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  1. #1
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    2013 Spearfish pivots coming loose

    I purchased a leftover closeout 2013 Spearfish 1 and built it myself. Been great on the first three rides, except for the one of the pivots. It is the one with the lower point of the shock. (Circled in red on the photo)

    It has become loose enough to begin clunking. Does anyone know the torque spec on this bolt? Or the proper way this pivot should be assembled? It is supposed to be lock-tighted? Has anyone else experienced this? I looked for such things on Salsa's site without success. Pivots are new to me as this is my first non-hardtail.

    2013 Spearfish pivots coming loose-pivots.jpg

  2. #2
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    Mine did the same after about 3 rides as well. I just snugged it up good and tight and so far so good. Email Salsa directly. They have always been great about replying to anything I have asked about.

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  3. #3
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    I don't know the official answer, but I would never trust a threaded fastener in a rotating joint without loctite or safety wire. Blue should do the job.

  4. #4
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    I explored the pivot last night. It turns out it had blue lock tight on it, but just not enough. Reassembled it with a proper amount and am hopeful it will not recur.
    Last edited by Raymo853; 04-29-2014 at 09:42 AM.

  5. #5
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    Raymo, I have the same Salsa Spearfish 2013 frame, and have this really weird clunking sensation that seems like something is loose in the shock although the shock is holding its air pressure with no problems and I can't find anything that feels loose. Was your pivot bolt backing out? Was it a dramatically noticeable clunk?

  6. #6
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    June what you describe is the same thing that was happening to me. Remove the upper pivot bolt and use blue lock tight on it

  7. #7
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    Another possible source, is your rear maxle loose?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raymo853 View Post
    Another possible source, is your rear maxle loose?
    So interesting that you ask that! I had the bike built up at the LBS. As part of that, I had them install a Maxle conversion kit front and back on my American Classic wheelset. When I started riding the bike, I thought something was loose in the fork, but the fork is fine, headset was snug. Then I started checking elsewhere, took the bike back to LBS because the wheel was really loose. Asked them to true the wheel if necessary and fix whatever was causing the looseness on the rear wheel, and to check that the Maxle kit had been installed correctly and tightened correctly. Rear wheel is now snug and spinning smooth and true, BUT the sensation that something is loose & clunking in the shock is persisting. I'll investigate and reseat the pivot bearings if that seems to be the problem. Does re-tightening the bolt need to be done with a torque wrench? I'll likely call Tree Fort Bikes first re: pivot bearings and then Fox if that doesn't address the situation.

    I found it interesting also that this problem (that originates in the rear part of the bike) seems to telegraph to the front, so it initially feels like the problem is happening in the fork/headset area.

  9. #9
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    After about one month, twenty rides and four hundred miles, it has remained tight and trouble free.

  10. #10
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    Thanks! That's good to hear. I just built mine up (1 ride so far) and pulled the upper and middle pivot bolts, applied blue loctite, and torqued upper/lower/bottom pivot bolts to 8nm/10nm/13nm respectively. I'll report back with any issues.
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  11. #11
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    I spoke too soon. Mine came loose yesterday. I was a little suspect of my locktight did a good app again today and am hopeful it will not reoccur

  12. #12
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    We've got two sf and they both do this. I reckon its one of the washers moving about on the linkage. They both clunk the same. Tried torquing up and there is still a bit of slop. Only small...

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  13. #13
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    What I tried last night was removing the bolt and then greasing around the reducers that sit in there. They're free to rattle about , so I greased the edge of the bearing to give them less space. Appears to have done the trick.

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  14. #14
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    Do you guys know if the 2014's are having these problems also?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by BCTJ View Post
    Do you guys know if the 2014's are having these problems also?
    Not the same bike so this issue would not apply

  16. #16
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    Just posted on another thread about a similar clunk from this region

    2012 Spearfish Rear Shock Install?

    could it be the same thing?

  17. #17
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    Re: 2013 Spearfish pivots coming loose

    What do Ti crank bolts have to do with Salsa Spearfish pivots?
    Last edited by Raymo853; 06-26-2014 at 04:38 AM.

