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  1. #1
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    So I bought a Tricross Sport...I think I'm going to return it.

    I am terribly sad today. I test rode the 2007 Tricross Sport 3 times over the past couple of weeks, and went for a really long ride on Saturday before I bought it. It rides really well, I loved it, so I bought it.

    Well this morning on my commute to work I experienced the carbon fork chattering thing that has been discussed and apparently is an issue: Getting a new fork on my '07 Tricross

    I called the LBS and explained what I experienced. They had heard nothing of it and since there are no service bulletins from Specialized, they would charge me to modify the bike, change parts, etc to try to get rid of the chatter issue.

    Alternatively, I can return the bike for a full refund. Since the bike already costs $1100, I feel like it should be a perfect ride and I shouldn't have to be concerned about vibrating/chattering issues, much less pay more to fix a brand new bike...is this a fair point of view? The thing is I LOVE how this bike rides.

    I'm thinking of getting a Cross Check instead.

    Any thoughts?

  2. #2
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    return it...and then go to another LBS that sells it...no point in riding something that rattles...or is broken...return it and find another store that sells it...

    Good luck
    Road: Specialized Allez Sport Double 2006
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    Or you could set the toe in on the brakes...which is what causes the chatter.

  4. #4
    Portland, OR i_r_beej's Avatar
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    Keep the bike. KEEP THE BIKE!

    Virtually ALL cyclocross bikes experience this. No matter the fork material: steel, aluminum alloy or carbon composite. Mountain bikes experienced the SAME issues before the advent of linear-pull brakes (V-Brakes). It's just an issue with cantilever brakes.

    In fact, there are many crossers who have replaces the front cantilever brakes with linear-pull and eliminated fork chatter.

    You can change the brake pads to something better-- I've had fantastic luck with Kool-Stop's dual-compound "mountain pads". Proper toe-in will also help greatly.
    Despite the fact that I constantly recommend Kool-Stop brake pads-- no, I don't work for Kool-Stop. (Although their factory is just a few blocks from my house!)

    I ride drop bars off-road. (The excellent On-One "Midge.")

  5. #5
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    i r beej is right. Keep the bike, adjust the brakes, and enjoy the bike.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by i_r_beej View Post
    Keep the bike. KEEP THE BIKE!

    Virtually ALL cyclocross bikes experience this. No matter the fork material: steel, aluminum alloy or carbon composite. Mountain bikes experienced the SAME issues before the advent of linear-pull brakes (V-Brakes). It's just an issue with cantilever brakes.

    In fact, there are many crossers who have replaces the front cantilever brakes with linear-pull and eliminated fork chatter.

    You can change the brake pads to something better-- I've had fantastic luck with Kool-Stop's dual-compound "mountain pads". Proper toe-in will also help greatly.
    Thanks for the feedback. I see the Cross Check comes with Cantilever brakes also. Are you saying that I could buy a Cross Check with the steel fork and experience chattering also? If so, then why is no one talking about fork chatter with the Cross Check bikes?

    I understand that bikes may need adjusting, but I've read threads here where people are only talking about chatter with the Tricross and everything from toeing-in to replacing forks twice fixed the problem. I can not afford to hope that I don't have one of the bikes that needs fork replacement.

    I only have a small window of time with the LBS before they will not accept the bike for a full refund. It doesn't take long for a new bike to no longer be in resaleable "new" condition, particularly if riding in the streets of NYC.

    I'm basically nervous and am spending too much money to not be 100% happy with my purchase. I don't really know what to do. Return it and try 2008 Tricross?

    The LBS had not heard of this issue at all. If it was common to adjust brakes for new cross bikes it seems like they would point this out...is that a bad sign?

    Thanks again.

  7. #7
    I Design Stuff rickyaustin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adamcsmith View Post
    Thanks for the feedback. I see the Cross Check comes with Cantilever brakes also. Are you saying that I could buy a Cross Check with the steel fork and experience chattering also? If so, then why is no one talking about fork chatter with the Cross Check bikes?

    I understand that bikes may need adjusting, but I've read threads here where people are only talking about chatter with the Tricross and everything from toeing-in to replacing forks twice fixed the problem. I can not afford to hope that I don't have one of the bikes that needs fork replacement.

    I only have a small window of time with the LBS before they will not accept the bike for a full refund. It doesn't take long for a new bike to no longer be in resaleable "new" condition, particularly if riding in the streets of NYC.

