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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 02:28 PM.
    08 Rush 4 - 650B
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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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  51. #51
    YB1
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    Quote Originally Posted by omega1848
    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?

    So the only thing I can add to this is using 9 speed rings with ten speed chain I think I got this "stucked between the two rings" problem too, which along with the jammed under the fd is two different issues I had with my 2X10 last fall that I'd never seen running 3X10.
    Emory Kalahari Kruiser

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    Which (IMHO) would confirm my theory that you need the appropriate chain to avoid this...(in other words the 10-speed chain is to small and will not get caught by the drive train guides of the chain rings...)

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    SRAM is sending a new RD and chain to my LBS. Should be here early next week.

  54. #54
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    New RD mean what? A new version or a replacement with the very same RD????
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  55. #55
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    Two more chain drops for Jeremiah Bishop at Fontana. I wish someone could tell me if this is normal or what the cause is.
    Emory Kalahari Kruiser

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    Wow, that is bad, and I assume that Jeremiah Bishop has enough experiences to know how and under what circumstances to shift.
    So, therefore it is coming back to „technical issues“, is he running XX crankset and XX shifters?
    And what chain is he running? A SRAM one or 3rd party?

    Ok, here is another (strange) theory:
    What about chainstay flex? Maybe the chainstay of the Flash 29er carbon frames is flexing (horizontal and vertical) more that the drivetrain does accept? I know it sounds strange but maybe there are circumstances where the chainstay/ or the back of the Flash is „working“ and causing the chain to move a bit to the left or the right, right in the middle of your shifting and hence the chain got no proper guidance somehow of the FD?

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    I'm beginning to think frame flex is the probable cause, that coupled with muddy conditions make for a perfect storm. I swapped out the stock chain on my Flash 2 carbon 29er with a new SRAM chain and it helped a bit, though under hard efforts it suffered a dropped chain and 2 instances of chain suck. The bike is new and has less than 90 miles on it.

  58. #58
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    I'm not 100% sure JB has been on a 29'er in these two races. It looks like it in the photos but the two Flash's are pretty similar looking.

    Does anyone know for sure what he raced at Bonelli and Fontana?
    Emory Kalahari Kruiser

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    He ride a 26' for this latest race.

    Look the wheel size ... an compare with the blue trek one rear



    For me, riding also a 26' at round 1 :-)

    Maybe, may someone ask him on FB

  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by RyderX
    I'm beginning to think frame flex is the probable cause, that coupled with muddy conditions make for a perfect storm. I swapped out the stock chain on my Flash 2 carbon 29er with a new SRAM chain and it helped a bit, though under hard efforts it suffered a dropped chain and 2 instances of chain suck. The bike is new and has less than 90 miles on it.
    Does someone ever had the same issue with a flash 1 29er AL ? It got same components as the flash 3 29er Carbon.... And Flash 3 carbon 29er has chain drops too......
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    I very much doubt that the "flex" on the frame is responsible for this issue. If you look back a few posts you will see a poster showing that it happens when the bike is stable and mounted on a bike stand.

    I was on a Flash 29er carbon 1 last week and spent 3 hours of on a technical trail with a lot of front shifting required and it was muddy on the single tracks after heavy rain the night before. I never had this issue with the XX spider XO RD combo. BUT there is one more variable here from standard, the RD jockey wheels have been changed to a larger size using KCNC ones thus non SRAM jockey wheels and the shifting both front and back was spot on every time through the ride.

    IMHO it is RD related, either spring tension or the RD Jockey wheels or both. JB is using XX and not XO as I did, still the jockey wheels are similar in size, spring tensions are similar i assume... if the chain starts climbing back up the front chainset it is either the chain is stuck to the teeth - to narrow or not enough tension on the RD to keep the chainline straight. Not the solution but some food for thought.

  62. #62
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    Not only on Cannondale's

    Issues with 2X10 chain drop?

    I've read that KCNC's jockey does not fit the X9 10spd. Anyone out there tried them on?
    Last edited by surf418; 03-29-2011 at 03:03 PM.
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  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by surf418
    Not only on Cannondale's

    Issues with 2X10 chain drop?

    I've read that KCNC's jockey does not fit the X9 10spd. Anyone out there tried them on?

