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'18 Transition Sentinel
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1,015 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
HELP: '04 Azonic Saber - broken linkage shaft/pin (weakest link, made of alum)

To those of who ride '04 Azonic Saber out there:

I just busted my Saber's main rocker-plate shaft/pin (the one that goes thru the seattube & thru the big bearings), and I need your help.

Have you taken this shaft/pin apart by any chance? If so, do you know what pieces it consists of? (I hadn't carefully looked to make a note of it before I busted it, so I can't remember.) I think I'm missing a pair of spacers (5mm/each, to sit between the rocker plates and the seattube mount) so that the rocker plates now can rather freely shift/slide left-and-right along the shaft/pin.

From left-to-right, this shaft/pin piece consists of...
* dark-color shaft/pin (left half, put thru bearings/plate/seattube)
* silver spacer (into the inner-side rocker plate recess)
*** (5mm spacer!? between rocker plate & seattube mount - missing!?)
* silver screw (in the middle, to hold both sides' pins)
* dark-color "cover/sleeve" over the silver screw (to hide it cosmetically)
*** (5mm spacer!? between rocker plate & seattube mount - missing!?)
* silver spacer (into the inner-side rocker plate recess)
* dark-color shaft/pin (right half, put thru bearings/plate/seattube)

Could somebody please confirm that I'm indeed missing those spacers (or something alike) in there?

I bought a "Saber Hardware Kit" from Azonic last year, but I suspect that it's missing a few pieces (unless they have different kits for '03 vs '04?). For example, dark-color "cover" in the middle wasn't included in the "Saber Hardware Kit", and I had to salvage it from the broken piece.

On a side note, I wonder why the heck these dark-color shaft/pin piece are made of alum!? (How do other rocker/4-bar frames spec this piece?) :bluefrown: The rest of linkage pieces are all steel bolts, so this shaft/pin piece is the last weakest link. The only reason I can possibly think of is that this shaft/pin goes thru & rests in the seattube-mount holes, and it being harder steel may ovalize the softer alum-frame holes? (If not, then I'd say its material spec was cut-corner poor.) Mine failed of fatigue, and I was really lucky that it just gave out while on a fireroad (ie. safely came to a stop), instead of failing upon a big drop/hit (ie. leading to a bad crash).

I've been calling/emailing Azonic for a few days now with no reply yet.

I'm going to a local hardware store today to look for something that can act as the supposedly-missing(?) 5mm spacers (x2). Hopefully something will fit the bill to put me back on the trail.

Anyway, all "actual" pic's of broken pieces, etc, to come later tonight...

Thanks for your helpful feedback & info in advance,
- PiroChu
 

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Pro Crastinator
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PiroChu said:
.....On a side note, I wonder why the heck these dark-color shaft/pin piece are made of alum!? .......I'd say its material spec was cut-corner poor.......
typical issues when you purchace a cookie cutter catalogue bike from tiawan.....
 

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Hard as nails
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That sucks! I do not have any experience with that frame but feel your PAIN:madman: Good luck and I hope your back riding soon!;)
 

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Registered
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I don't have the spacers you're talking about on my Saber. It is just one big bolt. I have a two 19" frames in the shop I work at so I'll take a look at one tomorrow and see if I can dig anything up. I have a bunch of Saber backup parts just in case I broke something. The only problems I ever had with my was breaking the chainstay as was common on Sabers from their early years, but Azonic got a new beefed up unit to me within days, and I broke a shock bolt at the top mount. Their C/S has been awesome for me, sucks to hear you're not having the same experience.

Considering I freeride/dh with mine on a weekly basis, I don't think WCH's uneducated comment really holds up. Yeah there was a little play in the linkages from the beginning, but it got me out on the trails and totally progressed my riding, which was all I ever asked it to do.
 

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aka Jesse Palmer
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857 Posts
I havent had any issues, so i haven't taken mine apart yet. Here is some pictures from the outside, hope it helps. If not I can take pictures dissassembled for ya - I need to give the bike a good cleaning anyway and I just got a new workstand :D

By the way this is the most awsome cheap coockie cutter taiwan made frame ever made, its too bad azonic doesnt carry it anymore...
 

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Pro Crastinator
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skitrev33 said:
.....Considering I freeride/dh with mine on a weekly basis, I don't think WCH's uneducated comment really holds up......
so, you are saying it is not just a catalogue frame? that was the only "uneducated" comment i made, please "educate" us on how i was incorrect...
 

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'18 Transition Sentinel
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1,015 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Here are the pictures... (#1)

I finally have some pictures to share here...

The 1st & 2nd pic's show what broke. You can see how this pin/shaft (alum!) is just ripped apart.

The 3rd picture shows everything included in the Saber Hardware Kit that I purchased directly from Azonic last year (in good preparation).

