Ti SS flexing, need help tracking it down- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Ti SS flexing, need help tracking it down

    Hi

    I've been trying to troubleshoot some rubbing in a Ti singlespeed for some time now. The bike is a 26er and is a medium sized frame. The flexing is quite noticable when climbing up really tough sections where standing is required. The frame may have to go back to the manufacturer but I don't want to waste time if the problem isn't actually in the frame. It is impossible to tell what is actually rubbing when standing and straining like this. It kinda feels like its the chain but the chain seems to be pretty far away from all parts of the frame.

    My guess is it could be one of the following:
    1. The frame flexing causing the chain to rub either against the seatstays or chainstays.
    2. The sliders flexing and causing either the chain to rub or the rotor to rub against the caliper.
    3. The rear wheel flexing causing either the chain or rotor to rub.
    4. The BB area or chainrings flexing causing the chain to rub against the frame.

    Does anyone have any suggestions on how I might be able to determine what is actually causing the problem? I'd hate to send the frame back, get a new one and have the problem remain.

    I'm keeping the frame manufacturer to myself for now, as they are being cooperative and I don't want to trash them unnecessarily. The cranks are White Industries Eno. The rear hub is White Ind Eno laced to a Mavic X3.1 rim (The wheelset was solid on my previous aluminum SS). The brakes are Avid BB7s.

    I'm 5'10" and 189lbs and ride in SoCal.

    Thanks, Derek

  2. #2
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    Can you see any scuff marks anywhere that may suggest what's hitting?

    Ti is pretty hard stuff so you might not have any visible damage to find as this point. Perhaps get grease or make up and start making stuff and see what hits?

    IE: put a dab on the back side of your crank arms - go for a spin down the block , check for any that may have transfered to the seat stays.

  3. #3
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    it could be a million things. maybe your heels are rubbing your crank arm when your powering out of the saddle? spokes are loose causing the rim to flex side to side when under pressure, your tire rubbing the stays?......

  4. #4
    AZ
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    Stand beside your bike with the crankarm down . Hold your bike at roughly a 35-45 degree angle and step on the pedal closest to you . You should be able to tell where it is flexing .

  5. #5
    is buachail foighneach me
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    we won't be able to really tell you what it is without more info. If it's the tire rubbing the frame, that should be easy enough to identify. Disk rubbing something will sound like metal rubbing metal. chain rubbing seatstay will leave marks. What does it sound like when it rubs?

  6. #6
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    It sounds and feels like..

    Metal on Metal rubbing. That's why I've been concentrating on the chain, and possibly the rotor. One thing I didn't check was the crankarms against the chainstays. The gap between them isn't very big. I'll check it as soon as I get home and report back.

    I've never heard of anyone complaining about Eno cranks flexing, has anyone else heard of such a thing?

    Derek

    Quote Originally Posted by sean salach
    we won't be able to really tell you what it is without more info. If it's the tire rubbing the frame, that should be easy enough to identify. Disk rubbing something will sound like metal rubbing metal. chain rubbing seatstay will leave marks. What does it sound like when it rubs?

  7. #7
    is buachail foighneach me
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    If it was crank arm, it would be closer to a "thunk" or "click"

    Chain on seatstay would be a mix of "grind" and "thunk - thunk"

    Rotor rubbing whatever would be like: "sshhhhhching" I get it on both my karate monkey and my access when pedaling hard out of the saddle.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ.MTNS
    Stand beside your bike with the crankarm down . Hold your bike at roughly a 35-45 degree angle and step on the pedal closest to you . You should be able to tell where it is flexing .
    Great way to bend your wheel; do not do this.
    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee
    Better suited to non-aggressive 125# gals named Russell.
    I ride so slow, your Garmin will shut off.

  9. #9
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    Have you made sure the parts of the sliders are greased and torqued correctly?
    Are the axle bolts and washers greased and correctly torqued?
    Is the noise there during a full pedal revolution? 1/2 revolution? Yes? where?
    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee
    Better suited to non-aggressive 125# gals named Russell.
    I ride so slow, your Garmin will shut off.

