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  1. #1
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    Loud creaking on 2011 Element MSL 70

    I've got a 2011 Element MSL 70 which has been making some very loud creaking noises for more than a month. I can feel movement coming from the pivot which joins the top tube to the link. I've cleaned everything out as per the video on the Rocky website and re-installed everything without grease or oil. Before the Nimby50 race I could grab the seat-stays, and pull them side to side with a very noticeable "clunk" felt at the pivot mentioned above.

    After the Nimby50 race I took the bike to Different Bikes in Vancouver and they said that the bike is not supposed to be run with the sag indicator in place? It's only there for initial setup, and then is supposed to be replaced by the dealer?

    My sag indicator used to spin around and has scratched the nice paint job considerably. The mechanics at Different Bikes took the sag indicator off, and replaced the drive side pivot hardware with new hardware from Rocky Mountain.

    After one ride the creaking is back. Everything is still tight, but again I can grab the seat-stays and yank them back and forth with creaking in the same pivot. Is this normal? I'm racing the Test of Metal this weekend and don't really feel like being without my bike for over a week again waiting for service, and paying for service, that may not even fix the problem. Is anyone else having this issue?

    My next course of action is to take that pivot apart again and see if I can add a very thin spacer (maybe the sag adjuster back in with the new hardware as well) on the drive side.

    If anyone has or has heard of a similar problem with the element, please help! I've had a great time on this bike besides the creaking and would love to have my nice quiet ride back again!

  2. #2
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    The sag indicator doesn't come out after you set the bike up. But some early frames were shipped with the wrong alloy cone washer on the side with the sag indicator, the left and ride side washers are different, the one with the sag indicator should not have the shoulder on it.

    This is the screen capture from the service video showing the two different cone washers and the sag indicator.

    If they took the sag indicator out and left that space without changing the alloy cone washer, that would certainly cause the lateral play.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Loud creaking on 2011 Element MSL 70-fullscreen-capture-6102012-25739-pm.jpg  

    I'm a member of NSMBA and IMBA Canada

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sweetness View Post
    I've got a 2011 Element MSL 70 which has been making some very loud creaking noises for more than a month. I can feel movement coming from the pivot which joins the top tube to the link. I've cleaned everything out as per the video on the Rocky website and re-installed everything without grease or oil. Before the Nimby50 race I could grab the seat-stays, and pull them side to side with a very noticeable "clunk" felt at the pivot mentioned above.

    After the Nimby50 race I took the bike to Different Bikes in Vancouver and they said that the bike is not supposed to be run with the sag indicator in place? It's only there for initial setup, and then is supposed to be replaced by the dealer?

    My sag indicator used to spin around and has scratched the nice paint job considerably. The mechanics at Different Bikes took the sag indicator off, and replaced the drive side pivot hardware with new hardware from Rocky Mountain.

    After one ride the creaking is back. Everything is still tight, but again I can grab the seat-stays and yank them back and forth with creaking in the same pivot. Is this normal? I'm racing the Test of Metal this weekend and don't really feel like being without my bike for over a week again waiting for service, and paying for service, that may not even fix the problem. Is anyone else having this issue?

    My next course of action is to take that pivot apart again and see if I can add a very thin spacer (maybe the sag adjuster back in with the new hardware as well) on the drive side.

    If anyone has or has heard of a similar problem with the element, please help! I've had a great time on this bike besides the creaking and would love to have my nice quiet ride back again!
    Yes there was a thread about the hardware actually wearing out the CF....think this happened on the chainstay though...

    Search this forum. MUST READ - WARNING, replace ABC bushings before they are worn

  4. #4
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    Both sides of the pivot now have the left sided alloy cone washer with the lip on it. With the side to side play, I'm tempted to see if the sag indicator fits in as well. The guys at Different Bikes checked my bushings and said they were all ok. I did the same thing myself and couldn't see any signs of obvious wear.

  5. #5
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    I'm sure you've checked it but is the rear skewer tight?
    Not so much a Rocky Mountain, more a Muddy Hill!

  6. #6
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    I did check the rear skewers. I know what you mean, sometimes it's easy to overlook simple fixes. I've torn apart rear suspensions before only to find the issue was a loose seat in the seatpost or loose cranks.

    I rode "The Test" yesterday with absolutely no issues (except for the mud!). Prior to the race, I took the main pivot apart again, and saw no signs of wear. I did notice that the bolt was very tight. I put everything back together very snug, but not thread-stripping tight. Unfortunately I don't have a torque wrench. No play in the bushing afterwards. I wonder if there's some way that over tightening could have actually increased the play in the pivot and caused the creaking?

    In any case, the bike rode great in the race, and feels great now. No creaking.

    I've seen the new 29er Elements, which look fantastic (build wise), especially the 970. I think I prefer the build on it to the BC version. Rocky, if you're reading this, you should offer a dark read and white maple leaf paint scheme in the future, similar to the 2011 Element MSL. Definitely one of my favorite paint schemes ever!

  7. #7
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    I'm always happy when it's someone besides me that brings up the maple leaf paint thing
    I'm a member of NSMBA and IMBA Canada

  8. #8
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    I noticed the same noise (sort of) here recently...I checked my crank, pedals..everything, when I did my rear skewer I noticed I had it a bit too tight..readjusted it, and I have yet to hear that noise coming from the rear after 2 30mile outings...

    I own a altitude 70 RSL carbon 2011 model. I'm guessing that had to be the culprit.

  9. #9
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    Recap on my creaking...I guess I hid the creaking noise previously...now I'm getting creaking and shifting problems in the rear, I might have a combination of problems, like for instance the pivot point as mentioned above and cable stretch as I replaced all my cables 3 weeks ago, so I need to run throu them again..

    By chance, can you point out the actual pivot points you are referring to? Any and all info is greatly appreciated.

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