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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have had my GF Cake 3 since December of last year. With the warm weather I am finally able to get out and really "ride" my bike. The problem I am running into is that the quality of the components are not up to par.

- From day one, I noticed a lot of movement in the cranks. I found I had a bent middle sprocket (don't know how that happened) and while examing it, I found that the cranks were moving around quite a bit more than I thought. The protector standoff had been rubbing the crank on the inside.
- The grips are absolute junk. They are sticky but way too thin. With a little moisture on them , they become slick.
- The rear wheel is already untrue. Once again, I am just starting to really ride the bike and don't know what I could have done to bend the wheel.
- I haven't been overall impressed with the Jones ACX. They feel loose on gravel, and slippery in mud. Cornering has been OK, but I don't have confidence to push them. I like them on dry, thin covering or hardpack and they have a low rolling resistance.

- This is not a Bonty problem, but cable rub on the paint has also been an issue. With a high standover and cables across the top tube, I really didn't like the cable management.
Now I am finding numerous locations where the cable have rubbed the paint badly. It's not a big deal, but I don't want shiny spots of aluminum showing up behind where the cable touchs the frame.

Since I don't want to be completely negative:
- Geometry on the Cake3 is awesome for fast XC. Slow technical terrain has been another matter though.
- Big ring has taken some nasty logs and not suffered (yet)
- Length and rise of the OS handlebar is perfect
- The seat has been very comfortable so far.
- Mallet M's are awesome pedals :).

I am getting a 90mm stem to compromise between fast XC and slow technical performance.
 

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See, now I can agree with the Bonty cranks. They suck, and I can agree with some of their other components sucking. However, I'm a fan of their wheels. The hoops are pretty tough, when they are built well. Unfortuanately they often are built by machine very quickly, instead of by hand with patience. My brother has built several sets of wheels with Bonty hoops and he hasn't gotten a single one back to true yet. It's all in the build.
 

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Foreign Entity
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The only complaint I can agree with is the tires, those Jones tires suck!
First switch I did on my Fuel was to get some Hutchinson Spiders, those are a great tire for you!

I have Bontrager rims on the Fuel and have no complaints, the cranks are alright but will be replaced with others soon enough anyhow.
 

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It's all ball bearings
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223 Posts
I agree

Just got an 05 Fuel 70- The quality of the Bonty stuff is down compared to the Bonty stuff that came on my 99' 8000. The new maverick rims dont have spoke nipple eyelets (the 98 models did) - I flat spotted the rear slightly at the weld joint on my first ride, not doing anything abusive- I rode my 98's for years without any problems. The Jones tires arent my cup o tea, and will be swapped out soon with panaracers fire xc's. I havent had any crank issues yet....Looks like price comp has driven parts quality of shelf components down...
 

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I like Cake.
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I would have to say with the exception of the cable rub issue, maybe you bought the wrong model? If you are riding hard enough that the parts that came on that model are not holding up, maybe you should have bought the next higher up model with better components.
I have a 2004 cake 2 deluxe, and I have had no problems with my wheels, or my cranks. And I am a big boy 230 pounds, and I ride the bike pretty hard. I did have some pretty bad cable rub issues, in fact the rub went past the paint into the aluminum in some places until I tied them better.

This is why they have different models of the bike though, so people who need or want better components can get them.
 

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no, sometimes they do some pretty brainless stuff...

my liquid 20 is spec'd with a psylo fork with the red spring (140-160lb rider & gear).

that same fork was fitted to all the liquid frame sizes... how many riders sized for an XL frame weigh between 140-160? :confused:

jkittlesen said:
well said
 

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Some little **** like that makes it through the pipes. No company is perfect, I can surely vouch for that as I'm having a major problem with a computer company (alienware) who is having troubles getting my computer fixed. The computer is very fast, and is fantastic for gaming which I'm also big into (halo 2 rules) but it is having problems and they can't seem to figure it out. I don't expect perfection even from companies like turner or titus.
 

