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Lifeline Pro bearing press set review – a good quality kit let down by some frustrating niggles

Is Lifeline’s Pro bearing press set as comprehensive as it looks or are there better choices for home mechanics?

Lifeline bearing press hero
(Image: © GuyKesTV)

Bike Perfect Verdict

Well priced, good quality bearing press set for most suspension and hub designs. There are some niggles, though, and the set won’t extract bearings or do PF bottom brackets.

Pros

  • +

    Smooth press action

  • +

    Covers most frame/hub bearing sizes

  • +

    Tough carry case

Cons

  • -

    Overkill for most home users

  • -

    No paired OS adaptors

  • -

    Won’t pull bearings out

  • -

    Won’t do Press Fit bottom brackets

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    No instructions

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.  

Lifeline Pro bearing press kit

Stainless steel bar and machined drivers and handles give the Lifeline bearing press that 'Pro' look (Image credit: GuyKesTV)

Design

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.

Lifeline Pro bearing press

Adaptors and gauges are supplied for pressing bearings into most hubs and suspension pivots  (Image credit: GuyKesTV)

Performance

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 (opens in new tab) 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.

Bearing press adaptor

Hollow press adaptors can create more wobble than a solid driver piece (Image credit: GuyKesTV)

Verdict

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 (opens in new tab) 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) (opens in new tab)) 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.

Guy Kesteven is Bike Perfect and Cyclingnews’ contributing tech editor. Hatched in Yorkshire he's been hardened by riding round it in all weathers since he was a kid. He spent a few years working in bike shops and warehouses before starting writing and testing for bike mags in 1996. Since then he’s written several million words about several thousand test bikes and a ridiculous amount of riding gear. To make sure he rarely sleeps and to fund his custom tandem habit, he’s also penned a handful of bike-related books and talks to a GoPro for YouTube, too.


Rides: Pace RC295, Cotic FlareMax, Specialized Chisel, Vielo V+1 gravel bike, Nicolai FS Enduro, Landescape custom gravel tandem

Height: 180cm

Weight: 69kg