Spring (and Winter) Maintenance - CHECK BOLTS on FS eMTBs~


Well-Known Member
(Updating Old Thread - Skip to Last Posts) Well, I seem to be lingering at that "know just enough to be dangerous" point in this sport.

Funny combination of circumstances. I have a client who does some extreme / high-risk skiing and other sports, and was thinking of walking them through some safety planning. Just got back from skiing myself, and wound up doing a deep dive into the psychology of extreme sports, which led me to reading about Shane McConkey and how he died: An equipment failure during a BASE jump / ski & wingsuit stunt. (And an incredibly stupid failure, IMHO-- he was using older bindings that failed to release.)

Then I thought, "Well, better practice what I preach. All my ski gear was checked out carefully, and I was going to wait until the academic year was over before taking the bike into the shop-- or even fix the slow leak in the rear tire myself-- but I've got a free afternoon, why not ride the bike to the shop and walk the 2.5 miles home?" I already managed to put off taking it to the shop about six months by doing my own derailleur adjustment and troubleshooting a few other issues, probably saved myself $100 bucks or so, and something didn't sound quite right somewhere between my seat and the back of the bike. Didn't seem to be anything dangerous, but why not have a pro tell me what that weird sound was? (

When the mechanic picked up the bike, his face turned white. The main bolt for the suspension was so loose it was held in place only by friction, gravity, and dumb luck. In fact, I had checked it a few months ago... but it spun freely when I turned it, so I figured that was how it was supposed to be. Absolutely not! You need to have an allen wrench on both sides to get it tight! The mechanic then showed me which bolts have to be checked-- there were one or two I'd missed, though they were fine.

I also need a different kind of seat post for my CF seat, will put up a separate post seeking recommendations. Less urgent, we've got it torqued down just right for now.

Anyway, just a reminder to all as the weather warms up: If something doesn't feel quite right, and you're not exactly sure what the problem is, just take the bike in to the LBS.

Funny to think that if it hadn't been for my mechanic, for my client, or for Shane... I really might have let that go another few months. That probably wouldn't have worked out well.
Last edited:
Sound advice with regards to checking bikes early in the riding season for loose fasteners and such and it's great that you have a LBS that satisfactorily addresses your needs. My own seat post on an analog ride was constantly slipping down after each consecutive ride. I cleaned the old carbon paste off the entire post, reapplied a fresh coat of paste and torqued the inset bolt appropriately. It’s held firm so far. I also discovered that the compression plug in my head tube was really loose as a result of riding over some pretty rough paved roads so much that that the front fork was moving about significantly. Fixed that also.
I've always had the bikes checked out early in the season by my LBS. And I'm fortunate that they are understanding and patient with me.

For a lot of bolts, Loctite is your best friend. I had a fender bolt work loose during a spring ride a number of years ago and on the way out it put a ten centimeter gash in the rear tire -- far too large to repair with a tire boot. So now I like to have all of that stuff treated with Loctite.
Just another reminder. I see my last one was over 6 months ago! Today was much better than 5/5/23 -- just one bolt a little bit loose.
You're doing well if there is only 1 bolt loose in 6 months!

I consider myself reasonably aware of my bike , yet it'd be unusual to go more than a month without a " that doesn't sound right" moment. Usually a loose suspension linkage or bearing on its way out. Most recently, I had THREE episodes of rear brake failure - the first was boiling of 3 month old fluid, and it became apparent that fluid was excessively contaminated so the callipers were doomed. I couldn't negotiate replacement before the next multi day trip, so fried the fresh oil two more times! New brakes will be fitted on Friday!

That's despite a check everything approach to any multi day ride , as well as an annual "birthday" visit to the lbs with all the running gear bearings replaced + usually a service of suspension and brakes ( including flush) . It's a reflection on my pedantic nature that I check everything after the lbs birthday....
Routine maintenance that's all every month I tourqe fasteners on suspension systems and drivetrain with blue loktite and yet 3 days ago one nut and bolt holding chainring fall off. I had to remove and replace whole set.
I use paint pen to mark the bolts on every fastener on my bike, an advice from a well-known member on EBR. On post ride and pre ride inspection at a glance you can see if it had come loose.
Other than that check tire's pressure and ride on.