Suntour Fork Demo Program AndrewM
EDITORIAL

Ten Things Wrong With Your Bike - A Spring Service Story

Words Andrew Major
Photos Andrew & Noted
Date Apr 29, 2020
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If none of the things below apply to you, well, you're probably riding a fully-fresh rigid single speed. Or, I suppose it's also possible you're fully up to date with your bike maintenance. Pat on the back for you! Crack a beer. Also, please share a witty story about a hilarious, preventable, mechanical one of your riding buddies had recently, and fire us a comment below so we can all have a good laugh! I know you have one.

For everyone else, trust your instincts. Here are ten prompts for maintenance that you probably don't want to defer or have possibly even never thought of doing. Have a look and then let us know your score out of ten - the lower the score the better. The more bikes you own, the more possibilities you have to score points; who says the one-bike-to-do-it-all never wins anything?

Unfortunately, between two bikes I scored 5/10. One chain, two pairs of brake pads (one bike), one bottom bracket, one pair of Trunnion mount bearings, and a pair of pedals needing a rebuild. So much for my reputation for being on top of maintenance.

Your Pads Are Metal

No, not a metallic compound. Your brake pads are quite literally metal backing plates. Your brake system wasn't designed to run with the pistons out this far but you probably haven't noticed the loss of power if your backing plates rubbing your rotors hasn't drawn your attention. There are a few different go/no-go scenarios on pads, and some brakes don't work great past about 30% pad remaining, but as a general rule if there's less than a dime then baby it's time.

BicycleHub Brake Pads NSMB AndrewM.jpg

Thanks to Dave, of BicycleHub fame, for these photos. Bike mechanics see holey back-plates so often it's actually hard to find anyone who bothers to take photos! Luckily Dave used to send them to customers. Photo: Dave McInnes

Check your rotors while you're at it. Yes, they do wear out over time and yes the manufacturers' minimum width is there for a reason. If you've never seen a brake rotor fail then count yourself lucky. It's almost impossible to keep your mouth shout and the owner sh*t talks whichever brands rotor he wore down to the width of a butter knife.

Oh, and like a fresh set of pads, replacing the rotors aren't just to prevent a trail-side haranguing from your friends, and random strangers. No, along with a brake bleed they're a relatively cheap performance upgrade that can pay immediately noticeable dividends on the trail. Basically, the opposite of carbon headset spacers.

Hayes Dominion Details NSMB AndrewM (3).JPG

I really like the feel of some of the new non-sintered pad compounds on the market now but I've been caught twice by pads that wore through faster than expected.

Formula Cura4 Brake Upgrade NSMB AndrewM 1 (2).JPG

Don't forget to bed in the fresh ones. Rub them together under the tap before installing and then do some hard, fast, short stops out on the road to break everything in.

Your Handlebar Is Tired

I try not to provide unsolicited bike advice on the trail and I'm generally very, very, successful but once in a while, I crack. I'm top of Upper Oil Can on Fromme - pre-social distancing - when two visitors roll up and ask me if they're almost at 7th Secret. From a few feet away I can see the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad DIVOT out of one of their carbon handlebars.

Me: "Ummmm, did you know there's a chunk missing out of your handlebar?"

Rider: "Oh yeah, no worries it's still under warranty so if it breaks I'll get a new one."

I lost the power of speech and solemnly pointed up the road like the grim reaper. Off they went. I kid you not when I got home I took off my handlebar, cut it in half, and bought a replacement. The truth is I wasn't exactly sure how old it was and I knew I'd be thinking about it on every ride going forward.

Answer Bar NSMB AndrewM.JPG

No matter how cool, or expensive, your handlebar is it has a shelf life. Some brands provide lengthy warranties but remember those are for manufacturing defects.

Warranties against defects in manufacturing and materials, end-of-life testing, that's all great stuff but a good handlebar is not expensive in the grand scheme of mountain biking, and if yours has taken a kicking maybe it's time to treat yourself? I'll also repeat my recommendation that you replace the handlebar on any used bike purchase.

Your CSU Creaks

In reality, it probably doesn't; however, if you think your crown steerer unit (CSU) has a click or a creak then there's a 99% chance that you're right and you definitely want to do something about that ASAP. I know what you're thinking, and no, no it is not a good idea to just keep riding it for a bit.

Shops used to make that recommendation in the good old days when creaking CSUs indicated an issue with the stanchion-crown pressfit interface. In reality if your fork caps were tight, the stanchions couldn't pull out or push through so the chance of failure in short order was slim-to-none. Put another way, long before approaching the failure mode from creaking stanchions your riding friends would have buried you 6ft under the ground because the crick-crick-crick-CRACK-CRACK-crick every time you grabbed your front brake would have driven them insane.

Niner 32 NSMB AndrewM.JPG

This photo is from ten years ago on Gravitrout. The CSU was new ~ two weeks before the ride and creaked after but it was the beefiest 29'er fork at the time.

Modern times are not quite so simple and I have witnessed multiple creaking CSUs, from multiple brands, where the issue is the steerer-crown interface. And indeed I have felt with my own two hands the wiggle of loose pressfit steerer tube. It's f***ing scary.

