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  1. #1
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    Disintigrated Lefty

    Guess what happened to my Lefty when I arrived at the trail head for my weekend ride? Steering felt a little wobbly, then I felt a little "crunch" on the first bump and discovered this...

    This may be a bad question, but has anyone seen this happen?
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    Last edited by yish...; 01-16-2008 at 06:41 PM.

  2. #2
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    wow, hit any really big drops before this discovery?

  3. #3
    Like catnip for people
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    That looks painful... Poor Lefty

    Wait for Craig, with all his invaluable Lefty experience. I'm sure he'll have some wise words for you

    Probably along the lines of "Buy a new Lefty!!!"

  4. #4
    LA CHÈVRE
    Reputation: Dan Gerous's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ar1981
    That looks painful... Poor Lefty

    Wait for Craig, with all his invaluable Lefty experience. I'm sure he'll have some wise words for you

    Probably along the lines of "Buy a new Lefty!!!"
    Maybe not, perhaps a new set of bearings and races, rebuild... it could live again. I'm still curious as to what might have caused this, maybe a big frontal hit started it and it worsened over time until this happened?

    DAN.GEROUS.NET : MOUNTAIN BIKING : CYCLOCROSS : ROAD :

  5. #5
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    No big drops. Not even small ones. It was riding fine during the previous outing. Sad, but this gives me the opportunity to have a close look at how the Lefty is built - rebuild is in progress. Got new needle bearings - all that's left is greasing and re-assembly.

  6. #6
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    I'm suspecting "mode of transportation". I usually have it upside down on the bed of my old pick up truck with the rear wheel bungee tied to the vertical bars at the rear windshield and the front wheel (which sticks out a little over the closed tailgate) bungee tied to the lip of the tailgate. Maybe all that vibration in transit caused the races to unclip - hence the outcome.

  7. #7
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    I would definitely put it down to damage in transport, it really looks to me as though something must have put an odd force on the fork. well at least you still have 70-something bearings left!
    What sort of condition did the other bearings look like? Any rust, fatigue etc? I'd be interested it if it just "wore" out or had help.

  8. #8
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    No rust or fatigue in the metal rollers, just the plastic holders that snapped into smithereens. Other than that, the races appear to be marked by the bearings rolling on them - but it's merely cosmetic...couldn't feel those markings when I ran my finger through. Similarly, no rust on the races either.

  9. #9
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    I really think it's been hurt from something other than riding. Was there any damage at all on the boot?

  10. #10
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    No damage whatsoever externally. Everything just came undone from the inside. The circular ring that clips onto the "T" races was a little bent in several spots when I retrieved it. That has been straightened out, together with new set of needle bearings and I should have a fully functioning Lefty again.

  11. #11
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    Well I'm outa ideas! keep us posted if you have a Sherlock Holmes moment, I'd love to hear what caused this.
    Glad to hear it should be all sorted without too much drama.

  12. #12
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
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    A few seat of the pants questions...

    Yours since new?
    Ever reset the bearings?
    Reset the bearings with a sledgehammer?
    Ever had it serviced?
    How old?

    The outer race clip certainly got banged around as the plastic bits got stuffed past it, it didn't cause the issue. Sounds like you or someone you know is comfortable working on them, yeah!! I too, am glad this just got sorted, instead of turing inot a leftys suck, post with the haters pouring in from all over...
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

    - FrostyStruthers



    www.mendoncyclesmith.com

  13. #13
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    It's early yet... I'm sure they are lurking around hear somewhere!!

  14. #14
    Mind reader. Yes, I know.
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    Difinative proof, that lefties suck!

    Nah, I'm just kiddinig:-)

  15. #15
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    I too am glad this was sorted out. This thread shows me the lefty can take a hit and keep on going.

    I recently had issues with my lefty as well. Mine weren't as severe as parts falling out. Mine wouldn't lockout and decompress smoothly. Anyhow, I was getting more discouraged to fix it because of all the hater threads I'd read. Luckily I found a reputable C'dale dealer with a seasoned and experienced lefty mechanic. Turns out all I need is oil and some seals.
    Tearing it up with...

