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  1. #1
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    Uh-oh, Did I Break My Motobecane (Fantom Team)?

    I have a broken Main Pivot Bolt on my Motobecane Fantom Team. The bike is now unsafe to ride as the linkage could collapse. I took the bike to my LBS (guys I trust) for a few small issues (I wanted a bigger cassette and my front brake bled). I took it in immediately after a night ride and I noticed a weird click when put pressure on the seat after the ride.
    Now we will see how bikesdirect handles this issue as the bike shop has emailed them to see about a new bolt. I was told this is not a standard set up to what is commonly being used today and they are hopeful that Motobecane will send them another bolt.
    I too am going to send a message in asking what can be done. I will report back on how bikesdirect helps with this issue. In the meantime I am stuck riding my wifes Cannondale Hardtail.

  2. #2
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    So my LBS went through Motobecane.com (I imagine they are one and the same as bikesdirect.com) and sent an email to get the new part (the pivot bolt). They heard back the same day asking for the shop to take pictures to send to them. Hopefully my LBS will hear back from them tomorrow with news that they are sending the part as I was told by them (and I agree) there is no way this bolt should have broken.
    More to come

  3. #3
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    That's odd. Where did it break - any pictures?

  4. #4
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    Is this bolt expensive? I'd just buy the damn thing to avoid the delay.
    When I'm not windsurfing, I'm mountain biking

  5. #5
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    I actually did not know about the problem until the bike shop told me. I had left the bike at the shop after the night ride as they were going to bleed my front brakes for me the next day. I was called the next morning with the diagnosis. The guys at the shop actually are amazed at the value of the bike and think it is a solid frame (they often comment on it when I see them in the shop or out about in the community on rides etc.). They just think that this was a defective part as it should never break. From what I understand, it is just spinning and could fall out at any moment. Maybe I can get them to email me the pics they took (or take some of the broken bolt when I pick up the bike). Hopefully this is not a common problem. I like to ride and I ride over every obstacle in my way, but I have basically been on beginning and intermediate trails here in NC and though I hit jumps and logs and the like, I am still a cautious, near 40 year old, 170 lb (yes I have lost weight from earlier posts, thank you) rider who does not abuse his bike.
    I really hope motobecane/bikesdirect comes through with some assistance...heck, I am not asking for anything free, I just want to ride again. I like my wifes Cannondale, but I want my Fantom Team!!!
    Last edited by S.O.B.; 12-11-2008 at 05:42 PM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starkonian
    Is this bolt expensive? I'd just buy the damn thing to avoid the delay.
    That is what I am trying to do. My LBS told me that it is a specialized part, and not standard. They said if they need to they may be able to rig something, but only as a last resort. They want to try and get the part meant for this linkage first in order to return to me a bike repaired in excellent condition. This is why they emailed Motobecane.com for the part.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by IMHO
    Hopefully this is not a common problem. I like to ride and I ride over every obstacle in my way, but I have basically been on beginning and intermediate trails here in NC and though I hit jumps and logs and the like, I am still a cautious, near 40 year old, 170 lb (yes I have lost weight from earlier posts, thank you) rider who does not abuse his bike.
    I am rather sure it is not a fault of your own but a defective part or assembly. Motobecanes are a lot of good things, but they seem to be bolted together from generally quality parts, but in a bit of a hurry. I went over the whole thing with a torque wrench before riding. But pivot bolt? Many other places will break first if you are abusing a frame.

    Axles are often have thread on both ends with bolts holding them in place - could it be a case of a stripped thread, so that it may fall out? I am very curious to see the pictures.

  8. #8
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    Pics of my broken pivot bolt

    The first pic is from the bikesdirect.com showing where the bolt is located.

    The following pic is of the broken bolt. This picture was taken by the the bike mechanic at my LBS as it was requested by whomever he contacted at Motobecane.com

    The guys at the shop were stunned this bolt broke. Hopefully a new bolt will be sent and I will be off and riding again. Even more surprising is that it did not fall out during my last ride. I was on a nightride on an unfamiliar trail, it could have ended badly.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by IMHO
    The first pic is from the bikesdirect.com showing where the bolt is located.

    The following pic is of the broken bolt. This picture was taken by the the bike mechanic at my LBS as it was requested by whomever he contacted at Motobecane.com

    The guys at the shop were stunned this bolt broke. Hopefully a new bolt will be sent and I will be off and riding again. Even more surprising is that it did not fall out during my last ride. I was on a nightride on an unfamiliar trail, it could have ended badly.
    Odd. I doubt that hardware used there is anyhow different from any other hardware used on any other mass produced bicycle. I am not sure from the picture how it is assembled, could it be over torqued? Hm...

    Make then check for alignment and play in that axle when they assemble with the new bolt. Odd anyway.

  10. #10
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    Just an update. It has been a week and still no bolt, so no bike. Scott, the mechanic working on my bike has not heard from motobecane.com since last Wed. or Thurs. since he showed them the pictures they requested of the broken bolt. Fortunately Mike from bikesdirect contacted me and gave me a different contact through his website so hopefully now we will get somewhere (and maybe that is where I should have started in the first place). Anyway, it is encouraging but I do miss my ride. I have now ridden three times on my wifes 1999 Cannondale F400 and it is not even close to my Fantom Team. The Cannondale has a 15" hardtail frame, grip shifters...oh, and did I mention it is purple???
    I am definitely having withdraws, I even rode the stationary bike at the gym...blasphemy when it is not raining out.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by IMHO
    Just an update. It has been a week and still no bolt, so no bike. Scott, the mechanic working on my bike has not heard from motobecane.com since last Wed. or Thurs. since he showed them the pictures they requested of the broken bolt. Fortunately Mike from bikesdirect contacted me and gave me a different contact through his website so hopefully now we will get somewhere (and maybe that is where I should have started in the first place). Anyway, it is encouraging but I do miss my ride. I have now ridden three times on my wifes 1999 Cannondale F400 and it is not even close to my Fantom Team. The Cannondale has a 15" hardtail frame, grip shifters...oh, and did I mention it is purple???
    I am definitely having withdraws, I even rode the stationary bike at the gym...blasphemy when it is not raining out.