The 4th picture show the comparison of a broken pin/shaft pieces (below) and a new set (above) out of the Saber Hardware Kit that I bought. What's really surprising & disappointing is that this shaft/pin is not a "one-single" piece (although I always thought it was, until taking it apart), nor is it made of steel. Strangely, the Saber Hardware Kit that I bought didn't include the center "cover/sleeve" piece, which I was luckily able to salvage one from the old broken set. Also, I'm pretty sure that the Kit is missing a couple of spacers for this pin/shaft set. (My old/original ones were lost upon breaking.)

skitrev33 said:
It is just one big bolt.
Hi skitrev33.
Are you sure it's really a single big bolt, instead of multi-pieces as in my pic's? If so, what's it made of; alum or steel? If it's indeed one-piece, I'd really like to obtain a couple of extras of those from you shop, if still some left, please, please...!

(Moving onto next post, 'cause it seems that I can only post 5 pic's per post...)
 

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'18 Transition Sentinel
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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Here are the pictures... (#2)

(Continued from above post...)

PiroChu said:
From left-to-right, this shaft/pin piece consists of...
* dark-color shaft/pin (left half, put thru bearings/plate/seattube)
* silver spacer (into the inner-side rocker plate recess)
*** (5mm spacer!? between rocker plate & seattube mount - missing!?)
* silver screw (in the middle, to hold both sides' pins)
* dark-color "cover/sleeve" over the silver screw (to hide it cosmetically)
*** (5mm spacer!? between rocker plate & seattube mount - missing!?)
* silver spacer (into the inner-side rocker plate recess)
* dark-color shaft/pin (right half, put thru bearings/plate/seattube)
Hi jp3d,

Thanks for quickly taking some pic's to help me out. When compared to the first two pictures, you can clearly see what I'm missing (from the Hardware Kit), which is a couple of 5mm spacers. They're same in color, deceptively making this whole multi-pieces set look like a one big bolt. Without these spacers, this section would looks weirdly "stepped down", and the seattube won't stay centered between the rocker plates, either, shifting left and right.

With no luck with Azonic at all this time around, I used my digital caliper to evenly measur the space between rocker plate & seattube mount (5mm each side), then took it to a local hardware store looking for a few different combo's of 3/8" washers to be 5mm-thick. The 3rd picture shows the results. Trying to put thru all these pieces was such a pain (things kept slipping & falling off), but luckily - once all put together - all seems to be tight & good.

The 4th picture just shows the old bearings out of rocker plates. Those (noted as "IJK JAPAN") were toast, too. Luckily a reputable LBS here had a good selection of bearings, and it was no biggies finding those marked as "6000RS" and "608RS". Are those size markings? If so, on a good note, at least Azonic spec'ed some common-sized bearings. And on that note, I guess I don't have to get a specific Bearing Kit from them, either. The new ones from LBS are noted as "ENDURO", and I hope those are nice(r) bearings.

Anyways, not knowing that this piece was alum was a blow to me, especially since I recently resolved some shock-mount bolt/pin issues (thanks to Factory Hardware Kit from PUSH), trying to make all my pieces steel to ensure strength.
http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?p=1936418
Now that I know this last piece is alum, unfortunately I still have one weakest link on my rig to deal with. Maybe skitrev33 has something good! If not..., what I'd like to do next (before I break it again) is to find some steel substitutes. Unfortunately, I couldn't find anything that has good tight fit into the 6000RS bearing hole at a local hardware store today. Maybe I'll try some LBS for those, considering many bikes uses 6000RS-size bearing. Either one-piece all-the-way-thru, or maybe 2 separate pieces for 2 sides, etc. I'll keep looking, though...

(EDIT: Looks like a M10/10mm bolt/shaft/pin is to go thru a 6000RS bearing. If I manage to pull off an alternative solution, I'll update...)

Thanks again, jp3d & skitrev33, for your helpful info. My poor Saber looks to be back together again (for now?), so I'll go for a test ride tomorrow after work.

Cheers,
- PiroChu
 

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aka Jesse Palmer
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.WestCoastHucker. said:
so, you are saying it is not just a catalogue frame? that was the only "uneducated" comment i made, please "educate" us on how i was incorrect...
jeezus, can we not have a single thread without starting a :madmax: war?

