Lifeline’s Pro bearing press kit is exactly that – an affordable but decent quality mountain bike toolkit with a ton of adaptors and basic extenders to cover most hubs and a lot of suspension bearings. It’s not the best press kit for most DIY mechanics, however, especially as it only presses, not pulls, and doesn’t come with instructions.
The press kit comes in a plastic suitcase with neatly cut foam inserts keeping everything really neat and secure. It also gives you plenty of ‘pro/spy’ kudos when you’re carrying it around. The key hardware is a threadless stainless steel bar with two CNC machined driver sections – both have screw-in knurled handles, while one has a securing grub screw.
In terms of compatible bearings the kit includes gauges for R6, 608, 1526, 1728, 2437, 6000, 6001, 6800, 6801, 6802, 6803, 6804, 6805, 6806, 6900, 6901, 6902 and 6903. There are 24, 26, 28 and 30mm OD adaptors so you can still press in bearings if you need to have the axle in place and protruding on one side.
2 short and 1 long spacer tubes help you reach frame bearings that aren’t on flat/open faces too.
There are no adaptors for press-fit bottom brackets or headset bearings, though, and while using it is relatively self-explanatory, some basic instructions would certainly help.
Once you’ve worked out how the various parts fit together to do the job you need to do, the kit largely works fine. The presses spin down the threads without sticking or interfering with judging the correct closing pressure. It’s not as luxurious in feel as top end ball bearing loaded kits from brands like Abbey Tools but then the cost is much lower too. The spacer tubes help to reach into tighter spots on suspension frames, too.
The fact they’re hollow tubes with the bar bore just on one end, however, means they can wobble and tilt off line until you’ve wound them in enough to add preload. That’s generally not a problem as long as you’re aware of it, but a full-length bore would solve any wobble issues completely.
There’s only one OD adaptor in each size too so you’ll need to be ingenious (or lucky) to make the kit work if a hub axle protrudes beyond both bearings – which is often the case.
If you need a decent quality, self-contained press kit to fit most hub and suspension bearing sizes, and you’re prepared to work around some missing bits and wobbling adaptors, then the Lifeline Pro is a potential bargain. However, most home users would get better value from a dual action press and pull set (such as the one from RapidRacerProducts (RRP)) and the specific gauges their bike needs.
Tech specs: Lifeline Pro bearing press set
- Price: $194.99 / £149.99 / €164.99
- Sizes: R6, 608, 1526, 1728, 2437, 6000, 6001, 6800, 6801, 6802, 6803, 6804, 6805, 6806, 6900, 6901, 6902 and 6903. 24, 26, 28 and 30mm OD adaptors.