    What year is the frame?

    This is a good technique if you have a vice


    I have some components that I can sell you to remove the upper rear triangle bearings, once you get them out just use this technique to fit all of the bearings.


    Full compliment bearings don’t really work that well, the have more bearings but the bearings are smaller, this means that when they rust the sieze a lot easier than standard bearings.

    Full contact bearings can deal with greater loads but in practice they are far more susceptible to internal rusting, I have some Enduro bearings I can sell you, but they cost a good bit more than my bearings and from experience they don’t really last any longer.


    I find it very easy cos i’ve got a giant bearing press kit. 😀

    Premier Icon fabs


    Thanks for the video – you make it look quite easy! I think I could probably do most of them using a vice and socket set in a similar way (assuming they are a close enough fit). The tricky one is the one at the top of the rear triangle, and I haven’t seen a neat bodge for that. The mtbr thread suggests using a hammer, but also has a post from someone who has failed with that technique leaving the outer half of the bearing in the frame!

    I am not sure that I understand your point about full compliment bearings rusting/seizing more though.


    The tool is fairly expensive for something I am likely to use 2 or 3 times isn’t it?

    I am assuming that you are not just being smug, and are a good natured individual who is offering to come round and replace my bearings for me!


    The grease on fullcompliment bearings gets removed more easily due to them not having a cage and when that happens they rust, once they rust they seize faster than caged bearings will in the same amount of time.

    I have some of those aluminium sleave tools including some that are machined to be a better match for the upper rear triangle pivots housing on giant frames, if it doesn’t fit your frame perfectly you can simply file it to the correct shape.

    If you want to buy some from me or want more info give me a shout, I also have some enduro max bearing that I don’t use here if you want full compliment bearings, I am happy to sell you some.

    Gotta go new forks to service 😀


    Fabs, just being smug although if you were close i would have no problem letting you borrow it. 🙂

    Premier Icon bigjim

    I didn’t have any problem with the top of the triangle one. I just used a socket set, lickle vice and a few hours in front of the telly.


    £50 for the Giant bearing kit? Where from? It was £100 before they stopped selling it, waiting for an email from them as to whether its available again although Winstanley’s have it on their website for £107

    Premier Icon fabs

    Just an update on how I got on.

    Thanks for offering to lend me the tool Baznav73, but you were too far.

    Kaesae sold me a set of his extractor/press tools. (He very kindly gave me a bit of a discount for buying direct rather than via ebay)

    I then bought a set of enduro bearings from BETD, as I wanted the full complement ones.

    First the good points:
    1) His tools were great for extracting most of the bearings easily, and it probably saved me some fiddling with a random collection of washers and a socket set.
    2) The bearing presses that he makes are nicely machined so that they centre on the bearing whilst only applying pressure to the outer edge. The press worked very well.

    Now the bad:
    1) the upper rear triangle bearing was a bit of a nightmare (with Kaesae’s tool).
    -The first one I took out I used the shaped tool he makes as it came. The bearing came out straight, no problems, but the sharp edge of the tool put a fairly nasty gauge in my frame.
    -For the second one I decided to to file and sand the tool to get a better fit, and make the edge smooth to avoid damaging the paintwork as before. However I think this bearing must have been a bit more snug, and the shaped aluminium tube of the tool started to sort of stretch and collapse over the shape of the frame (because it was being compressed against/over the rounded edge). At this point the bearing decided that it wanted to come out sideways.
    – If I was to do this bearing again, I would probably just punch it out from the far side using a hammer and some appropriate punch/spacer.

    Anyway, it was well worth doing – about a third of my old bearings were seized! I am not sure how my suspension has been working up until now. I really must do more maintenance!

    Also I didn’t need one of Kaesae’s shaped extractor tools at all – perhaps it was needed on the older trance?




    Nice one, cheers for the update. Sounds like you got away with the bearing coming out sideways.

    Do you have any pics of the damage from the edge of the tool? Can’t understand where/how that occurred. Is it a washer with a sharp edge like on the MTBR thread?


    Punching the bearings in that upper rear triangle pivot out of there might not work, those bearings see a lot more wear than the others and are prone to collapsing as it is.

    If it was my call and I was thinking about taking that advice I would first check the inner / bore race of the bearing and make sure it felt tight and not loose like it had any play from being worn.

    As for the discount fabs, I offered you a discount on the tooling kit and a bearings kit at a discount as well, you however said that you were only willing to pay £10 less than my best offer for both, at which point I told you I wasn’t interested in trading with you.

    You then came back and said that you didn’t want the discounted bearings but could I still sell you the tools at a discount, so I sold them to you as that’s just the way I am, at this point I’ve stopped developing and selling most of the tools as I don’t have the time.

    However like retro83 said it would be good to have some photo’s of the damage your describing to go along with your description of the problems you had, so I can improve the tools in the future.

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