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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm boxing my tracer 275 up for a trip back to it's "homeland". Traveling to san diego for a week. I pulled the rear shock off, just so i could move the rear triangle through it's travel. I noticed it's a little "notchy". I had actually felt it when i was riding the bike in the 140mm setting, but it went away when i put it in the 150 setting. I PUSHED some grease into the lower pivots to see if that WOULD HELP (IT DIDN'T). Is the notchy feeling part of the vpp geometry, or is there something wrong? WHAT SHOULD I DO? Thank you.

ALSO, WHEN I TRY TO LOOSEN THE UPPER PIVOT BOLTS, THEY ARE "CRAZY" TIGHT. I'M A FAIRLY DECENT MECHANIC, I'VE SPUN A LOT OF BOLTS..THESE ONE'S SCARE ME. THERE IS DEFINITELY A LOT OF ENGAGEMENT ON THE ALLEN WRENCH, BUT I EVEN PUT A 12" BAR ON THE WRENCH, AND THEY DIDN'T WANT TO BUDGE. SHOULD I USE A LITTLE HEAT? IS THERE RED LOCTITE? THEY ARE RIGHT HAND THREADS RIGHT? SHOULD I JUST LEAVE THEM ALONE FOR NOW?
 

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Lower pivots might be tightened too much. Try loosening them a little bit.

The upper bolts have threadloc on them, they have normal threads. Apply more elbow grease. :)
 

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Dude, got any schwag?
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I'd pull the lower pivot pins & roll the bearings by hand to see if they're roached. The upper pivot bolts are likely red loctited in, so use your best judgment on them. And re apply loctite when you reassemble, those have a rep for loosening. Since you'll be in the area you can always swing by the "lair" to pick up new parts if needed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you both for the answers. I was anxious to get it in a box...and since i couldn't feel it when I was riding it, I just left it. I'll address it after the Vacation. I'll start by loosening the lower pivots a little. If that doesn't do it, I'll pull the whole rear triangle off and start checking each pivot. If that doesn't do it......who knows. Thanks again.
 

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Dude, got any schwag?
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I don't recommend loosening the lowers. They're easy to pull apart, check and lube, then re-torque to specs.
 

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Rent this space for $
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Sounds like a roasted bearing set at the lower shock eye and/or the remaining triangle pivot points. "Notchy" is usually how that starts. Time for new bearings throughout.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I guess "notchy" may have been the wrong description. It almost feels like the geometry "cams over". It felt that way in the 140 setting when I was riding it. If i bounced a little on the bike, it felt like the suspension "cammed over" at the top of the travel. It took some "break away" then rode very smooth. When I switched to 150, it seemed to go away. Is this "cam over" feeling something that other people feel when they remove their shock and move the rear triangle completely through it's travel? I'm still trying to determine whether it's geometry, or related to the pivots. This bike has so few miles, I can't really imagine there is a problem with a bearing/bushing/pivot. Would someone from Intense or someone who owns a Tracer 275 please let me know whether or not they have felt what I am describing? Thanks again everyone.
 

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My lower link feels notchy when I tighten the front bolt to the recommended 60 in-lb. When I loosen it to 50 in-lb, it's smooth. Gonna try a few rides with it at 50 and check it again.
 

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My 2009 Tracer VP has this exact same issue. Feels buttery smooth until I torque the lower link. Then it gets uber-notchy, even with brand new bearings. Since the bike still rides perfectly, I've just let it go, but deep down I wish I could get that out of there.
 

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I guess "notchy" may have been the wrong description. It almost feels like the geometry "cams over". It felt that way in the 140 setting when I was riding it. If i bounced a little on the bike, it felt like the suspension "cammed over" at the top of the travel. It took some "break away" then rode very smooth. When I switched to 150, it seemed to go away. Is this "cam over" feeling something that other people feel when they remove their shock and move the rear triangle completely through it's travel? I'm still trying to determine whether it's geometry, or related to the pivots. This bike has so few miles, I can't really imagine there is a problem with a bearing/bushing/pivot. Would someone from Intense or someone who owns a Tracer 275 please let me know whether or not they have felt what I am describing? Thanks again everyone.
I can confirm that my Tracer 275 feels the same. I feel it the most just sitting on my bike at a standstill and bobbing up and down. I do know that my bearings are near the end of their lives so I had chalked it up as a toasted bearings, so I'm glad I stumbled across this thread and to know that I am not the only one who feels that their suspension isn't quite 'smooth'.
 

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There is a thread on here from a very long time ago where Jeff Steber chimed in about this subject. He said that one may feel that the bearings are notchy when spinning them by hand when the lower link is off of the bike but when you assemble everything together and everything is torqued, you should be able to cycle the suspension without feeling it be notchy at all. If it is notchy, then you need to service or replace. I have noticed that just pumping grease through the lower bearings usually wont solve the problem. I take the link off of the bike and pump new grease through the bearing. I then find a socket that barely fits into the inner diameter of the bearing. I wrap a layer of black electrical tape around the socket for grip and then using a drill and a adapter to hold the socket, I slowly spin the bearing for many revolutions to get the new grease throughout the entire bearing. This usually takes care of the notchy feeling. Another important thing to think about for preventative maintenance is NOT using water to spray down your bike. WATER IS THE ENEMY! I stopped spraying down my bikes several years ago and since then I have never needed to replace a pivot bearing. I only pump grease through them on occasion and complete the process listed above. Remember that after doing all of this, and torquing the lower link to specs, it may still feel notchy. Its when you have assembled everything back together, that you shouldn't feel the notchy feeling anymore by cycling the entire rear end. Also, I have NEVER needed to service or replace the upper pivot bearings since I stopped spraying down my bike. I will say, that I live in a somewhat drier climate so my bikes don't see a lot of water on the trails unless its April or winter around here.
 

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Until I broke the front triangle on my Tracer VP last week (sadness,), I had the same issue. I had 2 causes:1) over torqued lower link bolts and 2) very oddly front dérailleur ever-so-slightly touching the rear triangle because my bike was either sold with the wrong FD (too big) or had an overly bulbus weld on the brace connecting the seat and chainstays.

Ditch the FD, embrace 1x and get to know your way around a torque wrench --> problem solved!

YMMV


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The front D definitely isn't the problem on mine, as the lower link with no rear T attached at all is still notchy once torqued.

He said that one may feel that the bearings are notchy when spinning them by hand when the lower link is off of the bike but when you assemble everything together and everything is torqued, you should be able to cycle the suspension without feeling it be notchy at all.
Mine is the exact opposite of this. The bearings are smooth as glass on their own, then once you torque the lower link, it then feels like it has detents. And this is using brand new bearings. Also, this is when moving the lower link by hand. I don't feel the notchiness when sitting on the seat or compressing the suspension with the whole bike together and pushing on the seat, etc.
 

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Warped or bent link. Frame alignment issues. Check the shoulder of the lower link about - they can get notchy if they back out, even a little, founder torquing.

I also noticed that my bike would feel notchy -like the cam-over phenomenon- with the shock out of the system when I'd cycle it through the travel, but smooth when the shock was in the system. I think it's because the compression damping of the shock forces the frame into a different path than when you manually cycle it through the travel w/o a shock.


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