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What’s the Difference Between Single Row, Double / Twin-Row and Tapered Axle / Bearing Carriers?

July 1, 2017 6855 Views No comments

A axle bearing carrier houses the rear axle and axle bearings. It should be considered the conduit for connecting your solid rear axle to the swing arm. In the market there are three different types of carriers when it comes to ATVs: single, double/twin and tapered. There's so much talk on the internet about which is better and in this blog post we'll talk about the benefits and disadvantages that come with these three different types.

First off, the single row bearing carriers that come as stock on many ATVs are very weak. If you like to ride hard and take huge jumps and create a ton of side-to-side pressure, its likely only a matter of time before the single bearing carrier will shatter into a billion pieces. They're fairly thin and flimsy, and most are only rated for 500lbs of force or less, which is fine if you're just a recreational driver, but for anyone else you'll want to take these out and replace them pretty quick.

Now that the single row bearing carriers are out of the way, all that's left are the double / twin-row and tapered ones. This is a trickier question and one that people passionately debate about online. Here’s what both sides generally say.

Double / Twin-Row Carriers

A twin-row carrier requires less maintenance than a tapered one because it’s not as hard to adjust when installing them and setting them up. Twin-row bearing carriers are also significantly stronger than a single row bearing carriers and this makes a whole lot of sense. Two is always better than one, two heads, two eyes, two feet and in a bearing carrier’s case, two rows. If the force you’re putting on the axle is split across a wider surface area it can tolerate more abuse and last longer, as twin-row carriers have proven.

Finally, twin-row bearing carriers are a bit more stable than tapered bearing carriers. Tapered carriers can become loose during a race or are easily over-tightened , lowering the ATVs overall reliabability.

If you decide double wide / twin-row bearing carriers are the way to go, take a look through our selection on partdiscounter.com.

Tapered

Tapered bearing carriers are very strong and a version of them are used in cars because of that strength and some aftermarket parts suppliers are giving ATV owners the opportunity to take advantage of that same strength. Some people say they’re better for racing, contrasting what was said before because it can handle the powerful hits an ATV will take moving around a track. Every time you smash a corner, the force is shot down the axle and into the bearing assemblies, leading the ball bearings to be pushed sideways and bind. Knowing this, tapered bearings would also be better at surviving crooked and hard landings from those big jumps.

Tapered are very strong, that’s true, but they do have some drawbacks. When installing them you have to pay attention to the axle nut’s tension. If it’s torqued too much there’ll be increased drag leading to your bearings wearing out much earlier. In addition, if you’re jumping around too much, the carrier’s tightness can constrict the engine making it look like its losing power, or it can loosen causing the axle to be wobbly. Another big drawback of tapered bearing carriers is the fact that they have a bigger diameter than single and double bearing carriers, which takes away a lot of your chain adjustment radius.

Finally, of the two different bearing carriers, tapered carriers hold a premium price tag.

As you can see it really comes down to preference. Twin-row bearing carriers are more user-friendly and a bit easier to maintain, but the tapered bearing carriers have the edge in strength. Either way you go, make sure you grease them once in a while to keep them protected. We hope this helped you better understand the different bearings and what fits best for you. Make sure you come back and let us know in the comment which ones you bought.

Sources:

  1. Bearing Carrier, Tapered or Double Row: http://www.atvriders.com/vbb/showthread.php?87401-...
  2. Tapered Bearing vs. Double Row: http://www.thumpertalk.com/topic/741979-tapered-be...