How Long Should a FS Frame Last in AZ?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    How Long Should a FS Frame Last in AZ?

    I want to get your opinion about how long a full suspension frame should last and/or when one should be replaced? Frame is a Santa Cruz Blur purchased in March 2004 and ridden on average about three times per week, about two hours per ride. Lots of riding at T100, South Mountain, National and all over Arizona. Just good old fashioned riding. No major hucking, but also not babying the bike as if it were made of egg shells. Rider is on a large, about 175 pounds or so.

    I know this is not rocket science and that many of you may think that all is good as long as the bike works. Regardless, I am looking for some additional thoughts.
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  2. #2
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    Playing arm chair psycologist it sounds like you have a bug to buy a new frame.

    Better safe than sorry so I say now is the right time to buy a new one

    Ross

  3. #3
    sixsixtysix
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    I am going with the bug to buy a new frame thing also....

    But really, there is no way to judge, although I have heard that 4 years +/- is about the time that FS aluminum frames start fatiguing and you should start paying close attention to them.

    I basically inspect my frames once a week when I do my weekly wash and maintenance. Check for cracks both on the tubes and the welds, and other than that there isnt much you can do. Bushings and bearings are easily replaced, paint can be stripped and powder coated.

  4. #4
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    I rode an older Turner for close to 6 years...well the rear triangle. Kept breaking the front triangle so I just gave up on it. My wife has been riding a Blur since they first came out. Not sure of the year but it has been abuse although she is on the light side of light.

    I also rode a santa cruz bullit continuously for 3-4 years without any problems...although that was a bullit so take that with a grain of salt.
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    Until it breaks or UGI hits so hard that you can't take it anymore and have to have a new frame right now or else you'll go blind and kill yourself on the trail while night riding with no lights other than a red blinky in back so people know where you've been but have no idea where you're going or why on such an old frame.

    Was that a long enough worthless answer?
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirdir
    I want to get your opinion about how long a full suspension frame should last and/or when one should be replaced? Frame is a Santa Cruz Blur purchased in March 2004 and ridden on average about three times per week, about two hours per ride. Lots of riding at T100, South Mountain, National and all over Arizona. Just good old fashioned riding. No major hucking, but also not babying the bike as if it were made of egg shells. Rider is on a large, about 175 pounds or so.

    I know this is not rocket science and that many of you may think that all is good as long as the bike works. Regardless, I am looking for some additional thoughts.
    It's a blur? Not a blur LT or anything?

    If you're riding it like a XC bike, up and down AZ terrain, off drops and up steps, not forever. Those highly loaded pivots won't hold up forever, and that's due to the VPP design. They have been troublesome and SC has resulted to giving livetime bearings/warrenty on the pivots, but it's a hard problem to solve. After a while pivots may ovalize and eventually trash the frame, not to mention how just the tubes and stuff hold up.

    A lot of mainstream bikes aren't really made to hold up season after season.

    Season three on the Turner 6 pack is great so far, but it's designed correctly for the long haul. I hate to say it, but I've seen so many bikes come and go (that friends are riding). I wouldn't want to tell anyone that "my bike will outlast that one many times over", but I'm using a bike that's well designed for my 190lbs and hardcore riding style. I thrash, moto, power, bash, and so on, and my bike was designed for that kind of abuse. I'm not in a fantasy world where I think some 25lb bike will do it or that I'm going to lose out because my bike is not 110% "efficient". I'm in the real world where my bike will be ridable day after day, year after year.

    Lots of people are unwilling to lug around a few extra pounds for the strength and reliability it would provide. Most mainstream bikes are underdesigned in some way IMO, but there is also not a huge intention for it to be ridable year after year. An extreme parallel example would be manitou forks, plastic internals, peices that jam together after a while, lots of time they were trash after one year when I was working at the shop.

    Maybe a better way to put this is the last 5 years;

    K2 FS, horrible pivot location, lots of chain torque when trying to ride up rough stuff, lots of loss of traction as a result and "choppy" suspension action. Yuk.

    Azonic Saber, absolutely POS engineering and pivots. Skateboard pivot bearings, no lateral rigidity, shock bolts bent and helped to ovalize the shock bushings and shock mounts, this due to the excessive length of the bolt and the leverage imposed on it.

