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  1. #1
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    Bronson Maintenance Plan

    I'm coming up on 6 months of owning a 2015 Bronson. Looking to do as much maintenance on it myself. Would appreciate any tips, suggestions or links to help with the process, as I'm no expert bike mechanic. Specifically, I plan to clean out the lower linkage and disassemble the shock assembly for inspection. Curious to know if the SC bearing removal tool is necessary for the LL part?

    There also seems to be a slight vibration in the crankset during peddling. Not sure I feel comfortable pulling the cranks and bb apart, but I would like to swap original cranks out for some carbon ones come spring.

    i have downloaded the Tech Sheets from SC's website.
    The only trace I leave behind is tire marks.

  2. #2
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    Tech Tuesday: Adjust the Pivot Bearings on Any Santa Cruz VPP Suspension - Pinkbike
    Repair Help Articles - Park Tool

    Basic bearing/link adjustment takes nothing more than shown in the above video.
    For the non grease gun bearings on the upper link, you can remove the bearing seals and repack bearings with grease without removing bearings from the links.
    Lower links you can service with the grease gun that you should have received with your bike if purchased new from a dealer.

    Always good to check the mounting bolts on the chainrings, brakes, rotors, rear derailluer, etc. Simple snug up is usually all that should be required if anything.

    Lots of basic maintenance can be done with just hex/allen keys.
    You'll need some part specific tools depending on bottom bracket, cassette, hubs.

    Universal bleed kits or manufacturer specific bleed kits are available for brakes.
    Plenty of suspension service videos online.

    Depending on how often you have been riding in the past six months you could be due for some suspension service.

    Would also be a good idea to check chain/cassette/chainring wear and brake pad thickness.

  3. #3
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    Torque wrench is a must. You'll need to make sure everything is tightened back to spec after inspection. 6 months you might not need to replace bearings unless you live somewhere sloppy and wet. Bearing tools are probably not necessary right now, but if you need to replace they important. Check shock bushings for play, I had to do those earlier than expected. Shocks and forks need basic maintenance according to manual, usually done with basic air kit.

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    The vibration could be from a worn front ring or stretched chain.

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    Thanks for the input everyone. I'm going to try and get at the bike on Saturday. Will followup with any issues.
    The only trace I leave behind is tire marks.

  6. #6
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    Any suggestions on where to purchase replacement bushings for the shock?
    The only trace I leave behind is tire marks.

  7. #7
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    ^^ Do yourself a favor and get the RWC needle bearing for the rear shock eyelet at least instead of the lame bushing: RWC SHOCK EYE NEEDLE BEARING KITS, 6MM & 8MM

    Have FUN!

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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by madreptilian View Post
    Any suggestions on where to purchase replacement bushings for the shock?
    Got mine from Amazon, I seem to have good luck with small parts there.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salespunk View Post
    The vibration could be from a worn front ring or stretched chain.
    The chain was stretched. Had to replace. Thx for the tip.
    The only trace I leave behind is tire marks.

  10. #10
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    I'm late to the game on this thread, and good info in here for sure (though I'll disagree with the needle bearing shock hardware).

    Removing and replacing the bearings in both links on SC bikes is incredibly simple. I bought the tools and requested a set of bearings once, having zero prior experience with such a job. The first time definitely took me longer, but it's very simple with the proper tools. I'd strongly suggest anyone with a SC bike make the effort to learn to do it themselves. One tool basically drives the bearings out, the other squeezes new ones back in. And worst case scenario, you mess it up and take it to a shop and have them do it, but ask to watch.

    Same for removing cranks. This is generally just a good thing to know. Lots and lots of YouTube videos out there on this (and just about every other bike mechanic job).

    I'm all for supporting the LBS mechanic, but when you learn how much they charge for simple jobs, it can be a bit nauseating.
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  11. #11
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    11053 summed it pretty well. Preventative maintenance and service will be your friend.

    You shouldn't need to be doing any bearing replacement at this time, so bearing removal/installation tools can prolly be skipped. However, take this opportunity to inspect, clean (if necessary) and re-lubricate ALL of your sealed/cartridge bearings. Just because they are sealed, does not mean these can't or don't need to be serviced with fresh grease. The seal is there to prevent contamination such as water and dirt from entering the bearings, not to prevent maintenance. As 11053 suggested, it's easy to just carefully pop the seals and add appropriate grease. This ongoing maintenance will greatly extend your bearing life.

    One area that you will want to look at is your headset bearings. Your prolly will have no problems with your upper bearing, but your lower bearing is subjected to contamination and I frequently see premature issues here. Again, its a sealed bearing that can easily be maintained.

    The area I see that needs attention is the bottom bracket bearings. Oddly enough, I consistently see more attention needs on the drive-side bearings than the non-drive side. I'm not sure why, but keep that in mind. Bottom brackets and crank removals are not the art and science that some make it to be. You'll need an appropriate bottom bracket tool and that's about it. You will also need the Crank Arm Installation tool for torquing down the non-drive side crank arm. It's made of plastic and under $5. I'm not sure if the Raceface Aeffect crank needs this, but the Shimano will.

    YouTube is your friend if you have questions or just wanna know what's going on before you make the maintenance plunge.
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  12. #12
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    Oh, don't forget to pull your freehub off and address its needs.

    What are your components?
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by 007 View Post
    I'm late to the game on this thread, and good info in here for sure (though I'll disagree with the needle bearing shock hardware).

    Removing and replacing the bearings in both links on SC bikes is incredibly simple. I bought the tools and requested a set of bearings once, having zero prior experience with such a job. The first time definitely took me longer, but it's very simple with the proper tools. I'd strongly suggest anyone with a SC bike make the effort to learn to do it themselves. One tool basically drives the bearings out, the other squeezes new ones back in. And worst case scenario, you mess it up and take it to a shop and have them do it, but ask to watch.

