I’ve been riding bikes of all kinds since the 1980s and done some big rides. But the Fezzari Timp Peak I bought in late 2014 was the first really good mountain bike I owned. I got this bike to ride Kokopelli’s Trail with Bikerpelli in 2015. Great ride!
Carbon frame, carbon wheels, SRAM XX1, dual suspension, dropper seat, weighing 25-26 lbs. ready to ride. It’s been a great bike but it’s not perfect. Here are some of of the problems I’ve encountered and how I solved them.
SRAM Sticky Brakes
The first problem was the dreaded SRAM sticky brakes. The brake lever pistons gradually grow (yes they physically get larger!) and get stuck in the cylinder. In my case it took a few years to happen. Here is my fix. That worked for a year or so, then they got sticky again. At that point instead of sanding down the pistons again, I replaced them with aftermarket metal pistons. These have perfect fit & function, came with the o-rings, and fix the problem permanently.
Frame Suspension Pivot Bushing
After a few years, the frame developed a bit of play. Most of the frame suspension pivots use bearings, which I serviced (cleaned, re-greased). But one of them uses a bushing, and that’s where the play developed. Over time the bushing wears and needs replacing. I contacted Fezzari and they told me:
The bushings at the main rocker pivot are IGUS L289 sleeve bushings. The part number for them is LFM-1012-06. The “-06” part of this part number is in reference to the bushing length which is 6mm.
However, what I would recommend trying is a bushing with a 10mm or 12mm bushing length (part no. LFM-1012-10 & LFM-1012-12, https://www.igus.com/product/?artnr=LFM-1012-10). It will allow for a bit more overlap with the frame and should help reduce the play.
I ordered that part, 10mm size. It fit perfectly and the frame is like new again. Actually, better than new!
Rear Hub Failure
The last problem I encountered was the most severe. It stranded me out in the desert near Moab and I had to walk my bike out. Going up a hill, the bike suddenly made a horrible clacking sound and the pedals were free-spinning. The chain was completely intact. I took apart the rear hub by the side of the road to discover that pawls that engage the freehub ratchet had worn down and were slipping. No way to fix that by the side of the road. And after I hiked back to the car and drove to town, none of the bike shops in Moab could fix it either.
Fezzari connected me to Hayes/Reynolds where I contacted a guy named Dan and ordered the parts:
Part 21290 "Reynolds XD Driver Body" replaces the cassette ratchet gear. Part 20702 "2015-2016 Attack Assault Strike Hub Rebuild Kit" replaces the hub pawls (and other things).
When I told Reynolds this unusual and catastrophic failure happened to a bike that was only a few years old, equipped with some of their best carbon wheels, and left me stranded having to hike out of the desert pushing my bike, they gave me a 25% discount.
The above parts fixed it. The pawls were the essential part; they were visibly and obviously worn down and rounded off. The freehub ratchet wasn’t obviously worn, but I replaced it anyway since it could have had non-visible damage from the damaged pawls slipping over it.
Bottom Bracket Crank Arm Spindle Bolt
After servicing the bottom bracket (cleaning & re-greasing bearings) I was re-assembling it. These SRAM cranks have a single bolt on the left (non-drive) side that holds everything together. The spec says tighten to about 52 Nm, or 38 ft.lbs. As I was tightening it, well before it got that tight, I felt it give. I removed it and discovered 2 things:
- The head had sheared off the bolt
- The bolt was made of aluminum (or alloy) — not steel ?!
This is a high torque, high stress bolt. It should be made from steel! Making it from a softer, weaker aluminum alloy is a total fail in design. I’ll gladly pay a weight penalty of a measly 12 grams for the confidence of knowing my cranks won’t fall off the bike. Apparently I’m not the only person who thinks so. Shout-out to one of my LBS, Gregg’s Cycles, who had a replacement bolt in stock. I bet I know why they keep these bolts in stock… <groan>
- Truativ GXP M15 Crank Bolt
Sadly, it is alloy like the broken one. So it is probably “single-use”. I’m still looking for a steel one, but this one will serve until I find it.