    Foes FXR, POS curnutt shock, but the scissor linkage was also very underdesigned, suffered from the same general problem as the azonic, the linkage used a super-long thin bolt that would easily ovalize and cause the pivots to ovalize and etc. Dumb.

    Turner 6 pack, bushings to spread the forces over a much greater surface area, shock linkage narrows to use the smallest length bolts possible, grease ports, good rigidity, almost impossible comparitively to kill the pivots. It's the one that's hung around. I had other bikes in the above time span, including a "big" IH downhill bike, but the turner pivots made the IH pivots look like a joke, in terms of their resistance to play/ovalization and bending shock bolts.
    Last edited by Jayem; 08-20-2007 at 08:16 PM.
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  7. #7
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    Turner 6 pack, bushings to spread the forces over a much greater surface area, shock linkage narrows to use the smallest length bolts possible, grease ports, good rigidity, almost impossible comparitively to kill the pivots. It's the one that's hung around.


    Jayem,

    Is this also true for the 2003 Intense Tracer with an FSR suspension design? I believe 2003 is the last year Intense was using the FSR/Horst link setup before Steber started implementing VPP on his bikes. I'm just asking because I'm concerned about my bushings but they seem to be ok after 3 years of mostly XC riding around So Cal and AZ trails. What's a good tale tell sign to look for when bushing starts wearing out?


    To the OP,

    I apologize for hijacking the thread a bit but Jayem seems to be a reliable source of good information.

    Thanks

  8. #8
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    Geoff, since you ride like a little girl, any FS bike you own should last a lifetime

    In all seriousness, this question is like "how long is a piece of string?". Durability of a FS frame is so variable - frame type, rider weight, terrain, neglect, etc. Santa Cruz blurs are notorious for frame failures in the rear triangle. I know 3-4 people who broke their Blurs there doing "normal XC" riding. But that's more an issue of an engineering flaw than the affect of wear/tear over the years.

    My old NRS frame held up really well for all of the sh!t I put it through. 4 yrs of beating the crap out of that bike...lots of crashes (you know...endos)...a decent amount of mud and wet riding...and all that happened was 1 siezed bearing late last year. So after 4 years I had to replace the bearings/bushings only once. And the frame is still straight and true. Not bad for an XC race bike in my opinion.

    But would the NRS frame last a lifetime? Maybe. Maybe not. I have since replaced that frame with the NRS carbon frame, and the old NRS will become the wife's bike. I'm sure it will work fine for her for many years to come.

    My old '97 Trek 8000 alu frame is still going strong after a decade of abuse. And my wife's old bike was a 1996 Iron Horse ARS that we gave away but is still being ridden on a regular basis. Will the Blur last that long? Again, who knows.

    Thx...Doug

  9. #9
    sixsixtysix
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    I still think its totally something you can't tell when, but there are bikes I have ridden where I think, "it's gonna break right there...". And yes, while a lot of bikes are poorly engineered or "under engineered" for year after year of use, but I think an equally important factor is material failure. I had the thickest CNC part of my 2005 Dirtbag crack after only a year of use. Not on a weld, not on a tube, but on a part that was cut from a single block of aluminum. Wasn't a design flaw or a manufacturing defect, the material was defective. Only so much you can do for things like that.

    I am also a firm believer in frames getting bad Ju-Ju. Sometimes over time you can just feel a bike getting tired, or just not feeling right anymore, thats when you know its time to get rid of it
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tanis
    Jayem,

    Is this also true for the 2003 Intense Tracer with an FSR suspension design? I believe 2003 is the last year Intense was using the FSR/Horst link setup before Steber started implementing VPP on his bikes. I'm just asking because I'm concerned about my bushings but they seem to be ok after 3 years of mostly XC riding around So Cal and AZ trails. What's a good tale tell sign to look for when bushing starts wearing out?


    To the OP,

    I apologize for hijacking the thread a bit but Jayem seems to be a reliable source of good information.

    Thanks
    Well, when you get play in the linkage, things are starting to wear, BUT if you don't take care of it and replace the necessary bits immediately you'll ovalize the mounts/interfaces and then you'll be on your way to trashing the bike (where you'll never get rid of excessive play). If you have no play, then you're probably ok, but bearings can impose a good deal of load on one or two ball bearings, adding to wear and force exerted over a relatively small area. I haven't dealt with the old intense bikes, but there's a lot to designing pivots and linkages, and lots of manufacturers don't put the necessary work and materials into it.