    DEFINITELY not only on Cannondales but the E-type derailleur allows the chain to jam down underneath the mount bolts when the chain drops below the small ring.
    Emory Kalahari Kruiser

  64. #64
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    My LBS called SRAM and they said there was a known issue with the spring in the RD. SRAM sent a new RD, shop put it on and when I went to get it I picked the rear wheel up about 8 inches, dropped it and the chain bounced right off the big ring up front. Comes off about 50% of the time with this test. A guy on my team has the exact same bike except in a large (mine is a M) and while he has had some chain drops they have not been nearly as bad as mine. When he picked his rear wheel up and dropped it his came off only once in maybe 15 tests. Left the bike at the shop yesterday and hopefully they can work some sort of miracle. I have a 6 hour race this weekend and don't want to stop every 2 miles to pull the chain out from between the FD and the chain stay.

  65. #65
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    Are your chains the same length? I am going to try new chainrings and see if this will help. My LBS has also set the tension on the RD by adjusting the angle of the jockey (tightening the screw that sets the jockey angle), this seems to have helped a bit. Dont know what the negative to this is, but I am sure there must be a negative to have the jockey adjusted in this way.
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    Oh well, maybe we should ask someone from the PRO NFL, Baseball, whatever TV team (or similar) if they can make a high speed motion camera capture when the back is being dropped, maybe you can see that either the RD, the chainstays or the rings are causing the problem...
    That would be a cool video, wouldn’t it?
    Seeing the sucker in slow motion....

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    I took delivery of my 2011 flash 1 29'er Aluminum and road it today for about 3 hours and had no issues at all. It also passed the drop test like 25 times without an issue. I only stopped cuz i got bored.
    Hopefully this issue has been rectified

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    Has anyone checked their jockey wheels to see how freely they turn. A poorly spinning jockey wheel could make the chain more slack between crank and the derailleur, making chainsuck more likely.

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    Had the problem again on the weekend (after my LBS increased the tension on my RD with the B-tensioner).

    Cannondale came back and said I must replace the chainrings with FSA top of the range K-Force rings. Will also change the chain at the same time. Hope it helps. I am sceptical, as the rings are the same design as far as I can see. Next step, new crank. Who do you reckon should pay for this?
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  70. #70
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    UNATHI sais that his problem seem to be solved with KCNC jockey wheels. Too bad KCNC don't make a model to fit new SramX9 10spd...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chain-L
    Had the problem again on the weekend (after my LBS increased the tension on my RD with the B-tensioner).

    Cannondale came back and said I must replace the chainrings with FSA top of the range K-Force rings. Will also change the chain at the same time. Hope it helps. I am sceptical, as the rings are the same design as far as I can see. Next step, new crank. Who do you reckon should pay for this?
    Honestly if I would be you, i definitely would not bother with any of the FSA stuff, get rid of it, buy a SRAM X0 crankset.
    Personally I only had trouble with FSA cranksets and their chain blades (on road bike and mtb), even so I must admit there is no guarantee that it will fix 100% your problem...

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    Based on my issues, your issues, and all the other issues (chain drop)...I WOULD SAY C-DALE SHOULD STEP UP TO THE PLATE AND TAKE CARE OF THIS.

    I cannot see how they could not replace the FSA crank. I WILL BE SURPRISED IF C-DALE SPECs FSA CRANKS NEXT YEAR. If they do not spec it, we will know that it came down to the crank/rings.

    I heard heads are gonna roll at C-Dale due to the horrible projections this year (reliable inside source).

    On top of all my drivetrain issues, I cannot get the seatpost to stop slipping/dropping. The bike shop has tried everything to get it to stay put. C-Dale said they have had problems with the collars. I ordered a Thomson instead of dealing with another pain-in-the-neck problem on this bike.

    C-Dale and my bike shop are slowly getting things worked out. I believe I will be happy with the bike once the wrinkles get ironed out, but come on...it's is taking forever!

    Not what I expected from a $3,000 bike.

  73. #73
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    My LBS contact C'dale and they are sending out a set of "revised" chainrings. I'm not sure what exactly that means, though at this point I don't really care, I just want to be able to ride for more than an hour without the fear of my chain sawing my frame in half. Oh yeah they're also sending out a new stick on frame protector.

