2016 Spitfire pivot shaft hole wear- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Bonking ... not feelin' well 2016 Spitfire pivot shaft hole wear

    After around 10 short rides, I started noticing a loud creaking noise from the linkage. I thought that I just needed to lube the pivot shaft and the bearings so I did that after every 2-3 rides(which I shouldn't have to be doing).

    It turned out that the pivot bore on the seat tube became super loose so that there is a huge play between the axle and inner wall of the pivot bore. It looks really worn out, but I am not sure if this is actually from a wear or the manufacturing error. There is actually a similar condition on the inner wall of the seat tube(though not as bad as this). It looks to me that there should be at least a busing inside the pivot bore because it's a direct metal to metal contact on moving parts.

    I love how the bike rides, but I am very disappointed. Do I bother expect either the dealer or Banshee return my warranty inquiry...

    2016 Spitfire pivot shaft hole wear-pivot_hole.jpg
    Last edited by ondore91; 04-22-2016 at 03:27 PM.

  2. #2
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    It doesn't hurt to contact banshee about it. Did you feel a lot of harsh bottom outs on your ride? Keep us posted on what your outcome will be. Sorry to hear about that.
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  3. #3
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    Thats a bummer and hopefully they will sort you out.

    If you think about it, the pivot shafts don't necessarily rotate while the suspensions in motion. They do hold the inner races of the bearings in place, while the linkage rotates on the bearings outer races. So a bushing is not needed, so long as the bearing is rotating.

  4. #4
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    I do agree with what you are saying, but there is no guarantee that the pivot shaft does not rotate since it's free from the frame, and if the bearings go bad, it would grind the pivot shaft and the frame. It is a design destined to fail.

    Quote Originally Posted by FM View Post
    Thats a bummer and hopefully they will sort you out.

    If you think about it, the pivot shafts don't necessarily rotate while the suspensions in motion. They do hold the inner races of the bearings in place, while the linkage rotates on the bearings outer races. So a bushing is not needed, so long as the bearing is rotating.
    Last edited by ondore91; 03-19-2016 at 11:12 AM.

  5. #5
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    No, I do not feel a harsh bottom, but there is a huge vertical play in the rear because of the wear in the pivot shaft hole.

    I did contact Banshee, but I don't realistically expect them to honor the warranty. We all know how things go when stuff like this happens.

    Quote Originally Posted by Junersun View Post
    It doesn't hurt to contact banshee about it. Did you feel a lot of harsh bottom outs on your ride? Keep us posted on what your outcome will be. Sorry to hear about that.
    Last edited by ondore91; 03-19-2016 at 02:19 PM.

  6. #6
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    Why so negative? Assuming you are the original owner, I would rest easy that Banshee will take care of this.
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    Same Issue here on a 2013 Spitfire (sure after lots of riding so far, but I planned to ride it at lest 5 years). I have play/wear on the frame hole at the seattube and in the lower link itself. Investigated this a few days ago and came to the conclusion that there is a design flaw:

    The Bolts are not locked in the links and as well as for this one (see picuter above) in the frame, so there a two possible rotating areas:

    1) the Ball Bearing (this should rotate here)
    2) the bolt in the frame link or the bolt in the frame of the seattube.

    Both rotates. 2) is causing frame wear. In my case even with new and regularly replaced bearings.

    Solution should be : prevent rotation where it should not happen. @builttoride - Any solution on this. I think a set screw in the links preventing the bolts from rotation should fix this.

    My frame is getting really loose now in the and and creaks a lot. Not happy of this after the experience with V1... and after 3 friends bought a spitfire after my recommendations... Still the best riding bike for me, but what about reliability?

