Sooooo… Hemlock owners, any tips to shift these bearings?

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  • Sooooo… Hemlock owners, any tips to shift these bearings?
  • Premier Icon Northwind

    OK, refreshing a 2009-model Hemlock, with the last-but-one seatstays and the current rocker (ie machining on the outside of the rocker, nicely tapered crossover between the 2 sides at the rear pivot)

    Just done the main pivot and the main linkage pivot, no bother. But the 2 at the back of the rocker and the 4 (2 sets of 2 together) in the rearmost pivot are defeating me…

    The rearmost pivot (chainstay to seatstay) seems to be just 2 bearings sat in a hole, no shoulder/journal at either end, but Mindless Brute Force has failed to move either set a millimetre.

    The ones on the rocker seem to be a standard 2 bearings with a spacer tube in the middle, but I can’t get any purchase on the inside of either bearing- the centre spacer is tight against both bearings and can’t be convinced to move enough to get a drift on the bearings. So without a blind puller I can’t shift it just now

    Any suggestions before I take it to my fixer man and say “make it better”?


    No idea, but I do like my hemlock and I like threads about them 🙂

    That’s no help is it?!!

    A blind puller was the only way I got mine out.
    Oh and careful use of a heat gun.


    Edit. just read your post again, one of the sets of bearings has an internal sleeve as part of the frame and it’s pretty much impossible without the internal puller as you can’t get a drift on it from the back.
    I’m not in front of my bike to say for sure which one.

    Premier Icon Northwind

    Ah… I’ve been assuming that it’s a captive sleeve like in the main pivot but that’d certainly explain why I can’t shift it :mrgreen: I’ve a feeling the chainstay/seatstay bearings sit on a ledge inside the chainstay and each is put in from the outside onto that ledge, they don’t seem to be flush…

    Ah well, I cannot be bothered to make an expanding puller in such fiddly sizes, I’ll take it to someone who’s got the kit. Thanks for the help!

    PS thank you Rob2, your input has been noted 😆 I love mine, I just wish it was a wee bit easier to change the wee b*****d bearings! Grr, aargh.

    Premier Icon ahwiles

    and in the spirit of all things easter, i’ve brought this thread back from the dead!

    Northwind – did you get anywhere with this?

    i don’t fancy spending £100 on a bearing puller – but my hemlock isn’t going anywhere till i can change these bearings.


    Trailmonkey & shinythings, of this forum, are your first point of reference when it comes to Hemlock bearing servicing. These guys are experts…. 😉


    I found them a complete bu&&er to get out. The ones in the stays were impossible so my local engineer firm welded in a stud to the inside of the old bearing (quick tack weld) and then were able to pull it out.

    When I had mine Cy said this in a reply to my e-mail about it –

    The way I intended it to be done is you’d use a
    screwdriver or similar to prize the spacer done a little so it
    revealed some of the inner race and the hit the end of the drift or
    screwdriver onto the inner race to get one out, the pull the spacer
    out and knock the other side out.

    Premier Icon nuke

    Bit of thread resurrection 😀 Decided to keep the Hemlock and, having just got a set of 2011 chainstays, am giving the frame a bit of TLC.

    All stripped down and the main pivot bearings are rough particularly on the driveside. The bearings at the rocker/seatstay pivot are also not great. Surprisingly the ones on the chainstay/seatstay pivot seem fine.

    So DIY job or LBS? Prepared to give it a go as I intend to hang on to the Hemlock for a good while yet. However I’ve never changed bearings before: what would I need tool wise? A suggestions were to go for bearings?

    Premier Icon nuke

    Taking on board all the responses, LBS it is then 😉

    Premier Icon cy

    If you can’t find someone to get them out for you or they’re particularly tight, one option would be to resurrect the bearings currently in there. You can flip the seals off with a small flat head screwdriver. Once the races are revealed you can flush them out with penetrating oil, wipe them clean, leave to dry then stuff full of fresh grease and push the seals back on. Another thing that helps is rotating them half a turn. As they don’t spin continuously, older bearings can get rough in the particular arc they turn in. Spinning them changes that.

    Premier Icon Northwind

    Ah, since it’s my thread… I gave up on it and took it to the bike whisperer, who said quote “That was a total ****er of a job” I think eventually he dynamited it out. But all was well after that.

    Premier Icon nuke

    Good to know Cy.

    At least you tried NW. I’m not even going to risk it…frame and rocker are now with LBS. As a novice to bearing replacement, I think its best as it does sound like not the easiest of jobs. Plus, if I did it myself, I’d end up emailing Paul @ Cotic more queries and I think I’ve already bothered him enough in the last couple of weeks 😀

    What would be good to know if my LBS does have a problem is( I haven’t given them the seatstays with what are considered the most difficult bearings (?)), is there a bike shop that is a bit of an expert at replacing Hemlock bearings? If it’s that difficult I’m wondering whether it would be easier just to post the seatstays off.

    Premier Icon nuke

    After the cost of getting the two main frame bearings done at my LBS, I decided to do the rocker myself after a top tip from Del on another thread.

    Firstly the bolts…I bought some expansion bolts 8mm x 95mm and some M8 washers from clas ohlson. Probably not the cheapest but all that was available…couldn’t find suitable in Wickes.

    So here is a bit of a ‘How to…’ guide as much for my own future reference:

    1. Filing down: file down the end so that an M8 washer will pass along the length of the bolt (There’s little tabs on the expansion collar that need removing) and so that the end will fit into the bearing. I then roughed the surface of the collar as from initial tests, it was too smooth and didn’t ‘grip’ the bearing. Pic below shows bolts before (Top) and after (Bottom)

    2. Push bolt into bearing.

    3. Add spacers and nut. Tighten nut by holding threaded bolt section with pliers and then tighten nut. As you tighten, you should feel resistance and it grips…doesn’t need to be done up very tight.

    4. Hammer time. Work bench with old rag to protect rocker. Then use another of the bolts to pop into the rocker against the other bolt. Hit bolt with plastic mallet until bearing comes out.

    5. Result (Bit of rust on the inside of the rocker from the corroded bearing). Bolt can be re-used…just got to prise off the old bearing. Once I did the first bearing, it only took about 15 minutes for the other 3.

    Can’t see why it wouldn’t work with the 4 bearings on the seatstay or any other frame for that matter…just need different size expansion bolts. Now just got to get the new bearings in…

    Premier Icon Del
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