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  1. #1
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    Flash Carbon 29er 2 Front shifting issues

    Hi All

    Have some serious shifting problems with my new bike which has SRAM X9 2x10 and FSA crank. Anybody with advice, or similar experience?

    Bike has a 27-39 FSA SLK 386 cranks and X9 RD and FD. KMC X10SL, 10-speed chain.

    The problem is that when I shift from large to small ring, the FD shifts, but the chain stays on the Large ring and then jams from below between the outside plate of the FD (which is now-after shifting-lined up with the large ring) and the chainring. Chain gets stuck here and it looks as if the RD will snap at any moment, as it is stretched very far towards the cranks. Chain almost completely wrapped around the large chainring (hope this makes sense).
    Chain has also dropped on the outside of the chainrings when I did a fast bumpy descent on a district road, so not extreme terrain. I don't shift under pressure, and have been cycling for a few years, so it is not rider error.

    A few ideas and suggestions I have had sofar:
    Get a better Chain (from cannondale mechanic that looked at the bike after day one of this weekends GR 300)
    Chain is too long causing to much slack (my own idea for a possible cause)
    RD spring not tight enough causing slack chain (possible SRAM design fault-from other blogs)
    FSA Crank causing the problems. Spoke to someone with similar issues and said it was solved with a different crank.

    Any help will be greatly appreciated as I am very frustrated that this is happening to my brand new bike!

  2. #2
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    My quick guess would be to make sure your front der isn't too high, it should only clear your large chain ring by about 2mm. The crank shouldn't matter that much, if the front der is adjusted, I'm old enough to have ridden on cranks that had no ramps, pins & fancy teeth profiles & they all shifted fine.
    I use that chain & its fine (unless its worn)
    Does the front der have any crack in the body or flex too much?

    Jim

  3. #3
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    Fd is brand new, no cracks or flex. Thanks for the feedback, will check that lbs sets it close to the chainring.

  4. #4
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    I have had similar issues on my 2011 Flash 29'er and I have heard of others having them as well, including a famous blogger named Rich Dillon.

    Since I have had no issues on my 2010 Flash 29'er which is a triple setup with a Shimano XT front der I'm thinking it's gotta be the SRAM X.0 front der/shifter combo AND the bigger tooth count spread on the 2X10 setup that has been causing the problems. Also having gone from long cage to medium cage on the rear is another difference between my 2010 and my 2011, so I suppose that could be contributing.

    My plan is to put an XX front derailleur on my 2011 and try that before I give up and put the "old reliable"- Shimano XT on it. I'm also waiting to see if Gripshift will be coming to SRAM this season, that would probably work better than the triggers.
    Emory Kalahari Kruiser

  5. #5
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    where can I get hold of Rich Dillon?

    I dont think it is right that we have to spend extra money to get a $4000 bike working the way it should be working from the start!!!

    Bought mine in south Africa, cost me $5100!!

  6. #6
    YB1
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chain-L
    where can I get hold of Rich Dillon?

    http://teamdicky.blogspot.com/

    You will enjoy but I doubt it's going to help your solve shifting issues...
    Emory Kalahari Kruiser

  7. #7
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    I had the EXACT same issue with my Flash Carbon 29er 3. The Cannondale rep. narrowed it down to the FSA crank. We tried new rings, but it continued (we also went through 2 chanins, a X.7 front der., and blew up the frame protector...Cannondale has this piece of plastic with adhesive on backorder for FOUR MONTHS now...not expected until April...WTF?!?). I haven't ridden my bike on real singletrack trouble-free since I took delivery of it on Nov. 5! My brand new bike has spent more time in the shop than it has my garage. My LBS has been baffled on the whole thing...way over their head.

    I will never touch FSA stuff again. Cannondale provided a new crank, etc. It has taken a long time, but they finally have provided a set-up that we think can work. Only time will tell.

    The whole ordeal has soured me on a lot of the companies that spec'd the bike. I wonder if it has anything to do with the relatively new 2x10 system that has come out for MTB?? The LBS is now saying there seems to be an issue with the rear der. hanger. Someone at the LBS said, "If this doesn't fix it, I'm calling lemon-law on this bike."

