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Bike finally complete.... the trials and tribulations of getting a bike together

Sep 15, 2009 at 8:24
by soya ninja  
My bike is finally built to completion, I could say it went way over budget... but to be honest, I never had a budget in mind. Now that its complete, I've gotten to ride it once and then crashed, so to kill some time I'm gonna write this here blog to list all the issues I encountered whilst building up my bike:I used to have two bikes, one short travel dh bike and one dirt jump hardtail, one of my bikes would fall apart every ride and the other worked flawlessly for 2 or 3 years, but that all changed when I saw this picture shortly after joining Pinkbike and felt (convinced myself) the need for a change of bike:

Scott Allen's Banshee Wildcard

But building my bike proved to be a year and a half long stress inducing mess, here's a list of all the problems I encountered along the way:

Brakes: After fitting the brakes, I noticed the back brake squirted oil out every time I pulled the lever, it kept doing this, so I got in touch with the guys at Hayes UK, they said to send them in and they'd fix the brakes and cut the hose down for me under warranty... I get a phone call after sending them in though saying that they can't find anything wrong with the brakes and that they're going to have to charge me for the work done. It turns out that the brakes just had too much oil put in them from the factory, once enough had drained out the problem went away.

Forks: I ordered them from Winstanleys bikes at a very good price, but the non U-turn model arrived at my door, 1 phonecall later and after having to say: "no, I won't keep the ones you've sent me" they picked up the wrong ones and dispatched the correct model.
I knew I'd have to get a softer spring for my Domain's when I ordered them, but even after the spring change the forks felt rubbish and never sagged properly. I questioned whether to get rid of them, but one year later I decided to service the forks and found the lowers never had any oil in them, this hadn't been picked up on by my LBS either; now they're oiled, greased and have better seals they work a treat.

Frame: Pretty much the first thing I noticed when I lifted my frame out the box was that the ISCG tab was misaligned due to faulty welding, there were also a few weld splashes nearby, the quality of the welding was pretty dire so I got in touch with Freeborn the UK Banshee/Mythic importers... As my frame was a one-off special order, they couldn't replace it so offered me a set of Saint cranks and an E13 bash ring at cost, due to the fact the faults don't notice at all now the bikes built and they were only aesthetic, I agreed for the compromise - It then took Freeborn about 4 months to come up with the goods, during which time my bike sat in my room being un-used, which was torture!
Faulty ISCG tab
For a year now, my frame has also had terrible small bump sensitivity, but due to the fact my forks were so bad, it matched the front end so I endured it, after servicing my forks I decided to try and get the linkage sorted, I got in touch with Keith at Banshee and it turned out that the bearings had been over-torqued at the factory, loosening the plates off has bought back some freeness of motion.

Chain Device: After using a £20 Truvativ Box Guide for a few years and never dropping a single chain during that time, you can imagine my annoyance when my new £90 E-13 SRS guide dropped the chain on my second dh outing, the chain wedged itself firmly between the bash plate and chainring and was really hard to get out. This problem occurred a few times and seemed to happen quite easily despite the guide being properly set up by my LBS, I got some advice on Pinkbike from a guy who works for E-13 though and the problem is caused by the new 2009 Saint cranks having thicker mounting tabs than standard cranks, the solution was to pay £90 for a stepped Shimano bash ring or take mine back to college and put it in a lathe - problem solved:

newly machined Supercharger ring to fit M810 Saint cranks

Wheels: The final thing to get for my bike, to replace my broken Ex729 rims and also put it on a diet, was to get some new wheels, I went with Sun EQ29's laced to Hope Pro2's using DT Comps and Pro-lock nipples. But once I had got the wheels on the bike and ready to go, I noticed the rear wheel wasn't dished properly by 4-5mm- I got in touch with CRC and they agreed that getting my LBS to sort the problem would be the best option and they would refund me the cost of services, unfortunately my shop had a waiting time as any good shop does, so my bike was out of action for 10 days until it was sorted, although its still 2mm off centre as the nipples are threadlocked which made it harder to re-dish apparently.
Unsecure image, only https images allowed: http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2624/3820907624_4f8dbe93b0.jpg

I think that's all of the more significant issues covered, but it really made me ask the question "what the f*ck is going on?" quite a few times, I've been the victim of very poor quality control from Hayes, CRC, Rockshox and Banshee, incompatible products that none of the manufacturer's liked to mention and mis-management from mail order companies. I know mistakes happen, but my bike has been the butt of them all, I was getting so fed up with all these companies incompetence that I almost gave up riding altogether several months ago, so I'd just like to thank all the Pinkbike members who gave me advice and help, those companies which showed excellent customer support and made life much easier and my LBS for sorting all their mistakes out, all these people helped keep my faith in the mtb industry and keep me on a bike - goodness knows what sport I would have taken up if I'd given up mountain biking... golf maybe?

Anyway my bike is finally finished now, I've had a chance to ride it once but unfortunately broke my neck doing so, so here's a picture of my finished bike to look at, because that's all I'm going to be doing for the next month or two!Big Grin
Unsecure image, only https images allowed: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3655/3923445028_b1091065e6.jpglarger pic: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3655/3923445028_b1091065e6_b.jpg
Unsecure image, only https images allowed: http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2606/3922662773_2801897bf0.jpglarger pic: http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2606/3922662773_2801897bf0_b.jpg

Author Info:
ctd07 avatar

Member since Nov 26, 2007
1 articles
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  • 1 0
 ok, after a season of constantly trying to get used to this bike and never being happy with how it performed compared to other bikes in any aspect of riding, as well as breaking 4 bones in 1 year (2 kneck vertebrae & radius & ulnar at wrist), which is the only bones I've ever broken in 12years of riding, on top of having quite a few really hard-out crashes without significant injury, I deemed this bike a liability and decided to stop excusing the bike for why I could never jump properly on it, but always managed fine on my previous bikes.... I'ts gone now to a new owner, and I look forward to next season on a decent bike which I'll post pictures of as it gets built.......
  • 1 0
 Lets hope there on trials and tribulations this time.
  • 1 0
 A bike full of bad memories then...shame; could have been a stunner
  • 1 0
 ay, so true that! - it took me a long time to like the bike, still don't love it though. I think to me, it'll only ever be an 'ok' bike thanks to all the problems I've had with it!
  • 1 0
 nice first blog.Salute
  • 1 0
 cheers man!

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