Travelanche broken pivot gusset.

greeno

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
San Diego
Just wanted to give anyone that purchased a Travelanche (Exess HP-E180a) a heads-up to make sure that ALL your pivot bolts are tightened securely before heading out on a wilderness ride or any ride for that matter. Im usually pretty good about making sure checking everything is tight but I guess I'm full of s*it on that note... I always use locktite ( blue ) on all bolts so kinda a loss.

Im posting this in the WW section as that is who I purchased the frame from and Pushkar hasn't had any issues with my other post's on this bike's information or reviews.


Had a free day today so I decided to head inland to the mountains and go for a nice ride off the beaten path to an area called Buckman Springs.
No pics as I didn't have my phone with me until I got back to my vehicle.
Got there about 10am and suited up with leg and arm protection, helmet as well as H2o, and my trusty tool kit not knowing how important that would be later on.

Everything was going fine until one particular climbing section and I felt something weird going on in the rear end so at the top I dismounted and visually checked the back end. Nothing stuck in the derailer and the chainline looked fine so I got back on and took off again. right away something felt really off so I got off and checked everything again. This is what I find.
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Actually the other side was the one missing the bolt and this side had the bolt and bearing still there securing nada.

So this pivot attaches to the front lower rear triangle and lower frame support as well as the bottom rear shock mount support. So not a very important piece to fail right?

So Im about 5-6 miles from my truck but most of it is downhill so I got that going for me, so I got to it.

First thing I did was shut off the power at the display. Then I put the bike upside down off the side of the trail ( never saw anybody the whole day ) but if I set up in the middle of the trail somebody would of came by for sure. Removed the rear wheel and set it aside, took off my helmet and backpack and got my tool kit out and went to work.

Couldn't remove the existing support bolt that was broken and doing nothing as I needed to put an #6 allen in the backside to keep it from turning so I could remove it.
So... I removed the lower rear triangle bolts ( both sides) so I could remove the lower shock mount bolt so I could get to the backside of the first allen bolt I needed to remove to facilitate a fix to get my ass back.

Then I removed that bolt and installed it on the side that was still intact ( drive side ) and tightened that up good. Next I reinstalled the lower shock mount bolt and finally the rear lower triangle mount bolts. Everything was as tight as I could get it so I re-installed the rear wheel and aligned up the chain on the gear I was previously in. Total time for the fix was probably a half hr. Having an adequate selection of tools made the difference between pushing or riding back to my vehicle.

Now I only have support on the drive side lower frame support so I just babied it down the canyon keeping most of my weight on that side and rarely pedaling to try to keep flex to a minimum. I was able to coast maybe 90% of the time and just kept up a bit of speed for any uphill sections all the time staying aware of any extra play in the rear end.
Made it back, cracked a cold beer and loaded up everything and drove home.

Im guessing that the drive side bolt backed out and left the other side to absorb the full support and any flex that occurred just snapped off the piece in question.

Now I have the fun task of fixing this problem. Anyone got an extra one laying around? Just checkin. Sent an E-mail to Exess over in Germany telling my sad story, Much more condensed as I did here. Knowing this bike is a couple years old and their newer model doesn't have the same frame configuration as this one I feel Im gonna be solo on this. But it doesn't hurt to ask. As long as I get a response good or bad from them I will be happy.

My brain is already reverse engineering this fix as just a slug of Alum with a few holes tapped in it is not the answer.

Well see what happens.
 

greeno

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
San Diego
Yeah that would be my guess. Have had problems with the numerous pivot point bolts backing out.
Gonna have to check em like a hawk once I get this resolved.
 

bexamous

Active Member
Region
USA
Yeah I'm starting to check bolts on my bike more frequently. I lost a nut awhile ago and then ended up going through most susption bolts regreasing and adding a drop of threadlock. But recently found a bolt half turn loose. Kinda lucky up till this point cause I check so infrequently.

Situation you're in is the worst though.. its hard enough to find some of these speciality bolts if you loose them, much less ending up with a damaged part you need to figure out solution to.
 

greeno

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
San Diego
Good news on my predicament.
After sending an E-mail to the Exess bike company over in Germany yesterday afternoon I woke up today and checked my e-mail and lo and behold I recieved a response from the company.

Hello Mike,
Yes we still support the parts sale for the HP-180 bike.
We can offer you a full lower linkage set for 192 euro, this set includes the alum linkage itself, all bearings, washers and screws.
As for shipping cost I would need your address to check on how much shipping would be.
Best regards
Phillipp Muller

S-Tech
Exess

NOW THATS OUTSTANDING CUSTOMER SERVICE.
Only thing better would be to cover it under warranty but I'm not gonna press that issue. Going to get (2) and some more of the specialty bolts and washers that recess inside the frame pivots, bearings I can get here

So it looks like this is a nothing to see here thread fortunately.
So I guess this is a good time to totally break down the bike, motor, dropper, forks and go over it with a fine tooth comb in case anything else is suspect.

Moral of this story;
Carry more tools than you think you might need because you just might.
Here's what I got in my bag;
H2o bladder
Tire patch kits (2) for tubed and tubeless with (5) co2 cylinders , auto inflate valve. (2) small 1oz bottles of stans because I run tubeless
Small tire pump
Small shock pump
Folding cutoff saw for downed branches or whatever
Large 14" tie wraps (6)
Small 8" tie wraps (10)
Windbreaker jacket lightweight
Spare reading glasses with case, and $20 inside with old business card for ID
Spare chain and master links
Park chain connect/disconnect pliers
small vice grips
small channel lock pliers
small crescent wrench
Backcountry folding multitool kit
(2) small screwdrivers flat and phillips
Full set of allen wrenches with (2) extra #9 wrenches
roll of tape
20' or so of 5/16" para cord
Probably a few other things that I have thrown in there for good measure
Pack weighs about 16lbs when filled up with water

Thanks for the support guys.
 

greeno

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
San Diego
A couple of e-mails back and forth to Germany and my parts are shipping Friday. Getting extra bolts and spacers etc along with the main pivot link, in fact getting two of them. Total cost with shipping is around 3 bills. Such a freakin deal. When it happened I didn't forsee it working out this well. Hopefully a week or so to get here, there sending it Express to boot.
 

greeno

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
San Diego
Quick update. Parts ended up getting stuck in US customs for a couple of weeks but I received everything on the 20th of July so about a month to ship. Got spare bolts, dropouts, axles, pivot etc so hopefully won’t have to go through this again. Anybody Else that purchased one of these bikes should probably get their spares before they don’t stock anymore. Better lookin at it than lookin for it.