    Good luck. I had to be on top of this thing for the last 4 months (consumer awareness). Too bad...it shouldn't be this way. This bike is gonna have to work near flawlessly at this point for me to consider buying a Cannondale again. I think I have gone through enough.

  8. #8
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    How many spacers are you guys running on each side of your FSA crank? Including bearing shield(s), wavy washer, etc.

  9. #9
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    Extract of a conversation between an owner with similar issues and the brand manager of Cannondale SA. Read bottom up

    I will bring it around on Friday.

    We got the 73mm/68mm, thing sorted.

    But Tim and I checked it out, its a tolerance issue, the crankset does not let any mud through the gap( chain rings to frame), it gets forced through the crankset, like a mincer . the clearance between the 38 ring and the frame is less than 5mm( the carbon 1 with XX, is closer to 8mm,eye ball measures), if you run the "extra" spacer on that side of the set the recommended torque cannot be reached. Without binding on the frame, no spacer = 73mm.

    The other Carbon 2, was setup identically to mine... I think I will swop the crankset out..see if that helps in the mud...(probably doesn't know he has no chain guard, now too.

    Also when you back pedal the chain out, it hooks, on the edge of the plate, thats what pulls them off.

    I just hope its some useful feedback...for you.

    Thanks


    Hi,

    The New flash uses a 73mm BB, it could be that the spacing is off slightly, I could get Werner to have a closer look. You should not be experiencing “chainsuck” on a bike this new.

    Please let me know if I should arrange a collection.


    Hi Lionel

    I must say the bike is awesome... I think hey great value. It went together very easily, although, both Tim and I struggled with the BB 30 spacing, but we got it sorted between us. I just have one issue, that little chain guard that is aluminium, gets pulled off every ride... the slightest bit of chain suck/miss-shift and can kiss it good bye.

    I found it the first time by floeck, the second it was gone, the third time( Tim had something).... its also gone.

    I have since made myself a guard with Carbon/kevlar.

    I was wondering if the SL K crank does not sit too close to the frame, I had a good look at a carbon 1 and the XX spider and hollogram cranks sit about 3mm further out, so the tolerance is better. Is there any way to check this?

    Dry/clean rides are fine...

    I was wondering if any other bikes had similar issues, the other guy at Redstone, riding a carbon 2 was suffering far worse than I was.

    Thanks

  10. #10
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    I don't know. I am not a mechanic. I have the shop service my bikes. The Cannondale rep also wrenches for the Cannondale pro race team. Everyone was in contact with the guys at FSA, so the set-up was dialed in.

  11. #11
    YB1
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    I wonder if this could be an issue of chain stay length vs tooth count spacing. What I mean is on a bike set up as a 3X10, I had no issues. The chain just isn't dropping so far on a 3X10 bike because it's only a ten tooth gap from ring to ring, whereas on a 2X10 we're talking 15 tooth gaps and that might be a problem when combined with a longer chain length from crank to cassette. I'm not saying these bikes won't shift as 2X10's, just that they are more likely to mess up.
    Emory Kalahari Kruiser

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    I wonder if the whole 2x10 movement will stick with mountain bikes...

    Any news on a gripshift for 2x10...someone said that might help? It would be interested, because the upshift in the front of my 2x10 is very sluggish (required a hard thumb push)...that's a x.7 shifter with a XO front der.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by historeeteacher
    I wonder if the whole 2x10 movement will stick with mountain bikes...
    Pretty sure it's already stuck like glue.

    I'm guessing we'll see 1x10 with 36-9 cassettes gaining prevelance in the near future. Replaced by 1x11 with 36-9 cassettes about 2 years out.

    Interesting thread, how many people out there have a FSA double on a Flash 29er and are NOT experiencing problems?

  14. #14
    YB1
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    I'm also guessing that non X-Glide rings aren't helping things. So it's a long, swaying chain and the use of SRAM 2X10 minus the X-Glide rings which is overall causing less than perfect front shifting- that's my hypothesis.
    Emory Kalahari Kruiser

  15. #15
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    After multiple catastrophic malfunctions Cannondale swapped the FSA with a Hollowgram crank. The crank came with X-Glide chainrings. I hope your hypothesis is correct (it makes sense), and my brand new bike is rideable.