    Same for removing cranks. This is generally just a good thing to know. Lots and lots of YouTube videos out there on this (and just about every other bike mechanic job).

    I'm all for supporting the LBS mechanic, but when you learn how much they charge for simple jobs, it can be a bit nauseating.
    Which ball bearing tools did you purchase?
    The only trace I leave behind is tire marks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleared2land View Post
    11053 summed it pretty well. Preventative maintenance and service will be your friend.

    You shouldn't need to be doing any bearing replacement at this time, so bearing removal/installation tools can prolly be skipped. However, take this opportunity to inspect, clean (if necessary) and re-lubricate ALL of your sealed/cartridge bearings. Just because they are sealed, does not mean these can't or don't need to be serviced with fresh grease. The seal is there to prevent contamination such as water and dirt from entering the bearings, not to prevent maintenance. As 11053 suggested, it's easy to just carefully pop the seals and add appropriate grease. This ongoing maintenance will greatly extend your bearing life.

    One area that you will want to look at is your headset bearings. Your prolly will have no problems with your upper bearing, but your lower bearing is subjected to contamination and I frequently see premature issues here. Again, its a sealed bearing that can easily be maintained.

    The area I see that needs attention is the bottom bracket bearings. Oddly enough, I consistently see more attention needs on the drive-side bearings than the non-drive side. I'm not sure why, but keep that in mind. Bottom brackets and crank removals are not the art and science that some make it to be. You'll need an appropriate bottom bracket tool and that's about it. You will also need the Crank Arm Installation tool for torquing down the non-drive side crank arm. It's made of plastic and under $5. I'm not sure if the Raceface Aeffect crank needs this, but the Shimano will.

    YouTube is your friend if you have questions or just wanna know what's going on before you make the maintenance plunge.
    I've had some clicking issues coming from my cranks on the last few rides, that comes and goes. I thought the it might be the chain issue, but still occurring after replacing it. I will try and figure out which tools I need to remove the BB. Tthanks for the input.

    The bike has Pike fork, Rock Shox shock, Shimano SLX brakes, SRAM derailer, RF cranks with single chain ring.
    The only trace I leave behind is tire marks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by madreptilian View Post
    I've had some clicking issues coming from my cranks on the last few rides, that comes and goes. I thought the it might be the chain issue, but still occurring after replacing it. I will try and figure out which tools I need to remove the BB.
    Don't be so sure that it's your BB. It can be many different points on the bike. Creaks and pops can be very elusive and fool you on where it sounds like the noise is coming from. Chasing creaks can be an art in both discovery and elimination.

    Should you feel the need to drop some cash and buy bearing extractors and presses, I have been using Wheels Manufacturing tools.

    Wheels Manufacturing, Inc.
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    This is great. I just ordered my first full suspension bike 5010, and I was wondering about it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by madreptilian View Post
    Which ball bearing tools did you purchase?
    Quote Originally Posted by Cleared2land View Post
    Should you feel the need to drop some cash and buy bearing extractors and presses, I have been using Wheels Manufacturing tools.

    Wheels Manufacturing, Inc.
    I bought the Tools that SC sells, but they weren't cheap. And in perusing the Wheels Mfg. site, I think that cheaper and better tools are available.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleared2land View Post
    Don't be so sure that it's your BB. It can be many different points on the bike. Creaks and pops can be very elusive and fool you on where it sounds like the noise is coming from. Chasing creaks can be an art in both discovery and elimination.

    Should you feel the need to drop some cash and buy bearing extractors and presses, I have been using Wheels Manufacturing tools.

    Wheels Manufacturing, Inc.
    I hear what your saying. I had a creak come up after owning the bike for about a month. Turned out the bolts holding the shock had been over torqued. The current issue only occurs when I'm pedaling. It is not a creak, but more of a ratcheting noise.

    I will probably wait till the 1 year mark to invest in the bearing extractors, but thanks for the link.
    The only trace I leave behind is tire marks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by woodsroamer View Post
    This is great. I just ordered my first full suspension bike 5010, and I was wondering about it.

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    Congrats. I was torn between the 5010 & the Bronson, but felt more confidant on the B after demoing both. My first FS bike as well.
    The only trace I leave behind is tire marks.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by madreptilian View Post
    I will probably wait till the 1 year mark to invest in the bearing extractors, but thanks for the link.
    If this isn't a tool that you will be using on an ongoing basis, you can always use a drift, sockets and a vice or C clamp to do the job. I used these for years with 100% results before taking the plunge to drop $200 - $300 to extract and install a few bearings on your ride.

    Additionally, if you properly maintain your bearings (all of them), you are not likely to have a need to remove and replace. I have one of my Santa Cruz rides that has over 10,000 miles on all original bearings. Proper bearing maintenance and lubrication will significantly extend the life of your bearings.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleared2land View Post
    Don't be so sure that it's your BB. It can be many different points on the bike. Creaks and pops can be very elusive and fool you on where it sounds like the noise is coming from. Chasing creaks can be an art in both discovery and elimination.

    Should you feel the need to drop some cash and buy bearing extractors and presses, I have been using Wheels Manufacturing tools.

    Wheels Manufacturing, Inc.
    I chased a creak for days I thought was coming from the suspension......ended up being sand in between the seat clamp and the little cut out in the seat tube! Drove me nuts, but when discovered it was a relief. Noisy bikes drive me insane!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleared2land View Post
    If this isn't a tool that you will be using on an ongoing basis, you can always use a drift, sockets and a vice or C clamp to do the job. I used these for years with 100% results before taking the plunge to drop $200 - $300 to extract and install a few bearings on your ride.

    Additionally, if you properly maintain your bearings (all of them), you are not likely to have a need to remove and replace. I have one of my Santa Cruz rides that has over 10,000 miles on all original bearings. Proper bearing maintenance and lubrication will significantly extend the life of your bearings.
    I regularly grease the lower two bearings and infrequently pull out and clean up all four axles, but do you do anything other than that to your bearings?

