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Bayonet fork coming loose
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I've posted about this before, but I have continued having problems with the Bayonet fork on my 2008 Felt B2 Pro coming loose. I think I have finally solved the issue for good and just wanted to pass the info along to others; also, if anyone from Felt is on this board feel free to offer other tips or things to watch for. I would also suggest that you make sure that your dealers understand how to install and adjust this system! My bike has big spots rubbed through the carbon on the head tube because my dealer (a very famous West Coast tri shop) did not set this up correctly.

When I first bought the bike, the front 2 countersunk machine screws that attach the front of the adjustable stem top cap to the fork were not tightened properly by the shop and came loose within the first week. Not being familiar with the bike, I just thought that it didn't handle well going downhill (the front end would shudder under braking and turning). However, when I noticed that the decals on the sides of the head tube had been rubbed off, I started to suspect that something might be loose. A little internet digging turned up the Felt video on how to install and adjust the system. I took everything apart, re-assembled it, and all was well for several months.

Well, everything was well again until about halfway through the bike course at Wildflower, where I noticed a different symptom. The bike would creak under heavy pedal load, especially while climbing. Downhill braking and turning seemed okay, so I didn't suspect that the fork was loose. After the race, I loosened/re-tightened the seat, the handlebars, the seatpost, and the pedals (all the usual creak locations) thinking that would take care of it. Since my next race was Alcatraz, I switched to the road bike and forgot all about my TT bike.

After Alcatraz, it was time to get ready for SD International, where I would use the Felt B2 again. I rode it a couple of times and the creak was still there. Weird. I got on the bike in a stationary position and practiced weighting a pedal and pulling up on the handlebars as happens during climbing. It still seemed like a pedal or bottom bracket or something wasn't quite tight but loosening/re-tightening all of the usual suspects had no effect. I then noticed that when sitting on the bike with the front brake applied and pushing forward, I could feel the front end give a little bit. This time the rear bolt through the adjustable stem top cap had come loose. This one secures the back half of the adjustable stem top cap to the steerer tube that runs through the headset. So the fork was effectively only secured at the front end, not the back. I then noticed that the rubbing on the sides of the head tube had gotten even more severe, and now you can even see some carbon strands exposed since the clear coat is all gone.

It is now just a couple of days before the race, so I disassemble the whole thing again and re-assemble it, this time being careful to apply threadlock to all 3 bolts that secure the adjustable stem top cap to the fork and steerer tube. While tightening the front 2 machine screws though, I accidentally round out the hex drive when the key twists under pressure (this is very easy to do). Also, the top cap specifies 20N/m for these. I have found that these screws are so easy to strip I can't advise using a torque wrench on them. By the time you get to 10N/m you will get twisting and round out the hex drive like mine had ended up. Also, the shape of the top cap makes it very difficult to get any sort of hex driver in there other than a plain key or T-handle. So...

It's the day prior to SD International, and I decide to get the machine screws replaced with ones that aren't rounded out, so I stop at Ace Hardware and get a set of T-handle hex drivers and some new machine screws. I remove the handlebars and stem, the back bolt that secures the top cap to the steerer tube, and set to work on the machine screws -- unfortunately they have become so rounded out that not even the T-handle hex drivers can remove them. Now the real fun begins.

When it is the day before your most important race of the year and you have to put on safety glasses so that you can drill out screw heads on your bike, you'll start rethinking this whole triathlon business -- trust me. Anyway, after much drilling and several bit changes on my drill, the heads of the machine screws finally come off and I can remove the top cap from the fork. Now in most other cases involving drilling off screw heads, this is a time to celebrate -- you can just use your fingers to back out the screw shaft. Unfortunately in this case I had needed to use threadlocker to keep these screws from coming loose (remember the beginning of the story). These things are glued in place so it's back to Ace Hardware I go for screw extractors and pilot hole drill bits.