    James
    They did e-mail you on bolt
    but never got a response from you
    so there is a hang up somewhere
    that is why I PM'd you

    Please get you your address and full name
    Thanks
    Mike

    [PM would be great]

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikesdirect
    James
    They did e-mail you on bolt
    but never got a response from you
    so there is a hang up somewhere
    that is why I PM'd you
    Any wild guess on why could this bolt break? Defect? Your stuff is usually a fairly sturdy piece of kit..

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curmy
    Any wild guess on why could this bolt break? Defect? Your stuff is usually a fairly sturdy piece of kit..

    Could be anything
    Bad Heat treating
    Hard hit while riding
    Improper machining
    Improper installtion
    Riding while loose


    There is always a weak link in any design
    some things you prefer to break before other items are damaged
    Good example - rear der hanger
    But in general you always want the small peices to be the weak link

  14. #14
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    PM Sent, Thanks Mike.
    Any hang-up in communication would be with my LBS and motobecane.com as I let them handle it. I see now I should have just gone through BD in the first place.
    Lesson learned.
    Still, I see this as an anomaly and a minor inconvenience when compared to the value of the bike. As I have mentioned before, I do ride pretty hard for a 39 year old who has only been in the sport since March (former roadie), but I do not ride any harder than most in my group.
    As far as it being loose, that is a strong possibility. Also, it is possible that area of the bike may have hit a tree or boulder (the boulder is unlikely as I have only ridden one trail with boulders, and it was 38 degrees, and would have remembered that impact--and I would probably still be feeling it.).
    Regardless, all I care about is getting back on the trail. And though it is also important for me to give an honest record of my experiences as many people will read these forums and make decisions on a bike purchase; and yes, stuff does happen, I think this experience is the exception and would certainly not keep me from purchasing my wife a new bike (Spring of 2009) from bikesdirect (I will keep the Cannondale for emergencies).

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by IMHO
    As far as it being loose, that is a strong possibility.
    Several bolts on my otherwise flawless Fly Ti had been improperly torqued on arrival. Most of it was irrelevant, and I do not expect they go over it with a torque wrench for the price. Everybody is well advised to check everything.

  16. #16
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    Thank you BD!!!

    I am up and running again. My bike is repaired and I went on a nice long night ride last night and the bike felt sooo smooth...it is sooo great to be on MY bike (my wife's bike is shot...she will get a new Motobecane, Windsor or Dawes this Spring). Thank you Bikes Direct (Mike) for your customer service. Even my LBS was impressed!

  17. #17
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    I just emailed bikes direct and motobecane. I was stupid and rounded out the 6 mm head on this bolt as well.

    I wonder if BD or MB offer replacement hardware kits for purchase?

  18. #18
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    Oops! I think the part cost about $50.
    Mike was nice concerning my situation and warranted the part as a possible defect though the odds are that I did something wrong like leave it loose (missing it when I tightened parts upon arrival) or maybe over-torquing it. That bolt is not a normal warranty item as the frame would likely break before the bolt. Honestly I have never heard of the problem I had happening to anyone on these bikes or any other so that is why I tend to think I may have made a mistake and am fortunate that Mike and BD took care of the issue.
    I have not had one problem with the bike since (other than some broke spokes from sliding into a hard jagged stump) and another wreck that busted my poplock remote but again, my fault. I love this bike (though it does lose some trail time to my Single Speed now).
    Good Luck.

  19. #19
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    I just ordered a Team. Good to have the info for future reference. I'll be checking torques on everything.

  20. #20
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    Mike,

    What is the proper torque-spec for this bolt? I don't believe the actual numbers are mentioned anywhere.

    Thanks.

  21. #21
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    From Joe at Bikes Direct:

    Motobecane Fantom Full Suspension Bicycles

    Lower Pivot Bolt (Near Bottom Bracket)
    Apply Loctite 242 to the bolt, and tighten to 115 in/lbs
    .
    All other Bolts
    Apply Loctite 242 to all other bolts and torque to 90-95 in/lbs
    Check for smooth operation of the pivots and shock bushings. Ensure
    that the shock reducers are not rotating on the shock axle - the shock
    should be rotating on the reducers.

    Pivot Axles
    Make sure all the bolts are torqued to spec. using two allen wrenches
    (one on each side if two sides are present).

    Once the bolts are properly torqued, check the bearings for smooth
    operation and side-side play

  22. #22
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    90 - 115 in-lbs is very low torque. No wonder I rounded a bolt!

  23. #23
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    Yeah, I just broke my main pivot bolt, but hopefully bikesdirect will be able to send me one since I don't have an extra $50 right now.

    Has any one use one of the other two positions to attach the top of the shock to?

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Requiem

    Has any one use one of the other two positions to attach the top of the shock to?

    Yea. Changing that position is how you adjust the travel. The position closest to the down tube is for 5", the middle position is for 4", and the furthest position is 3".

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