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  1. #1
    11 is one louder than 10
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    2013 Lefty Hybrid - some more thoughts

    I've got about 150 miles now on my 2013 Scalpel 29er. I'll admit I prefer to run mine on the plush side, though it's not as plush as my Tallboy was.

    Posting specifically to the 2013 Lefty Hybrid fork. Mine is the XLR 29er fork.

    It does indeed track quite well, the fore-aft flex is really outstanding and it does resist twisting quite a bit. My last fork was a Fox RLC 29er, tapered with a 15qr. I don't know that it was quite as good in the fore-aft flex, and twisting was maybe not quite as good. Side to side however I do think I'm getting just a bit more disc rub with the lefty, negligible but it's there.

    As far as the travel goes. It's not as buttery smooth on the small stuff as previous lefty's I've demoed. Doesn't blow through the first half of travel either. It's VERY progressive up top, possibly too much so which is why it's very difficult to achieve full travel. When running almost 30% sag (30mm) I was getting 80-85mm of total travel.

    My opinion is that opening up the air volume a bit would really help the fork. There is the 60mm volume reducer in the bottom of the fork that I am going to pull out on MenonSmith's rec and see how that goes.

    Should note that even when pulling all the air out of the fork it's tough to get 100mm on the shaft, you can get it but it's got to be all out.

    I'm a bit suprised C-dale doesn't offer air reduction spacers in multiple lengths for tuning, say a 15, 30, 45, and 60mm spacer would be great.

    They have the kits to reduce it even further, but opening it up would be great.

    Thus far I am digging the Scalpel 29er though. I will say it's a bit of work to get it all set-up though between the lefty, cable runs, protection stickers etc...

    I love how it rails singletrack though, can't wait to get my final drivetrain on here (debating 2x10 or the XX1) and to get my enve wheels going on it again...
    "The thing is, Bob, it's not that I'm lazy, it's that I just don't care."

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Green Giant View Post
    My last fork was a Fox RLC 29er, tapered with a 15qr.

    As far as the travel goes. It's not as buttery smooth on the small stuff as previous lefty's I've demoed.
    Can you give any info on the smoothnes of your old Fox vs. your new 2013 Lefty?

    I owned a 2010 alloy Lefty and the buttery smooth action over the small stuff was really good. Sold it and have used my rigid steel fork for the last years but now I'm thinking about getting a new sus fork and the Lefty is on top of my short list right now.

  3. #3
    11 is one louder than 10
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    I'm not one to bash Fox other than creaky crowns. The new Fox Forks are pretty smooth. I will say this, the 2013 action on the lefty is smooth from a stiction standpoint not as hyper sensative as the previous lefty's but it's very smooth. I will say in it's stock form it bottoms a bit harshly (I'm 195 lbs running 25-30% sag). Getting more than 80-85mm of travel was a real challenge until I took Mendon Smith's suggestion and pulled the air volume limiter out of the bottom....


    Which leads me to this I was really happy with how the fork performed yesterday without that limiter in there (easy to pull out, easy to put back in). Used a full 95% of travel and no longer felt like it bottomed harshly. Now, honestly I'd like to tweak things a bit and maybe taking a bit of volume out of the chamber might be perfect.

    I also am sure I can get more than 100mm of travel out of it as when I had the chamber completely empty and open I had plenty of room above the tire. I suspect you could get 105-110 out of the fork pretty easily by taking a spacer out also.

    I do dig the fork overall thus far. Occassional disc rub in hard corners but I need to tweak my calipers I suspect.

    I have a suspicion a lot of riders may end up taking out that air volume limiter, or playing with air volume to get the travel feel they need.

    I don't see myself putting the 60mm spacer back in, may play with that volume a bit if I bottom the fork too much on rougher rides. Might like to try a 20mm or so spacer in there and then opening up the fork to 105-110mm of travel.
    Last edited by Green Giant; 11-23-2012 at 06:56 PM.
    "The thing is, Bob, it's not that I'm lazy, it's that I just don't care."

  4. #4
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    Interesting , I have almost 400 offroad miles on my 2013 Hybrid Lefty. Running 30% sag,195lb rider. Strokes thru 80mm of travel perfectly but the BIGGEST hits produce only 85mm of travel. I think you nailed the problem. I will look into removing or shortening the spacer.

  5. #5
    11 is one louder than 10
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    That was indeed my issue also. I was running 130-135psi as registered on the shock pump and that put me right around 30pct sag.

    Never got more than 85mm of travel got 90mm once but that was running 125psi and on two consecutive big hits.

    Pulling that spacer could NOT be easier.

    1. Get ALL air out of the chamber.

    2. 24mm socket and pull off end cap

    3. Take a 6mm bolt (headset top cap bolt) thread into bottom of travel spacer (it will be obvious).

    4. Grab with pliers and gently pull out the spacer (note, it sits about 17mm into the bottom of the fork in case you want to put back in)

    5. re-install end cap.