When it is the day before your most important race of the year and you have to put on safety glasses so that you can drill tiny pilot holes in the screw shafts of the glued-in machine screws that you had to drill the heads off of to remove, you'll start rethinking this whole triathlon business -- trust me. Not knowing which extractor size was appropriate, I got the 2 smallest ones and 2 drill bits for each. I started with the smallest, put the drill bit in the drill and started drilling. Snap. Broken drill bit. Well, that's why the spare is for. Changed it, started drilling. Snap, broken again. Okay, let's move on to the next size extractor. Change the bit, start drilling, bit doesn't break, keep drilling, keep drilling. Try to put in the extractor but the hole isn't deep enough. Resume drilling, keep drilling, put pressure on the drill but not too much, keep drilling, keep drilling. Re-try the extractor -- boom, it grabs and the broken screw shaft comes out. Now one more to go -- repeat on the other side, and success! Both of them are out.

Anyway, I finally got the whole thing back together and I didn't round out the hex drive on the screws in the process (because I used T-handle drivers instead of keys or a torque wrench). I was able to get my bike checked in (bike check in ended at 3pm) and my race went great. The bike handles very, very well when the Bayonet system is installed correctly and everything is tight. For those of you who have this bike, here are my tips to installing the top cap.

1) Watch the Bayonet assembly video from Felt.

2) Use ONLY T-Handle hex drivers when installing/removing the 2 front countersunk machine screws. Do not attempt to tighten them anywhere near the 20N/m specified on the top cap, you will round out the hex drive and soon be drilling screw heads off.

3) Use threadlock on both the 2 front machine screws AND ON the bolt that secures the back of the top cap to the steerer tube.

4) If you notice any strange handling on your bike (shuddering, twisting, creaking), inspect and re-tighten the system.

5) If you notice rubbing on the sides of the head tube, inspect and re-tighten the system.

Again, if anyone from Felt reads this -- please make sure your dealers understand this system and that they use threadlock where it needs to be applied! My bike had no threadlock on any of these fasteners, so it's no surprise that they came loose. I only wish that my great $5K+ bike didn't have to be needlessly messed up (head tube rubbing through to the carbon weave) because of bad assembly. And I'm sure mine is not the only one to have this issue.
Last edited by: need4speed: Jun 29, 09 9:09
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Re: Bayonet fork coming loose [need4speed] [ In reply to ]
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I had the same problem with my 08 B2. After much frustration I removed the system all together and put an Easton 1" aero fork on it. Sent my frame to Felt about the rubbing from the fork and they said to put a sticker over it. Very poor customer service in my mind. They pass the blame no matter how you explain it to them. Never will I buy a Felt again. I wish I new this when I bought my B2.
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Re: Bayonet fork coming loose [sctriguy] [ In reply to ]
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where did you buy your Felt? Was it installed correctly?
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Re: Bayonet fork coming loose [SuperDave] [ In reply to ]
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Its was purchased from a dealer here in upstate SC. I am assuming that when I buy from an authorized Felt dealer that it was installed correctly. Shouldn't they know how to install it? Regardless when it was sent back to Felt they said the deep scuff marks on the frame were fine and that I should put a decal over it. You spend $$ for their bike and that is their response? On top of that I had to pay for the shipping to get my bike back. I guess once they got my money for the bike that ended the relationship. Like I said poor customer service.
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Re: Bayonet fork coming loose [need4speed] [ In reply to ]
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How is your bayonet fork holding up? Curious because I thought about putting mine back on my B2.
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Re: Bayonet fork coming loose [SuperDave] [ In reply to ]
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After reading my post, I let my frustration get the best of me. I like my B2 just wish my LBS had enough sense to understand the bayonet system before they assembled it. After talking with them they really didn't know what they were doing. Is there a way to replace the scuffed decals?
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Re: Bayonet fork coming loose [need4speed] [ In reply to ]
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In Reply To:
The bike would creak under heavy pedal load, especially while climbing.
My 2009 B2R FP does this and I have gotten very little help in fixing the problem. I also had mine assembled at a Felt dealer...

Frustrating as Hell when you've spent this much on a bicycle. I should have kept my P3SL... :-/
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Re: Bayonet fork coming loose [bluekoi] [ In reply to ]
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I bought a 2008 DA and the bayonet fork began to loosen on mine after ~ 10 months of riding. Fortunately, my LBS guy - whom I'd bought it from - knew exactly how to fix it. In fact, prior to getting the bike to him, he told me that if I couldn't get out to see him and I went somewhere else to be 100% sure that I took it to a mechanic who knew the structure and set up of the bayonet fork.