  74. #74
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    Oh yeah...I lost my stick-on frame protector on my FIRST ride (when my frame was almost sawed in half via chain drop). That was back on November 11. I still do not have a replacement. C-Dale has had that simple piece on back-order for FOUR MONTHS. Amazing.

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    Same problem here with my Flash 2 bought at the end of 2010! I started to notice the chain suck on some longer rides or as soon as the chain got a little grubby. (I ride in SoCal so not much wet and mud to deal with either)

    I also get the really annoying chain drop from big ring to small ring when going over anything bumpy. I thought the chain might be too long so took out a couple of links which hasn't fixed the problem!

    I ripped the chain guard off during a 24hr race last month due to chain drop and then suck. It was on a lap in the middle of the night of course and took me 10 mins to free the chain from the bottom bracket and to also push it back through the cage on the lower cog of the rear derailleur where somehow it had managed to exit!?

    I havent been to LBS yet as I thought I could solve it myself but judging by everyone else's issues I guess i'll be heading there on the weekend for some fun and games!

    Hopefully Cannondale will step up and sort this problem out so that we can all get on and enjoy some trouble free riding?

  76. #76
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    Subscribed: A carbon Flash 2 has been on my short list, but I would want to see this resolved first.
    Looking at the pics and reading the stories, I'm betting it's the FSA cranks. As far as seatpost slipping, check into surley's clamp options, they make a beefy one for bikes with slipping posts.

  77. #77
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    All my shifty bits are in a box but subscribed anyway because one day the FSA rings will go back on..

    As for the slipping post: It's the clamp which is tickng me off. It moves too easily and I cannot run a seat with carbon rails because the clamp is too narrow.

    It's the little details which are killing Cannondale...

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    Ive got the Flash 1 AL and it sucked the chain three times during a race last weekend. Fortunately I heard it going and could catch it before it got ugly. The chain sticks to the big ring on down shifting. Mine has the FSA 386 Afterburner crank not the SLK.

    I also noticed that the bike came with a long cage RD when all specs point to a Med cage for 2x10. Ive started the ball rolling on a fix with Cdale but my rep is on vacation till next week.

  79. #79
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    has anyone built a carbon flash w/ a all Shimano drivetrain? I am thinking about this frame but this thread is giving me a bad impression of the frame. Would be nice to know if this is a Sram/FSA issue or a frame issue.

  80. #80
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    Seatpost collar update:

    Swapped the stock C-Dale collar with a Thomson yesterday. Rode it this morning...no slipping/dropping.

    Funny thing: Thomsom has a 2.8 nm torque spec...the C-Dale is 5 nm (I ran it at 6 nm and it still slipped).

    So far, so good. I agree, C-Dale needs to pay attention to the details. I hope they have read this thread.

  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by driver bob
    As for the slipping post: It's the clamp which is tickng me off. It moves too easily and I cannot run a seat with carbon rails because the clamp is too narrow.
    Bummer. The SAVE seatpost was one of the things I liked about the build kit, besides the lefty, of course. The Spesh stumpjumper is moving up on my list. I might just get a thudbuster st for endurance races. For the price difference between a carbon flash 2 and a stumpjumper expert, I can get an extra set of stan's race wheels and a thudbuster post...

  82. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by itchyjesus
    has anyone built a carbon flash w/ a all Shimano drivetrain? I am thinking about this frame but this thread is giving me a bad impression of the frame. Would be nice to know if this is a Sram/FSA issue or a frame issue.
    I seriously doubt it's the frame. No problems on my 3x9 Flash 29er. I don't think there are any reported problems on the 1 Hi-Mod.

  83. #83
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    By going through this Cannondale thread and this one Issues with 2X10 chain drop?

    I see that all you guys have tried different fixes, your LBS's has and everyone has its own theory, some fixes did help but it doesn't look like we found a cure because we did not find the cause...
    Last edited by surf418; 04-12-2011 at 02:30 PM.
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  84. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by surf418
    By going through this Cannondale thread and this one Issues with 2X10 chain drop?