    If you're riding your bike with linkage play, you're destroying it. Depending on the design, load imposed, and so on, it may be destroying it fast or slow.

    If you have no play (especially no up and down movement), you're probably ok.
    Last edited by Jayem; 08-20-2007 at 10:18 PM.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by sixsixtysix
    I still think its totally something you can't tell when, but there are bikes I have ridden where I think, "it's gonna break right there...". And yes, while a lot of bikes are poorly engineered or "under engineered" for year after year of use, but I think an equally important factor is material failure. I had the thickest CNC part of my 2005 Dirtbag crack after only a year of use. Not on a weld, not on a tube, but on a part that was cut from a single block of aluminum. Wasn't a design flaw or a manufacturing defect, the material was defective. Only so much you can do for things like that.

    I am also a firm believer in frames getting bad Ju-Ju. Sometimes over time you can just feel a bike getting tired, or just not feeling right anymore, thats when you know its time to get rid of it
    Well, that kind of goes to the whole "design it thicker and it will be stronger" mentality, but despite ultra thick tubes and linkages, stress risers and improperly designed bikes will still fail, no matter how "beefy" the part seems to be. This happened with some banshee bikes, and while it was the scream model, many of the users that had failures weren't doing 30 foot flat drops, it was just an engineering defect, and the banshee approach is to slap on more gussets and make it thicker, but that doesn't even address the problem sometimes. So no matter how "thick" something is, it may not hold up, especially if it's CNCed.

    Not to say that you won't have problems with material, but there's a lot more to it than "is it beefy" or "thick". It can still crack.

    Maybe surpsingly, there are quite a few bikes that have had rocker/linkage failures. Yeah, you'd think a massive peice of CNCed aluminum would be the last place this would happen, but stresses hard hard to track without adequate testing, engineering, software, machines, and so on.
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  12. #12
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    4 Years...

    I get a new frame every 4 years, due to the inherit fatigue life of aluminum...

    ...Walt, on the other hand... twists frames like pretzels every 6 months...
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    it's simple algebra...

    2002 SC Superlight + 2 years riding in the midwest + 3 years riding in AZ = 1 six inch crack around the top tube (see visual aid) + rma frame to SC + $450 + shipping = 1 new 2006 frameset shipped to my door.

    hmm, no variable; so i guess it's not algebra. Switch to contemporary literature studies.....and the moral of the story is... Ride the snot out of your bike; give it a spot inspection about once a month and do a frame off restore twice a year depending on mileage. Wax the frame. Not only will it be clean like it just came out of the box, it gives you an excuse to spend an hour or so checking every square centimeter of the tubing and welds. Replace as scary cracks appear, or if you have in fact got a bug for a new frame. Heck, replace the blur through SC through no fault replacement policy AND get another new bike.
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  14. #14
    sixsixtysix
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem
    Well, that kind of goes to the whole "design it thicker and it will be stronger" mentality, but despite ultra thick tubes and linkages, stress risers and improperly designed bikes will still fail, no matter how "beefy" the part seems to be. This happened with some banshee bikes, and while it was the scream model, many of the users that had failures weren't doing 30 foot flat drops, it was just an engineering defect, and the banshee approach is to slap on more gussets and make it thicker, but that doesn't even address the problem sometimes. So no matter how "thick" something is, it may not hold up, especially if it's CNCed.

    Not to say that you won't have problems with material, but there's a lot more to it than "is it beefy" or "thick". It can still crack.

    Maybe surpsingly, there are quite a few bikes that have had rocker/linkage failures. Yeah, you'd think a massive peice of CNCed aluminum would be the last place this would happen, but stresses hard hard to track without adequate testing, engineering, software, machines, and so on.
    I totally agree, the Banshee Screams used to fail right at the seat tube/BB interface. And it usually wasn't at the weld, but just above it. Alot of it had to do with the fact that the rocker linkage was thru the seat tube and the frame had an insanely high leverage ratio which transfered all the stress to that one point. The Scream and Chaparral are both gone for 08 and Banshee has totally redesigned their bikes with what looks to be much smarter designs.

