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  1. #1
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    The Definitive Cake Thread

    Pardon my boldness but, I thought that posts regarding pro's, con's, and issues with the Cake deserved a "definitive" thread (as opposed to being headed under "Stability with a Cake" or "New to mtn biking, just bought Cake DLX2"). So I propose that we use this thread for reviews, technical questions, etc. It would be great to have all that useful Cake info. consolitdated. Feel free to post, or not.

    The Loctite issue:
    I have just returned from my LBS where I sat in on the repair (loose rear triangle after three rides). It took him about 1/2 hour. It was good to see because it's essentially the process we'll be using to replace bearings when they wear out. I could go into detail but, more to the point, the bearings had been "set" with Loctite but, hardly enough to do the job. GF/ Trek designed the bearing housing to allow the bearings to be hand-placed (as opposed to the typical press-fit) probably to aid in the assembly process. That is to say, the bearings are as easy to remove as a key from a lock. But, for that reason, liberal application of Loctite was also required. We removed the bearings, applied the 680 retaining compound to the outer race of the bearing and the inside of the bearing houseing, replaced the bearings, and that was that. The compound takes 24 hours to fully cure. There is no play in the rear triangle now though, I have yet to get out for a ride. I'll keep everyone posted.

    Anyone with similar experiences or other Cake issues please reply to this thread.

  2. #2
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    Second Thought

    Okay...it hasn't been long for me to see the weakness in my plan. If all the issues are addressed in one thread how will anyone know where to look for a specific problem. I suppose it should be called the "duh-finitive" thread. Still, I hate it when a thread takes a turn and the title no longer applies. Makes it hard to tell which threads to look into.

  3. #3
    I like Cake.
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    Cake thoughts

    I have just passed about 300 miles on my cake 2 dlx. Have had oodles of problems with it, but still think it is awesome as most problems where simple fixes. I had the loctite issue which is now very well known. I have had some chain suck issues, but not too bad, although the swing arm has a few nice chunks missing out of the paint behind the chainring. Had some horrible rear derailuer problems for awhile but after a few hours of tuning that was ok. I love the way the bike handles over all. One problem I have been having is not a GF issue, because of the distance between the narrow wheels, and the black fork, sometimes my computer does not seem to register the magnet really well so I drop miles when it shuts off on me by itself. Had some brake issues with the rear hayes disc, it kept getting really squishy and losing its ability to stop, I always seemed to discover this had come up while heading downhill. That finally seems to be kosher now, after the latest bleeding which was the third time.

    I am stilll having the automatic shifting problem occasionally, but usually only when I get a lot of dust on the chain and rear derailuer.

    Over all its a great bike though, and I am glad I bought it. The local shop has been great not a dime of money or a second of the repairs have come out of me.

  4. #4
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    I had a 3 DLX for a week.

    I gouged the chainstay real good after a careless shift caused chain suck. This happened way too easy.

    I also found the standover to be excessive when on a frame that fit me in a riding position. Some bikes have a dropped top tube, it would help this bike out.

    The high BB makes for a slow and ponderous feeling bike on fast singletrack. It's not an XC bike.

    The geometry is not for everybody. I didn't feel comfortable on it.

    The Black Elite fork on the 3 DLX is way too soft, and not a good match for the SPV rear.

    That's the bad, the good is that it was a very smooth, plush, and fun ride. A good bike. With a few minor design improvements, it could be great.

  5. #5
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    I'll join in!

    Cake 2 dlx / 6'3" 205# / Ridden 250+ miles in rocky, rooty, muddy New England so far.....

    I initially had a few problems with the drive train. LBS fixed / advised.

    I had taken a spill and crashed it on the drive train side against a rock, this cracked the RD cable housing, bent the RD hanger, and caused lots of skippage, and frustration.
    Once LBS replaced housing and re-aligned RD hanger, worked great.

    I had chainsuck real bad, damaged chainstay (large gouges) this was caused by the extreme deflection of middle chainring/ smaller cogs in the rear, LBS advised to find a similiar gear ratio with the smaller chainring / middle cogs.

    I haven't had any more problems since. Bike is riding great.

