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  1. #1
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    LBS Destroys my SI Stem and Lefty Clamps trying to remove my Lefty!!

    On a recent ride I noticed my Lefty making a clunking noise/feeling and the lock-out was not working. When I stopped to assess the situation I found oil leaking out of the bottom of the Lefty (all over my disk and caliper!). This is on my 2010 Flash F1 with Lefty Speed Carbon with DLR.

    I plan on mailing this up to Mendon Cyclesmith for repair but first I need to get it off the bike. I know that there is a special Cannondale tool to get the lefty out of the frame so I called my LBS to see if they could remove it for me. They assured me that they could. I told them that it has an SI stem/steerer combo and asked if they were sure they had the tools to properly remove it. They said "yeah, sure our mechanics have the tools". Sweet! So after work I took the frame with the lefty down to the shop.

    They took it off my hands and immediately started unscrewing the clamps and wiggling the steerer/stem loose. I'm watching them to see how this special tool is used and what it looks like, but I don't see any tool... Instead, I see one guy holding my frame upside-down while another guy uses a mallet to smack the ***** out of my stem. They were trying to force the stem out of the head tube! I knew this wasn't right, but they're the mechanics and I thought, well, maybe it just needs a tap or two...

    Ten minutes later they're still whacking the ***** out of my stem. Then they come out and say: "We can't get the steerer out; we're going to have to destroy it to get it out.". I'm like Woah woah woah! I go look at what they've done and they beat the hell out of everything! The stem has a massive half-dollar size dent on the underside of the stem from all the hammering and the threads at the bottom of the steerer are destroyed from them trying to push it up and out of the head tube with some sort of pipe they had.

    I was furious! I said: "you know there's a special tool for this right?" To which they replied "No".

    I was shaking mad... could barely talk. I was ready to punch someone! But, I kept my cool and didn't even curse, though I was so tempted to scream "WTF?!".

    Surveying the damage here's what I saw:

    1) The top clamp is twisted badly. They said: "Oh we'll straighten that out for you". Bull*****; you're replacing that. I'm not riding a fatigued clamp.

    2) The steerer/stem combo is toast. It's dented in many places and the treads are destroyed at the bottom of it.

    They told me they will pay for everything but I will NEVER go back to this shop. The owner was not in yesterday. I plan on calling him today to tell him what I saw and how displeased I am. All I want is for them to get my Lefty off and order the replacement parts no charge.

    Anyway, here's the damage they did. Depending on how they handle this situation I may or may not flame them on Yelp and on here... The shop will remain nameless for now...

    Can you believe this crap?

    Arby.

    <br>
    <br>
    Above: Is this notch supposed to be here? Is it for removing the bottom bearing?
    <br>
    <br>
    Above: Look at those threads!
    <br>
    Above: Look at the twist in that top clamp!
    Last edited by Arby; 08-03-2011 at 06:14 AM. Reason: more details
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  2. #2
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    That is unbelievable! I would have never been as calm as you were. That nameless bike store better be paying full price for the damages done. If I were you, I would carefully inspect your frame and lefty to make sure they didn't damage that in the process too. I would even send an email to Cannondale to inform them of this. I'm sure they wouldn't be pleased with a dealer servicing their bikes in this manner.

  3. #3
    New York City
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    Quote Originally Posted by Endothermic Cavewalker View Post
    That is unbelievable! I would have never been as calm as you were. That nameless bike store better be paying full price for the damages done. If I were you, I would carefully inspect your frame and lefty to make sure they didn't damage that in the process too. I would even send an email to Cannondale to inform them of this. I'm sure they wouldn't be pleased with a dealer servicing their bikes in this manner.
    Thanks. Yeah, I was pretty mad... I could barely speak because I was shaking mad. I'm a Quality Assurance Engineer. You can bet I'll be doing some NDT on the inside of that head tube to check for cracks. A little dye-penetrant inspection. Those F#%$ers!
    phattire.net
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  4. #4
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    complete and utter incompetence. they should be obliged to replace all damaged components without question.

    good luck.

