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Hybrid Leftys aren't real
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is it just me, or is the Prophet screaming for a steering damper? I climb, and there is some steep technical climbing here in the Northeast, and the front end sort of wanders and flops about. Mind you, I would not trade this bike for anything, it is amazing. I just ordered a Hopey steering damper for it, and will weigh in with it once I have used it for a bit, just wondering if others have tried this combination already, or feel the need for it.
 

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Got one..

I purchased one not only for the downhill benefits but also, as you stated, to tame some of the "wandering" when climbing.

Having used one for a few months now I have formed a few gripes/praises.

Gripes
Lack of adjustment.. It does have a "dial", however it is not indexed or marked in any way (imagine tightening a nut with you fingers).

Seems to have two settings.. on or off. Maximum damping setting a bit weak for my tastes.

Pricey.

Praises
The piece is beautifully manufactured. Hardware is first rate. Customer service is top notch, Straight from Tim himself..

It works as advertised. I'm happy with it.

Odd but cool side benefit.. Ability to lean bike against wall without falling over.

If you have not mounted yours yet you will find that the Lefty version must be mounted differently than suggested in the instructions. You MUST rotate the base a few degrees Left from center otherwise the top clamp for the Lefty fork Will make contact with the post.

Here are a few pics just after the first install.. I'll post another tomorrow showing the correct base angle.
 

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Hybrid Leftys aren't real
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
GGAllen said:
I purchased one not only for the downhill benefits but also, as you stated, to tame some of the "wandering" when climbing.

Having used one for a few months now I have formed a few gripes/praises.

Gripes
Lack of adjustment.. It does have a "dial", however it is not indexed or marked in any way (imagine tightening a nut with you fingers).

Seems to have two settings.. on or off. Maximum damping setting a bit weak for my tastes.

Pricey.

Praises
The piece is beautifully manufactured. Hardware is first rate. Customer service is top notch, Straight from Tim himself..

Odd but cool side benefit.. Ability to lean bike against wall without falling over.

If you have not mounted yours yet you will find that the Lefty version must be mounted differently than suggested in the instructions. You MUST rotate the base a few degrees Left from center otherwise the top clamp for the Lefty fork Will make contact with the post.

Here are a few pics just after the first install.. I'll post another tomorrow showing the correct base angle.
Cool, thanks for the input. Have you talked to them about changing the valving to increase the damping? Just wondering. I have a Carbon Lefty, did you need to take off the upper clamp for it to work? Mine is not removeable, Tim thought it would work, but was unfamiliar with carbon lefties, your thoughts? I should have mine in a week or so.
 

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:confused: WHOA????

Ok I have a prophet 600, and I'm new to what your guys are talking about :confused:
What in the world is a steering damper and what does it do??
 

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Hybrid Leftys aren't real
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ruben C said:
:confused: WHOA????

Ok I have a prophet 600, and I'm new to what your guys are talking about :confused:
What in the world is a steering damper and what does it do??
Steering dampers have been on motocross bikes for years, what they do is put resistance in your steering to the left or right, and are free feeling returning to center. They help with the "wandering" front end that occurs on slacker head angle bikes when climbing technical or slow speed ascents. The also provide stability in the front end on fast technical descents, less wild wobbling, pretty hip little devices!
 

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MendonCycleSmith said:
Have you talked to them about changing the valving to increase the damping?
Good point. It is suggested that you send the damper back to Hopey once a year for inspection/oil change. I'll inquire about increasing the damping then.

did you need to take off the upper clamp for it to work? I have a Carbon Lefty, Mine is not removeable
Are your clamps somehow bonded to the fork? I have to remove the top clamp to remove the fork (necessary to install damper). Impossible otherwise.

As the Hopey bracket is installed underneath the upper headset cup it increases the distance between the upper and lower clamps by approx. 1.5-2mm (i.e. my top clamp is now 1.5-2mm higher than without the damper installed).

If you cannot adjust the distance between the two clamps you may have an issue.

Post some pics once you have it installed. I am curious to see one on a carbon Lefty.

Here are the pics showing the correct base angle to clear the top clamp..
 

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Good news, somewhat bad news..

I've done a bit of research. The good news is it will work with a carbon Lefty.