    2016 Spitfire pivot shaft hole wear-20160331_202711-p3310485.jpg2016 Spitfire pivot shaft hole wear-20160331_202728-p3310486.jpg2016 Spitfire pivot shaft hole wear-20160401_090740-p4010490.jpg2016 Spitfire pivot shaft hole wear-20160401_090844-p4010492.jpg2016 Spitfire pivot shaft hole wear-20160401_092102-p4010495.jpg

    Don't have an idea yet how to fix this. Links might be replaceablebut not the main hole in the frame... Would be a very ugly dead for a bike riding like this!
    Last edited by kijan; 04-05-2016 at 01:28 PM. Reason: More details and images

  8. #8
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    Agree.

    You don't have to be an engineer to understand this. Either the pivot bore on the frame and the pivot shaft need to be fixed or use bearings inside the pivot bore on the frame. I have an old 09 intense slope style frame(worst bike ever owned) and it has bearings inside the pivot bore on the frame to take loads and prevent wear.

    Spitfire is absolutely the best bike I have ever owned for me as well, but this pivot wear thing makes me very sad... I wonder how they cannot see this.

    Quote Originally Posted by kijan View Post
    Same Issue here on a 2013 Spitfire (sure after lots of riding so far, but I planned to rdie it at lest 5 years). I have play/wear on the frame hole at the seattube and in the lower link itself. Investigated this a few days ago and came to the conclusion that there is a design flaw:

    The Bolts are not locked in the links and as well as for this one (see picuter above) in the frame, so there a two possible rotating areas:

    1) the Ball Bearing (this should rotate here)
    2) the bolt in the frame link or the bolt in the frame of the seattube.

    Both rotates. 2) is causing frame wear. In my case even with new and regularly replaced bearings.

    Solution should be : prevent rotation where it should not happen. @builttoride - Any solution on this. I think a set screw in the links preventing the bolts from rotation should fix this.

    My frame is getting really loose now in the and and creaks a lot. Not happy of this after the experience with V1... and after 3 friends bought a spitfire after my recommendations... Still the best riding bike for me, but what about reliability?

  9. #9
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    this being generally the same design across off of Banshee's line, I wonder if this is a weak link across all frames. I have a 2016 rune so I am a terrible person to go look at his bike but maybe other model owners can chime in here.
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  10. #10
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    I did proper testing of 3 seasons, so it takes quite a while... but this is a weak point of the designs. Maybe it's possible to just drill a hole, make a thread and put a set screw... better earlier than too late...?

  11. #11
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    Might be able to shim the gap with a thin strip of soda can aluminum. Apply some blue loc-tite on both sides of the shim as well to help keep the bolt in place. The soda can shim should keep the bolt from rotating, assuming that the bearings are in good shape and spin freely.

  12. #12
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    My friend had this issue with his 2014 Spitfire he bought after riding my Rune. IIRC they offered him a crash replacement and it was a year old. I always kept up really good on my bearings and making sure those pivots stayed tight, I've never had a issue.
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    I'm in contact with Keith about this and are trying to sort this out... Will give an update later.

  14. #14
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    Do let us know what a possible easy fix would be, the earlier Wildcard-style frame's had a simple locking screw on the frame. I'm getting a v3 Spitty soon and am kind of bummed about this issue.
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  15. #15
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    So the inner race of the link's bearing rests directly on the frame?

    If that's the case, I saw the same issue with the previous generation Epic's and stumpjumpers where I work. There was no washer or thrust bearing between the bearing race (mounted in the frame) and the aluminum chainstay, so over time the hard steel bearing race would wear into the soft aluminum chainstay and eventually it would become impossible to eliminate movement no matter the bolt torque. Had to warranty the chainstays. Obviously enough, the Enduro 29 never suffered this issue even though it had almost the same design because there was the taco blade or hard anodized dummy-washer (which could be replaced) sandwiched in between the bearing and the chainstay.

    Or is it that the pivot axle doesn't fit snugly enough into the hole in the frame? Or a combination of both?

    I don't have one yet, but I'm interested because the spitty is so dialed in terms of geometry and kinematics.

