Bearings instead of bushings in fork - why not?

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Bearings instead of bushings in fork - why not?
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Posted: Jan 28, 2022 at 13:20 Quote
On most parts of a bike, bearings are generally considered better than bushings because they have less friction (i.e., suspension pivots, brake, and dropper levers). But all the forks I can think of (linkage forks excluded) slide on bushings not bearings. I know most decent forks feel pretty great already, and I know weight is a thing, but if folks are willing to put 500g of coiled up metal in their fork to get more suppleness it seems like adding 150g of bearings is worth thinking about. I am sure there are good reasons this isn't being tried - but what is the reason?

Posted: Jan 28, 2022 at 13:33 Quote
Cannondale knows the answer.

Posted: Jan 28, 2022 at 14:00 Quote
czyk123 wrote:
On most parts of a bike, bearings are generally considered better than bushings because they have less friction (i.e., suspension pivots, brake, and dropper levers). But all the forks I can think of (linkage forks excluded) slide on bushings not bearings. I know most decent forks feel pretty great already, and I know weight is a thing, but if folks are willing to put 500g of coiled up metal in their fork to get more suppleness it seems like adding 150g of bearings is worth thinking about. I am sure there are good reasons this isn't being tried - but what is the reason?

Ball bearings are used to reduce rotational friction typically found between a rotating and a stationary element or two elements that rotate relative to one another.

What part of a fork experiences this sort of force and would benefit from ball bearings other than the headset which uses them already?

Posted: Jan 28, 2022 at 18:17 Quote
Technically bushings are bearings. 'Plain Bearings' in fact. Simple design that accomodates linear and rotary motion and are very cheap to produce/sell.
Putting ball bearings into a fork would be a massive packaging issue with the 35-40mm stanchions currently, and our desire for lightweight bike parts

Posted: Jan 29, 2022 at 0:57 Quote
It doesn't need to be ball bearings...that would be a stupid idea it should be needle bearings like the Lefty but it will be very costly and more unreliable.

Posted: Jan 29, 2022 at 8:32 Quote
WHERE in da forks you can use ball bearings ??..

Posted: Jan 29, 2022 at 11:15 Quote
ka81 wrote:
WHERE in da forks you can use ball bearings ??..
Is a thrust bearing a ball bearing ?

A long time ago, you could buy thrust bearings to put at the top of your coil spring to allow it to rotate as it compressed. By K9 Industries components if I recall correctly ?

Never caught on, the low sensitivity of some forks back then was with bushings and seals, not the coil being prevented to rotate. I think it also made an appearance on coil springs for shocks, again with very little success and impact.

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