    6. Set air pressure (I found about 175 worked well)

    I really think you will find you get 90-95 mm of travel and have a much better bottom out feel. I think bigger riders will really enjoy the extra air in the chamber, lighter riders may end up wanting to reduce some volume. I suspect I wouldn't mind reducing it just a shade from here, but not a ton.

    Try it, see what you think.

    What I'm interested to know is if we are OK to run more travel. I wondered what the difference was between the 90mm and 100mm 29er lefty's as both use the same number of spacers and same chassis. Looking tat the shock parts, the dampner is slightly different in part number. So, wondering if adding 5-10mm of travel by reducing a spacer could lead to blowing up the dampner. Because I really think I could run 110.
    "The thing is, Bob, it's not that I'm lazy, it's that I just don't care."

  6. #6
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    Looks easy,but removing the spacer appears to be a very large increase in air volume. I also wish Cannondale would offer shorter spacers to help dial in the air volume. Perhaps the air volume spacer could be removed and the air volume could be fine tuned simply by adding small measured amounts of fork oil into the air chamber through the shcraeder valve. Adjusting the air space with oil has been a common tuning technique on motorcycle forks forever. Perhaps Craig at Mendons could comment on adjusting the air volume with oil.

  7. #7
    11 is one louder than 10
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    I thought that it looked to add a ton of volume also and was quite concerned.

    Then I rode it. At the most I could see adding 10-20mm of reduction back in, but honestly give it a whirl.

    Craig suggested plastic wine corks to fine tune.

    I can tell you this much, I was worried about bottoming out and damaging the fork pulling that much volume out. It rides so much better. Never bottomed harshly. I was running 130psi before, 175 after.

    Try it, you will like it I suspect. Piece of cake to remove and put back in.
    "The thing is, Bob, it's not that I'm lazy, it's that I just don't care."

  8. #8
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
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    FYI, they do make shorter tuning pucks.

    They come as a kit in several mm increment chunks.

    That said, plastic wine corks are free, they work perfectly, and getting them is more fun
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

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  9. #9
    11 is one louder than 10
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    my concern with the shorter pucks is no 0-ring... so will they bounce around? Or are they a "Tight" fit. (that's what she said).
    "The thing is, Bob, it's not that I'm lazy, it's that I just don't care."

  10. #10
    Not dead yet, just playin
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    Plastic wine corks work great. They drop right in and I haven't had any issues with them rattling around. Even if they do move around inside, they're too soft to do any damage.

    I've done a bunch of experimenting with various air volumes and I think that bigger volume is better. Not sure if C'dale ever really intended for people to use no volume reducers, but I think Leftys work best that way.
    www.msmtb.org - Mississippi Mountain Biking

  11. #11
    Kam
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    pulled the 60mm reducer in my 2013 90mm xlr last night. it only took me 3 minutes.

    now, i have to take the dt xmm 100 off and get the lefty back on.

    i'll do some back to back rides next week. the dt will be tough to beat though, the 2013 xlr felt like total crap. hope it feels much better without the reducer, i doubt it could be worse though. thanks for this thread.
    "forget kings...forget hadleys......they all have crap engagement. just run your bike fixed gear." - FoShizzle

  12. #12
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    Plan to remove spacer for next ride.Would like to fine tune air volume space by adding oil through the schraeder valve 5 to 10cc's at a time . Any problems with this approach?

  13. #13
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by DOUGD View Post
    Plan to remove spacer for next ride.Would like to fine tune air volume space by adding oil through the schraeder valve 5 to 10cc's at a time . Any problems with this approach?
    Besides being messy and time consuming, can't see an issue with it.

    I'd go Cannondale tuner pucks, wine cork or elastomer from say a Thudbuster post if it were me though, less mess during air pressure tuning.
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

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  14. #14
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    Wow, I just saw a lefty video where cannondale dude Larry Wesley said that the new Lefty hybrid only needs to be serviced every 2 years!
    Although the damper cartridges remain the same for 2013 they now have new aluminum top and bottom caps with re-designed seals! No more stripped nylon caps then I guess....cool.
    Does anybody know if they can ordered separately to replace the darn cheap plastic ones in the 2011-2012 pbr cartridges?
    Last edited by cdalemaniac; 12-23-2012 at 07:49 AM.
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  15. #15
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    I made a 30 mm nylon spacer on my lathe and now have several rides on various trails. 195lb rider I am using 140 psi showing almost 30% sag and getting 95 to 100mm travel on bigger hits(not huge) without feeling it bottom out. I will try a 40mm spacer soon, I am convinced 60mm is to much for me and my sweet spot will be close to the 30 or 40mm range.

