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  1. #1
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    Help! My Marathon i-drive started creaking again!?

    My I-drive was "creaking" then almost a grinding noise, took it into the shop & they lubed up the BB & it was fine for 3-4 rides.
    They said it was pretty dry & some of the anodized finish had come off inside.
    Anyone else run into this? Any advice?
    It started slightly creaking again last nite.
    It's only a few months old
    2008 GT Marathon 2.0
    http://www.gtbicycles.com/usa/eng/Pr...rchived=t#2619

    Thanks
    Last edited by Rock River; 04-01-2009 at 09:06 AM.

  2. #2
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    Have your shop apply anti-sieze to the pivot contact points and threads. That should cure the sound. If they aren't sure how to do that, they can contact GT and get help. It is pretty easy and shouldn't take long (since the GT pivots are so easy to service.)

  3. #3
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  4. #4
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    Thanks for the info, is this a common problem w/ the GT pivots?
    I've only ridden about 6 hours ( 1 light washing ) since they worked on the BB/pivots.

    Another person also mentioned Teflon tape?

  5. #5
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    My GT Marathon 3.0 also started making creaking sounds after about three months of 2x/week riding. It sounds like it's coming from the bottom bracket, but it's really the pivots. The mechanics at Performance Dublin told me it's a common problem. The pivot's aren't lubed (anti-seized?) enough at the factory. They reapplied more anti-seize and that stopped the creaking - but only for a few more days! Then the creaking re-started, even louder than before.

    I took apart the pivots myself and found out the anti-seize had dried up into a black, gritty, clumpy paste. At this point, it was more like an abrasive than a lubricant. I wiped it all out and replaced it with generous amounts of generic blue marine grease I had lying around. It's been quiet for about a month now, so I'm hoping it will stay that way.

    On my last ride I noticed that the headset is also starting to creak. They use the same bearings as the pivots, so I'll try replacing the anti-seize with some grease there, too.

  6. #6
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    Once I took mine back they greased it up a lot & it's been fine ever since.
    I just washed it last nite & I'm hoping the next time I take it for a spin it doesn't start creaking.

    You're exactly right, they said it was bone dry - not enough lube put in there from when it was originally put together. You'd think they'd check that before selling them, but ...

  7. #7
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    I'm new to the MTB set, having owned my marathon elite a whole 4 days and ridden it for about 45 minutes. However I have 13 years of working on seahawk helicopters and also grew up in my dads shop. It makes no sense to me that they use antiseise compound on a no heat moving part. The stuff is made to keep parts that get hot from getting "seized together. Specifically spark plugs to cylinder heads and that sort of thing.
    the blue marine grease mentioned above is the same thing I slap on the axle of my dirt bike every time i change the rear tire. works real good and will probably be going into my pivots real soon.it does not wash out at all.

  8. #8
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    I got a 08 marathon in So cal I ride roughly 50 to 70 miles per week got my bike in sep of 08. I had heard of these problems before but have not yet experienced it yet. Here is my maint regieme get back from ride pressure wash bike mainly for chain and sprockets, lube chain and put a couple of drops of synthetic motor oil on fram pivots. Hey no noise what a concept but the draw back is it will look like construction equipment with the oil and dirt there I dont pressure wash this area of the bike if it does get wet I blow it dry.works for me.

  9. #9
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    try hub bearing grease for cars. Tons of hard miles on my sanction and not a creak from the piviots.

  10. #10
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    boat trailer hub grease

    I 've always found this stuff works the best as it made for repeated drenchings in salt water

    surprisingly it looks just like good old Phil Wood grease

  11. #11
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    http://www.plews-edelmann.com/brochu...cation_id=2635

    they have it in a 400 lb drum. perfect for the OCD maintainence type rider

  12. #12
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    So any new news on the creaking with the Marine grease?
    "This sticker is dangerous and inconvienent, but I do love Fig Newtons"

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    It's been a month so far and the marine grease is still keeping things quiet. The stuff just doesn't wash out, leak out, or dry out like the anti-seize paste did.

    I agree with mdeamicis. Anti-seize only makes sense to me when there are extreme thermal changes and high static forces (or there's titanium parts involved). A perfect example of where it's ideal is spark plug threads, where anti-seize is an absolute necessity to keep the steel threaded plug from seizing in the aluminum heads of most modern engines. However bike pivots don't experience high heat and they are subject to very dynamic loads.

    Do other FS bicycle manufacturers also recommend using anti-seize on their bearings, or is it just GT?

  14. #14
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    Just GT.... And it's kinda coming clearer now that I realized GT is affiliated with Finish line..
    "This sticker is dangerous and inconvienent, but I do love Fig Newtons"

  15. #15
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    my LBS said they've talked w/ GT,
    some of their bikes have bee arriving w/ very little great on the pivot/ idrive.
    the mechanic said he also used teflon tape on his Force & it's doing well

  16. #16
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    what do you mean by teflon tape? As in putting it on the contact points?
    "This sticker is dangerous and inconvienent, but I do love Fig Newtons"

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    Taking this idea, i took some threadlock teflon tape and wrapped the rear triangle where the replaceable dropouts make contact pretty liberally. Cut out holes for the bolts and reinstalled the dropouts on my Sanction. Very snug and very silent afterwards. I never liked the idea of greasing the metal as there is no way it will last with a non sealed area like that. I am feeling much better about the teflon wrap and will let everybody know if it does not last.

  18. #18
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    I had a heavy creaking under load on my i-drive 5. After rebuilding the main pivot and the BB pivot using automotive hub grease the sound remained. After a bit of poking around, I found the rear dropouts were loose and causing the creaking. Greased up the hardware and tightened it up and its been fine for the last few days. Can't say for certain that this is the issue in this case, but worth a shot considering how easy it is to access it.