  23. #23
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    I completely remove the upper shock and lower swing arm pivots, clean and inspect. Pop the bearing seals (make sure these pivots are very clean so you don't induce dirt and debris into your bearing once you open the seals), check the grease for contamination, and re-lube if deemed adequately clean. If they look like they have gotten water or contamination into them, I clean all grease out and repack. I also rotate the bearings well because remember, these bearings, unlike your wheel bearings, never see full rotation. The are worked heavy in one spot, back and forth under some pretty heavy loading. Many prefer using a heavier marine grease here for water issues. I don't see much water, so prefer a lighter grease, but this can be cause for increased maintenance frequency. I like Buzzy's Slick Honey.

    Put everything back together, reinstall and torque appropriately. The trick is getting axles properly pre-loaded. Santa Cruz is somewhat nebulous on this (I think they say 'hand tight' or something like that), but have provided a 35 inch lb. torque as a max. I usually find 35 inch lb. to be slightly tight. Finish up the wedge as spec'd by Santa Cruz.

    My referral to 'all bearings' means all bearings...headset, bottom bracket, wheel bearings and freehubs. They are all treated the same.
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    Thanks. I got a Fox 140mm fork for it. just finished building a front wheel (Arch/Hope).
    Quote Originally Posted by madreptilian View Post
    Congrats. I was torn between the 5010 & the Bronson, but felt more confidant on the B after demoing both. My first FS bike as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleared2land View Post
    I completely remove the upper shock and lower swing arm pivots, clean and inspect.
    Thanks a lot!
    I had started to get a small creak and it turned out one of the upper bearings needed some love.

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    Give 'em some love then.
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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleared2land View Post
    I like Buzzy's Slick Honey
    I wouldn't have thought of slick honey as a bearing grease. Have you ever had it leak out of the seals?

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    Slick honey is wonderful bearing grease. And no, it doesn't leak out of the seals. It's NOT that thin.

    Considerably less rolling resistance (free spinning) compared to thicker, marine grease. Don't expect this to be as long lasting and maintenance free as a thicker grease, but if you perform more frequent maintenance and enjoy doing that, it might be for you.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleared2land View Post
    Give 'em some love then.
    The beating seals-- do you just pry them out? And do they just press back on?


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    Quote Originally Posted by reamer41 View Post
    The beating seals-- do you just pry them out? And do they just press back on?
    Beating?

    The bearing seals...yes, carefully pry the outer seal away from the bearing race with something thin that wont damage the seal. First make sure that everything around the bearing is clean so that you don't introduce any contaminates or dirt into your bearings after you remove the protective seal. You might need to gently pry it as you work around the outer bearing race. Be careful to not bend the seal if it has a metal backing. Pay attention to what side of the seal is facing in towards the bearing for re-installation.

    Clean (if necessary), inspect and re-lubricate as necessary. If it's a bearing that sees a lot of water, you might wish to put a little extra grease in the bearing for protection. Where I ride, I don't have much of a water issue, so I tend to use a little less grease to permit less rotational friction. The down side to using less grease is that you might need to perform your bearing service on an increased frequency. I'm more involved in regular and ongoing preventative maintenance, so I find this as an acceptable trade-off for reduced rotational friction. If you elect to perform this bearing service more frequently, as stated a few posts above, you can get by with a slightly thinner grease.
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    I tackled the shock assembly & upper link assembly today to inspect the bushings, pivot axles and the bearings. Everything looks to be in excellent working condition. I came across this page which has some nice step-by-step photos on servicing vpp bikes.

    I did find that the upper pivot axle is a bit stripped upon reinserting it. Anyone know who sells these as replacement parts?
    The only trace I leave behind is tire marks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by madreptilian View Post
    I did find that the upper pivot axle is a bit stripped upon reinserting it. Anyone know who sells these as replacement parts?
    Only Santa Cruz sells these.

    What do you mean "that the upper pivot axle is a bit stripped upon reinserting it" How can it be stripped? This is only torqued to 35 in. lb.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleared2land View Post
    Only Santa Cruz sells these.

    What do you mean "that the upper pivot axle is a bit stripped upon reinserting it" How can it be stripped? This is only torqued to 35 in. lb.
    I know. My LBS found them overtightned about a month ago. Before I even reached torque, the wrench began to spin. I just hope I can get it out when I replace. I emailed SC as they don't have these listed in their store.

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    I always keep a spare axle kit in my tool bag, along with the grease gun and spare headset bearings. I've blown several Cane Creek 40 bearings in my headset.

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    Quote Originally Posted by madreptilian View Post
    I did find that the upper pivot axle is a bit stripped upon reinserting it. Anyone know who sells these as replacement parts?
    Are you referring to to Upper axle of the Lower Link or or the Shock Mount Axle?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adodero View Post
    I always keep a spare axle kit in my tool bag, along with the grease gun and spare headset bearings. I've blown several Cane Creek 40 bearings in my headset.
    I just be a trollin'
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleared2land View Post
    Are you referring to to Upper axle of the Lower Link or or the Shock Mount Axle?
    Top pivot axle of the upper link assembly. This guy.Bronson Maintenance Plan-screen-shot-2016-02-07-7.02.25-pm.jpg
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    Are you on an aluminum frame or carbon?

    My reason for asking is, are you sure it's the Pivot Collet Axle that is 'stripped' and not the female receptacle in the frame? Have you removed the axle and looked closely at it?

    Attached is the Santa Cruz part number if you need to replace it. This is assuming the image you provided is correct to your bike.

    Bronson Maintenance Plan-broson-shock-mount-parts.jpg
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleared2land View Post
    Are you on an aluminum frame or carbon?