    I'm basically nervous and am spending too much money to not be 100% happy with my purchase. I don't really know what to do. Return it and try 2008 Tricross?

    The LBS had not heard of this issue at all. If it was common to adjust brakes for new cross bikes it seems like they would point this out...is that a bad sign?

    Thanks again.


    I have a 07' Cross Check. I locked the brakes up at 25+mph the other day (didn't wipe out thank goodness) and have never had any chatter. I'm a big guy and put a lot of stress on my brakes. They've been great.

  8. #8
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    Anybody else think it's ridiculous that this man's LBS sold him a bike and the shop won't (can't) do something as simple as adjust cantilevers to eliminate chatter?

    Your LBS should do better, IMO.

  9. #9
    Portland, OR i_r_beej's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adamcsmith View Post
    The LBS had not heard of this issue at all. If it was common to adjust brakes for new cross bikes it seems like they would point this out...is that a bad sign?

    Thanks again.
    Yeah-- the shop doesn't want to giv you the money back. They want to keep the sale!

    Seriously-- they might suck. They might not-- they might not ride 'cross bikes. They might not know. They might not care. There are too many variables. That's why finding a good shop and mechanic are like finding a good auto mechanic or doctor-- once you make that important and crucial personal relationship you protect it and value it.


    Anyway-- I stray from the point.

    If they offer a money back guarantee-- take it. Go get a Cross-Check. I almost bought one and corresponded with a fellow at Surly several times during my research-- they're quite up-front and very friendly and helpful. (Buying a Cross-Check Complete locally was a bit of a PITA...)

    Anyway-- the Cross-Check is a fabulous bike. Specialized sucks because they sued a local bike company for producing a 'cross bike named "Stumptown". Never mind that 'Stumptown" is a nickname of PDX. Someone might mistake "Stumptown" for "Stumpjumper" and wind up buying a better bike.

    Get the Cross-Check. Then buy some V-brakes (mini-V's would be good) and you'll not have any chatter. Just don't endo. If you stick with cantilevers-- you may or may not experience chatter. Rain and/or cold weather increases the liklihood of chatter, as do improper brake set-up and crappy stock brake pads (remember-- nothing beats Kool-Stop! Another local company!! yay.)

    One last thing? Front end chatter and squeal was common way back when. Cantilever set-up was an arcane art and one practiced endlessly. Then V-brakes and disc brakes made the cantilever all but obsolete. V-brakes, however, aren't the panacea they might seem. They have poor tire clearance compared to cantilevers and are not terribly suited to muddy, goopy cyclocross.

    I'm sorry if all this just seems to make the issue "clear as mud".

    good luck and enjoy the ride.
    Despite the fact that I constantly recommend Kool-Stop brake pads-- no, I don't work for Kool-Stop. (Although their factory is just a few blocks from my house!)

    I ride drop bars off-road. (The excellent On-One "Midge.")

  10. #10
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    chitter chatter

    I have a Gunnary Crosshairs with a Surly Crosscheck fork, and it chatters signifcantly as well. Previously, I thought it was due to a good sized ding in the rim, but after replacing the rim, it still chatters when braking hard. The pads are toed in, so I might have to try the Kool Stops.

    Eric

  11. #11
    vjp
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    Quote Originally Posted by the mayor View Post
    Or you could set the toe in on the brakes...which is what causes the chatter.
    +1

    I have a straight blade steel fork and "toe in" was the key. As a matter of fact, I completely forgot that people used to stop walking on the sidewalk as I came up to a Stop Sign because it sounded like "some machine" was going to explode. Play with pad compounds also. You can also change up your brake levers for "left hand, rear" like all the cool kids do.

  12. #12
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    I vote get your money back. There are plenty of other dealers in NYC for good cross bikes. If the shop isn't interested in solving your problem, there is more a problem with the shop than the bike. Take the bike back and get a new shop.

  13. #13
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    Saying that virtually all cross bikes have chattery front ends is both stupid and wrong. It all comes down to front brake setup. Most low end, out-of-the box cross rigs have crappy brakes with crappy pads. Couple this with the fact that the guy building the bike likely didn't check the toe-in, you'll get a chattery fork.

    Good cantis with good pads that are setup correctly won't chatter a bit, period.

