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  1. #1
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    1997 GT LTS 1 pivot/bushing info

    I just picked up a 1997 GT LTS 1 frame that needs new bushings at the bottom-bracket/lower pivot as well as the upper seatstay pivots. I found a source for most of this on E-bay, as well as those neat bearing replacements made by BETD in the UK.

    I noticed the guy on Ebay has a bearing replacement kit listed, but the packaging in his pictures shows the year 1999.

    Does anyone know if this bearing replacement kit was meant to retrofit (replace) the bushings? And if so will they fit the 1997 model frame?

  2. #2
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    Bens Cycle in Milwaukee has both on line and eBay stores.....NOBODY has more of this stuff than VINNY. Just call and ask for VINNY. He bought pallet loads post GT/Schwinn days before Pacific took over.
    Needed: 26.8mm XTR seatpost, blue GT/Grundig Jersey.

  3. #3
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    Thanks, gm1230126.

    I looked at the stuff listed on the Ben's cycle website and the parts for my year frame do not show up there. I bit the bullet and ordered the needle bearing parts from BETD in the UK. I figured it would be better to get those and have several years of quiet enjoyment out of the frame. I plan to replace the other bushings with the BETD stuff as they crap out.

    Now I have to find a 27.0 seatpost that I like.

  4. #4
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    As far as I know, the 1997 LTS-1s orignally came with bushings, but they share the same suspension parts as the STS and subsequent LTS/STS bikes. Sure the frame changed a bit, but the suspension mechanics remained the same. So I'm pretty sure the newer needle bearing kits will fit into a 1997 LTS-1 with no problem.

    If you really wanna know, I have a old GT needle bearing upgrade kit (probably the same as the one you saw on ebay....they even say 1999 on the package) in my parts bin and I can give you the measurements if you'd like. I bought one set as a backup and another just for the trunion mount shock chips (those can be shockingly expensive).

    My order took awhile to ship, but BETD products are well worth the wait. My old LTS-1 had them and I NEVER serviced them because I never had to. Right now I have the upper and lower needle bearing kits in my LTS-2 and they are great as well. Just put a dab of loctite on the threads to keep the bolts and nuts from working loose.

    Oh yeah, when you find a nice 27.0 seatpost, let me know. I need one too.

  5. #5
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    Do you know which of the bushings the needle bearing kit replaces? From BETD I ordered replacement chips, the main pivot (near bottom bracket) and the rear pivot on the linkage. The upper pivot (near seat-tube/top-tube nexus) seems mostly okay, but I would like to replace the dropout (Horst-link) pivot hardware if I could, so if the kit on Ebay will do the job I will order that as well.

  6. #6
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    Whats the part number on the kit you're ordering? The one I have is # 280294 LTS/STS Rebuild service kit for 99. It comes with needle bearings for the upper, lower and seatstay pivots. This one still has a stainless steel bushing on the horst pivot. Is this the same one you're looking at?
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    Last edited by johntheroadie; 11-06-2008 at 10:02 AM.

  7. #7
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    okay, I dug my old LTS out of its spot and looked at it closely. My kit looks like it will work for the lower main pivot, horst pivot and seatstay pivot. There are not enough parts to fix the upper pivot because it uses several existing parts (bolts, cone washers) on the 1999 LTS that the 1997 lacks. Sorry about the misinformation. If you got the kit, it probably will not work for all of the pivots.

  8. #8
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    Thanks for the extensive research. I may still grab the kit. I received an email earlier from BETD. They already shipped the parts I ordered. Order was made last night. Hopefully Royal Mail is faster than USPS.

  9. #9
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    Not a problem. If you need any help just let me know, I'll try to help you out as best as I can.

  10. #10
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    Thanks John. BTW - do you know what size front derraileur fits on this bike? I currently have a bike tha runs a larger seatpost than the GT, so I am thinking the current bikes seat-tube is larger diameter and possibly the front derr is going to be too large...

  11. #11
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    The seat tube is 31.8 in diameter. All of mine have top swing front derailleurs but I have gotten a bottom swing to work on my old LTS. Its a pretty good stretch but if you can get a bottom swing to work, you'll free up the water bottle mount because the front derailleur won't wind up being between the water bottle mount screws.

  12. #12
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    On Friday I received the BETD bearing sets I ordered. Of course there were no installation instructions, so I looked at the BETD website and found some illustrated instructions in a PDF document.

    Following this, I was able to remove the old lower main pivot bushings and install the new bearing set. The instructions were not really clear where I was to place a couple of o-rings, so if anyone knows where these go it would be great. Do they go between the outer bolt and the bearing, or between the bearing and the nylon spacer (with the indentation)?

    Also, when I tried to install the bearings at the rear of the link (seatstay bearings) I had some trouble. Before removing the stock bushings this area had a tight, complete fit. When I tried to tighten up the bolts the link would tighten up only on one side, making a large gap appear on the other side between the link and the bolt, plus pushing out the bearings from their sleeve. If I tried to tighten the bolts up as equally as I could there was a gap on both sides between the seatstay and the linkage, allowing the washer to move back and forth.

