I recently bought a Giant Anthem full suspension MTB. It had a broken carbon frame, brakes that needed a bleed, and a Fox Float RP23 that needed some love. Naturally, I was in love and I just had to have it.
The first order of business was to repair the carbon frame. ( that's a service we provide at Hanover Bikes.) There was a big crack just to the front of the bottom bracket. At first it didn't look too bad, but looks can be deceiving. After removing the glued on frame protector and sanding away some of the clear coat, an approximately 2" long crack was revealed. On the corner near the pivot there was a thin spot in the carbon where there was a hole about the size of a pencil eraser.
I decided to try a new technique that I made up on the spot to fill the hole, I tied carbon fibers into a knot and plugged the hole like a tire plug before I laid 3 layers of carbon fiber over it. The intent was that the knot would give the epoxy something to wick into the hole and bond everything from the inside out. It seemed to work well after some testing.
After laying 3 layers of Carbon Fiber mixed with epoxy and letting it cure over night, I went ahead and sanded off the excess and trimmed any fibers to make a clean repair. I DID NOT go through the trouble of sanding and feathering the edges of the repair and smoothing out the valleys in the epoxy since I had no intention of selling the bike or passing it on to a customer. The repair was functional, and thats all that I cared about as I just wanted to get out and ride before winter took hold. I may make it pretty when im snowed in here in a few weeks.
Once I got the frame rideable some of the other issues presented themselves, the brakes were badly in need of a fluid flush and new brake pads, which was easily accomplished in about an hour. In my unsolicited opinion, Shimano Brakes are superior to SRAM/ Avid as the fluid is mineral oil and not DOT fliud. DOT fluid absorbs water more easily and and is very caustic. Shimano oil is basically mineral oil, which is not nearly a pain to deal with. Baby Oil has been known to work in Shimano Systems.
Test ride number two- I can stop, and my frame wont break under me, this is great! Great, except for the bob, pedal bob, not my son "The Bob." My plan was to use this opportunity to pull the rear shock, the RP23 and send it to Push Industries because my ProPedal lever wasn't working, and it needed a factory service. Being November with unseasonable warm temps, I had to plug something in to the bike to make it work while my shock was being serviced. Enter the DMN shock. I bought the DMN AO-38 RL-P. Its an air shock made in Taiwan, with a remote lock out. It was to be delivered in 2 days, and with Amazon's return policy, I figured why not?
Well, the shock came in about 2 days as expected. The packaging was nothing fancy, but no surprise there. After my first attempt at fitting the shock I realized that this was going to be a project. The frame linkage for the Giant was larger than the eyelet hole in the bottom of the shock by about 2mm. There was plenty of material there, so off to the drill press we go! The drill press and the right bit made short work of enlarging the eyelet hole. I would caution anyone whose attempting to do this from trying to use a hand drill, it would be quite the undertaking, but doable if you've got the skills. Then I realized that the shock was too wide to fit between the frame spacers. It would be much easier to modify the frame spacers, but replacing them would be near impossible should I decide to go back to the factory shock. We use a belt sander to remove a few hundredths of an inch of each side of the eyelet holes to make it fit.
Next, all I have to do is install the lockout lever on the bars and its off to test ride! The lockout was easy enough to install so off to the neighborhood I go! I get the sag set up with my shock pump and vaguely adjust my rebound knob and set off. First ride, I am very pleased with how well the shock works, especially considering all the work it took just to fit the dang thing.
The next available day, I set off to Flo-Ride with my brother to really put everything to the tests. Now mind you, this is an XC bike, but I decided to take it off some jumps to test my frame repair and see how the shock handled it. The shock is advertised as an all mountain shock, so Im not surprised that it took the jumps like a champ. As expected, the frame held up under more than what I was physically willing to put it through. I am confident that my body would break before my frame repair would.
Most of all, I'm impressed with how the shock worked for being an Amazon $99 Taiwan shock. The lock out worked exactly as it should, the rebound adjustment knobs worked perfectly, the shock took all the hits and intentional (and some unintentional) bad lines I could throw at it. I hit a jump or two with it locked out with no ill effects. I basically rode this bike like I've never crashed before. Or, crashed like I've never ridden before- something l like that.
So the shock-
Totally worth the money, especially if you have an older bike and have a hard time replacing your current suspension that can't be serviced. If you have issues fitting the shock to the frame, let us know, we've learned a few tricks along the way.
If you've read this far the first 3 people to mention this get 10% off a tune up