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  1. #1
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
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    Good news for older Lefty owners!

    Just got back from a meeting at Cannondale, and they dropped a sweet little nugget in my lap, thought that I'd share the word.

    They recently finished up a round of testing with a number of older forks, and have found that they can be upgraded to the new, 2011 PBR/XLR dampers.

    Yep, ANYTHING 2005 or newer. This is big news for several reasons. One, you can now get the latest Solo Air, which is not only lighter, but offers incredible tuning potential, for those who are aware enough to care. Right out of the box, it'll deliver a better ride than the stock version you have, but if you need more, you can get it.

    The big things are the blow off in the lock out, and the ability to control low speed compression. The longer PBRs got blow off over the last year or so, but now, they all have it (save the 2011 100mm Leftys, not an issue in this case) These cartridges can be tuned from a virtually full lock, to virtually lockless, just like the latest platform shocks from other makes. The low speed compression tuning is new all around, and puts the nail inthe coffin of just about any hater out there. Since the Lefty is so much plusher, regardless of loading, it would exhibit some brake dive. Most never got bent out of shape about it, but now? Tune it 4 different ways, and smile.

    Who this is really interesting news for, is Left Max TPC/FFD/SPV folks. Love that fork do you? I know I love mine! We've been told these forks are orphans, since Manitou made the parts, and they went through bankruptcy, they were no longer supplying the guts.

    Now, slap a 140 PBR, or XLR in it, shave some weight, add lock out (with platform and low speed damping tuning) and keep that chassis rolling till the cows come home

    By all means, run what you brung if it's still working and you're happy, but if things go south, you now have better options that offloading it on eBay for a few bucks....

    Details. All requisite parts for PBR, would run $260, regardless off model. If you want XLR it's another $150 (don't quote me on that, I don't have the paper work in front of me currently, but it's about that).

    This is breaking news. Most dealers will look at you funny if you ask them to do this, or answer questions. If they are good dealers, they'll call, get educated, and smile. If they blow you off, find a better dealer, call Cannondale, or shoot me a note.

    What this really means is that for about 1/2 the price of a help a brother out, good deal, trade in price, you can keep your existing structure, and just get the guts updated.

    They also offer this as an additional incentive. Since the cartridges are the main expensive wear item in the forks, they will offer cartridge replacement down the road for $125, they will need your old cart to give you this price though. Since they charge about that much for a factory service, this is a pretty sweet deal.

    Questions? Fire away!

    P.S.? The Jekylls have landed. I saw tons of them sitting there, waiting to be ridden
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

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  2. #2
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    mmmm.... i'll be in touch very soon Craig. Thanks!!!

  3. #3
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    You'll be hearing from me Craig!

  4. #4
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    Thanks Craig. That is fantastic news! I have asked my dealer a couple of times already about uprading the Lefty on my 2010 Flash 29er Carbon 1 to an XLR damper. I love the Lefty, but the damper is not even close to the quality of my Pushed Fox F32 100.
    How do you do the needle bearing reset with the hose coming out of the top of the XLR? Ever since I read your advice on the reset, I have been doing it every month. It makes a huge difference. Do you have to remove the XLR lock out hose to reset the bearings? If it's a big project, I may just go with the PBR.
    Do you have any experience with taking one of the 10mm spacers out of the 80mm travel Speed Carbon Lefty to make it 90mm travel? It looks like I have plenty of clearance. What are the potential issues?
    Thanks

  5. #5
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by TX Flash
    How do you do the needle bearing reset with the hose coming out of the top of the XLR?Do you have any experience with taking one of the 10mm spacers out of the 80mm travel Speed Carbon Lefty to make it 90mm travel? It looks like I have plenty of clearance. What are the potential issues?
    Thanks
    The XLR is cake. Remove the top collar as normal, and pull the thing out. The whole unit comes off as one piece. No puking fluid etc. Take the split rings off, and reset.

    As for spacer questions, way too many variables for me to say yes it'll be fine. Rim width, tire volume, etc, all play into the considerations. It *may* be fine, but you'll want to do it, reduce your pressure to say, 50 psi so you can easily do a full compression, and check for clearance. Each situation and combination is a bit different than the next.
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

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  6. #6
    FIRENZE rulez !!
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    Good new....