    The instructions talked about fitting a 1mm washer (supposed to be included in the kit but wasn't) then tightening the bolts to "center" the link, then removing them and retightening the bolts after the centering was done. I had some M8 flat washers that filled the gap and allowed me to tighten the bolts without any bearing shift, but If I take them out again the gap/bearing shift reappears.

    Do you think I can ride with these flat washers in place between the seatstay and link? They are the same diameter as the stepped washers that press against each side of the bearings.

  13. #13
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    I stuffed my o-rings and between the washer and bearings. I'm not sure if that's where they were supposed to go...but that's where mine went.

    I'm not sure about the seatstay bearings. My LTS-2 is a different linkage design and still has bushings there (no bearing upgrade available) and my current LTS-1 still has the original bushings in them.

    All I can provide you is a picture of my old LTS-1 that I sold several years ago. I'm not sure how it went together (or even if the bearing kit is from a BETD kit), but it was rock solid and never gave a hint of problems. Sorry I couldn't help you out more.
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  14. #14
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    Looks like a different bearing set, or at leas the attachment hardware is differrent. The BETD set for the seatstay/link have nylock nuts on the inside of the link. I'll have the bike together sometime this weekend, so I will let you know how it rides with the setup as it is.

    I had fired an email off the BETD day before yesterday but I still haven't heard from them.

    BTW - I heard people used the SRAM Jonnisnot lube on the original bushings to keep them quiet. That stuff has been discontinued. Do you know of a replacement lube?

  15. #15
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    I also have a 1997 GT LTS-1. That squeaking is really pissing me off. I'm going to have to do what you are doing. I bought a couple "RockShox GT LTS Coupe Deluxe Shock
    Type: 1998 Coupe Deluxe 700lb 16591" from icyclesusa.com and the "GT Pivot Needle Bearings". I'm hoping that will help. I'll take pictures and post them once I get them in. Maybe we can make this thread the definitive guide to stopping the 1997 GT LTS 1 from squeaking.

  16. #16
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    Howdy swaustex,

    The real solution to elimination of the LTS-squeek is indeed replacing the bushings with bearing sets. I finally got my LTS built up and got it out on some trails this past weekend and yesterday. No squeeks with the new bearings I got from BETD in the UK. The BETD stuff also makes the bike pretty rigid latterally compared to the old stuff.

    The only pivots that still have the original bushings are the top front and the Horst links. As far as eliminating or minimizing the bushing squeeks with a lube, I finally learned that the Jonnisnot lube was pretty much the same thing as silicone based grease, such as the 99.9% stuff you can get in some hardware store plumbing departments for use on Delrin, Nylon, and other plastic parts that cannot tolerate lithium based lubes.

    I debated pulling the pivots apart to apply some silicone grease but was afraid the really dried out bushings would just explode if I tried. So I just grabbed some pure silicone based spray lube I recently picked up to spray on my garage door hardware and sprayed some on the pivots and let it penetrate for a bit.

    No squeeks. I am going to replace the bushings on these pivots with the rest of the BETD offerings in about a month, so I figured the lubricating will do until then.

  17. #17
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    Finally uploaded the pics of the LTS frame I picked up for $50.00


    Grubby thing:



    Tape is over the stripped bolt on the upper seat-stay linkage:



    Took the parts off of this Access frame:



    Put the parts on the GT:



    Only things new/changed are the new BETD bearings in the bottom pivot and seatstay linkages, new BETD travel adjuster chip (set for XC), NOS XT front derailleur to match the rear, and new seatpost & clamp. Polished the frame to a nice shine.

    I have had the bike out for several rides now. I am used to the difference in handling compared to the hardtail frame I was riding previously, and I have to say the LTS is a really well thought out design. The way I am positioned on the bike it handles with a neutral bias in technical stuff and downhill, and sits steady on seated uphills. I didn't have the derailleurs adjusted in right so I experienced a couple of gear jumps when I tried to climb out of the saddle, but I am pretty sure I have it dialed in now. One thing is for sure, this frame was the best $50.00 I ever spent!

  18. #18
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    very nicely done! Congratulations on getting it together!

    One thing you can check into about those "ghost shifts" is to make sure your rear derailleur cable housing between your top tube and seat tube is long enough. If it's too short, the suspension action will put tension on the shifter cable and cause the rear derailleur to move ever so slightly. Work the bike through its suspension travel and when the rear suspension tops out watch the rear derailleur to make sure it's not causing it. I found that out when my bike shop put cable housings on my STS that were way too short and was causing the derailleur to shift. Worked fine when on the bike stand, but when ridden it would never stay in gear.
    Last edited by johntheroadie; 01-19-2009 at 12:50 PM.

  19. #19
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    Nice!

    I just started converting my LTS to a new 9spd drivetrain...

