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  1. #1
    El Pollo Diablo
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    Carbon lefty vs Short Stack

    Here's the skinny.

    I'm putting to together a 29er, using a carbon lefty max up front (hence the C'dale-ness)
    The fisher frame I swiped off ebay has a fairly short headtube, so even with the headset, there is a good inch and a half of extra space between the lefty clamps.
    I've seen pictures of at least one bike where they filled the space with spacers, but, being paranoid, was wondering if that was a recipe for disaster.

    I have a non-carbon (read: can space clamps closer) max on my prophet, but want to know if you guys think the hassle of pulling it off, swapping cartridges/springs/spacers, and not having sweet carbon bling on the 29er would be worth whatever risk may be involved with spacers.


    clifs: is it safe to use spacers above the headset, like here, or should I bite the bullet and swap everything from my non-carbon Max, and just adjust the clamps to fit?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
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    i do not think it will be a problem. i have a buddy who has set up two bikes with a carbon max and other leftys. one bike has NO spacers between the headset and clamp. the other bike had about 10-15mm of spacers.

    the set up with spacers worked fine, and believe me....this guy can ride!!! in fact, the bike that had NO spacers (he had the bike built with the proper ht length to use a king hs and NO spacers between the clamps) has a creak in around the clamps/steerer. i think it is better to use a spacer or two than none at all. he uses that steerer adapter thing too.

    also, if asthetics is what you are after, use a tall stack headset....like a cane creek solos or sumthin. with the tall solos the stack is like 40mm or so.

    i am not sure if you can swap parts front a max alloy to a carbon. i am pretty sure the damper units are interchangeable between all the max forks.

  3. #3
    El Pollo Diablo
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    they are interchangable, the main difference being that the clamps on the carbon are bonded to the body of the shock.

    so, looks like we've got one vote for spacers...
    anyone else?
    (I'm not *too* terribly worried, since this bike will see XC type use almost exclusively, but the mere thought of headtube issues scares me a little)

  4. #4
    Dr Gadget is IN
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    I've been running a Carbon Lefy Max on a Niner RIP9 for about 1 1/2 years now with zero problems. I'm 200 lbs and ride some fairly techy terrain - and can't resist flying down hills.

    I am building up a short headtube frame to allow the Max full 140 travel, and Jake from Project 321 is working on a clampset with the same goal in mind. My one and only regret with the Carbon is thinking to myself "that spacer stack could be travel, if only.....".

    OTOH: swapping out bits&pieces between Maxes is no big deal, and there is no difference between the Carbon and Alloy versions - other than the upper tube material and how the clamps attach. Just review threads on damper swaps and bearing rebuild - or just swap the entire Lefty out! Carbon will swap right onto the Prophet, and then you get a little more wiggle room on your 29er. Enjoy. Post Pics.
    This isn't a "you're doing it wrong" topic.

    WSS/OSS: Open Source Sealant

  5. #5
    El Pollo Diablo
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    Thanks for the input wade...
    since I'm going to use the 29er for XC only, the allure of extra travel hadn't even crossed my mind... the 110 or so I'm going to end up with seems like enough for my needs.

    buehler?

  6. #6
    mtbr member
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    You"ll be fine

    Snomongoose,
    You will be fine with the extra spacers on one of our adaptors. We use a very well
    made FORGED steerer tube that was originally designed for dual crown all mountain
    forks. (it's still very light) So it's super strong. You would probably still be fine with one of the machined ebay specials made out of 6061 tubing but...

    You mentioned swapping the carbon for the aluminum max but
    keep in mind that the lefty max with clamp on crowns still has a stack height range.
    There is a reduced diameter between where the top crown and bottom crown clamp on.
    So you cant really move the top and bottom crowns that close together. In fact the stack range for our "clamp on" lefty adaptor is 5.350" to 6.125". That is only .067" shorter than
    the bonded crowns. So you would need spacers either way. Keep that carbon on the 29er
    and go have some fun. Ride Safe!

    Good luck, if you are using our adaptors and have any installation questions feel free to call!
    877.584.7321

    Jake
    PROJECT321

  7. #7
    El Pollo Diablo
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    Jake:
    I am in fact using one of your adapters, and that is why my concerns regarding spacers lie entirely in the headtube handling the stress that I may be conjuring up in my mind, rather than the adapter failing
    (the thought hadn't actually crossed my mind!)