I absolutely love my bike - great fit, great feel and great ride - so it is disheartening to hear of your disappointing experience. I'd like to think that Felt was capable of more satisfactory customer service.


______________________________________________
You miss 100% of the shots you don't take -- Gretzky
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Re: Bayonet fork coming loose [sctriguy] [ In reply to ]
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In Reply To:
I had the same problem with my 08 B2. After much frustration I removed the system all together and put an Easton 1" aero fork on it. Sent my frame to Felt about the rubbing from the fork and they said to put a sticker over it. Very poor customer service in my mind. They pass the blame no matter how you explain it to them. Never will I buy a Felt again. I wish I new this when I bought my B2.
If I had a $1 for everytime I have heard about this issue, I would be able to buy a P4. I had the same issue with my 2008 B2. The fork on my frame rubbed, sent it to Felt and was told it was my fault. I sold it for a huge loss.
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Re: Bayonet fork coming loose [need4speed] [ In reply to ]
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Just an update on my situation...

I finally got this sorted out. My shop (a Felt dealer) assembled the fork improperly on two separate occasions.

After I left the shop and got the bike home, I noticed that the fork seemed loose. Yes I should have checked it at the shop, but I didn't. And frankly I'm glad because they wouldn't have done anything to fix it the right way anyway. So I went to Felt's website and watched the video. I took apart the whole thing and noticed the head adjuster screw and the steerer length compensator were all wrong. They had everything jacked down tight. So the screw that is inside the head adjuster screw was all the way down (the 6mm). So I couldn't tighten the head adjuster down far enough. Also The steerer length compensator was screwed all the way down into the head adjuster.

To be blunt, these guys didn't give a crap about the quality of their work and more importantly my bike and/or my safety. Not to mention I was in there to get my bars swapped out. When they re-ran the cables, they failed to put the cables through the routing holes on the bottom of the bars. Not the worst thing in the world, but it just shows the lack of attention to detail or care for their work.

Incidentally I just got off the phone with the shop and they told me "well it came from Felt that way". I called BS on him and he replied that his "best guy" worked on it. I said if it was his best guy, he would have noticed that the Bayonet Fork was installed improperly AND he would have routed my cables through the routing holes.

I have talked to Dave Koesel about this who has been nothing but professional. He told me right off the bat that I should check out the instructions online. I chose to leave it in the hands of my (ex) Local Bike Shop, hoping they already knew this procedure. So much for "the customer is always right"...
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Re: Bayonet fork coming loose [bluekoi] [ In reply to ]
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Make sure you put threadlock on all 3 of the fasteners that secure the top cap to the fork -- the two countersunk machine screws at the front and the machine screw in the back. Otherwise they will come loose again; there is a lot of vibration and stress there.
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Re: Bayonet fork coming loose [need4speed] [ In reply to ]
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In Reply To:
Make sure you put threadlock on all 3 of the fasteners that secure the top cap to the fork -- the two countersunk machine screws at the front and the machine screw in the back. Otherwise they will come loose again; there is a lot of vibration and stress there.
Will do that tonight - thank you.
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Re: Bayonet fork coming loose [SuperDave] [ In reply to ]
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SuperDave, After reading this thread it seems Dealers and Customers are having problems with installing/maintenance of the Bayonet Fork. Is the problem going to be resolved in the 2010 DA frame?

Thanks,
Rex
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Re: Bayonet fork coming loose [need4speed] [ In reply to ]
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What's thread lock? I could use it on my 08 B2. I have to reassemble my bayonet about every 2 weeks. I feel your pain, I constantly have the same propblem.
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Re: Bayonet fork coming loose [didelbeans] [ In reply to ]
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In Reply To:
What's thread lock? I could use it on my 08 B2. I have to reassemble my bayonet about every 2 weeks. I feel your pain, I constantly have the same propblem.