  18. #18
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    Called and talked to a helpful person in the Tree Fort Bike shop yesterday. He had ridden a 2013 Salsa Spearfish the day prior with the same issue and confirmed that it is likely loose pivot bolts. Took the bike over to the LBS and will find out in the next few days if the issue is resolved once the pivot bolts are all tightened to spec. Can't believe it is almost two months since my first post on this issue but life has intervened -- training for long trip, the trip and then bronchitis from hell for 3.5 weeks post trip. I'm understandably anxious to get back on the bike. Will report back once I get the bike.

  19. #19
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    Possible Solution To Pivot Bolt Problems

    Quote Originally Posted by June Bug View Post
    Called and talked to a helpful person in the Tree Fort Bike shop yesterday. He had ridden a 2013 Salsa Spearfish the day prior with the same issue and confirmed that it is likely loose pivot bolts. Took the bike over to the LBS and will find out in the next few days if the issue is resolved once the pivot bolts are all tightened to spec. Can't believe it is almost two months since my first post on this issue but life has intervened -- training for long trip, the trip and then bronchitis from hell for 3.5 weeks post trip. I'm understandably anxious to get back on the bike. Will report back once I get the bike.

    Hey all, I'm a rep of Tree Fort Bikes. I just got off the phone with Salsa and was offered some insight into this problem and a possible solution.

    Basically it boils down to the pivot bolt being a hair (<1mm) to long for the threading in the pivot arm. So while it feels snug when you tighten it, especially if you're using loctite, there's actually a tiny gap preventing you from getting the proper torque on the bolt. Over time this allows the bolt to work it's way loose.
    The solution is to place a thin washer on the bolt, e.g. a washer from a pedal. This will fill the gap so you can tighten the bolt to spec.

    This was a problem with some 2012 Spearfishes and was solved for the 2013+ models, but apparently some 2013 models were assembled/shipped with the older bolt installed.
    For the long term you could contact Salsa and ask if they might be able to send to a replacement bolt. They have a great customer service dept and have always been very helpful and accommodating.

    Happy trails,
    Tree Fort Bikes
    Ypsilanti, MI

  20. #20
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    Tree Fort guy, thanks for taking the extra step to sort things out with Salsa and then posting this info!

    Is there any way to determine which 2013s have the problem bolts? I've registered the frame on the Salsa Web site, so they have the ID number from the frame.

    My lbs (the ones who did the original build for me) re-locktite'd and reinstalled the pivot bolts and everything feels smooth and easy on the rear suspension now.

    However, there is still something going on in the front. They tightened up a tiny bit of play in the headset, but there is still something loose either in the headset or the fork. The adventure continues. Really, really, really like the bike.

  21. #21
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    Cool-blue Rhythm

    Quote Originally Posted by Mo. Bike View Post
    Hey all, I'm a rep of Tree Fort Bikes. I just got off the phone with Salsa and was offered some insight into this problem and a possible solution.

    Basically it boils down to the pivot bolt being a hair (<1mm) to long for the threading in the pivot arm. So while it feels snug when you tighten it, especially if you're using loctite, there's actually a tiny gap preventing you from getting the proper torque on the bolt. Over time this allows the bolt to work it's way loose.
    The solution is to place a thin washer on the bolt, e.g. a washer from a pedal. This will fill the gap so you can tighten the bolt to spec.

    This was a problem with some 2012 Spearfishes and was solved for the 2013+ models, but apparently some 2013 models were assembled/shipped with the older bolt installed.
    For the long term you could contact Salsa and ask if they might be able to send to a replacement bolt. They have a great customer service dept and have always been very helpful and accommodating.

    Happy trails,
    Tree Fort Bikes
    Ypsilanti, MI
    Thanks for the info. I have lots of pedal washers around, but am very torn on putting one on. It is just a few days before I use the Spearfish in Shenandoah Mountain Touring's Wilderness 101. It has not come loose for a few weeks, but I think I'll do it tonight. I will worry it will come loose during the race, but will worry even if I do not put in the washer tonight.

    Will contact Salsa soon to ask about getting the right length bolt.
    Last edited by Raymo853; 07-23-2014 at 01:32 PM.

  22. #22
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    Re: 2013 Spearfish pivots coming loose

    Pedal washers are too large to fit. Photo below of the bolt next to a typical pedal washer.

  23. #23
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    I ended up finding a split lock washer of the proper size. I put that on the bolt along with the current washer and removable blue loctite. I am pretty confident the lock washer plus the loctite will keep it snug this weekend. I will still worry and check it about every 60 mins during my estimated 10 hour W101.

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