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Turner Homer
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Fuelish said:
Haha, yeah - my ol' Fuel came with Jones AC (no X, I guess, back then) tires and yup - they sucked out loud !!!
I don't think that the jones ac tires are all that bad, because I used them all this past winter in the snow on my beater bike and they worked fine. I guess I just had good luck with them.
 

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Zippy, the wonder bike
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Cranks are made by someone else in most cases, their higher end ones are exactly the same as Truvativ's cranks and Famous Makers cranks are the same as Bonty ones too. Their rims are quite tough, all I own is bikes with Bonty components and really besides their saddles I can't find a problem with them.
 

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WOW! Who put that bike together??

Gotta be some new mechanic that didn't learn proper build. Loose cranks? Wha?
EVERYONE of my seven bikes has Bontrager wheelsets! Six are racelites, I assume, are machine built even. One hand built Bonty wheelset is swapped between my rigid SS and my FS/SS. my FS/ss has Bonty crankset. Cranks and middle ring. On a single speed you muscle that middle ring something wicked. Mine ain't bent yet.
My wheelsets? Six of them, four spokes have been replaced! I have never gone to the shop for trueing. 2001 was my big year of 3000 miles. That happend to be on one bike.
I ride pretty hard XC and 24 races.
 

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I dig trails!
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I have to say that I was totally impressed with my 02 Bontrager Select wheel set. Too bad they were for V-brakes or I would still have them. A buddy of mine has the race version, same great results.

We both ride pretty aggressive and mistakenly rode our Fuels at Northstar, all double diamond. Incredible that an 1800gram (race ~1600g) wheelset with 24 spokes in the front never need trueing with what they have put up with. 3 years!

Some of the other Bontrager stuff is manufactured by other companies. For example my 02 Bontrager Select cranks are actually Truvativ Firex cranks. Hubs were DT Swiss. Seats were Selle San Marco, I think. I was kinda frustrated that they put their logo on these quality products making them an unknown - not for bling but for reliability and maintenance. I don't know about thier current selection.

Mr. P
 

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It's all ball bearings
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Jones AC

Agree on the Jones ACs- I just dont get much grip with them where I ride- Ive had zillions of tires down through the years (first tire I tried was a Cycle Pro snakebelly BMX tire, man Im getting old) and these just arent up to speed for me- Swapped out w/ Panaracer Fire XC from front and Mud Pro XC rear (for now, while stuff is squishy in the midwest) will swap out tp fire XC in the rear once things get nicer weather wise. Havent tried em yet, hope to this week. If they dont work out, Im going to try my Geax blades, which really get a great bite.

As a consumer in todays competitive market, I just dont buy the "things make it through the pipes" idea. The best manufacturers dont let things slip through the pipes- You dont have to buy their top end products to get a good product- Their entry level products perform well for their intended purpose- Granted, you wouldn't buy a Toyota Corolla expecting it to ride like a Lexus LS430, but the Corolla would be up to snuff for it's intended market, would function and perform per design intent, and would meet the expectations of it's buyers. I didnt expect the stock parts on my Fuel 70 to be "lexus" quality, but I did expect them to at least be good. A flatspotted rim in one ride is a reflection of poor quality to me, and doesn't meet my expectations, plain and simple (combined with the fact that trek says they wont replace it under warranty). The best manufacturers in the world build products which are well designed and meet the expectations of their target buyers, the key is excellent product execution at all grade levels....Not many companies are good at it, let alone great at it... Thats why there are companies that are world class, and those who are not...My .02
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Bringing back the dead.

Well my middle ring is bent on the bike again and I am still running the Jones ACX tires (soon to be replaced). The tire performance was improved by reducing the air pressure to 36psi in the rear and 32psi in the front. Now my biggest problem is the wheels slowly coming apart. I have the Bonty Superstocks and from what I can tell, they are a step lower than the Selects. The rear wheel has developed a flat spot and both wheels are making creaking noises.

I have found that the Genesis geometry is perfect for me. I tried a Giant Trance and a Iron Horse MKIII and neither one felt anywhere near comfortable. The Iron Horse felt like a heavy kids bike. The Giant was more comfortable but didn't have that fast, nimble feel that my Cake does.