A new CSU, hell a brand new edition of the most expensive fork on the market, is way cheaper than a single new tooth never mind all the other life altering shit that could happen if your crown rotates around your steerer tube while riding.

If you think it creaks, get it checked.

You Need Fresh 'Onion' Mount Bearings

Full disclosure, I've been anti-Trunnion mount for a while now. I've owned a few full-suspension bikes previously that absolutely ate DU bushings but that's what DU bushings are supposed to do. They're like replaceable derailleur hangers* in that they die so the more expensive components - the frame and derailleur - can live on. I bought a press tool that fits in my vice and a bag of DU bushings and paid it no mind going forward.

I'm not saying that the trunnion design eats shocks. I'm also not saying that combining a hard-mounted shock body with a Trunnion Mount is a guarantee that a regular rider will be buying their air shock a shaft, body, and air can every year. But plenty of riders know exactly what I'm talking about.

*Speaking of which, your derailleur hanger probably isn't straight but that didn't make the list. Maybe check it too.

Giant Reign Advanced Pro 29 0

Semi-regularly unbolt the shock and ensure that the Trunnion Mount bearings still spin sweetly. Any hint of attitude and replace them toute-suite. Photo: Sterling Lorence

The only way to avoid it happening is to semi-regularly un-bolt your shock and check those trunnion bearings. They don't rotate much so they tend to get pitted in no time. If they don't spin beautifully then knock them out, press in new ones, and start the process again.

Keep spares on hand and if you don't own bearing press, a piece of threaded rod, some nuts and washers, and the right-sized socket will do. For the home wrench, I've used Boca's Bike Bearing Installer and it's a very useful tool for not a tonne of scratch.

Your Sealant Is Dried Out

Oh, you just replaced it? When? Yeah, it really was six months ago. I move tires around fairly frequently and I'm regularly surprised how quickly sealant dries up. I need all my fingers and toes to count the number of times I've witnessed a tubeless tire that wouldn't seal a cut on the trail because there was no sealant inside. It can also be a key factor in whether tire plugs work or not when those punctures are particularly bad.

It's my stated goal to never again install a tube on the trail and on my wheels without tire inserts, part of reaching that goal is staying on top of sealant. I haven't actually put together a good strategy yet but if it comes down to it I'll set an alarm to pop the beads every month and check.

I'm interested in others methods and experiences as well.

Bontrager G5 NSMB AndrewM.JPG

Bontrager claims their new blue sealant has improved performance and also better longevity.

Bontrager G5 NSMB AndrewM (2).JPG

I didn't have any complaints about the previous product but I'm interested to see if it holds true as I regularly find my tires dry.

Your Rear Hub Needs Love

It may not need bearings. Actually, it probably doesn't. But, your hub's drive system absolutely needs some lube. There's a massive difference between a loud hub that's running through its infinite engagements and a loud hub that's screaming for early death as it's drive system components run dry against each other.

And don't be smug silent clutch hub people. At least a pawl hub tries to fight back while its guts are being ground into dust instead of accepting its negligent end times with silent approval.

Many, even most, rear hubs on the market today - whether high-end or more basic - are not difficult to service when it comes to performing a basic clean-and-lube of the drive system. It's also a great chance to check the hub bearings and see if any of them need replacing. Keep a particular eye on the hub shell bearing behind the drive system as those tend to go first unless you're lucky enough to own Chris King.

Bontrager Line Comp 30 Wheels

Whether it's cheap or high-end, most rear hubs are not difficult to perform a basic service on and in both cases it will improve performance and longevity.

Your Chain Is Worn Out...

...and probably your chainring too. Your next cassette is going to cost more than a gearbox, so you'd best think about keeping it fresh as long as you can!

There are a lot of theories about chains. Some folks rotate through a couple of chains switching them out every few rides, some people buy the cheapest chain they can find and swap it frequently, and some people buy the super-premium chains and run them for a long time.

Waltworks Drivetrain NSMB AndrewM (1).JPG

Drivetrain efficiency degrades as cogs wear and long before you start missing shifts you're doing extra work. Setup your gearing to use multiple ratios on climbs or prepare to replace cogs often.

Waltworks Drivetrain NSMB AndrewM (2).JPG

Long before they look toast, narrow-wide rings will start to get loud and even start dropping chains. In my experience, a quality steel ring will more than pay for itself if you ride a lot.

Chain replacement theories aside, it's absolutely true that as chains wear from sideloading they produce notably more drag in the extreme gears along with a bunch of extra, and annoying noise. The obvious solution is to switch to a single-speed with a perfectly straight chain line. No? Okay, the obvious solution is to look at ways to space your chainring inboard if you spend a lot of time cranking in the low gears.

If you're in your 50t or 51t all the time on climbs then it's time to consider a smaller chainring. Your chains and cassettes will both last longer it's always nice to have a bailout gear in reserve. As you drop to a smaller ring size clearance inboard clearance gets more generous on most bikes so a 30t, 28t, or even 26t in a non-Boost offset will give you much better chainline, and chain life, in the gears where you spend the most time and lay down the most consistent torque.

