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For those of you who are waxing your chain and running 11/12 speed groupsets, are you replacing your master link every time you take off the chain? I’ve always heard you’re not supposed to re-use a 11/12 speed master links. Not sure this is a fact or clever marketing perpetrated by Big Chain. 

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On 6/28/2021 at 4:51 PM, olddbrider said:

I just booked an appointment with Trail Labs. I called first and talked through the process. Seems like a solid company and they claim they get things serviced and shipped out in 1 business day. Under $300 for a full service on both my fork and shock. I have to pay for shipping there.

I wanted to close the loop on my experience with Trail Labs.

TLDR: All in all, it was a good experience, but not without some drama.

I love the booking process and the fact that when you sign up, you sign up for your component(s) to be serviced on a specific day. In my case, I booked an appointment for Monday, 7/5. I was going to be out of town from 7/1-7/10, so my hope was that my parts would be waiting for me when I got home. I went to FedEx late in the day on Monday, 6/28 and got my fork and shock packed up and ready for shipping. Between buying a box, the shipping, and insurance, it cost me about $50 to send the package. FedEx said it would get there by Thursday, 7/1 which was plenty of time to meet Trail Labs deadline (1 business day before scheduled service).

Then I left for FL. A few days into my trip, I decided to check the Trail Labs website to check the progress of my order. I didn't see anything other than some cryptic codes associated with my order. A couple of days later (Thursday, 7/8) nothing had changed so I gave them a call. Panic set in when they told me they had never received my parts. I got off the phone with Trail Labs and immediately started trying to locate the FedEx tracking number. Thankfully, about 5 minutes later, I got a call from Trail Labs telling me they had basically misplaced my box, but now they had it and would get the service done and the parts shipped out that day.

Needless to say, I was relieved that they had found it, but pretty annoyed that several days had gone by and no one had bothered to let me know that they were still waiting on my parts (or at least they thought they were waiting). I was also bummed because I really didn't think there was any way my stuff would get shipped out on Thursday meaning the likelihood of me being able to ride on Sunday after my trip was pretty much zero. Much to my surprise, they got it turned around quickly and by Thursday evening I had a UPS shipping notification telling me the package was scheduled to arrive on Saturday afternoon.

Sure enough, the parts were waiting for me when I got home. I got everything reassembled and tuned late Saturday and was able to ride on Sunday. Things ended up working out, but it was frustrating to hear that they had basically lost my box for a few days. With one ride on the newly overhauled parts, I have to say that I'm really pleased with the work. I can feel a noticeable difference in the ride quality of my fork especially. I also like that Trail Labs included the old parts (seals, wipers, washers, etc) that were replaced as part of the service. The skeptic in me says they could have just put any old parts from any fork in the bag, but the fact that they go to the trouble of doing that makes me more confident in their work.

I'd use them again, but next time I'll be more diligent about checking in with them from time to time.

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1 minute ago, WLemke said:

For those of you who are waxing your chain and running 11/12 speed groupsets, are you replacing your master link every time you take off the chain? I’ve always heard you’re not supposed to re-use a 11/12 speed master links. Not sure this is a fact or clever marketing perpetrated by Big Chain.

I'm using 11 speed largely Shimano drivetrains, but I use SRAM PC-X11 chains. And while I'm not waxing (although technically Smoove is wax in a suspension), I do regularly remove my chains for a number of reasons, so I suppose the question applies to me. If I drive in the rain I'll ofen remove it. I remove it for occasional degreasing with Smoove. And I remove it every damn time I remove Chamois Hagar's rear wheel because it's otherwise an exercise in frustration to remove because of the saddle tube clearance. 

So the question, do I reuse the master link? Yes. But I occasionally regret it. Over time they wear so much that you can remove them by hand, like the old 9 speed days. And when that happens, you know you had better swap it out for a new one, because it's getting close to failing. Although I've used 11 speed chains for 6 years (20 billion miles) I've only had 3 or maybe 4 occurrences of them failing during a ride--but they do eventually fail. I pack 2 pairs of spares at all times. 

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FWIW, the eagle 12spd chains are 100% compatible with 11spd drivetrains and last much longer than their counterparts. They also seem to shift better.GX at a minimum. 

I do not have the watts and annual mileage of @Barryso my experience will vary.

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Thanks for the reminder about Eagle 12 speed chain. I'll try one next rotation. I've heard before that they run quieter and perhaps shift better, but always forget to try it out. 

 

Edit: shit, I better remember to get a spare master link or 2!

Edited by Barry
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I swapped out a squish fork for a carbon Whisky on one of my bikes.
For the life of me I cannot get the headset dialed in perfectly snug. There is a maddening slight play and I just can't seem to take out the smallest slack.
I have played with different spacers and still can't get the headset tightened correctly.
What can I be missing?

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2 minutes ago, Cafeend said:

I swapped out a squish fork for a carbon Whisky on one of my bikes.
For the life of me I cannot get the headset dialed in perfectly snug. There is a maddening slight play and I just can't seem to take out the smallest slack.
I have played with different spacers and still can't get the headset tightened correctly.
What can I be missing?

Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk
 

Integrated or press-in headset cups?