  7. #7
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    I just finished mating the lowers and internals from a Lefty speed dlr2 with broken alloy upper to my lefty max carbon upper........
    I was about to eBay the SPV internals and lower Max leg....now I'm thinking I'm keeping everything since I might make it a MAX again in case I get a different frame....
    So my SPV internals just lost value, since there are option for the old MAX struts now....
    I see them on eBay for cheap....might as well buy another one. convert it and make some extra money
    "Common sense isn't always that common!"
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  8. #8
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    Excellent! I thought that the XLR lock out was hydraulic and was worried about puking fluid. I was thinking that there would be some kind of bleeding process after the reset. It is a relief that it just pops on and off.
    I really like the idea of the remote push button lock out for racing. Starts, smooth fast sprinting staights, and smooth climbs would be awsome on a fully rigid 19lb Flash.

  9. #9
    FIRENZE rulez !!
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    I need to know if this upgrade can be' done for 29er too.

  10. #10
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by eliflap
    I need to know if this upgrade can be' done for 29er too.
    Yep, across the board. Same cartridge (s) just the spacers, and appropriate air piston compensators are required.
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

    - FrostyStruthers



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  11. #11
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by TX Flash
    Excellent! I thought that the XLR lock out was hydraulic
    It is, all self contained though. You can hold it in your hands and activate it to your hearts content. No fluid.

    Worth putting in print, the fluid used in their system is not DOT4, it is Golden Spectro fork oil.
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

    - FrostyStruthers



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  12. #12
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by cdalemaniac
    I just finished mating the lowers and internals from a Lefty speed dlr2 with broken alloy upper to my lefty max carbon upper........
    I was about to eBay the SPV internals and lower Max leg....now I'm thinking I'm keeping everything since I might make it a MAX again in case I get a different frame....
    So my SPV internals just lost value, since there are option for the old MAX struts now....
    I see them on eBay for cheap....might as well buy another one. convert it and make some extra money
    Silly man, everyone knows SPV was lame, it was TPC's that everybody wanted
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

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  13. #13
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    [QUOTE=MendonCycleSmith]It is, all self contained though. You can hold it in your hands and activate it to your hearts content. No fluid.

    Great information. I'm learning. Cannondale thought ahead on that design.

    Other than the remote lock out, how does the XLR differ/compare to the PBR? For a $150 price differential there must be a significant difference. I did a search for both, a search for XLR vs PBR, and went to the Cannondale website. I can't find the specific details for either articulated in much detail. I know they now have SRAM solo air spring, lock out blow off, adjustable low speed damping. What are the specific differences?

    Thanks

  14. #14
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    Nice! I'll be sending a leaky 2008 Lefty SL your way soon then!

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  15. #15
    El Pollo Diablo
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    aaaaand now I have to redouble my attempts to source a replacement swing-arm for my prophet.

  16. #16
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by TX Flash
    Other than the remote lock out, how does the XLR differ/compare to the PBR? For a $150 price differential there must be a significant difference.
    No difference beyond the remote. You can convert a PBR to an XLR by simply installing the upper control, and removing a small part inside the cartridge. No performance differences at all.
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

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  17. #17
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    By the way Mendon, are parts already available?

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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith
    Silly man, everyone knows SPV was lame, it was TPC's that everybody wanted

    I know you guys think that but I too was always looking for spare parts for my fork to keep just in case...
    Thanks for helping me out btw....If I could have not done it myself I would have send it to you...
    When will those replacement cartridges be available?
    I would need one for my lefty speed dlr2 or are parts for it still readily available?
    "Common sense isn't always that common!"
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  19. #19
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Gerous
    By the way Mendon, are parts already available?
    Most should be. There are several versions, and parts kits particular to certain models. If all were in stock, all the time, I'd be truly impressed, but most should be.
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

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  20. #20
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by cdalemaniac
    When will those replacement cartridges be available?
    I would need one for my lefty speed dlr2 or are parts for it still readily available?
    Hey, whatever works for you! Glad I could help, however I did

    Most should be available now. I'd never say all though, without checking.

    If it's a non Solo Air DLR2, yes you'd need new guts. No old parts in stock.