I feel your pain also, you know a 1" aero fork will work on the B2, you remove the whole bayonet system.
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Re: Bayonet fork coming loose [didelbeans] [ In reply to ]
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Thread lock is a special polymer glue applied to fasteners before assembly. It dries in place and prevents the parts from coming apart until a certain critical torque is reached. It is very important for any environment with lots of vibration (like the front end of a bike). I am using blue threadlocker for the three adjustable stem top cap fasteners on my 2008 Felt B2 and it seems to be strong enough. Loctite is a famous brand name for thread lock. Just ask for "Loctite" or "thread locker" at your local hardware store and they'll know what you mean. There are stronger grades (like red) but I am hoping that blue is sufficient for this application. I also use it in a few other places, e.g. the stem face plate bolts.

One thing I am sure of is that the Felt assembly video doesn't mention using threadlocker which may be why these things are coming loose all over the place. Felt guys, are you listening? Would you want to ride a motorcycle that didn't have any threadlock on critical fasteners? I didn't think so :-) hahaha
Last edited by: need4speed: Aug 11, 09 12:40
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Re: Bayonet fork coming loose [SuperDave] [ In reply to ]
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The Bayonet fork on my 08 DA has also come loose, causing rubbing on the frame and ocassional shuddering when riding. I purchased my DA from a very reputable tri store in Encinitas, CA (rhymes with "Mytro"). I brought my DA to an authorized Felt Dealer in Pasadena (as I live in the LA area), also a reputable shop, to address the issue. $80 bucks to the Pasadena authorized Felt dealer (they stated that it took a lot of work to take apart and reassemble the bayonet fork) and a week later, it is loose again.

Jason
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Re: Bayonet fork coming loose [J-to-the-Ho] [ In reply to ]
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I bought my 2008 B2 Pro at the Encinitas store that rhymes with Mytro as well. My advice? Don't trust ANY bike shop to know how to work on this fork. Hell I don't even trust Felt themselves after realizing that their assembly video doesn't even mention using threadlocker. Anyway, follow my instructions at the beginning of this thread to the letter and you should be alright. Using threadlocker is critical, as is using only T-handle hex drivers on those front 2 screws. The good news is that it is a great bike when everything is put together correctly. I placed in the top 5% of men's bike splits at SD international this year using the B2 Pro. I was in the aerobars almost the whole way, down all of the hills and through most of the corners. I think I braked maybe four times. I have never ridden a bike that handles this well. Think of it like a Formula 1 car -- not just any mechanic is qualified to work on it :-)
Last edited by: need4speed: Aug 11, 09 16:22
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Re: Bayonet fork coming loose [need4speed] [ In reply to ]
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what were the size of the machine screws did you get? I need to replace mine. thx
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Re: Bayonet fork coming loose [bluekoi] [ In reply to ]
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In Reply To:
Just an update on my situation...

I finally got this sorted out. My shop (a Felt dealer) assembled the fork improperly on two separate occasions.

After I left the shop and got the bike home, I noticed that the fork seemed loose. Yes I should have checked it at the shop, but I didn't. And frankly I'm glad because they wouldn't have done anything to fix it the right way anyway. So I went to Felt's website and watched the video. I took apart the whole thing and noticed the head adjuster screw and the steerer length compensator were all wrong. They had everything jacked down tight. So the screw that is inside the head adjuster screw was all the way down (the 6mm). So I couldn't tighten the head adjuster down far enough. Also The steerer length compensator was screwed all the way down into the head adjuster.

To be blunt, these guys didn't give a crap about the quality of their work and more importantly my bike and/or my safety. Not to mention I was in there to get my bars swapped out. When they re-ran the cables, they failed to put the cables through the routing holes on the bottom of the bars. Not the worst thing in the world, but it just shows the lack of attention to detail or care for their work.

Incidentally I just got off the phone with the shop and they told me "well it came from Felt that way". I called BS on him and he replied that his "best guy" worked on it. I said if it was his best guy, he would have noticed that the Bayonet Fork was installed improperly AND he would have routed my cables through the routing holes.

