Was I expecting too much from my £350 bike?

nmfeb70

Regular
Location
Tonypandy, Wales
Hi Everyone, I bought a new GT Aggressor Sport MTB in January for £350 (stop laughing at the back). I do about 100 - 120 miles a month, in all weathers, and on all types of terrain. After every ride I always treat my bikes with some TLC (wash, dry & lube). In six months I've needed a new rear freewheel and a new bottom bracket. I now suspect I may need another bottom bracket as it's giving off clicking sounds on every rotation. I have had no such problems with my other retro MTB's. Am I expecting too much from my £350 GT Aggressor or, as my local dealer tells me, modern bikes are dire?
 

ColinJ

It's a puzzle ...
It sounds a bit soon to be needing another BB (as long as you haven't been using a pressure washer on the bike!) - are you absolutely sure that it is the BB that is clicking? It is amazing how noises from one part of the bike can sound like they are coming from somewhere else. For example, I once had a clicking sound that I thought was from the BB... it turned out to be my leg catching the end of the front mech cable and flicking it against the seat tube!
 

southcoast

Senior Member
I purchased a new 2001 GT Avalanches back in the day. The bottom bracket started to make a noise after a few months. I tightened it up in the frame and it’s been fine ever since. So it’s lasted 18 years and I’ve covered most of the North and South Downs on the bike.
 
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Rusty Nails

We remember
Location
Here and there
Do you mean rear freewheel or cassette? What went wrong with it as 5/6 hundred miles is not a lot of miles, as with the bottom-bracket.

When you wash the bike do you use a power-jet to clean it as that can cause problems with bearings. (ColinJ beat me to it!)

£350 is not a top-end bike, but it is certainly nowhere near a BSO, so you are entitled to expect better than that.
 
It would seem too soon for the BB to be going, it's possible but lots of other things can click as Colin has already said. Pedals, a loose chainring bolt or something catching can all fool you into thinking it's the BB. Even something like your handlebars clicking can do it, it's not always easy to trace a noise. I can't believe you've gone through those items in 6 months, change your dealer!
 
OP
nmfeb70

nmfeb70

Regular
Location
Tonypandy, Wales
It sounds a bit soon to be needing another BB (as long as you haven't been using a pressure washer on the bike!) - are you absolutely sure that it is the BB that is clicking? It is amazing how noises from one part of the bike can sound like they are coming from somewhere else. For example, I once had a clicking sound that I thought was from the BB... it turned out to be my leg catching the end of the front mech cable and flicking it against the seat tube!
Hi Colin, I don't use a pressure washer, I wear different types of shoes and the noise persists whether I pedal standing up or sitting down. I'm not 100% the problem is the BB but it seems to be coming from that particular area.
 
OP
nmfeb70

nmfeb70

Regular
Location
Tonypandy, Wales
It would seem too soon for the BB to be going, it's possible but lots of other things can click as Colin has already said. Pedals, a loose chainring bolt or something catching can all fool you into thinking it's the BB. Even something like your handlebars clicking can do it, it's not always easy to trace a noise. I can't believe you've gone through those items in 6 months, change your dealer!
Thanks Crackle, when I first had problems with the freewheel & BB the dealer told me he admired my enthusiasm for cycling (at my age!) and said I would wear parts out quickly with the amount of miles I cover. I can't help but think the bike is simply piss poor compared to my bikes of 20 years ago?
 
OP
nmfeb70

nmfeb70

Regular
Location
Tonypandy, Wales
Do you mean rear freewheel or cassette? What went wrong with it as 5/6 hundred miles is not a lot of miles, as with the bottom-bracket.

When you wash the bike do you use a power-jet to clean it as that can cause problems with bearings. (ColinJ beat me to it!)

£350 is not a top-end bike, but it is certainly nowhere near a BSO, so you are entitled to expect better than that.
No I don't use a jet wash. A knocking noise started to emerge after two months (approx 200 miles). I took it back & the dealer replaced the freewheel and the noise ceased. Then a crunching noise emerged and the dealer replaced the BB which rectified the problem. Now I have this clicking noise on every rotation.
 
Good morning,

I would join the others in suspecting elsewhere first.

I got given a pair of those resin pedals that makers like Specialized put on their bikes when they expect you to throw them away and buy clipless.

One of them had the bearings over tightened and this undid the pedal over a short period of time, this caused a click once a rotation.

It was not visibly obvious and your dealer may have tightened it when you took it back and not mentioned it.

Bye

Ian
 
OP
nmfeb70

nmfeb70

Regular
Location
Tonypandy, Wales
Good morning,

I would join the others in suspecting elsewhere first.

I got given a pair of those resin pedals that makers like Specialized put on their bikes when they expect you to throw them away and buy clipless.

One of them had the bearings over tightened and this undid the pedal over a short period of time, this caused a click once a rotation.

It was not visibly obvious and your dealer may have tightened it when you took it back and not mentioned it.

Bye

Ian
Thanks Ian.
 

SkipdiverJohn

Über Member
Location
London
What sort of BB is it? A sealed unit or something with loose or cage balls that can be easily adjusted and greased?
I've done more miles than you on bikes that I've pulled out of bins which were already over 20 years old to start with, and all I have ever done is strip and regrease the existing BB and headset bearings. I've not had to replace any freewheels either, mine are nearly all basic Shimano 5/6 speed units nothing fancy. What was actually wrong with the freewheel to require replacement? I can't see how it could have worn out so quickly, they should outlast a chain - and you haven't mentioned that failing. I would not be surprised if a BB was fitted at the factory with poor lubrication or adjusted too tight though. A lot of bikes also seem to have over-tight wheel bearings. I get the distinct impression modern bike assembly standards are piss poor, and done by cheap unskilled labour. I bought two basic, budget level new bikes in the early & mid-1980's (one Raleigh, one Puch) and both were properly assembled and adjusted out of the box and gave me no trouble whatsoever over a lot of miles. I outgrew the Raleigh but still own the Puch now! Cheap bikes with budget components can last OK so long as they aren't maladjusted from the outset.
 
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