    I'm just glad they stepped up to the plate, and recognized the durability/longevity of their telescopes, and went through the vetting process they did. Untill two weeks ago, we had no options, now? Tons!

    Thanks go out to Drew and Derrick, you guys rock.
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

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  21. #21
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    I always thought the DLR2 solo air just uses a different air piston and that the cartridge itself was the same...
    Anyways...how much is that 2011 dlr2 solo air upgrade and what does it consists of?
    Can I just order it and put it in myself or is there some specific mod necessary?
    Last edited by cdalemaniac; 01-22-2011 at 06:03 PM.
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  22. #22
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    So is the low speed compression adjustment new for 2011, or was this in the 2010 forks also? I have a 2010 Lefty Max PBR 140 for reference. Thanks!

  23. #23
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by cdalemaniac
    I always thought the DLR2 solo air just uses a different air piston and that the cartridge itself was the same...
    Anyways...how much is that 2011 dlr2 solo air upgrade and what does it consists of?
    Can I just order it and put it in myself or is there some specific mod necessary?
    The newer Solo Air is different in several ways. Kind tough to describe in detail, but they are not the same cartridge.

    The 2011 carts are different yet again. The first gen versions suffered from a number of minor annoying issues, all which (according to Cannondale) have been addressed for 2011, in addition to the advanced tuning abilities.

    You cannot order from Cannondale (you likely knew this), but through a dealer such as your local one (if they are competent and willing) or someone such as myself.

    No mods are required, plug and play, but it is critical that they know exactly what fork you have, and whether you want 26 or 29, as you get a cart, and several other pieces, appropriate to the particular conversion you're attempting.
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

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  24. #24
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by TurnerConvert
    So is the low speed compression adjustment new for 2011, or was this in the 2010 forks also? I have a 2010 Lefty Max PBR 140 for reference. Thanks!
    Hmm, I'll have to check on that. I know those forks were among the first to get the platform feature, and I can't recall if the LS compression tuning was involved then, or not.

    I had a bunch of info thrown at me this week

    Worth mentioning, the adjustment is within the cartridge damper shaft, and is accomplished via changing out a small check valve, with one possessing a larger or smaller hole. It is not user/externally adjusted. Ride it, get used to it, decide what you'd like, and get it retuned at service time. It starts in the middle, so one step either way, works for most folks needs.

    I'll get back tomorrow on the original question....
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Gerous
    Nice! I'll be sending a leaky 2008 Lefty SL your way soon then!
    Me too!
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    ...so welcome to the Odyssey!

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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith
    The newer Solo Air is different in several ways. Kind tough to describe in detail, but they are not the same cartridge.

    The 2011 carts are different yet again. The first gen versions suffered from a number of minor annoying issues, all which (according to Cannondale) have been addressed for 2011, in addition to the advanced tuning abilities.

    You cannot order from Cannondale (you likely knew this), but through a dealer such as your local one (if they are competent and willing) or someone such as myself.

    No mods are required, plug and play, but it is critical that they know exactly what fork you have, and whether you want 26 or 29, as you get a cart, and several other pieces, appropriate to the particular conversion you're attempting.

    I would order it from you anyways....
    How much is that cartridge?
    When will it be available?
    Fork is a Lefty Speed bonded DLR2 where I replaced the uppers with a carbon one.
    Thanks.
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  27. #27
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    I would very much like to do this especially if it will handle larger riders better.

    Are the lockouts different between the DLR (2009 w/ DLR from a 2009 Cannondale 29er 2) and PBR? I would mainly just want the Solo Air as mentioned, sounds like I would enjoy that.
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  28. #28
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by cdalemaniac
    I would order it from you anyways....
    How much is that cartridge?
    When will it be available?
    Fork is a Lefty Speed bonded DLR2 where I replaced the uppers with a carbon one.
    Thanks.
    Happy to help. I'm checking on availability tomorrow.

    Also I'm looking at reworking my interactions here, so as to make it more legit for me to talk business. For now though, email me for further info, I need to respect the rope I'm given around here....
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

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  29. #29
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pink57
    I would very much like to do this especially if it will handle larger riders better.

    Are the lockouts different between the DLR (2009 w/ DLR from a 2009 Cannondale 29er 2) and PBR? I would mainly just want the Solo Air as mentioned, sounds like I would enjoy that.
    Larger riders should find a bit more tuning possible, but oil viscosity and shim stack changes have been around for years as options you'd have.

