Motobecane HAL rear shock mounting hardware: design issue and solution.- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Motobecane HAL rear shock mounting hardware: design issue and solution.

    Here's a quick summary:
    • The shock pin on my 2018 HAL Boost ELITE GX frame was too long. There was a slight tick due to this, which I actually thought was coming from my rear wheel bearing before I took off my shock for a rebuild. This is a problem that causes a lack of performance but is not 'critical', so the bike will still work but just perform poorly. I'm curious how many others have this same issue (and maybe don't even realize it).
    • Tightening the shock bolt resulted in the bolt bottoming out on the pin, and thus the shock hardware was not properly captured and the bushing did not operate (shock hinged on shock pin instead of bushing).
    • When I attempted to tighten the bolt so that the rocker arms capture the shock hardware (this is how shocks are supposed to work), but because the shock pin was oversized this stripped the threads and I replaced the bolt.
    • I reduced the length of the shock pin so that the shock mounting hardware could be properly captured, but this caused the rocker arms to bend in because the factory spacers provided with the bike were undersized.
    • I replaced the poorly sized factory hardware with properly sized hardware, and the problem is now solved.
    • Did you find that your frame had this issue? How did you fix it?


    Let's get one thing out of the way: I love my Motobecane; this is my second Motobecane and it won't be my last. I bought this bike knowing that the manufacturer saves money on design and I can't expect cutting edge geometry. That said, I also expected to have a design where everything works properly. That wasn't the case, due to an easily fixable design issue with the rear suspension hardware.

    Unfortunately, when I contacted bikesdirect about the poorly sized rear shock hardware, they seemed unaware of the fact that some people were having issues. It is likely that many bikes besides mine have this flaw (I know that I am not the only one, at any rate). Hopefully, this is something that they have or will soon resolve on their new builds.

    edit: I actually got a frustrating response from BikesDirect that this is not a warranty issue because I used a different bolt... "I am sorry but since you have rebuilt the shock and removed and reinstalled hardware and have used the wrong bolts, im not sure this is a warranty issue", followed by an unrealistic offer that I can disassemble my bike and ship them my frame (along with a prepaid return shipping slip) so that they can evaluate...I guess no surprise here, but grrrr !

    I spent a lot of time trying to understand what the issues with my bike were, so in the end I documented my problem and the solution so that you can check your bike for the issue and fix if necessary. This is just one of several possible ways to address the issue, feel free to add add your own suggestions!





































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    Last edited by bikurrrr; 05-13-2020 at 12:02 PM.

  2. #2
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    Thanks for this very informative write up.
    Strong, Light, Cheap; Pick Two.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikurrrr View Post
    Here's a quick summary:
    Let's get one thing out of the way: I love my Motobecane; this is my second Motobecane and it won't be my last.
    Wow, you are a better man than me. After having my one month old Motobecane HAL break, and then having Bikesdirect tell me that I have to pay shipping both ways and labor to fix it, my first Motobecane HAL is also my last.

  4. #4
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    Great write up, really appreciate all the details. Iíve been hunting for an annoying creak and this got me to take an extremely close look at the top mount and I can confirm your not alone with the issue. quick couple of questions, what did you use for a replacement bolt? and where did you source it?

    Thanks

  5. #5
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    Just took apart mine last night= some light gauling on the sleeve. I dremmel polished it and reinstalled with fresh grease. It bears mentioning that within the 1st month of owning my bike I took it apart and checked all pivot points, bearings, and such for assembly lube/grease. I give every rear suspension point a small shot of tri-flow every time I ride and relube/clean the chain.
    I'm going to see if my local hardware has some teflon washers I can install next to the sleeve and get some more miles out of it.

    Edit:
    I've sent 2 emails to Real World Cycling over the past few days about parts and prices and gotten no response as of yet.
    Last edited by metalskool; 06-12-2020 at 05:44 PM.
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  6. #6
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    I finally got a reply email from Real World Cycling and I ordered the same needle bearing kit.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phlash View Post
    quick couple of questions, what did you use for a replacement bolt? and where did you source it?
    I wasn't getting notifications, sorry for the slow reply.

    The fix I used was the 25.4 mm inner ring kit (needle bearing, sku NBKRWC2540) with one 0.5 mm shim (sku SS8x17x0.5) from Real World Cycling. There are a lot of options, but I think that this should be the right kit for all HAL frames. Also, I figured, since I'm taking everything apart (which is quite a bit of work), might as well make it worth my time and pay a few extra dollars for a nice upgrade. I think you could save a few dollars by getting an equivalent bushing from rockshox.

    My opinion is that there is no need whatsoever to replace the shock bolt, since (if operating properly), it does not act as a pivot. It is in tension, and holds the rocker arms tight to the inner ring/bushing/needle bearing so that they are effectively one solid piece. Now, I initially took a grinder to shorten mine, but I suspect that with the new properly sized inner ring/bushing/needle bearing, shortening the bolt would not be needed.

  8. #8
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    Mine was fairly tight before but I still had fretting on the bolt. I did not use the 2- .5mm shim washers after the install, since the rocker arm linkage fit tight against the dust seals. I do notice better small bump compliance. I put in my fastest Strava average time this year, after the new bearing install on my local trails.
    Strong, Light, Cheap; Pick Two.

  9. #9
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    Thanks for the reply bikurrr and again for the detailed write up, very much appreciated.

    Cheers,

  10. #10
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    Hi,

    could you pls advice - i took a closeup shot of my linkage there, and i do not see, i think, the bended arms issue as much as it was on your shot, but i see a bit of a gap there between washer and the shock - it is acceptable?
    i cannot feel any play or misbehavior of that joint, but, just curious.

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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by utkinpaul View Post
    Hi,

    i see a bit of a gap there between washer and the shock - it is acceptable?
    i cannot feel any play or misbehavior of that joint, but, just curious.

    If there is truly a gap, then your inner ring is not properly captured and you will eventually have issues. You may have a shock pin that is too long like I did, (recall that I shortened it before I saw that the rocker arms had to bend in to properly clamp on the inner ring.). Its also a bit hard to see, maybe the gap is just an illusion?

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