    I see that all you guys have tried different fixes, your LBS's has and everyone has its own theory, some fixes did help but it doesn't look like we found a cure because we did not find the cause...
    I own a brand new Flash 3 carbon that never went out yet (still too much snow here), it's showroom condition and you know what, i'm thinking to bring it back to my LBS because i just don't wanna go thought all this every time i ride. I've had C'dales for the last 9yrs and i never had a single problems with my bikes(Scalpel, Rush, CAAD, F1).. Maybe i should build a set of 650 wheels for my trusty ol Rush and forget about the Flash
    I was involved in that thread and have since not a issue with my RD. I went back to a 2x10 set up running 9spd rings on a XT crank. No bash guard just dropped the FD down to keep the chain on the ring. When that thread was going on I had the middle ring and the big ring on the crank. I have since switched to the middle ring and a 26 tooth small ring. That has solved the problem there. I have three 6 hr endurance races on that set up and one xc race and lots of training hours.

    Again today my Flash tossed the chain to the outside. My FD is set with about .5mm of clearance which is very tight. I was big ring front and small tooth back and powering up a hill on the road on my way home. The chain just came off.... before that it sucked the chain up into the chainstay and gouged the crap out of the aluminum. Im not happy with the situation at all. Our C'dale rep is out of town till next week so it will be a few days before I can really start asking questions and seeing what they are going to do. Until then it looks like I will just be rolling in the small ring or riding the BMC...

    I wouldnt get rid of the bike. They will make the crank issue right. They had to do it before on the road bikes that had the hollowgram crank. They had the dealers replace the cranks with Kforce light cranks..at $500 a piece wholesale. The bike is awesome! It handles so good and it is very fast.

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    I had the same slipping seat post problem on my Flash 2 so I got some green Scotch Brite, masked the top area off and gently rubbed down the bottom of the post to give it some grip, seemed to solve that issue pretty well (does dull the bottom of the post though but obviously not the part that's seen)

    I wouldn't get rid of your Flash....honestly it's an amazing bike when it's working and I'm sure Cdale will sort out the issues.

  86. #86
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    Slipping Post

    I had a slipping post.

    Took off the seat collar, ground off the alignment tab on the inner diameter of the collar, and aligned the slot on the collar with the slot on the frame, no more slipping.

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    I've been told by my bike shop Cannondale are sending new FSA chainring for me to try, I'll have to wait and see if they're are any better.

    Earlier this week I snapped the KMC chain so I bit the bullet and fitted a SRAM XX 164Q crankset, a new sram chain and and a new XT cassette.
    So far I've only been for 1 ride but I already notice a great improvement in the front gear changing much smoother than the FSA.
    I agree with the others don't be put off buying this bike it is still a great bike to ride, I haven't had a problem with chain drop or the seat post slipping......just chain suck in muddy conditions and chain lock up while changing gears.
    I'm sure Cannondale will sort the problem.......I believe the problem is with the design of the chainrings only.

  88. #88
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    Chain drop and chain suck are different but probably related issues. The fact that JB had some instances of this on a 26" Flash means that there isn't some unique FSA/2X10/29'er issue, but I do wonder if there's an issue with chain stay length/soft rd spring/e-type fd that combine to make shift problems more frequent AND problematic when they do occur.
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  89. #89
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    Chain drop and chain suck are different but probably related issues. The fact that JB had some instances of this on a 26" Flash means that there isn't some unique FSA/2X10/29'er issue, but I do wonder if there's an issue with chain stay length/soft rd spring/e-type fd that combine to make shift problems more frequent AND problematic when they do occur on Flash carbon 29'ers
    Emory Kalahari Kruiser

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    LBS swapped the X9 RD with an XO, replaced the KMC chain with a SRAM and added a spacer to the crank to improve the chain line. Much improved, but not 100% resolved. They called FSA today and they are sending new rings, claiming their may have been an issue with the way the rings on the bike were machined. They should be in Monday or Tuesday. Hopefully this is resolved before my XC race on the 17th. Props to my LBS though. They have been doing everything they can.

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    Don't count on it. My LBS did all of that (tried a new set of FSA rings, etc) and the problem continued. Dump the FSA cranks...NOW!!! I replaced them with a set of C-Dale Hollowgrams (X-glide rings), new chain (SRAM), and new FD (XO). The drivetrain has been working better around my local trails, but my local trails are not really mountain biking. I will find out how well it works when I race the Sea Otter next weekend...to be continued.

