Replacing Mountain Bike Suspension Bearings with 3D Printed Tools

I had to replace the 6 pairs of bearings in my mountain bike suspension.  You can buy the specialised tools to do this but I wanted to see if it was possible using my own 3D printed tools.

The rear suspension triangle of my bike started to have a lot of 'play' in it, so after a bit of searching online it looked like it was time to replace the bearings.  Some people say you should replace the bearings every 2 years and mine hadn't been changed for 8 years !  Definitely time to learn how to do the bearings.

Its a major piece of work which took me a full day to complete. This included dismantling the bike (which was pretty major) and printing the tools.

I've put together a video showing the process and what I learnt.

If you do this yourself, your bike will probably have different size bearings and frame shape so you will have to customise the tools which is pretty easy. The tools are all simple cylinder shapes and sized 0.5mm smaller than the bearings for clearance where required.

When ordering new bearings, best check the codes on the existing bearing and double check the size (outer diameter, inner diameter and thickness).

The STL files for the tools I printed are on Printables:

The End Result...

The bike rode so much better after this maintenance, it was definitely worth the effort.  This would still be a significant job for the bike shop professionals and I guess not be an insignificant cost to pay to get it done. If you have the time and a 3D printer, its definitely possible to DIY.