New Heckler broken swingarm bolt ?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    New Heckler broken swingarm bolt ?

    After my drive train started jumping around I took a closer look at what the problem might be. I've fired my mechanic a bunch of times by I keep going back to myself anyways?? I got rid of the useless Avid Flak cables and the shifting improved for a few months. But, the other night I noticed a broken bolt on the swingarm.

    I don't even know what you call the bolt, but it's on the front part of the swingarm and clamps down to apply tension to the pivot. The bolt broke off and left the threaded part still buried. SC is sending me a new and improved bolt.

    Is it a ***** extracting the broken end? Any ideas on the best way to remove it?

    Thanks

    Steve
    "To Air Is Human, To Huck Divine"

  2. #2
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    That's really creepy...

    Ya know, I had a very similar problem.

    That is called the Pivot Pinch Bolt, and the head on the right (drive-side) inexplicably snapped off, causing some noise. I went on the website, and got some information; further, I emailed Willie at Santa Cruz and got some insight.

    Long story short - I was able to remove the swingarm and drill out the old pivot bolt. I reassembled the bike last night, and it seems to work fine.

    I am happy to provide further insight, but thought this might help.

    By the way, my name is Steve, also - that's the creepy part...

    Have a great day!

  3. #3
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    Double Post - More Info

    Sorry, didn't read your original post word for word, so my initial response is really no help.

    Let's try this again.

    As for the threads: With the swingarm still attached I was unable to get a drill to attack the threads straight on, so I went through the process of emailing Willie and getting some information on the construction of the pivot pinch point. The front section (the head-side of the pinch pivot) is a clearance hole and is not threaded. If the whole head is missing, then there is no pressure on the main pivot, and removal of the pivot is easy (relatively).

    The removal: SC has a great pivot assembly/maintenance guide on the website. It clearly shows how to remove the pivot, etc. Just follow this set of directions, and you will be fine. I found that just backing the left side main-pivot cap and wacking it a little (like the instructions indicate) didn't give me enough to remove the pivot. I threaded another bolt onto the left side (non-drive; where the pivot cap is) side and gave it a few more taps - no problem.

    Swingarm and thread removal: - I used a craftsman Bolt-out (also known as an Easyout) to remove the threads. With the swingarm removed, it was easy to get a straight shot at the threads (no downtube to get in the way of the drill chuck) - they backed out like butter.

    New bolts. Willie never mentioned sending new bolts or having a problem with the old ones. I went to the hardware store and purchased strikingly similar stainless steel machine bolts and installed them - they seem to work fine. But new ones from SC would be cool, too (SC, anybody out there?)

    I haven't ridden the bike yet - need to finish assembling and adjusting the rear derailluer.

    Pictures: I have taken pictures of the process, but they are not with me here at work. I can post some probably tomorrow if you wish.

    Best of luck. You shouldn't have a problem.

    Steve

  4. #4
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    same thing happened on my v.5 Heckler recently.

    it's a hassle to remove the swingarm then remove the broken bolt and put it back together again, but other than that no big deal. I just got a stronger and longer bolt from the hardware store and now it's fine.

    the good thing about the whole story is that with the bike disassembled like that i got the chance to clean it really well :-)

    no worries man, but SC should have used stronger and slightly longer bolts in the first place!

    mike

  5. #5
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    By the way, my name is Steve, also - that's the creepy part...

    Steve, you don't drive a Ford Explorer too??

    Thanks for all the information. The local shop who has some some good guys is extracting the bolt, but unfortunately not under warranty which I don't understand. If SC used the right bolt and design in the first place I wouln't be in this situation.

    One strike against Santa Cruz!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    SDC
    "To Air Is Human, To Huck Divine"

  6. #6
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    Also had the same problem twice on the new Heckler. My local shop sorted it for me the first time and replaced both bolts with longer ones that are threded the full length. When the head snapped of one of these after a few months hard riding I removed it from the other side by gripping the protruding threads. Probably the easiest solution but the problem shouldn't exist. A small design fault on an otherwise excellent bike.