    I try to keep the chain as clean and lubed as possible. (before every ride)

    The suggested setup of the SPV is what I am now using, I have tried a few different settings and I am back to this. Sometimes it does feel like I have low tire pressure, though it is fine, may have to adjust the rebound. I like the way the bike climbs, (despite its weight compared to the hardtail). SPV works awesome!

    The fork is really soft, I have had to increase the pressure setting to make it firmer. Will work fine until I can afford a FOX or Minute.

    I am definatley faster on this bike than I was on my old hard tail, I am learning to pick a line and commit to it. Point and go method. My weakness was descending, and have seen dramatic improvements, my riding buddies used to catch me here, now they are cursing. Long time coming they say. I love being able to sit and hammer through rough stuff, instead of having to stand as I did on the hardtail.

    The stand over is high (XL frame) and I have a 35" inseam! But when I am riding it, the bike feels like it is a custom fit, like a glove some would say! So I guess my fix here would be to improve my riding skills and not dab.

    Haven't noticed any loose-ness with the rear triangle (fingers are crossed)

    My 2 cents, to keep the post alive.

  6. #6
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    hello

    I've been riding my cake2dlx for a couple months. I too have had chain suck, but only during races when going fast downhill. I have had a lot of shifting problems repaired by lbs after my failed attempts. It is now shifting well except for occasional drop shift from middle to low in the front. I had to add loctite to the brake levers because they kept closing in on my hands after adjusting them every other ride, but that is good now. Now I have to pull them all the way in to activate the brakes - will try to bleed.

    My big problem is all the ticking noises. I have never ridden a bike this noisy. I know one problem is the headset. I had the lbs look at this and they took a part and regreased. But then I had a lot of play with the fork in the headset. When I work on that I can either tighten and have the noises or loosen and get the play which would be worse on the frame so I go with the noise. When I go off a drop or over a log pile it sounds like the frame is going to bust open and smash me into the dirt.

    But I love riding this bike.

  7. #7
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    headset

    I replaced the junky $10 headset they put on this bike and the noises up front went away. Bike is riding great. Had the shifting adjusted a few more times.

  8. #8
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    my share of problems

    my problems with my cake 2 dlx began as soon as they opened to box to build it.

    -broken front brake hose in shipping. had to wait for new one.
    -replaced hose, lever started to leak
    -replaced lever, then hose snapped during ride because of poor cable routing
    -replaced hose, then brakes not working. loses pressure after few pulls of lever
    -replaced entire brake unit
    -chainsuck like mad from day 1
    -5 bent chains, 1 broken one because of chainsuck
    - gouged swingarm
    -gear hopping
    -dirty headset
    -creaky bb
    -creaky headset

    i had the chainsuck problems, gear hopping, and eventually the loose triangle.

    all the chainsuck destroyed my swingarm behind the crank. so my LBS had fisher send me a new swingarm. open the box and surprised to see the swingarm from the cake 1. the carbon part looks great on my bike.

    loctited the bearings intot he frame. ever since it's been ok. i get the occaisional chainsuck but i use the tie wrap method for anti-chainsuck device. works great. only happens when it's really dirty.

    the loctited bearings and (more importantly) insertion of spacer in bb seems to also have solved the gear hopping. obviously the loose swingarm was affecting the chain alignment when cranking on the gears.

    i too suffered from weird creaking noises. the first time i traced it to the bb (removed bontrager, put in xt). when i pulled the cups out, all this water came with it! cleaned it up, relubed, replaced, problem solved.

    now i'm getting it again. but this time i think it's the headset. clean and regreased last nite so we'll see how it goes. that's the second time i had to relube my headset. the bottom bearing race is looking ruff tho...

    problem now? loose rear wheel.

    i've got over 1000 km's on my bike, but as i said, problems started at 0 km's

  9. #9
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    After the loose swingarm, a leaking Minute fork, and all the other Cake issues, now my bike too creaks like crazy, it seems to be the swingarm pivot in my case, maybe the BB, the headset is fine. I've said it before and I'll say it again: last Trek product I ever buy... It was my first and even if it's an isolated case (the model, not my particular bike), it's enough to convince me to get something else, and soon!