Your Bottom Bracket Is Shot

There's an old joke that a single-speeder never needs to worry about their bottom bracket getting seized in their frame because they change it every three months. It's not really that funny but it's a great education in all the ways bottom brackets die. My latest one spun amazingly in the stand but felt like the bearings were packed in clay when I loaded the pedals. My brother, Crash Test Kevin, currently has one that spins beautifully but sounds a bit like sand pouring down through a funnel.

The point is that whether your bottom bracket is a threaded BSA unit or some other standard, that will hopefully soon be dead as it's abandoned in favour of BSA, there's a halfway decent chance it's due for a replacement. Unless you have a Chris King bottom bracket in which case it's a solid bet you're due for a regrease. And if you are due, or overdue, for some bottom bracket love it's a really cheap way to enhance performance.

FSA Afterburner Crankset AndrewM

Bottom brackets are so often overlooked but ditching a worked one for a fresh one is among the cheapest performance upgrades going.

Your Pedals Need An Overhaul

The scar has faded, but every time I look at my right calf I can still feel the burn and see the blood trickling down. I was cornering hard to the right when my XTR pedal body pulled off the spindle, still clipped into my shoe, and I dragged my leg down the exposed spindle threads. I had reliably used Shimano pedals for years including the fantastic prior version of their top-end pedals - which I still have in circulation - and rarely even gave a thought to regreasing them. Such is the price of an education.

Crankbrothers Mallet NSMB AndrewM

There is not pedal more intuitive to overhaul than Crankbrothers' Eggbeater lineup. The rebuild kit even includes the shaft needed to press out/in bearings and bushings.

The whole experience was a bit like getting bitten by a long loyal and good-natured pet. For the following year, my pedals actually became part of my routine bolt checks, and even now as soon as they develop the slightest amount of slop I remove them right away for rebuild whether they're clip-in or flat pedals.

I'm not suggesting that anyone take it to that extreme but at least reach down and give your pedals a wiggle once in a while. The number of sloppy pedals, especially flats, I've noticed is surprising in terms of their owners seemingly not being aware and scary, for the same reason. Loose lock-on grips and pedal bodies falling off are the stuff of nightmares.

Your Shock Damper Is Blown

Regardless of what type of spring you're using, there are few exceptions to the fact that as you approach the 100hr service interval on a shock damper the performance degradation is exponential. Some shocks, ridden hard, start to perform like crap halfway to the recommended interval. Without damper support, it's impossible to get a spring rate that works properly - air or coil - and none of the quick fixes that folks try from air-can lube to volume spacers, to progressive coil springs on frames that really don't need them and so on are will solve that issue.

I understand why so many riders are resistant to servicing forks, shocks, brakes, and so on. There's no instant endorphin rush from spending money on something we already own. But, the difference that smooth and supportive suspension makes to a bike is huge.

Trek Thru Shaft Shock AndrewM

Don't just lube up your air can and add a volume spacer. That missing support is your blown damper.

Trek Thru Shaft Shock AndrewM

You okay Jeff? This is the face that I make when people talk about putting progressive coil springs on bikes with progressive leverage curves.

For most of us Joeys rolling around in the woods, a good-enough suspension setup isn't exactly rocket surgery. First the stuff needs to be in good condition. Dampers need to damp, adjusters need to turn through a usable range, and slidey bits need to slide smoothly. Then bracket your settings based on one simple rule: your fork needs to be firmer (less sag) and faster (rebound) than your rear shock. Boom.

Score Card

So how'd you do?

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Comments

fartymarty
+2 Andrew Major Stephen Norman
fartymarty  - April 29, 2020, 12:51 a.m.

A riding buddy introduced me to the Probike Garage app.  It's great to track maintenance on your bike(s). It also links to Strava so can track your riding time.

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - April 29, 2020, 8:05 a.m.

No Garmin; No Rules

Reply

tehllama42
+1 Andrew Major
Tehllama42  - April 29, 2020, 11:57 a.m.

Genuinely appreciate this.  In the end it probably won't help, but I can at least have my phone mock me for my stupidity while inevitably walking back home with a flat tire loaded full of dessicated latex.

Reply

fartymarty
0
fartymarty  - April 30, 2020, 1:05 a.m.

I have only been using PBG for a few months now and find it useful to make notes on each component including last service date etc.  At least you aren't relying on your memory to know when you last serviced said item.  I probably only Strava half my rides so distances don't overly matter, it's more time based.

Reply

jan-meyer
+2 Andrew Major Bikeridenow
Jan Meyer  - April 29, 2020, 2:32 a.m.

Recently, since there is a lot of time to work on my bike:

Stuck brake pistons

Threads stripped on pedals which stripped the cranks

Dry forks than needed some oil and seal lube

Snicked a procore inner tube changing a tire

Some minor adjustments to the spoke tension to true the wheels

Upon lubricating my rear hub the spring popped out and the outer seal got damaged. Never found the spring...

Everything is fixed and good as new, but man, there where some choice words these last 2 weeks.

Reply

jan-meyer
+1 twk
Jan Meyer  - April 29, 2020, 2:33 a.m.

And that was just 1 out of 5 bikes

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - April 29, 2020, 8:04 a.m.

That’s a heck of a list! Lucky this isn’t two weeks ago :-).

Any of those other bikes MTBs? Need to add them all up for the current score.