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    Purchased a Flash 1 29er CAAD 3weeks and 1 day ago. Have not been able to ride it successfully yet. CHAIN SUCK each and every time. Had it back to the shop once they realigned a few items. Took it out this morning and on the 4th chain suck (3 minutes into the trail) it wacked the front derailleur out of allignment.

    When the bike is working there is a ton of potential....feels great. Problem is it rarely works.

    Good thing I put my Specialized in the back of the car or I would have missed out on my Sunday morning ride.

  93. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by historeeteacher
    Don't count on it. My LBS did all of that (tried a new set of FSA rings, etc) and the problem continued. Dump the FSA cranks...NOW!!! I replaced them with a set of C-Dale Hollowgrams (X-glide rings), new chain (SRAM), and new FD (XO). The drivetrain has been working better around my local trails, but my local trails are not really mountain biking. I will find out how well it works when I race the Sea Otter next weekend...to be continued.
    This is what I am also contemplating on doing. You state that it works better (so I assume not perfect yet)? Would like to read your feedback on the issue. My 'new' chainrings should be here soon (was ordered from Europe). What is the difference between the re-machined chainrings and the old problematic ones? Any code on the actual ring? dont want a set of 'old' rings given to me as the 'new' rings as this will really p me off!

    If I have as much as one chainsuck issue after getting a new FD, chainrings and SRAM chain, I sure as hell will demand a new Cannondale crank!
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  94. #94
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    FSA sent a new Afterburner ring this week. It is a level down from the stock ring, but I figured whatever, as long as it fixes the problem. I took it out on the roads around my house today to see how it is shifting and to get my legs moving (I have an XC race tomorrow). About 30 yards from my house I shifted from the big ring to the small ring for the first time and got chain suck. Sucker was jammed in there tight. I pulled it out and shifted several more times and it did not happen again, but I am still really unhappy that I am going into a race tomorrow on a bike that I paid thousands of dollars for and have zero confidence in it.

    I am curious if the Hollowgram crank resolved the issue for the poster above. Not that I can afford a Hollowgram after all the money I shelled out for the bike. What a mess....

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    Regarding my 3-week old CAAD Flash 29er. Took it back to the LBS and they seemed to feel it was the crankset. They consulted their C-dale rep and replaced the FSA Afterburners with a different crankset (SRAM X9). My first ride with the new crankset (this morning) was flawless...glad to report "no-issues" and working smooth. First true good ride on this bike since I purchased it and it shined. I commend my LBS and C-dale for quickly rectifying the problem and standing behind their product. I was on the fence but they gained a supporter and retained a future customer.

  96. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by glidenj
    Regarding my 3-week old CAAD Flash 29er. Took it back to the LBS and they seemed to feel it was the crankset. They consulted their C-dale rep and replaced the FSA Afterburners with a different crankset (SRAM X9). My first ride with the new crankset (this morning) was flawless...glad to report "no-issues" and working smooth. First true good ride on this bike since I purchased it and it shined. I commend my LBS and C-dale for quickly rectifying the problem and standing behind their product. I was on the fence but they gained a supporter and retained a future customer.
    My LBS contacted Cannondale about replacing the crank this week, but Cannondale has not come back with an answer yet. Hopefully they will soon.

  97. #97
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    When changing out the crankset to SRAM XX or X9 what Q do you need for the 2011 Carbon Flash?

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    Quote Originally Posted by sumguy1
    When changing out the crankset to SRAM XX or X9 what Q do you need for the 2011 Carbon Flash?

    It needs to be wide. Folks have tried the XX 156mm and it did not fit. So xtr, xx 164, xt, slx, hollowgram. All those are ~164mm+
    Last edited by rensho; 04-17-2011 at 10:55 AM.

  99. #99
    mtbr member
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    I fitted Sram XX164 with no problems.
    I did my first race endurance race today with these cranks no problems, changed correctly every time. It's such a relief knowing you can change gears under any coditions.
    I haven't tried them in the mud yet !

  100. #100
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    Reputation: driver bob's Avatar
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    Be interesting to see if Cannondale will acknowledge the problem and issue a recall or if it's going to be a cr@pshoot dependent on the relationship you have with your LBS and how good their relationship is with the C'dale rep.

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