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Drink...sleep
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi all,
When I wanted to clean my bike after my last ride, I noticed the lefty felt very strange when compressing it. This is about a Lefty Max TPC+ with 120mm travel btw (it is the same fork as the 130mm version, it comes with the Prophet 700SL). It feels like you have to push trough some sort of "block" before it actually compresses. It is only at the very top of the stroke, just like it's a bit stuck there, you really feel it "popping" free. When you don't let the fork come up entirely, it feels normal when compressing it again. When you take the front wheel of the ground, this stop-like feeling at the beginning of the stroke is there again.

I already inspected underneath the shockboot, and all was clean, except that at the back of the fork on the bearing/races the grease had become a bit blackish-brownish. The races were in perfect condition though, no scratches. Also the airfilter was clean. I relubed the races, but that didn't make any difference. This sticky feeling wasn't there before the ride, and I first noticed it before cleaning (the bike had sat in my room being dirty for one day). Does anyone know what could be going on? The fork is only 250km old.

Thanks!

EDIT: I didn't mention I opened it up last night (the top cap/spring assembly) and left like that for the night, didn't put any zipties back on the boot either. I closed it up again today, and suddenly everything seems fine. I didn't reset the bearings or anything. Still I'd like to know, what could have caused this?

By the way, I managed to damage the octagonal pattern of the outer cap (the black anodized aluminium one) somewhat. Don't ask me how, it was really very stupid. It is only cosmetical damage, but as I have a new Lefty Max SPV coming in, and am going to sell this one, I was wondering if this is an orderable (is that a word?) spare part?
 

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Hybrid Leftys aren't real
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Boozzz said:
Hi all,
When I wanted to clean my bike after my last ride, I noticed the lefty felt very strange when compressing it. This is about a Lefty Max TPC+ with 120mm travel btw (it is the same fork as the 130mm version, it comes with the Prophet 700SL). It feels like you have to push trough some sort of "block" before it actually compresses. It is only at the very top of the stroke, just like it's a bit stuck there, you really feel it "popping" free. When you don't let the fork come up entirely, it feels normal when compressing it again. When you take the front wheel of the ground, this stop-like feeling at the beginning of the stroke is there again.

I already inspected underneath the shockboot, and all was clean, except that at the back of the fork on the bearing/races the grease had become a bit blackish-brownish. The races were in perfect condition though, no scratches. Also the airfilter was clean. I relubed the races, but that didn't make any difference. This sticky feeling wasn't there before the ride, and I first noticed it before cleaning (the bike had sat in my room being dirty for one day). Does anyone know what could be going on? The fork is only 250km old.

Thanks!

EDIT: I didn't mention I opened it up last night (the top cap/spring assembly) and left like that for the night, didn't put any zipties back on the boot either. I closed it up again today, and suddenly everything seems fine. I didn't reset the bearings or anything. Still I'd like to know, what could have caused this?

By the way, I managed to damage the octagonal pattern of the outer cap (the black anodized aluminium one) somewhat. Don't ask me how, it was really very stupid. It is only cosmetical damage, but as I have a new Lefty Max SPV coming in, and am going to sell this one, I was wondering if this is an orderable (is that a word?) spare part?
First thing, reset the bearings. If it still does it, I would be surprised. Sounds as though you are at that point, they will do that sometimes, when the bearings get far enough out of whack. As to the part, you can probably get one, but can't be sure, and the description is a little vague, to be able to say absolutely that it is possible.
 

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Drink...sleep
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Mendon,
Thanks, I just reset the bearings, and it's good again. One thing I noticed though: The spring had the shrinkwrap on the bottom half. According to the Lefty Max/Jake manual, this should be on the top half, so I turned the spring around while I was at it. It seems to make a bit more noise now though. I think it might be that there's not enough grease on there (it sure isn't a generous amount as stated in the manual). I don't have the red grease that Cannondale puts on. Can I add Finishline Teflon grease, or should I clean it first, and if so, can I just use a rag to clean the inside of the outer tube the spring sits in?

Thanks again!
 