Reply

jan-meyer
+1 Andrew Major
Jan Meyer  - April 29, 2020, 7:16 p.m.

Let’s see:

Sons bike seems to be fine, but he is 4. I can’t tell that anything’s wrong but the bike feels pretty bad even when brand new. Can’t wait to get him a real bike. When he is tall enough.

Wife’s bike I suspect her shock and fork need a service as it’s been a while.

My Zerode G2 needs the tyres pumped and need sealant.

The hard tail Ebike’s Bosch motor needs a service and the Rohloff needs a rebuild.

Edit: nearly forgot ones of the best ones! Was feeling like my shock needed a service, which would be a bit soon, so as I was taking it off I realised the link bearings were shot. Took them out and one had completely seized. Got it open and moving again while waiting on new bearings. Bike felt like a million bucks after that little fix.

Reply

jan-meyer
0
Jan Meyer  - April 30, 2020, 2:46 p.m.

I think if I’ve done that right, my score is 9/10. :(

Reply

velocipedestrian
+1 Andrew Major
Velocipedestrian  - April 29, 2020, 3:02 a.m.

Hmm, maybe 2?

Oldskool 26" Lyrik has respectable crown depth, DU shocks win, pads get checked regularly, hubs and drivetrain are both pretty new... 

Sorry to be boring, I'd be much less smug if I went looking at the other bikes around this joint.

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - April 29, 2020, 8:01 a.m.

That’s solid, especially given it’s obviously an older (26”) rig!

Reply

Masacrejoe
+1 Andrew Major
Michael Klein  - April 29, 2020, 3:34 a.m.

3 points (between 2 bikes). Sealant, shockbushings and rebounddamper.

Reply

twk
+2 Andrew Major Cr4w
twk  - April 29, 2020, 4:10 a.m.

Between two bikes:

* two hubs need a relube

* two chains that are pretty worn out

* one BB feeling like sand after getting to know my angle grinder during operation "fck these cranks"

* one set of pedals sloppy

* one fork due for a lower-leg and air spring service

I'll go back to the bike maintenance corner of shame now...

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - April 29, 2020, 7:58 a.m.

Operation ‘F*ck These Cranks’ sounds Epic! Was it just a missing extractor cap or was it a stripped bolt?!

Reply

twk
+1 Andrew Major
twk  - April 30, 2020, 7:47 a.m.

It was a set of RF Aeffects without the self-extracting bolt configuration. Other than requiring an ISIS/octalink extractor to remove, the torque rating is crazy high on those -- 60 or 70 Nm no less!

Long story short, the crank started constantly loosening on the splines, which prompted more and more tightening from yours truly, until one day the allen head stripped clean out.

Lots of cursing ensued, none of the screw extracting tricks I applied worked, and I finally had to concede and write off the cranks. Because at some point one of the crank spacers snapped, there was enough space to get the angle grinder between BB and non-driveside crankarm. I even managed to take off the nice oval ring with little to no damage.

I check my other set of Aeffects regularly, but the self-extracting crank bolt is way less troublesome.

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - April 30, 2020, 9:56 a.m.

Yeah, Aeffect not coming with extractor cap was definitely an oversight. Good-enough cranks otherwise. Love that RaceFace uses legacy tools for BSA 24mm BB, BSA 30mm BB, and Cinch.

That said, the Aeffect R has become my go to crank recommendation for anyone who asks me re. min-maxing. Stronger, stiffer, size-specific blanks, and comes with the extractor.

Reply

nouseforaname
+2 Andrew Major DanL
Nouseforaname  - April 29, 2020, 7:10 a.m.

I'm going to sell it and buy a new one. That sounds like a lot of work.

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - April 29, 2020, 7:56 a.m.

Hahahaha, I wrote about that two springs ago! Buyer Beware.

Reply

nouseforaname
0
Nouseforaname  - April 29, 2020, 3:57 p.m.

I have to take all the nice new stuff off my new bike to put on the one i'm selling to make it look less 'loved'. I usually end up with a half worn drivetrain and wheels with a new frame and forks.

Reply

Shoreloamer
+1 Andrew Major
Greg Bly  - April 29, 2020, 8:16 a.m.

That is a nice looking beer sipping glass.! 

If a pivot bearing only rotates perhaps five or ten degrees why not pull out the bearing and re install it at 90 degrees from original placement ? 

I'm astonished at how quickly my wide range Cassete wore out and it's because of the softer aluminum cogs. Do you think replacing the chain every four months would give a longer life to my Cassete? Mind you four chains cost the same or more than my Sunrace Cassete!  

When my bike needs some maintenance I tend to switch to riding a different bike until I remember the maintenance the other bike needs. Perhaps I'll reward myself with a tasty craft beer after wrenching on my bike .

Reply

AndrewMajor
+1 Greg Bly
Andrew Major  - April 29, 2020, 8:31 a.m.

I purposely listed a few different chain replacement theories friends use because I don’t have one I adhere to. I mean regularly rotating through a couple chains sounds good in theory but what do you do if the cassette dies in no time? Always interesting to hear people’s theories.

I have pressed a pitted main pivot bearing out and back in in a pinch when I didn’t have a replacement on hand and the result was another month or so of use. The Onion bearings always feel so nasty I just replace them (at a significantly higher cost compared to changing a DU).