  5. #5
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    An Ernie costs maybe 35 USD and lasts forever.

    Are you sure those are Cannondale dealers ??

    New Lefty (upper part 600 USD + install)
    New stem
    New bearings
    So Ernie costs 35 USD, managed to have a 750 USD loss, they took a hit that day.

    And hopefully the frame wasn't damaged.

    Maybe time to struck a good deal, start scouring the '12 catalog ;-)

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by MirFlash View Post
    New Lefty (upper part 600 USD + install)
    New stem
    New bearings
    Oh man, are you saying that the LBS probably won't be able to buy just the upper clamp for the Lefty?
    Last edited by Arby; 08-03-2011 at 06:55 AM. Reason: I'm dumb.
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  7. #7
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    Those are the kinda shops that give cannondale a bad reputation and make folks believe that a lefty is high maintenance and such......
    Props to the op for keeping his cool.....bending the clamps back? WTF? I would've probably taken that rubber mallet out of the (so called) mechanics hand and whack him over the head with it.
    Unbelievable, just unbelievable......It's sad to see this kind of un-professional behavior nowadays pretty much everywhere you go....sales clerks, auto mechanics etc.....no wonder the us ranks 22nd in world education standards.....
    They better replace everything...have them order new parts for you and install it yourself...don not let those morons touch your bike again!
    "Common sense isn't always that common!"
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arby View Post
    Oh man, are you saying that the LBS probably won't be able to buy just the upper clamp for the Lefty?
    Nope....on your lefty the clamps and lefty uppers are one unit.....(bonded to the carbon).
    "Common sense isn't always that common!"
    Custom Prophet and Custom Delta V

  9. #9
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    I wouldn't have them touch the bike again, even if they get the tools they need and are willing to pay for everything. They're obviously clueless about this design. I'd get an estimate from another reputable shop that actually knows leftys, take it back to the shop owner in question and tell him/her to cut a check or pay you the cash.

    Just WOW!! Name the shop. Others with leftys should know to avoid this hole.
    Sometimes, you need to go fast enough that the trail is a blur to find clarity. -- Wild Bill

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malibu412 View Post
    Just WOW!! Name the shop. Others with leftys should know to avoid this hole.
    I 2nd that.
    "Common sense isn't always that common!"
    Custom Prophet and Custom Delta V

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by cdalemaniac View Post
    Nope....on your lefty the clamps and lefty uppers are one unit.....(bonded to the carbon).
    I'm now almost as angry as I was last night... Man I hate incompetence. the only reason why I brought it to them was because I didn't have the Ernie tool.
    phattire.net
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arby View Post
    Oh man, are you saying that the LBS probably won't be able to buy just the upper clamp for the Lefty?
    Yup complete upper carbon leg has to be replaced.

    Is readily available in stock, but that means has to be dismantled, I don't think I would trust that very shop, wonder what they could "invent" during the rebuild.
    Last edited by MirFlash; 08-03-2011 at 03:00 PM.

  13. #13
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    Wow...what a clusterfeck...how old were these mechanics? Anyone with a few grey hairs...check that...anyone who is older than 10 knows that if you have to use a hammer to fix somethning then you are most likely doing it wrong.

    Also, how effin hard is it nowadays to use Google? 10 minutes on Google with obvious searches will yield all you need to know on how to remove a Lefty. If your mechanics are too stupid to use Google then you definately do not want them anywhere near your bikes - ever.

    Have them order the replacement parts and when they come in ask to see them and then immediately walk out of the LBS with them - and never ever go back there - even for a tube...

    Good luck with your repairs...

  14. #14
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    Oh man...I feel for you just looking at that upper clamp. Good luck with everything.

  15. #15
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    If they're a Cannondale reseller, I'd call Cannondale and tell them about the shop, they probably should take away their right to sell their products. Such incompetence and damage can really hurt their customers experience with their products, the company's image and their sales...

    I'd want the Lefty, the stem, the headset and the frame replaced plus assembly at another shop (of your choice) at this dealer's expense...