    The 2011 lockouts on the PBR/XLR are now variable yes. From just about full lock, to almost none, in several steps.
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

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  30. #30
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    So Mendon , you were at Cannondale ?
    Any other scoops ?

    That Simon thing ?
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  31. #31
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by fokof
    So Mendon , you were at Cannondale ?
    Any other scoops ?

    That Simon thing ?
    I heard nothing on Simon, sorry. Other stuff? Just that frames are coming in, and no one wishes they would come faster than those guys themselves!

    Also, any rumors of the lights going out, and folks being out of work, while true to some extent, are far less significant than one might think.

    Many Americans, hard (I mean JAMMING) at work both days I was there. Phones ringing, bikes, wheels, Leftys etc being assembled at a solid pace, and while some of us may not like the China thing, these guys (and gals) are hard at it, bringing you the best they can with what they've been given.
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

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  32. #32
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    By the way, not that 10mm means too much for me but it may for some and I'm curious: if going to the new 2011 cartridges on an older Lefty Speed, does travel goes down from 110 to 100mm?

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  33. #33
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    you found the other half?

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith
    The 2011 lockouts on the PBR/XLR are now variable yes. From just about full lock, to almost none, in several steps.
    Can you please expound on this Craig? Is this an internally adjusted variability? I have two XLRs and would be interested in adjusting the lockouts if necessary.

  35. #35
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    Did you find out if the 2011 forks had started shipping yet? Ordered one a few years ago, but Cannondale hasn't shipped it yet.

    I hope this means that Cannondale will be more responsive to customer needs, in the way of replacement parts, from now on. I have been worried reading all the horror stories on here over the years.
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  36. #36
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    very good news but in my case it came a litle bit too late
    my lefty 2008RLC had the blow off in the lock out, and the ability to control low speed compression! but had to change it to DLR2 for much more $$$$$!

    maybe an option for the future, if i want to upgrage the 110DLR2 (not solo air) lets say to XLR(100?) and i give back the the cartridge it costs125$?

    thanks

  37. #37
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    So while you were there peeping around did you see any flash 29er 1 sitting around? Im hoping march date they told me was a joke and it will really be here next week.

  38. #38
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Gerous
    if going to the new 2011 cartridges on an older Lefty Speed, does travel goes down from 110 to 100mm?
    Nope, stays the same.

    There are a few oddities, which I am still wrapping my head around, but no, travel stays the same for the vast bulk of conversions....
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

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  39. #39
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    Great News Thanks Mendon

    You will need a bigger workshop this year for sure ! There may be many many thousands of Max owners looking to extend this great lefty line , and I will be one of them.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith
    Most should be. There are several versions, and parts kits particular to certain models. If all were in stock, all the time, I'd be truly impressed, but most should be.
    I think I will leave this till next winter, I have two races lined up for the summer and i don't want to be without my Rize for either of them...plus it will be interesting to see what's on the way for 2012.

  41. #41
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by trauma-md
    Can you please expound on this Craig? Is this an internally adjusted variability? I have two XLRs and would be interested in adjusting the lockouts if necessary.
    Yes, internally adjustable. The cartridge must be removed, and the shaft disassembled. There is a circuit that has a series of washers. Some are wavy, some smooth. Wave washers have a higher lock value than smooth. 1 wave equals about 5 smooth. 2 waves is as firm as it gets. Remove one of them, and install any number of smooth up to 5 or 6, and you step up from 50% lockout in 5 or 6 steps.

    Kinda hard to explain, hope that helps.
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

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  42. #42
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by herbn
    you found the other half?
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

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  43. #43
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidR1
    Did you find out if the 2011 forks had started shipping yet? Ordered one a few years ago, but Cannondale hasn't shipped it yet.

    I hope this means that Cannondale will be more responsive to customer needs, in the way of replacement parts, from now on. I have been worried reading all the horror stories on here over the years.
    They were building forks all day when I was there to fill orders for bikes. I also saw more raw material fork parts than should be legal, being staged for building. Are they shipping? Tough question to answer. Models get built in batches, so some are, but perhaps not the one you're thinking of yet.