  19. #19
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    Check the rear drop out.

    My shop couldn't figure out the creaking. The bike was almost new. I assumed it was the bottom bracket. They took it apart, applied teflon tape to the threads, greased it ... still noisy. The pivots weren't at fault either. I eventually found a tip on some New Zealand GT forum that suggested tightening the rear drop out bolt. That, amazingly, solved the problem.

    Of course the pivots started to creak on their own over time. I put on about 650 miles on my 08 Marathon Team this year before I had to warranty the frame. In that time I brought in the bike to have the pivots serviced about 3 times. Every so often the main pivot would loosen up (even with Locktite applied) -- but that was an easy fix. I'm not certain if they used AntiSeize -- one mechanic felt it was too abrasive. However, I wish they had followed GTs instructions because the noises and problems kept coming back. Eventually the lower pivot became 'ovalized' and was full of slop... I didn't think that should've happened so quickly (just over a year of riding).

    Want to hear how bad it gets? Check out this video from a race in April. I'm the third guy coming through:
    http://www.cyclingdirt.org/videos/co...at-2-leaders-1

    At the same race, I went to pass another rider: "On Your Left". To which she replied, "I know, I can hear your bike".

    Good luck.

  20. #20
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    Has there ever been a real solution to this issue? I just bought an idrive 5 from performance bike and on day 3 it started creaking like my grandmother's hip. The repairman tried cleaning and greasing and the problem didn't go away. based on the zillions of reports of this issue, it's obviously a design defect. Is GT going to stand behind this or are they going to pretend the problem doesn't exist? Will a new bottom bracket (NON GT) fix the problem or should I just return and exchange for something with a better design? Note, that I haven't even ridden it hard yet. Mostly street and some light hard-packed trails. I can't imagine riding this hard at this point.

    By the way, the derailer hangers were bent too (when brand new).

    Is Mongoose or Fuji any better or is this just what you get when you buy a made in taiwan bike for under $1500 ?!?

    VERY UNHAPPY IN CLEVELAND...

    Jack

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by jzucker
    Has there ever been a real solution to this issue? I just bought an idrive 5 from performance bike and on day 3 it started creaking like my grandmother's hip. The repairman tried cleaning and greasing and the problem didn't go away. based on the zillions of reports of this issue, it's obviously a design defect. Is GT going to stand behind this or are they going to pretend the problem doesn't exist? Will a new bottom bracket (NON GT) fix the problem or should I just return and exchange for something with a better design? Note, that I haven't even ridden it hard yet. Mostly street and some light hard-packed trails. I can't imagine riding this hard at this point.

    By the way, the derailer hangers were bent too (when brand new).

    Is Mongoose or Fuji any better or is this just what you get when you buy a made in taiwan bike for under $1500 ?!?

    VERY UNHAPPY IN CLEVELAND...

    Jack
    I went through 2 different forces and had about 5 different services between the two. I gave up and got a specialized. Still tawianese made but it seems better so far.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by aenema
    Taking this idea, i took some threadlock teflon tape and wrapped the rear triangle where the replaceable dropouts make contact pretty liberally. Cut out holes for the bolts and reinstalled the dropouts on my Sanction. Very snug and very silent afterwards. I never liked the idea of greasing the metal as there is no way it will last with a non sealed area like that. I am feeling much better about the teflon wrap and will let everybody know if it does not last.

    I would have to agree with you. I have a 06 ID 7 1.0 beater bike and used teflon tape on all threaded pivot points including BB and thread ID caps. No more creaking. It has been almost 6 months. I also have put the teflon tape ona new Carbon Force Pro.....three month and so far so good. It also doesn't ooze out of the caps and attract dirt.

  23. #23
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    jzucker - did the shop remove the bearings and reapply antiseize to the frame? They come with very little antiseize from the factory, and it dries out quickly into an abrasive, clumpy mess. Instead of having the shop do it, you may just want to do it yourself and use some waterproof marine grease instead. It seems to last longer than antiseize. The Sanction/Force reference thread has the link to the i-drive disassemble/reassembly videos on GT's web site.

    BTW - I also thought it was the bottom bracket and the shop replaced it but it didn't do a darn thing to stop the creaking. The problem was the lower set of pivot bearings were almost completely dry. I lubed them up myself with grease and the creaking went away.

  24. #24
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    No they didn't try that but I'm not sure I want a bike that's going to need to be greased up like that every few rides. Seems like a design deficiency really.

    Quote Originally Posted by desolder
    jzucker - did the shop remove the bearings and reapply antiseize to the frame? They come with very little antiseize from the factory, and it dries out quickly into an abrasive, clumpy mess. Instead of having the shop do it, you may just want to do it yourself and use some waterproof marine grease instead. It seems to last longer than antiseize. The Sanction/Force reference thread has the link to the i-drive disassemble/reassembly videos on GT's web site.

    BTW - I also thought it was the bottom bracket and the shop replaced it but it didn't do a darn thing to stop the creaking. The problem was the lower set of pivot bearings were almost completely dry. I lubed them up myself with grease and the creaking went away.

  25. #25
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    by the way, if it's the pivot bearings why does it only creak when you are pedaling hard and not when you Flex the suspension/pivot joint?