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Hybrid Leftys aren't real
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Boozzz said:
Hi Mendon,
Thanks, I just reset the bearings, and it's good again. One thing I noticed though: The spring had the shrinkwrap on the bottom half. According to the Lefty Max/Jake manual, this should be on the top half, so I turned the spring around while I was at it. It seems to make a bit more noise now though. I think it might be that there's not enough grease on there (it sure isn't a generous amount as stated in the manual). I don't have the red grease that Cannondale puts on. Can I add Finishline Teflon grease, or should I clean it first, and if so, can I just use a rag to clean the inside of the outer tube the spring sits in?

Thanks again!
Hey, the shrink wrap is of marginal value, don't sweat where it's at too much! Any good quality grease will be fine, lube it up and ride, I would turn the spring right way up again, just on principal. Ride hard!
 

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Drink...sleep
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hey Mendon, I think I'm going to need your help again. It looks like I celebrated a bit too early: I haven't touched the bike since (was planning to ride hard again this weekend :) ), and the lefty has developed the same problem again. The "block" feeling is a bit "smaller" than before, and won't immediatly come back when lifting the front wheel of the ground. The feeling is only there at the first compression, and after that it's hardly noticable. But when letting it sit for a couple of seconds, this "block" feeling is back again.

It also seems the fork is maybe 0.5 mm shorter than before this problem ever arose, though I have tried to reset the bearings a couple of times this day already. Could the bearings still not be reset? I'm afraid to hammer the fork leg down harder when resetting, because I'm not doing it very softly in the first place. Btw, when pulling the fork down in the resetting procedure, at the stop the sound is a bit like a dry thud.
 

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Drink...sleep
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yeah, but I thought it might be an indication that the bearings weren't reset completely or something. I'm still a bit worried about this sticky feeling at the top of the travel though.
 

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Hybrid Leftys aren't real
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Boozzz said:
Hey Mendon, I think I'm going to need your help again. It looks like I celebrated a bit too early: I haven't touched the bike since (was planning to ride hard again this weekend :) ), and the lefty has developed the same problem again. The "block" feeling is a bit "smaller" than before, and won't immediatly come back when lifting the front wheel of the ground. The feeling is only there at the first compression, and after that it's hardly noticable. But when letting it sit for a couple of seconds, this "block" feeling is back again.

It also seems the fork is maybe 0.5 mm shorter than before this problem ever arose, though I have tried to reset the bearings a couple of times this day already. Could the bearings still not be reset? I'm afraid to hammer the fork leg down harder when resetting, because I'm not doing it very softly in the first place. Btw, when pulling the fork down in the resetting procedure, at the stop the sound is a bit like a dry thud.
It's starting to sound like you have a race that has slid out of place. This unusual, due to the way the fork is made now, it was more prevelant as a possibility before the Max forks. Do you have dealer who is good with these forks? Ii would have them take a peek inside for you. As to the reset of bearings, it should go from a softer thump, and not feel like you're hitting bottom, to a more solid thump, and it will feel like it's not gonna go any farther. You do need to whack it, if you do a 2 finger, gentle pop down, it may not be sufficient. Did you experience a change in noise, the first time you did it?
 

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Drink...sleep
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well, the dealer I bought the bike from is rubbish, so I'll have to look for a new one. In the meantime, I tried a bearingreset once more, and really used some power yanking that shock down this time. Didn't notice any change in noise (even the first time it sounded exactly the same), and it really felt like it wouldn't go any farther. I put it back together, and amazingly it's almost gone now; still there, but hardly noticable. You think if I use even more force on the reset it might solve it completely, or would I damage the bearings?
 