  16. #16
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    Keep us posted, i want one of those cranks!! Rod ethe bike today after getting it back from the lbs and it was all good. Hope its sorted. Touch wood.

  17. #17
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    Has anyone been trouble free on a stock Flash 2 setup?

  18. #18
    YB1
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    One other thing I noticed during my first hour on my 2011 Flash 29'er was that as I pedalled around a parking lot trying shifts under light and varying loads that it seemed like my pedaling dead spot hesitation was contributing to dragging the chain into places it's not supposed to go like off the small ring and jamming around the front der. Out on the trail bring super careful on it's maiden ride I was able to avoid an embarassment but only by shifting minimally.
    Emory Kalahari Kruiser

  19. #19
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    Coupla hundred miles on a Flash Carbon 2

    In snow, mud, and wet. Bumpy trails. Towed a Bob trailer with 2 chainsaws and gear. I think that kinda bent the rear der hanger. So the hanger is 'weak'.
    Have had the rear derailler be a bit finicky, even before the trailer incident. Don't recall any issues with the front derailler. That chain is mostly air held together by metal.
    So far haven't broken the bike, been kinda trying as its to be the 'race' bike. Has to last through a CCP100.
    bike ON
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  20. #20
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    I have a 2011 cannondale carbon Flash 2, this is a great bike except for the front chain suck. It has 39-27 FSA SL-k cranks.The bike has had bad shifting from day 1...changed the cables, shortened the chain adjusted the derailleur but still it's not good. I've raced the bike twice and both times I've had to do the race in big ring because a soon as I go through any mud I can't stop the chain suck & so far it's taken a big chunk of gell coat off the frame. I think it's to do with the cranks but I'm not 100% sure. All I know is I need to do something soon or I will need a new frame. I talked to my LBS today and they are talking to Cannondale to let them know about the problem. I think there are only a few of these bikes in Australia so far.

  21. #21
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    Has anyone fitted a Q164 SRAM XX crankset to a 2011 carbon flash 29er.

    I want to try a different set of cranks but I'm not sure if it will have enough clerance between the chainstays, I know it's going to be close. I think the FSA cranks are 168.
    Or would XO cranks be a better choice?
    Any other 39-26 options, I need to stay with this size or change the front Derailleur to suit.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by jocamara
    Has anyone fitted a Q164 SRAM XX crankset to a 2011 carbon flash 29er.

    I want to try a different set of cranks but I'm not sure if it will have enough clerance between the chainstays, I know it's going to be close. I think the FSA cranks are 168.
    Or would XO cranks be a better choice?
    Any other 39-26 options, I need to stay with this size or change the front Derailleur to suit.
    Dont know, but I do know that the Cannondale cranks works-probably not in the same price range. Have so far found 7 people with similar front shifting problems.

  23. #23
    YB1
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    Quote Originally Posted by brentos
    Has anyone been trouble free on a stock Flash 2 setup?

    It sounds like you got one "yes". I think there have been more people reporting issues though at this point. I doubt it has anything to do with having "Cannondale" on the down tube, more likely a SRAM 2X10 29'er thing.

    It's so strange to have something like this bouncing around, like vague unintended accleration problems on millions of Toyota's, just hate to have these gremlins!
    Emory Kalahari Kruiser

  24. #24
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    I thought I'd link the threads, since YB1 was so nice to tie in with one on the drivetrain forum.

    It's the SRAM 10sp RD. They know about it; I'm getting a replacement RD. They should tell the bike companies and shops. Keeping this on the DL is doing no one any good.

    http://forums.mtbr.com/drivetrain-shifters-derailleurs-cranks/issues-2x10-chain-drop-669708-post7837620.html
    Last edited by MrHappyMedium; 03-10-2011 at 10:41 AM.
    My bicycle gets more dirt than your 4x4.

  25. #25
    YB1
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrHappyMedium
    I thought I'd link the threads, since YB1 was so nice to tie in with one on the drivetrain forum.