I have talked to Dave Koesel about this who has been nothing but professional. He told me right off the bat that I should check out the instructions online. I chose to leave it in the hands of my (ex) Local Bike Shop, hoping they already knew this procedure. So much for "the customer is always right"...

I'm glad you are back on the road. The bike is impossible to assemble correctly until the stem length that the consumer (you) decides upon is selected. additionally, travel to races almost always means fork or stem disassembly.

glad you are now armed with the instructions needed to install the fork correctly.

Regards,
-SD

Dave Koesel - Category Leader Roval, Power, On-bike Components
https://rovalcomponents.com/
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Re: Bayonet fork coming loose [SuperDave] [ In reply to ]
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anyone have the link to the video showing the assymble of the Bayonet system. I just bought as used B2 here on the cassifieds and the first thing I noticed is the front end is loose. I found the pdf file of the assymbly on Felts website, but would like to see the video. I'll try my hand at it firts, then to my local Felt dealer if I cann't solve it....and if they can't.....I'm sending the bike back. I'm thinking (hopefully not though) this could be the reason for the bike sale.

Michael
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Re: Bayonet fork coming loose [MKirk] [ In reply to ]
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In Reply To:
anyone have the link to the video showing the assymble of the Bayonet system. I just bought as used B2 here on the cassifieds and the first thing I noticed is the front end is loose. I found the pdf file of the assymbly on Felts website, but would like to see the video. I'll try my hand at it firts, then to my local Felt dealer if I cann't solve it....and if they can't.....I'm sending the bike back. I'm thinking (hopefully not though) this could be the reason for the bike sale.

Michael

The video is on our website under "technology"

www.feltbicycles.com

Regards,
-SD

Dave Koesel - Category Leader Roval, Power, On-bike Components
https://rovalcomponents.com/
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Re: Bayonet fork coming loose [SuperDave] [ In reply to ]
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In Reply To:
In Reply To:
anyone have the link to the video showing the assymble of the Bayonet system. I just bought as used B2 here on the cassifieds and the first thing I noticed is the front end is loose. I found the pdf file of the assymbly on Felts website, but would like to see the video. I'll try my hand at it firts, then to my local Felt dealer if I cann't solve it....and if they can't.....I'm sending the bike back. I'm thinking (hopefully not though) this could be the reason for the bike sale.

Michael

The video is on our website under "technology"

www.feltbicycles.com

Regards,
-SD

Found it - thanks.

Looks like I'm adjusting everything correctly and still getting some play in the bearings. I'll drop the fork off to make sure everything from the bottom up is assembled correctly.

EDIT:
After watching the video and looking over the pdf. assembly page I tore the fork down and everything is in order - no missing parts, bearings are facing the right direction against the crowns. I put it all back together and there is still a bit of play in the fork assembly. I can actually see the stem moving against the frame....obviously something is amiss here.

The problem "almost" seems that the fork steering shaft is a bit too long. Once I tighten down the steerer nut as much as possible (there is still some play in the fork at this point and the steerer nut will not go any tighter) I'll then tighten the steerer screw. The steerer screw (it is screwed all the way up into the steerer nut) will only turn about 2mm - almost seems like it is already tight up against the fork steering tube which may be why the steerer nut will not tighten down as much as it should??

Also note that I know my way around bikes....been building my own for too many years, do all my own maintenance and repairs - installing headsets, build my own wheels, tear down disc brakes, etc.....pretty much can do it all so I'm not a hack that is clueless about bikes and how they work. Something just seems amiss here beyond a simple "needs to be tightened correctly". Granted, I could be wrong (done that plenty enough), but........

Any ideas or suggestions??
I have a LBS that is a Felt dealer that I can/plan on having them take a look, but they are a brand new shop (Opened spring of this year) so I'm not sure how much work they've had with the Bayonet II system.

SD, Since you work for Felt, I would like to ask you a question regarding warranty. As I mentioned, I just purchased this frame (used off another ST member) and I just took delivery on Friday. The frame is a 2009 DA, pretty much brand new. Original owner says about 100miles...and looking at the frame, chain and chain rings/cassette, I believe the mileage. "If" there is a problem with the front end that cannot be fixed, will Felt warrant the frame or not? If not, and there turns out to be a problem, I'll need to start the process with the seller about having them take the bike back.