  26. #26
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    The Performace I go to said that they have contacted GT & let them know that some of the i-drives have been coming in w/ out enough grease, some are bone dry.
    Make sure to get a repair guy that is familiar w /the issue.
    The repair guy at my shop has a Force & he quickly got my bike lubed & good to go.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rock River
    The Performace I go to said that they have contacted GT & let them know that some of the i-drives have been coming in w/ out enough grease, some are bone dry.
    Make sure to get a repair guy that is familiar w /the issue.
    The repair guy at my shop has a Force & he quickly got my bike lubed & good to go.
    Thanks for the followup. My concern is that this is going to continue to be a huge maintenance issue going forward. How often do you have to lube it and/or is there an aftermarket set of bearings that I could replace to eliminate the problem?

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by jzucker
    Has there ever been a real solution to this issue? I just bought an idrive 5 from performance bike and on day 3 it started creaking like my grandmother's hip. The repairman tried cleaning and greasing and the problem didn't go away. based on the zillions of reports of this issue, it's obviously a design defect. Is GT going to stand behind this or are they going to pretend the problem doesn't exist? Will a new bottom bracket (NON GT) fix the problem or should I just return and exchange for something with a better design? Note, that I haven't even ridden it hard yet. Mostly street and some light hard-packed trails. I can't imagine riding this hard at this point.

    By the way, the derailer hangers were bent too (when brand new).

    Is Mongoose or Fuji any better or is this just what you get when you buy a made in taiwan bike for under $1500 ?!?

    VERY UNHAPPY IN CLEVELAND...

    Jack
    I'd have to say that if whatever the bike service guy cleaned and greased didn't solve the problem, then he didn't find the problem. If he didn't try tightening the rear dropouts, have him try that (Or you can do it, its super easy). I spent a number of hours trying to figure it out as the sound seemed to come from the area where the hinges and BB is located. Apparently, the sound was traveling up the frame. Like any problem with any product, finding the source of the problem is essential to solving it. As such, unless the bottom bracket is actually the cause of the problem, then it will not solve the problem.

  29. #29
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    he did tighten the dropouts and greased the BB. Not sure if he greased the pivot points but as I said before, since the creaking only happens when pedaling hard and not when the shocks are flexed without pedaling, I would think it rules out the pivot points. I did copy him on this posting so he will probably try greasing the pivots as well...

    Quote Originally Posted by CKwik240
    I'd have to say that if whatever the bike service guy cleaned and greased didn't solve the problem, then he didn't find the problem. If he didn't try tightening the rear dropouts, have him try that (Or you can do it, its super easy). I spent a number of hours trying to figure it out as the sound seemed to come from the area where the hinges and BB is located. Apparently, the sound was traveling up the frame. Like any problem with any product, finding the source of the problem is essential to solving it. As such, unless the bottom bracket is actually the cause of the problem, then it will not solve the problem.

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    Not sure if he greased the pivot points but as I said before, since the creaking only happens when pedaling hard and not when the shocks are flexed without pedaling, I would think it rules out the pivot points.
    It doesn't. We've all suffered these noise problems and if it's not the rear drop out, it's likely the pivots. It's true that the bikes come with next to no grease from the factory. My 2008 GT Marathon Team started to creak on the second week of riding and has required pivot maintenance every 100 - 150 miles.

    Full suspension GT bikes have been creaking since their original designs. My brother's 1996 GT LTS-2 could be heard a mile up the trail. The pivot/bearing system was different, but the noises were all of the same.

    These bikes work great when maintained, just don't expect them to be in ideal running condition directly from the factory. Unfortunate.

  31. #31
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    update - a new mechanic was working at performancebike today. He thinks the problem is the crank/bottom bracket. He's going to shim the BB and re-grease. Again, this makes the most sense to me that since the creaking only occurs when the crank is under pressure that it would not be the pivots. I wonder if upgrading the crank/bb/housing would help? The Zinn book says that problems exist because the housing is often not machined true...Argh...

  32. #32
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    any results of the BB theory?

    i've lubed my pivots and dropouts with marine hub grease and still have some creaking under pedaling load.

    did touch the BB though....wondering if facing it would help.

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    dunno, a different mechanic is in today. He said he already tried everything with the BB and lubed the pivot joints, tightened the bolts, etc. Latest theory is that the bb is not perfectly aligned with the frame. Maybe the threads aren't true in the BB joint, etc? I think i'm going to return it.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by jzucker
    How often do you have to lube it and/or is there an aftermarket set of bearings that I could replace to eliminate the problem?
    Naturally it will depend on how much you ride, but I've heard that once a year pivot maintenance is a good idea if you ride regularly. The bearings are standard headset sealed cartridge bearings. You can buy replacements at most any bike shop.

    Pivot maintenance isn't all that hard. The mechanism looks intimidating, but if you follow the videos, it is REALLY easy. I just did my main pivot a few weeks ago in half an hour. The (new) i-drive system is much easier to maintain than other full sus bikes. You only need two bike specific tools - a crank puller and a bottom bracket tool - that can be bought cheaply at any bike store.

    Some bike mechanics may not now how to properly lube pivots. When i first complained of the pivot creaking, the bike mechanic "lubed" my pivots with a shot of lighweight tri-flow lube. NO NO NO. It has to be completely disassembled and repacked with anti-seize or grease.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by jzucker
    Again, this makes the most sense to me that since the creaking only occurs when the crank is under pressure that it would not be the pivots.
    I, too was convinced of this seemingly logical argument - until I greased the pivots and the creaking disappered. The i-drive design places the bottom bracket on a separate link from the frame. As such, the lower pivot which suspends the bottom bracket experiences the full force of your pedal stroke. This was the root cause of the creaking in my case.

    Don't give up on it. Creaking issues can be the most difficult problems to solve on any bike. Just keep plugging (greasing?) away and you'll eventually find it.