    It's the SRAM 10sp RD. They know about it; I'm getting a replacement RD. They should tell the bike companies and shops. Keeping this on the DL is doing no one any good.

    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?p=7837620


    Which SRAM 10sp RD....ALL of them?? And what replaces it, Shimano?
    Emory Kalahari Kruiser

  26. #26
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    I'm running an X9 medium cage. SRAM is aware of the problem and sending me a replacement RD (same one AFAIK). I hope the new RD has a better spring.
    My bicycle gets more dirt than your 4x4.

  27. #27
    YB1
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrHappyMedium
    ...SRAM is aware of the problem and sending me a replacement RD (same one AFAIK). I hope the new RD has a better spring.

    This is pretty interesting, is SRAM officially aknowledging this issue? At what level and do you have anything in writing from them? Are they going to supply uprated deraileurs to anybody who asks for one???
    Emory Kalahari Kruiser

  28. #28
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    You don't really deal directly with them; you talk to the place where you purchased your RD and they talk to SRAM. It's time to talk to your reseller/LBS and have them call SRAM if you're experiencing these issues.
    My bicycle gets more dirt than your 4x4.

  29. #29
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    I don't think the problem is the X9 rear derailleur on my flash..... I still think the problem is with FSA chain rings. I've used both XO and X9 on bikes before with no problem and I've measure the spring tension of my derailleur against the older X9 and it's about the same.
    These chainring don't even change well when the bike is clamped in the bike stand.

    Could it have something to do with FSA using a larger small chainring to fit their 3 bolt 86 BCD eg; 39-27 instead of 39-26.
    The other thing I see different is the outer chainring has a lot of metal on the inside diameter with very litter clearence for mud to escape.

    A friend I ride with has the Carbon Flash 1 and has no problems......I wish I paid the extra and bought one too.

    Anyway to try and save my frame from further damage I've order a set of XX cranks.

  30. #30
    BDT
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    I have a 2011 Flash 2 with the same problem. I love this bike....except it has never shifted well and once every 150 miles I get this crazy chain suck thing. If it gets muddy at all, I know I'm going to lose my chain. Also have a friend with the same bike and the same issues.

  31. #31
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    Wish someone from FSA, Cannondale or SRAM can own up to this, I have now found 9 guys with similar problems in less than 2 weeks. My bike has been good since the initial problems, and I have applied a serious gaurd on the chainstay to prevent the chain from getting trapped between the chainring and chainstay.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by BDT
    I have a 2011 Flash 2 with the same problem. I love this bike....except it has never shifted well and once every 150 miles I get this crazy chain suck thing. If it gets muddy at all, I know I'm going to lose my chain. Also have a friend with the same bike and the same issues.
    The Carbon or the Alu? Trying to see what parts are the same and which are different so that we can eliminate some things.

    Thanks guys, we will get to the bottom of this!

  33. #33
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    I spent some time really looking closely at the XX fd along with the new XTR and in comparison the X.O on my bike is just not good enough. I think better chainrings and an XX fd is going to solve my problems.
    Emory Kalahari Kruiser

  34. #34
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    So just reading Jeremiah Bishop's race blog and even he has experienced the front shifting issues. His chain jammed under the fd during the Bonelli XCT race and he still WON!

    I never had this problem with my 3X10 Flash 29'er and if I have it anymore I guess that and not going to the XX fd is how I'm going to solve it since it's seems there's nothing Cannondale can/will do.
    Emory Kalahari Kruiser

  35. #35
    BDT
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    Carbon

  36. #36
    BDT
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    After numerous trips to the LBS, the mechanic has a decent theory. The chain is getting stuck on the chainring because a). the chain has little slits than tend to catch and stick on the chainring and b.) the chainring teeth have a slight bend to the inside that causes a synergistic chainsuck effect.

    THE PERFECT (chainsuck) STORM

    Solution - Replace w an XT chain and grind the teeth a bit to get rid of the bend.

    I'll tell you guys how it works.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by BDT
    After numerous trips to the LBS, the mechanic has a decent theory. The chain is getting stuck on the chainring because a). the chain has little slits than tend to catch and stick on the chainring and b.) the chainring teeth have a slight bend to the inside that causes a synergistic chainsuck effect.

