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  1. #1
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    2013 Lefty scratches?

    I bought an F29 Carbon 1 about a month ago. I've had something like 10 hours on the bike.

    I just noticed what looks like scratches on the leg of the Lefty. Should I be worried about this?

    2013 Lefty scratches?-2013-02-25-19.39.15.jpg

  2. #2
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    You can always cover it with a rubber boot if it gets too bad... ;-)
    "Common sense isn't always that common!"
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    I was just asking whether I should be worried or not....

    I haven't seen any other reports of scratches.

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    Bring it to the shop where you purchased the bike to have it at least documented by them....since the "bootless" lefties use wiper seals and an open bath design chances are high that if the scratches become more prominent your strut will develop a leak....After only 10 hours it shouldn't look like that....but that's just my 2 cents.
    "Common sense isn't always that common!"
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  5. #5
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    Hard to tell exactly from the pic, but if there are any scratches on the stanchion then yes be worried. Are you using the guard on it?

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    Of course I'm using the guard.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_marsbar View Post
    Of course I'm using the guard.
    Sorry, did not see it in the pic and there are a few of the Pros not using it to save weight.

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    I'm not sure whether this is related or not, but I did a race yesterday, and the OPI inner tube (the "leg") seems to be quite "wet" from oil.

    2013 Lefty scratches?-2013-03-11-13.09.46.jpg

    I've had a look at the Lefties on two other bikes, and they were both dry....

    Do other people's Lefty exhibit the same behavior? Or are your Lefty dry after riding?

    PS. I've ridden the bike 15-20 hours.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_marsbar View Post
    I'm not sure whether this is related or not, but I did a race yesterday, and the OPI inner tube (the "leg") seems to be quite "wet" from oil.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	2013-03-11 13.09.46.jpg 
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    I've had a look at the Lefties on two other bikes, and they were both dry....

    Do other people's Lefty exhibit the same behavior? Or are your Lefty dry after riding?

    PS. I've ridden the bike 15-20 hours.
    Looks like a bad wiper seal to me.....there's a reason why I don't like upside down open bath forks.....bring it back to the shop...they have to send it in as the whole chassis needs to be dis assembled to replace it... definitely not a DIY task....
    "Common sense isn't always that common!"
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    I had them look at the bike today. They think it's alright, so I'll keep an eye in it.

  11. #11
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    Probably just dirt in the seal. Disclaimer I have no idea what's inside these forks or how the oil seal and wiper are installed but an old motocross trick is to pull the wiper down and take a piece of 35mm camera film and run between the fork leg and seal moving it up and down as you move it around the fork this will usually dislodge the offending dirt

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by idyllwild92549 View Post


    Bro, that is not alright! Imo
    Agreed. I hate hearing that kind of response from a LBS. If they're a Cdale dealer, they should at least do an inspection.
    I wouldn't let this go.

  13. #13
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    Not right at all,there's some seriuos leaking in there. I've abused my fork in some rough trail/AM stuff 2 weeks ago and the stanchion came out clean as usual.
    '13 Stumpy fsr Elite 29 pimped
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    The bike is at the shop now, they promised me they'll look at the fork. I hope they'll call Cannondale and sort out whatever's wrong.

    I took a few pictures this morning before dropping the bike off:

  15. #15
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    Fellow hybrid owner here, There is nothing like that on my '13 PBR 90.
    Only thing i've had go wrong is the brake line holdie-thing fell off the bashguard.
    '13 Cannondale F29
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  16. #16
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    Thanks for the information

    That little plastic thing fell off my bike too!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_marsbar View Post
    The bike is at the shop now, they promised me they'll look at the fork. I hope they'll call Cannondale and sort out whatever's wrong.
    Please update when you get some more info from the shop!

  18. #18
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    As i was tightening down the 1mm hex screws, i was saying to myself... no way is this going to last past ride one... no way...



    I made it to ride two. Was pleasantly surprised.
    '13 Cannondale F29
    '01 Gary Fisher Hoo Koo E Koo
    '98 Manitou FS
    '97 GT Avalanche
    '97 GT LTS-1

  19. #19
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    2013 Lefty scratches?

    The Lefty filament wound carbon fork is a proven design that was qualified with aerospace level fatigue testing. I would not be at all concerned about that, but I do agree it would be a good idea to write up a repair ticket with LBS to "check out fork". Don't lose a minute's sleep, though.

