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WWYD?
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all you VT owners,

I'm currently experiencing a scary cracking sound coming from the seat tube area whenever I take a solid hit going over a root or rock or taking a small (6 inches to foot drop off a rock) drop. It doesn't matter if I'm seated so I think the seat post can be ruled out. But the sound seems like movement of two pieces of metal rubbing. I clean every thing up after a ride with minimal water and lube it all down. The shop where I bought the bike, Performance has mechanics with minimal experience so I think MTBR riders will know more than they do.

I think its the Swinger 4-way shock or the mounting bolt areas, or maybe the pivot bearings on the seatube or the bottom bracket pivot bearings

I've done the following;
1. Lube and torque tighten the bottom bracket, seatpost, derailleurs (front replaced), pedals, crank bolts. Basic spring maintenence.
2. Clean lube all bushings and bolts and nuts. Couldn't take the bearings out though.
3. Inspected for cracks in the frame. Okay.

The bike shop has also done the same and given the frame and bike the "OK" but the creaking-cracking sound is still there. The bike shop has even put rubber washers on bottom shock bolt to keep the movement of the spacers to a minimum. I'm going to do that with the top bolt of the shock too.

But my question to Y'all is if you have ever had a loud, frightening cracking-creaking sound happen when the Swinger shock is active on medium to big hits and how, if you did, fix it?

This is definately a flow-killer because it happens when I take a decent hit from ripping through a section or washboard areas where it seems the shock is constantly active. It sounds like the frame is cracking apart.

Giant won't look at the frame because its not broken yet and this is my second dually frame in a year and a half. I broke an NRS at the seatube and Giant quickly replaced it with the VT. I'm thinking of going back to a steel hardtail.

Can you help a brother out?

Thanks.
 

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WWYD?
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
More later

I'm going home to work on it now. The rear shock was replaced by answer with a 4-way and they had a problem finding a suitable top bolt, maybe thats it so I'm trying teflon tape and innertube washers.

jb
 

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creaking frot end on vt3

I have a vt3 2004 at the moment. It also has a sickening creaking sound, although it seems to be coming from the front end. It seems to happen every time there is any pressure on the forks, small drops or even riding off a street gutter. Everything is nice and tight so I'm not sure where the problem is. The bike shop had a look but couldn"t find a problem. They said that alot of giants creak, but don't worry about it. Any suggestions on what might be causing this ? I'm positive it's not the forks. It's definitely coming from the frame.
I am currently about to buy a reign 1 or 2. I hope there is no problems with these bikes. Has any one else suffered these problems ?
 

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VT Creaks

I like many VT owners have become obsessed with my bikes noises.

It started with the seat post, which was quickly fixed with a new one.

I then had a nasty creak which turned out to be the BB which was fixed under warranty.

For a week or so I had another noise which was fixed by tightened the top mounting bolt of the rear shock.

I now also have a terrible cracking sound that sounds as worrying as the one you describe. This can be generated by holding the seat and rear wheel and flexing the back end laterally (it is flexible back there!). I think I have narrowed the cause down to one of my pivot points which has given me some complex problems before care of careless intial insertion of a sealed bearing into the the upper pivots. I am yet to investigate this new noise other than thecreak can be felt the most around the dodgy pivot point. A sharp vibration at the time of the "snap" or creak may be a way in which to locate your problem source.
 

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WWYD?
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thats it! THATS IT!

Hey Gaunty and wombat

I'm concerned and kinda relieved that other people are experiencing this. I hope y'all have contacted Giant. They seem to know about this problem but are uncooperative and are explaining it as something you can fix (meaining that I have to fix it!!!). I'm not so sure about that other than replacing all the linkage stuff.

My sound happens like yours' with any sort of drop, but intermittently it will be fine when I start out riding but the first set of washboard bumps or log and it will go "CRACK!". For me the sound is roughly in the seattube-pivot area and now the "CRACK!" will occaisionally pop several times on the shock return with a slight bump feel.

I have now added teflon tape with grease to the top mounting bolt, bottom bolt inside and out of the spacers. Took it out and "CRACK!" again. It is a ridiculous sound and freaks out other riders too. I wonder about Giant's liability if the bike falls apart and you get injured because this is happens especially when the suspension is fully activated and in the middle of its travel. Everything is greased, inspected and torqued. I even put a new front derailleur and cables thinking it might be the prob.

I ride a lot, about 75 miles offroad a week. Broke an NRS, but my hardtails have always been silent except for the usual BB or skewer noises. I have a Rainier and Giant was quick with a replacement frame for the NRS but I'm seriously thinking of another hardtail and going to a different brand like Mountain Cycle, Specialized (owned three of their bikes). If Giant isn't willing to help their customers I'm not going to support their products.
 