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

  16. #16
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    May I ask why when you saw them start beating the hell out of your bike you didn't stop them? Especially when you said, "I knew this wasn't right." Not saying they aren't responsible for the damage but I would have been like, "WTF are doing, stop NOW!"

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by DekerfTeamST View Post
    May I ask why when you saw them start beating the hell out of your bike you didn't stop them? Especially when you said, "I knew this wasn't right." Not saying they aren't responsible for the damage but I would have been like, "WTF are doing, stop NOW!"
    I really should have spoken up. I really wish I had!
    phattire.net
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arby View Post
    I really should have spoken up. I really wish I had!
    Yeah, sorry to have brought it up. I'm sure you feel bad enough about the damage. It's unfortunate that you should have to oversee a paid professional to make sure they do the job right.

  19. #19
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    Ouch! That top clamp is painful to look at! I'm not a material scientist but I don't think aluminium is happy being bent that much and then bent back again...and what are they going to do? stick it in a vice and bend it back until it looks about right? I think they owe you a new fork and stem there and I'd be fitting it myself or taking it to another dealer to have fitted.

    I would also send that pic to Cannondale - I really doubt they want dealers like that.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimification View Post

    I would also send that pic to Cannondale - I really doubt they want dealers like that.
    I am going to give this shop a chance to redeem themselves. I called the owner this morning and he basically hustled me off the phone saying "don't worry we're gonna' pay for all that." This only pissed me off more, but I didn't let it show.

    I'm going to swing into the shop on my ride home from work and talk with him about the issue. If the shop pays for everything I will not flame them online but there is no way I am going back there.

    If things get nasty, I will definitely be in touch with Cannondale to include photos and my displeasure with their representation at my LBS.
    phattire.net
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arby View Post
    If the shop pays for everything I will not flame them online but there is no way I am going back there.
    Sorry, but you're doing the biking community a disservice by not naming the shop. I can understand if you want to wait until you have your new parts paid for and in hand, but once this fiasco is over, you really should let us know what shop will take on Lefty work without the proper amount of expertise.

    No matter what they do at this point, they ruined a fork and headset, and you saw them do it, leaving no question as to whether this is fact or not.
    I can barely get my mouth around it.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pedalphile View Post
    Sorry, but you're doing the biking community a disservice by not naming the shop. I can understand if you want to wait until you have your new parts paid for and in hand, but once this fiasco is over, you really should let us know what shop will take on Lefty work without the proper amount of expertise.

    No matter what they do at this point, they ruined a fork and headset, and you saw them do it, leaving no question as to whether this is fact or not.
    I was in a Cannondale dealer in the UK recently and asked if they did lefty servicing. The way they replied: "we do all bikes" rather vaguely, made me nod politely and make a mental note that my lefty will be going elsewhere come service time (Thumbprint, or someone that deals with a lot of lefty's preferably)

  23. #23
    FIRENZE rulez !!
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    unbeliveable

  24. #24
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    Wow!

    It can take a "love" tap to get that out, but bending the clamp, that is a fail. I would not ride that fork again, it needs a new upper and I am not sure I would trust those guys to swap uppers.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pedalphile View Post
    Sorry, but you're doing the biking community a disservice by not naming the shop.
    You're right. I thought about that a lot today. I will definitely name the shop and warn others about it. I would hate for this to happen to any of you or anyone at all!
    phattire.net
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  26. #26
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    my opinion, impossible that a Cannondale service centre did that ...

    probably first Lefty in that shop

  27. #27
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    Update

    I stopped into the shop on the way home and spoke to the owner. He was like "we're gonna' make this right for you but here's the thing: There's no special tool to get the stem steerer out of the frame. Something's wrong with it. It should just slide right out. My mechanic just got back from a Cannondale training class and he knows what he's doing."

    To which I replied: "Well, here's the thing; there IS a tool called the Ernie (and I pulled the tech manual that I downloaded from Cannondale's website from my back pocket) and its used for installing and removing Lefties. It keeps the stem-steerer straight so that you don't damage it, the bearings or the frame." He just said: "oh really? Can I keep this manual?"

