Tech Tuesday: Adjust the Pivot Bearings on Any Santa Cruz VPP Suspension

Sep 20, 2011
by Richard Cunningham  
This tip could be the best kept secret among Santa Cruz Blur, Nomad and V10 owners - Watch and learn.This tip could be the best kept secret among Santa Cruz Blur, Nomad and V10 owners - Watch and learn.
Tech Tuesday comes live from the Santa Cruz tent at the Dirt Demo outdoor expo in Bootleg Canyon. Most santa Cruz owners have a vague idea that their VPP suspension pivots can be adjusted for side play, but if asked exactly how that adjustment might be done, the default would be a blank stare. As it turns out, the angular contact bearings and collet-type axle retention system that Santa Cruz designed for its VPP suspension rarely needs attention - which means that Blur, Nomad and V10 owners rarely, if ever, need to think about their pivot bearings. Sooo, just in case you wanted to know how to adjust your VPP pivots, Santa Cruz Product Manager Josh Kissner takes us through the three-minute adjustment process. Watch and learn.

Tools you ll need

Tools you'll need to get the job done right:

• One 4, 5, 6-millimeter combination Allen wrench
• One 8-millimeter Allen wrench
• Blue (non-permanent) LocTite thread locking fluid
• Light-viscosity waterproof grease
• Shop towel

Tip: you may want to do this job simply to check your pivot bearings. Remember that the bearings may be perfectly adjusted, so rather than tightening them just for good measure, back the bearing tension out with the 8-millimeter Allen wrench a quarter turn and then begin the process. The 5-millimeter Allen screw you see on the outer end of the pivots is simply a locking screw, not an adjustment. Snug it up and leave it be.

How to Adjust the Pivot Bearings on Santa Cruz VPP Suspension Bikes

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So, that's all there is to it. Explore the vast and interesting world that is, and don't forget to tell us if you got your VPP pivots running perfectly smooth, all by yourself.

Past Tech Tuesdays:

Technical Tuesday #1 - How to change a tube.
Technical Tuesday #2 - How to set up your SRAM rear derailleur
Technical Tuesday #3 - How to remove and install pedals
Technical Tuesday #4 - How To Bleed Your Avid Elixir Brakes
Technical Tuesday #5 - How To Check And Adjust Your Headset
Technical Tuesday #6 - How To Fix A Broken Chain
Technical Tuesday #7 - Tubeless Conversion
Technical Tuesday #8 - Chain Wear
Technical Tuesday #9 - SRAM Shift Cable Replacement
Technical Tuesday #10 - Removing And Installing a Headset
Technical Tuesday #11 - Chain Lube Explained
Technical Tuesday #12 - RockShox Totem and Lyric Mission Control Damper Mod
Technical Tuesday #13 - Shimano XT Crank and Bottom Bracket Installation
Technical Tuesday #14 - Straightening Your Derailleur Hanger
Technical Tuesday #15 - Setting Up Your Front Derailleur
Technical Tuesday #16 - Setting Up Your Cockpit
Technical Tuesday #17 - Suspension Basics
Technical Tuesday #18 - Adjusting The Fox DHX 5.0
Technical Tuesday #19 - Adjusting The RockShox BoXXer World Cup
Technical Tuesday #20 - Servicing Your Fox Float Shock
Technical Tuesday #21 - Wheel Truing Basics
Technical Tuesday #22 - Shimano Brake Pad Replacement
Technical Tuesday #23 - Shimano brake bleed
Technical Tuesday #24 - Fox Lower Leg Removal And Service
Technical Tuesday #25 - RockShox Motion Control Service
Technical Tuesday #26 - Avid BB7 Cable Disk Brake Setup
Technical Tuesday #27 - Manitou Dorado Fork Rebuild
Technical Tuesday #28 - Manitou Circus Fork Rebuild
Technical Tuesday #29 - MRP G2 SL Chain Guide Install
Technical Tuesday #30 - Cane Creek Angleset Installation
Technical Tuesday #31 - RockShox Maxle Lite DH
Technical Tuesday #32 - Find Your Tire Pressure Sweet Spot
Technical Tuesday #33 - Three Minute Bike Preflight Check
Technical Tuesday #34 - MRP XCG Install
Technical Tuesday #35 - Stem Choice and Cockpit Setup
Technical Tuesday #36 - Handlebars - How Wide Affects Your Ride
Technical Tuesday #37 - Repairing A Torn Tire
Technical Tuesday #38 - Coil spring swap
Technical Tuesday #39 - Trailside help: Broken Shift Cable
Technical Tuesday #40 - Installing a Fox Float Air-Volume Spacer
Technical Tuesday #41 - Replace the Seals on Your 2011 RockShox Boxxer World Cup Fork
Technical Tuesday #42 - Clean and Lubricate Your Fox F32 Dust Wiper Seals

Visit to see their entire lineup of tools and lubes

Author Info:
RichardCunningham avatar

Member since Mar 23, 2011
974 articles

  • 3 0
 Nice! I found this through trial and error just this past weekend. This tech tusesday came at a great time since I think I over tightened the axles. Should go back and loosen them up a bit. Thanks pinkbike!
  • 2 0
 Thanks for the vid.