  36. #36
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    Just wanted to give a followup. 2 repair people worked on the bike over several days time performing all the lubes, tightening-down, etc. Several calls to GT asking them about recalls and issues with this bike. The repairman said GT denied it's a design problem but later GT admitted that this linkage has issues and advised him to shim the BB. I got a refund. Probably best to stay away from GT IMO.

  37. #37
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    Sorry to hear that Jzucker. I had a similar experience with my Marathon Pro, my LBS nor the local Performance mechs new how to fix the play with mine.

    I ended up talking with Louis (the guy that runs the GT Demo program) when he was at a race here in Texas. He popped it on the stand, overhauled the pivots/bb bearings in under 15 minutes, inserted a couple of 1/64" wafer thin shims, and voila. Running like a champ for months.

    He was surprised the mechs weren't familiar with the shims, so I took a few extra and dropped them off at both shops and explained their use.

    He also mentioned that some of the I-Drives at performance my sit longer (they buy lots of em for the warehouse), and the recommendation for every dealer is to re-grease the pivots as part of the make ready for the customer.

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    At this point, I don't think I'd buy another GT product. Terrible customer service. It's a shame because I like dealing with performancebike but it seems they only carry GT, Fuji and Mongoose mountain bikes. Not much choice there...

    Quote Originally Posted by JimThomas
    Sorry to hear that Jzucker. I had a similar experience with my Marathon Pro, my LBS nor the local Performance mechs new how to fix the play with mine.

    I ended up talking with Louis (the guy that runs the GT Demo program) when he was at a race here in Texas. He popped it on the stand, overhauled the pivots/bb bearings in under 15 minutes, inserted a couple of 1/64" wafer thin shims, and voila. Running like a champ for months.

    He was surprised the mechs weren't familiar with the shims, so I took a few extra and dropped them off at both shops and explained their use.

    He also mentioned that some of the I-Drives at performance my sit longer (they buy lots of em for the warehouse), and the recommendation for every dealer is to re-grease the pivots as part of the make ready for the customer.

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    Thats to bad,
    I have had to deal with GT's Customer service several times over the years and never had a single problem. Frankly I would stay away from Performance, I honestly dont think I have ever heard anything good about them exept their sales.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tarant
    Thats to bad,
    I have had to deal with GT's Customer service several times over the years and never had a single problem. Frankly I would stay away from Performance, I honestly dont think I have ever heard anything good about them exept their sales.

    the fact that they GT denies that there's a design or manufacturing issue with the idrive speaks volumes.

  41. #41
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    Where Can I Get The Shims!!! Tell Me Now!!!
    "This sticker is dangerous and inconvienent, but I do love Fig Newtons"

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    I test-rode a Giant Trance X4 today. I think I'm going to go back and purchase tomorrow. Lighter and feels way more sturdy than the idrive and no grinding problems. Time for GT to fess-up to their design flaws and move on.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by jzucker
    At this point, I don't think I'd buy another GT product. Terrible customer service. It's a shame because I like dealing with performancebike but it seems they only carry GT, Fuji and Mongoose mountain bikes. Not much choice there...
    I'm not sure why you say they have terrible customer service when you ended up getting a refund...? Sounds terrible.

    I'm a bit of a GT junkie and have owned a number of bikes and yes, have run into the same problems noted above but they were easily remedied by a cleaning and regreasing. The first time it started creaking, it was the pivots and when the creaking came back, it turns out it was the drop outs. I haven't had any issues since..

    Yes, I'm a big GT fan and maybe a bit biased but I would question the work being done on your bike not a design flaw... all bikes end up creaking at some point and most all can be fixed if done properly.
    Last edited by CanICallYouGuy?; 08-17-2009 at 08:06 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CanICallYouGuy?
    I'm not sure why you say they have terrible customer service when you ended up getting a refund...? Sounds terrible.
    Oh no. The dreaded message board insult. By the way, it was performance that gave me the refund. Not GT.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by jzucker
    Oh no. The dreaded message board insult. By the way, it was performance that gave me the refund. Not GT.
    not meant to be an insult... just doesn't make sense. And yes, Performance gave you a refund but they will get their refund from GT.

    I hope your new bike works out. Happy trails.

  46. #46
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    I have both a Marathon Pro (carbon) and a Sanction 1.0, I have never had any noises whatsoever come from the Marathon with 1-1/2 years of riding on it (interestingly, it has two thin shims on the right side of the bottom bracket pivot/housing) The Sanction just recently started to have an annoying squeak, after nutting and bolting the bike, I found both of the lower pivot through bolts were loose, I loctited and torqued to 65 inch lbs....no more noise.

  47. #47
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    Shims Shims!!! Shims!!!! Where!!??
    "This sticker is dangerous and inconvienent, but I do love Fig Newtons"

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  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by superbird
    those are BB shims, you need headset shims...

    http://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...55&category=98

  50. #50
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    ha! all i heard where shims shims shims!

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by superbird
    ha! all i heard where shims shims shims!
    no worries, you were on the right track!

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rock River
    The Performace I go to said that they have contacted GT & let them know that some of the i-drives have been coming in w/ out enough grease, some are bone dry.
    Make sure to get a repair guy that is familiar w /the issue.
    The repair guy at my shop has a Force & he quickly got my bike lubed & good to go.
    Glad to hear the creaking has dissapeared for you. (i'm the mechanic that serviced your bike)

    I'm sorry to hear that you returned your bike jzucker. The creak is a problem that I have seen frustrate many mechanics and customers. I am 99.9% sure your noise issue was coming from the suspension pivots- a problem easily fixed if you service them correctly.

    It's a shame that this incredible suspension design gets such bad publicity because the factory is trying to save some grease.