Reply

AndrewMajor
+2 Greg Bly Pete Roggeman
Andrew Major  - April 29, 2020, 2:15 p.m.

Re. The beer chalice - Jeff and I did that teardown in the tasting room at Beere Brewing!

Reply

Shoreloamer
+1 Pete Roggeman
Greg Bly  - April 30, 2020, 7:41 a.m.

Bike friendly beer parlours . How sweet it is .

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - April 30, 2020, 10 a.m.

There was a time when Beere had enough mechanics as employees that they could have started servicing bikes out of the brewery. 

That said, I think most (all?) The breweries in North Vancouver need to invest in better and more bike lock-up rack options. I have quite a few friends who stopped frequenting local tasting rooms (pre-C19) for that reason.

Reply

khai
+1 Andrew Major
khai  - April 29, 2020, 8:16 a.m.

How does that tool stack up compared to the Wheels Mfg | RRP |Enduro?  I've been considering one for a while but have yet to pull the trigger, instead cheating by spending most of my time on the HT...

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - April 29, 2020, 8:25 a.m.

The crazy thing is I spend most my time on my hardtail too. If I had one bike that was an FS I shudder to think how much I’d be working on it.

I own the Wheels MFG press. Mine goes back to the first run. I ordered it right away after seeing it at Interbike and I think it’s a fantastic tool. It’s a much bigger investment than the Boca though. 

I see the Boca filling a niche between the pro-tool and DIY solutions (nuts, washers, sockets, threaded rod). 

I have a bench mounted vice which can be all you need for many bearing applications but it’s a luxury I know many folks don’t have.

Reply

khai
+1 Andrew Major
khai  - April 29, 2020, 8:43 a.m.

Yeah, that Wheels Mfg kit is P-I-M-P.  Though if you select the "full set" from RRP it isn't any cheaper ($400CAD w/o the tool itself - though it does include extractors as well).  That's a big part of the reason why I never pulled the trigger in the first place...  

Seems the Boca tool is a sane starting point for a home mechanic not looking to build (fund) a fully pro level shop.

My fully is out on loan but between that, the DH, and the HT I don't really want to think about my total score...

Reply

AndrewMajor
+1 khai
Andrew Major  - April 29, 2020, 9:09 a.m.

I’ve never used the Boca to remove bearings and actually I’ve never done that with my Wheels MFG press either. Occasionally I’ve needed a blind bearing puller but usually a hammer and punch will do.

It’s a starter tool for sure but I’ve used one a half dozen times that’s still in decent shape so I think it’s an easy introduction. 

For the most robust setup/dollar a couple of wrenches turning nuts on a washer/socket setup on a threaded rod can’t be beat. Unless you’re like a couple of my buddies over the years who’ve done more than a Wheels MFG press-tool’s cost in frame damage with the massive leverage (you don’t have to use big wrenches to turn the nuts).

Reply

khai
+1 Andrew Major
khai  - April 29, 2020, 9:15 a.m.

Now that you mention it, I think the need for a blind puller was the final nail in the coffin the last time I looked into it.  I have a memory of emailing Wheels/RRP about blind pulling and neither could do it - so I just had Ed at Mighty Riders do the replacement for me.

(Now that I have some space I should set up my own shop for these "intermediate" type jobs one of these days..)

Reply

AndrewMajor
+1 khai
Andrew Major  - April 29, 2020, 9:29 a.m.

Came back to double up on the Mighty Ed love. Every time I talk to him I’m smarter about bicycles.

DanL
+2 Andrew Major khai
DanL  - April 29, 2020, 10:32 a.m.

I combined the wheel MFG press with a custom set or presses and pullers from Bearing Pro Tools. Bearing Pro use a standard threaded rod for their press, but after some unfortunate mechanical hamfistery, I found that the the larger thread pitch on the MFG press is a much smoother, more foolproof method.

Reply

BadNudes
+2 Andrew Major khai
BadNudes  - April 29, 2020, 8:48 a.m.

I used the Boca press tool last fall for suspension pivot bearing replacement. It worked okay to install the bearings, but the threaded rod actually snapped when trying to remove bearings from the frame. I was using an oversized socket as a reciever, and triple checked alignment and clearance, but it still broke before the bearing even budged. I used a hammer and punch to remove the rest of the bearings, and luckily there was enough thread left to finish installing the new ones. Another thing to note about the Boca tool is the drifts are all made of soft-ish plastic, when using the smaller diameters it was obvious that the pressing force would squish the drifts and cause them to bulge in the middle. Overall it's hard for me to recommend this tool over a threaded rod, nuts, washers, and a socket set.

Reply

andy-eunson
+2 Andrew Major Carmel
Andy Eunson  - April 29, 2020, 8:54 a.m.

My bikes are all good. I am constantly rotating through maintenance chores. One thing I don’t get is why after a winter of storage, my brake pads have no grip. I sand and clean rotors and pads but only new pads do the trick. Shimano metal pads. Do they oxidize in my garage?

Reply

VB
0
VB  - April 29, 2020, 9:39 a.m.

I've heard that it's due to the Shimano pistons being ceramic, a porous material that allows the pads to get contaminated if they sit around too long.

