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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 10:06 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 09:06 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
    mtbr member
    Reputation: superbird's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    236
    ha! all i heard where shims shims shims!

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