  14. #14
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    I don't think the LBS is opposed to adjusting or toeing-in the brakes, but I did not request this as I was not aware of it when I spoke to them on the phone earlier. I do get lifetime free minor adjustments at the shop now, so I imagine this would fall under that category. On the other hand, when I described the chattering problem he put me on hold, and then said the mechanics were all shrugging their shoulders and have not heard of this chattering with the Tricross bikes. He also did not offer for me to bring the bike in and let them have a look to see if they could resolve the problem either.

    I'm also hearing a couple of different view points in the thread.

    1. Adjust the brakes, toe-in, try new pads - problem will more than likely be resolved at little or no cost.

    2. Take the bike back asap, find a new bike shop, and buy a Surly.

    I am a bit torn. I do love the way the Tricross rides...it is really comfortable, yet I feel like I'm gliding over most everything, and not working very hard to do it, and moving at a nice pace. So with that in mind, I feel like I should just ask for a brake adjustment, test it out outside the shop then return it or keep riding based on that. On the flip side of the coin, I would like a nice relationship with a bike shop (as I know squat about bikes and upkeep), and I am not opposed to giving the Surly a go. I was debating between these 2 bikes before I bought the Tricross anyway. And the other LBS has the 58cm Cross Check built and I rode it just a few days ago. But if I buy a Surly, am I risking dealing with crappy out of box parts that could also bug me? What can I expect with the complete? I have not read a single complaint on this forum about the Surly Cross-Check bikes.

    Thanks guys, I appreciate your thoughts...sorry for the frustrating posts, I just want to be completely satisfied with a $1000 bicycle.

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    The bike sounds fine but the bike shop sounds like a bunch of stooges. If the mechanics didn't know enough to suggest adjustment of the brakes then I don't think I'd trust them to touch anything on my bike. Of course, you could have just described the problem poorly and confused them. I'd bring the bike in and give them a chance. If they can't diagnose it in person, or don't think toe in and pad changes would reduce chatter then return the bike.

  16. #16
    The mods changed this... damocles1's Avatar
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    Just make 'em fix the damn thing. It's nicer bike than the Surly, no matter what anyone says.

    Fork design and material make no difference either. I've have Avid cantis on a steel straight fork (Kona), an alu curved fork (Jamis/Kinesis) and now a carbon curved fork (Salsa) and NEVER had an issue with chatter once the bike was properly sorted out.

  17. #17
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    I bought my Tricross comp recently and at first didn't have the chattering fork issue or squeeling brakes. A couple of months later and now I do. I changed the pads and adjusted them a bit for more toe in and now all is well. I think you can just take it back to them and have them do a 2 minute adjustment to solve your issue.

    It's a great bike. I love mine. I actually sold two other "specialized" bikes because this one does it all. Pun intended.
    Demented internet tail wagging imbicile.

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    I think that you should keep the specialized. As another poster mentioned it's a nicer bike than the surly. Just get the brakes adjusted properly and ride the piss out of it.
    Note that as the pads wear they may start chattering and have to be adjusted again.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by damocles1 View Post
    Saying that virtually all cross bikes have chattery front ends is both stupid and wrong. It all comes down to front brake setup. Most low end, out-of-the box cross rigs have crappy brakes with crappy pads. Couple this with the fact that the guy building the bike likely didn't check the toe-in, you'll get a chattery fork.

    Good cantis with good pads that are setup correctly won't chatter a bit, period.
    +1000

    I have 4 bikes with cantilevers. None of them chatter. Carbon is more prone to chatter than steel. Usually, it's because the brakes haven't been set up properly. Steel, IMO, is more forgiving in that respect.

    You'll find most younger mechanics don't have a lot of experience setting up cantilevers. They grew up on V-Brakes. Call some different shop in your area. Ask them if they have any experience setting up cantilevers. Cantilevers work well. They just take a little more patience to set up properly. Try toeing the brakes first, it's free. Then try using new pads. Good luck


    Tim
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  20. #20
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    Thanks guys.

    I think I will plan on keeping the Tricross. I like it, I want to ride it, I enjoy riding it. I just wanted to ensure that this chattering was not some major issue with this particular model of Tricross. I read a few other threads where people described replacing forks, etc., and I got concerned (and nervous).

    If this is a common occurrence among many bike/fork/brake set ups that can be pretty easily resolved by adjusting the brakes, then I will give the bike shop another shot and ask them about an adjustment.