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by koldsimer1
    Glad to hear the creaking has dissapeared for you. (i'm the mechanic that serviced your bike)

    I'm sorry to hear that you returned your bike jzucker. The creak is a problem that I have seen frustrate many mechanics and customers. I am 99.9% sure your noise issue was coming from the suspension pivots- a problem easily fixed if you service them correctly.

    It's a shame that this incredible suspension design gets such bad publicity because the factory is trying to save some grease.
    If you read the entire thread you would notice that the pivots don't creak unless you're pedaling so it's very unlikely that it's the suspension pivots.

    So far i'm very happy with the Giant Trance x4

  54. #54
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    and where do I put them?
    "This sticker is dangerous and inconvienent, but I do love Fig Newtons"

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    and where do I put them?
    Just bend over and try to relax

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    Bad news - my bike is creaking again after the pivot regreasing I did three months ago. East Bay Parks just resurfaced most trails over the last few weeks so it is EXTREMELY dusty - in some places there is 2-3 inches of loose powdery dirt on the ground. I suspect the dust got in the pivots and it is making it creak. I'll re-grease my pivots this weekend and let you all know if the creak goes away.

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by jzucker
    the fact that they GT denies that there's a design or manufacturing issue with the idrive speaks volumes.
    There is no design or manufacturing flaw. Read the thread. It's an assembly issue. That means that when they put it together, they don't use enough grease. Sorry you were unable to follow the myriad of threads and videos from gt that could have helped you fix your bike.

    Maybe you should consider a full rigid single speed? Much easier to maintain.

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by jzucker
    I test-rode a Giant Trance X4 today. I think I'm going to go back and purchase tomorrow. Lighter and feels way more sturdy than the idrive and no grinding problems. Time for GT to fess-up to their design flaws and move on.

    Funny, I have a buddy with a Giant Trance and one with Jamis XLT, they both complain of creaking. They hardly do any maintenance on their bikes. Hmm? I guess all bike manufacturers have design flaws. They better fess up.
    Still loving my GT's!! find me on the "GT Bike Group" page on FB. I hardly ever hang out in here anymore.

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    Is the giant creaking yet?

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    I just finished regreasing the lower pivot and WOW was it dirty in there. As an extra precaution, I wrapped the headset bearing with teflon tape, as well as the split compression ring. Hopefully the combination of grease and teflon tape will last longer than three months.

  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by koldsimer1
    There is no design or manufacturing flaw. Read the thread. It's an assembly issue. That means that when they put it together, they don't use enough grease. Sorry you were unable to follow the myriad of threads and videos from gt that could have helped you fix your bike.

    Maybe you should consider a full rigid single speed? Much easier to maintain.
    Such aggression, hope you are not a spokesperson for GT as this is not a good approach for any representative of the company. There is a design flaw in the frame but I don't think it is with the pivots. I agree that when properly lubed and torqued, they work well and like the idea of using standard headset bearings.

    The flaw lies in the rear dropouts. My creaking has been from them and I went through muiltiple fixes before coming up with a lasting (2 months so far) fix. The tolerances are too loose on my frame and the wrap over design with no recess or mechanical lock in place aspect of the design, coupled with just two chainring bolt/sleeves gives it far too much play. There is a huge amount of load on that area and I think they should do away with replaceable dropouts altogether. I started off with putting grease on the dropouts, didn't like this idea thinking all it will do is work its way out over time and attract more dirt, creaking came back. I then wrapped teflon tape around the rear triangle to add a padded buffer and remove excess space caused by the loose tolerances. I was amazed how much tape I put on and it still was easy to slide the dropouts over. It worked great for a couple of weeks but the tape word down and creaking came back.
    Last step was to take a thin road bike tube, cut it open and wrap it over rear triangle. It was very difficult to install the dropouts over one of the sides (had to use a rubber mallet) but not that difficult on drive side. Again, slopper tolerances on a poorly designed system to begin with. After I got the dropouts on, I took an exacto knife and cut out the bolt holes and bolted in place. After bolting in, I took the same knife and cut off all the excess tube that was hanging over. Makes for a clean looking (can't hardly tell its not stock) and like I stated, so far silent ride.

    I really like how the bike rides and they (sanction in my case) can be purchased pretty cheap. This has been a big headache though and I was ready to sell the frame after the teflon gave out. The rear dropouts are a poorly executed design that was bad to begin with. If they could sort that out, I would have no problem recommending this frame to everybody out there.

  62. #62
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    Aggression, really? I didn't even call him any names. I'm not a rep for gt. I was short with jzucker for several reasons but mostly because he is in a gt forum telling people not to buy a gt based on incorrect information. Based on his posts, he is a rider who thinks a full suspension bike should require little to no maintenance. He is wrong. He doesn't understand that his issue is not a production issue. I cannot be sure without seeing his bike, but 9 out of 10 times when a force, sanction, marathon, or when any other i-drive is creaking, it's in the pivots. The other times, it's almost always the dropouts.

    Your problem has been seen several times in bikes in the shop. Usually bending the replaceable dropouts, greasing and loctite solves the issues. You had some excellent information and ideas concerning your bike that are very useful. The tube trick is awesome... I hope it lasts! I wonder how your frame ended up having that much space between it and the actual dropout? Was it the dropout or the frame that was off?

    Quote Originally Posted by aenema
    Such aggression, hope you are not a spokesperson for GT as this is not a good approach for any representative of the company. There is a design flaw in the frame but I don't think it is with the pivots. I agree that when properly lubed and torqued, they work well and like the idea of using standard headset bearings.