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22 minutes ago, Cafeend said:

What can I be missing?

first things that come to mind that need to be ruled out:

is this a new headset as well? did you swap the crown race from you old fork to the new fork, or did you just buy a new crown race?

depending on the frame, it may need the head tube reamed and faced for a headset to fit and line up properly. my last frame had a head tube that was basically egg-shaped so the headset cups would not really fit at all until I had the shop fix the head tube.

sometimes the dust cover on top of the headset contacts the top headset cup when tightened down, so the headset will bind when compressed even though the bearings are not getting proper preload. you can solve this with a tiny, thin spacer (0.10mm, I think) between the compression wedge and the dust cap.

all this is really hard to describe without photos of your headset and fork.

Edited by mack_turtle
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Thanks ..
It is a integrated headset from Wolftooth
Its been on this bike for 11 months with a RockShox fork.
I move the race over from the RockShox fork and moved all the pieces directly over as well. I do have several of the .10 spacers I can play with. I know this is not Apple to Apples but the only difference is the new fork and using a plug instead of a star nut now. Every other piece is the same.

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12 minutes ago, Cafeend said:

Thanks ..
It is a integrated headset from Wolftooth
Its been on this bike for 11 months with a RockShox fork.
I move the race over from the RockShox fork and moved all the pieces directly over as well. I do have several of the .10 spacers I can play with. I know this is not Apple to Apples but the only difference is the new fork and using a plug instead of a star nut now. Every other piece is the same.

Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk
 

If it’s integrated and you’re using all the same pieces on the new fork, then that won’t be an issue. If you didn’t need a shim before, you wouldn't need one now. 

The only effective change is moving from a star nut to a compression plug so that’s more than likely is your issue. 
 

IDK exactly the type of compression plug you are using but I recently worked on a cannondale road bike with a FSA compression plug that needed to be “pre-compressed” so that the total length was 48mm before you inserted it into the steerer tube. If it was too short, the compression plug wouldn’t compress the headset enough.
 

Maybe investigate if something like that is your issue. 

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1 hour ago, Cafeend said:

Thanks ..
It is a integrated headset from Wolftooth
Its been on this bike for 11 months with a RockShox fork.
I move the race over from the RockShox fork and moved all the pieces directly over as well. I do have several of the .10 spacers I can play with. I know this is not Apple to Apples but the only difference is the new fork and using a plug instead of a star nut now. Every other piece is the same.

Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk
 

It's the compression plug. I went through this on my last road bike. it seems not all compression plugs are the same. I have one you can try if you want to see if that's the problem.

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It's the compression plug. I went through this on my last road bike. it seems not all compression plugs are the same. I have one you can try if you want to see if that's the problem.
I'll text you. Thanks . Worth a shot

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Bent the hell out of my front chain ring two months ago. Put it in a vice and bent it back to tide me over until I could get a replacement. Only took two months but I finally got my hands on a new XT chain ring. Ended up finding one at Richardson Bike Mart up in DFW. 
41FC8EAE-DC8B-4B7B-A7D1-5F5D6B9CF746.thumb.jpeg.c739682538ea5467521d905d02c61427.jpeg

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Shimano parts are super spotty right now. Chains and brake pads are especially difficult. Check with me next time, if it’s not showing on the site I can get you an ETA at least. We actually have the SLX chainring in stock and had the XT in 32 last week.


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Shimano parts are super spotty right now. Chains and brake pads are especially difficult. Check with me next time, if it’s not showing on the site I can get you an ETA at least. We actually have the SLX chainring in stock and had the XT in 32 last week.


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I’m still currently on the hunt for an XT or SLX chain. Don’t need it yet but I suspect in another 100-200 miles I’ll be hitting the .5% mark.


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19th try was the trick. I was not able to use the plug donated by Chief but finally got the headset tightened up.
I will confess I managed to strip the head of the plug bolt. Someday down the rode I'll be cursing myself. It'll be a easy fix but a pain.
Thanks all!

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Oh Geeze. Guy dropped off a Cannondale Jekyll with a creaky BB. I removed the crank and found that the dropper cable was routed incorrectly, rubbing against the crank. Do y’all think this crank is still safe to use or should I tell this guy he is going to need a new crank? It doesn’t seem very deep but you can feel the groves when running a finger over it.
8b9524f06832691902a207f8263e0ced.jpg

37faf9f94295148dd53d5609fd6cf097.jpg


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That crankset is done. I wouldn't F with that. If you're in a bike shop and you don't insist on fixing it, guess how easy it will be for the rider to sue you if that was to break while riding and the rider gets injured. I turned down working on a lot of bikes for stuff like this in my day.

It could be worse: https://www.instagram.com/p/CPi2zeYBhDz/?utm_medium=copy_link

Edited by mack_turtle
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I would tell him he needs a new crank. If he decides to run it the way it is, then it is 100% on him. 

It *probably* won't break, but my experience is that things like this have a habit of going south at the worst possible time. It is not a "GET THIS REPLACED BEFORE YOU RIDE ONE MORE TIME" and more a case of "hey, you need to replace this crank, order one and ride carefully; as soon as it comes in we'll need to swap it out."

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