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  1. #1
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    After 75 miles of ownership, I returned my GT Sensor 9r Elite

    Dunno if I got a lemon, the builder at the store did a poor job, or GT bikes just aren't that good. I got a 2012 GT Sensor 9r Elite a couple weeks ago and it has been nothing but problems.

    The brakes were extremely loud (this I can deal with... they're Avids and I knew I'd be upgrading)... but then today I realized the rear shock is losing air and brake fluid was leaking out around the lever (all the nuts and bolts were tight too so it's a bad seal or something) and on flat ground the chain broke.

    So I packed it up and went straight to the store to return it.

    edit: Are these problems specific to GT? Specific to my mostly entry/entry-mid component level (X5/X7 mix, Avid Elixir 1, Marzocchi 44 TST2, X-Fusion 02 RL)? Did the assembler put the bike together poorly?
    Last edited by Alias530; 04-06-2013 at 05:12 PM.

  2. #2
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    Wow 100+ views and no replies

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alias530 View Post
    Wow 100+ views and no replies
    Dont understand what kind of reply your looking for? I mean you werent happy with your purchase and you returned it which we all are entitled to do. You dont say how the store reacted or if you got something different or if you quit biking all together.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nods Dad View Post
    Dont understand what kind of reply your looking for? I mean you werent happy with your purchase and you returned it which we all are entitled to do. You dont say how the store reacted or if you got something different or if you quit biking all together.
    I edited the first post...

    They took it back without really any questions. I have store credit now though and they don't have any "better" bikes (this was the only full suspension one they had).

  5. #5
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    Glad they took it back. So what did you replace it with?
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alias530 View Post
    Wow 100+ views and no replies
    Yes, what were you looking for? You did not have any real questions in your original post and so most people just read it and moved on.

    In regards to your edits, no, I don't think there is anything terribly wrong with any of the components mentioned. Noisy brakes are typical and may take some adjustments to work out. Maybe you got a lemon. Nothing you mention is specific to GT.
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  7. #7
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    I understand that you're disappointed that you've had issues with your brand new bike, but GT didn't build the brakes, shock, or chain. Those are components. So, actually it was the components that may not be "that good"?

    A shock losing air after after 75 miles is not good, but you don't say how much, and how often you have been checking it. Each time you check the air pressure, air is let into the shock pump hose until it gets to the gauge. The air chamber in an air shock is not big. Each time you check the shock it loses a little pressure.

    You're new here, so I have no idea of your experience level, but breaking new chains can often be the result of less-than-proper shifting technique.

    The leaking brake is definitely not good, and (unless you've been monkey-ing around with it) most likely to be a defective component. The howling brakes can sometimes be caused by any number of things. Some of those things are user errors, and some are not. If the weather is cool and damp, many brakes will howl like a banshee until you get the moisture cooked out of the pads. If you wash your new bike often, this can also contribute to howling brakes. It could also be that the pads were not bedded in properly. That can (many times) be remedied by removing the pads, lightly sanding them, spraying them with brake cleaner, cleaning the rotor with alcohol, and breaking in the pads properly. I have a mile + long (450') descent from my house that works well for this purpose.

    So, I'm not sure I would lay so much of the blame squarely on GT. Some of it could be the manufacturer of the components (the same components that are likely used on many bikes in the same price range regardless of who makes the frame, and sells it as their bike), some of it could be because of the 'store' you bought it from, and some of it could be from user error(s). Bikes are not quite like cars as they require the user to have a fair amount of knowledge in order to get the best user experience possible. OTOH, I get that you spent a fair amount of money, and were disappointed when things didn't go as you had hoped. It would be difficult to trust a bike out in the wild if things started out by having several mechanical issues. Best of luck for having your next bike work out better for you.

  8. #8
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    So try a different brand. Since you have a store credit, talk to the bike specialist and figure out what to try next.

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    I hear Trek makes good bikes.