    The flaw lies in the rear dropouts. My creaking has been from them and I went through muiltiple fixes before coming up with a lasting (2 months so far) fix. The tolerances are too loose on my frame and the wrap over design with no recess or mechanical lock in place aspect of the design, coupled with just two chainring bolt/sleeves gives it far too much play. There is a huge amount of load on that area and I think they should do away with replaceable dropouts altogether. I started off with putting grease on the dropouts, didn't like this idea thinking all it will do is work its way out over time and attract more dirt, creaking came back. I then wrapped teflon tape around the rear triangle to add a padded buffer and remove excess space caused by the loose tolerances. I was amazed how much tape I put on and it still was easy to slide the dropouts over. It worked great for a couple of weeks but the tape word down and creaking came back.
    Last step was to take a thin road bike tube, cut it open and wrap it over rear triangle. It was very difficult to install the dropouts over one of the sides (had to use a rubber mallet) but not that difficult on drive side. Again, slopper tolerances on a poorly designed system to begin with. After I got the dropouts on, I took an exacto knife and cut out the bolt holes and bolted in place. After bolting in, I took the same knife and cut off all the excess tube that was hanging over. Makes for a clean looking (can't hardly tell its not stock) and like I stated, so far silent ride.

    I really like how the bike rides and they (sanction in my case) can be purchased pretty cheap. This has been a big headache though and I was ready to sell the frame after the teflon gave out. The rear dropouts are a poorly executed design that was bad to begin with. If they could sort that out, I would have no problem recommending this frame to everybody out there.

  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by jzucker
    If you read the entire thread you would notice that the pivots don't creak unless you're pedaling so it's very unlikely that it's the suspension pivots.
    I should have given up after this little nuggie of wisdom. Yeah, pedaling a bike has nothing to do with suspension movement....

  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by jzucker
    by the way, if it's the pivot bearings why does it only creak when you are pedaling hard and not when you Flex the suspension/pivot joint?
    It's called torque.

  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by desolder
    I just finished regreasing the lower pivot and WOW was it dirty in there. As an extra precaution, I wrapped the headset bearing with teflon tape, as well as the split compression ring. Hopefully the combination of grease and teflon tape will last longer than three months.
    I know you used marine grease last time but how extensively did you break everything down before greasing and re-assembling? Use so much grease that when you tighten the pivots down, it squeezes out between the frame and the shells. Also, make sure you take off the shock and tighten the pivots until you feel them start to bind slightly then back them off a little bit. Lock them down with locktite on everything and I bet you will be good to go. I've put probably 6-800 HARD miles on my force with no noise at all.

  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by koldsimer1
    I hope it lasts! I wonder how your frame ended up having that much space between it and the actual dropout? Was it the dropout or the frame that was off?
    I don't really know to be honest if it was dropout or frame but assume it was dropout. I didn't try swapping them for fit and don't have another frame to throw them on but if anything is going to be tweaked I would think dropouts before triangle. I really hate the idea of the chainring bolts. If the dropouts bolted directly to the triangle it could go a long way to solving the pivot creak issue. There is just too much room for an issue with this design.

  67. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by aenema
    I don't really know to be honest if it was dropout or frame but assume it was dropout. I didn't try swapping them for fit and don't have another frame to throw them on but if anything is going to be tweaked I would think dropouts before triangle. I really hate the idea of the chainring bolts. If the dropouts bolted directly to the triangle it could go a long way to solving the pivot creak issue. There is just too much room for an issue with this design.
    One thing to consider- I have heard that some of the earlier i-drive 5's had a different dropout. I'm not sure, but maybe the difference was frame width leading the dropouts to be different.

  68. #68
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    My dropouts were fine last time I took my Force apart. I actually had to really push the crank bolts on there. Not force but push in there. I had no play at all in mine. I do have to disagree with the chainring bolts not being able to take the punishment. They have held out fine on chainrings and cranks for years and the shearing pressure they can take on a crank is probably more than you'll get out of the dropouts. They are steel bolts. Can the dropouts be better? I don't know. All bikes have inherent flaws guys. They are mechanical things that need to be taken care of. No bike out there is perfect and maintenance free. Although that would be nice.
    Still loving my GT's!! find me on the "GT Bike Group" page on FB. I hardly ever hang out in here anymore.

  69. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by gt jorgito
    My dropouts were fine last time I took my Force apart. I actually had to really push the crank bolts on there. Not force but push in there. I had no play at all in mine. I do have to disagree with the chainring bolts not being able to take the punishment. They have held out fine on chainrings and cranks for years and the shearing pressure they can take on a crank is probably more than you'll get out of the dropouts. They are steel bolts. Can the dropouts be better? I don't know. All bikes have inherent flaws guys. They are mechanical things that need to be taken care of. No bike out there is perfect and maintenance free. Although that would be nice.
    I agree in the fact that they will not break and are more than up to the challenge of handling the abuse but they are not appropriate for this application. If you think about it, all they are doing is applying pinch force at two spots on the dropouts. If a bolt threaded into the frame, they would be connecting that part to the frame. You can only pinch so hard and if tolerances aren't right, it won't be adequate. There is a LOAD of torque on that part of the bike and although they will not fail, they can't secure that torque using pinch forces alone. At least, not on my bike where there is too much play between the dropout and the rear triangle. It sounds like I am not the only one with that problem either but maybe still a small'ish percentage.

    Still think a better option is to do away with the replaceable aspect altogether. Just not really necessary and make just the deraileur hanger replaceable. Sanction does not really need to be 12mm thru so make them all QR dropout so force can continue to use same rear triangle and save on production costs. One possible consumer issue totally thrown out the window.