  16. #16
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    With a washer you will still allow the axle to rotate inside the frame which it isn't ment to do. The question is why does the axle want to rotate in the first place? It should stay in place and let the bearings take over. The inner race is forced against the frame by the axle which only carries the rocker arm.(look closely at the inside of the head of the axle, it leaves room so it doesn't touch the outer race, simply overtightning the axle shouldn't lock the bearings)

    Only the bearing should spin, not the axle which suggest the bearings are locked for some reason. Allignment issues perhaps? If all goes to plan i'm picking mine up tomorrow and will strip it down to check everything.
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  17. #17
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    What i'm saying is that if the inner race is forced against the frame by the axle any amount of wear would loosen the bolt and allow more movement, which would be exacerbated by the loose axle fit into the frame hole. I totally agree with your take on the axle just compressing the inner race- that's standard for most bike suspension.

  18. #18
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    Aahhh I get it, when freshly assembled with 0 play it works fine but after a bit of riding things loosen up, the upper seatstay pivot doesn't ride on the bearings but on the axle so thén the damage get's done and get's done fast considering the load involved. Good point! You are right there should be a setscrew locking the pivot axle screw from comming loose. Perhaps also 2 set screws on the frame to keep the axle's from rotating which might contribute the screw of the axle loosening.

    You could probably make a smaller allen screw which screws right into the main axle holding the larger screw head in place whilest not taking any load. That should be an easy fix, even diy'able, allthough it makes the axle on 1 side weaker and is prone for forgetting when servicing the suspension. Ideally the bearings should indeed be housed inside the frame not being held by a clamping force.
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  19. #19
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    Just finished my spitfire. I hope the boys over at Banshee can figure something out. I got this hoping it to be sort of bomb proof like my last bike a santacruz heckler. This problem doesnt exactly inspire confidence on rides more so to the brand itself. Keeping my hopes up. Shes such a joy on the trails.

    I guess the shaft is made of a weaker material than the axle itself.
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  20. #20
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    Would fixing the axle with some Loctite 609 do the trick?
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    I've done roughly 6 rides on the spitfire. All in all, i'm really happy with the performance. Put a line indicator on the pivot just to see if the pivot rotates during rides (mostly XC with a couple of low drops and a short DH section, Small frame and I'm about 165pounds with gear). The pivot did not rotate from the markings. All the action is on the bearings. Removed air from the shock and still no movement. Although if you rotate it with an allen wrench it will move just showing that even under stress the bearings still should take all the action and not transfer torque force to the axle pin. Guess I'm ordering an extra bearing set for routine maintenance. This'll be my ride for a long time!
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  22. #22
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    Any updates on this/ideas on possible fixes or ways to prevent?

  23. #23
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    The head of the upper link pivot axle screws (non drive side) is too small, at least this was the case on my Rune. It is the same diameter as the opening in the inner bearing race, which effectively makes it into a metal punch. The black washer is made of aluminum and can't hold up against the shearing force of the stainless screw and stainless bearing race.

    The lower pivot screw heads are properly sized, hence no issues there.

    I went to my local hardware store and bought a couple screws with appropriately larger diameter heads (as big as will fit in the black washer, or at least as big as the OD of the inner bearing race) and have had no problems since, axles are properly tightened against frame and do not loosen over time. Axles also no longer spin freely.

    Hopefully this helps/makes sense.

  24. #24
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    When building my spitty a few weeks back first loosend all of the axle screw's to inspect the rear. I'm a bit doubtfull about the upper link being held by 3 nm, that isn't allot. What I noticed is the pre-installed lock tite on the bolts are really powder'ish as soon as they get loosend, which suggest it doesn't do it's intended job very well. Sure it sticks to the screw threads but you can take it right off, it doesn't "bind" with the female threads at all, there is no residue. That's kind of interesting, i've been working with liquid lock tite for years and it's allways a mess getting both male and female threads clean.