Reply

AndrewMajor
+1 Carmel
Andrew Major  - April 29, 2020, 9:43 a.m.

I know lots of people who have that issue with higher end Shimano brakes (with ceramic pistons) if they let their bikes sit a while without riding. Sometimes it can be fixed by sanding the pads and rubbing them together under the tap. 

I’ve heard a few explanations, all related to the ceramic pistons, but have never seen anything from Shimano on the subject.

Reply

nouseforaname
+1 Andrew Major
Nouseforaname  - April 29, 2020, 4:03 p.m.

This is crazy! I've never heard of that before. So the mineral oil is leaking through the pistons, into the pads (but only the face that touches the rotor or you couldn't sand it off) but from the front, not the backing that actually touches the pistons? That sounds like some interesting 'science'. Why wouldn't it just be the metallic pads oxidizing over time? Leave bare alu out and it forms a layer of oxy- why wouldn't this be the same for whatever sintered metal compound brake pads are made out of?

Reply

andy-eunson
+2 Greg Bly Pete Roggeman
Andy Eunson  - April 29, 2020, 5:06 p.m.

Agreed. I seem to recall the first Hayes disc brakes had ceramic pistons. At least the piston looked like it that time I did bleed and forgot the put the pads back in, spun the wheel and pumped the lever until that pin the held in the missing pads went into to rotor holes and snapped out. Maybe the pistons were cast metal. I dunno. I don’t lose coffee out of my mug. Oil vapour?

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - April 29, 2020, 9:28 p.m.

Yeah, don’t have a good scientific explanation for you and as I said I’ve never seen anything from Shimano on the subject; however, I have experienced this issue myself with XT, XTR, Saint, and Zee brakes with both sintered and resin pads on bikes that get periods of extended downtime but not with cheaper Shimano brakes or any other manufacturers brakes under the same circumstances.

I’ve also heard from many other people with the same experience.

Whatever is happening, if you ride your bike often enough you won’t experience it. In my experience it can usually be solved by taking down the pad surface but others say otherwise. Go figure right?!

Reply

andrewbikeguide
0
AndrewR  - April 29, 2020, 5 p.m.

I have had bake fluid leak past the piston seals in cold weather which contaminates the the pads.

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rolly
+1 Andrew Major
rolly  - April 30, 2020, 3:19 p.m.

I have a really good solution to this:  Don't let yer bike sit!  Ride that sucker every week.

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AndrewMajor
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Andrew Major  - May 3, 2020, 9:47 a.m.

I suggested that after the 95th time I sanded my wife’s pads... then we bought her some Maguras. The HC lever blades (non-adjustable version) are the best in the business for small hands.

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LoamtoHome
+2 Andrew Major JVP
Jerry Willows  - April 29, 2020, 9:08 a.m.

We sent a man to the moon over 50 years ago but still can't figure out how to build single crown forks that don't creak....  RS and Fox need to make lightweight 180mm dual crown forks.

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AndrewMajor
+1 Jerry Willows
Andrew Major  - April 29, 2020, 9:15 a.m.

You know I’d love to see lightweight 180mm DC forks. I feel like we’ve been having this conversation since back when SuspensionWerx was in James’ garage?

That said, I think Ohlins, Suntour, and a couple other companies have been getting very, very, low CSU issues/fork sold for long enough to get some credit.

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khai
+1 Andrew Major
khai  - April 29, 2020, 9:16 a.m.

Last time I was in Suspension Werx I asked James about Ohlins and he said that they're pretty much the best in terms of non-creaky CSUs

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LoamtoHome
+1 Andrew Major
Jerry Willows  - April 30, 2020, 8:17 a.m.

I would like see the dc option just for stiffness alone...  going from my Fox36 to my Boxxer is staggering.  So much more control.

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AndrewMajor
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Andrew Major  - April 30, 2020, 10:06 a.m.

JW, how much lighter do you need the fork to be compared to a current Fox40 or Boxxer? 

It’s theoretically possible to cut and thread an air system rod for either fork to lower it to 180mm or shorter travel. I’ve never looked into it but knowing how smart SRAM is about scaling parts through multiple platforms I’d be surprised if a Lyric air system rod doesn’t fit the Boxxer.

DVO Onyx DC can also be easily lowered with tokens.

*edit: there is a 180mm option for the Boxxer already. Get some?!

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LoamtoHome
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Jerry Willows  - May 1, 2020, 8:20 a.m.

weight isn't an issue for me.  I have a 36 with a Smashpot so it's probably weighs more than a dc.  180mm is too much travel for my EVO and not sure if headtube is strong enough?  I heard the 180mm Boxxer is a pain to setup for riding but may look at it for an option on next bike.  Curious on the 38 though....  RS coming out with a 38mm option as well.

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AndrewMajor
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Andrew Major  - May 1, 2020, 8:38 a.m.

I wish it would be a seriously beefed up 35mm SC chassis OR a lightweight 35mm 160-180mm DC chassis so they can keeping moving forward with inter-compatibility buy my money’s on a 37mm or 39mm chassis (no insider info).

Heard so many arguments over the years by smart people re. long travel SC v. DC forces on bikes. Stumpy Evo v. DC would be a Specialized question; I don’t know anyone there to ask. 

