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  1. #1
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    XCL frame screws backing out?

    So I'm trying to figure out what strength loc-tite (blue it now seems is about right) to use on bolts on the XCL frame I have. And I hear that there is a known issue with frame bolts backing out. Yikes!

    I have just bought one of the ones that does NOT have "the setscrew" - should have done more homework I guess. So how many have had experiences with these frame screws backing out and what kind of riding/conditions were/are you riding? Has this been resolved and how or do you still have issues? Did the blue loc-tite do the trick?

    I'm 6',1" , 225 and will be riding strictly agressive XC in NE FLA with a trip or two a year to slightly higher elevations. No drops for me more than 2 - 3 feet - it's just not my thing. So this is probably not as big an issue for me since I hardly ever leave terra firma but I just wanted to have an idea of what's going on with the non-setscrew frame screws.

    Yes I will read further into the forum and some more refined searches.

    Thanks e.
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  2. #2
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    Blue didn't work for me, trying the red now. The problem really is getting the threads clean enough for loc-tite to work.

  3. #3
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    third time's a charm

    My XCL is about 12 mo old and has backed out twice: 1) as it came from the factory 2) using blue loctite. I am running 6 months now after using red - so far so good. Clean ALL threads before using.

    Riding was general XC: some ups, some downs. some rocks, some logs. Mostly wet conditions when the back outs happened, but I think it was due more to bad loctite than conditions.

    Overall it's a great bike, I love it for exploring trails. Don't stress about the bolt, just use the red.

  4. #4
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    Bonking ... not feelin' well

    Quote Originally Posted by Trails4Two
    My XCL is about 12 mo old and has backed out twice: 1) as it came from the factory 2) using blue loctite. I am running 6 months now after using red - so far so good. Clean ALL threads before using.

    Riding was general XC: some ups, some downs. some rocks, some logs. Mostly wet conditions when the back outs happened, but I think it was due more to bad loctite than conditions.

    Overall it's a great bike, I love it for exploring trails. Don't stress about the bolt, just use the red.

    From the factory?! Yikes!

    I guess I better get to pulling my crank apart so I can loc-tite all the bolts after cleaning them. Does red loc-tite on the frame bolts void the warranty? Red is supposed to be a permanent thread locker no? Well of course not truly permanent (death/taxes) but if I have to use heat to get the red loose then that's surely going to void anyone's warranty. Yep too late I'm sweatin' the red loc-tite.

    Edit: Is there anything special about taking the stock Stylo crank apart? Just loosen the non-drive side allen and voila? Loc-tite the bolt behind the chain rings and reinstall with 425 -478 in - lb? Sound right?
    Last edited by ecrock45; 04-07-2009 at 02:40 PM.
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  5. #5
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    seeing red

    It was the folks at Chumba that told me to red loctite it, so I bet they would stand behind it. Due to the varied and sometimes bizarre methods of home mechanics, they might be understandably shy about making a blanket warranty statement on the web. If you have any questions/concerns/issues just call them, they are great to work with.

  6. #6
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    I too had to resort to using red loctiteÖ but donít worry about it. It lasted an entire year of weekly + riding for me and over the winter, I was able to remove the bolt without any problems.

  7. #7
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    I mentioned in a recent thread that there are more grades of Loctite that exists than just "blue" and "red".

    There are medium/higher strength blues made, a green, and then red. I tend to recommend against Red for such applications because more often than not, the green would be more than sufficient for tough bike applications, plus it can be taken apart without risk of snapping heads, fastener rounding, etc. Enamel paint markers are what's used on such things as exhaust studs, for instance, and I have used that method in the past with good results.

  8. #8
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    Roger that.

    I'll see if I can locate some green.

    I asked CHUMBA twice, at least, in emails regarding loc-tite during this purchase but never received a direct answer. So I thought I would ask here to see what the masses are using.

    Thanks all.
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  9. #9
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    You can go to the Permatex sites to see what strengths they have and item numbers. Autozone also carries different ones tha tyou can compare, from the standard and medium duty blues to green and red.

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    Frankenstein doesn't scare me ...

  11. #11
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerk_Chicken

    Even better as the permatex site says localized heating is needed for disassembly on the green. Thanks again.
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  13. #13
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    "Localized heating" in this case could mean something as simple as a hairdryer or soldering iron on the bolt. IME, the green is really strong and I wouldn't run the risk of red pulling threads out. I've done it on engines and it wasn't pretty.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerk_Chicken
    "Localized heating" in this case could mean something as simple as a hairdryer or soldering iron on the bolt. IME, the green is really strong and I wouldn't run the risk of red pulling threads out. I've done it on engines and it wasn't pretty.
    I can imagine.