    SRAM 970 11-32 cog
    SRAM 971 chain
    SRAM Attack twist shifters
    Shimano LX quality freehub
    RaceFace Team 9spd. chiainrings

    It will nice to have something up to date on my bike The funny thing is I can keep up with people just fine on this bike on all but the most extreme trails. The bike does climb and handle well IMO but is a little sketchy on steep and technical downhills and dropoffs. Sure there are better bikes out there, but you still have to pedel them and keep them on the trail. I think the LTS is still a decent designed bike for most of my riding, it's not the coolest bike out there, but it's pretty cool when people see mine and say "hey what kind of bike is that" and when I tell them it's 13 years old they usually say "man, it looks brand new".

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bokchoicowboy
    Howdy swaustex,

    The real solution to elimination of the LTS-squeek is indeed replacing the bushings with bearing sets. I finally got my LTS built up and got it out on some trails this past weekend and yesterday. No squeeks with the new bearings I got from BETD in the UK. The BETD stuff also makes the bike pretty rigid latterally compared to the old stuff.

    The only pivots that still have the original bushings are the top front and the Horst links. As far as eliminating or minimizing the bushing squeeks with a lube, I finally learned that the Jonnisnot lube was pretty much the same thing as silicone based grease, such as the 99.9% stuff you can get in some hardware store plumbing departments for use on Delrin, Nylon, and other plastic parts that cannot tolerate lithium based lubes.

    I debated pulling the pivots apart to apply some silicone grease but was afraid the really dried out bushings would just explode if I tried. So I just grabbed some pure silicone based spray lube I recently picked up to spray on my garage door hardware and sprayed some on the pivots and let it penetrate for a bit.

    No squeeks. I am going to replace the bushings on these pivots with the rest of the BETD offerings in about a month, so I figured the lubricating will do until then.
    I use Tri-Flow on my stock pivots. I have to lube them every three or four rides or I get the "creak, creak, creak". I just shoot some Tri-Flow on them, let it soak in, and wipe off the excess and it seems to work pretty good but is short lived. I hope my stock pivots last for another year or so so I dont have to shell out the big bucks for the BETD bearing kits but we will have to see. Im not really sure which pivot creaks the most since I always lube them all, but I would be interested in finding out.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by mojavehanna
    it's not the coolest bike out there, but it's pretty cool when people see mine and say "hey what kind of bike is that" and when I tell them it's 13 years old they usually say "man, it looks brand new".
    I get asked that a lot too out on the trails. The last comment that someone made on my LTS was "Wow, that's a funky frame!" It's ironic to me because that's how I usually describe most of today's current FS bikes.

  22. #22
    nothing too modern for me
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    I replaced mine 5 years ago with BETD kit on my LTS 1000 from 1997



    Heres my original 1997 LTS with a BETD complete kit on



    heres another close up of the rear end

    Also my new build NOS LTS 1000 frame built up with components that matched the intention of the frames designer, but were not avaliable when the bike was designed.



    closer detail of non standard rear pivots



    Notice the built in disc tab



    also the additional machineing to the underside of the upper pivot link,



    Also somone posted pics with rubber o rings behind the bolts that atatch too the trunion mount through the travel chips, I know they dont go there. Did you get them in a kit?

    let me know and I will have a look at mine and see where they were supposed to go.

    spline

  23. #23
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    I would love to have a rear swingarm that has the disc brake tabs on it like you have Spline72. BETD has some sort of bolt on tab item but I cant figure out how it would attach. I don't know if I want to try the A2Z adaptor either.

  24. #24
    nothing too modern for me
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    The orange LTS has a BETD disc brake addaptor, they do 2 types that fit onto LTS's that have 2 pre drilled into the chainstay.

    If your brave you can drill them yourself as I think one hole is pesent in all GT LTS chainstays already, but I have never owned one of those.

    You can always find a fix for any given situation, just depends if you think the reward is worth it.

    I run the original Rock Shox disc brakes on the orange one, It came with the front but i retr fitted a rear disc to it, best decision I made.

    after that there was no looking back

  25. #25
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    Im having a fabrication/welders weld me a disc brake mount onto the rear right hand seatstay. the dropout is 6-10mm thick and the tubing at the ends is 3mm so it shouldnt be to hard. ive had to do allot of homework to find out the background around artificially heat treating aluminium frames and to find a company that can supply the solution to heat treat the area thats welded shortly after its been done. but im looking forward to fitting a disc brake to this old beast.

    ******However i cant find any catalogue images or spec sheets/lists of what spec the frame came with?? the headtube for instance is very "shallow" and i dont know what forks to set it up with (e.g. single shock 100.120,130mm or triple clamp - to the top)

    i read somthing about somone on this page saying they hav a new 9sp set up??
    i was thinking if its single clamp forks then ill set the frame up "cross country",9sp?
    But if its triple clamp forks then i might set the frame up downhill, single front chainring? -

    but will it take it??

    ****any feedback welcome****
    ps i know im mental 4 even considering WELDING mounts on but im clever enough and balls-e enough! ;-)

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