  8. #8
    mtbr member
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    Oh! For some reason I got the impression you were worried about the steerer tube
    not the head tube.

    I think I can see what your saying. Your worried that the top crown being further away from the head tube will apply more leverage to the head tube. Hmm.. It's it definitely something to think about. I can see how it could increase and decrease the load on the
    headtube depending on the load placement. There is actually more steerer tube
    outside the bearings that may allow more flex in some cases. This would be and interesting topic to look into however I am pretty sure that we would find that if the frame is built to handle the load of a dual crown fork it doesn't much matter how far you raise the
    top crown above the headset. (within reason of course) I would just make sure that the manufacturer is o.k. with the use of a double crown fork with the axle to crown measurement of the lefty you are using.

    Good luck!

  9. #9
    mnt bike laws of physics
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    I agree, your not putting any more stress on the headtube but you are on the steerer tube. You just need to make sure the bike was designed for a dual crown fork as bikes that are, are designed/built slightly different in the headtube area (they are more built in the top tube/head tube junction).

    How do you reduce the travel of the Lefty Max by 30mm or whatever it is?

  10. #10
    El Pollo Diablo
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    Yogi: just toss some nylon spacers on top of the bottom-out ring, good to go!

    Others: yeah, I'm gonna say that fisher didn't intend for a paragon to see a dual crown fork...
    we'll see how this pans out eh?
    I have yet to come across any tales of similar conversions going wrong, just like I have not come across anyone using a 29er'd max on a bike that was at all intended for a DC fork
    (as these bikes are, without exception (afaik) designed with more than 110mm of travel in mind)

    so yeah, I'll trust some overengineering on fisher's part, and less than torturous use on my part, to work for me.
    (me @ 200 vs XC use only... hmmm)

  11. #11
    mnt bike laws of physics
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    Thanks Mongoose. Will you use a stiffer spring to keep from bottoming out?

    Yea, I know what you mean. I do things to bikes that weren't intended all the time and have never had a problem. I just try to use good judgement.

    Have fun with your project, and with the awesome new ride.

  12. #12
    El Pollo Diablo
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    Actually, I'm looking at using a softer spring...
    but only because they don't make a Ti spring quite big enough for me.
    I'm planning to just monkey with SPV settings and preload to get that spring to work for me.
    (if you search for lefty max 29er or something like that here or in the 29er section, you'll find a handful of useful threads)

  13. #13
    El Pollo Diablo
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    slight self-hijack, sorta...

    I realized today that there is enough room between the clamps that I could, with little or no work/modification, simply install the stem underneath the top clamp, instead of above it...
    am I nuts for considering this?

    I'm trying to think of how this could go wrong, and am coming up with nothing...

    thoughts?

  14. #14
    mnt bike laws of physics
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    That is a lot of space! Man, that sounds like an awesome idea.
    If you are after a lower hbar height, this setup would be very nice for you.

    Anybody else forsee any problems with this?

  15. #15
    El Pollo Diablo
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    jake?
    mendon?
    other people who my sleep-deprived and slightly hungover mind is forgetting at the moment?
    I'm usually pretty cavalier about my builds, but I worry a little much about stuff on the front end.

    I've continued thinking about it, and with the utter lack of hucking/etc this bike is going to encounter, I'm not coming up with any downsides
    (other than cutting my 90 dollar steertube pretty short)

  16. #16
    mnt bike laws of physics
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    Go for it!

    If you like the setup better, you are doing nothing detrimental to your bike. - Go for It !!!

    If anything you are putting less stress on the headtube area.

    As long as your steerer tube is OK with it (it is not tapered in the area you are considering clamping the stem) then it is all good.

    I would not cut the steerer tube until you are sure you like the position. I am assuming this is not a starnut type steerer.

  17. #17
    mtbr member
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    I wouldn't hesitate to try that.
    FYI: the steerer tube is NOT internally tapered up top. Only at the bottom near
    the lower race. You can use a star nut.
    If you do have to cut the steerer tube and for some reason need another we can replace it for around 40.00. Not free but better than the 90.00 for the hole thing.
    Oh yeah, you will need to make sure your stem is long enough ot put the handlebars in front of the fork leg. Remember that all the fork offset is in the crowns.

    Good luck!

    Jake

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