    02' Cannondale F800
    11' Cannondale CAAD10
    05' Haro BMX

  16. #16
    mad aussie
    Reputation: Flying Wombat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bosplya
    Luckily I found a reputable C'dale dealer with a seasoned and experienced lefty mechanic. Turns out all I need is oil and some seals.
    That seems to be one of the main problems but not just with Lefty's. You do need some experience with them as they are not hard to work on, just different.

    Perhaps Craig needs to start producing a batch of clones of himself!

    Kevin

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith
    A few seat of the pants questions...

    Yours since new?
    Ever reset the bearings?
    Reset the bearings with a sledgehammer?
    Ever had it serviced?
    How old?

    The outer race clip certainly got banged around as the plastic bits got stuffed past it, it didn't cause the issue. Sounds like you or someone you know is comfortable working on them, yeah!! I too, am glad this just got sorted, instead of turing inot a leftys suck, post with the haters pouring in from all over...
    Here're the answers from my pants:

    Not mine since new, I got it off some guy who rode it for one summer (bought Fall 2006)- worked perfectly then - I rode it for a whole year (yes even in the snow sometimes through winter) all through the following summer. Put in several runs through the North Shores of Vancouver too!

    I have never reset the bearings - explanation further down.

    After riding the North Shore in Vancouver, I noticed that my rebound wasn't very effective - so I brought it in to River Valley Cycles (Cannondale dealer) in Edmonton. They said it was a bad batch of SPV damping and sent it across the border to get it fixed (I'm assuming by Cannondale themselves). I think I got a new damping unit. Worked nicely after that - and I also assumed that they reset the bearings (don't know if they used a sledgehammer or not) when they serviced it.

    I also asked for an oil change when I brought it in to have the damping looked at.

    This is the Lefty Max Carbon 140 which is off a 2006 Prophet 4x Team Replica. So I'm guessing it was about a year and a half old when this incident happened.

    So, you must be wondering why am I attempting to fix this mess on my own instead of sending it back to Cannondale. Well, I'm back home in Malaysia now - Cannondale hate region. I've heard nothing but bad news about Cannondale Asia (had a little run in with them myself but that's another story) - so I'd rather do this on my own with the help of mtbr.com forums instead of sending my Lefty there for them to do some "hands on training" on how to fix a Lefty.

    There you have it Craig - I haven't had time to put it back together and I'm actually not 100% sure where all the parts are supposed to go. I got in touch with mtbr forum user wadester (who wtore "Lefty Max Rebuild Illustrated") and had lots of help - but I could still use more. If you or anyone out there have a diagram or could sketch out the internals of the Lefty, i.e.: positions of rings, races, and what goes where, that would be very much appreciated.

    As of now, the parts are all cleaned and set aside waiting to be re-greased and put back together into one piece. Wish me luck!

  18. #18
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by yish...
    Here're the answers from my pants:
    Nice

    Okay, so you have a completely pulled apart, and cleaned lefty? First question, did you note the location of the inner races, or are they all mixed up? The outers are all the same thickness, inners can be different. If the positions are not known, you have some work ahead of you.

    Put the inner races in their raceways, and hold them all in place with a piece of electrical tape.

    Outers, either buy a Diggler tool, or do this. Take a road tube, tie a knot near the valve. Another about a foot down, cut off excess, to make a rubber hot dog.

    Insert this in the outer steerer, and inflate. Slide races in, leaving the bottom edge of their end cutouts, flush with the machined step, about a a cm down inside the end of the outer steerer. Note: races have a lip that occurs when they push the cutter through it, you feel it with your fingernail. You want the bottom of the outer races, and the top of the inners (installed on their steerers) to be the "smooth" end.

    Take a rubber band, put it around the top of the inner races. Lightly grease and insert the bearings into the band, leaving 11 bearings above the inner steerers top. Note: you should have your boot, spring C clip, Delrin bushing, and outer race retainer installed (in that order) before doing this.

    Both inner and outer races should have a light coating of grease on them, Gently mate the outer, over the overhanging bearing strips. Once outer and inner are close to joining, gently rock in a slightly circular motion as you push them together. Be careful, force them, and you'll break bearing strips. Once mated, slide down, and start the process of trying to get the outer race clip back in place. This is a fishing expedition, done with spokes, or dental picks, or a few small screwdrivers. Reassemble as it came apart, rock.