 

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Takw/agranofsalt
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3,532 Posts
Hey PiroChu, it looks like your cookie-cutter, taiwan frame is unbroken but only the hardware broke which can happen even on high-end, boutique american-made frames. ***cough***....***cornfield***....***cough***

(Stoking the fire :madmax: )

:D
 

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Stray Bullet
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2,273 Posts
PiroChu said:
On a side note, I wonder why the heck these dark-color shaft/pin piece are made of alum!? (How do other rocker/4-bar frames spec this piece?) :bluefrown: The rest of linkage pieces are all steel bolts, so this shaft/pin piece is the last weakest link. The only reason I can possibly think of is that this shaft/pin goes thru & rests in the seattube-mount holes, and it being harder steel may ovalize the softer alum-frame holes? (If not, then I'd say its material spec was cut-corner poor.) Mine failed of fatigue, and I was really lucky that it just gave out while on a fireroad (ie. safely came to a stop), instead of failing upon a big drop/hit (ie. leading to a bad crash).
- PiroChu
Better to have that small replaceable bolt break than the more expensive frame.
 

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aka Jesse Palmer
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857 Posts
So the two aluminum bolts are threaded on the ends and they are then attached together by a steel bolt i nthe middle, right? How about drilling the aluminum parts all the way through and slide a nice steel bolt through to add support to the weak hollow aluminum and keep them together? You would end up having the extra bolt heads sticking out a little further which could be annoying...
 

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'18 Transition Sentinel
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1,015 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
'alum vs steel' and 'pivot pin vs frame'

Nagaredama said:
Better to have that small replaceable bolt break than the more expensive frame.
Hi Nagaredama,

That's a good point in that it's the similar idea with a rear-derailleur hanger taking the hit than the frame drop-out and/or a rear derailleur itself. But, if so, I wonder why other pivot pins (on seatstays & chainstays) on my bike are of steel (and I like that they're of steel). If it was for this reason of what-bears-the-hits, wouldn't/shouldn't the same logic also apply to other pivot pins, I wonder? (But, it must be per the strength-&-benefit risk-assessment trade-off that they went with steel for others spots?) I wonder what Kona (and other 4-bar's alike) spec's for their main rocker-plate pivot; steel or alum?

Anyway, at this point, I'm now simply curious as to why Azonic reached this alum-spec for that pivot; either very well-assessed/thought through (intending to protect frame), or carelessly/mindlessly not thought of (inadequately forgot to spec steel). I guess I'll never know...

Thanks for your input,
- PiroChu
 

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'18 Transition Sentinel
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1,015 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
UPDATE: my MacGyver fix

I have an update on this topic that I'd like to share here...

The other evening I took out the alum pivot pin just to check up on it, because my bike's been creaking a lot lately, and - sure enough - the pivot pin is already bent/warped again only after 250 miles / 2 months. :skep:

This was a piece that I just replaced back in July, which was my last spare, and I've read that Azonic USA doesn't carry Saber Hardware Kit anymore.

So, here's my MacGyver fix, with some stainless-steel shoulder bolts from McMaster.Com... :D

I've measured that the inner diameter of the big bearings is M10, and that the distance between outside surface of the rocker plate and the inner surface of the welded tab on the seattube is about 25mm, and that the distance between the inner surfaces the 2 tabs are about 22mm. Additionally, I picked up some 3/8" washers, M10 washers, and M8 (1.25 pitch) stop nuts from a local hardware store, as in pic below.

I put them all together, and the bike seems to be back in good working order (at least so in my garage). :thumbsup:

(NOTE: Just FYI, in 2 pictures below, you'd notice that the threaded ends of the 2 bolts are slightly touching each other in the center. So, I actually took 'em out, Dremel'ed the ends down a bit to be flush with stop nuts, put 'em all back together, and now the threaded ends of the 2 bolts don't touch / bottom-out on each other in the center anymore, with a small space in-between. I was just too lazy to take another pic.)

The only concern with this fix is that I intentionally spec'ed stainless-steel bolts this time, despite the possibility of ovalizing the tab holes. However, my 2 rationals are (A) the stock lower-shock mounting spec is also alum tabs welded on downtube with M8 steel bolt going thru and it's doing fine, and (B) I simply have no choice (per "no more Hardware Kit from Azonic USA"). I think it'll be OK, because the pivoting is done by the bearings, and the bolts/nuts are just holding/pinching the pieces together. In fact, I confirmed that the bolts/nuts stay stationally (don't rotate) in relation to the frame, when cycling thru the suspension movements.

I was also concerned a bit with the hex-bolt heads sticking out too much, possibly hitting my knees/legs or catching my knee/leg armors. But they seem to be OK (while pedaling in driveway). I'll have to go for a real test ride/crash later to tell for sure.

In any case, at this point, I think I'm just going to ride this 'discontinued-in-USA' frame as "disposable" until the tabs finally fail/ovalize (then get a Transition BottleRocket next!). But, who knows, maybe it'll actually last a good long time(?) - at least hopefully/certainly much longer than the short 2-month period that the spare alum pieces lasted this time. What do you guys think?

Cheers,
- PiroChu

 

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