Heard that about 180mm Boxxer as well (getting it dialled) but I have zero experience. I think there’s a lot of meat to be found in writing about the potential 160-180mm DC fork market. Hybrids will probably get us there and then it will be a matter of adapting stuff to Pedal-Bikes.

AndrewMajor
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Andrew Major  - April 29, 2020, 9:30 a.m.

Bikes are so long now (front center) I think knee clearance would even be fine for standing climbing!?

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craw
+1 Andrew Major
Cr4w  - April 29, 2020, 1:28 p.m.

My Cane Creek Helm Air is holding up well under my 230 lbs of  monstrous leverage on two very slack HTA bikes and nary a whisper (and one of them's a hardtail). It's overdue for a rebuild, which Is totally fine after 100+ rides but still zero creaking.

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AndrewMajor
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Andrew Major  - April 29, 2020, 2:08 p.m.

Really, really, like my Helm. Excited to get enough, brutal enough, hours on it to be able to talk about the CSU.

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ChazzMichaelMichaels
+1 Andrew Major
ChazzMichaelMichaels  - April 29, 2020, 2:18 p.m.

I have Manitou Nixon and Travis on old bikes. No creaks there. But then they are soo much heavier than modern air forks. It surely comes down to saving weight and introducing flex/creaks?

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AndrewMajor
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Andrew Major  - April 30, 2020, 10:10 a.m.

I should note that by all accounts the Mezzer - which is competitively light weight  - hasn’t had any CSU issues and there’s certainly tonnes of overlap on the stanchions and steerer. The one I’m testing is solid but, like the Helm, I need more hard hours before I stick my neck out.

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pete@nsmb.com
+2 ackshunW Jerry Willows
Pete Roggeman  - April 30, 2020, 9:54 a.m.

Yeah but I heard that the landing gear on the moon lander was creaky AF.

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grcgrc
+2 Andrew Major Pete Roggeman
grcgrc  - April 29, 2020, 10:53 a.m.

One set of flats that I need to look at. I just realised that my (adult) daughter's HT & my daily ride both need to be bled. I have been lazy and usually told her to take it to the shop & I would cover it when I returned home. Now that I am stuck at home I can do it myself. What would be a good kit for mineral oil brakes? Everything is Shimano except for my HT which has TRP's G-Specs.

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khai
+2 Andrew Major Pete Roggeman
khai  - April 29, 2020, 10:56 a.m.

I've had great success with the stuff by Epic Bleed

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grcgrc
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grcgrc  - April 29, 2020, 11:05 a.m.

Thanks for that. I will check them out.

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grcgrc
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grcgrc  - April 29, 2020, 11:39 a.m.

out of the UK, so shipping to YVR.

Any ideas for something I can grab locally from a LBS?

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khai
+2 Andrew Major Pete Roggeman
khai  - April 29, 2020, 11:46 a.m.

Shimano makes a kit that imo is a lot to charge for what amounts to a cup with a threaded nipple at the bottom - but seems to work pretty well.  I discovered these guys when I was having fits trying to bleed my Hope brakes years ago.  The guy with the lovely accent in the video makes it seem like a simple and almost calming process - but i found it to be otherwise...

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grcgrc
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grcgrc  - April 29, 2020, 12:07 p.m.

Duly noted. Nothing too serious here, so I may give them try.

AndrewMajor
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Andrew Major  - April 29, 2020, 11:14 a.m.

Haven’t seen their stuff before; thanks!

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tehllama42
+2 Andrew Major Pete Roggeman
Tehllama42  - April 29, 2020, 11:58 a.m.

I was about to say something flippant like 'wow, my bikes are in good shape'... but I see what you're doing here.  I respect it.  I definitely should ride the bikes I already own when we all get through to the other end of this, instead of just buying a new one, just because I can afford to.

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AndrewMajor
+1 Pete Roggeman
Andrew Major  - April 29, 2020, 2:11 p.m.

N+1, etc, etc? I don’t generally prescribe to it but don’t begrudge anyone with the means and space!

How are your handlebars and forks looking? This is really just an attempt at an entertaining PSA :-).

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ChazzMichaelMichaels
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ChazzMichaelMichaels  - April 29, 2020, 2:18 p.m.

Dougal on MTBR has written about trunnion mounts, he is definitely not a fan of the design.

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heckler
+1 Andrew Major
heckler  - April 29, 2020, 4:17 p.m.

I'm starting to think my straight steer tube Revelation is creaking on the XC hardtail, so I pulled it off and tried oozing loctite pressfit 609 through gravity.  No such luck, still creaky when braking but no movement felt by hand for sure.

I have swapped a dual crown dirt bike fork steer tube press fit before, but am leery of pressing out the steer tube from the single crown Revelation and repressing it with 609 in the right place.  I'm not the kind of guy to buy a new CSU just because of a little creaky noise.  

Thoughts?

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AndrewMajor
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Andrew Major  - April 29, 2020, 10:46 p.m.

Best, best, practice would be not to ride a creaking fork. And also probably to retire a chassis after a certain number of hours on the Shore. 

If you’re determined to carry on...you want to determine if it is your steerer tube that creaks or your stanchions that creak. If it’s the steerer don’t ride the fork. A steerer turning in a crown is an awful thing. 