    Who wants a Medium Cake 1_DLX? I'm getting tired to have to work on the bike or take it to the shop every week or so.

    DAN.GEROUS.NET : MOUNTAIN BIKING : CYCLOCROSS : ROAD :

  10. #10
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    ahaha, ya, for a while i was a daily visitor to my LBS. they know me anyways since i built their website, but to have me in there several time a week because of my bike was a bit annoying for both of us i'm sure.

    i requested a replacement bike since the problems on my bike still occur. i'm just waiting on the status of the situation.


    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Gerous
    After the loose swingarm, a leaking Minute fork, and all the other Cake issues, now my bike too creaks like crazy, it seems to be the swingarm pivot in my case, maybe the BB, the headset is fine. I've said it before and I'll say it again: last Trek product I ever buy... It was my first and even if it's an isolated case (the model, not my particular bike), it's enough to convince me to get something else, and soon!

    Who wants a Medium Cake 1_DLX? I'm getting tired to have to work on the bike or take it to the shop every week or so.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by nuker
    ahaha, ya, for a while i was a daily visitor to my LBS. they know me anyways since i built their website, but to have me in there several time a week because of my bike was a bit annoying for both of us i'm sure.

    i requested a replacement bike since the problems on my bike still occur. i'm just waiting on the status of the situation.
    I think I'm gonna try to sell it back to my LBS, but I won't buy my next bike from them, they don't carry the brand I want so they wont be too happy...

    DAN.GEROUS.NET : MOUNTAIN BIKING : CYCLOCROSS : ROAD :

  12. #12
    bi-winning
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    Lots of nagativity here.

    Cake sounds like crap. I don't think i'll buy a Trek in the future. First sugar, now cake, lots of drivetrain problems. I think trek should quit baking alltogether.

    Thats just the feeling i get from reading this thread. I am not trying to bash trek. My opinion is based mainly on that of others. That and my dad's sugar has issues.

  13. #13
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    My 2cents

    There's a lot of good feedback in this thread. It's too bad that so much of it is negative but, I suppose that's to be expected (you don't hear a ton of "happy" stories on the nightly news either). I've had my Cake 1DLX since May and I am anxiously happy with it; anxious becuase of all the things that I've read going wrong with other Cake's, sqeaks, creaks, leaks, skips, gouges, etc., and happy because the issues I'm having aren't affecting my riding. I went riding at a place called Sleepy Hollow in VT last week, where the trails are fast, flowing, and technical. The bike rode like a dream. I still can't get over the plushness of duel suspension (let alone the 5 inches)! It climbs great, even out of the saddle,and descends like x-country bike on steroids. I am contemplating removing the big ring and the crank spacer to get better alignment between the middle ring and the low sprockets. I prefer to ride in middle most of the time. The only thing I really wish it had at this point is an adjustable 5"-7" fork. The bike is really just a jacked-up x-country rig and descending would surely benefit from the slackness that 7" up front would create. So, that's my 2 cents...let's hope I didn't jinx myself.

  14. #14
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    Let's be positive

    Well, while I don't like the bike's bugs and flaws, I must say that when I ride it and ignore the sounds, it performs flawlessly. It corners like a kart, climbs quite easily with a ton of traction, descends better than any bike I ever tried and pedals very efficiently. I'm just disappointed by Trek's craftmanship, assembly ability and quality control. Some say that's what you get for being an early adopter, my bike was made in the first production run and even my LBS told me that minor issues were to be expected. When it's ok, it's almost the perfect bike for my taste.

    DAN.GEROUS.NET : MOUNTAIN BIKING : CYCLOCROSS : ROAD :

  15. #15
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    i agree

    yep. i will agree that when i ride this bike, it rides like a dream. rocks, roots, whatever, bring it on! i've learned to climb with it, seated and standing.

    i can't go back to my hardtail. i rode my buddy's stumpjumper fsr and i'll have to say, cake wins! spv rules!

    rode tonite. the bike is making weird creaky noises. i'm totally hoping it's not coming from the bb. the threads are in ruff shape and i dont' think it will survive another removal. the last time was to place that spacer which solved the drive line issues.

    i always look forward to riding it but i dont' like thinking about the things that go wrong while i ride.

    why did i buy a first run/year bike? i wouldn't do it for a car!

    i know why. i couldn't resist!

