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  1. #1
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    VT Durability - Does it withstand the test of time?

    Hello - I'm getting ready to purchase a dual-suspension trailbike. Based on the reviews and overall bang for the buck, the VT line looks tough to beat!

    However, coming from a hardtail, I'm a little concerned as to how much extra maintenance will be involved. Compared to a single pivot rear suspension (like a Heckler), the VT design looks damn complicated!

    For example, the Blur is another complex design. Now that it has been out for awhile, problems are starting to develop. So, just curious if the VT will suffer the same fate.

    So, how are the VTs holding up for you owners? I realize the bike just came out last year, but I bet some of you have logged some serious miles on them. Any slop in the pivot points? Have you had to overhaul the rear end and is it easy to do yourself? Finally, do the VTs use bearings or bushings?

    Thanks in advance!

    Paul

  2. #2
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    Let me see if I can answer your questions.

    Durability - I built mine last fall and haven't done anything other than put miles, chain lube and air to the tires. So far everything is holding on OK and nothing major has developed.

    Maintenance - I also did the jump from HT to FS a couple of years ago, my first FS was a Jamis Dakar. It had a very simple horst link desing and used busings on the links and bearing on the swing arm. The VT suspension is similar in terms of having bearings on the swing arm and shock rocker arms but a major difference is that all the linkages are bolted in without the use of bushings. In my opinion the newer FS desings (including the VT) are fairly simple to maintain and to deal with.

    Suspension Design - It looks complicated but isn't. The only problem that I have had was that a linkage bolt was loose. I noticed before starting a ride, just a quick stop to tighten the bolt. In my opinion (I can be wrong) the desing is a variation of the horst link, thanks to the SPV system the design is almost bob free making the bike a great climber and excellent descender.

    To determine if the design can withstand the test of time we'll have to wait a bit, just a couple of months aren't enough to judge it's durability. My VT2 is holding up fine so far.

    My .02

  3. #3
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    Paul,

    I've had mine for about 8 months. I lube the chain, add air to shocks and tires, and ride. Oh...I wash it once and a while. No problems other than tires & seat post - easy swap outs.

    When you really look at the suspension, you'll notice it's not all that complicated. And when it becomes time to put new bearings in, it won' be that hard to do - and I'm no mechanic. All in all, buy the bike. I recommend the VT2, but I'm biased. It's what I ride and love.

    Good riding,

    Dave

  4. #4
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    My 2003 has already had about 1200 or more pretty hard miles, including a lot of real hard climbs. I have overhauled the front shock once and did a partial one other time. I havent touched the rear at all. It looks pretty bullet proof. I have added air two or three times. I have raced it, its not the fastest, but it will keep you around. Get the right tires on and its pretty stable. My only complaint is the weight, a bit heavy, I wish I had hydraulics and maybe its just bad luck or the hard miles but I am on the third or fourth chain and I have replaced most of the other drive train stuff.

  5. #5
    XC rider/racer
    Reputation: Andy 's Avatar
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    Durability

    I`ve racked up just under 3000km on mine since November last year.
    This has included 4 races and I`ve found the durability to be good......given that i race i do ride the bike hard, but i dont go taking it off any huge drops for which this bike isnt designed.

    Nothing other than the usual items (cables, tyres) have needed replacing until today when i had to put a new rear cassette in.
    Cheers

  6. #6
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    Good job! Thanks for the feedback!

    Really appreciate the replies. Well, looks like everyone gives the VT a thumbs up on durability. While I'm fairly mechanically inclined, I just didn't want to do more wrenching than riding. The "+" feedback gives me more confidence to buy one now!

    DiRt DeViL posted some excellent pics under the "Cable Routing on VT" thread. After seeing these close-up shots, I agree that the rear suspension design isn't as complex as I orginally thought.

    Well, the only decision now is which model. The VT1 is not in the budget, so it's between the 2 or 3. Probably opt for the VT2 since it has the Minute fork.

    Paul

  7. #7
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    Go with the 2, can't go wrong!

  8. #8
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    Bonking ... not feelin' well Leaky Minute

    Just developed a leak in my Minute. Right fork leg, the Giant shop says it's the SPV chamber. The Giant rep will be at the shop tomorrow to take a look at it. I'll post their response, but I hope it's fixed quick!

  9. #9
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    Good marks for durability - but not perfect

    I've had my VT1 for over a year - ride it hard 3-4 times a week. The rear swingarm cracked after a few months - just a minor hairline crack near one of the pivots - replaced by Giant within a week. Had problems with the top shock bolt pivot - replaced it after 4 or 5 months. It's getting a little sloppy again so probably need another replacement. No play in any of the other pivots. The shock and Psylo fork have had no problems. Bottom bracket replaced after 2 months - must have been defective since it's been fine since then. Still love the bike !

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul1PA
    Really appreciate the replies. Well, looks like everyone gives the VT a thumbs up on durability. While I'm fairly mechanically inclined, I just didn't want to do more wrenching than riding. The "+" feedback gives me more confidence to buy one now!

    DiRt DeViL posted some excellent pics under the "Cable Routing on VT" thread. After seeing these close-up shots, I agree that the rear suspension design isn't as complex as I orginally thought.

    Well, the only decision now is which model. The VT1 is not in the budget, so it's between the 2 or 3. Probably opt for the VT2 since it has the Minute fork.

    Paul
    go for the vt2, minute fork rocks, havn't heard anything but good things about it (and i have one too), vt2 is also pretty well spec'd and i think it gives you the best bang for your buck out of the three vt's, basically giving you the best the vt line has to offer without going too crazy ^^

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