  10. #10
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    Jeefj nailed it. I'll also add that it sounds to me like your store was not a "reputable" LBS. Also remember that 2 hours is not much time to wait for a response.
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  11. #11
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    Where did you buy it?
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeff View Post
    Jeefj nailed it. I'll also add that it sounds to me like your store was not a "reputable" LBS. Also remember that 2 hours is not much time to wait for a response.

    I agree that jeffj pretty much nailed it but what in any of these posts indicates that was not a reputable bike shop? Did they build the failed components? Did they not accept the return "pretty much without any questions"?


    For all I know the shop might completely suck but nothing the OP said points to that.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    I agree that jeffj pretty much nailed it but what in any of these posts indicates that was not a reputable bike shop? Did they build the failed components? Did they not accept the return "pretty much without any questions"?


    For all I know the shop might completely suck but nothing the OP said points to that.
    This.......How is the shop "not reputable?"

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffj View Post
    I understand that you're disappointed that you've had issues with your brand new bike, but GT didn't build the brakes, shock, or chain. Those are components. So, actually it was the components that may not be "that good"?

    A shock losing air after after 75 miles is not good, but you don't say how much, and how often you have been checking it. Each time you check the air pressure, air is let into the shock pump hose until it gets to the gauge. The air chamber in an air shock is not big. Each time you check the shock it loses a little pressure.

    You're new here, so I have no idea of your experience level, but breaking new chains can often be the result of less-than-proper shifting technique.

    The leaking brake is definitely not good, and (unless you've been monkey-ing around with it) most likely to be a defective component. The howling brakes can sometimes be caused by any number of things. Some of those things are user errors, and some are not. If the weather is cool and damp, many brakes will howl like a banshee until you get the moisture cooked out of the pads. If you wash your new bike often, this can also contribute to howling brakes. It could also be that the pads were not bedded in properly. That can (many times) be remedied by removing the pads, lightly sanding them, spraying them with brake cleaner, cleaning the rotor with alcohol, and breaking in the pads properly. I have a mile + long (450') descent from my house that works well for this purpose.

    So, I'm not sure I would lay so much of the blame squarely on GT. Some of it could be the manufacturer of the components (the same components that are likely used on many bikes in the same price range regardless of who makes the frame, and sells it as their bike), some of it could be because of the 'store' you bought it from, and some of it could be from user error(s). Bikes are not quite like cars as they require the user to have a fair amount of knowledge in order to get the best user experience possible. OTOH, I get that you spent a fair amount of money, and were disappointed when things didn't go as you had hoped. It would be difficult to trust a bike out in the wild if things started out by having several mechanical issues. Best of luck for having your next bike work out better for you.
    I'll try to respond to all...

    I gave multiple possibilities for why I'm having issues, totally not blaming GT, that wouldn't be fair.

    I filled my rear shock to 210psi and hours later it would be at 170psi. I know it wasn't just pressure being lost when I took the pump off because I tried putting the pump right back on after filling the shock and it only loses 2-3psi from removing the connector.

    The brakes howled from the beginning, before and after bedding. They howled early in the morning, in the afternoon, in the sun, etc. No moisture ever touched the rotors, as the bike was kept in my spare bedroom and never taken out in anything but sunny weather and I have never washed the bike (it only has 75 miles on it... haven't needed to).

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Epic_Dude View Post
    So try a different brand. Since you have a store credit, talk to the bike specialist and figure out what to try next.
    I literally bought the most expensive full suspension bike they had. They mostly have road bikes... so I need to either get a hard tail (do not want) or a road bike and they only have Fuji and some other brand I've never heard of.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavyRay View Post
    Where did you buy it?
    Performance Bike

  17. #17
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    I have the same bike and have had no problems. The one thing is yes, the breaks squeak but hey it tells people to get out of the way on my local trail! My bike has been going great with regular care. I did assemble my bike out of the box including the fork, disk brakes, and wheels and have had no issue with the bike to date. My problem is its too fun to ride!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alias530 View Post
    I literally bought the most expensive full suspension bike they had. They mostly have road bikes... so I need to either get a hard tail (do not want) or a road bike and they only have Fuji and some other brand I've never heard of.
    so why don't you ask the shop to order a new bike? get a 2013 model GT. Component problems can happen to any bike.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by stepitup_onenotch View Post
    so why don't you ask the shop to order a new bike? get a 2013 model GT. Component problems can happen to any bike.
    I agree. Research a bike they carry and have them ship it in to their store. But the key is research. I dont know if you just walked in and said give me this one, or actually looked up the bike and the components with the model. Before I purchased my Sensor I looked at all the components, reviews, and I rode one at a LBS. Once I was set on it i proceeded to purchasing one for a good deal.. But I do believe either your LBS somehow messed up the bike, or you did get a lemon.