    Enough typing......
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

    - FrostyStruthers



    www.mendoncyclesmith.com

  19. #19
    LA CHÈVRE
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flying Wombat
    Perhaps Craig needs to start producing a batch of clones of himself!

    Kevin
    I think I should spend my next vacation at Mendon Cycle Smith... learning from the man. I know a lot of things about Cannondales but I could still learn things about Lefty internals...

    DAN.GEROUS.NET : MOUNTAIN BIKING : CYCLOCROSS : ROAD :

  20. #20
    Are you talking to me?
    Reputation: damion's Avatar
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    I am standing.

    At the keyboard, bowing to the master.


    Craig, my old bosses would freak at the flow of info here. helping him out is VERY nice of you.


    To the OP, if you have issues, send it to Craig, he is the real deal. (even from there, at least it would be right the first time.)
    gfy

  21. #21
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
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    Hey, he caught me at a moment with a few minutes to spare and a large ale in hand

    Dan, stop down anytime, it won't take a week to have you doing your own fork
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

    - FrostyStruthers



    www.mendoncyclesmith.com

  22. #22
    LA CHÈVRE
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    A week would include riding the local trails though.

    DAN.GEROUS.NET : MOUNTAIN BIKING : CYCLOCROSS : ROAD :

  23. #23
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Gerous
    A week would include riding the local trails though.
    True, wish I had a weeks worth of trails here though
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

    - FrostyStruthers



    www.mendoncyclesmith.com

  24. #24
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    Craig, I swear...I called this local shop(c'dale dealer) that I knew would give me the best chances of having a lefty qualified mechanic. My luck, they did. My F800 is ready as of yesterday. If I hadn't found a decent shop out here in Norcal, I had your website up and ready to call you. You're definitely a great asset to this forum and its members.

    To the OP, time to send Craig a six pack of Fat Tire Amber Ale.
    Tearing it up with...

    02' Cannondale F800
    11' Cannondale CAAD10
    05' Haro BMX

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith
    Nice

    Okay, so you have a completely pulled apart, and cleaned lefty? First question, did you note the location of the inner races, or are they all mixed up? The outers are all the same thickness, inners can be different. If the positions are not known, you have some work ahead of you.

    Put the inner races in their raceways, and hold them all in place with a piece of electrical tape.

    Outers, either buy a Diggler tool, or do this. Take a road tube, tie a knot near the valve. Another about a foot down, cut off excess, to make a rubber hot dog.

    Insert this in the outer steerer, and inflate. Slide races in, leaving the bottom edge of their end cutouts, flush with the machined step, about a a cm down inside the end of the outer steerer. Note: races have a lip that occurs when they push the cutter through it, you feel it with your fingernail. You want the bottom of the outer races, and the top of the inners (installed on their steerers) to be the "smooth" end.

    Take a rubber band, put it around the top of the inner races. Lightly grease and insert the bearings into the band, leaving 11 bearings above the inner steerers top. Note: you should have your boot, spring C clip, Delrin bushing, and outer race retainer installed (in that order) before doing this.

    Both inner and outer races should have a light coating of grease on them, Gently mate the outer, over the overhanging bearing strips. Once outer and inner are close to joining, gently rock in a slightly circular motion as you push them together. Be careful, force them, and you'll break bearing strips. Once mated, slide down, and start the process of trying to get the outer race clip back in place. This is a fishing expedition, done with spokes, or dental picks, or a few small screwdrivers. Reassemble as it came apart, rock.

    Enough typing......
    Glad that you enjoy pants humour!

    Answers by paragraphs:

    I have no idea about the position of the inner races (longer ones with curved ends). I have a vernier caliper (if that helps) to determine the thicknesses and maybe you could guide me to which slot they should go.

    Need clarification on this "rubber hotdog" tool...is it more like an oversized-inflatable-rubberband?

    Outer races are the ones with the "T" shape on one end right? Is this end with the "T" the bottom?

    The boot, spring C-clip, Delrin bushing and outer race retainer installed meaning having them at the bottom (closest to discbrake mounts) to top in that order?

    I think that's enough questions for now, once I understand all this, and make my first attempt then maybe I might be able to understand the situation a little better for more intellectually challenged questions. Thanks again Craig!

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