The Gaea MTB shown more than a year ago  benefits from a complete overhaul, the perfect opportunity to return to this exceptional assembly !

A complete overhaul

After more than a year riding the bike, and as a harsh winter ends, some problems appeared. There is an annoying play in the bottom bracket. It doesn’t impact the transmission precision (this is single-plate…) but it gives the bike a low end quality feel when we handled the bike. Then the Hutchinson Cobra tires that didn’t give satisfaction need to be replaced. Finally, I was unable to accept the black mat finish…

Therefore, I will use this complete disassembly to come back with you on what has and has not worked..


MTB Transmission

I would have few criticisms to do to the Sram GX. Despite a rear derailleur that absorbed a fall, the shifting remains accurate. The teeth of the plate machining is well preserved, and globally the groupset remains precise. It should be noted, though, that the golded surface of the Yaban SFL 101-ti didn’t like to be used on a MTB. transmission GX. Furthermore, there is a lot of play in the bottom bracket. After disassembly, it appears that the right bearing was causing the play. A bearing change solved the problem (tutorial approching!). Lastly,  I can now to compare with the 11 speeds Shimano : while the Sram gives a feel of sturdiness (alloy shifter lever), the Shimano shifter is easier to use, and the transmisson is more fluid. Maybe the MTB would be Shimano….



VTT Gaea transmission Sram GX

DRC MTB Wheels

On the wheel side, the Powerway are as new. The bearings are still perfect. I unmounted the freehub body to clean it, but it wasn’t necessary. The DRC rims didn’t move. I worried to find some defects in the rim after having riding few times with flat tires, but no. Therefore I higly recommand this type of set up that is light, stiff and reliable, all at once. For the tires, I changed the Hutchinson that made the rear wheel loose in corners. Now  I use Michelin Wild Grip’R. As the sunny days approach, they provide more grip that needed, but I can now correctly lean the bike in the turn, and that is what matters for me.

Paint Job

I said it already : I don’t like mat finish. Then you know the result of solid dynamic that I formulated : ” The more shiny it is, the faster it goes “. So I started to seriously think to apply a new gloss varnish.  Then  I remembered that I had a bit of metallic orange paint remaining from a amp project  sérieusement à refaire un vernis brillant complet. Puis dans ma réflexion, je me suis souvenu qu’il me restait un fond de peinture orange métallisé, peintue que j’avais employé pour un ampli. So this would be a two-tone paint. The layout s quite simple but it does have the merit to be efficient. The first people to have seen the bike tought  bought a new one. I must be said that with this new paint, the bike bears no resemblance with what it was before. The gloss varnish highlights the shapes of the bike. The frame looks more massive and the two-tone gives a more detailled impression to the tube sections. Many of you asked me how I made this paint job. I will write a complete tutorial on this question, but what I can tell you now is that the tools cost me already around 1000€ (compressor and paint guns), and once you have the tools, you need a serious know-how. So if you want to repaint your bike with a spray-paint can, one advice : don’t do it ! First take a metal tube, and just try to paint it properly. Normally the result should dissuade you to apply the same sacrilege to any bike that costs more thant 50€. Still I will write a tutorial that explains everything !


Manitou Marvel PRo fork

After one year of use, the Manitou Marvel Pro continues to work perfectly. It’s still unclear how to lock the front axle. For the moment, it’s impossible to find a complete set of stickers, so half of the fork will remains mat for the moment. If someone found it, I am more than interested !