    It does concern me that when I described the fork chatter issue to the LBS, that the response was not what you guys are telling me: "bring it in, we'll adjust the brakes and send you on your way," but: "everyone is shrugging their shoulders." I find it hard to believe that they have not gotten another single call regarding a related fork chatter issue if it is as common as you guys say it is, and even easier to resolve.

    I will let you guys know how this pans out. If they are unable to resolve by means of an adjustment, or even replacing brake pads, I think I will return it and take my hard-earned money elsewhere.

    Thanks again.

  21. #21
    Portland, OR i_r_beej's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by damocles1 View Post
    Saying that virtually all cross bikes have chattery front ends is both stupid and wrong.
    Your civility is appreciated!

    Forgive me for not being so precise-- my intent was that brake chatter in this case was not something limited to the Tricross, but a issue facing any bike with cantilever brakes.

    With your vast technical knowledge and your polite demeanor, you are an asset to this forum!
    Despite the fact that I constantly recommend Kool-Stop brake pads-- no, I don't work for Kool-Stop. (Although their factory is just a few blocks from my house!)

    I ride drop bars off-road. (The excellent On-One "Midge.")

  22. #22
    The mods changed this... damocles1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by i_r_beej View Post
    Your civility is appreciated!

    Forgive me for not being so precise-- my intent was that brake chatter in this case was not something limited to the Tricross, but a issue facing any bike with cantilever brakes.

    With your vast technical knowledge and your polite demeanor, you are an asset to this forum!
    Your vast, sweeping generalization about chattery cross forks and canti brakes was, in fact, wrong. Any mechanic that knows more than he reads should be able to adjust out any brake chatter or squeal. If they can't, they suck!
    I'm sorry your feelings got hurt. Have your mom give you a hug...

  23. #23
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    its a rather common complaint on the tricross, and one that can apparently be fixed. In some cases, folks have changed the brake brand, pad type, even switching to V brakes and many have found relief. sometimes, adjusting the toe in helped. and sometimes not.

    There are even posts on the forum that specialized has replaced some of the chattering tricross tricross forks with the sworks tricross fork, and the chatter has dissappeared. I have the sworks tricross frame with different wheels and brakes and pads than the non s-works tricross bikes. this fork is beefier, and it hasn't chattered on me (and I am not a l'il feller, i weight 210), but then i dont have the same braking surface, pads or brakes either.

    I'd keep the bike, its a good one. there is a fix, and maybe just an adjustment will do it.
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbpence View Post
    its a rather common complaint on the tricross, and one that can apparently be fixed. In some cases, folks have changed the brake brand, pad type, even switching to V brakes and many have found relief. sometimes, adjusting the toe in helped. and sometimes not.

    There are even posts on the forum that specialized has replaced some of the chattering tricross tricross forks with the sworks tricross fork, and the chatter has dissappeared. I have the sworks tricross frame with different wheels and brakes and pads than the non s-works tricross bikes. this fork is beefier, and it hasn't chattered on me (and I am not a l'il feller, i weight 210), but then i dont have the same braking surface, pads or brakes either.

    I'd keep the bike, its a good one. there is a fix, and maybe just an adjustment will do it.
    As a somewhat new and inexperienced person in the world of $1000+ bicycles I am having a hard time understanding what you're telling me. There is a common complaint about a very specific problem on the Tricross that is sometimes solved by completely replacing the set of brakes that Specialized decided was best for the bike or by replacing the fork on the bike? This is the part I'm having the hardest time with. It just seems crazy to me and I don't think it is too much to ask to ride out of the bike shop on a brand new bike and it operates perfectly fine, particularly when paying a fair amount of money for it.

    I also understand that some of these issues may be related to how the bike is assembled by the LBS, but immediately replacing brake systems or forks on a brand new bike really seems like a stretch.

    Are there other bicycles out there that are causing people these sorts of minor headaches?

    Please correct me if my thinking is skewed, or if my expectations are too high.

  25. #25
    Portland, OR i_r_beej's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by damocles1 View Post
    I'm sorry your feelings got hurt. Have your mom give you a hug...
    I'll have her give YOU the hug. And maybe some cookies.
    Despite the fact that I constantly recommend Kool-Stop brake pads-- no, I don't work for Kool-Stop. (Although their factory is just a few blocks from my house!)

    I ride drop bars off-road. (The excellent On-One "Midge.")

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