    I don't think that engineering was the case with my Dirtbag, the guys at Transition had never seen one break there. It was kind of odd, since the welded in cross brace was right on the other side of the crack and the welds were perfectly fine and everything was straight. The only way I even knew something was wrong was there was a little flex in the rear end that wasn't there before. It only cracked through the outside, maybe 1/4" deep and about 1/2" long. The guys at Transition made it right by having a new swing arm at my door the next day, so it wasn't a big deal.

    I agree that a lot of things can be eliminated by engineering and testing, unfortunately most of the smaller bike builders don't have the dollar resources to do so and rely on race proving and user testing, when it breaks they make the changes needed to fix it. I do remember seeing a tv show with Specialized though and how they tested their Demo series to the point of failure on this rig that could simulate everything from years of small bumps and big hits all within a few weeks. For the show they destroyed a frame by showing how much force it would take to actually snap the frame at its weakest point, which they already knew where it was and the force required was like 30g's. Very cool to see

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    Quote Originally Posted by sixsixtysix
    I do remember seeing a tv show with Specialized though and how they tested their Demo series to the point of failure on this rig that could simulate everything from years of small bumps and big hits all within a few weeks. For the show they destroyed a frame by showing how much force it would take to actually snap the frame at its weakest point, which they already knew where it was and the force required was like 30g's. Very cool to see
    I saw the same thing on Discovery's "Stunt Junkies" where the guy rides down the mesa in Utah. It was a very cool test environment.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by chollaball
    I saw the same thing on Discovery's "Stunt Junkies" where the guy rides down the mesa in Utah. It was a very cool test environment.
    That was it, the one with Darren Berrecloth making an over dramatic run down the B line of the Red Bull Rampage area

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirdir
    I want to get your opinion about how long a full suspension frame should last and/or when one should be replaced?
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirdir
    I want to get your opinion about how long a full suspension frame should last and/or when one should be replaced?

    3,232 days and my 98' Turner XCE is still running strong!

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Epicrider
    3,232 days and my 98' Turner XCE is still running strong!
    Do you think the bushings instead of bearings has anything to do with its longevity? Almost 9 years. Wow!
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  20. #20
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    I think it's more to do with the VPP type designs. You don't hear much bearing issues related to the Ventana frames. They are basically the same design as the Turner except one uses bushings and one bearings. If a Turner bushing designed flexed as much as the VPP designs. I think you would see bushing issues. Some may love the VPP design. I hated it on the Intense 5.5 and was the main reason I did not get the RIP when I built my 29'er. For me and my weight. Which is down 10 pounds since Saturday, sick again. Just to many moving parts and flexible frame for me. Not taking a shot at the RIP! Anyone that knows me knows I have not been a fan of the VPP type designs.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sixsixtysix
    I don't think that engineering was the case with my Dirtbag, the guys at Transition had never seen one break there. It was kind of odd, since the welded in cross brace was right on the other side of the crack and the welds were perfectly fine and everything was straight. The only way I even knew something was wrong was there was a little flex in the rear end that wasn't there before. It only cracked through the outside, maybe 1/4" deep and about 1/2" long. The guys at Transition made it right by having a new swing arm at my door the next day, so it wasn't a big deal.
    Yeah, it could still be some anomally with the material, a wierd pocket or metal crystal formation. It does happen.
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by trb2929
    I think it's more to do with the VPP type designs. You don't hear much bearing issues related to the Ventana frames. They are basically the same design as the Turner except one uses bushings and one bearings. If a Turner bushing designed flexed as much as the VPP designs. I think you would see bushing issues. Some may love the VPP design. I hated it on the Intense 5.5 and was the main reason I did not get the RIP when I built my 29'er. For me and my weight. Which is down 10 pounds since Saturday, sick again. Just to many moving parts and flexible frame for me. Not taking a shot at the RIP! Anyone that knows me knows I have not been a fan of the VPP type designs.
    Well, sort of. Ventana is just a manufacturer like Turner that really understands the pivots and lateral rigidity is a high priority and needs to be designed conciously. You actually DO hear more about shock bushing problems with the ventanas, if you search for it in their forum I'm sure you'll find it. This IMO is due to their widely spaced linkages, and the fact that you essentially have a longer bolt that has more leverage imposed on it, and if it bends slightly it will then bind the shock bushing when the suspension compresses and wear the shock bushing faster. Now, ventana does have good points though for using fairly low-leverage designs (usually significantly less than 3:1), so this keeps the issue manageable, and Ventana actually uses good bearing tolerances and not just some slapped-in skateboard bearing like other companies.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirdir
    Do you think the bushings instead of bearings has anything to do with its longevity? Almost 9 years. Wow!
    A lot of companies jumped on the "bearing" bandwagon, there is a lot of misinformation and hype about "bearings", but for a company to really design a good bearing system with tappered bearings or needle bearings, it gets extremely expensive and you have to maintain extremely high tolerances. It's a lot easier for all of the specialized and trek type companies to just skimp.
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  24. #24
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    I'll keep an eye out for that on my El Rey. Been reading the Ventana forum for a while and had not seen that mentioned. Knowing what most manufactures use as far as the strength of the bolts. I would bet going to a grade 8 would fix that. But that would add .00003 ounces of weight and we just can't have that.
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    a Blur does require a lot of maintenance. I have my bearings and pivots serviced regularly, but don't really know if\how they wear. Got to figure they would, cause they get loud fast if I don't stay on them. By contrast, my wife's 5-yr old superlight has never had its single pivot serviced.