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Hybrid Leftys aren't real
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Boozzz said:
Well, the dealer I bought the bike from is rubbish, so I'll have to look for a new one. In the meantime, I tried a bearingreset once more, and really used some power yanking that shock down this time. Didn't notice any change in noise (even the first time it sounded exactly the same), and it really felt like it wouldn't go any farther. I put it back together, and amazingly it's almost gone now; still there, but hardly noticable. You think if I use even more force on the reset it might solve it completely, or would I damage the bearings?
I would think that would be okay, but I hate getting to this point, long distance. I would really be bummed if you had a problem, that was easily fixed by opening it up, and we are forcing things around, without really fixing it. I guess I would try just a bit more, then ride itr for a while, see if it comes back, and take it from there. I would recommend finding a dealer who could look at it, even if it's a month from now, you are travelling by them or some such thing, and you make an appoinmtment so they are expecting you, and can turn it around in an hour or so. Any good shop would appreciate the position you are in, and could accomadate you (hopefully). Sorry to push it off, but something is less than right, I could check it myself, but someone ought to. It's not life threatening, but expensive fork repairs, that you didn't need to do, are no good either=:( Good luck
 

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Drink...sleep
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks, you've been a great help! I'll try a final reset tomorrow and hit the trails. If it's back in full force afterwards, I'll call up some dealers here and see what they can do.

Thanks again!
 

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Hybrid Leftys aren't real
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Boozzz said:
Thanks, you've been a great help! I'll try a final reset tomorrow and hit the trails. If it's back in full force afterwards, I'll call up some dealers here and see what they can do.

Thanks again!
No sweat, wish I could do more. Happy trails=:)
 

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Man I got the exact same problem with my 2002 Lefty DLR Ti... but I find that I just need to push down on the fork once everytime I take the bike out and it'll perform perfectly on the trails for that same day. That initial block would come back if I leave the bike sitting there for a while. I don't have any loss of travel either, it still measures 110mm from the bottom of the headset to the top of my front tire. Talk about weird...

There's no good Cannondale dealers here in Toronto, the only two near my place (Duke Cycles and Sporting Life) both have bad horror stories told to me by others before. I guess I'll probably need a new fork in a year or two, maybe a new bike hah
 

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Drink...sleep
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Strange man. Luckily, I solved my problem. It had something to do with the spring in there. When I put the spring of my problematic TPC lefty in my new SPV lefty, I noticed the SPV suddenly had the same problem. The spring probably wasn't seated perfectly or something like that. So I put it back in my TPC lefty, really made sure I put it in there as carefully as I could, closed it up, and the problem was gone.
 

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krayzie said:
Man I got the exact same problem with my 2002 Lefty DLR Ti... but I find that I just need to push down on the fork once everytime I take the bike out and it'll perform perfectly on the trails for that same day. That initial block would come back if I leave the bike sitting there for a while. I don't have any loss of travel either, it still measures 110mm from the bottom of the headset to the top of my front tire. Talk about weird...

There's no good Cannondale dealers here in Toronto, the only two near my place (Duke Cycles and Sporting Life) both have bad horror stories told to me by others before. I guess I'll probably need a new fork in a year or two, maybe a new bike hah
Ever had it serviced? If not, you probably have a bearing or race that is slightly out of position. They should not do that, as you obviously know. I'm right across the pond from you, south of Rochester, hop on the fast ferry, and stop in. HA what a joke that thing is=:) If you wish, contact me @ [email protected], and we can back and forth in greater detail on your issue. Stinks, that a city the size of Toronto doesn't have a good dealer! Best of luck!
 

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This morning I tried something new.. instead of pushing the fork down once which takes a bit of effort, I just lifted up the front of the bike about 1 feet and let it drop to the ground a few times and the initial block is gone. I did this just before I left for work so I'll see if the problem would be gone by the time I get home today, I doubt it tho...

So what's the permanent fix for this, need to take it apart?
 

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Hybrid Leftys aren't real
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krayzie said:
This morning I tried something new.. instead of pushing the fork down once which takes a bit of effort, I just lifted up the front of the bike about 1 feet and let it drop to the ground a few times and the initial block is gone. I did this just before I left for work so I'll see if the problem would be gone by the time I get home today, I doubt it tho...

So what's the permanent fix for this, need to take it apart?
Since yours is an air sprung fork, the coil spring being off center is not an option, so yeah, get it seviced by someone who knows how to do it properly, and doesn't say, "uh, it has to go to Cannondale to fix that"=:)
 
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