    Cannondale went through a bad stretch, no one denies it, even there. Thing is, in any bad situation, there's always sufficient blame to go around. Put yourself in their shoes. You own a company that makes a widget consisting of 20 parts. You assemble them yourself, design them yourself, perhaps even make some of the parts yourself.

    You then rely on various manufacturers to machine the rest for you. Perhaps several of those folks do great work and always have. But some don't, so you switch to new manufacturers. They send you a batch of parts, and you find out that they screwed them up, just a smidge, after you ship product. People are screaming at you for delivering a sh*tty product.

    Or, you catch the problem, and recall the batch before it goes into production. Now, you cannot complete your orders, and you have customers screaming at you because you can't deliver product on time.

    Whatchagonnado?

    According to the men behind the curtain, they are past these issues. They are now working with contractors with proven track records, they have solid financial backing to deliver on their end (trying to pay bills when you have no $$ is tough...) and they have been given the go ahead to simply put out the best product they can, go for it.

    Pretty liberating actually.

    They have been hampered for years by cost constraints, the need to use existing contractors etc. No longer the case.

    The fact that they found ways to make fork guts from this years line, retro fit back over 6 years means that going forward, I think they'll keep that mindset, but, nothing is forever, keep that in mind. Can't fit parts from your 90's 'Vette into your 2011 one, can you?

    I think you'll find the new crop of stuff to be the best yet, and though I cannot verify this personally, as they are just starting to deliver 2011 product now, I have known several folks on the inside for over 15 years, we have a long standing relationship, and I've never seen them so pumped about what they're doing. I feel really good about it, no marketing BS included.
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

    - FrostyStruthers



    www.mendoncyclesmith.com

  44. #44
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by alfa75
    very good news but in my case it came a litle bit too late
    my lefty 2008RLC had the blow off in the lock out, and the ability to control low speed compression! but had to change it to DLR2 for much more $$$$$!

    maybe an option for the future, if i want to upgrage the 110DLR2 (not solo air) lets say to XLR(100?) and i give back the the cartridge it costs125$?

    thanks
    Bummer. No. The swap out $125 deal is staring this year. 2011 product only. But, plug in a new one in a year or two (after the cost has stopped hurting), and you'll have that benefit.
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

    - FrostyStruthers



    www.mendoncyclesmith.com

  45. #45
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by yoohoo
    So while you were there peeping around did you see any flash 29er 1 sitting around? Im hoping march date they told me was a joke and it will really be here next week.
    Saw a big box of YooHoo sitting on the loading dock, does that count?

    Sorry, no news for ya....
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

    - FrostyStruthers



    www.mendoncyclesmith.com

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith
    Nope, stays the same.

    There are a few oddities, which I am still wrapping my head around, but no, travel stays the same for the vast bulk of conversions....
    Installing a PBR100 damper into a 110mm structure does reduce the travel to 100mm.

  47. #47
    Sweater
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    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith
    I believe he is asking if the good news for older lefty owners is that they found the right half of the lefty, thus making it a complete fork
    All out of S**** and down to my last F***

  48. #48
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buzzaro
    I believe he is asking if the good news for older lefty owners is that they found the right half of the lefty, thus making it a complete fork



    Ah, little slow on the uptake this AM, or maybe I just misplaced my humor meter. Lost all my AOL based emails, saved, new etc this morning, having one hell of a bad start to the Monday.....
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

    - FrostyStruthers



    www.mendoncyclesmith.com

  49. #49
    High Alpine Adventure
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buzzaro
    I believe he is asking if the good news for older lefty owners is that they found the right half of the lefty, thus making it a complete fork
    I think WE'VE ALL heard THAT.... my pat response is; "Yeah, that's why it's a full pound lighter than yours!"

    Not to mention it is laterally stiffer, tracks better and has far superior small bump compliance compared to most any fork ever built. But we all know THAT!
    Last edited by DaGoat; 01-24-2011 at 11:46 AM.
    Dug-Da-Goat

    Something changes at 12,000'
    ...so welcome to the Odyssey!

    Building your trails at FooMTB

  50. #50
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    So how long until the manuals are online so that those of us with bikes on order know what parts to order to tune lockout threshold and low speed damping?

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