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illuminaughty
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It's so cool finding treasures :thumbsup: I saw this one about a week or so ago at a bike shop.They were going to take it off a Trek and put on a rigid fork...I kept checking back and now it's MINE! Long 1" steerer, looks like it was rarely used. This is the second in my collection but this one is in way better condition.

Does anyone have any tuning info or links on this shock. I've seen a couple on Retrobike and Mombats but no solid info as far as air and oil...thanks in advance if you can help.
 

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I helped Mert develop that fork back in 1990-1991 and I came up with the name for it, too! If you look, you will notice that the leading links are different lengths-this controls the geometry so that the trail never changes as the fork compresses, unlike other forks, where the steering quickens up as they compress because the amount of trail is changing. Also notice the links are pointing upwards-this helps it get up and over obstacles. I used to demonstrate this feature by running head-on into a curb without pulling up on the bars and the fork would just float up and over! Risse racing is still around in Norcal and can service the shock. I used to use about 60 pounds of air for a plush ride-I'm about 155 pounds. Also the fork oil weight can be changed to speed up or slow down the action-i.e. 7.5 weight to 10 weight oil. There is about 2.5 inches of travel available.
 

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I had a copy of the manual around somewhere. I'll see if I can dig it up. I just moved and don't remember coming across it so it may be lost to the ages.
 

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What an awesome-looking piece of equipment. Thanks for the detail, Pat. I would love to have one of these myself, and would be truly grateful if someone could get me in contact with someone who would like to sell one.
 

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Control Tech made the commercial versions of the Leader. There were 3 generation-difference mostly being how the shock was mounted, and graphics. Here's an old pic of several gens. check out the shock mounts
 

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illuminaughty
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I helped Mert develop that fork back in 1990-1991 and I came up with the name for it, too! If you look, you will notice that the leading links are different lengths-this controls the geometry so that the trail never changes as the fork compresses, unlike other forks, where the steering quickens up as they compress because the amount of trail is changing. Also notice the links are pointing upwards-this helps it get up and over obstacles. I used to demonstrate this feature by running head-on into a curb without pulling up on the bars and the fork would just float up and over! Risse racing is still around in Norcal and can service the shock. I used to use about 60 pounds of air for a plush ride-I'm about 155 pounds. Also the fork oil weight can be changed to speed up or slow down the action-i.e. 7.5 weight to 10 weight oil. There is about 2.5 inches of travel available.
Pat, thank you for the info, great stuff. From your pics it looks like mine is the middle one. Does that make it 2nd generation? Also is the air valve a needle valve input behind the "slotted plug" on the top of the shock?
 

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Yours is the 2nd gen Control Tech. There were actually two generations previous to Control Tech, the first 12 being built by Sandy Kosman' drag race shop in S. F.-that's the one I crashed on in 1991 in Moab-( was paralyzed and spent 18 days in hospital before I got better.) Then Mert built the next gen. to finish development and then came Control Tech. The early ones used a rubber needle valve like on a basketball, Risse sent me a few awhile back, so they are available-the later models used a Schrader valve.
 

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You probably have already seen this but here is a manual for the Lawwill 3. The shocks I believe are pretty much the same except for the air valve. I forget what weight oil I used but I know Control Tech back in the late 90's said I could go as high as 120psi.
Lawwill Leader 3 Manual | Retrobike

There is also some limited info on parts for rebuilding the shock.
http://forums.mtbr.com/vintage-retro-classic/lawwill-leader-3-a-177771.html

There is also info about one of the members here using a valve from a motorcycle tube to replace the needle valve. Look for post #8.
http://forums.mtbr.com/vintage-retro-classic/my-not-so-vintage-ibis-ss-355905.html

Don't sell it they are getting ridiculously expensive on ebay but if your inclined to get rid of it I would be interested. Just saying!

Great find!
 

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I'm also interested in one...I missed out on one that just sold on ebay...arghhh...I have a fisher rs-1 (merts design) that I want to put one on.The fisher is in excellent condition and would be soo sweet to match it up with a lawill fork. PM me if someone has one for sale...I soo want to ride the fisher, but it isnt finished till I get me one of these forks!

Thanks to all the info provided here also.
 

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I bought the first RS-1 from GF when he got a new one, back in the early '90s. I put the Lawwill fork on it and rode it for a few years, then sold it to a friend here in Fairfax, who still has it. Here's a pic with GF and the bike. It's interesting to note that the rear suspension, also designed by Mert, kinda looks like the fork laid over on it's side.
 

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illuminaughty
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Wow!

Just a note to the new guys: WTB spam will be deleted. da'Hoov is an old hat around here and if it's for sale, he'd take out an ad. Thanks.
thanks for the vote of confidence....and yes I would...if it was for sale.:thumbsup:
 
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