  10. #10
    Really I am that slow
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    chainring clearance?
    Read my BLOG!

    just a guy who loves bikes and exploring

  11. #11
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    I still can't ID the culprit

    Once again I've looked at the bike very closely and just can't figure out what could be the issue. I see no wear marks on the chainstays or anywhere else on the frame for that matter. The chain is just miles away from everything on the frame. The moving parts that are close to the frame are the crankarms and chainring. But like I said there are no scratches on the frame from either of them.

    The chain seems so far away from the frame that I have to rule out the possibility of it touching the frame. One thing that did occur to me was that is it possible that the frame is twisting in such a way that it causes the chain to not meet the chainrings and freewheel squarely? It seems pretty unlikely to me.

    The noise seems to happen only over about 1/2 a revolution of the cranks. All 4 of the slider bolts are torqued down as tight as I dare. I have been thinking about replacing them with larger bolt heads that would allow me to use a bigger hex wrench and apply more torque to them. But for now they are the standard 5mm allen heads that originally came with the frame.

    I did not apply grease to the sliders before I assembled the bike, so I'll take the whole rear wheel and sliders off tonight and lube it all up. I'll hit the trail again tomorrow and see how it works. The axle bolts never gave me any reason to complain in the 18 months I owned them before getting this Ti frame so I doubt they are the issue.

    The only thing on the bike that is rotating and is close to anything else is the rotor. Has anyone heard if there are sometimes issues with sliders flexing to the point that they cause the rotor to rub in a weird way? I've been running disc brakes since '02 and have had these BB7s since '06 and know what normal rotor rubbing sounds like. This is definitely not just the everyday rotor brushing up against the pad kinda noise/vibration.

    Quote Originally Posted by banks
    Have you made sure the parts of the sliders are greased and torqued correctly?
    Are the axle bolts and washers greased and correctly torqued?
    Is the noise there during a full pedal revolution? 1/2 revolution? Yes? where?

  12. #12
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    you're just going to have to ride it and carefully analyze the noise as it's happening. Ideal would be to find a section of uphill, paved bike path or little used road, ride with a buddy and try to get it to make the noise repeatedly till you two can isolate it.

    You'll have to determin if it's actually every half revolution of the cranks or of the wheel.

  13. #13
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    I'll bet it's the rotor. Unbolt the caliper and ziptie it to a stay, then ride as usual. If the rubbing is gone, you'll know it was the rotor / caliper. If not, that's out.

    --Sparty
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparticus
    I'll bet it's the rotor.
    --Sparty
    When I first built my SS I had a rubbing noise that was only heard when standing and pumping the bike from side to side. Took me a week or more to figure out that the slight flex in my carbon fork was causing the front pads to rub. Fortunately, after a few hard rides the pads slimmed down and the sound went away. Your frame might be the cause for a similar sound.

  15. #15
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    I would think you should be able to tell the difference between the different types of rubbing. Chain on ti 'should' sound different than chain against FD, etc.

    I find it really hard to believe that a CR would flex enough to contact a frame. I would think by that stage it would be permanently & obviously bent so I'd rule out CR flex.

    Even harder to believe would be that the BB area of the frame is flexy enough to allow the CR/chain to contact the frame. That would be one noodly frame! I've owned two ti frames, both 26ers, & although both were noodly, they weren't that noodly! FWIW, I weighed about 155-160 lbs at the time.

    SS should make it a bit easier to track down the source of rubbing/grinding.

    Here's an idea: Get some cheap decals or something along those lines & apply them to suspect areas of the frame & then take your bike for a ride. I think you ought to be able to duplicate the problem by just riding on the street with the brakes applied slightly & standing out of the saddle cranking on the pedals to simulate a hill climb. I don't care too much about cosmetics & if it were my bike I'd just use some white latex paint brushed thickly onto suspect areas & then take it for a ride.

    Good luck.

