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Well, I recently purchased one of the most expensive bikes that BD offers: 2017 HAL Boost Team – its a 27.5 Boost with 2.8 Tires and SRAM Eagle/Shimano XT components. I love the specs; its a beautiful piece of machinery, and received it less than a month ago. I must say that I love the value, and could speak to the upgrade able components possibly at the end of the post. Lets talk about the issue for a moment, as it has opened my eyes to potential challenges when not purchasing from a local face:
I am having a difficulty with the frame, and it is turning into an “experience” to get it reconciled. Initially, the description said that it came with ISCG-05 mounts around the pressed bearing bottom bracket, which it did not. I contacted Customer Service, and they said that it was a description “mistake” and took it off from the website description:
“Hello again, It appears the ISCG-05 mount is not on the bikes and is a typo from the factory. We are in the process of updating the listings. Please let me know if there is anything else I can help with. Best regards”
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<td>BOOST Axle Spacing 29 / 27.5+ SUSP. MTB ALLOY(6061) WHEEL TRAVEL: Up to 140mm. B.B. SHELL: BB92 ALUMINUM 41x92MM W/ISCG-05 ( KNUCKLE BOX MADE BY CNC ) Hydroformed Butted and Geometric Multishaped Aluminum tubes,1 set H2O Bosses (Small has no bosses), Four Bar Rocker Arm with HAL Linkage. Gusseted SL 6061 Aluminum (Disc Brake Equipped) Super Smooth Sealed Cartridge Bearings at critical pivots, Dropouts: ALUMINUM VERTICAL W/ALUMINUM REPLACEABLE HANGER W/POST DISK MOUNT. O.L.N:148MM, (Riders are reporting there is Room for 27×3.5″ and some 29×2.8 tires, not all tires will fit) HEADTUBE 1-1/8″/1.5″ ( 44/56mm ) L: 38/43/48/52M=100/120/130/140mm</td>
Not a deal breaker, however anyone running a 1x drive train that costs what an SRAM Eagle runs, had better figure out some kind of bashguard configuration that works with a pressed bearing BB – Good luck on that one. Cost for the return shipping on parts ordered was not covered by BD based on the “typo”.
That was an issue, but my on-going problem is that essentially, the frame at the bottom tube is crackling. Understanding that there are many things that could cause “noises”, I have repacked the head tube bearings, greased the spacers, torque-wrenched the stem and bars and still am getting the crackling when putting pressure on the frame, then crackling again when lifting (almost like it creaks going down, then coming back up). I had it at the LBS for a couple hours, and we narrowed it down to something in the frame bottom tube – you could feel the vibration and everything.
I have been in contact with customer service which is all via email, and can say that they have been responsive communication wise. Here is the response that I received this morning:
“Hello, I will be glad to help. Unfortunately noise is not a defect that affects function. Is there a function issue? Second- noise can be caused by numerous things and without the bike in front of me I’m not sure what the cause can be based on the video you sent. Also- check chainrings for tightness, wrap all threaded interfaces with teflon tape and torque to spec. Use anti-seize on all flat interfaces. Use some carbon grip paste on the seatpost tube. Make sure cranks, pedals and chainring bolts are all properly tightened. If your able to track down the exact cause please let me know and we can go from there. Best regards”
Mind you, this is a brand new bike that has never been ridden on a trail, only professionally set-up, and ridden in the parking lot to make sure everything jived. You should be the judge to determine if this is acceptable to you and your potential experience or not. The reps suggestions, while sound, are not something the average Joe that just threw down $3k on a bike should have to do out of the box – literally, in my opinion. There is a lot of time and cost involved in those actions, none of which lend to the initial excitement value of the SUBSTANTIAL purchase of your new ride. The jury is still out for me, as I love the bike, but am annoyed by the clicking coming from the frame after spending hours to track it down, and the expense of having it professionally set-up and diagnosed.
As a side note, if anyone has experienced this before please comment with suggestions for getting the fix (short of replacing a potentially faulty frame). The bike shop had experienced this one time previously on a Salsa frame. Kinesis who manufactures for Trek, Santa Cruz and others made the frame. I will attach the link of the exact frame that is on the HAL Boost. http://www.kinesis.com.tw/s/2/product-501693/I8610-2017-27-5-inch-Plus-Suspension.html
As far as what should be upgraded to really bring this bike to the standard of the components: the seat post, handle bars & grips, and seat are base model stuff – good to get you going, but certainly would budget for others to improve your experience. As mentioned earlier, the bash guard option should be a serious consideration for someone typically riding this machine to the function it is spec’d for. It does come with an HDM for chain guide.
Pro-active suggestions on the creaking would be much appreciated as well as the ISCG-05 mount – Cheers!