    My reason for asking is, are you sure it's the Pivot Collet Axle that is 'stripped' and not the female receptacle in the frame? Have you removed the axle and looked closely at it?

    Attached is the Santa Cruz part number if you need to replace it. This is assuming the image you provided is correct to your bike.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Carbon. It is the female part that is stripped.
    The only trace I leave behind is tire marks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by madreptilian View Post
    Carbon. It is the female part that is stripped.
    This is not good.

    The Pivot Collet Axle threads directly into the carbon frame. I do not think there is a threaded insert or Helicoil in that. I believe it's just carbon.

    If my assumption is correct, and your Pivot Collet Axle does thread directly into the carbon, and that is indeed stripped, then I believe that you need to contact Santa Cruz for further instruction.

    You might be able to install a Helicoil or some other type of thread repair kit. However, you need to over-size drill out the existing threaded hole before you can install a threaded insert. This is where you would need some advice from Santa Cruz to ensure this can be accomplished.

    Good luck on this!
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    Quote Originally Posted by madreptilian View Post
    Carbon. It is the female part that is stripped.
    I had this same thing happen on a 2 month old frame.
    I took it to my shop, they cleaned up the threads and then it held again for 1.5 rides.
    Next sent it to Santa Cruz, they claimed to have fixed it, but it came loose just riding it around in front of my house after getting it all put back together.

    They sent me a new frame after that. I suspect that my frame had a misalignment problem.

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    Not knowing what the original problem was that caused this to happen, but in most cases, it can be prevented by ensuring that every part that is contacting carbon be very carefully torqued with a quality torque wrench.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleared2land View Post
    This is not good.

    The Pivot Collet Axle threads directly into the carbon frame. I do not think there is a threaded insert or Helicoil in that. I believe it's just carbon.

    If my assumption is correct, and your Pivot Collet Axle does thread directly into the carbon, and that is indeed stripped, then I believe that you need to contact Santa Cruz for further instruction.

    You might be able to install a Helicoil or some other type of thread repair kit. However, you need to over-size drill out the existing threaded hole before you can install a threaded insert. This is where you would need some advice from Santa Cruz to ensure this can be accomplished.

    Good luck on this!
    Yep. Exchanged a few emails with SC today. Sending me replacement parts and will address any further issues if this does not resolve it.
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    Ok, I'm confused and I don't believe there is some good communication going on here somewhere .

    Quote Originally Posted by madreptilian View Post
    Carbon. It is the female part that is stripped.
    The above statement implies the your bike has the female threads stripped for the upper Pivot Collet Axle. These threads are in the carbon frame.

    Quote Originally Posted by madreptilian View Post
    Yep. Exchanged a few emails with SC today. Sending me replacement parts and will address any further issues if this does not resolve it.
    Now you state that they are sending replacement parts. If the illustration that you provided was correct for your bike, then there are NO Parts to replace there. What you have described is the frame portion of the threads are stripped. Are they sending you a new frame?

    Are you sure about what you are describing?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleared2land View Post
    Ok, I'm confused and I don't believe there is some good communication going on here somewhere .



    The above statement implies the your bike has the female threads stripped for the upper Pivot Collet Axle. These threads are in the carbon frame.



    Now you state that they are sending replacement parts. If the illustration that you provided was correct for your bike, then there are NO Parts to replace there. What you have described is the frame portion of the threads are stripped. Are they sending you a new frame?

    Are you sure about what you are describing?
    My bad. It has been one of those days on my end. I typed "female" when I meant to say "male" in the earlier post. It is part #14 on the tech sheet that is partially stripped. Maybe a pretty girl walked by when I was typing or something...
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    Hmmmm...and no damage to the carbon threads in the frame, but the metal pivot axle is stripped.

    Interesting.
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    Just thought I would update the thread. SC sent me a replacement pivot axle for the upper link assembly. They sent it awhile ago, but finally installed it a few days ago.

    I was also having some play in the bottom bracket, so I took the bike into the shop for that job. No real issues or replacement parts needed. They just cleaned it up and made sure everything was tight. Running back to normal.

    Coming off the trail last week, I found both of my rotors were rubbing on the brake pads. I pulled both sets out for inspection and found that the rear pads were toast, so I replaced them along with the rotor. I probably waited a bit too long to do this inspection because some scoring had begun to occur on the rotor. The front pads and rotor were still good. I had to reset the pistons to eliminate the rubbing. It took a few tries to get one side all the way back in.

    I typically ride about 3x per week and had it for about 9 months now, so I will make sure to inspect brakes every 6 months going forward.
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    The shock mounts, pivot mounts, dropouts and disc brake tabs are not carbon (no carbon threads). They are alloy, however they are not glued or bonded to the frame. They are integrated into the frame during the layup and curing process.
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    Madrep, I've had the brake pads do that on my rotors no matter what I tried. As long as they are not rubbing to a point where you can feel slight braking without any pressure on the levers, I think you are good.
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    An update related to creaking. I've been using a pair of spank spike pedals since I bought the bike. They were in use for about 6 months prior to going on the Bronson. They turned out to be an overlooked source of creaking on the bike. I would get intermittent creaking on the bike and could never find the source, nor could my LBS. Mostly because it was hard to duplicate it consistently. Now that the bearings have gone bad on the pedals, I'm pretty certain it was the pedals causing the problem all along. I would take them apart for cleaning about every two months and that probably helped to minimize the creaking and make it more elusive. Just wanted to share for other novice bike mechanics finding their way.

