Lefty reset fiasco - advice pls?
Hey all, not been on the forums for a while - as my lefty has been in good shape That has all changed as of last night, when I tried to reset the bearings and the thing basically fell to bits . So, I'm looking for a few bits of advice (apologies in advance for not knowing the correct terminology for fork parts).
When I pulled the wheel down doing the reset, something looked like it was poking into the fork boot. Inspection showed that it was one of the long metal strips that run down the fork, it had come loose from its collar and the needle bearing set had fallen out - I retrieved it from the boot and it was broken into 3 bits. Elongating the fork, and the other 3 long metal bits came out along with the bearings.
The top picture shows that the metal O-ring is split (is it meant to be?), and the upper metal collar is bent. It is a 2004 Lefty speed DLR2. The bottom picture shows the metal strips I'm talking about and the broken bearing holder.
So: Did this collossal F-up happen because of a cack-handed bearing reset? (I've done it before many times without problem)
How easy will it to be to fix? There is a very good guy in the UK who basically handles every lefty in the country, as pretty much all LBS's have raised the white flag by now. So I know he'll be able to handle it, but i wonder how big a job is it?
Is it worth upgrading to a new lefty? You can pick them up 2nd hand for reasonable money here. My fork has had a lot of work on it over the years - I wonder if the cost to fix it now (approx £150 probably) might be better spent on getting, say a 2007 or 8 model for approx £300.
Cheers for any advice
I might be wrong, but that's definitely a DLR2, and I thought 2005 was the first year for DLR2. (As opposed to 2004.)
It is scary that this happened. The retention mechanism for the races (long metal strips) is quite secure. (The metal ring in the photo is part of that retention mechansim.) Hard to image how it would come apart. Yes, the ring is meant to be split. There is a second ring (that is not split) that is holding the outer races inside the upper fork.
The good news is that this could absolutely be fixed. The races (long metal strips) and needle bearings are inexpensive. The labor will cost you. Stateside, Mendon Cyclesmith provides incredible bang for the, err, pound. Might be worth shipping it there.
The other option is learn to do it yourself. I just went through this and renewed a couple of very sorry DLR2 forks, which are now as good as new. Plus, now I know how to perform maintenance, I can inspect it regurarly, I know what to look for, and I feel safe. (As opposed to always feeling tentative because I know I should send my fork in for service, but I'm too lazy or don't want to give up a weekend of riding.)
Either way, since you essentially have it all apart, get the boot replaced, and get the damper oil & seals replaced. You'll be better-than-new. It will feel "tight" for a while until it breaks in.
As for thoughts about upgrade the fork, why? Unless Cannondale comes out with a new-generation DLR3, or you want to go to a different category (lighter-weight SL, a fox-based fork, or a longer-travel fork for all-mountain riding), then stick with it.
I don't see how a bearing reset procedure would have caused this unless you were pulling with incredible force to get full extension. (Was the bike suspended from the ceiling whilst you were hanging from the front wheel?) Anyway fortuitious that this happened in the garage rather than coming off a jump on a long ride, leaving you to limp home.
Originally Posted by JBone
Thanks for the reply Almontebarnes. I agree that taking the plunge and learning how the whole thing works is the long term solution - so I could just get it together and do that. Sourcing parts might be a headache.
Regarding the upgrade, I was wondering if the newer DLR2s have been any advance on the older ones. Or are they basically the same fork?
Not too big a deal. Just needs to be put back together. Essentially, you've done part of the work already I had a customer that this happened to, no biggie. I just did the same thing to mine. Basically, I was late, in a hurry, not paying attention, and it was all set, yet I gave a few more for good measure. The last one, well, was the proverbial straw that broke the camels back Happens, get in touch with a good Lefty wrench, and have them handle it. Usually means a service was needed soon anyway, leaky seals..... Lots of oil in the lube thins it out, and I'm guessing here, lubes the split ring, making it easier for it to pop out. Have fun!
A DLR2 is a DLR2. They haven't changed. The internal mechanism are the same, whether carbon like yours, alloy or alloy with bonded clamps. The SL is a variant, with basically the same design, but optimized for for lightness.