  7. #7
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    What is different about the new bolt that SC is using? Has anyone had a chance to compare them yet?

  8. #8
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    MERDA (=oh sh*t...)



    ...

  9. #9
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    Ooo...is that an air pocket inside the bolt(time for SC to get some QUALITY BOLTS)??? ok thats it, i'm looking for better and longer bolts next thing in the morning for my heckler....btw mine is V5 white too...coincidence? ;p

  10. #10
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    I had the same problem.

    I was worried my big 230 lb self dropping 8 feet to transition was maybe too much for the Heckler and thus was popping bolt heads. This happened twice, once on the stock SC bolt and once on a replacement my LBS put in. So I emailed SC about the problem and asked if it was time for a burlier frame.

    The reply was awesome. Nope, keep on riding it, we'll send you some new bolts. A few days later new bolts came in the mail and I've been back to riding the same.

    Hecklers are tough, don't let a few bolt heads worry ya.

  11. #11
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    New bolts

    New stainless bolts and old shorter bolts


    Bolted


    Total cost : usd 58cents.

  12. #12
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    I'm not worried about the bolts and their cost...

    My problem now, is remove the broken part without demaging anything...

  13. #13
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    Robertone, when all else fails....haul your frame to the nearest machining shop - they know best to xtract a broken bolt.

  14. #14
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    What are the dimensions of the newer bolts?

  15. #15
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    Yeah, just emailed SC last night after reading this thread (my bolts are still fine). They already replied, and the bolts are on their way!! Great service if you ask me.
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  16. #16
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    I read this thread a few weeks ago and checked my new Heckler. No problem. Yesterday after our ride I was loading the bike. Son of a *******. Same problem with the bolt. There is a little air pocket. Going to replace both with stainless. Hope it isn't too finicky.

  17. #17
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    I had the same problem. My local bike shop drilled it out and replaced with new bolts and I was back in action the same day. (Long live Mojo Wheels)

    BTW, I weigh 240 and am 6 foot 6 inches. I can break bolts, but havent been able to break the Heckler yet. I consistently take pretty large drops too.

  18. #18
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    I got the bolts from SC. They appear stainless, but I'm disappointed by the fact that they are not any longer????

    Anybody from SC watching this thread and care to chime in?
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  19. #19
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    I wouldn't worry about them not being longer. That won't have any affect on how well they hold up. It's not like they're breaking inside the part that threads into the swingarm. They break where the head of the bolt connects to the threaded section, and that part is beefed up. The fact that the new screws are stainless steel will help too.

  20. #20
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    What torque are these supposed to be tightened too?
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1996cc
    What torque are these supposed to be tightened too?
    125 inch pounds.

  22. #22
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  23. #23

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    same problem on my 07 heckler. kept hearing squeaking and brought it to my lbs and stayed there til 5 trying to get it out, how we did it was we drilled a hole with a really tough 1/32 drill bit with a very fast drill with lots of lube to keep it cool in the broken part of the bolt and once the hole was deep enough we took an easy out and backed it out.

    a couple tips i have are

    be sure to drill the hole in the broken side because a part of the bolt head might still be there not allowing it to thread out through the swing arm

    be sure to drill the hole straight into the bolt with a heavy duty bit with lots of lubricant and be sure the bit is spinning as fast as possible.


    you could bring it to a machine shop but that may cost quite a bit and they may not be to carefull with your swing arm as you want.

    good luck!

  24. #24
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    You can also try using a left hand drill bit. Sometimes the bit will catch on the bolt and unscrew it. I have done this many times working on cars.

  25. #25
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    I noticed that there is 2 kinds of disign on the Heckler 2008
    on mine (Ordered July 2007) look the shape not present on others.
    I think to avoid colision with chain.

  26. #26
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    MG3D, what crank/how many chainring/how many drive side BB spacer are you running because i notice the chainring is awefully close to the swingarm pivot.

  27. #27

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    Someone else posted all this information about six months or so,ago on this forum.I have an '06 heckler.The pinch bolts have never broke,but loosen after alot of jumping.This caused misshifting while hammering out of the saddle.