    Spank does sell a rebuild kit for $35 or a titanium version for $55 which weight 50 grams less.
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    Swapping pedals would be a quick method to troubleshoot your suggestion. They don't need to be nice pedals, just a functioning pair would seemingly do the job.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleared2land View Post
    Swapping pedals would be a quick method to troubleshoot your suggestion. They don't need to be nice pedals, just a functioning pair would seemingly do the job.
    Agreed. After a particularly creaky ride, I swapped out the pedals to find my Bronson stealthy and quiet once again.
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    A few days ago, I moved the dropper button for my Rock Shox Reverb DP to the left side of my handle bars since I'm running a 1x. Much more sensible setup, but I'd really like to swap it for the Race Face dropper lever instead of the push button. Anyone know if its compatible with the RS Reverb? If not, maybe recommend another lever.

    Race Face Turbine Lever
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    Quote Originally Posted by madreptilian View Post
    A few days ago, I moved the dropper button for my Rock Shox Reverb DP to the left side of my handle bars since I'm running a 1x. Much more sensible setup, but I'd really like to swap it for the Race Face dropper lever instead of the push button. Anyone know if its compatible with the RS Reverb? If not, maybe recommend another lever.

    Race Face Turbine Lever
    The reverb uses a hydralic hose with fluid while just about every other design uses a derailleur cable.

    There is one alternative but check out the price!
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    Quote Originally Posted by ac1000 View Post
    The reverb uses a hydralic hose with fluid while just about every other design uses a derailleur cable.

    There is one alternative but check out the price!
    Novyparts RockShox Reverb Remote - Review - Pinkbike
    Yeah, for $150 I'll make do. Thanks.
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    Swapped out my stock 32t chain ring for a 30t. The original 32t was worn out, so opted to run a 30t for awhile. This has allowed greater use of the cassette range and made climbing easier. I occasionally miss the resistance on the higher end, but for most of the trails I ride in Phx, the 30t seems sufficient.

    I also replaced both Maxxis DHR2 with a pair of Aggressors. This has also made climbing easier and it just feels more fluid on some of the AZ chunk. The Aggressors are also much quicker getting up to speed over the DHR2s. I miss some of the cornering confidence from the DHR2s, but with so much climbing, it feels like a worthy tradeoff.

    Lastly, burned through my second chain. Been using a basic SRAM chain from LBS. A friend told me about a KMC chain that is good for 10k miles. He said it runs about $100 bucks. Don't know the model name, but would appreciate any input on chains.
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    Quote Originally Posted by madreptilian View Post

    Lastly, burned through my second chain. Been using a basic SRAM chain from LBS. A friend told me about a KMC chain that is good for 10k miles. He said it runs about $100 bucks. Don't know the model name, but would appreciate any input on chains.
    I have very serious doubts about your friend's claim that a chain will last 10k miles on an MTB. I like KMC chains. Some are coated and they may last a little longer, but I don't know if it's worth the extra $$.

    I buy a couple mid-grade KMC chains, and quick links. Clean and lube off the bike and swap frequently. I've always got a lubed chain in the tool box and it takes less than 5 minutes to swap. When a chain is Ĺ worn I toss and replace. Cassette and ring(s) last a long time if you keep a fresh chain on them.

    X10.93 Ľ KMC Chain
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    I agree. 10k miles seems far fetched. I am pretty good about keeping the chain clean and lubed, but I've also been riding a great deal more on the Bronson then any other bike. Giving ATB Red lube a try. That and just biting the bullet on changing out the chain frequently should help. Thanks for the links. I plan on giving KMC a try for my next chain.
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    What torque wrenches do you guys use? Last time I did pivot maintenance I just used my hand to tight those axles. Collet axles need 35in/lbs (~4nm), bolts that lock them in place 100in/lbs(~11nm). So I tight axles to the point when it started to fill a bit tight. Bolts though has to be pretty tight. (Also this is Nomad torque specs, Bronson could be different)

    Iíve seen torque wrenches stop bolts before, one drop and they are all out of whack.

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    I use the Capri Tools torque wrench. I've only used it a handful of times, but it is simple to use and works well.
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    Quote Originally Posted by themanro View Post
    What torque wrenches do you guys use? Last time I did pivot maintenance I just used my hand to tight those axles. Collet axles need 35in/lbs (~4nm), bolts that lock them in place 100in/lbs(~11nm). So I tight axles to the point when it started to fill a bit tight. Bolts though has to be pretty tight. (Also this is Nomad torque specs, Bronson could be different)

    Iíve seen torque wrenches stop bolts before, one drop and they are all out of whack.
    It's all a matter of how much you want to spend . . . I have a Mariposa Effetto (wasn't cheap, but REI 20% off + dividend helped). Pedro's and Park Tool are average at best from what I hear. There's a number of articles out there comparing the common offerings. It's all a matter of precision. More $$$$ = more precise. Less $$ = wider margin of error. Up to you and what you're comfortable with. I will say that I spent some coin on a good torque wrench and have more than gotten my moneys worth out of it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by themanro View Post
    What torque wrenches do you guys use?

    I have been using Snap On 1/4' torque wrenches for years. I have two...10 - 50 in. lbs. and a 40 - 200 in. lbs. They get calibrated annually and are consistently well below ASME B107.14M-1994 minimum standards. I don't believe they have ever exceeded 1% tolerances. And, they have been dropped once or twice with no deviation in the calibration. I guess you get what you pay for.


    Quote Originally Posted by themanro View Post
    Iíve seen torque wrenches stop bolts before, one drop and they are all out of whack.
    What do you mean "Iíve seen torque wrenches stop bolts before"?
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    Sorry 'strip'


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    Welcome to the joy trial and error of bike Mechanic work. Learning takes time, and some predisposition to mechanical work in general helps greatly. Sorry about your linkage bolt though I bet you will now learn to use a torque wrench and do so religiously!

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    Anybody know which bottom bracket tool you need for Bronson V1, Raceface Affect crankset?
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    I think that you have a standard threaded BSA style bottom bracket.


    The tool...It's a very common BB tool.

    Bronson Maintenance Plan-bbt-19.2_001.jpg
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    Quote Originally Posted by madreptilian View Post
    Anybody know which bottom bracket tool you need for Bronson V1, Raceface Affect crankset?