If you're going to do this yourself, here are the parts / tools you need:
- 1.5 mm wrench for the rebound
- 10 mm deep socket for the lockout lever
- Shimano-type bottom bracket tool for the top cap. (I have two - a closed one with integrated handle for easy removal, and one that has a socket that I mount to a torque wrench. But it seems I'm the only one who is concerned about torquing to spec.)
- The "bullet" tool, which is supposedly meant to allow one of the oil caps to be placed on the the damper shaft without damaging it. I think it is rubbish, since it only works if it is aligned perfectly, but I use it anyway. Part number HDTL168/. Sorry, no links. Got mine from my LBS.
- Castle Tool - HDTL146THis is take out the damper and is required.
Shaft Vise Block - this is supposedly needed for damper service to unscrew the negative spring perch. On my forks, I was able to remove and install it without this tool. I can exert a very strong grip on the shaft with my hands. But this could be hard for most people. The purpose of this tool is to be able to clamp the shaft w/o damaging it. But I think the tool itself could damage the shaft unless used very carefully. (The smallest nick / scratch in the damper shaft will make the damper leak oil.)
- Green park spanner
- 24mm socket (to remove the air cap / schrader valve housing)
- Suspension air pump, which you should have if you own a Lefty.
- Loctite 242
- Phil's Tenacious oil
- 85/150 fork oil - Spectro Golden
- Spring grease, such as Dumond MR
- Good general purpose bicycle bearing grease. Park, for example. Get a tub.
- A digital micrometer to determine the thickness of the races in your fork. (Or you can just bring a race down to your LB or other business that would have a micrometer.)
- A set of inner races, which come in up to six different thicknesses. (This is how they adjust for manufacturing tolerances.) HDR2L/02x where x = 0 through 5. Sorry, no link to this one. Try your LB. (I presume a strong network in the U.K. Otherwise, I'm sure someone on the board could help out - I would always be happy to order from my very helpful LB and ship to you at cost.) Also, on my forks, all four sides have been the same thinkness. But I understand that while opposite races are always the same thickness, adjacent ones might be different. So measure all races to be safe, not just one. (Saying this, I just realized that they're no longer in position in your fork. If they're all the same, no prob. If you have different sizes, you'll have to try various combinations during reassembly until you identify the best fitting combination.)
- A set of outer races - HDR2N/024 - (yours might be fine. But if you're opening up the fork - or rather - it opened itself up for you - you might as well.) Again, no link. I don't know of an on-line source.
- HD161 Needle bearings
- Seal Kit
- Other commodities like a 5mm hex, small phillips head screwdriver, 15 gauge spoke, cable ties, etc.
Wow, that's a lot. Maybe it's not so wise to do it on your own. Most of the tools, oils, greases are for the damper service. If you're planning on servicing the cartridge at least three times during the lifetime of the fork, it is probably worth it. Or if you're just mechanically inclined and enjoy the work intrinsically.
Some related links:
- The "how to split a DLR2" thread. You've already basically done this, but you'll have to do it in reverse. This discusses re-assembly as well as Mendon's inner tube trick in lieu of the diggler tool.
- Re-assembly. This tread is based on a Lefy Max which is completely different internally from the DLR2. Don't be distracted. But the upper/lower inner/outer race design is similar, especially for the carbon fork. It has a good re-assembly discription.
- My "learning" how to dissasemble.
Things you don't need:
- The "retainer tool", a.k.a diggler tools. Use Mendon's inner tube approach. I don't see how it could be easier.
- The "fork up" adapater in the damper cartridge service document. I just keep my fork in a wheel and work with everything standing up.
You can say that there are two parts to this: 1) the cartridge servicing, which is documented above, and 2) the assembly of the lower/upper telescopes with the inner/outer races and needle bearings. For part 2, you'll just have to surf through the posts in the forum, three of which I've pointed you to. For 1) the document I linked to has everything you need. I've made no attempt to separate them because you need to do both. As i believe Mendon mentioned, chances are you're leaking oil from your damper.
Pardon the spelling mistakes. I'm tired.