    One other thing on my Blur, the bolt that holds the rear part of the shock in place bent slightly just from usage. I've had it replaced, and same thing happened again. I think this might cause the shock to have a little wiggle in it as well, as that mounting was replaced but seems to have re-developed a little play. I've just come to live with this little bit of up-and-down play but you can feel it if you lift the bike by the top tube.

    I'm not really sure I could feel the lateral stiffness (or lack of) people say is there with a VPP. I do notice that on the Superlight, going around turns the back end feels like I'm pushing into a brick wall, and the Blur feels "softer" which is I guess the flex everyone mentions. I'm just used to it I guess.

    Anyway, I'm on 4+years with it and beat the crap out of it regularly, but not big drops or jumps, and I maintain it pretty well. Frame seems to be fine otherwise, the shop looked it over for me recently and agreed the frame is in good shape.
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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by chollaball
    a Blur does require a lot of maintenance. I have my bearings and pivots serviced regularly, but don't really know if\how they wear. Got to figure they would, cause they get loud fast if I don't stay on them. By contrast, my wife's 5-yr old superlight has never had its single pivot serviced.

    One other thing on my Blur, the bolt that holds the rear part of the shock in place bent slightly just from usage. I've had it replaced, and same thing happened again. I think this might cause the shock to have a little wiggle in it as well, as that mounting was replaced but seems to have re-developed a little play. I've just come to live with this little bit of up-and-down play but you can feel it if you lift the bike by the top tube.

    I'm not really sure I could feel the lateral stiffness (or lack of) people say is there with a VPP. I do notice that on the Superlight, going around turns the back end feels like I'm pushing into a brick wall, and the Blur feels "softer" which is I guess the flex everyone mentions. I'm just used to it I guess.

    Anyway, I'm on 4+years with it and beat the crap out of it regularly, but not big drops or jumps, and I maintain it pretty well. Frame seems to be fine otherwise, the shop looked it over for me recently and agreed the frame is in good shape.
    the play you're describing in the shock mount when lifting the bike sounds more like DU bushes that need to be replaced.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 'size
    the play you're describing in the shock mount when lifting the bike sounds more like DU bushes that need to be replaced.
    what does "DU" mean? thank you.
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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirdir
    I want to get your opinion about how long a full suspension frame should last and/or when one should be replaced? Frame is a Santa Cruz Blur purchased in March 2004 and ridden on average about three times per week, about two hours per ride. Lots of riding at T100, South Mountain, National and all over Arizona. Just good old fashioned riding. No major hucking, but also not babying the bike as if it were made of egg shells. Rider is on a large, about 175 pounds or so.

    I know this is not rocket science and that many of you may think that all is good as long as the bike works. Regardless, I am looking for some additional thoughts.
    The frame warranty on a new Santa Cruz bicycle is two years. I would guess that their experience is that increasing the warranty over two years increases their costs. But because a slight increase in costs is a huge decrease in profits, the two years is set so that only a very small percentage of bicycles will have failed in that time. So you're probably safe at say, twice that.