    Bronson Maintenance Plan-20160912_180639.jpg

    Bronson Maintenance Plan-20160912_180729.jpg
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    Two-part question. I likely need to replace my rear derailleur. Current DR is the SRAM GX. First, I'd like any input on if it is worth upgrading to a higher-end model or better to just stay with the GX model. The GX has served my needs well, but it is not always as buttery smooth as I would like.

    Second, I'd like to tackle this job myself. Any do's or don'ts? Suggestions? GMBN has a pretty good video about the process for a Shimano DR.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mad Reptilian View Post
    The GX has served my needs well, but it is not always as buttery smooth as I would like.
    Perhaps some simple maintenance can restore your 'buttery smoothness' back to your derailleur. A thorough cleaning and lubrication of all moving parts including the cage spring, pivots and jockey wheels. I suspect your shifter cable is the bulk of the problem. Consider replacement of the cable and cable housing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleared2land View Post
    Perhaps some simple maintenance can restore your 'buttery smoothness' back to your derailleur. A thorough cleaning and lubrication of all moving parts including the cage spring, pivots and jockey wheels. I suspect your shifter cable is the bulk of the problem. Consider replacement of the cable and cable housing.
    Sage advice here. Swap the cables and housing first and see if that helps. If its your first time doing it, there are a bunch of videos out there. It's not a difficult job by any means, though be sure to follow the steps to make tuning/adjusting the RD easier. You'll need to do this anyway if you do get a new RD, so might as well start with the cheapest repair option, and if you do go new RD then you've already got the new cables.
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    Apologies, I failed to address your second part.

    I'm sure that there are plenty of good videos available for the SRAM installation. Actually, the install and set-up instructions that came with my SRAM rear derailleur were very complete and concise.

    I don't have any real do's or don'ts, but as in any task like this, make sure that you have all documentation, tools and lubricants immediately at hand before beginning the task. Take your time and everything should go smoothly.
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    Thanks for the advice. The issue I am having is an odd "zipping" like noise while pedaling, it is intermittent and has a metallic quality to it. I went OTB back in Oct and the RD took a hit, that is when the noise started. Hanger got slightly bent, fixed that and noise went away, but returned about a month ago. LBS lubricated cable when it went in for a dropper bleed, but that did little to eliminate noise.

    Replacing cable sounds like the next best place to trouble shoot. Is the SRAM 4mm shift cable kit the right one?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mad Reptilian View Post
    Thanks for the advice. The issue I am having is an odd "zipping" like noise while pedaling, it is intermittent and has a metallic quality to it. I went OTB back in Oct and the RD took a hit, that is when the noise started. Hanger got slightly bent, fixed that and noise went away, but returned about a month ago. LBS lubricated cable when it went in for a dropper bleed, but that did little to eliminate noise.

    Replacing cable sounds like the next best place to trouble shoot. Is the SRAM 4mm shift cable kit the right one?
    I wouldn't bother buying any kind of "kit." You need a basic cable and housing. And don't let anyone "lube" your cables anymore. Not necessary with modern cables and housing. All it does is attract grime and dirt, and accelerate wear.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 007 View Post
    I wouldn't bother buying any kind of "kit." You need a basic cable and housing. And don't let anyone "lube" your cables anymore. Not necessary with modern cables and housing. All it does is attract grime and dirt, and accelerate wear.
    Good to know my bike shop is on top of things. Ordered the cable/housing. I'll let you know how it goes. BTW, my condolences on Roger Moore. Grew up watching him play Bond.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mad Reptilian View Post
    Top pivot axle of the upper link assembly. This guy.Click image for larger version. 

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    I know I'm not the only one that had this happen, but just a warning to anyone that hasn't registered their bike through Santa Cruz or buys one of these things used (and doesn't have a frame warranty). The bolts in that pivot have been known to NOT come out of where they are screwed into the rear triangle part of the frame. Happened to my bike. That bolt snapped while I was riding and my local bike shop spent over an hour trying to get it out of where it was threaded into that rear triangle...bolt extractors, nothing worked. The rear section had to be replaced. Three weeks later I got my bike back, luckily Santa Cruz warrantied it, but I was stuck with $200 labor. And there was also a discussion that Santa Cruz might have to replace the entire frame because they weren't sure they had any 2015 rear triangles in stock,mwhich would have been awesome except for the fact that the 2015 rear wheels and hub wouldn't fit on the 2016 due to the changes. So always service that pivot or replace it as preventive maintenance because you'll get stuck if you don't.

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    ^^^^ You didn't say which pivot axle failed. Upper or lower?

    How long have you had the bike?

    How many miles on it?

    Has the VPP been serviced and/or the pivot axles been removed since you owned it?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doublebase View Post
    I know I'm not the only one that had this happen, but just a warning to anyone that hasn't registered their bike through Santa Cruz or buys one of these things used (and doesn't have a frame warranty). The bolts in that pivot have been known to NOT come out of where they are screwed into the rear triangle part of the frame. Happened to my bike. That bolt snapped while I was riding and my local bike shop spent over an hour trying to get it out of where it was threaded into that rear triangle...bolt extractors, nothing worked. The rear section had to be replaced. Three weeks later I got my bike back, luckily Santa Cruz warrantied it, but I was stuck with $200 labor. And there was also a discussion that Santa Cruz might have to replace the entire frame because they weren't sure they had any 2015 rear triangles in stock,mwhich would have been awesome except for the fact that the 2015 rear wheels and hub wouldn't fit on the 2016 due to the changes. So always service that pivot or replace it as preventive maintenance because you'll get stuck if you don't.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cleared2land View Post
    ^^^^ You didn't say which pivot axle failed. Upper or lower?

    How long have you had the bike?

    How many miles on it?