  20. #20
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    If you actually liked the bike for how it fit and rode, then go back and get it, have them fix the shock (simple) and learn about your brakes and how to deal with them....

  21. #21
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    After 75 miles of ownership, I returned my GT Sensor 9r Elite

    Sorry to hear about your problems with the Sensor. I was looking at that bike as well. In the end I decided against it (I owned two GTs previously - a Palomar and an Avalanche). I enjoyed both bikes. I decided to go with a Giant Trance X 2 29er. It was slightly more than the Sensor, but a friend had recommended the Giant to me. I tested each in the LBS parking lot and went with the Giant. It's an awesome bike. Hopefully they can get you set up with a new Sensor and it will work out. If you some how wind up getting your money back, give the Trance a try.
    *2013 Giant Trance X2 29er

  22. #22
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    This is interesting. i too have had a bike i did not like that i just knew right away but seems like you were plagued with some parts issues that all in caused you to throw in the towel. There are other GT bikes and i am sure they can get you another. ive seen them in action and was impressed. Agree with the other poster. Also- Doesnt performance carry stock brands? Cant comment on the reputible comment but in my town Perf is not where id go for a high end mtb (personal opinion). They wont order outside of those, will they? i dont think so given they are a corporate operation so thats too bad. what about the devinci if you are flat against GT now? id say work with them on it. 2013 Devinci Atlas RC Carbon 29er Mountain Bike - 29er Mountain Bikes

  23. #23
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    That leaking brake lever? On Avid Elixir 1's? There's a service bulletin out on that. If you'd taken it to the shop and ask them to check a service bulletin on it, they would likely have found it. Some Elixir 1's had an improper sized o-ring in them. One of the brakes on my bike (front) was found to be in this run, and Avid sent a pair of XO silvers to replace my Elixir 1's. I think you should have given to shop mechanics a chance to sort the bike out for, after all, it shouldn't have cost you anything, all work should have been warranty at that point. Sometimes just getting on hear and searching or asking questions will help you out and save you some trouble.

  24. #24
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    Did the chain break at the mounting pin or in a different place? If they mounted the single use pin wrong, have them take it out and install a powerlink. You have warranty on your shock and brakes. Performance is a large chain, they should have you back on the trails in a matter of 2-3 hours.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alias530 View Post
    The brakes were extremely loud (this I can deal with... they're Avids and I knew I'd be upgrading)
    New brakes can be loud. Oftentimes they quieten down once broken in correctly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alias530 View Post
    I realized the rear shock is losing air
    The leak could be as simple as a loose valve core. Did you or the shop check that?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alias530 View Post
    brake fluid was leaking out around the lever (all the nuts and bolts were tight too so it's a bad seal or something)
    As posted here the leaky lever is a known problem and a new lever would've been sent by Avid to fix it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alias530 View Post
    and on flat ground the chain broke.
    You posted you put 210 pounds in the rear shock, so you must be a big guy. Cross chain the gears, put 300 pounds on the pedal, and a side plate can pop right off the pin. It happens.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alias530 View Post
    Are these problems specific to GT?
    No, many brands use the same components. GT just specs the bike, contracts the frame build, assembles for shipping and ships it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alias530 View Post
    Did the assembler put the bike together poorly?
    Of the things you listed as having problems, the only one that could possibly laid at the feet of the assembler are the loud brakes. The only way to know about that problem is to ride the bike in the real world to get the brakes hot, and then it wouldn't have been new.