If it’s the stanchion pressfit. If it’s faint and the top caps are on tight then can the stanchions pull out, push through, or turn? 

Still best practice to not ride it (did I cover my ass okay?)

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heckler
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heckler  - May 3, 2020, 9:29 a.m.

Yes you did, thanks.  In the case of this bike, the gnarliest shore it sees is Circuit 8 or Bridge Brewing.   Its a faint clicking noise only when braking hard, Ill monitor it when I ride it again a few months from now.  Its on the bottom of the N+1 list...

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AndrewMajor
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Andrew Major  - May 3, 2020, 9:50 a.m.

When the time comes, consider a rigid fork and a Plus tire/rim. Way cheaper than a fresh fork and the only maintenance is air (or air and sealant if tubeless).

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Captain-Snappy
+1 Andrew Major
Merwinn  - April 29, 2020, 5:37 p.m.

"A new CSU, hell a brand new edition of the most expensive fork on the market, is way cheaper than a single new tooth" 

To be a clear, an implant, but yep it's true. An implant front and centre cost me $4K, and GD insurance wouldn't dream of covering it. Arseholes.

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Xorrox
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Brad_xyz  - April 30, 2020, 7:50 a.m.

My brother went to Costa Rica around 10 years ago and practically got a whole mouth full of implants for that price :)

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andrewbikeguide
+2 Pete Roggeman Andrew Major
AndrewR  - April 29, 2020, 5:42 p.m.

"The obvious solution is to switch to a single-speed with a perfectly straight chain line. No? Okay, the obvious solution is to look at ways to space your chainring inboard if you spend a lot of time cranking in the low gears."

IME there are a lot of riders on BOOST drive train bikes that could benefit from a non-boost chain line. They spend 90% of their pedalling time/ load in the larger/ lower range of the cassette (50 - 24T) anyway so they are better off with their chain line optimised for this section of their rear cassette. +1 vote for stainless chain ring (Wolftooth CAMO system on my bike) and +1 vote for the best quality/ lightest chain one can afford as it is the part that moves the most on a bike so a 10% weight saving is actually significant and I am impressed by the longevity of the latest XX1 and XTR level chains. I have just over 1500 km on on XX1 chain and I cannot get the 0.5 wear spur to drop into the link yet.

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AndrewMajor
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Andrew Major  - April 30, 2020, 10:13 a.m.

Absolutely. I’d say anyone riding pedal-and-plunge terrain like most the Shore-to-Sky would benefit from running their ring as onboard as possible.

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mammal
+1 Andrew Major
Mammal  - April 29, 2020, 6:47 p.m.

Only scored 2, over the three most frequently used steeds. Sealant and fork lowers probably need doing, but I rotate tires front to back (bulk minion orders cover all bikes) so it stays semi-fresh. The lowers definitely, the 34 was rebuild at SW with upgraded air spring 2 Novembers ago, and hasn't been touched since.

I'm lucky though. I skirted around the shock rebuild and old bars, by buying my first new complete trail bike in 16 years, just 3 months ago. Those go on the for-sale Trance (BUYER BEWARE). 

The 2014 Aurum is sitting pretty with brand new mullet tires (with tubes), with a rebuilt Hadley hub, Dorado that's seen all of 3 months use, new pads, DU bushing reliability, and... Damn. I have no clue how long that Fox Vanilla has been running without a service.. 

F**k. Maybe 3 then.

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mammal
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Mammal  - April 29, 2020, 6:47 p.m.

This comment has been removed.

Xorrox
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Brad_xyz  - April 30, 2020, 7:46 a.m.

My 2019 Fox 36 has made some noise since it was almost new but I'm still not convinced / sure if it is the CSU interface or in my headset / crown race (Cane Creek 40 ZS).  To me it sounds as if the steerer is actually flexing or elongating under stress on the one side and then 'snapping' back to normal length.  It has not gotten worse over the time I've had the fork (over 2 years).  I initially had a bunch of spacers under my (also creaky) Renthal stem and ended up replacing this with as super solid and cheap MEC riser stem slammed against the headset which actually seems to have reduced my CSU/crown race noise as well.  I can usually duplicate the noise just by rapidly pushing the bike's front wheel into a concrete stair step (pushing on the handle bars).  I have tried tightening the tension on my headset and it possibly makes it a little better but then I eat headset bearings.  Anyone else had a similar issue that was not a CSU creak?

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alexdi
+1 Andrew Major
Alex D  - April 30, 2020, 9:12 a.m.

Good callout on the trunnion mounts. I'll watch for that on the next ride.

The nice thing about cartridge bearings is that, in most other uses, they can be wholly destroyed without affecting anything else. Loose-balls, I've learned to be more vigilant about.

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AndrewMajor
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Andrew Major  - April 30, 2020, 10:20 a.m.

Totally, blown Trunnion bearings aren’t killing the linkage or frame hardware just like the main pivot or etc getting rough. It probably puts more strain on the frame members but certainly nothing outside the design envelope of the modern mountain bike.

But, as soon as that shock becomes a structural member of the frame in any plane that isn’t telescoping the wear potential is amazing and the costs to fix the shocks are substantial.

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