    Has the VPP been serviced and/or the pivot axles been removed since you owned it?
    These are indeed, important questions. I have several thousand miles on SC VPP bikes now and am diligent about a) maintenance and b) torque specs. Have never had any part of the suspension seize or fail. While SC did have a brief run of bolts snapping due to too high torque suggestions a few years ago, I'd be willing to bet that 99% of the failures of this type are due to poor maintenance and/or not adhering to torque ratings.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doublebase View Post
    I know I'm not the only one that had this happen, but just a warning to anyone that hasn't registered their bike through Santa Cruz or buys one of these things used (and doesn't have a frame warranty). The bolts in that pivot have been known to NOT come out of where they are screwed into the rear triangle part of the frame. Happened to my bike. That bolt snapped while I was riding and my local bike shop spent over an hour trying to get it out of where it was threaded into that rear triangle...bolt extractors, nothing worked. The rear section had to be replaced. Three weeks later I got my bike back, luckily Santa Cruz warrantied it, but I was stuck with $200 labor. And there was also a discussion that Santa Cruz might have to replace the entire frame because they weren't sure they had any 2015 rear triangles in stock,mwhich would have been awesome except for the fact that the 2015 rear wheels and hub wouldn't fit on the 2016 due to the changes. So always service that pivot or replace it as preventive maintenance because you'll get stuck if you don't.
    I tend to do all my own maintenance and my 2015 Bronson suffered a similar issue. At 480 miles I decided to tear the suspension down to clean and grease everything. This very same collet axle was seized into the frame. But maybe not totally seized as the internal hex stripped out when I attempted to remove it. I had indeed registered my bike online with SC and sent them an email explaining what went down. The mailed me out a new axle. I was able to use a bolt extractor to remove and replace the axle.
    2015 Santa Cruz Bronson
    Only major components that are still stock on my bike, the Reverb dropper and SLX brakes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleared2land View Post
    ^^^^ You didn't say which pivot axle failed. Upper or lower?

    How long have you had the bike?

    How many miles on it?

    Has the VPP been serviced and/or the pivot axles been removed since you owned it?
    I had owned the bike for eleven months. It was the upper pivot - like in the picture - and it was the bolt that goes through the rear frame triangle. And that was the bolt that snapped. I don't do drops except for the occasional 2 footer, maybe three once in a blue moon.

    The bike had around 90 rides on it...all technical single track...maybe 200 hours...and around 700 miles.

    I never had that pivot serviced, I was planning on having it serviced at the one year point. The lower pivot was fine and I always greased it every couple weeks.

    The bike shop told me the bearings in the upper pivot were wiped out, but I had never heard any noise from it or experienced any issues with it. I was just driving over a typical root and the thing snapped (walked 3 miles out of the woods and brought it to the shop).

    The real issue was that they couldn't remove that bolt where it was threaded into the carbon rear triangle. It's not like you can heat it up with a torch. If I was to do it myself I would have drilled out the center of the bolt until I was left with a little bit of metal around the threads, then I would have tried an easy out on it. The guys at the shop said they spent a good amount of time on it but they couldn't get it out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IRBent View Post
    This very same collet axle was seized into the frame.
    Which pivot axle? Upper or lower?
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    Quote Originally Posted by IRBent View Post
    I tend to do all my own maintenance and my 2015 Bronson suffered a similar issue. At 480 miles I decided to tear the suspension down to clean and grease everything. This very same collet axle was seized into the frame. But maybe not totally seized as the internal hex stripped out when I attempted to remove it. I had indeed registered my bike online with SC and sent them an email explaining what went down. The mailed me out a new axle. I was able to use a bolt extractor to remove and replace the axle.
    Yeah so similar situation - at the time I did a little research and there others experiencing the same problem. I have since sold the bike, but it wasn't because of this issue...the bike was a little small for me and I was feeling cramped. Ended up buying an XL Tallboy3. I'll probably just replace that pivot at the half year mark...I'm coming up on it now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleared2land View Post
    Which pivot axle? Upper or lower?
    The upper linkage pivot that ties the rear triangle to the seat post.Bronson Maintenance Plan-axle-failure.jpg
    2015 Santa Cruz Bronson
    Only major components that are still stock on my bike, the Reverb dropper and SLX brakes.

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    Interesting. I've never experienced any issues with Pivot Axle removal. If there have been any issues, it has been them loosening and creating a creaking. I've pretty much rectified that problem by ensuring clean threads on both male and female threads and liberal use of Locktite 423. I have found the the 35 inch lbs. torque to perhaps be slightly too tight. But I would think for seizure to take place that the torque would need to be much higher than specified.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleared2land View Post
    I have found the the 35 inch lbs. torque to perhaps be slightly too tight. But I would think for seizure to take place that the torque would need to be much higher than specified.
    I think the issue my have as much to do with dissimilar metals or aluminum galling up. I'm sure the axles are aluminum and suspect the metal inserts in the frame to be steel.
    2015 Santa Cruz Bronson
    Only major components that are still stock on my bike, the Reverb dropper and SLX brakes.

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    If dissimilar metal corrosion or galling were the case, you would be able to easily detect evidence of either on the male threads of the pivot axle. While I canít dispute your theory, I have never seen anything but clean, anodized threads on my pivot axles or any of the others that I have maintained. I think it's an improper torque issue.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleared2land View Post
    If dissimilar metal corrosion or galling were the case, you would be able to easily detect evidence of either on the male threads of the pivot axle. While I canít dispute your theory, I have never seen anything but clean, anodized threads on my pivot axles or any of the others that I have maintained. I think it's an improper torque issue.
    Yeah, maybe so. I just know aluminum likes to gall. I think I used antiseize on mine last go through.
    2015 Santa Cruz Bronson
    Only major components that are still stock on my bike, the Reverb dropper and SLX brakes.