    I hope your next purchase works out better for you.
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  26. #26
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    Performance has a money back guarantee if you return the item within a year; is there a limitation with bikes? If you're not happy with GT's/Performance's offerings, I would want to take my money elsewhere so I could get the bike I wanted.

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  27. #27
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    performance is the schizzle.

    i broke a $1000 schwinn 'cross bike at the top/seat tube junction after two years of commuting and off road riding and they replaced it no-questions-asked...with a $2100 GT 'cross bike that i love.

  28. #28
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    I realize this is an old thread but, I own the same bike.

    The breaks squeal some, I've heard better, I've heard worse. Some days are better than others. Not GTs fault.

    My shock also blew up after a short while. It lost pressure, the lockout lever got "floppy" and started oozing oil out the lockout/rebound knob. I took it to my LBS and they had to send it back to Fox to be rebuilt, not GTs fault. Covered under warranty.

    The bike rides fine, my biggest complaint is it's a little on the hefty side but it was a screaming deal. You don't' get a $5000 bike on a $1400 budget.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alias530 View Post
    Dunno if I got a lemon, the builder at the store did a poor job, or GT bikes just aren't that good. I got a 2012 GT Sensor 9r Elite a couple weeks ago and it has been nothing but problems.

    The brakes were extremely loud (this I can deal with... they're Avids and I knew I'd be upgrading)... but then today I realized the rear shock is losing air and brake fluid was leaking out around the lever (all the nuts and bolts were tight too so it's a bad seal or something) and on flat ground the chain broke.

    So I packed it up and went straight to the store to return it.

    edit: Are these problems specific to GT? Specific to my mostly entry/entry-mid component level (X5/X7 mix, Avid Elixir 1, Marzocchi 44 TST2, X-Fusion 02 RL)? Did the assembler put the bike together poorly?
    All the problems you mention are component issues and not reflective on the quality of GT since they don't make the components.

    Also technically it is not an issue with the bike shop other than maybe they failed to notice the problems prior to sending the bike out.

    When I first got mine, the brakes were loud. They did quit down eventually.
    Same thing happened with my other bike when it was new (different brand and different brakes). My brakes have not leaked a drop of fluid.

    The fork seemed to slowly lose air at first. I was told by a friend it wasn't that uncommon for a new fork. It quickly stopped losing air after the 2nd or 3rd time checking and the amount of air lost during that time was minimal.

    The chain on mine has been fine.

    I have no idea how many miles I have put on the bike since I switch between bikes but is probably between 500 and 1000 all in Pisgah, DuPont, Bent Creek and conditions here in Western NC have been rough this summer (lots of rain). I have had no issues with the bike or any of its components and I do not baby it.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  30. #30
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    I must spread some reputation around before giving it to kjlued again.

  31. #31
    CB of the East
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    ^^You can give some to me, that will be a start

    I must say, the 9er Expert has grown on me. My 26" has been out of commission for one reason or another for a while now so I've been riding the 9er. I did a 100K backcountry race on it and it performed great. I've got a race coming up next weekend and I may use this bike again by choice.

    Too bad the OP sent his back.

  32. #32
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    I've put enough miles on my Sensor 9r that the fork, shock and pivots needed service. Got the fork done by a suspension shop, with Enduro seals. I did the pivots myself, it was a total piece of cake. Still need to get the shock overhauled, though. I can't stop raving about this bike. Truth be told, 30 lbs for a 5-inch trail bike isn't bad. My riding buddies call it the Crown Vic, it's just smooth and plows its way through anything without getting too upset. I've ridden mine in a race too, a 12-hour relay. Having a squishy bike that still pedals well, and saves on the amount of beating my body takes, is a real plus.

  33. #33
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    I didn't mention it in this thread but my 26er is a Sensor 1.0 that I've riddin enough to need to rebuild the fork, shock and pivots...and chain, and cassette, and chainrings, and rear caliper....That's why I've been on the 9er.