    My thoughts on this are:
    A) He tried to bull***** me and can't be trusted.
    B) He did absolutely no research of his own.
    C) His mechanic never went to any training class or he lied about that.
    D) I want to punch him in the face.

    He said that he will definitely pay for a new fork, stem-steerer and headset but cautioned me that he may not be able to get the exact fork (2010 Speed Carbon w/DLR - 110mm of travel). I just said, we'll cross that bridge when we get to it. I def want the same or equivalent.

    I do not feel that great about today's face to face interaction with the owner at all. But I will keep you guys posted. In the mean time I am limited to my only other mtb which is a rigid singlespeed. I love it but I miss my Flash!


    Good grief.
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  28. #28
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    Is this the only site for explaining how to remove the lefty stem/steerer?
    http://www.eighty-aid.com/index.php?id=863&L=12

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by madamfunk View Post
    Is this the only site for explaining how to remove the lefty stem/steerer?
    http://www.eighty-aid.com/index.php?id=863&L=12
    Can't go wrong with the OEM's manuals:
    http://www.cannondale.com/manuals#headshok (Scroll down a bit to the Lefties)
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  30. #30
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    I seem to find other ones off google or that users on forums post that aren't any of the ones listed on cannondale's site, makes me think there are some internal manuals made for dealer only access.

  31. #31
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    Tell the LBS they can get one for 35 bucks!

    http://www.cannondaleexperts.com/Can...020_p_125.html

  32. #32
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    Wow...

    I'm impressed... impressed that somebody can be that world class dumb. This is not an old brake rotor from a vintage car that is stuck to the hub. This is a new-ish bike. Nothing should be that stuck to anything else on a bike that new that has to be beaten off ()with a mallet.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Superb View Post
    Tell the LBS they can get one for 35 bucks!

    http://www.cannondaleexperts.com/Can...020_p_125.html
    This is a great site for Cannondale tools...it has all the common tools you'll need to perform routine service to your Cannondale. Spend the dough, get them and find the Cannondale manuals for your bike/shock/bb etc.

    On the OPs initial problem...I suspect I had the same issue the OP had that caused this disaster in the first place. There's a lesson here imo.

    One day after 2 months of owning my Rize 1 the Lefty lockout stopped working and oil was dripping out of the bottom of the boot. I was totally bummed riding home that day thinking that my Lefty was going to be out of action getting shipped off somewhere since LBS's don't tend to service them for obvious reasons.

    However, when I ordered my bike I also ordered the tools that are necessary to maintain it at a very basic level. Crank tool, Ernie, Super Castle tool, damper clamp, bearing removal tool, hollowgram spider tool...a couple hundred in total. Less than 5% of the bike cost.

    I used the Ernie tool and removed the Lefty. Then after reviewing the online reference material opened my Lefty (no different than what is needed to reset the bearings) and saw the white teflon/plastic oil cap on the damper was loose, (supposedly not an uncommon issue - others have reported it on mtbr). Using the Castle tool I removed the damper and took it the LBS to have the oil replaced gratis and have the oil cap tighteed (not too tight now...). Put it all back together using a torque wrench and all was good again. Start to finish was two hours and that included driving to the LBS. Now if something was totally effed up then I would have sent it out for service by an expert like Mendon or Cannondale if under warranty but having the right tools to do minor diagnostics and routine maintenence is something all owners should have imo if you want to ride all the time. Nothing worse than dropping your bike off for days or weeks and have some asshat ef it up.

    It's really not that hard if you are willing to try and given Google there really are no secrets any more. The barriers that once existed are being taken down. Think about it - how smart was the guy that worked on the OP's bike?

    Now I know that some of you will say I don't have time or I'm not mechanically inclined and I can understand that but you can't say you aren't smart enough...

    /rant

  34. #34
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    dkestar, are you a shop employee or did you just buy all those tools retail cost? Did you get them all from that site?