  70. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by koldsimer1
    I know you used marine grease last time but how extensively did you break everything down before greasing and re-assembling? Use so much grease that when you tighten the pivots down, it squeezes out between the frame and the shells. Also, make sure you take off the shock and tighten the pivots until you feel them start to bind slightly then back them off a little bit. Lock them down with locktite on everything and I bet you will be good to go. I've put probably 6-800 HARD miles on my force with no noise at all.
    The first time I serviced it, I completely disassembled the pivots according to the video on GT's site and wiped out all of the old anti seize. I then followed the reassembly video, substituting grease for anti-size of course. I probably put a total of about a teaspoon of grease per bearing. Some grease did squeeze out as I tightened up the pivots, but not an excessive amount.

    This time I just serviced the lower pivot, leaving the upper main pivot alone, since the lower pivot was the source of the creaking. I put double the amount of grease as last time and a lot of grease oozed out as I tightened up the pivot cap bolt. Hopefully it will last.

    I ride 100 miles per month in mainly firetrails and singletracks, with a few small 1 or 2 foot jumps or drops but nothing crazy. I strongly suspect it was the dust that did it. The grease was contaminated with dust well into where the cartridge bearings are. If the dust gets in there again, then I may try placing a rubber o-ring at the joint where the two parts meet to keep the dust out.

  71. #71
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    Originally Posted by jzucker
    ... pivots don't creak unless you're pedaling so it's very unlikely that it's the suspension pivots.

    Originally Posted by koldsimer1
    I should have given up after this little nuggie of wisdom. Yeah, pedaling a bike has nothing to do with suspension movement....
    I tried to explain that his speculation was wrong when I responded way back up in response #35. Flexing the suspension by pushing down on the seat puts little to no pressure on the lower pivot as all of the weight is supported on the upper (main) pivot. Standing up and pedaling puts very high pressure (your full body weight and then some) on the lower pivot. If the lower pivot is dry or dirty (like mine), then it will only creak when standing up and pedaling. Oh well....whatever...he's happy with his Giant. It's time to ride on...,

  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by sickspeed16
    and where do I put them?
    http://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...55&category=98

    .25mm headset shims

    I have one on either side between the split cone ring and the rear triangle on the main pivot, and one on either side of the split cone ring and the bb shell pivot. Lots of marine grease, lots!

    GT Customer service also mentioned to me that you could grind down the threads on the pivot axle bolt to allow it to tighten a bit more before it bottoms out (my initial issue was that the bolt bottomed out before the play was gone, and I ended up dorking it up via overtightening, doh).

  73. #73
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    Point well stated and makes good sense.
    Still loving my GT's!! find me on the "GT Bike Group" page on FB. I hardly ever hang out in here anymore.

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    Hi, my new 2006 idrive has just started creaking and thanks to this thread I will be playing with dropouts and grease this weekend, thanks for all the info!

    Max

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    Would anyone have pics of this process? My ID sounds like two 400lb gorillas going at it on a bed. Can't stand that creaking.

    Possibly a video too?

  76. #76
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    There appears to be confusion regarding the use of antiseize/threadlocker vs. grease.

    Perhaps this link from sister line Mongoose will clarify where to use which:

    http://www.mongoose.com/usa/eng/mtn/tech

    The take-home message is to use grease only on articulating/contact surfaces (i.e., bolt sleeves, bearing, and washers), and threadlock only where there are threads.

  77. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by leland_7
    Would anyone have pics of this process? My ID sounds like two 400lb gorillas going at it on a bed. Can't stand that creaking.

    Possibly a video too?
    The videos used to be on GT's web site, but it looks like they took them down. Here's an alternate link:

    http://www.mtbiker.co.za/videos/phen...on-disassembly

    http://www.mtbiker.co.za/videos/phen...ntion-assembly

  78. #78
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    Thanks desolder, spent last night removing and cleaning and greasing my dropouts. Not a creak to be heard, wonder how long it will last? Cheers all,

    Max

  79. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by desolder
    The videos used to be on GT's web site, but it looks like they took them down. Here's an alternate link:

    http://www.mtbiker.co.za/videos/phen...on-disassembly

    http://www.mtbiker.co.za/videos/phen...ntion-assembly
    freaking awesome. thanks so much for taking the time to post those vids. that will be a big help!

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    from what i'm reading the best option is to break it all down and heavily grease with marine grease and then use locktite on the threads.

    can someone post a tools list?

    I know that i need marine grease/locktite (THE BLUE KIND!!) and possibly the .25 shims mentioned earlier if greasing alone doesn't work.

    thanks

  81. #81
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    had terrible creeking on my 2006 ID 5 when i bought it a couple years ago. after about 8mos of going back into the shop, the service guy at my lbs said it was the lower pivot. had been fine for a year...now, justinstalled a new BB and new dropout and creekeing is back. i really dont like the replaceable dropout setup. when my hanger broke i had to repalce the whole dropout since it's all one piece..$50! the hanger on my specialized is only $15. saw a post way back when where someone used cutouts of a plastic milk container as a shim for the pivots....

  82. #82
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    BBT-22 bottom bracket tool
    allen wrenches (4,5,6mm)
    shock pump
    a rubber mallet helps get it back together
    also recommend a torque wrench to get the tightness correct

  83. #83
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    a shock pump would only be needed if i released all my air right?

  84. #84
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    you will need to let the air out of your shock to remove and service the pivots.

    see the GT disassembly videos.

  85. #85
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    hmm... i am about to unbolt my rear shock from the swing arm without releasing the pressure. is that abnormal?

  86. #86
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    just pull the shock. I see no reason to release pressure and never have myself.

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    does the gt i-drive need a crank puller ever? judging by the vids it doesn't seem so but thought i would ask.

  88. #88
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    No

    No just the tools mentioned above.