    GREEN it is. Now, where is my torque wrench ...
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trails4Two
    It was the folks at Chumba that told me to red loctite it, so I bet they would stand behind it. Due to the varied and sometimes bizarre methods of home mechanics, they might be understandably shy about making a blanket warranty statement on the web. If you have any questions/concerns/issues just call them, they are great to work with.
    Hmm I wonder what they say now? What about it Chumba? (Ooops. EDIT: not red but green) Green loc-tite all the frame bolts is a good idea and does not void the frame warranty? Or do I void the warranty when I have to use a torch to try to get the frame apart in the future? Thanks.
    Last edited by ecrock45; 04-09-2009 at 02:13 PM.
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  16. #16
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    XCL Project

    Found this thread where Chumbaevo shows using a torch for very short duration to liquify threadlocker so that gives me hope. Good things come from searching.

    Is this all for naught? Do the bolts have some threadlocker on them already?
    Frankenstein doesn't scare me ...

  17. #17
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    In a year's worth of riding I had the pivot bolt next to the Front Deraileur come loose. After the second time, I decided to use something more substantial than loctite. I wrapped the threads in plumber's tape and screwed it back in. I'm happy to say after 2 months of really beating up the bike on jumps (that's all I've been doing on my XCL as of late) the bolt has stayed in place. Truth be told, I was too lazy to run to the store to get loctite and I found the tape in my toolbox and decided to give that a try -- so far so good. I actually used it on my IS bolts for the rear brake caliper and same good results.

  18. #18
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    Is it just me or does it seem ridiculous that people are arguing over which loc-tite to use?

    For a $1500 frame, why isn't the answer NONE!!!

    I like the XCL and have been looking at it and comparing it to other frames, but I think this is becoming a deal breaker.

    Rather than giving instructions on how to fix it (lame). Why is there nothing being said like "we are working to fix this situation on future version".

    It is not like it is on a case by case or certain year, it seems that it goes to all generations/years which means there has not even really been an attempt to correct it.

    I have been contemplating having a custom XCL fabricated, which I assume would drive the price over the $2000 range. However, If I have to worry about something as stupid as loc-tite and a screw, then I guess I'll just stick to Turner, Nicolai, etc...

  19. #19
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    Turner uses loctite as well. In the past, it was a green thread locker that was so tough that several either destroyed the bolts and/or damaged tools in the removal process. He has since changed the strength, going back to a medium. Most companies use loctite. Our bikes experience lots of vibrations and shocks that can load and loosen fasteners, so I really don't think it should be a deal-breaker. However, I'm always weary about using red loctite on relatively soft threads.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by slayer2003
    Rather than giving instructions on how to fix it (lame). Why is there nothing being said like "we are working to fix this situation on future version".

    It is not like it is on a case by case or certain year, it seems that it goes to all generations/years which means there has not even really been an attempt to correct it.
    I think it's already corrected. Many posts talk about new XCL models having a set screw to prevent backout. Also I thought it was just a couple of years that had this issue (I could be wrong though) I'm not thrilled about having to worry about it, but overall it's no big deal to me if the loctite holds. I tend to loctite many things on a bike anyway - if I'm going to not ride a Chumba because of this, I would have to not use disc brakes for fear of the rotor coming loose...

  21. #21
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    Does anyone know if my brand new non-set screw XCL would have loctite from the factory? I hate to go pulling it apart only to see that Chumba is well ahead of me with the loctite.

    I'm still deciding if I keep the bike or not anyway. The very slack head angle has me scared to ride the thing. Sure it's a nice bike and yes I should have done more hopework/test ride but I'm just not so sure the loctite is the biggest issue for me on this particular ride at this point.

    Anyone live or have ever been to the Shenandoah Valley , Va area? Can I just say, it's beautiful up here this time of year. And what are those weird large mounds in the distance? Oh, that's elevation? Huh. Well then.
    Beautiful part of the world you have here.
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  22. #22
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    Dude, why are you all worried about the bolts backing out? It will probably be one or two bolts coming loose, once they do, get some blue or green loctite and deal with it. There's plenty of suspension bikes that have a similar issue of bolts loosening over time. It's a mtn bike, stuff will come loose, stuff will break..

    If you get an adjustable travel fork, you can adjust your headangle down a bit.
    beaver hunt

  23. #23
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    The setscrew topic on the new frames got me concerned about my frame that does not have that on it. Heck I didn't even know what the set screw option was until after I bought the bike. I thought it was something for a bash guard or chain tensioner or something. So I got concerned that maybe my bolt that doesn't have the set screw will back out. Then while I'm at it I might as well go ahead and do the entire bunch of frame bolts along with everything else. So I started asking questions hoping to get some answers that may benefit others too intimidated to ask or for someone in the future.