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Hey, thought i'd pipe in even though I don't currently own a giant vt. Am considering one for my son. Sounds suspiciously like something that happened with my Spec Enduro a couple of years back. My first bike and I killed it with kindness. I wanted to be sure everything had lots of lube / grease. I put a light film of waterproof grease on the rear shock bushing and spacers. Sounds like the right thing to do. Wrong, very very bad. Two rides later the back end is clicking / snaping. Re torquing everything only resulted in making the noise sporratic. Two more rides and it is loose and noisy. Take it apart and the DU bushing and the spacers are worn out. No grease for DU's. Was lucky enough to have a brother who is a machinist "trouble shoot" the problem for me or I would probably have done it again. The upper bushing which I did not grease lasted two more years.
May or may not the case for your problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yellowbrick, thanks for the idea...

1yellowbrick said:
Hey, thought i'd pipe in even though I don't currently own a giant vt. Am considering one for my son. Sounds suspiciously like something that happened with my Spec Enduro a couple of years back. My first bike and I killed it with kindness. I wanted to be sure everything had lots of lube / grease. I put a light film of waterproof grease on the rear shock bushing and spacers. Sounds like the right thing to do. Wrong, very very bad. Two rides later the back end is clicking / snaping. Re torquing everything only resulted in making the noise sporratic. Two more rides and it is loose and noisy. Take it apart and the DU bushing and the spacers are worn out. No grease for DU's. Was lucky enough to have a brother who is a machinist "trouble shoot" the problem for me or I would probably have done it again. The upper bushing which I did not grease lasted two more years.
May or may not the case for your problem.
Whats the DU. Is it the plastic insert on the rocker arms? I've got sealed bearings on the main pivot and seattube pivot, do I grease those? Should I locktite the bolts?

Thanks again

John
 

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johnnyb said:
Whats the DU. Is it the plastic insert on the rocker arms? I've got sealed bearings on the main pivot and seattube pivot, do I grease those? Should I locktite the bolts?

Thanks again

John
The DU bushing is in the "eye" of the shock, both ends. And it is a "plastic" type of coating over aluminum, grease eats it. Not sure of the rockers arm inserts, sounds like it may be the same. Sealed bearings should only need occasional maintenance, they are sealed so in order to grease them you need to remove the seals. The seals should keep everything out including grease applied to the outside. I use blue locktite, and the proper tourque as specified. Over tourquing to compensate for worn parts (loose fit) can cause even more damage.
JP
 

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Hey guys,

It is indeed therapeudic to at least chat through these issues with someone else hey?

The white nylon washer on the top rocker arm is effectively a 1mm spacer that sits around the small aloy washer that sits behind the bearing. I learnt this after having to manufacture one to replace the one that broke because the bearing was never put in far enough (formed its own niche in the rocker arm pot!) (Giant would only sell the $80 set of complete nuts and bolts, I got a couple of nylon washers from a Fasteners outlet for nix).

Agree with Yellowbrick road that grease does no good, my first attempted nylon washer disintegrated after a few rides.

Keep us posted if you find an answer. I am hoping to do some more work on my rig later in the week.
 

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WWYD?
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Grease bad?

Wow. Thanks for this insight guys. The LBS and websites said that grease was good for creaking sounds and to use locktight too. But it hasn't worked yet.

I think the problem is somewhere in the linkage or its the shock, because the crack sound is intermittent for me, but when it starts, it is a chain of cracking sounds.

I'll tear apart the linkage again and inspect and replace the nylon washers, the LBS mechanic didn't see anything wrong but I don't think I can trust this guy anymore.

Another thing worth mentioning is that I'm a big guy; 220 lbs at 6'2", and when I go out on the trail my favorite part is a great downhill rock garden that I beat my bike on. So I am abusing my bike about everytime I go out. I've had the VT1 for 10 months so it could be the bushings...

I'm beginning to like my hardtail better though. :^(

;^)
 

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Don't give up on FS

Hope you guys find the source of your trouble. Don't give up on FS bikes, definetly more "stuff" to look after, but worth it after 15 min flat out down hill. BTW am considering a VT 2 frame for my son, have most of the parts for the build but would like to buy a seatpost to avoid the shim. What size is the seatpost?

Tks
 

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WWYD?
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
30.9 or 30.8 mm for the seatpost...

Yellowbrick,

I have a 30.9 mm X 300mm seatpost and does the trick, I've heard that the 30.8 mm works too. I'm too busy making money to work on the bike right now, but will keep posting when I find what the @#$%%#!!! creak is coming from...

John
 
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