  16. #16
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    The rotor sounds like a possibility. To check it, pull the rear wheel, remove the rotor, and then go ride a steep hill (remember you have no rear brakes when you do it). I recently had some issues with my non-drive side dropout on my Lynskey Pro29. Sent it back to Lynskey and they put on new and improved dropouts and a strategically placed brace between the chain and seat stays. The new frames are built this way. The issues seem to be resolved.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparticus
    I'll bet it's the rotor. Unbolt the caliper and ziptie it to a stay, then ride as usual. If the rubbing is gone, you'll know it was the rotor / caliper. If not, that's out.

    --Sparty

    +1
    "Be the Gear..."

  18. #18
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    Boy is this frustrating!

    Well it hasn't been easy for me!

    I did a nice 3 hour ride today, and thought maybe I had solved the problem by greasing the sliders. But, once I got to the really nasty sections, there it was again. I do have a little more info on the symptoms though.

    There is a very slight amount of contact between the crank arm and chain stay when I'm really twisting the bike by pulling on the bars and standing on the opposite pedal. But this contact is infrequent and very short duration, less than 1/2 second. My cranks are very close to the chainstays, so maybe I should look at getting a wider BB axle. But this is not the real cause of my complaint.

    The main issue lasts considerably longer than the chainstay crank arm contact. I'm going really slowly uphill when this happens and while its not half a rotation of the cranks, its maybe 1/4. Usually as I'm pulling up with my right leg. I know I'm putting a lot of pressure on the bike in this situation, one arm is pulling up, one leg is pushing down and the other leg is pulling up.

    The only thing that seems likely to be the culprit is the caliper and rotor. They are very close to one another, but it just doesn't feel like a rotor pad contact issue. If it is the rotor it feels like it would be more likely to be a rotor caliper contact issue. But how could something like that actually happen?

    My frame does not have that new style of brace between the chainstay and seatstay on the non-drive side near the rear brake caliper support. I don't know how I could determine if the problem is the rear-end of the frame or the sliders themselves.

    I'm going to try removing the rotor and finding a tough hill to climb that should induce the problem. I wouldn't really be all too safe going out on my local trails with no rear brake.

    Thanks for all the tips and ideas, you guys have been pretty helpful.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sometimes
    SS should make it a bit easier to track down the source of rubbing/grinding.

  19. #19
    sweet!
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    I have a similar problem with my On-One Scandal. I would hear a rubbing, scraping metalic clanging noise during steep climbs. It took me awhile to find the source of the noise... It was the caused by excessive bottom bracket flex, the rear tire was actually contacting my chain, and the rotating tire was pulling my chain into the chain stay, causing a metalic clanging noise on top of the noise caused by my sideknobs rubbing the chain.
    Stand on the right side of your bike, lock your fork (if appliable), rotate your crank arm so the right pedal is at the 3 o'clock position, apply both brakes, and then put all your weight down on the right pedal, keep a close eye on your bottom bracket, tire, and chain positions.
    For what it's worth, I weigh 250 lbs, and the On-One Scandal is a light weight xc frame. It is a single speed frame, but I'm currently running it as a 1x9, and the noise is only noticeable when the chain is on the "big" cog of my cassette
    I hope this helps.
    Cheers
    "It's a Sledgehamer" "Dang! You got shocks, pegs...lucky! " Napoleon Dynamite & Pedro Sanchez

  20. #20
    nothing to see here
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    Couldn't possibly be related, but I finally found a source of clicking from my front end. It was metal end of the brake cable sheath moving where it rests against brake lever adjuster.
    I see hills.

    I want to climb them.

  21. #21
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    haunted ,i vote for haunted

  22. #22
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    possibility
    I see hills.

    I want to climb them.

  23. #23
    is buachail foighneach me
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    you're 100% positive the chainring isn't rubbing the chainstay when you're flexing the bike enough for the crank to hit it? And, if the crank is hitting it, I would recommend a longer bb spindle ASAP.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by banks
    Great way to bend your wheel; do not do this.
    Lol!

    Listen to you trying to sound like you know what you are talking about!

    Dont be such a weenie. Its not like you put all your weight on the pedal when you do this. Just make the bike flex. You wont break a damn thing unless you go out of your way to cause damage. Bikes are tough. Geez.

    Bicycle mechanics all around the world do this exact thing to hunt down BB creaks and pops. Do this flex test on both sides.

