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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... ;-)
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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.
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    Of course I'm using the guard.

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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.

  7. #7
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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.

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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

  10. #10
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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.

  11. #11
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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.
    Roadie DNA,mtbike curious.

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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:

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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.
    '15 Lapierre Zesty TR429
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    Thanks for the information

    That little plastic thing fell off my bike too!

  15. #15
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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!

  16. #16
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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.
    '15 Lapierre Zesty TR429
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  17. #17
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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.

  18. #18
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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?

  19. #19
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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..

  20. #20
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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?

  21. #21
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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.

  22. #22
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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.
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  23. #23
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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

  24. #24
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    2013 Lefty scratches?-130323_0002.jpg
    ,
    I am terribly sorry for the quality, taken with my potatophone just before my ride.
    '15 Lapierre Zesty TR429
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  25. #25
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    Thanks a lot. It doesn't look scratched like mine. I hope they'll replace the lower or the entire fork.

  26. #26
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    You should know, the bike is upside-down in the pic, and there is visible mud runoff leading to the stanchion. There was a teeny bit of oil on the lower and travel ring, probably due to natural inversion, but no scratches. The bike is stonking new, only 200 or so miles on it.
    '15 Lapierre Zesty TR429
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  27. #27
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    I did notice the picture was taken upside down Thanks.

    I noticed the scratches after approx. 15 hours of riding.

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    I have been following this thread hoping to better understand the minor issues I am having with my 2013 Lefty. I am riding my second 2013 Scalpel 3 Alloy, first Scalpel had to be replaced under warranty due to some shipping damage, fortunately Cannondale said to ride it until a replacement was available I put 150 miles on that bike and that Lefty felt great and actually had 110mm of travel from full topout to bottom out, never needed reset and would always display a slightly oily/greasy film on the lower leg. Replacement Scalpel Lefty also shows 110mm of movement after a deflate and reset of bearings but this Lefty will migrate to 80mm of travel and will not reset automatically, it must be deflated to reset. Lower leg on this bike is always BONE DRY. Today I carefully unscrewed the lower seal collar to inspect and found no hint of any type of oil bath or lube Their is very little tech info on this new Lefty available to me but I believe this area should be wet with lube and could be related to my bearing migration and and only getting 80mm of travel. I have read other threads of riders only getting 80mm of travel. Mendon or Cannondale please post your thoughts. I think their may be some inconsistencies during the assembly/lube of these new Lefties.
    Last edited by DOUGD; 03-24-2013 at 12:56 PM.

  29. #29
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    It is new enough to bring back in to your dealership for warranty service. As a Cannondale dealer myself, my advise is to not fix it at home as the factory warranty is still valid and your lefty will either be reassembled or replaced.

    It is possible you got a dud lefty, and this can happen from time to time, even on big name suspension.

    Best of luck to you!
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    Latest news from the shop is that the fork was sent to Cannondale in Holland. Apparently they will replace the inner fork leg (OPI inner tube?). Hopefully it was just a fluke.

    EDIT: Apparently Cannondale is aware of the problem, which seems to be caused by leftover sand, from sand blasting of the OPI inner tube.
    Last edited by the_marsbar; 04-02-2013 at 04:42 AM.

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    Good to hear they decided to send it in, but the sandblasting thing is bs...they get media blasted before they get anodized so everything is cleaned before that particular process and I doubt that there would be any leftover "sand" (aluminum oxide actually) left in there afterwards, since during the anodizing process the parts get dipped, rinsed washed etc. in numerous solutions........
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Hired Wrench View Post
    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.
    Tip! use a small zip tie and run it through the hole that the brake guide makes, then around the hose. Works very well

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    I see. Maybe it's something else then. But something wasn't right, that's for sure. At least they're doing something about it.

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    Got the bike back today. The fork is much smoother than it was before, something was definitely wrong. I rode the bike three hours today, with one big smile one my face. It's so good to be back off road after a couple of weeks with a lot of road training.

    Thanks for the help guys.

  35. #35
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    excellent, glad factory turned you around quickly!
    '15 Lapierre Zesty TR429
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    I've just picked up a 2013 Scalpel Ultimate which has some oil around the o-ring (used bike, no warranty, but awesome price!). Looks like I'll have to keep an eye on it. So we are saying that if it's only a dodgy wiper seal then it's an easy fix at my local Cdale dealer?

  37. #37
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    Nope. Most-if not all- cdale dealers couldn't even handle the "old" style lefty's, yet alone the new ones.....to replace "just" the lower wiper seal, the fork/strut chassis needs to be completely taken apart which is no task for your local dealer. They will probably just send it to cannondale for service.
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    Back to Cannondale/ EightyAid
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 2013 Lefty scratches?-dsc_1210-1-.jpg  


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    Has anyone had any creaking/noise issues with the new hybrids?
    Noticeable when locked out or in the first few cm of travel?

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    I got an F29 Team 2014, the new fork has the same problem, but this time it's even worse.

    A bit annoying.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cdalemaniac View Post
    You can always cover it with a rubber boot if it gets too bad... ;-)
    Has anyone tried to fit a boot to the newer fork? Which boot will fit? I've been using a neoprene LizzardSkins shock protector on my Lefty, but would love to switch to a boot!

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_marsbar View Post
    I got an F29 Team 2014, the new fork has the same problem, but this time it's even worse.

    A bit annoying.
    It's incredible how this problem keep going in 2014 lefty's. Can you posto some pictures?
    Regards

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    Re: 2013 Lefty scratches?

    Mine 2013 Lefty has also some scratches (or maybe not scratch more some marks) , visible only in strong light, should I worry...?

    Sent from my GT-I9505 using Tapatalk 4
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 2013 Lefty scratches?-uploadfromtaptalk1400944469981.jpg  


  44. #44
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    As long as it doesn't leak who cares if the anodizing wears?
    It's a mountainbike for crying out loud...if yall' don't like the "looks" of it just put a rubber boot on it like the good ole' Lefty's have ;-)
    "Common sense isn't always that common!"
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    My lefty was shipped away for a big service - I noticed the lower leg had started to wear a bit since it was showing a green tinge. Also, when i was unthreading the steerer tube out of the stem, i have also stripped the thread of both the stem and steerer (must have been caused by heaps of dirt going up the steerer tube?

    All this has to have been caused by the ridiculously muddy race I did 5 months ago. Grand total to fix the damage - $500 AUD, and that's with a heap of discounts. Do have a 12 month warranty on everything now. Gee lefty's are expensive when something goes wrong!

    PS, whats a better grease to use for the stem going into the steerer? I used Phil's last time (to try to stop creaking) but that must have been too thick and too attractive for dirt. Would slick honey be better?

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