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    Replaced the gear cable/housing last night. Straight-forward job with minimum difficulty for a rookie like myself. The buttery-smoothness has returned to my shifting.

    However, it did not fix the "zipping" noise coming from the rear of the bike. I isolated it to my rear i9 hub after swapping out the wheel for a test ride to continue troubleshooting. I'm guessing it may be a bearing issue inside the hub, which is disappointing considering the wheel set is only 9 months old.
    The only trace I leave behind is tire marks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mad Reptilian View Post
    Replaced the gear cable/housing last night. Straight-forward job with minimum difficulty for a rookie like myself. The buttery-smoothness has returned to my shifting.

    However, it did not fix the "zipping" noise coming from the rear of the bike. I isolated it to my rear i9 hub after swapping out the wheel for a test ride to continue troubleshooting. I'm guessing it may be a bearing issue inside the hub, which is disappointing considering the wheel set is only 9 months old.
    Don't be surprised if indeed the rear bearings in your i9 hub is failing. They're prone to doing so. The good thing being, i9 will stand behind it and fix the problem.
    2015 Santa Cruz Bronson
    Only major components that are still stock on my bike, the Reverb dropper and SLX brakes.

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    Take a lookie see at the bearings and see how they look. If they're a bit low on the greasy stuff, add a little and see how if that lubes the zipper.
    A bad day of cycling is better than a good day at work

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleared2land View Post
    Take a lookie see at the bearings and see how they look. If they're a bit low on the greasy stuff, add a little and see how if that lubes the zipper.
    How difficult is it to access the bearings? Any special tools needed?

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    Special tools? Do have a SRAM XD Driver or a Shimano style freehub?

    Do you know how to remove your cassette and, do you have a cassette removal tool and a chain whip?

    Bronson Maintenance Plan-20170122_155118.jpg Bronson Maintenance Plan-20170122_155248.jpg
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    SRAM xd. Yes, can remove cassette.

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    Good. Remove your cassette and the freehub

    Remove the end caps from the axle. It's easier if you tap out your axle from the hub.

    Bronson Maintenance Plan-20170122_155637.jpg Bronson Maintenance Plan-20170122_160545.jpg Bronson Maintenance Plan-20170122_160608.jpg Bronson Maintenance Plan-20170122_161045.jpg

    These next photos are of the front hub because I don't have photos of the rear hub bearing service, but the procedure is identical.

    Bronson Maintenance Plan-20170318_161956.jpg Bronson Maintenance Plan-20170318_161928.jpg

    Carefully pop the seals off of the bearings by taking a sharp object (thin knife or razor) and slipping under the seal and gently prying the rubber seal off the bearing. Some use a pick or awl, but I don't like these because they can leave an indention in the seal. I have a set of dental tools that look like small spoons.

    Bronson Maintenance Plan-20170318_162012.jpg Bronson Maintenance Plan-20170318_162118.jpg Bronson Maintenance Plan-20170318_183845.jpg


    You don't want to overfill the bearings with too much grease to facilitate minimal rolling resistance. These appear a bit too full, but the grease not yet been worked into the bearing.

    Carefully reinstall the seal and ensure it's properly sealed completely around the bearing.

    Don't forget to clean and lube your freehub and lubricate with an appropriate freehub oil or freehub specific grease.

    Bronson Maintenance Plan-20170122_161034.jpg Bronson Maintenance Plan-20170122_161508.jpg Bronson Maintenance Plan-20170122_160938.jpg

    Reinstall your freehub and apply a liberal amount of grease around the end caps that cover your bearings. This is the first line of defense against water or dirt find their way into the bearings.

    Bronson Maintenance Plan-20170122_162105.jpg Bronson Maintenance Plan-20170122_162136.jpg

    Servicing the bearings in your SRAM freehub will be the same as the hub bearings.
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    I appreciate you walking me through it. The process does not look too challenging and the "service guide" from i9's website helps. I would need to get some freehub oil, which does not look cheap. But I would also be inclined to have some spare o rings on hand since I live in AZ and they might be dried out or cracked. Any suggestions on where to buy these?
    The only trace I leave behind is tire marks.

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    Living in AZ and for summer use, you might elect to use Freehub grease over oil. Actually, either oil or grease will suffice. In the summer, I use Dumonde Tech Freehub grease.

    Spare "O" rings? Are you referring to the thin end cap "O" rings in inside of the end caps? Just back sure these are well greased before installing to minimize tearing. I have never had one tear or need replacement. Not yet.

    Bronson Maintenance Plan-20170122_160422.jpg Bronson Maintenance Plan-20170122_160356.jpg
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    Yep. Those o rings.
    The only trace I leave behind is tire marks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doublebase View Post
    I know I'm not the only one that had this happen, but just a warning to anyone that hasn't registered their bike through Santa Cruz or buys one of these things used (and doesn't have a frame warranty). The bolts in that pivot have been known to NOT come out of where they are screwed into the rear triangle part of the frame. Happened to my bike. That bolt snapped while I was riding and my local bike shop spent over an hour trying to get it out of where it was threaded into that rear triangle...bolt extractors, nothing worked. The rear section had to be replaced. Three weeks later I got my bike back, luckily Santa Cruz warrantied it, but I was stuck with $200 labor. And there was also a discussion that Santa Cruz might have to replace the entire frame because they weren't sure they had any 2015 rear triangles in stock,mwhich would have been awesome except for the fact that the 2015 rear wheels and hub wouldn't fit on the 2016 due to the changes. So always service that pivot or replace it as preventive maintenance because you'll get stuck if you don't.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mad Reptilian View Post
    Yep. Those o rings.
    They can be ordered from I9 directly, though I had to call them to find the part number. even if they're not cracked when you open it up, I'd rather have a spare around so a broken o-ring can't keep me from riding. I ordered some extra pawls and springs while I was at it . . . again, just in case.
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