  28. #28
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    DAMMIT this happened to mine today. I'm having trouble getting it out. In fact, I had trouble getting the GOOD one out with a wrench. Grrrrrrrr. This sucks.

  29. #29
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    Update on mine: the bolts SC sent me to replace the originals, were SHORTER than the originals. And which I promptly used them to strip out the first hole while trying to torque them - because there was only 3 threads of engagement!! So after a trip to the local fastener store, I learned a few things. The stock black oxide bolts are supposedly grade 10.9 (stronger than grade 8), the stainless bolts SC sent as a replacement are just grade 5 (as are the majority of stainless bolts). So I purchased 2 stainless bolts that are long enough to go to the end of each hole (thereby basically erasing the stripped thread issue).

    Does that mean the grade 10.9 are too brittle and are causing our issues?? I don't know, just passing on the info I learned.
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  30. #30
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    I also had problems getting mine out and broke the "easy out" off in the bolt I was trying to remove. I took the swing arm off and took it to my local machine shop. They drilled it out and put a heli coil in it. I bought a torque wrench because I didn't want to chance around with over tightening and the possibility of stripping and replaced with stronger bolts. I haven't had a problem since thank goodness. Definitely the bolts were not designed to withstand the forces they're being subjected too. What is really maddening is the fact that those two bolts in the grand scheme of the bike are available in better quality for a price difference of pennies. Talk about your weak link!

  31. #31
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    My frame came with stainless screws and the heads popped off those too. I'm going to put screws in that are long enough to stick out the other end... that way I can just grab them with locking pliers and twist them through. This is really lame - M6 is too small. They should have the M8's in there.

  32. #32
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    M6 is actually the thread size not the length of the bolt. I found that 25mm just comes out the other end. I think that 30mm would be much easier to grab. Also when I bought my bolts I assumed that stainless was the strongest. Not so. The guy at the fastener place gave me the strongest bolt he had and although I don't recall the exact number now ( a month and half ago ) it was 2 full points higher in strength than the stainless bolts that they also had. I think that anyone in that line of work where fasteners are there specialty would be able to point you in the right direction for strength.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by kidcookie
    M6 is actually the thread size not the length of the bolt. I found that 25mm just comes out the other end. I think that 30mm would be much easier to grab. Also when I bought my bolts I assumed that stainless was the strongest. Not so. The guy at the fastener place gave me the strongest bolt he had and although I don't recall the exact number now ( a month and half ago ) it was 2 full points higher in strength than the stainless bolts that they also had. I think that anyone in that line of work where fasteners are there specialty would be able to point you in the right direction for strength.
    It is actually the diameter of the bolt shaft, not thread pitch (size). Length has nothing to do with the strength, especially where the head connects to the shaft. There are little numbers in the head of most cap head screws - they have to do with the strength rating. The 'stronger' screws are more brittle so there is a trade-off to going with the higher strength screws. With an M8, it would be considerably stronger due to the larger diameter. They could probably even go with a hollow bolt that way and not gain too much weight. Of course it would probably take new pivot axle pinch forgings, etc.

    I called SC and spoke with their tech - I described the type that came in my bike and although my current ones are the stainless ones you guys have, he said there are newer, much more reliable ones now. So if you have old types, I'd give them a call BEFORE you have the problem. I actually didn't have them pop off but when I went to go and remove them, the head just came off when trying to loosen the screw.

  34. #34
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    Just been servicing by pivot and managed to round one of the pinch bolts! The last one. The swing arm is now off, but what is the best way of getting this bolt out?
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  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by unsponsored
    Just been servicing by pivot and managed to round one of the pinch bolts! The last one. The swing arm is now off, but what is the best way of getting this bolt out?
    For just a rounded out bolt, this type of thing works extremely well:

    http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_00952154000P

  36. #36
    err, 27.5+
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    Just following up on this one. I had my swingarm bolts come loose after a few rides. I am thinking this issue will continue, so I am going to replace the bolts. A quick couple of minutes on McMaster yields that the unclassed M6 stainless bolts are about 100ksi. The black oxide carbon steel bolts are about 175ksi Class12.9. $9/100pk, only issue is what to do with the other 98 bolts
    Quote Originally Posted by saturnine
    that's the stupidest idea this side of pinkbike.