Thanks,
Michael
Last edited by: MKirk: Oct 18, 09 18:24
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Re: Bayonet fork coming loose [MKirk] [ In reply to ]
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In Reply To:
In Reply To:
In Reply To:
anyone have the link to the video showing the assymble of the Bayonet system. I just bought as used B2 here on the cassifieds and the first thing I noticed is the front end is loose. I found the pdf file of the assymbly on Felts website, but would like to see the video. I'll try my hand at it firts, then to my local Felt dealer if I cann't solve it....and if they can't.....I'm sending the bike back. I'm thinking (hopefully not though) this could be the reason for the bike sale.

Michael

The video is on our website under "technology"

www.feltbicycles.com

Regards,
-SD

Found it - thanks.

Looks like I'm adjusting everything correctly and still getting some play in the bearings. I'll drop the fork off to make sure everything from the bottom up is assembled correctly.

EDIT:
After watching the video and looking over the pdf. assembly page I tore the fork down and everything is in order - no missing parts, bearings are facing the right direction against the crowns. I put it all back together and there is still a bit of play in the fork assembly. I can actually see the stem moving against the frame....obviously something is amiss here.

The problem "almost" seems that the fork steering shaft is a bit too long. Once I tighten down the steerer nut as much as possible (there is still some play in the fork at this point and the steerer nut will not go any tighter) I'll then tighten the steerer screw. The steerer screw (it is screwed all the way up into the steerer nut) will only turn about 2mm - almost seems like it is already tight up against the fork steering tube which may be why the steerer nut will not tighten down as much as it should??

Also note that I know my way around bikes....been building my own for too many years, do all my own maintenance and repairs - installing headsets, build my own wheels, tear down disc brakes, etc.....pretty much can do it all so I'm not a hack that is clueless about bikes and how they work. Something just seems amiss here beyond a simple "needs to be tightened correctly". Granted, I could be wrong (done that plenty enough), but........

Any ideas or suggestions??
I have a LBS that is a Felt dealer that I can/plan on having them take a look, but they are a brand new shop (Opened spring of this year) so I'm not sure how much work they've had with the Bayonet II system.

SD, Since you work for Felt, I would like to ask you a question regarding warranty. As I mentioned, I just purchased this frame (used off another ST member) and I just took delivery on Friday. The frame is a 2009 DA, pretty much brand new. Original owner says about 100miles...and looking at the frame, chain and chain rings/cassette, I believe the mileage. "If" there is a problem with the front end that cannot be fixed, will Felt warrant the frame or not? If not, and there turns out to be a problem, I'll need to start the process with the seller about having them take the bike back.

Thanks,
Michael

It sounds as though the compression ring, steerer nut or lock nut may be from a different frameset or from a Tk1. While some of these parts may be interchangable there are slight differences and additional changes were made in 2010. I don't have the parts in front of me, but this new system (Bayonet2) is much more straightforward and it sounds as though you understand how it all goes together.

Try this trick: Take the silver lock nut out of the compression device. Just use a 6mm hex key to thread it out of this piece.

Reinstall the compression device, the black part that threads down on the bearing. Thread this down snug against the bearing and provide the correct preload. Do this without the lock nut installed.

Install the stem on the fork, again WITHOUT the locknut.

If the play disappears, then your diagnosis is correct and the compression device and lock nut needs to be swapped for the correct parts.

There was a time when Cane Creek headset bearings were used in the frames, and when we made a switch to FSA headset bearings, the parts were slightly modified.

You may have mismatched headset parts is all. Your local Felt Dealer with the aid of our customer service/dealer support here at Felt can help you source the correct components and have you on the road.

Sorry for the the hassle, I assume this frame was not assembled prior to you purchasing it.

-SD

Dave Koesel - Category Leader Roval, Power, On-bike Components
https://rovalcomponents.com/
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Re: Bayonet fork coming loose [MKirk] [ In reply to ]
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you got the bike i wanted......



what means this word 'change'? .....
Rappstar
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