I consider purchasing a full suspension bike with a linkage using bushings, instead of bearings for the pivots (Ghost Path Riot). A review says:

The bushings are said to wear out quick, two to three new sets should be in your tool box during a full season of racing, but it makes for a very light and compact frame design.

I don't care to maintain my bike a bit more, considering that bushings cost less then bearings. But I know that changing bearings in the rear linkage requires a set of tools (presses for each bearing diameter), that's it's among the small number of repairs I don't do it myself. Is it the same with bushings, or maybe they require a cheaper generic tool, so I could invest a few bucks and replace them myself?

2 Answers 2


Bushings and bearings are nearly identical in terms of the replacement procedure. Personally I think bearings are the better option because bushings typically are manufactured and supported only by the bike manufacturer. This means when the bike becomes discontinued, most of the time, so do the bushings.

If you need a bearing replaced, you can typically look on the dust seal and get an equivalent Wheels Manufacturing Bearing.

As far as a specialty tool (for bearings), in a pinch, you can

  1. Use a flat head screwdriver and tap the bearing out side by side
  2. Press the bearing in with the correct sized socket from a socket kit

The press you would need can either be borrowed from an Auto Parts store, or use a long bolt, and a nut with a washer to make a "homemade" press.

See this video

The actual tool looks like this

For bushing replacement, unfortunately you do need a specific tool to get those guys out.

  • 1
    Thank you for your answer. Eventually I decided to get another bike with regular bearings. Now after reading your answer, I'm glad I did that.
    – J-unior
    Mar 11, 2018 at 10:18

Bushes are great at spreading the load across the width of the bush and for suspension parts that rotate only a portion of a quadrant. Roller bearings were designed for high RPM rotation with little friction. Each ball has minimal contact with the race, therefore friction is low. However, small contact area and limited rotation leads to premature ball bearing wear along a tiny portion of the race, often leading to bearings seizing. Bushes are cheaper and have no moving parts.

  • 3
    Welcome to Bicycles SE. This site does not operate like a typical forum. It operates on a Q&A basis. This post has interesting information but does not address the tooling and maintenance burden of the two types. Please see our help pages or take our tour for more information about how the site works. Consider an edit to include a response to the specific question.
    – Swifty
    Jul 22, 2019 at 7:50
  • 1
    This is a good start, but how do these points relate to the use of a bush or bearing in the suspension of a bicycle? There are no high RPMs in a bicycle (by machine standards)
    – Criggie
    Jul 23, 2019 at 10:27

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