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by madamfunk View Post
    dkestar, are you a shop employee or did you just buy all those tools retail cost? Did you get them all from that site?
    Not a trained bike mechanic...I'm an IT guy so I know how to RTFM. I ordered the tools from the shop I bought my bike through. Wish I had known about this site since it has them all there. Most Cannondale docs that detail service also reference these tools in them that is how I came to realize I'd need them at some point in time. I try and do all my own maintenance.

    Only thing I think I'd have to outsource is a damper rebuild but if I had to I suppose I could do it - provided I knew which parts to get, I think that is where being trained or having real world experience would be necessary - knowing which parts would have to be replaced I suspect some parts wear out and their tolerances are not determined by using the eyeball utility...

  36. #36
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    Good on you man! I've been doing all my own road stuff for years and have never taken a bike into a shop, until I got a Scalpel and realized there was no local mtnbike cdale shops :/ Sucks that this really is the most advanced designed but it sometimes seems as an unneeded innovation

  37. #37
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    Wow, that is a real shame.

    Best of luck on getting that issue resolved.
    Forks are for eating, Lefty's are for racing,

  38. #38
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    WOW - Finally a "My LBS sucks" thread that has merit and TONS of it.
    I was literally shaking my head reading and looking at those awful pics
    Sorry you had to deal with this man.
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  39. #39
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    Wow! What a waste! They don't even need an Ernie they could just get a Maglite instead since it fits perfectly into the clamps and headset.

  40. #40
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    And the name of the shop is ?
    "There is a big difference between kneeling down and bending over" -FZ

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    All I know is if this happened to me some one or two ppl's would get a good wang chung chop to the neck.... Further that I would have them charged for damage to let them know the seriousness of this.

    I am not sure but with the intergrated head sets this could have damaged the whole frame, so I would mosdef have this shipped to C'dale.


    Disclaimer: In reality I would not really Wang chung them.

  42. #42
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    The fork doesn't need replacement, just the upper assembly.

    That is an impressive bit of buggery, followed up by an equally impressive bit of BSery. FYI, the slot in the top pic is part of their assembly machining, nothing to do with damage, removing bearings, etc.

    Sorry to hear it, don't know where you are in NYC, but I've hear good things about Sids with regards to Cannondale know how, at least as far as being able to remove a Lefty without damage!
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

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    Take it to your local suspension service shop. That's what I did with mine. They found a carbon fork with trashed internals and upgraded mine to a carbon.

  44. #44
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    holy helll. This thread is just unbelievable. Hope things works out for you, but this must be one of the worst cases of incompetence i've seen in a while. Man.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by fokof View Post
    And the name of the shop is ?
    Looks like the OP will reveal the name once he's either gotten his money or the shop otherwise makes things right. Currently the shop is in the position of leverage since the OP has a damaged bike and thus far only promises from the shop. I'm sure the OP does not want to risk having to jump thru hoops for the shop to make this right.

    Arby - you're probably already headed down this road, but by the sounds of the way the owner is approaching this, I'd try very hard to get their promises in writing. The shop sure seems like the type to say one thing and do another, which is how this tragedy started. I wish you the best of luck in dealing with these shady characters.

    -Pete
    I can barely get my mouth around it.

  46. #46
    ballbuster
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    Do we know that said shop doesn't have any employees who browse MTBR?

    Maybe we should just STFU about if r a while until things get settled.

  47. #47
    FIRENZE rulez !!
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    Quote Originally Posted by pimpbot View Post
    Do we know that said shop doesn't have any employees who browse MTBR?
    to be well teached on Lefties as they are , they browse Specialized or ibis sections

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by eliflap View Post
    to be well teached on Lefties as they are , they browse Specialized or ibis sections

    they probably don't look at anything on mtbr...
    "Common sense isn't always that common!"
    Custom Prophet and Custom Delta V

  49. #49
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    They may have googled lefty si stem removal

  50. #50
    mtbr member
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    Quote Originally Posted by kuan View Post
    They may have googled lefty si stem removal
    epic

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