  37. #37
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    You guys all need to be careful about over tightening the pinch bolts, too. If you tighten it down too much, you cause undue pressure on the head of the bolt which gets even worse under heavy loads/high compression. I popped off a bolt head on my '07 heckler at the bottom of a g-out and used an easy-out to get the remaining bolt out. I then checked the torque on the other pinch bolt and saw that it was too tight. I loosened it to the recommended torque spec and put a new bolt in the other side and didn't have any more problems with it.

  38. #38
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    I have problems with the drive side backing out every couple of rides.
    "It looks flexy"

  39. #39
    err, 27.5+
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    Mine was the drive side as well.
    Quote Originally Posted by saturnine
    that's the stupidest idea this side of pinkbike.

  40. #40
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    I just got my new Heckler in Febuary. Do you think I'm safe? should I change my
    bolts to be safe? After reading all this I want to leve work and go check on my baby.

    P.S. I weigh 300# but don't do a lot of drops, 2-3 footers
    next time

    [QUOTE=spazzy] Might as well sell your bikes, E-riding is much more productive.

  41. #41
    DTL
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    I emailed SC about the pich bolt issues since I just purchased an 09' frame from speedgoat. I wanted to see if they had resolved the issue on the newer frames. This was the response:

    We did have a problem with these bolts breaking when we initially introduced the Heckler, and switched to a new bolt in this area after a few months. I haven’t heard any reports of the newer bolts breaking, so it seems to have solved the problem. You should be fine, but it wouldn’t be a bad idea to pull this bolt to make sure it is the newest version. The newer bolts have a 6mm tall head. Just check that, and let me know if you have something different. Make sure you loctite the bolt when you re-install it.

    I'm not sure if they were referring to the newly introduced model Heckler or the Heckler in general when it was first introduced. I'm still not really sure if they actually have changed or upgraded the pinch bolts on the newer Hecklers. Does anyone else interpret this differently?

  42. #42
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    Just hope it doesnt look like this (second time)
    Attached Images Attached Images
    It might get a little steep from here

  43. #43
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    ^ ^ ^
    Yikes! I'm glad mine doesn't look like that. Did you get a warranty on that?

    I think a combination of things is quite important with this pinch bolt issue.

    1. Get new bolts from SC. As it turns the replacement bolts they sent me last year have 4mm tall heads, not 6mm. Which partially explains why I've continued to pop bolt heads. I am now running a longer bolt with taller head to access more threads for a stronger hold (see 3. also).

    2. Use the right torque on the bolts. I did mine by hand and now worry that I put too much oomph on them thus having something to do with the heads popping. I'm going to go ahead and buy a torque wrench... cause well I think it's worth owning.

    3. Loctite the bolts. I used a dab on my bolts but the drive side backed out a bit anyway. The bike was pretty noisy when riding but I wrongly thought it was my BB. I hit a drop and ended up pulling out some threads (about 4mm worth). At this point I got longer bolts that utilize all the available thread and feel pretty good about things holing up.

  44. #44
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    Hey Cracker.

    Could you give a little more info? Please?
    Are you a clyde like myself?
    Big drops?
    Did it get warranted?
    What year is your bike?

    You can't drop a bomb like that and not give any details.
    Come on give us something,
    Thanks.
    next time

    [QUOTE=spazzy] Might as well sell your bikes, E-riding is much more productive.

  45. #45
    DTL
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeachesN'Cream
    ^ ^ ^
    Yikes! I'm glad mine doesn't look like that. Did you get a warranty on that?

    I think a combination of things is quite important with this pinch bolt issue.

    1. Get new bolts from SC. As it turns the replacement bolts they sent me last year have 4mm tall heads, not 6mm. Which partially explains why I've continued to pop bolt heads. I am now running a longer bolt with taller head to access more threads for a stronger hold (see 3. also).