    But as I said I may have to sell the frame and fork (or the whole thing) and go the 120mm route and more HA.
    Thanks for everyone's help.

    EDIT:
    I may have just gotten too much bike for my intended riding. That's why I'm thinking putting an adjustable fork on this bike still won't make it feel like my old Stumpy FSR , Jamis XLT, or GT i-Drive XC bikes. I'll look for one of those and consider parting this out or putting the whole thing up for sale - although it'd be hard to sell now after all this.
    Last edited by ecrock45; 04-12-2009 at 12:19 PM.
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  24. #24
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    ecrock,

    I'm probably repeating myself, but is there any way to try the XCL with a 100-120 fork before ditching it? I came from years of 71/73 geometry and was really hesitant about the HA on the XCL, especially since I bought it with no test ride. I had tried the Yeti 575 and felt it was WAY too slack for me, and was having a hard time finding a 5" travel steep angle bike. I have been very pleasantly suprised at how quickly I adjusted to the XCL. I don't really like the feeling of levels or climbs with the fork at 140, but 120 feels good for everything and 100 for longer climbs. If you are looking at new fork and frame anyway, try a shorter fork with the XCL before getting a new frame. Overall though, find a bike that makes you happy!

  25. #25
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    Anyone I used to ride with has moved away or has gotten hitched and moved away from cycling. Me too until about a year ago. Maybe I could ask the local bike shops if they'd let me demo an adjustable 140mm or 120mm fork. Heck it would really on be on pavement as I'll be able to tell pretty quickly if that feels right or not.

    I would truly hate to throw more money on yet another guess . If I can't get a demo ride on a fork locally then I'll see about at least trading/selling the frame and fork combo and going for a more XC oriented ride. IF I can sell them.
    Frankenstein doesn't scare me ...

  26. #26
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    Ride it for a couple of months and it will feel a lot better. I used to prefer bikes with steeper head angle, but now I really like the XCL with the 150 mm talas and rarely shorten it.

  27. #27
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    There is loctite on the bolts from the factory. I was working on the bike this weekend and saw some excess out of the back. No problems from there or the frame for the past 8 months, but those syncros rims...yeech!

  28. #28
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    I've had a xcl with 130, 140 and 150mm forks. All worked well, the shortest fork (as expected) being the most xc oriented. You can definitely use the frame as a burly xc bike, but I don't know how sensible that would be weight wise...

  29. #29
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    Anyone know what a 21" Chumba XCL , Chumba headset, E-Type XT FD, Chumba seatpost clamp and the Fox Float RLC would be worth? Each with less than 5 miles on them. I figure why try to bandaid this issue and instead get out from under it - hopefully.
    Frankenstein doesn't scare me ...

  30. #30
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    You should enjoy your bike...grow into it...get everything adjusted to the way you like it. It'll take some time, but well worth it.

  31. #31
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    ecrock.. you're trying to create controversy where none exists. IF your frame has issues with a pivot bolt backing out, call Chumba. They will send you a new bolt and instructions on using the loctite. Problem solved and your frame hasn't lost a penny in value. Many different brands of bikes have to be checked for loose pivot bolts.. that's why it is common practice and a good idea to check your pivots for play occasionally.

    As far as the ride on an XCL at 120.. I'd call it nimble. It is going to be more agressive on the downhills and it will climb very well at that setting. A comparison to a stumpjumper isn't exactly apples to apples.. the XCL is stiffer and I think you'll find it a better ride if you give it half a chance.

  32. #32
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    WOW, all this for one bolt that backed out??? It's a very simple fix, put some loctite it!!

  33. #33
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    screw backing out

    Evos' and xcls' screws backing out? Why can't chumba solve this problem? Any one who's got vf2 with the same problem?

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by samibismojo
    Evos' and xcls' screws backing out? Why can't chumba solve this problem? Any one who's got vf2 with the same problem?
    Because it is not a "problem".
    My 07 XCL, and the vast majority, do not have this problem, and it was addressed for newer models than 07.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strafer
    Because it is not a "problem".
    My 07 XCL, and the vast majority, do not have this problem, and it was addressed for newer models than 07.
    Two biking buddies who's got evo have this "perennial" problem.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by samibismojo
    Two biking buddies who's got evo have this "perennial" problem.

    And if they have called Chumba they won't have that issue any more.

    I really don't understand all the Chumba hate here.. every frame maker/shock manufacturer/wheel builder and the list goes on has likely had an issue that didn't show itself until the product was in the field. You fix it, correct the issue for the next production run and move on.

