Update May 30 2020

I’m approaching owning my SR for two years. My bike’s ‘anniversary‘ is June 13th. I’m about 30 miles shy of 4000 miles at this point. Keep in mind none of that is for commuting, it’s just been recreational fun rides. I’m really fortunate to live in an area where I can ride every day in a wide variety of terrains and surfaces. I do ride in the rain, but not too much in mud or sand.

It’s always the same effing questions so I never stop where people are around. Especially during COVID 19 so it’s a very convenient excuse to be anti social. LOL

I service my rear shock linkage bearings every 800 miles. I know if I rode in heavy sand and mud I would service them much more often. After coming out of winter I was pleased that my bearings were in good shape! Still full of grease, very little dirt or corrosion. I use a garage sale ultrasonic cleaner a pal picked up for me for 2.00 to clean my bearings and other small parts.

I was using kerosene, but have switched to Simple Green full strength. Just a personal preference. I dry off the bushings and bearings and then use my air compressor to blow out the rest. Once that’s done I use Park brand grease on all of the bearing and bushing surfaces. This whole process takes all of an hour which is nothing compared to my ICE bike days!

I make it a habit of marking my nuts and bolts with a paint marker. This way I can visually tell if the fasteners have begun to back out before a ride. An old racing habit, but it’s just protocol for me now.

July 1 2019

Perhaps the only facet of the Sur Ron that I feel is underdone is the headset. When I changed my forks over to Dorado’s from RSTs I decided it would be a good time to upgrade to the Cane Creek headset. I really appreciate that the Cane Creeks are made in the States by fellas that live here. Plus they are just plain good.

I’ve done loads of work on motorcycles and bicycles, but had never replaced or removed a headset on either. So I was just a bit nervous. After talking to several individuals I decided to buy the right tools for the job. Most I will never use again, but I always believe in using the right tool for the right job. Here are the tools I felt I needed to replace the headset:

  1. Extra headset spacers. To compensate for the stem height difference between the RST and the Dorados.
  2. Headtube cutting guide. To cut the steering stem to the length I wanted. I can definitely use this later to cut any round tubing.
  3. Star Nut Driver. EVERYONE I spoke to said this is a must have. Driving the new star nut STRAIGHT into the new steering stem isn’t easy without this.
  4. Headset Bearing cup removal tool. You can use a punch or screwdriver, up to you.
  5. Headset Cup Press Set, Bottom Bracket Install Tool. Some use threaded rod and washers. I bought this since it is inexpensive and would prevent me from sourcing the items I would need to build it.

A view from below of the Cane Creek bottom headset cup.

The top Cane Creek headset cup and bearing cover.

Remember NONE of the above is absolutely necessary. I just like to keep my cussing to a bare minimum by using the right tool for the right job.

Here is a great headset installation video made by one of the guys at Luna Cycle where I bought the Cane Creek headset I installed. I highly recommend this headset. It’s made in the USA. Lots of folks buy Hope products. They’re good but just because they’re made by white folks in the UK to me doesn’t mean they’re NOT imports. Most folks seem to feel that stuff made in Europe aren’t imports…bullshit. In the installation video Jason is not using a star nut tool because he’s reusing the same forks. If you’re changing forks, you need a new star nut. There’s also no need to remove the bottom bearing race from the RST forks if you’re not reinstalling those forks.

Rear shock linkage bearings

The shock linkage, needle bearings, bushings and nylon shims. I recommend that these be inspected and regreased about every 1k miles depending on your conditions

Update August 21 2019

My new friend Tore at Varg Trading sent me the newest Sur Ron installation guide for their new tapered bearing headset. You can view that video tutorial below:

Tapered bearing

19 Comments

    • Hey Jose welcome. It is VERY HARD TO TELL by the videos you have supplied just what is the root cause of the issue. I agree that the chain should NOT move from side to side as it does. I’m not sure it’s the bearing on the secondary drive, it’s just too hard to tell. I am wondering if the chain alignment is off, meaning the rear sprocket is not properly aligned with the front. I use a Motion Pro 08-0048 Chain Alignment Tool to measure, but you can simply take a ruler or yardstick and run it from the front countershaft sprocket to the rear sprocket. It should be straight, not to one side or another. I’d check that first because it appears to be the most simple fix. Just adjust your left and right side chain adjustment bolts to center the sprockets.

