2018 Release 3 QC PROBLEMS!

PB Forum :: Diamondback
2018 Release 3 QC PROBLEMS!
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Posted: May 20, 2018 at 16:31 Quote
I posted the following to the comments of the review, but figured it should go here too:

OK, I'm not being hyperbolic with that all-caps headline. What I found was pretty awful indeed. Just received my 2018 Release 3 direct from DB. Having my own small shop and being somewhat anal retentive, if not full on cynical, I disconnected the shock to see how smooth the rear was. I found that it had an almost spring loaded mid point that the upper link would get past, about mid-travel. It was severe, bizarre, and I knew it could not be correct. So I got down to taking it apart. First thing, the cone washers need a 5/16 allen, NOT an 8mm. Many people have discovered this but DB has not changed any of the info on the site or their videos. POOR FORM DB. Next thing is, expect to give a bit of torque with that 5/16 to have the cone washers give way. Almost feels like your snapping an alloy bolt, scary. But all good. Grease them when reinstalling.

Popped the bearing covers on the bottom links. Bearings were not dry, but close enough that a month of wet riding would probably render them toast. Injected some high quality grease and replaced the covered. All 4 bearings for the lowers felt pretty smooth, one was a tiny bit clicky.

Top two pivots were a nightmare. First thing is the lower of the two uppers (long axle), was very tough to remove the axle. Almost like it was slightly warped. Had to tap from the other side with a wooden dowel. Then a random metal spacer was behind the engineered bearing caps, on the drive side of this one (the longer axle set). I knew this couldn't be right, watched all the videos I could find, scoured the net. Yep, random substantial metal washer/spacer. Those bearing were both clicky. Needed lube.

Then the upper upper (with the short axle). After it unscrewed it would not come out. Took substantial tapping from the other side, way worse than the other one. Finally got it out. Bearing lubed as now usual. Both bearing really very clicky. Putting it back together I had to mallet the hell out of the axle to get it to reach the threads. I experimented and it seemed the bearing on the thread side was just a hair different inner diameter than the OD of the axle, which hung it up on removal and made it tough on install. Way more than just tapping, used a rawhide mallet to whack it good.

Torqued everything to spec and found the rear moved smoothly enough. No bizarre spring loaded mid point notch. But certainly not smooth the way my S-Works Enduro and other rigs are. I'm going to break it in and see if it smooths out, but I predict the bearings are shot/crap from install and will need replacement shortly.

That's as far as I got today. Going to remove the BB to inspect tomorrow, and maybe check the headset too. Any more fun discoveries and I'll update this.

UPDATE #1: Missing one of the four stem bar clamp bolts. Ugh.

UPDATE #2: Sunday, May 20, I submitted an online form to customer service about this. Never got a ticket confirmation or anything.

UPDATE #3: Tuesday, May 22, I called at 7am PST as the website says they are available at that time. Nobody there. Turns out they are there at 8am PST. But at 8:10am, the online chat function was still indicating they were not open. Called. After a long wait, I got Cameron. He was super knowledgable and suggested that we either do a frame swap or a whole bike swap. Seemed like the safe thing was whole bike. He could not set it up for me, I had to do it through their warranty submission page. But he said I could note his name and extension in that form and he'd get it. However, upon filling it all out, uploading all the files, every time I hit submit I get "The website encountered an unexpected error. Please try again later." OK now I'm officially annoyed. I called Cameron back but got his voicemail. Left a message about what was going on. Even best case scenario I'm not riding anything for 2-3 weeks since they have to issue a tag, I have to pack the thing up and ship back. They have to receive and then they send one out. Debating just asking for a refund at this point, maybe go YT instead.

UPDATE #4: Tuesday, May 22, engaged in the chat function when I still didn't get a call back. Chat person said they were indeed receiving the warranty claims. I kept telling her I was getting that error message every time. She asked if my pictures were too big! I told her three iPhone pics, about 1.3mb each. She again said it was working, asked if I was doing it from my phone. I told her from laptop. Then she said Cameron would call back shortly. Indeed he did. He also said the warranty submission form was working, asked if I had cleared my cache. I told him it was both Safari and Chrome and I tried from two different machines. But then he said he saw my 6 submissions! So they were actually going through, but I was getting an error message. He was apologetic about that. I suggested this was definitely an IT issue since the submissions were actually going through. He was personally going to process mine then. So now I'll wait to see how this goes. I'm willing to get another bike, then do my tear down to see what I find. Sucks to hear I'm not alone in these issues, and doesn't fill me with confidence. But what the heck, I got other rigs I can ride for the interim.

UPDATE #5: May 24. Just got a hold of the customer service manager. He was super cool and apologetic. He authorized a replacement to go out now so I don't have to wait until the old one gets there. So I'm going to give it another shot. Hopefully, my last entry to this thread will be that my bike is amazing and I have too much riding to have time to post anything more. :-)

Posted: Jun 24, 2018 at 21:24 Quote
Sounds like a bad experience. I have a 2018 release 3 that has been smooth and reliable with no issues in shipping, assembling, or performance in the 6 months I’ve had it (ridden two/three times a week). I did lube everything when I got it, but the grease wasn’t bad either. I ride a lot in the wet and so earlier this month I did another bearing clean/regrease that was definitely needed due to all the dirt/crap that gets in there.

Sorry you had a bad experience, but I hope mine provides some contrast.

Posted: Jun 29, 2018 at 12:46 Quote
OK, here's the update.

Replacement bike gone through with a fine tooth. Happy to report that it was basically perfect out of the box. Dissembled everything. Pivots moved smoothly, bearings had ample stock grease (though I added more just because), derailleur perfectly aligned, shifting was perfect, rims and rotors true, etc. Maybe the only thing is that the derailleur hanger is very soft: the bike fell over onto my wood floor and it bent really badly. No problem aligning again with the tool, but dang it's soft. Guess its a good thing they include a replacement. So I guess I really did win the anti-lottery with the first one. Gotta love a company that steps up when inevitable sh*t happens!

One note: Rock Shox Pike was low on oil. Someone told me RS is notorious for this, so I checked. 5ml in one leg and less in the other, should be 10ml per leg! Fixed it. Annoying that RS allows this kind of thing.

Posted: Oct 28, 2018 at 15:50 Quote
I have the 2017 Release 3. I had the same alignment problem with pivot axle. I discovered it after one of the pivot bearings blew out after 3 rides. The axle alignment is definitely off. I attributed it to poor quality control. I would expect that anyone assembling the bike would know that you shouldn't have to hammer in the axles. I chose not to pursue the issue because I didn't want to be without a bike. The mis-alignment will cause additional stress on the bearings. It didn't seem to have a significant affect on the pivot action.

I am not a mechanical expert. The blown out bearing internals looked suspect to me. I was not familiar with the half shell bearing design. I chose to replace the bearings with a higher quality bearing. DB offered to send me replacement bearings. I declined because they would have sent me the same bearings. I haven't had any issues with the replacement bearings after 2 years of fairly hard riding. I have a nagging suspicion that their wheel bearings may also be of poor quality. I will know more after I service the wheels soon. I was lucky to have won a gift certificate from Rolf Prima for their Astral brand wheels. I should have those within a couple weeks.

I have had a few other issues with different components coming loose after a few rides. They were easy enough to figure out and even repair on the trail.

Even though there were a few negative issues, this bike opened up a whole new world of mtbing for me.

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