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Gerous
    Well, while I don't like the bike's bugs and flaws, I must say that when I ride it and ignore the sounds, it performs flawlessly. It corners like a kart, climbs quite easily with a ton of traction, descends better than any bike I ever tried and pedals very efficiently. I'm just disappointed by Trek's craftmanship, assembly ability and quality control. Some say that's what you get for being an early adopter, my bike was made in the first production run and even my LBS told me that minor issues were to be expected. When it's ok, it's almost the perfect bike for my taste.

  16. #16
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    warning about the wheels

    I forgot to mention that the skewers seem to loosen up on their own mysteriously. I am amazed that my wheels haven't fallen off while riding a couple of times. A buddy demoed a cake 1 at a race and his back wheel fell off. The wheels seem nice and look good but they are junk if you have to check for this before you ride. Bontrager wheels. I would never buy bontrager anything in the future. this bike is loaded with the crap. got rid of the bars right away. I still like riding this bike more than any other though.


    Man, my homegrown hardtail was built well - but a rough ride on the body.

  17. #17
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    bontrager wheels

    well, i have to say i haven't had the loose skewer effect yet.

    my rims have yet to be trued.

    my rear hub however....

    the wheel developed a little play so i had the shop tighten it. it was still a bit loose but i ignored it.

    then after a couple rides, i just checked the wheel and the wheel felt like it was falling apart. massive side to side play.

    took it to the shop. my cassette thingy on the hub was all loose. they disassembled my hub and tighened it all up. now it's all good.

    i've read stories about the bontrager wheels. that's my experience so far.

  18. #18
    Xao
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    I have a Cake 3 DLX and I'm pretty encouraged by the messages here.

    For those of you who are reading this thread trying to determine whether you want a Cake or not, just notice how most of the messages end with "I have had problems, but this is the best bike I have rode."

    I have had a couple small issues with the chain suck and shifting issues, but that was cured when I had the LBS give me a great deal in upgrading the rear deraileur to an XT.

    I have to say hands down, this is the best bike I have ever ridden and when I'm on it, my confidence level sky rockets and I hit things I would not have on my other bikes.

    It's true that the stand over height is HIGH, but once your mounted, it seems ohh so natural.

    I love this bike and can't wait until a couple years in production to upgrade to a new Cake (more refined) which can only be a dream!

    If you're thinking, don't wait, but it now, you won't regret it!

  19. #19
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    upgrade as a solution?

    well, there's no way that i would pay to upgrade my deraileur to solve a problem that comes from factory or design.

    that's like buying a car and getting a good deal on a new transmission cuz the one that came with it doesn't quite work properly.

    i pay for a product, i want it to work. i shouldn't have to spend money after the sale to make it work.

    luckily i didn't have to. upgrading my crank was something i wanted to do anyways. well, i did pay for new chains cuz they keep getting bent from the chainsuck....



    Quote Originally Posted by Xao
    I have a Cake 3 DLX and I'm pretty encouraged by the messages here.

    For those of you who are reading this thread trying to determine whether you want a Cake or not, just notice how most of the messages end with "I have had problems, but this is the best bike I have rode."

    I have had a couple small issues with the chain suck and shifting issues, but that was cured when I had the LBS give me a great deal in upgrading the rear deraileur to an XT.

    I have to say hands down, this is the best bike I have ever ridden and when I'm on it, my confidence level sky rockets and I hit things I would not have on my other bikes.

    It's true that the stand over height is HIGH, but once your mounted, it seems ohh so natural.

    I love this bike and can't wait until a couple years in production to upgrade to a new Cake (more refined) which can only be a dream!

    If you're thinking, don't wait, but it now, you won't regret it!

  20. #20
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    But...

    I have had most of the problems go wrong with my Cake Dlx 3 that have been described here.
    Recap:
    Loctite problem: yes Trek fixed.
    Brake problems: Bled 3 times.
    Chainsuck: Numerous times, chainstay starting to look really bad, Trek sent the Bontranger Race crank and has been a lot better.
    Seatpost: kept slipping.