    Quote Originally Posted by leland_7
    does the gt i-drive need a crank puller ever? judging by the vids it doesn't seem so but thought i would ask.

  89. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by norcalchico
    No just the tools mentioned above.
    but wait... how do i remove the BB-link with it being behind my chainwheel? i guess i have this all wrong. i don't need a crank puller to remove the chainwheel so i can get to the BB-link?
    plz help
    sry thanks!

  90. #90
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    You have to remove the cranks. What cranks do you have?

  91. #91
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    I'm taking my Carbon Force apart right now. It's not creaking but I like to just do maintenace on the pivots and the rear drop outs.I use anti seize on the drop outs and Park tools grease on the pivots.

  92. #92
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    that's what i thought so i went and bought the crank puller. guess someone didn't really know what they were talking about.

    some ppl dummer than a mthr fukr.
    Last edited by leland_7; 09-27-2009 at 12:45 AM.

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    gt idrive squeak

    I've had several idrives over the last 10 years. My older one had rear dropouts that bolted on. I needed to remove them, and install with wheel bearing grease between the frame and dropouts. That fixed that squeak.

    I now have a pretty new gt marathon expert (carbon fiber) that had a terrible squeak. The answer is head tube shims, as mentioned earlier in this thread. In my case I needed two 0.5 mm shims before the lower pivot play and squeak were eliminated. The problem is that the bottom bracket holder had its very stiff ears too far apart and just tightening the pivot bolt [without shims] was not enough to seat the split cones into the bearings. When the shims are right, the play will be gone even after just snugging the pivot bolt.

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    nov2011 update: What I said before still goes, but do not forget to apply the same logic to both the upper pivot and lower pivot. I ended up using only one 0.5 mm shim for the upper and one for the lower pivot. Without the shim, tightening the pivot bolts beyond a reasonable level did not result in removing the play. With 2 shims, the bearings would bind under normal tightening. With 1, I had to snug firmly each pivot bolt and that eliminated the play. Final note: BOTH pivots can squeak under pedal load (once per revolution). The rigidity of the entire rear triangle is dependent upon the upper pivot alone. And obviously rear triangle rigidity is key to a responsive bike. But the lower pivot connects the bottom bracket to the frame and is also under severe load from the chain when accelerating.

  95. #95
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    94 posts in....... and still reading!

    This GT Carbon Marathon sucks. I put over 1000 rides on a 2001 Santa Cruz Superlight and no pivot squeak or loosening. I can't put more than 25 or 30 hrs on this GT without Pivots becoming loose. I have become expert on GT manuals/videos. I sent frame back to GT after 5th rebuild. GT said fixed. Still both pivots loosen. That is wrong. A frame should ride longer than that between overhaul. I upped the torque (yes I have 2 torque wrenches) a few times only to crack the fixing bolt on a main pivot. This frame sucks for me. Real shame, as it rides so well when working. I wish I never bought this frame. All the XTR/XT/Ritchey parts are great. Thinking of using RED Locktight next go around if Performance rejects my bike frame return. GT has already told Performance Manager "we wash our hands of it, we only rebuilt once to show it could be done".That lasted about 8 rides and both pivots are loose again. Thanks GT. Way to build loyalty. Hopefully Performance will do the right thing (they have not let me down yet). I cannot recommend GT. Never again for me.

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    I think we got it bro. You're not happy with the frame or the service. I just don't get why you have to post it on every thread. I understand your frustration so I hope someone can help you with it in here. I know if you lived in Oklahoma City I would definitely help you with it. Mine have been fine so there is something definitely going on with yours. When I got my marathon Team the pivots were loose so I took it all apart and instead of using plastic shims I used stainless steel. I have no looseness in there at all for a very long time now. I hope someone closer to you can help you out.
    Still loving my GT's!! find me on the "GT Bike Group" page on FB. I hardly ever hang out in here anymore.

  97. #97
    I'm with stupid
    Reputation: hitechredneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gt jorgito View Post
    I think we got it bro. You're not happy with the frame or the service. I just don't get why you have to post it on every thread. I understand your frustration so I hope someone can help you with it in here. I know if you lived in Oklahoma City I would definitely help you with it. Mine have been fine so there is something definitely going on with yours. When I got my marathon Team the pivots were loose so I took it all apart and instead of using plastic shims I used stainless steel. I have no looseness in there at all for a very long time now. I hope someone closer to you can help you out.
    X2
    No need to bump a old thread just to have ANOTHER place to complain.

  98. #98
    Oaktown Honkey on Strava
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    Actually read thread looking for tips, just got me more pissed off

    You know how you feel right when it happens, I'm kinda going through that. Realizing I got hosed and GT is not willing to back their product. I really wanted this GT to work well, it rides way better than my old bike. By the way, one creak I fixed was the cable housing cups. Some people may think they are part of the frame, they are not. Only makes noise when you pedal. Oil it every few rides and quiets entire bike.

  99. #99
    May the Force be with you
    Reputation: norcalchico's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hoolie View Post
    You know how you feel right when it happens, I'm kinda going through that. Realizing I got hosed and GT is not willing to back their product. I really wanted this GT to work well, it rides way better than my old bike. By the way, one creak I fixed was the cable housing cups. Some people may think they are part of the frame, they are not. Only makes noise when you pedal. Oil it every few rides and quiets entire bike.
    I agree, Sorry for your bad fortune. No bike frame is perfect. I've been very happy with all my GT bikes and never had any issues with customer service.

    Good luck with your current situation

  100. #100
    mtbr member
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    Jan 2004
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    Is it a medium?

    If so, lemme know if you decide to sell the frame... pm please.

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