    THE PERFECT (chainsuck) STORM

    Solution - Replace w an XT chain and grind the teeth a bit to get rid of the bend.

    I'll tell you guys how it works.
    Keep us posted! I always love to hear about "MAC GYVER" solutions....
    "Common sense isn't always that common!"
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  38. #38
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    My bike does it even while clamped in the bike stand after a long ride

  39. #39
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    Is it ALL Flash 29er Carbon 2/3 that have this problem?
    Last edited by surf418; 04-12-2011 at 03:28 PM.
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  40. #40
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    flash carbon 2

    I just bought a flash 2.
    I was curios if the 27-39 is a good chainring combo.
    I am thinking of get a triple for our steep hills in utah.
    I have heard the same problem on some the bike"s that run 2x10.
    Any info would be alot of help

  41. #41
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    Can we have a questionaire if anyone had problems when they used SRAM cranksets (or SRAM chain rings)?
    To me it looks like this is really a FSA „mainly“ problem and their chain rings?

    (And maybe the SRAM X9 FD, I heard that the X9 group is far behind the quality and shifting performance compared to the X0 and XX)

  42. #42
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    I'm trying to enter a photo of how these chainrings fail. This was taken after about a 80 km ride before I cleaned it, I have the bike clamped in the stand and was turning the cranks by hand with the brake on.
    You can se how the chain sucks onto the rings.


    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Flash Carbon 29er 2 Front shifting issues-resized.jpg  


  43. #43
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    This is exactly what mine also looks like. My chain is just wrapped around the large ring and the chain gets stuck between the fd and the large chainring from the bottom. So, i think i will take it up with the guys from cannondale and fsa. I see you have also done some damage to the chainstay! That is my main concern, as i doubt that they will exchange the frame if it brakes there. Will probably say its rider error and that will really upset me in a big way!!

  44. #44
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    Mine has also been caught under the front Derailleur that's why it's bent up from the chainrings now. So far I think the chain stay is only gel coat but it will get worse if the problem is not fixed.

  45. #45
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    I have had my bike for 3 months and have been having the same issues. Hopefully someone will get to the bottom of it soon. I am heading back to my LBS with it tomorrow.

  46. #46
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    What happens if you simply try a different brand chain?

    From the picture, it appears that the teeth may not be indexed propery (poor design), it drops down and puts excessive tension on the chain (because it doesn'talign proprly), holding it on the upper ring.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by jocamara
    Mine has also been caught under the front Derailleur that's why it's bent up from the chainrings now. So far I think the chain stay is only gel coat but it will get worse if the problem is not fixed.

    This is the issue I've had, and the one that it seems Jeremiah Bishop had in the race he won recently. The chain slips off the small ring and then falls/jams below the two mounting bolts of the the E type front derailleur mount. It has to bend the chainring a bit to get down there but once it's there it takes a pretty strong tug to get it back out.

    I don't think my Extralite rings and the X.O fd were helping things but JB was running full SRAM XX and he had the problem too.
    Emory Kalahari Kruiser

  48. #48
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    Try running a Sram chain. I am running the SLK crank on one bike and the Hollowgram 2x with X0 rings. I had the same issues with the KMC chain but the Shimano chain lasted 2 miles and was twice as bad as the KMC. Both bikes are running sram chains now and so far no issues on either bike.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by jocamara
    I'm trying to enter a photo of how these chainrings fail. This was taken after about a 80 km ride before I cleaned it, I have the bike clamped in the stand and was turning the cranks by hand with the brake on.
    You can se how the chain sucks onto the rings.

    Mhmm, to me that looks like the KCMC chain might be a bit small.
    But I believe the main problem is that the FSA chain rings don’t have a proper „guiding“/ helpers (opposite to the XX or X0 chain rings) and therefore the chain get no proper „grip“ changing from one ring to the other, and in addition to that it might be the case the the gap between the two FSA chain rings is too big, hence to much room for the chain to climp or drop properly and therefore it got stucked between the two rings.
    Make sense?

  50. #50
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    Can it be as simple as swapping the actual KMC for a good ol SRAM?
    08 Rush 4 - 650B
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