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  1. #1
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    Lefty headset/cups/steerer tube movement/play

    I have an aluminum frame Scalpel with a Lefty Carbon. Recently had the shop replace headset bearings and after one ride I've got movement/knocking between the lower steerer tube/bearing and the frame/cups. I determine the movement and noise from holding the front brake and rocking the bike forward and backward. Shop speculates that it may be an ovalized steerer tube. Since the headset bearings are now new it seems to me that the remaining possibilities could be either 1) the steerer tube, 2) bearing cups worn, or 3) frame headtube ovalized. Anyone have any experience with a situation like this and any likely solutions?

  2. #2
    mnt bike laws of physics
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    Every bike I've had and have that has a Lefty on it creaks in the bottom head tube area after a while of use....even my non-Cannondale bikes. Not sure why but it has never seemed to degregate the performance. It is a nuisance though. It has never happened at first like your though. It always takes a few weeks or months of riding before it happens.
    I would like to know why it happens so I can maybe do something about it.
    My best guess would be at the steerer tube lower clamp junction. A lot of stress there.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by xsanmarco View Post
    I have an aluminum frame Scalpel with a Lefty Carbon. Recently had the shop replace headset bearings and after one ride I've got movement/knocking between the lower steerer tube/bearing and the frame/cups. I determine the movement and noise from holding the front brake and rocking the bike forward and backward. Shop speculates that it may be an ovalized steerer tube. Since the headset bearings are now new it seems to me that the remaining possibilities could be either 1) the steerer tube, 2) bearing cups worn, or 3) frame headtube ovalized. Anyone have any experience with a situation like this and any likely solutions?
    Is it definitely movement and not just creaking? My new 29er Flash Carbon started creaking after a week or so. I started a thread about it here: Creaky Opi Stem

    As I was (kindly) advised, putting LOTS of grease on the steerer thread seemed to fix it.

  4. #4
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    Yes, movement

    It's absolutely movement. I can have someone (my wife, with ample directions) hold the front brake and move the bike forward and backward. I can see more movement in the steerer tube assembly than the frame. Also, I can put a finger at the junction and feel the play between the parts.

    I'm not new to Lefty's. I have another bike with a Lefty that I've ridden for over ten years and it's 100% solid at the headtube/headset, with probably three - four bearing swaps over the years. With this bike I had the bearings swapped because of noise (knocking and side to side grinding). Now with new bearings I've got residual movement and trying to figure out how to fix it.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by xsanmarco View Post
    It's absolutely movement. I can have someone (my wife, with ample directions) hold the front brake and move the bike forward and backward. I can see more movement in the steerer tube assembly than the frame. Also, I can put a finger at the junction and feel the play between the parts.

    I'm not new to Lefty's. I have another bike with a Lefty that I've ridden for over ten years and it's 100% solid at the headtube/headset, with probably three - four bearing swaps over the years. With this bike I had the bearings swapped because of noise (knocking and side to side grinding). Now with new bearings I've got residual movement and trying to figure out how to fix it.
    What type of stem/steer tube do you have? OPI? or separate?

    Are the Lefty clamp bolts tight? 9NM of torque?

    Did they remember to put the bearing cover over the top bearing?

  6. #6
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    Non-OPI

    The stem and steerer tube are seperate, not the OPI and the bolts are torqued to the right spec. Don't know whether the shop put the cover on the top bearing - could this cause movement perpendicular to the head tube axis? It might, but if all else were right I would think it might result in movement along the head tube axis, which I don't have.

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