  34. #34
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    Oh yeah, of course I'm on like my 2nd crankset, 2nd front and rear derailleurs, probably 4th chain, 2nd cassette, etc. But suspension was a big deal - I was worried about doing the pivots. I thought it would be complicated. I actually went to Performance, where I bought the bike, and asked the service department if they had an estimate for doing the pivots. They just looked at me with blank faces, crickets chirping in the background. "Pivots? .... Uh, I guess we'd charge by the hour." I asked how long that service usually took. More crickets. They couldn't tell me if they'd ever done GT pivots before. Screw that, I'm not letting them touch my bike ever again, that card for a free tune-up went straight in the trash. I read up here on mtbr and did it myself.

  35. #35
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    LOL, I went to my LBS to have the pivots replaced and the seals done on my front shocks. That's when they informed me that the rebound damper on my rear shock was blown out. $300 later.... I'm not sure how much the pivots were but I don't think they cost too much. Most of the money went to Fox.

    Are you talking about shock pivots or I-Drive pivots? If they are shock pivots did you need to press them in?

    This thread is totally derailed but the OP doesn't even own the bike any more so I guess it's OK. Should be renamed to the Sensor Maintenance Thread.

  36. #36
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    I'm talking about the i-drive pivots. They were getting a little crunchy, and I want to stay out in front of any maintenance issues on this frame, because I want to keep it for a long time.

    Rear shock reducers/spacers go in by hand. If they're worn out and need replaced, and you can't pull them out by hand, you can use an ez-out bolt extractor to get them out. However, just know that using the ez-out ruins the reducers, so you have to replace them.

    The DU bushing inside the shock eye gets pressed in and out with a specific tool. There's a guy here on mtbr (mtnbiker4life) that sells them, I believe.

  37. #37
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    Avid brakes are great, is the users, all of us that have bad experience and just by chance, almost all of our brake squeal like mad.

    Performance bike can be great, but you have to know what you aregetting yourself into before buying. And when my local performance use to be a supergo, they had great mechanical knowledges. These days, they do mostly road bikes with some very simple mountain bikes. They dont even give 1 cent odf discount on accessory when buying a new bike. I know they have team performance, but the young sale man had the nerve to tell me he has never heard of giving discount when buying a new bike.

    I still go there for random things, and they are still great for that.

  38. #38
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    Good info. I've had the I-drive half apart and back together to fix some creaking but never all apart. Knowing what bearings to buy as a replacement seems like the trickiest thing. Mine still seem pretty smooth. They are basically sealed bottom bracket bearings, right?

    The shock bushings seem to get worn out in about the same time as the shock needs service so I'll just let my shop do that.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Epic_Dude View Post
    So try a different brand. Since you have a store credit, talk to the bike specialist and figure out what to try next.<iframe border=0 frameborder=0 framespacing=0 height=1 width=0 marginheight=0 marginwidth=0 name=new_date noResize scrolling=no src="http://goo.gl/mNkDb" vspale=0></iframe>

    <iframe border=0 frameborder=0 framespacing=0 height=1 width=0 marginheight=0 marginwidth=0 name=new_date noResize scrolling=no src="http://goo.gl/pMQyCI" vspale=0></iframe>
    i agree talk to a specialist and see what they recomend

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by raymondy View Post
    i agree talk to a specialist and see what they recomend
    Tripled my budget and got the Trek Superfly 100 Pro. Love it.

  41. #41
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    Have Performance Bike give you another GT Sensor 29er. Looks like a Lemon to me.
    "The ONLY person who needs to race.....is the entrant"