    If there are no gouges or marks anywhere, it may be the flexing of the drive line. If the chainline is thrown off under power, it will make noise. Find or borrow a a trainer to hook your bike into. See if you can get a friend to indentify possible causes of creaks.

  25. #25
    Schipperkes are cool.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SmilMick
    Lol!

    Listen to you trying to sound like you know what you are talking about!

    Dont be such a weenie. Its not like you put all your weight on the pedal when you do this. Just make the bike flex. You wont break a damn thing unless you go out of your way to cause damage. Bikes are tough. Geez.

    Bicycle mechanics all around the world do this exact thing to hunt down BB creaks and pops. Do this flex test on both sides.
    Might wanna do a little bit o' research about me with yer foot in yer mouth now.

    You ride your bike at a 45* and pedal will all your weight on one pedal then flop it to the other side to do the same?

    Just because everyone does it, does not make it right.
    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee
    Better suited to non-aggressive 125# gals named Russell.
    I ride so slow, your Garmin will shut off.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by banks
    Might wanna do a little bit o' research about me with yer foot in yer mouth now.

    You ride your bike at a 45* and pedal will all your weight on one pedal then flop it to the other side to do the same?

    Just because everyone does it, does not make it right.
    FWIW, I've used a modified form of that 'test' on numerous bikes without ever damaging wheelsets. I just lean the bike over a bit & apply some of my weight.

    Isn't that essentially what's being done on carved turns on tight singletrack? And I'm pretty sure that the stresses are far greater than what would be experienced just leaning a bike over & putting 'some' (not all) weight on the pedal. At least that's been my experience.

  27. #27
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    Lynskey rear triangles did flex quite a bit, from all the reviews I have read. I hear the new ones are sorted by using thicker tubes but am not familiar with any details.

  28. #28
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    I think I've found the problem

    While going over the bike with a fine tooth comb today I noticed that there were some marks on the disc rotor in an odd place, about 1cm below where the brake pads end. The kicker though is that this is on the front rotor!

    Examining the caliper and rotor I can see that the marks line up with the lower stack of Avid CPS washers that are between the bracket and the caliper. At that point the rotor is very close to those washers. So I tried flexing the rotor with my hand and sure enough I could get it to lightly touch the CPS washers.

    So I went through the Avid centering setup again on the front caliper and this time made sure that there was a little more room between those washers and the rotor. It was already night time when I got around to this so I don't know if I've found the true culprit. But it does seem likely. After re-centering the caliper the distance isn't really very big, but I can't get the rotor to touch the CPS washers just by flexing it with my hand.

    Another strike against the BB7s for me. I've certainly grown more disenchanted with them as I've used them over the past couple of years. I remember originally setting these brakes up and wondering about how close the rotor is to the bracket and washers. Oh well hopefully this solves the problem.

    Derek

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by dealy663
    Another strike against the BB7s for me. I've certainly grown more disenchanted with them as I've used them over the past couple of years.
    I hope you have fixed the issue. There was a similar thread I just came across to what you are talking about. Maybe something mentioned there could help. http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=570072

    That aside... Your quote above kinda made me laugh. I WISH a had a good reason for spending $200 plus dollars on new hydros, but my BB7's are still fine after over 4 plus years of riding.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by banks
    Might wanna do a little bit o' research about me with yer foot in yer mouth now.

    You ride your bike at a 45* and pedal will all your weight on one pedal then flop it to the other side to do the same?

    Just because everyone does it, does not make it right.
    First of all, learn to read. I never said all of your weight needs to be on the cranks though even then, It likely wouldnt do anything unless its a really lightweight bike. I only said moderate pressure.

    And yea, sure, Ill take your reputation/history on this site as an indicator of credibility hahahahah!!! c'mon. Be serious.

    Ill keep my resume to myself, but lets just say that I change more bicycle tires and tubes and perform tune ups and repairs on more bikes in a week than most will in a year. And yea, im a bitter jack@ss on sites like mtbr where misinformation spreads like wildfire. I cant help it hahaha! I love the variety of info on these sites though.