    Now this could be the cause of annodized aluminum screws, the surface is so slick it doesn't bond well. I've cleaned everything and put a nice generous abount of the liquid stuff on, then tightend everything as tight as I dared with the rather flimsy feeling screw. No way the axle is rotating now before either the bearings devolop play or the screw sets itself loose. But if it does i'm replacing the screws for stronger ones and tighten them more, don't know another easy solution to prevent this.
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  25. #25
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    I think it wouldn't hurt to apply a bit of gritty screw gripper compound between the inner race and the frame hole interface. This stuff is pretty amazing and would help keep the inner bearing from working against the aluminum. Like this stuff EzGrip :: screw extraction, friction drops, screw removal

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    my spitfire is 3,5 years in use, and do not have this problem. Checked it a few weeks ago, no wear, all axles perfect anodized > maybe a problem with production tolerances on some frames?

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by MR.A View Post
    my spitfire is 3,5 years in use, and do not have this problem. Checked it a few weeks ago, no wear, all axles perfect anodized > maybe a problem with production tolerances on some frames?
    Same here, mine is a 2013 and I took it apart last month to check things out, zero issues. I regreased a couple of the bearings and it's good as new.

    The only reasons I can think of for the shaft rotating is really poor tolerances or seized bearings, because in normal use the bearing friction should be much lower than the shaft in frame friction.

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    Quote Originally Posted by idontcare View Post
    The head of the upper link pivot axle screws (non drive side) is too small, at least this was the case on my Rune. It is the same diameter as the opening in the inner bearing race, which effectively makes it into a metal punch. The black washer is made of aluminum and can't hold up against the shearing force of the stainless screw and stainless bearing race.

    The lower pivot screw heads are properly sized, hence no issues there.

    I went to my local hardware store and bought a couple screws with appropriately larger diameter heads (as big as will fit in the black washer, or at least as big as the OD of the inner bearing race) and have had no problems since, axles are properly tightened against frame and do not loosen over time. Axles also no longer spin freely.

    Hopefully this helps/makes sense.
    Bingo! I think you have solved the problem. My frame has less than 50 miles on it and I just went out to inspect it. I see exactly what you are talking about. The small head on the bolt has actually deformed the aluminum washer and is trying to push it through the inner race of the bearing.
    There is no way this design is going to maintain proper preload on that axle and keep it from coming loose eventually.
    Heading to the hardware store right now to find either a steel washer that will fit inside the countersink or a bolt with a larger diameter head.
    Good on you for catching this, may have just saved my new frame from an early demise. Thanks!

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by hotrozz View Post
    The small head on the bolt has actually deformed the aluminum washer and is trying to push it through the inner race of the bearing.
    There is no way this design is going to maintain proper preload on that axle and keep it from coming loose eventually.
    Careful. Torque spec on that pivot is 5nm...are you using a good torque wrench? 5nm will NOT deform the aluminum spacer or bolt. Exceeding 5nm could easily bind up the bearing, which could cause the axle to rotate, rather than the bearing, causing exactly the frame wear you're trying to avoid.

    Torque wrench and blue lock-tite! Over-tightening will not make your frame stiffer.

  30. #30
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    Any feedback from the OP on warranty from Banshee?

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    I did received the replacement frame, but there obviously no solution from them on this.

    I tried to fill the pivot bore on the frame with some JB Weld and re-drill, but it would only last a couple of rides since the axle shaft is taking a considerable amount of load that winnie JB weld cannot take.

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    I take delivery of my 2016 Spitfire in just a few days. It's brand new undridden. I plan on taking it all apart to re-grease and torque everything properly before I ride it anyway, while I have it all apart what preventive measures should I take to make sure nothing like this happens to my frame?

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by csermonet View Post
    I take delivery of my 2016 Spitfire in just a few days. It's brand new undridden. I plan on taking it all apart to re-grease and torque everything properly before I ride it anyway, while I have it all apart what preventive measures should I take to make sure nothing like this happens to my frame?
    I think that is a really good idea, I just did exactly that to the Rune I just built up. New bearings aren't typically packed with grease, and they can seize up if you wash your bikes or ride in really wet conditions. Also gives you a chance to make sure the pivots aren't over-tightened & the pivot bore tolerances are OK.