Test riding both of these opened my eyes up to what REAL cranks feel like. Both had cranks much stiffer than the Bonty Selects on the Cake.
 

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Bontrager Race X Lite wheelset

So I go out and buy the top of the line Bontrager Race X lite mtn wheelset for my Sugar 2 and they look great! But than I decided to throw them on a digital scale to compare them to the spec weight - That was a mistake on my part. The big disapointment was they were 220 grams overweight --- That's right 220 grams which is about 1/2 pound. To resolve the problem I stopped at the Chicago Bike Show to talk to the Trek rep. and believe it or not he refused to acknowedge my problem. I asked him for his name and the name of someone to talk with at Trek and he told me he didn't know.
Why to you guys think Bontrager parts are cheaper than Shimano, Thompson, Mavic etc...? Because they're better and the specs are accurate.
FYI - - - First thing I did when I bought my Sugar 2 was replace the Bontrager crankset with a Shimano XTR.
 

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GeoBoz said:
So I go out and buy the top of the line Bontrager Race X lite mtn wheelset for my Sugar 2 and they look great! But than I decided to throw them on a digital scale to compare them to the spec weight - That was a mistake on my part. The big disapointment was they were 220 grams overweight --- That's right 220 grams which is about 1/2 pound. To resolve the problem I stopped at the Chicago Bike Show to talk to the Trek rep. and believe it or not he refused to acknowedge my problem. I asked him for his name and the name of someone to talk with at Trek and he told me he didn't know.
Why to you guys think Bontrager parts are cheaper than Shimano, Thompson, Mavic etc...? Because they're better and the specs are accurate.
FYI - - - First thing I did when I bought my Sugar 2 was replace the Bontrager crankset with a Shimano XTR.
Is it possible that the spec. weight is without skewers and you weighed your wheels with the skewers on? It's kind of coincidental that the wheelset weight is off by about the weight of two skewers.

As for the general idea of this thread, I can say that I've had decent luck with Bontrager parts. The Race cranks that came stock on my Big Sur are doing okay, though the middle ring needs replacing soon. I also have the Race Lite wheels and I like them a lot. (I didn't like the hubs on the Superstock Disc wheels that came stock on the bike). I also ditched the seatpost and bar only because of weight.
 

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asymmetryrtemmysa
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GeoBoz said:
So I go out and buy the top of the line Bontrager Race X lite mtn wheelset for my Sugar 2 and they look great! But than I decided to throw them on a digital scale to compare them to the spec weight - That was a mistake on my part. The big disapointment was they were 220 grams overweight --- That's right 220 grams which is about 1/2 pound. To resolve the problem I stopped at the Chicago Bike Show to talk to the Trek rep. and believe it or not he refused to acknowedge my problem. I asked him for his name and the name of someone to talk with at Trek and he told me he didn't know.
Why to you guys think Bontrager parts are cheaper than Shimano, Thompson, Mavic etc...? Because they're better and the specs are accurate.
FYI - - - First thing I did when I bought my Sugar 2 was replace the Bontrager crankset with a Shimano XTR.
As has been stated before, most if not all Bontrager branded parts are sourced from another manufacturer. Bontrager Race Lite, Race, and Select cranks are Truvativ Stylo Team, Stylo SL, and Firex cranks. The Shimano Hollowtech series of cranks has traditionally been stiffer than Truvativ cranks (which is not a big deal for lighter riders). Shifting performance is equivalent, but Truvativ chainrings are softer than XTR. On the other hand, XTR cranks cost twice that of the high end Truvativ cranks.

The Bontrager Race (Lite, etc) are relatively good quality. They use DT Swiss Onyx hubs for the Race (some people have had pawl issues on these hubs), and 240 hubs for Race X-Lite. The rims are Mustangs. Also, the weight is spot on - I have two pairs of Race Lites that weigh within 5 grams of each other and the stated weight.
 
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