The bad news is you will have to have the frame (or fork) permanently modified to do it.

Since the carbon Lefty clamps are in fact bonded in place, you will have to remove (face) the top headtube surface by 2mm or face the bottom of the top Lefty clamp 2mm.

Either modification is a big (non-reversible) step. However, I can think of no reason not to (other than price). Keep in mind this mod will NOT affect your headtube/steering angle.

Damper $220.00

Face the top of the head tube $?

Choice is yours. :)

Good luck and let us know what you decide.
 

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Hybrid Leftys aren't real
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
GGAllen said:
I've done a bit of research. The good news is it will work with a carbon Lefty.

The bad news is you will have to have the frame (or fork) permanently modified to do it.

Since the carbon Lefty clamps are in fact bonded in place, you will have to remove (face) the top headtube surface by 2mm or face the bottom of the top Lefty clamp 2mm.

Either modification is a big (non-reversible) step. However, I can think of no reason not to (other than price). Keep in mind this mod will NOT affect your headtube/steering angle.

Damper $220.00

Face the top of the head tube $?

Choice is yours. :)

Good luck and let us know what you decide.
I am aware of the problem, in as much as I talked with Tim Hopey about it, and he has my attitude of try it and see. The only consideration I am playing with is that there is a metal and rubber seal at the top of the upper bearing, which, when removed creates a small amount of additional room, whether this is enough or not, I will havve to wait and see. Back in the day, Cannondales did not have this seal, so I know it can run naked, I just have my fingers crossed. Thanks for the input, I will let you know how it shakes out.
 

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??

Museew said:
Amazing what some people are willing to do to get the feeling of bad set of headset bearings.
Yeah, I know. I should have crammed some beach sand into my headset and saved the cash.. What a worthless remark. It's so easy to spot people who comment on something they've never tried..

Don't make it so obvious next time. Maybe lie and say you tried it and it sucks.

Or just continue on your path and join up with the rest of the "never tried but I think I hate it" clowns.

I get a kick out of you guys in the Cannondale Lefty forum.. Keep up the good work. At the very least it's entertaining..
 

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Hybrid Leftys aren't real
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Museew said:
Amazing what some people are willing to do to get the feeling of bad set of headset bearings.
Ouch! I was gonna say something, but GG just about nailed it. If you have nothing useful to add, at least ask why someone would use one! It is nothing like a bad headset, they feel crappy all the time. Go ride, you'll feel better.
 

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Dudly said:
Settle down, I think it was tounge firmly placed in check, try and have a sense of humour!!
You caught me at a weak moment. My sincerest apologies.

You would think I would have developed thicker skin riding a Lefty equipped Cannondale with all the jeers and all... ;)
 

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Hybrid Leftys aren't real
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
GGAllen said:
I've done a bit of research. The good news is it will work with a carbon Lefty.

The bad news is you will have to have the frame (or fork) permanently modified to do it.

Since the carbon Lefty clamps are in fact bonded in place, you will have to remove (face) the top headtube surface by 2mm or face the bottom of the top Lefty clamp 2mm.

Either modification is a big (non-reversible) step. However, I can think of no reason not to (other than price). Keep in mind this mod will NOT affect your headtube/steering angle.

Damper $220.00

Face the top of the head tube $?

Choice is yours. :)

Good luck and let us know what you decide.
Hey, good news, it fits, and all I had to do was remove the rubber shower cap, no facing or grinding, no modifying, Yeah!I have yet to give it more than a parking lot test, but it feels nice, I think it is what I was looking for. I would post a pic, but I have yet to do that on here, and have little time for figuring it out right now, the Huffy's just keep rolling through the door this time of year! Suffice to say it looks good, and is set up just as yours is pictured, thanks for the input!
 

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MendonCycleSmith said:
Hey, good news, it fits, and all I had to do was remove the rubber shower cap, no facing or grinding, no modifying, Yeah!I have yet to give it more than a parking lot test, but it feels nice, I think it is what I was looking for. I would post a pic, but I have yet to do that on here, and have little time for figuring it out right now, the Huffy's just keep rolling through the door this time of year! Suffice to say it looks good, and is set up just as yours is pictured, thanks for the input!
Awesome! It didn't occur to me to remove the upper rubber seal to gain clearance (duh).