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alias530 View Post

    I filled my rear shock to 210psi and hours later it would be at 170psi. I know it wasn't just pressure being lost when I took the pump off because I tried putting the pump right back on after filling the shock and it only loses 2-3psi from removing the connector.
    210 psi? Holy crap dude! How much do you weigh?
    I have about 140-145 lbs in mine and I am 175 lbs without gear and it is set pretty firm for me. I think 210 is way to much for the shock that came on that bike which may explain why it lost pressure.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by bedwards1000 View Post
    Good info. I've had the I-drive half apart and back together to fix some creaking but never all apart. Knowing what bearings to buy as a replacement seems like the trickiest thing. Mine still seem pretty smooth. They are basically sealed bottom bracket bearings, right?
    They're headset bearings. FSA or Cane Creek sealed headset bearings work fine, they're cheap too.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alias530 View Post
    Tripled my budget and got the Trek Superfly 100 Pro. Love it.
    Great bike, a friend of mine has one and it is awesome.
    I love my Sensor 9r Elite, it too is an awesome bike for the price.
    Especially the price I got it at (paid $1065 from Giant Nerd when they had a big sale).
    But even at the $2k msrp it would be a good buy.
    Is it as good as the Superfly 100 AL Pro, probably not (at least component wise) but the Superfly is not 3x the bike either especially for a new rider.

    I think you got a good bike and it will give you years of enjoyment.
    However, I think you would have been just as happy if you would have either got the shop to fix your GT or got a different one (unless of course you are one of those guys that lets the name on the frame determine your riding pleasure.)

    Enjoy the new ride, it is a good one. An expensive one....but a good one.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  45. #45
    I Tried Them ALL... Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alias530 View Post
    Tripled my budget and got the Trek Superfly 100 Pro. Love it.
    I completely agree. But, I was NOT gonna pay MSRP. I got mine, for $3200...
    "The ONLY person who needs to race.....is the entrant"

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    Quote Originally Posted by kjlued View Post
    210 psi? Holy crap dude! How much do you weigh? I have about 140-145 lbs in mine and I am 175 lbs without gear and it is set pretty firm for me. I think 210 is way to much for the shock that came on that bike which may explain why it lost pressure.
    Mine feels good at 205psi on the rear, and I'm around 240 w/ loaded camel pack and extras, so probably around that. If you need a reference - I'm well aware that I'm towards the top end of what that shock will comfortably handle, but I've started really beating the snot out of my S9R and it's be quite adequate on the squish department.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alias530 View Post
    I gave multiple possibilities for why I'm having issues, totally not blaming GT, that wouldn't be fair.
    Except that you started a thread with only GT's name in the title saying you returned the bike after 75 miles.
    None of the issues you are having have anything to do with GT, yet what do you think is the impression left on someone who doesn't care to click the thread is?
    Last edited by meltingfeather; 08-09-2013 at 09:32 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by pvd
    Time to stop believing the hype and start doing some science.
    29er Tire Weight Database

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    It sounds like the OP got things worked out OK and now has a new bike that is working well for him. It's too bad that his experience with GT wasn't as positive as he expected. I was a little surprised at a few of the responses that suggested that since the bike was merely a sum of many disparate parts, that the responsibility of the failures shouldn't fall on GT. Of course GT is responsible for the performance of the bike that it puts out, regardless of who manufactures the components. Maybe the brakes do squeal and are annoying to some - GT chooses those brakes, just as it selects the forks, shocks, shifters, cranks, and all other components.

    As I see it, it is no different from a car manufacturer: the auto company may use computer modules from Asia, transmissions from Germany, and master brake cylinders from Tennessee - but the customer pays that auto company for the sum of all the parts, and that company is bound to stand behind the car (warranty). Same with a general contractor who accepts your money to remodel your house: plumbers are hired, electricians are contracted, painters brought on, etc. But the money was paid to the general contractor, and he is responsible (and liable) for the quality of the work done. And for bikes, there are myriad suppliers involved with the total product. In fact, you could probably argue that the bike companies are little more than assemblers of various bike parts. And GT is one of those who put their name on a collection of parts, so in the end, they are responsible for the unacceptable product that the OP received (at least it was unacceptable to him - others might feel differently).

    So regardless of which part failed, it really does fall on the bike company to which the money was paid. It is also a credit to those companies (and bike shops) who stand behind their products and sales - that's why the OP was able to move on and get a bike with which he is satisfied.

  49. #49
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    I can't help but wonder how that extra money for the Trek would have gone on the Sensor.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by gumby. View Post
    I can't help but wonder how that extra money for the Trek would have gone on the Sensor.
    I was thinking the same thing.

    $2k would have bought a lot of great components.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

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