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  1. #1
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    2003 GT Avalanche 3.0 questions

    Had this bike since new in 2004. Been riding allot more lately and going to start doing some maintenance/upgrades.

    Is there a special "key" to get the stanchions out? looks like the recessed bolt head is triangular and not a normal hex head allen. The "shocks" are frozen solid and i wanted to try and break them apart before going all new.

    Any recommendations if i decide to go with all new forks?

  2. #2
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    If you're seriously want to get into riding, get a better bike. last 10 years has a whole lot of technology changes that will make riding feel like heaven. disc brakes, hydraulic damping, 29er wheels, wide rims, 8-speed. I'd recommend learning bike maintenance on this bike with the least amount of parts you need to get it running, then buy a better bike.

    A cheap fork that will work with your bike is the suntour XCM post brake. About $50-60 on ebay.

    If you just want to get this bike back into a smooth dirt and asphalt riding condition.
    1. disassemble the fork as much as you can, clean everything, regrease, and put it back together. I'm not familiar with a triangle nut at the bottom of the fork legs. Mine had normal hex keys, but it was a different model. If it's triangle, a normal hex key should work (6 vs. 3 sides, just make sure it's the right size), or you can look for triangle "security" bits. If you can't get it working, RST capa forks aren't high quality and an upgrade might be worth it. If the rest of the bike is seriously worn, just get a new bike or ride it as is.

    2. Brake pads and the rim. clean the rim with a green scratch pad and use a file to scrape off the surface of the brake pads. This brings fresh brake material to the surface. Or replace the pads.

    3. Chain, check for stretch. the bike shops have a chain tool to check for stretch. If it's stretched, get a new chain. stretched out chains will skip gears and cause increased wear on the rest of the drivetrain.

    4. derailures: clean the derailures, clean the cables, and replace the housings if they're still the originals. The cable should move smoothly in the housings with almost no drag. learn to adjust a derailure (youtube videos) and you're good for setting up just about any bike. And it's best to learn on a cheaper bike just in case you screw it up. Not much to damage on a cheap bike.
    "a hundred travel books isn't worth one real trip"

  3. #3
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    Watts,
    Thanks for all the info. Its a good start. I do have plans on picking up a newer Full suspension GT in the near future. Just have to settle on price and model. I love the newer Fury's but the price is out there. Just said to the wife yesterday if I hadn't spent 5K on a racecar engine last year, I could afford the bike. LOL

    I plan on using the Avalanche for riding around my house which is mainly paved trails or dirt roads. Along with taking it camping to the state parks. Just want to get it back in great form. And as you said, its great to learn on. I've built dirt track racecars for the last 10 years so tearing into bikes doesn't scare me off at all. Just learning the intricacies' and such. Those stupid bolts threw me for a loop last night but I think I have a bit in the garage that will work. Or I'll take one of my many allens to the grinder and make the tool.

    I have to get a new chain ring as well. The 48 tooth that's on it is bent pretty good

  4. #4
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    Good bet the chainrings are riveted together. Complete pain to drill them out. If that's the case, don't get a new chainring. Grab a metal grinder and grind the teeth off to make a bash guard and adjust the front derailure limit screws. alternative is to get new crankarms ($30 for vuelta crankarms off amazon) plus a crankarm puller tool ($5).

    Can you post a pic of the fork, top and bottom.
    "a hundred travel books isn't worth one real trip"

  5. #5
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    The chain rings where held together by alans. Super easy to get out. As for the forks/shocks. I finally got them apart and during the process I found a 4.5" crack in one of the forks. l may piece it back together with some new parts and let my son take over the ride. Or hang it on the wall as a trophy. Other than that, I've decided to start looking for a new GT hardtail.

  6. #6
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    Id hold onto it until you can grab a different fork. Don't even try to ride that stock fork though. If it has a crack in it, probably rusted all the way through and split the metal.

    Probably find a used fork at a bike co-op or a bikeshop's junk drawer for about $20. If you want better quality, about $40 for a good steel rigid fork (when they're doing a sale).
    Nashbar Rigid 26-in. Mountain Bike Fork
    "a hundred travel books isn't worth one real trip"

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    I'm going to pick up a fork for the old girl sooner or later. Meanwhile the local chain store had the GT ricochet on sale for $269 so I snagged one of those. Hydraulic disc brakes, 27.5" wheels. 27 gears, shimano components, suntour forks. I'll upgrade things as they brake.

  8. #8
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    Good plan. the stock fork will work, but it can be a bit flexy and bouncy on rough trails. If you want to take rocky and rooty trails seriously, look at the suntour upgrade program. $200 for a really good fork. Other than that, good bike that will last. Have fun.

    And don't forget about the old GT. The sooner it gets trail worthy, the sooner your kid will be riding with you.
    "a hundred travel books isn't worth one real trip"

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