  1. In case of the shock linkage I noticed some on the SR Facebook page . A guy an extended Version out of Alloy but he didnt explain if he uses the stock bearing setup or something different. Mark, do you have more insight on this?

    • Andreas because I’m not (nor do I ever intend on returning to) on the FB Owner’s group I’m not sure what part of the linkage he extended. I do know that Adam at AE bikes has experimented with some aluminum linkage parts. The OEM bearings are needle bearings that are fine as long as they are maintained. Removing the shock and linkage is no big deal and depending on the type of surface one rides on along with weather determines how often the bearings need to be serviced. I’d ping Steve Ramsden or Adam on the FB group to see if they have more insight about the types of bearing the member is using. I know Steve sells aftermarket ones that he feels are superior to the OEM needle bearings. Hope this helps.

      • Very much so..thanks.

    • I also forgot to mention that personally I am very suspicious of shock linkage changes. I know that Moriwaki Engineering took two full years of testing to design their shock dogbone for the RC51. When I held it up against the OEM dogbone there was only a VERY subtle difference. But after mounting the new piece the handling and acceleration out of corners was night and day. Of course it’s just my personal view, but the geometry of shock linkage is really an accurate science in my view. Not just in the actual design, dimensions and geometry, but the metallurgy itself, the amount of flex and rigidity at key points. WAY above my pay grade to engineer that’s for sure.

    • Yeah unfortunately you must be an active FB member to access that link. Sorry, but see my response to your first question to find out more about the link.

  2. Well..I send the guy a message…lets see what he answers.
    Can understand your position towards FB…thinking about leaving it too.

  3. Hi, Andreas. I’ll suggest that the side to side action of the chain I see in the video, could be the chain itself, or the rear sprocket (not visible in the video) .

  4. The guy (Mike Cronin) answered and for a 7075 linkage he is asking 80bucks plus shipping….not to shabby …I certainly think about it. It uses the same shafts but oilite bushings instead of bearings.

  5. uups …its not 7075 …its 6061…my bet.

  6. Hey Mark,

    Are you still happy with the Cane Creek headset?

    • Joshua, the only two items I would change with a stock Sur Ron are the seat and the headset. The stock headset is a loose ball bearing unit. For street riding, as long as they are tightened down properly I see no real reason to change them. I don’t have experience with the tapered roller needle bearings, but I know like the other OEM bearings they are loose and not sealed. I have been extremely satisfied with my Cane Creek sealed beaming headset. Cane Creek has manufactured sealed bearing headsets for 20 years in the US. I love mine and use my bike almost exclusively off-road. Hope this helps.

  7. Hey Mark,

    Awesome page – lots of great articles on here! Do you by chance know the ID of the head tube?

    I have my Sur Ron on order but am gathering all the basic parts I want to put on now, headset, fork, shock, stem and bars.

    • Hey Nic, thanks. I do not know the ID. But over the next few days I can see if I kept my old headset before switching over to the Cane Creek model. I can then measure it if I didn’t actually trash it. You can also contact Cane Creek or Luna to ask as well.

    • Hi Nic I checked today and sorry man, I must have pitched the old headset. Just call Luna or Cane Creek, they will know. Have fun riding when you get your bike.

      • Hey Mark,

        Thanks for looking and the prompt responses! I’ll try to give them both a call tomorrow. I noticed you’re in the bay as well, I noticed the photos at Shells.
        Stoked to get the SR as I rode my friends and it was sooo fun!!

        Take care,

        nic

        • “Shells” what I call Bump City is only 0.7 miles from my driveway. So lucky to be so close. Have a great time with your SR.


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