    Sheesh.

  37. #37
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    I really don't see the big deal with adding loctite to bolts.

  38. #38
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    One I know of had this chronic problem solved with red loctite.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by neilster1

    I really don't understand all the Chumba hate here..

    Sheesh.
    HUH?
    I wouldn't characterize ecrock's insecurity about his purchase, as "chumba hate."

    People on the Chumba forum have to realize, that when people disagree, or even come on and complain about something stupid, it makes things more interesting. A forum full of guys that agree on everything, is a boring forum. I realize that many on here have concluded that Chumba is the best company to ever grace the surface of the earth. A company run by the most selfless people in all of business, but let's keep it real.

    My XCL is the best bike I have ever owned, no question, and I tell that to everyone that asks about it. I will ride it till it breaks in half. Just not quite ready to drink the Kool Aid.

    snowdrifter and Jerk_Chicken have it right. If a bolt backs out, put some Loctite on it, and it will more than likely not back out again. How this could be a deal breaker is a mystery to me, but I wouldn't call it a hate crime.

  40. #40
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    Still no word from the OEM?
    Well after speaking to Rene Patterson at Permatex technical support I find out that blue Surface Insensitive threadlocker with surface prep activator for anerobics on clean thread surfaces is what they recommend. He said RED will most likely damage the aluminum threads on removal.
    So I followed Rene's instructions, since that's all I have to go by, and low and behold there is no threadlocker on the frame bolts on my frame. Not to mention the ones that thread into the frame are hella tight! Way to go chumba. Those were a bear to get out.

    Also my bike seems to have suffered from a missing compression ring on in the top of the headset that caused the weird handling - flopping. This is what I get for having CK's all those years. Luckilly FSA president Matt V hooked me up with a new compression ring. That tightened the headset up but the lower bearing was loose too. I decided to try a new headset - and voila! - the new fork and headset combo spin as free and smooth as I could ever imagine. Once I get the brake adapter for the front brake I can maybe get a real spin on this xcl and see what the hype is all about. Thanks for all the helpful replies so far. If nothing else this bike will make me better able to work on all my bikes.
    Frankenstein doesn't scare me ...

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by ecrock45
    Still no word from the OEM?
    Have you bothered to call them?

  42. #42
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    I spoke with one of the players there at Chumba on March 25th and got no answer. I have since asked at least twice in emails and have received replies but no answer.

    I finally rode the bike (yes, again around the street) with the new adjustable travel fork but whenever the rear suspension moves in the least bit the front end wants to get squirrely. If I get the rear pumped up high enough to keep the front tolerable then I might as well have a hardtail. I have tried different stems, bars, saddle positions and fork heights.

    The frame does indeed feel solid and I felt no slop of anykind doing a few 4" curb drops. And yes the frame bolts were very tight and not loose in anyway, before I did the threadlocker mentioned above.

    Frame for sale in classifieds.
    Frankenstein doesn't scare me ...

  43. #43
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    My pivot bolt snapped!!!

    So I was putting on a new front deraileur for my XCL and while I had my cranks off, I checked the pivot bolt on the drive side to see if it had loosened up -- shiayt!!!! damn thing snapped clean and I didn't even know it. Luckily I was able to drill a small hole in the center of the bolt that was still in the the frame and was able to back it out.

    So, I need the reverse thread pivot bolt, probably the regular pivot bolt on the other side as well and replace those bearings (they were kind of sticky).

    Are these parts readily available?

    Thanks in advance.

  44. #44
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    //

    Quote Originally Posted by OldschoolBMXer
    So I was putting on a new front deraileur for my XCL and while I had my cranks off, I checked the pivot bolt on the drive side to see if it had loosened up -- shiayt!!!! damn thing snapped clean and I didn't even know it. Luckily I was able to drill a small hole in the center of the bolt that was still in the the frame and was able to back it out.

    So, I need the reverse thread pivot bolt, probably the regular pivot bolt on the other side as well and replace those bearings (they were kind of sticky).

    Are these parts readily available?

    Thanks in advance.
    Yup - we got them. Give us a call tomorrow 714-986-9100 and we'll get you sorted.
    Simple | Proven | Reliable

    http://chumbaracing.blogspot.com/

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by CHUMBAevo
    Yup - we got them. Give us a call tomorrow 714-986-9100 and we'll get you sorted.
    Got em in the mail Saturday. Thanks Jason for the bolts. I like the new design for the reversed thread bolt. It's a 12mm socket bolt which you can really torque down on. Bike is feeling stiff having the rear end firmly in place.

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