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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I picked up a 1999 (I think) Silk Tour 700 for cheap with the thought of making it into some sort of cool drop bar 29er/Monster Cross. I just serviced the fork and put 5w fork oil in. The air bubble in the damping and lock out is now gone, but it's still a really soft spring and it bottoms out quite easily. When I had it apart I didn't see a way to get the coil spring out, do I punch it out from below? Are there stiffer springs available? Is 5w fork oil standard or should I go heavier? The fork action is super nice and feels nicely damped. Hoping somebody here knows about these forks. The fork is the same as a Silk Path from what the decal says when I removed it from the frame and looks to have about ~30mm of travel. Thanks in advance for any info. I think this just may be a cool bike for crusing the trails.
 

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Hybrid Leftys aren't real
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Did it have a coil, or just elastomer?

You can punch them up from the bottom, but the steel cup they sit in, will come with it, and needs to have it's seat cleaned, spit ring changed, etc.

Often easier to just hook a spoke head into the topmost coil, grab it with pliers and yank.

If you didn't change all the seals when you topped off the oil, expect that bubble back soon.

Stiffer springs? Sadly, go fish. You can try Cannondale Experts, they have some oddball ephemera in their darker dusty corners. If the elastomer is breaking down, that will lead to an overly soft suspension too, and those are just as hard, if not harder, to find.

A rebuild on the telescope is likely a good idea too, you'll gain back some travel lost through migration, and get grease into the upper area that simply swiping it onto the lower end, will never get it....

Looking forward to seeing this project develop!

Not gonna share it on the VRC cause they all hate Cannondale, or what? :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Did it have a coil, or just elastomer?

You can punch them up from the bottom, but the steel cup they sit in, will come with it, and needs to have it's seat cleaned, spit ring changed, etc.

Often easier to just hook a spoke head into the topmost coil, grab it with pliers and yank.

If you didn't change all the seals when you topped off the oil, expect that bubble back soon.

Stiffer springs? Sadly, go fish. You can try Cannondale Experts, they have some oddball ephemera in their darker dusty corners. If the elastomer is breaking down, that will lead to an overly soft suspension too, and those are just as hard, if not harder, to find.

A rebuild on the telescope is likely a good idea too, you'll gain back some travel lost through migration, and get grease into the upper area that simply swiping it onto the lower end, will never get it....

Looking forward to seeing this project develop!

Not gonna share it on the VRC cause they all hate Cannondale, or what? :)
Ha, I will definitely share it when done. I'm excited about it as I've been kind of envisioning a particular machine for those lazy days in the mountains and then this thing came along which seems like it might work out really well. Although fitting some tires on the rear yesterday revealed it won't fit a 2.0 tire back there which kinda bums me out since the fork and the monostay has ample clearance. Heck, the fork looks like it might even take a 2.3. So, I guess I need to find a 1.8 or something...

As for the fork, I didn't ride it much when it had the bubble, but I don't recall it clunking so hard upon bottom out. Did I somehow leave something out? I'm almost positive I didn't, but maybe. I think I might try some 10w, to slow down the action. So even if you open the cartridge for an oil change you have to replace the seals?

Pretty sure it's a coil spring as I could see the top of one when looking down in there. Were the springs available back in the day? It really needs one for riding off road. For mellow touring it'd probably be perfect, imagine that. :) I'll see if I can yank it out from the top as you say.

What is the "telescope"? I think I'm getting full travel...

Thanks for the help, Mendon. I forgot you were the Cannondale expert!

PS I have to say, the action of this fork has me thinking how nice a XC MTB would be with 80mm of travel would be. As for the lefty, I've never ridden one, but my brain just can't accept that one leg is going to work well under hard braking, cornering, etc...? Does it flex backwards at an angle when on the front brake hard?? I digress... :)
 

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Hybrid Leftys aren't real
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Unless it feels overly fast on rebound for you, 5 wt is the norm.

I look at seals the same way a good car mechanic looks at rollers and water pump during a timing belt change. Since you're doing the same work you'd be doing to replace them, and the parts are cheap, it's foolish not to do them at the same time.

Also, the seals get hardened and flattened with time and exposure to oil, hence the likelihood that fresh oil and no seal change will end up with rapid oil loss.

They did offer different rates BITD, yep.

Telescope is the sliding portion of the fork, the top end, above the fork legs.

The bearings migrate with time and use. Newer forks offer user resettable bearings, but the older ones needed a shop to reset. This would normally be done at the time of service. The forks were built with a bit heavier preload back then, to slow down the migration. Newer forks are more lightly built, and offer smoother faster action for it.

As for Leftys? Just gotta get past the feeling, properly designed, they are every bit as stiff and deflection free (if not more so) than any dual slider.

As has been said, ad nauseum, your car is all single sided wheels, as is the landing gear on most planes, the rear end of many motorcycles, etc. Well designed? No concerns whatsoever.....
 
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