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Giant Defy 2015 Problems

jfrankland1991jfrankland1991 Posts: 100
edited April 2015 in Road general
Hi guys and gals,

I've had my Giant Defy 1 since October and done around 1300 miles on it in the process.

I took it in for an intermediate service to my LBS the other day before a cycling trip to Mid Wales.

I was very surprised to hear that my bearing below my headset was on its way out. My limited experience tells me that this should not be wearing after 7 months, I would expect it after 7 years! Surely it's a sealed unit and should have that much wear after such a short period of time, has anyone else had this happen to them?

I was also advised that a certain type of gear cables were required at the expense of an extra £9.99 each because my bike is 11 speed. Surely a gear cable is a gear cable and shouldn't matter?

I do trust my LBS and have used them regularly in the past but I fear that it does stink a little of being conned. I hope this isnt the case and any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance


  • dj58dj58 Posts: 2,196
    Did you ride your bike through the winter without mudguards and/or with play in the headset ? That could possibly explain why the bottom bearing has worn prematurely. Or defective bearing from new or not enough grease in there from new. As for the gear cables did they fit the Shimano PTFE or polymer coated type?

    Why did the gear cables need replacing, what was fitted originally and did you have shifting problems before you took the bike in for the service. Did they call you and explain what needed replacing and give you options, before carrying out the work?

    Maybe time to start doing your own servicing if you feel you have been overcharged.
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    Ridden through the winter without mudguards and I can imagine you could get corrosion in the lower headset bearing even after just 7 months. In contrast, my winter bike with full mudguards is still on it's original headset after 8 years.

    I'd be surprised if you needed new gear cables after such a short time though. As above, was shifting becoming difficult or problematic? My 5600 105 which has a reputation for fraying cables inside the shifters seems to take 2 or 3 years to get through a RD cable, and the front's never been changed.
  • Yes unfortunately I have ridden through the winter without mudguards but still I am quite surprised it has needed changing, I guess that's the price I pay for not using mudguards, I had the Giant specific mudguards previously but they were rattling so much I gave up with them, maybe I will use them come the winter season next time.

    I went into the LBS today and they showed me the old bearing and it did show signs of corrosion. They used the polymer coated type which I am trusted are of better quality and make a difference regards shifting etc. Apparently they don't stretch as much as normal cables either.

    My gears were starting to slip, I'm not too bothered about the price as long as it's justified. It appears that it is justified, like I say it's surprising to me with a bike that's only 7 months old and a supposedly routine £50 service turns into over £100 of expense
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    11 speed Shimano definitely benefits from the polymer coated cables, but it sounds like your gears just needed re-indexing.

    £100 :shock:

    Maybe time to develop some DIY skills...
  • trailflowtrailflow Posts: 1,311
    edited April 2015
    Sounds like they have sold you stuff you dont really need. 7 months is nothing.

    The bearings outer case may have worn and rusted in that time from any water entering the frame but they are probably not on their way out. Any corrosion on the outside should not effect the bearings inside. You can use wire wool to remove it. A simple removal of the bearing seals and a regrease and refit of the seals should be all thats needed. They do last years. This is a job for you to do yourself. a shop will probably not want to do it. They would rather sell you more.

    if the bearings are gone in 7 months then tell the shop you want them replaced on warranty for free. :) See what they say. of couse they will say no and Giant will say no.

    a gear cable is a gear cable they are not 11 speed specific so that is BS. Any gear cable will work.
    You can buy Shimano polymer gear cables for £10 each or you can buy stainless gear cables for £2 each on Ebay.
    Polymer cables do perform very well. But stainless cables with good outers are pretty good too.
    if there is nothing wrong with your cables now then there is no need to buy either.

    A little drop of oil around where the cable exits the shifter , and enters the rear derailleur and under the bottom bracket guide will make them feel slick and new.

    If your gears are slipping then the cable tension needs re-adjusting along with checking that the cable clamp bolt is tight. and the limit screws are properly adjusted.

    If your cables are badly frayed at the clamp area or the ends. Then you should consider replacing.
  • Thanks for the advice, I think definitely time to do more of it myself!

    Hopefully I won't need anything doing on it for a long while at least. I think I'll get my mudguards out of the garage come the winter season, what mudguards does everyone use? I've had a look at these crud roadracers but had mixed reviews regarding durability.
  • dj58dj58 Posts: 2,196
    I have the Defy specific mudguards and yes they do rattle on rough roads, particularly the rear guard, however they do a reasonable job even though they are not the proper full type like SKS P35's, and you can use 25mm tyres with them. I think the Crud racer II's can only be used with 23mm wide tyres.

    Servicing your headset it quite straight forward to do yourself. ... r-headset/

    I'd advise you to remove your brake caliper tube securing nuts to make sure they are not merrily rusting and seizing onto the caliper mounting bolt, which can lead to problems in the future, and coat them with anti-seize. ... ur-brakes/ ... ar-cables/ ... ke-cables/
  • I've got a Defy 1, 2015 model and had to have both wheels replaced after 300 miles as the spokes kept coming loose. But the LBS did replace with Mavics and did it under guarantee no problems.
    Ridley Fenix SL Ultegra Di2 - 2020 (Summer Bike)
    Carrera Virtuoso - 2015 (Winter Bike)
    Carrera Zelos - (Turbo Bike)
    ex Focus Cayo Ultegra Di2 - 2016
    ex Giant Defy 1 - 2015
  • dwanesdwanes Posts: 954
    £100 for the parts and service sounds about right for most bike shops nowadays.

    I would tackle any job myself though before letting the bike shop do it. Youtube being a great source of help.

    The headset lower bearing on my Giant started corroding after around 6 months of winter use, but after stripping it down and giving it a good clean up, every so often, continued to use it for another 18 month before finally replacing it.
  • Thanks DJ58, once I had the work done I looked at the various 'how to' videos on GCN and they are really helpful, in the future I will start to use those as the work seems fairly straightforward, even cleaning the headset was easier than i thought as long as you follow the videos!

    I had the same problem Sutton Rider, my rear had numerous spokes snapping on it so had it replaced with RS11's which so far haven't had the same problem.

    I think using mudguards in rubbish weather and stripping down the headset and giving it a good clean every few months will help longevity and also save me a lot of dosh in the meantime!
  • chris_basschris_bass Posts: 4,913
    £100 for changing a headset and gear cables which may not have even needed changing is very steep if you ask me. I might have to start servicing bikes in my spare time, could be on to a winner! - a site for sore eyes
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