    How about you and I let the non-industry folk decide for themselves if putting moderate pressure on the cranks will cause damage to a bike that gets ridden on off road trails. The riders full weight being swung around in all directions up and down hills through corners surviving crashes..... How is that any less abusive than a little bit of flex while standing next to the bike?

    If you supposedly work at a shop or own a shop, I suggest you wander into the service department every once and a while. You might actually catch a glimps of this rare and exotic moving being put into practice hahahaha!!
    Last edited by SmilMick; 11-08-2009 at 10:55 PM.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by SmilMick
    First of all, learn to read. I never said all of your weight needs to be on the cranks though even then, It likely wouldnt do anything unless its a really lightweight bike. I only said moderate pressure.

    And yea, sure, Ill take your reputation/history on this site as an indicator of credibility hahahahah!!! c'mon. Be serious.

    Ill keep my resume to myself, but lets just say that I change more bicycle tires and tubes and perform tune ups and repairs on more bikes in a week than most will in a year. And yea, im a bitter jack@ss on sites like mtbr where misinformation spreads like wildfire. I cant help it hahaha! I love the variety of info on these sites though.

    How about you and I let the non-industry folk decide for themselves if putting moderate pressure on the cranks will cause damage to a bike that gets ridden on off road trails. The riders full weight being swung around in all directions up and down hills through corners surviving crashes..... How is that any less abusive than a little bit of flex while standing next to the bike?

    If you supposedly work at a shop or own a shop, I suggest you wander into the service department every once and a while. You might actually catch a glimps of this rare and exotic moving being put into practice hahahaha!!
    Ummmm Scott is probably the most skilled wrench I know....
    Read my BLOG!

    just a guy who loves bikes and exploring

  32. #32
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    I've had a similar issue. The fork (WhiteBros carbon, 460 mm A-C) on my Lynskey flexes enough when standing for the rotor to rub. I've got a 180 mm rotor on there, which makes it much more likely. My guess is that I can center the rotor better, but this may be something I have to live with. Which means I'll probably get sick of it, and put a 160 on there or save up for a new, stiffer fork.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlowerThenSnot
    Ummmm Scott is probably the most skilled wrench I know....
    I am sorry

    EDIT: for you...

    Seriously, If you walk into a bike shop where the wrench is afraid to flex a bike or use a hammer, you are probably paying more than you need to for repairs and service.

    There are two types of mechanics out there. Ones who replace parts (scott sounds like one of these guys) and mechanics that repair what they are given (unless it actually is beyond repair). One type of mechanic makes alot of money and probably has alot of happy customers, and the other has just as many happy customers who pay less.

    Im not afraid to say it one bit:

    Banks sounds like a COMPLETE chump. I honestly feel sorry for those who share the same affinity for this type of a mechanic.

    I even send banks a PM telling him how much of a chump he is.
    Last edited by SmilMick; 11-10-2009 at 06:21 PM.

  34. #34
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    This little video is a great demonstration for those of you who actually believe this "banks" clown.

    http://video.google.com/videosearch?...n&view=2&emb=0

    I dont use this technique because I saw this video on the internet. I just now found it to further my explanation. I suppose I first saw this technique the first day I was a mechanic many years ago. hahah!! Every service department and service manager I have worked for since then has used this technique with ABSOLUTELY NO ill effects.

    Mind you, this video is showing where this technique is most commonly used; on a road bike. Mountain bikes arent as prone to BB squeeking as a carbon road bike, so it isnt really used on mountain bikes as often. But you should undoubtedly feel even MORE confident in using this technique on your tough Ti mountain bike

    Your wheels wont break.... Dont worry. Bwahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by endure26
    The rotor sounds like a possibility. To check it, pull the rear wheel, remove the rotor, and then go ride a steep hill (remember you have no rear brakes when you do it). I recently had some issues with my non-drive side dropout on my Lynskey Pro29. Sent it back to Lynskey and they put on new and improved dropouts and a strategically placed brace between the chain and seat stays. The new frames are built this way. The issues seem to be resolved.
    Interesting, I've got flexing on the non drive side of my Pro 29... contacted Lynskey and they are charging for this service now.