    But I search and quickly found one report that the frames break with heavier riders. So it probably depends on the frame.

    If I was your friend, I'd be out looking for a new bike right now but would wait for a good deal.

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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by 'size
    the play you're describing in the shock mount when lifting the bike sounds more like DU bushes that need to be replaced.
    Probably partially, but if left over time, that's exactly the kind of play that ovalizes shock mounts and such, and then even when you do replace the bushings the play never goes away or comes back quickly.

    DU bushings (bushings are actually a type of bearing, but that's another discussion) are what allow your shock to rotate, it's the "pivot" on the shock itself, and while it doesn't move very far usually in terms of degrees (which is why it's a bushing and not a ball bearing) it should be replaced when it wears and there's any play that develops. At the shop it was usually the single pivot bikes with high pivots that tended to wear out the DU bushings fastest, this due to the fact that the rear end of the bike is a huge "lever" and it puts a good twisting load/force on the shock itself, so when you're hitting rocks and bumps off-camber, the shock sees more of that transfered force. Foes and Yeti use designs that are similer on some bikes, but they use reinforcing "Scissor" or "Swing" linkages that allow for two points of attachment to transfer these twisting loads to the frame rather than to the shock.
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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem
    Probably partially, but if left over time, that's exactly the kind of play that ovalizes shock mounts and such, and then even when you do replace the bushings the play never goes away or comes back quickly.

    DU bushings (bushings are actually a type of bearing, but that's another discussion) are what allow your shock to rotate, it's the "pivot" on the shock itself, and while it doesn't move very far usually in terms of degrees (which is why it's a bushing and not a ball bearing) it should be replaced when it wears and there's any play that develops. At the shop it was usually the single pivot bikes with high pivots that tended to wear out the DU bushings fastest, this due to the fact that the rear end of the bike is a huge "lever" and it puts a good twisting load/force on the shock itself, so when you're hitting rocks and bumps off-camber, the shock sees more of that transfered force. Foes and Yeti use designs that are similer on some bikes, but they use reinforcing "Scissor" or "Swing" linkages that allow for two points of attachment to transfer these twisting loads to the frame rather than to the shock.
    Thanks Jayem, again, for the good info.

    DirDir, thanks for allowing this minor hijack of your thread, and hopefully some of my Blur specific info helped you. Its got me wondering the same thing now about the frame -- will ask at Adventure tomorrow (lots of SC riders on the staff there) and post up if I hear anything useful.
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  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by chollaball
    what does "DU" mean? thank you.
    From a little Googling:

    "DU" bearings are handy, self-lubricating sleeve bearings for "greaseless" linkages and pivot
    points. Low friction PTFE/lead overlay on a porous bronze inner structure lining a steel tube
    gives high unit load capacity and low friction. This is a cheaper, stronger, more efficient
    solution for such things as suspension, pedal pivots and linkage in general.



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    Jayem has a super grasp of frame designs and suspension ratio's and linkages and how the impact forces on the frame! I think a big factor is how well is your suspension setup?? If you are always bottoming out due to improper suspension setup, you will wear bearings and high stress areas on the frame quicker. I always kept an eye on my MX bikes for this kind of stuff. Maintenance of bearings and frequent inspection of your frame and suspension components will greatly prolong the bikes life span. I also agree that lots of people in a wish to have a light bike set themselves up for premature failure, the manufacuturers feed this light but strong mentality........there are limits. BTW, just ordered my '07 AS-X, don't mind being on a heavier bike!!!!!!!!!!!!! Peace of mind and over-engineering can be a good thing.

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    fwiw, asked Bill at Adventure about this, and he didn't have any specific answer, just practical advice like maintain your stuff and check it regularly.

    It would seem that is where reputation for quality, backed by customer service, would suggest a direction when making a purchase. I have become kinda fascinated by the web's ability over the last 5ish years to amalgamate opinions -- you don't agree with every detail of every person's ranking in epinions or ebay feedback, but taken comparatively they can often speak volumes, imo. or maybe I'm just a boutique bike snob taken in by good marketing and going with the crowd
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    I am stil riding my 2001 Big Hit frame, granted I have replaced every component on the bike, the frame is still going strong! I love it and will ride it til the headtube snaps! haha not really

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