    Told my lbs that the next time I have to come in for a problem because of the design of the bike that I was going to trade it in. This was Saturday.

    Since then, have been out twice and it rode flawlessly. If it would continue to ride like this, I would definitely keep it. Everything is dialed in and have smoked my friends my last 2 outings. I have had high hopes for this bike ever since I got it (spent more on this bike than my last 2 combined) and I feel it was money well spent on days when everything is working. But, I just can't keep it out of the shop.

    I read in another post that a cake owner was blaming peoples riding abilities and I just can't believe that everyone that has had these problems are inadequate riders. I have ridden in 3 races this year and each of them I had to use a loaner from my lbs b/c mine was being worked on. I didn't have any problems on the loaners and they are the same trails I ride with my cake.

    But once again, I am faster and feel better on the cake when its riding like it has the past 2 nights. It really is a nice ride. I wouldn't recommend this years model to anybody but if the proper changes are made to this bike, next years model could be awesome. Heres hoping they make the changes. Still optimistic.

  21. #21
    Xao
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    Quote Originally Posted by nuker
    well, there's no way that i would pay to upgrade my deraileur to solve a problem that comes from factory or design.

    that's like buying a car and getting a good deal on a new transmission cuz the one that came with it doesn't quite work properly.

    i pay for a product, i want it to work. i shouldn't have to spend money after the sale to make it work.

    luckily i didn't have to. upgrading my crank was something i wanted to do anyways. well, i did pay for new chains cuz they keep getting bent from the chainsuck....
    I guess I should have stipulated that I wanted to upgrade BEFORE I had the problem, it just gave me an excuse.

  22. #22
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    24 hour race on a cake 2 dlx

    So I just finished racing my third 24 hour (4 man team-sport class)
    and the previous 2 were done on alum hardtail w/ 3" fork.
    I can actually walk after the race this year, the cake performed beautifully.
    I think this bike was made for this type of duty.

  23. #23
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    I just got back from riding my Cake at Mammoth Mountain, in California, on XC/DH trails ranging from rolling/brake rutted pumice singletracks at high speed to gnarly XC descents to the actual "double black diamond" DH courses (but I skipped the 20'+ drops...ho ho).

    I had an issue with my Avid Juicy brakes, but since those aren't stock I'll leave that out.

    The Cake was definitely in it's element. Climbing was great (not counting the wheeze factor at 10,000' ) and descending the rocky, rolling, rock/root drop filled trails was excellent on a 5x5. The Minute is a great fork, the Swinger acts plush, gave full travel but doesn't bottom harshly at all --in fact, my travel-indicator o-ring was pushed to the very edge of the shaft, but I never felt the bike bottom. The high bottom bracket that I curse on steep climbs is excellent on rocky descents, and hey...the seat can be dropped plenty low, as I did.

  24. #24
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    One Sweet Ride

    Sounds like it was a good weekend for everyone. I just got back from an epic ride in the Belknap mountains, NH. A fair amount of hike-a-bike but, soooo worth it for the downhill. Lot's of technical descents and slabby trials playgrounds, and of course grueling uphills. The Cake performed flawlessly. It has definately given me the courage to start dropping lines I would have hemmed and hawed about before. The 5x5 is great but I'm now looking into the Sherman Breakout Plus (130-170mm travel) to make it an even better perfoming freeride machine. I second EBasil's comment about dropping the seat. I pretty much bottom it out for descents. It adds, what seems like, about a foot of travel and makes you feel like a kid riding your old schwinn.

  25. #25
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    fork

    a couple weeks ago i was riding along dealing with some shifting noises and all of a sudden the deraileur went into the spokes and a chain link bent half off. Ipulled over and fixed, but it was trying to do it again. So the lbs found a bent deraileur hanger that was my fault because of the small scratch on the deraileur. It is fixed.

    This weekend the fork started dripping oil after one of the rides. Now my bike is in the shop until they can get it fixed.

    This is going to suck when my warranty runs out. I need to find a good deal on a xt deraileur - it looks kinda bent.

    I really like riding this bike, I don't know what could compare to it if i were to buy something else?

    Sometimes I look at it and see all the bontrager labels and think it is a bontrager piece of junk.

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