  20. #20
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    The way I see it the scratches don't really have anything to do with the proven design of the filament wounding, rather the new lower of the fork. When I took pictures with the flash on, it was possible to see some lighter areas on the fork leg. This is after 20-25 hours of riding (I weigh 70 kgs with all the gear).

    Do any of you have the new Lefty fork? Could you shine a light at the fork leg, or take a picture with flash turned on, to see if you have the same lines/scratches on your fork?

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott In MD View Post
    The Lefty filament wound carbon fork is a proven design that was qualified with aerospace level fatigue testing. I would not be at all concerned about that, but I do agree it would be a good idea to write up a repair ticket with LBS to "check out fork". Don't lose a minute's sleep, though.
    What about when the oil is seeping onto your front rotor? I think you may be a little confused as to the actual problem from the OP..

  22. #22
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    The new 2013 Hybrid Lefty design does use something (as stated above in an earlier reply) that is new to the Lefty family...an oil bath to lubricate the lower wiper. The symptoms you are having do happen on other upside down forks and also conventional forks that use any kind of oil bath lubrication (Fox uses much more oil in its lowers for lubrication so we see similar things when there is seal wear).
    The first question I would ask is if the Lefty damper functions still work properly? Lock out is still as firm as it was new, and fork feels the same? I have pic below showing a brand new 2013 Lefty on the floor with some vertical marks on it just from demonstration.

    2013 Lefty scratches?-lefty1.jpg

    The fact the lower is black does not help at all and we have seen similar marks on forks and shocks that ran a black coated stanchion or shock body. The forks and shocks we service will show a lot of wear and marks especially when inspected up close with direct light (like a photo flash) The image you posted of the oil gathering around your sag o-ring is a bit of a concern though.

    Has it always had that much residue down there after a ride or is that new? The damper (if blown or leaking oil) could drain down the inside the inner leg and needle bearings and pool up at the lower wiper and weep out. The oil used in the 10cc oil bath on the new Lefty's is a much thicker oil like Fox Float Fluid vs the standard 5wt oil used in the damper. The lower seal/wiper assembly is a very snug fit and it you go to the below link you will see the set up. Please notice the bike pictured was a demo bike ridden for a dealer camp and the dust build up on the Lefty.

    2013 Lefty Forks Stiffer, Lighter, Stronger & More Durable - Bike Rumor

    The lower seal assembly is tested and custom fitted to the lower leg when assembled in Bedford at the Cannondale assembly plant so its not just slapping one part from a bin to another BUT...you can always get a bad seal none the less. Have them send it in for evaluation as currently there are no tools to have a shop take a new Lefty telescope apart due to new internals and bearing/race clips...Cannondale plans on making a tool to remove the damper for service in the future but is not available at the moment. The new Lefty is built to require less telescope service because of the new design so if you have a bad lower wiper/seal it is a simple fix.

    Please let us know if you have any questions on this and how it turns out


    Quote Originally Posted by the_marsbar View Post
    The way I see it the scratches don't really have anything to do with the proven design of the filament wounding, rather the new lower of the fork. When I took pictures with the flash on, it was possible to see some lighter areas on the fork leg. This is after 20-25 hours of riding (I weigh 70 kgs with all the gear).

    Do any of you have the new Lefty fork? Could you shine a light at the fork leg, or take a picture with flash turned on, to see if you have the same lines/scratches on your fork?

  23. #23
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    2013 Lefty scratches?

    Quote Originally Posted by SandSpur View Post
    What about when the oil is seeping onto your front rotor? I think you may be a little confused as to the actual problem from the OP..
    My bad. I'm all ears.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_marsbar View Post
    Do any of you have the new Lefty fork? Could you shine a light at the fork leg, or take a picture with flash turned on, to see if you have the same lines/scratches on your fork?
    Have one, will snap a couple of photos when i get back on the saddle in the next coupla days. Out of town right now.
    '13 Cannondale F29
    '01 Gary Fisher Hoo Koo E Koo
    '98 Manitou FS
    '97 GT Avalanche
    '97 GT LTS-1

  25. #25
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    The Hired Wrench: Thanks a lot

    Scott MD: Yeah, it's a bit problematic since the oil is quite close to the disc. I broke my back once, so I'm a bit peculiar about the things I can actually do something about (like having the fork checked when it leaks oil)

    News from the shop is they'll send it to Cannondale on Monday, and then it'll probably take another week before I can ride it again. Back to 100% road training for a few weeks I guess

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