  36. #36
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    Charging to do what?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fat Bob
    Interesting, I've got flexing on the non drive side of my Pro 29... contacted Lynskey and they are charging for this service now.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatdave
    I've had a similar issue. The fork (WhiteBros carbon, 460 mm A-C) on my Lynskey flexes enough when standing for the rotor to rub. I've got a 180 mm rotor on there, which makes it much more likely. My guess is that I can center the rotor better, but this may be something I have to live with. Which means I'll probably get sick of it, and put a 160 on there or save up for a new, stiffer fork.
    How much do you weigh fatdave? I was considering this fork as a possible upgrade to a new bike, and would have the same set-up.
    I see hills.

    I want to climb them.

  38. #38
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    Yeah , if I can do this with my svelte 230lbs. I dont think that many of you are going to do any damage . If you do you , you very well could be an idiot .

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fat Bob
    Interesting, I've got flexing on the non drive side of my Pro 29... contacted Lynskey and they are charging for this service now.
    That is frustrating. Sorry to hear that. Good luck whatever you decide to do.

  40. #40
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    you said White Eno cranks. Is the chainring tight on the crank? If it was a bit loose, that might give you that metal on metals sound.
    MTBR is serious stuff.
    You never get better until you get out of your comfort zone.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueMountain
    Charging to do what?
    If you own an older Pro 29 and have flexing on the non drive side, you can send the frame back to them to have a brake brace welded on. While I'm grateful that I can get this done, I was a little surprised @ the cost involved. This is mainly because 1) I feel like it was a design flaw in the older models (the brake brace is now standard) and 2) because I'm a broke mofo these days and really don't want to spend more than I already have on the bike. For perspective, I could have bought a steel frame for much less (monogo flight, SIR 9, Inbred, etc.) and never had the issue. So, kinda a bummer.... but it is what it is.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wish I Were Riding
    That is frustrating. Sorry to hear that. Good luck whatever you decide to do.
    Thanks. Kinda on the fence as what to do. I have a lot of time & $ involved @ this point. I could sell it and look for a deal on a ridgeline (although less likely after finding out the cost of operation). Or look for a steel frame and take the $ left over for a GPS, or just suck it up, send it back to them and have the brace added (FWIW for the cost I was quoted they'll also re-finish the frame and put on new decals).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fat Bob
    Thanks. Kinda on the fence as what to do. I have a lot of time & $ involved @ this point. I could sell it and look for a deal on a ridgeline (although less likely after finding out the cost of operation). Or look for a steel frame and take the $ left over for a GPS, or just suck it up, send it back to them and have the brace added (FWIW for the cost I was quoted they'll also re-finish the frame and put on new decals).
    Tough tough call. I would say this though, if you like the way it fits and the way it rides, doing one of your other suggested options may leave you with less than you wanted. What are they charging $300? As much as it sucks, I think you should do it. If it's more than $300, I would be very bummed though.

    Getting a steel bike, might be a let down? Custom can cost as much as a Ridgeline. Production? Well maybe you could buy something just to try it. Maybe it would teach you something about what you need, want, and what you should ultimately end up doing?

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wish I Were Riding
    Tough tough call. I would say this though, if you like the way it fits and the way it rides, doing one of your other suggested options may leave you with less than you wanted. What are they charging $300? As much as it sucks, I think you should do it. If it's more than $300, I would be very bummed though.

    Getting a steel bike, might be a let down? Custom can cost as much as a Ridgeline. Production? Well maybe you could buy something just to try it. Maybe it would teach you something about what you need, want, and what you should ultimately end up doing?
    Yup, a real noodle scratcher. Cost wise it's north of $300 plus shipping both ways. In the end I imagine it will be ~$450, which when combined with what I paid is still a bargain, but there's also no guarantee that the brake brace will eliminate the flexing.

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    The brace seems to be a cheap way to fix the problem. If I remember correctly, the Ti 29ers built by Lynskey for On One had a different style of rear triangle- one that at least looked stiffer with shorter seatstays with the top part looking more like a fork steerer. I wonder if that was done to eliminate flex or was it simply a look that On One wanted?

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