The procedure is actually also explained pretty good within the tech section of each bike at the Santa Cruz homepage.
Essential thing he did not mention: Do not mix Loctite with grease while reassembling the pivots.
  • 1 0
 Tell me about it! had to replace all my bearings on warranty after a year and needed to retight them 5 times this year! even had to reduce the sleeves so I can tight them it's fine but I ride it hard all day all the time! love my V-10!
  • 1 0
 Ha dont have mine yet, itl be here in a week though. YEEHAA cant wait to give it a thrash on the local trails. Queenstown baby here I come.
  • 4 1
 @t1mbo why? do u not no how loctite works?
  • 7 3
 course not. This is pinkbike, why would I know anything?
  • 4 1
 it would appear you obviously dont
  • 10 3
 sorry you've confused me... obviously don't what? Can you say it slowly
  • 3 0
 right so this only works on the new SC range
  • 1 0
 Juicy fort cited turbo hub vyurxuyrciutvouyvuitc trxytexuyutvuitv yrx thete vuoyvyrcturcuoubiunohiiybtcrxexec ugvyiyc utvutc uyvuitv
  • 2 0
 Easy on the Loctite. Just a single drop is enough.
  • 1 0
 werd, that stuff was dripping off! no good
  • 2 0
 No man lather that stuff on! Over tighten the bolts too, you can never be too careful ;-)
  • 1 0
 Anyone know of a similar type of bearing tune and replacement guide for the Intense M9? Looking at trying it out myself.
  • 1 0
 Where can i buyBlue (non-permanent) LocTite thread locking fluid plz anyone
  • 1 0
 And what happens after a few years when the pivot nut digs a hole in the frame? Epoxy!
  • 1 0
 Thanks for this. Was putting off a trip to the shop to get the link looked at. This got me back rolling again.
  • 1 0
 how about the Loc-Tite, do I have to wait until it dries our not?
  • 2 3
 indeed, you need to wait until it cure if you want it to work properly. (12 hrs to 24 hrs for best result)
  • 2 2
 no. as per the instructions from Loctite, you assembly the hardware with the loctite still "wet." it does take up to 24hrs to cure once assembled though
  • 3 2
 @deadatbirth thats what asmodeuss just said. Obviously you assemble the loctite while its wet but you shouldn't use it for 24 hrs otherwise the bolts can loosen.
  • 1 0
 thanks for the tips.
  • 2 1
 Obviously you do not stare at your bolt tìll the loc-tite cure, you put it in wet...
  • 1 0
 most people dont realize you assemble the hardware right away applying the loctite
  • 1 0
 i have a 2009 it the same process??
  • 1 0
 nope. you dont have the collets on your bike
  • 1 0
 ok thanx mate
  • 1 0
 wish I had known this years ago. Thanks guys!!!
  • 1 0
 Does 2010 V10 have this system ?
  • 1 1
 That was awesome! RidEOn!
  • 1 1
 I watched this video two three weeks ago on someone else account lol
  • 1 1
 freeze the video at: 1:18 you can see evidence of blue loctite
  • 1 0
 Josh is the man.
  • 1 2
 Have to say I'm a little concerned about using loctite on those bolts.
  • 3 0
 well if someone who works on the bike and for santa cruz says he does then i think you can be pretty sure its fine!
  • 1 0
 Last time I used the stuff, the bolt sheared when I tried to remove it.
As those pivot bolts are something I'd like to be able to remove them once in a while.

Plus if it was that important how come there was none on when he pulled it out?
  • 1 0
 the loctite had worn away when he removed the bolt but you could see it had been used previously.
  • 3 1
 I didn't see any sign of any previous loctite on there.
Besides, what good is loctite anyway if it wears away like that?
  • 1 0
 What kind of loctite you used?
-i guess the red one
  • 5 0
 The locktite shears off when the bolt is removed. the internal threading rubs the material off the bolt as you remove it. you'll see some residue between the threads, but not a coating.. Red locktite needs to be removed with heat.. it's a 'permanent' use product.. chances are, the bolt had other contamanents that caused it to seize and the head to shear off. Blue is the stuff to use. I hope this helps T1. cheers.
  • 3 7
flag rffr (Sep 21, 2011 at 23:48) (Below Threshold)
 A bolt sheared because you used loc-tite? Wow, you are an epic failure. Stop working on bikes. Stop riding bikes. Hit yourself in the head with a hammer and be done with it.

There are no stupid questions and comments... just stupid people... and you fall right into that category.

And shockie, the red loc-tite needing to be removed with heat also falls into the quote above in this reply. You also have 0 idea what your talking about. Flippen brain dead people on PB thinking they know everything about everything.

NO loctite needs to be removed with heat. If you think that you know absolutely nothing about mechanic work.
  • 3 0
 Well done sir, for giving an opinion as fact. And then without provocation jumping straight in with groundless insults and trolling. You are a credit to your country. Have a medal.
  • 2 0
 For those that bother to read this far it doesn't take much of a search (google or whatever) to find that what shrockie wrote is correct. Smile
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