Glad it worked.

Enjoy.

BTW. I would shoot Tim an email about removal of the seal for carbon Lefties. Just so he has an answer for the next guy..
 

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Hybrid Leftys aren't real
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
BTW. I would shoot Tim an email about removal of the seal for carbon Lefties. Just so he has an answer for next guy..[/QUOTE]Already done. Had a ??? for you though. Did you have to file down your stem and bolt heads to create enough pass through room through the "arch"? I did, and that seems wrong, but there was no other way to make it work, it was not a bunch, it would turn without any filing, but would have worn a groove , and been obnoxious till it did.
 

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hmm....

I have a steering damper on my enduro motorbike - its purpose is basically to limit unwanted rock induced steering either at high speed or low speed, as previously stated.

Now on a mountain bike I can see that on high speed downhill and really rocky technical sections, but for climbing stability I am a bit lost. The main reason of "wandering" when climbing steep angles is due to the unweighting of the front wheel, meaning you are much more on one balance point, the rear wheel, which makes you inherently unstable.

Given that, I really fail to see how this dampner will cause an improvement in climbing 'stability'. It will surely cause the steering to slow down but wont that make things worse in a steep climb, because mostly we are wildly "steering" to maintain balance and if that is slowed down how does that help ??

Note: This is a question not a flame !
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
The_Missile said:
I have a steering damper on my enduro motorbike - its purpose is basically to limit unwanted rock induced steering either at high speed or low speed, as previously stated.

Now on a mountain bike I can see that on high speed downhill and really rocky technical sections, but for climbing stability I am a bit lost. The main reason of "wandering" when climbing steep angles is due to the unweighting of the front wheel, meaning you are much more on one balance point, the rear wheel, which makes you inherently unstable.

Given that, I really fail to see how this dampner will cause an improvement in climbing 'stability'. It will surely cause the steering to slow down but wont that make things worse in a steep climb, because mostly we are wildly "steering" to maintain balance and if that is slowed down how does that help ??

Note: This is a question not a flame ![/QUOTE ]All good points, and I would say that on paper, your thoughts are right on the money. Now, in my experience, the front end gets light and floppy on climbs, as you said, because the weight is on the back wheel, move forward though, to balance this, and you lose traction, so that method of stabilization does not work for this problem. I don't feel that my flailings on climbs are due to seeking balance, but are due to my inability to get enough weight up there to slow it down, therefore if the ability to flail went away, I don't feel that my balance ability would be compromised. So, I thought this might help, by slowing down that movement enough so that I can control it better. I may be completely wrong, this is an experiment. I am in a nice position of owning a shop so I can experiment a bit less expensively, but it wasn't free, so if it does nothing for me, off it comes. I will jump back in here after a few rides, so this question can be put to bed, and if it works, maybe we can get Tim Hopey some more business, as I doubt I am the only guy out there who wishes the front end was a bit more quiet when climbing!
 

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MendonCycleSmith said:
Did you have to file down your stem and bolt heads to create enough pass through room through the "arch"?
I didn't have to file, but it was darn close. I mean a MM or 2 close. I could certainly see a problem with other stems.
The_Missile said:
I have a steering damper on my enduro motorbike - its purpose is basically to limit unwanted rock induced steering either at high speed or low speed, as previously stated.
The purpose of a steering damper on a motorcycle is a bit different. The intended purpose being mainly to eliminate or greatly reduce front wheel "oscillations." Commonly referred to as "tank slappers." This can happen in the dirt but more frequently on the street where greater speeds exist. If you have experienced such an event it's not likely you'll forget it. It usually ends in a crash. Nearly all modern sportbikes include a steering damper for this reason.

Anyway, back to bicycles.. ;)

Climbing straight up a smooth fireroad you will probably not notice a difference. However, I have noticed when the terrain includes ruts and other small obstacles that would normally deflect your front wheel, the damper helps keep things straight. Admittedly, it is much more effective heading downhill.

Overall I am fairly pleased with the performance. As I stated in my other post, I think it could use a little refining (indexed knob) and possibly more damping. The last of which I'll address at the next service..
 
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