    I did one pivot at a time and it probably took 15 minutes total.
    1. remove the pivot bolt, aluminum washer and pivot shaft (may need a mallet tap W allen key pushing from opposite side)
    2. Verify the bearings are spinning smoothly and not falling out of the frame.
    3. Use a pen-knife, scalpel or really small flathead screwdriver to pop the outer seals off the bearings
    4. Pack bearings with Phil Wood etc
    5. Push the seals back in
    6. light grease on the pivot shafts- make sure it's not too much and the threads are free of grease
    7. Blue lock-tite on the bolt threads
    8. re-assemble and torque to 5nm max! Not more. Torque wrench on the bolt/washer side.
    9. Let the bike sit overnight so the locktite can dry


    Another thing I think helps, although it could be just mental....is to rotate your bearings every few months. Not removing them from the frame, just rotate the inner races 180 degrees. You can do this without pulling the pivots apart, just use allen keys, re-apply the locktite & torque to spec. This will spread the wear out on your bearing races.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by FM View Post
    I think that is a really good idea, I just did exactly that to the Rune I just built up. New bearings aren't typically packed with grease, and they can seize up if you wash your bikes or ride in really wet conditions. Also gives you a chance to make sure the pivots aren't over-tightened & the pivot bore tolerances are OK.

    I did one pivot at a time and it probably took 15 minutes total.
    1. remove the pivot bolt, aluminum washer and pivot shaft (may need a mallet tap W allen key pushing from opposite side)
    2. Verify the bearings are spinning smoothly and not falling out of the frame.
    3. Use a pen-knife, scalpel or really small flathead screwdriver to pop the outer seals off the bearings
    4. Pack bearings with Phil Wood etc
    5. Push the seals back in
    6. light grease on the pivot shafts- make sure it's not too much and the threads are free of grease
    7. Blue lock-tite on the bolt threads
    8. re-assemble and torque to 5nm max! Not more. Torque wrench on the bolt/washer side.
    9. Let the bike sit overnight so the locktite can dry


    Another thing I think helps, although it could be just mental....is to rotate your bearings every few months. Not removing them from the frame, just rotate the inner races 180 degrees. You can do this without pulling the pivots apart, just use allen keys, re-apply the locktite & torque to spec. This will spread the wear out on your bearing races.
    Generally good list here. My thoughts are:
    -New bearings are always greased, if not they are garbage anyway. Since there is a chance of damaging the seals when removing them, I don't pull the seals and re-pack until after a season or so of riding.
    -I don't grease the pivot shafts, as that has the potential to make the very problem this thread is about worse. You want friction between the pivot shaft, frame, and bearing inner race, so that only the bearings rotate. The shafts are anodized so corrosion shouldn't be an issue, but if you are concerned a tiny amount of anti seize would be better.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustMtnB44 View Post
    Generally good list here. My thoughts are:
    -New bearings are always greased, if not they are garbage anyway.
    -if you are concerned a tiny amount of anti seize would be better.
    Yeah good calls!
    Far as greasing the bearings, that's maybe climate dependent. I end up hosing my bikes off weekly much of the year, and the amount of grease that comes stock in typical Enduro-quality bearings isn't enough to keep the water out. My bikes running quieter and bearings are lasting longer since I started doing this- not just the pivots but BB's etc.

    I just did the pivots on my Evil last night and it has the same quirks really- not enough grease in the bearings, same low torque spec, and hardware & bearings that will fail if over-tightened. IMO both systems work great as long as they're not over-tightened.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FM View Post
    Careful. Torque spec on that pivot is 5nm...are you using a good torque wrench? 5nm will NOT deform the aluminum spacer or bolt. Exceeding 5nm could easily bind up the bearing, which could cause the axle to rotate, rather than the bearing, causing exactly the frame wear you're trying to avoid.