  16. #16
    Kam
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    i have few rides on my 90mm xlr 29 without the 60mm volume reducer that is in there from factory and that has made a huge difference on how it feels.

    almost got full travel on my last two rides and fork fork feels much better. pretty smooth and supple too. as dougd stated, i agree that there needs to be some volume reduction in the fork, but not 60....maybe 20-30mm but i have not gotten that far yet....

    also, had to go from running 55% of my body weight in stock/factory form with the spacer to 90% of my weight in the chamber without the spacer.
    "forget kings...forget hadleys......they all have crap engagement. just run your bike fixed gear." - FoShizzle

  17. #17
    11 is one louder than 10
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    This is what I have found.

    With no reducer in there, I was running 90% of body weight. I"ve had two surgical procedures lately and it's winter so I haven't ridden at all for 3 weeks now. But when spring gets here my plan is to try a 20-30mm reducer and that should do it I suspect.
    "The thing is, Bob, it's not that I'm lazy, it's that I just don't care."

  18. #18
    FIRENZE rulez !!
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    here in Europe , last week , there was the 88+ workshop

    they studied on the fork and decided the way to tune the new 2013 Hybryd.

  19. #19
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    I just took the volume reducer out a 90mm XLR as well. I was ready to sell that fork before I found this thread. It really felt terrible out of the box. Actually looking forward to riding my flash now.

    Anything wrong with cutting 20-30mm out of the center of the current 60mm reducer and reinstalling it?
    Truffle Shuffle

  20. #20
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by cavitykilla View Post
    Anything wrong with cutting 20-30mm out of the center of the current 60mm reducer and reinstalling it?
    Not a good plan. It's design doesn't lend itself to cutting.

    Cannondale does offer tuning pucks in a kit, works fine, but I often suggest plastic wine cork, or rubber elastomer material, like what runs a Thudbuster seat post,

    Cuttable, cheap, non marring.
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

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  21. #21
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    I guess I don't fully understand the physics of the lefty and the purpose of the volume reducer.

    Is there a spacer that I can remove to turn my 90mm fork into a 100?
    Truffle Shuffle

  22. #22
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by cavitykilla View Post
    Is there a spacer that I can remove to turn my 90mm fork into a 100?
    The volume of the air chamber is closely engineered to create progressivity and feel to what Cannondale feels is best, as well as bottom out resistance. It can be tweaked to suit personal preference, but excessive bottoming out can damage internals, so one needs to be mindful of that if they start to play with volume reduction.

    This has nothing to do with travel.

    Short answer is no, YOU cannot change the travel. It can be changed, but tools and understanding are required to do so. The upper air piston creates the amount of travel, and can be modified, but again, improper approach can damage internals....
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

    - FrostyStruthers



    www.mendoncyclesmith.com

  23. #23
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    Interesting... let us know what you guy find out..

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Green Giant View Post
    That was indeed my issue also. I was running 130-135psi as registered on the shock pump and that put me right around 30pct sag.

    Never got more than 85mm of travel got 90mm once but that was running 125psi and on two consecutive big hits.

    Pulling that spacer could NOT be easier.

    1. Get ALL air out of the chamber.

    2. 24mm socket and pull off end cap

    3. Take a 6mm bolt (headset top cap bolt) thread into bottom of travel spacer (it will be obvious).

    4. Grab with pliers and gently pull out the spacer (note, it sits about 17mm into the bottom of the fork in case you want to put back in)

    5. re-install end cap.

    6. Set air pressure (I found about 175 worked well)

    I really think you will find you get 90-95 mm of travel and have a much better bottom out feel. I think bigger riders will really enjoy the extra air in the chamber, lighter riders may end up wanting to reduce some volume. I suspect I wouldn't mind reducing it just a shade from here, but not a ton.

    Try it, see what you think.

    What I'm interested to know is if we are OK to run more travel. I wondered what the difference was between the 90mm and 100mm 29er lefty's as both use the same number of spacers and same chassis. Looking tat the shock parts, the dampner is slightly different in part number. So, wondering if adding 5-10mm of travel by reducing a spacer could lead to blowing up the dampner. Because I really think I could run 110.
    So will this work with the pbr too. And can you explain each step a little closer, i did notice that you can't reach ful travel, does this make the fork better with small stuff like the older ones. I'm only 16 and am not very good with this kind of stuff but my friend is a bike mechanic and is a lot better. Many some pictures of the internals would help.
    Thanks so much.
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by DOUGD View Post
    Interesting , I have almost 400 offroad miles on my 2013 Hybrid Lefty. Running 30% sag,195lb rider. Strokes thru 80mm of travel perfectly but the BIGGEST hits produce only 85mm of travel. I think you nailed the problem. I will look into removing or shortening the spacer.
    Have you ran into any problems with damage like the older forks did. Do the seals really help with sealing out the elements.
    Typo, it's supposed to be Trevor4
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