    2. Use the right torque on the bolts. I did mine by hand and now worry that I put too much oomph on them thus having something to do with the heads popping. I'm going to go ahead and buy a torque wrench... cause well I think it's worth owning.

    3. Loctite the bolts. I used a dab on my bolts but the drive side backed out a bit anyway. The bike was pretty noisy when riding but I wrongly thought it was my BB. I hit a drop and ended up pulling out some threads (about 4mm worth). At this point I got longer bolts that utilize all the available thread and feel pretty good about things holing up.
    Did SC send you the 6mm longer bolts? I have a 09' frame and looked at the pinch bolt heads. They have the following stamped on them: A2-70 RDX

    I'm not sure if they are 6mm or 4mm. I know that they don't extend the full length of the inner threads. The frame is brand new though.

  46. #46
    TJT
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    Hi

    A question for any bolt-experts here....

    I have the old bolts (4mm deep head, 22mm thread), and have used them for over a year without problems. I am light and although I ride hard through rocky trails, I don't really do any big drops/hits. I would imagine that the bolts I currently have would last me fine.

    Having said that, it's a pretty easy/cheap preventative measure to buy new ones.

    I'll get some 30mm threaded ones. This will give me about 5mm of extra length - enough to grab onto should the new bolts break.

    My question is this: would I be better with A2 stainless steel, or high-tensile steel?? I imagine the high-tensile will be stronger, but also possibly more brittle.

    I am looking at these:

    High-tensile

    A2 Stainless

    Thanks for your help!
    TJT


    edit: corrected links

  47. #47
    DTL
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    I just looked at the the bolts on my 2009 heckler frame. They have A2-70 stamped on the heads. According to SC tech support these are the upgraded pinch bolts they have gone to.

  48. #48
    TJT
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    Thanks. A little Googling told me this:

    A2-70 is a common grade of stainless steel. It is not as strong as 10.9 or 12.9 alloy steels. It is generally not recommended for load-bearing use (at least on cars/motorbikes etc). However in this instance the torque values which we use for bikes, and the stresses which it'll have to handle are probably a fair bit lower.

    Here are a couple of links, but note these are not bike-specific.
    http://home.jtan.com/~joe/KIAT/kiat_2.htm
    http://www.volksbolts.com/faq/basics.htm

    I'm sure that SC have done their homework on this.

    TJT

  49. #49
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    Last edited by kloof; 05-11-2009 at 11:39 AM.

  50. #50
    mb_
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    I traced a creaking issue to the dreaded broken pivot pinch bolt recently on my Heckler. Have Superlights experienced this same problem? Wondering if I should go ahead and replace the bolts on my wife's Superlight. The bolt holes aren't as long ( I don't think) since the hole is only on one side, so I'm not sure if the same hardware was used.

  51. #51
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    Just cracked the head off the drive side pinch bolt on my Heckler after a year and a half. Got to call SC today. Bummed!!

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmallory
    Just cracked the head off the drive side pinch bolt on my Heckler after a year and a half. Got to call SC today. Bummed!!

    If you're not averse to taking power tools to your bike frame, drill a pilot hole in the center of the bolt and use a bolt extractor
    Ride On!

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by mb_
    I traced a creaking issue to the dreaded broken pivot pinch bolt recently on my Heckler. Have Superlights experienced this same problem? Wondering if I should go ahead and replace the bolts on my wife's Superlight. The bolt holes aren't as long ( I don't think) since the hole is only on one side, so I'm not sure if the same hardware was used.
    Just experienced the dreaded broken pinch bolt yesterday. I rode a 2009 Superlight for about a year on the same trails as with my Heckler and never experienced any issues (then again, I think I'm riding a lot faster and harder now with the Heckler).

    I noticed the broken pinch bolt on my Heckler is stamped A2-70. If these are the same as the newer stronger bolts, then I'm not sure what else could be causing the problem aside from over-torquing (Though I did buy my frame used).
    "To be the man, you gotta BEAT the man!...Whoooh!"

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    Last edited by shmoodiver; 08-14-2011 at 03:49 PM.

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