    Torque wrench and blue lock-tite! Over-tightening will not make your frame stiffer.
    I broke already 2 washer with a torque wrench set to 5 Nm...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 2016 Spitfire pivot shaft hole wear-20170527_235449.jpg  


  37. #37
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    hey all have you guys checked the bearing on the main pivot non drive chainstay side if its a little loose? too lose that you dont need a bearinf puller to take it off?

  38. #38
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    What model is this on, the older VF4, V1 KS link or V2 KS link? Sounds like the bearing seat was either machined out too big or if you removed/installed the bearings, ovalized it. Best bet would be to get in contact with Banshee directly or if you got it from a shop, the shop.

    Quote Originally Posted by mnmc10 View Post
    hey all have you guys checked the bearing on the main pivot non drive chainstay side if its a little loose? too lose that you dont need a bearinf puller to take it off?
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold
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    its a 2016 spitfire. v3? ive previously owned a stumpjumper and i have the proper tools to take out bearings. besides, my spitty is less than a yr old and its the first time ive inspected the bearings on it.

    after removing the pivot bolt i noticed the bearing is wiggling. i literally pushed the bearing out with one finger.

    i inspected the hole and there was no abnormal wear or shavings.

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    i dont know if the local distributor can do anything about it. im from the philippines and shipping the frame back to banshee might cost alot.

  41. #41
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    Check with your distributor, let them know what's going on, show them or if not close, send pics. Also, you do realise that Banshee frames are made in Taiwan right, which is just north of the Philippines? Also wasn't accusing, just asking about if you'd done any maintenance on it.

    Quote Originally Posted by mnmc10 View Post
    i dont know if the local distributor can do anything about it. im from the Philippines and shipping the frame back to banshee might cost alot.
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold
    You're doing mtbr wrong, you're supposed to get increasingly offended by the implications that you're doing ANYTHING wrong.

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    sent them a pm already thanks!

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    Born on the shore, made in Taiwan!
    I like to fart when I'm in front of you on a climb:skep:

  44. #44
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    If the max torque is 5nm. Then how much do you tighten it to? 3...4...4.5? I tightened mine to 4nm and used some blue Loctite when I repacked the grease in the bearings. Is that too loose...or should I tighten them to 5nm? I'd hate to have them be too lose and end up damaging something.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by mnmc10 View Post
    hey all have you guys checked the bearing on the main pivot non drive chainstay side if its a little loose? too lose that you dont need a bearinf puller to take it off?
    see this thread :

    http://forums.mtbr.com/banshee-bikes...me-923784.html

    Its a bummer and it shouldn't happen on a brand new frame.
    Last edited by nightnerd; 10-25-2017 at 05:31 AM.

  46. #46
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    the seat on mine is really loose. i just stick my finger in the inner race of the bearing and pull it out. since its that loose u think loctite 609 will do the trick or i need a stronger compound like the loctite 680?

  47. #47
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    Maybe, but I'm no expert. Be aware that you will have to be able to remove the bearing for service later on so make sure you don't get that will permanently bound it to the frame.

  48. #48
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    You never tried contacting Banshee directly? I've always had good response from them contacting directly, always been forth coming and helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by nightnerd View Post
    As others before me, I have/had the same problem with my spitfire. see this thread :
    http://forums.mtbr.com/banshee-bikes...me-923784.html
    Its a bummer and it shouldn't happen on a brand new frame. The shop I ordered it from was useless so I had to keep the frame as is. Unfortunatly because of that it will be the last Banshee I will ever have. Anyway, I ended up using Loctite 609, as suggested in the link and it has worked for me.
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold
    You're doing mtbr wrong, you're supposed to get increasingly offended by the implications that you're doing ANYTHING wrong.

  49. #49
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    On my 2016, the drive side bearing in front triangle comes out pretty easily too. Tolerance doesn't seem supa' tight. Been hammering it for about 3 months since having it all apart. Reading this thread means one night for me she's coming apart for checking out and maintenance!! Good luck guys

  50. #50
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    well banshee recommended to use loctite 638 on it. i guess thats how they handle warranties. let the owner fix factory mistakes. lol

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