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  1. #1
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    Lefty - Spring Size ?

    I just bought a Cannondale F800 with the Lefty Max front shock. The front end gives me an uneasy feeling of flipping over the handlebars. Ok, I actually did flip over the handlebars and had a bad accident, it wasn't just a feeling. I am trying to pinpoint the cause of the accident. I believe the core problem is my weight and the spring kit in the Lefty. I am about 6'1" and 190 Lbs. The bike size is a Large. After reading on the Cannondale webpage, I found that a person my weight should have a 'Red' spring in the front shock. Do any of you brother riders have experience with this???

    Thanks, Ken

    Cannondale document:
    http://www.cannondale.com/bikes/tech/manuals.html
    Lefty Max TPC, Jake Supplement.pdf

  2. #2
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    That spring only comes into play when you totally bottom out the suspension...

    I'm 220# and I have never bottomed my Lefty yet... I have a red spring but I have not installed it yet...

    I do run the fork kind of stiff at 175# and the rebound knob turned 1 turn in counter-clockwise... I don't know much about tuning suspension but it seems to me like the bike rides better when it is set up stiffer...

  3. #3
    Are you talking to me?
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    I am 230 and have the brown spring.

    It is steel, and not Ti. Measure your sag amount to be sure it is ok.
    gfy

  4. #4
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    The correct shock info...

    Sorry,

    I gave you a poor description of my shock. I have a HeadShok Lefty Jake. The HeadShok Lefty Jake fork has 100 mm of travel, controlled by oil-damped, open-bath internals. It doesn't have any air cartridges to set for compression. It only has an external rebound adjustment knob. To set compression you may switch the spring and add\remove shims to the top internal assembly. I have already added the max amount of shims and I'm still feeling insecure about flipping over. I talked to my LBS mechanic and he is trying to get a red spring for me from Cannondale. Do you think a red spring would do the trick for a 190-195 Lbs rider? I was thinking about asking the mechanic to order a red and brown spring to try them both.
    Do you guys think I have the correct frame size? I believe the bike fits me right. It feels right. I have taken some comparison measurements between my other hardtail Specialized mountain bike (21") and my hardtail Cannondale F800 (LARGE), they seam to be very close in size. What are some of your heights and frame sizes?

    Thanks, Ken

  5. #5
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    It sounds ok.

    Quote Originally Posted by kenthomson
    Sorry,

    I gave you a poor description of my shock. I have a HeadShok Lefty Jake. The HeadShok Lefty Jake fork has 100 mm of travel, controlled by oil-damped, open-bath internals. It doesn't have any air cartridges to set for compression. It only has an external rebound adjustment knob. To set compression you may switch the spring and add\remove shims to the top internal assembly. I have already added the max amount of shims and I'm still feeling insecure about flipping over. I talked to my LBS mechanic and he is trying to get a red spring for me from Cannondale. Do you think a red spring would do the trick for a 190-195 Lbs rider? I was thinking about asking the mechanic to order a red and brown spring to try them both.
    Do you guys think I have the correct frame size? I believe the bike fits me right. It feels right. I have taken some comparison measurements between my other hardtail Specialized mountain bike (21") and my hardtail Cannondale F800 (LARGE), they seam to be very close in size. What are some of your heights and frame sizes?

    Thanks, Ken
    It sounds like you have the right frame size.
    Have you had someone measure the amount of sag that the fork is yeilding? If you need a stiffer spring, go with the Red one. The Red came stock on my Max, and was too soft. The brown is perfect at my weight. (230lb.) At your weight, go red.

    I am still nervous that you have not checked your sag first.
    gfy

  6. #6
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    You may just feel more comfortable with a higher handlebar. If your sag is 25mm. or less the spring is probably o.k..

  7. #7
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    At the risk of not knowing your current stem length, I would suggest a shorter stem to help with your issue!

  8. #8
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    Tuck and roll...

    If you are used to substantially less travel and/or stiffer springs, you might need to alter your style a little (assuming the spring rate is correct). The first time I rode my old GT (originally a rigid bike) with a new 63mm Judy C, I went over the bars twice on my first ride . Just a guess: Were you going downhill relatively slowly? When the fork encounters resistance from a root, rock, rut, hole or whatever and you absorb the bumps with your arms somewhat because you’re used to doing it that way, but this causes the wheel to stop rolling (as you pull your arms back) and now the fork is compressing way too far and suddenly you’re a gymnast hoping to score a 9.5 on your dismount.

    Every time I have gone to longer travel (rigid to 63mm to 80mm to 130mm) I have had to modify my technique to keep from going OTB.

  9. #9
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    Crash Details....

    JeffJ,
    This sounds like good advice about changing my riding technique. My other hardtail mountain bike has a 100mm travel fork on it like my new Cannondale but it is of the air type and I keep the pressure somewhat high. So I think I'm only getting a resulting travel of 80-90mm. I'm definitely using 100% of the 100mm travel on the Cannondale F800.
    Let me tell you a little bit more about my accident. I was on a non-climbing stretch of the trail. This area was like a mini roller coaster with the distance of peak to valley not exceeding 2-3 feet's height (5-6 rolling-peaks in a row). The last dip on this stretch of trail had a little bit steeper valley and this is the one that got me. I had ridden this trail 40 or 50 times before, so I was familiar with almost every nook and cranny. Have you ever noticed when you're going through a mini roller coaster-like area that you tend to let your bike go down into the valleys and keep your upper torso up and not bobbing up and down? Well I think I was doing this during my crash. The combination between the steep dip, my extreme high center of gravity, and undersized shock spring, caused a lightning fast face plant . It caused 30-40 stitches in my upper lip, which went all the way through, and plenty of trail-rash on my forehead and a broken helmet in two pieces. Without the helmet, I would have certainly brained my damage!
    Needless to say, I have very high hopes with the Red spring replacement on the Lefty Shock…. By the way, what are some examples of changes in riding technique that you made from switching distances in fork travel?

  10. #10
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    Have you measured your sag yet?

    Quote Originally Posted by kenthomson
    JeffJ,
    This sounds like good advice about changing my riding technique. My other hardtail mountain bike has a 100mm travel fork on it like my new Cannondale but it is of the air type and I keep the pressure somewhat high. So I think I'm only getting a resulting travel of 80-90mm. I'm definitely using 100% of the 100mm travel on the Cannondale F800.
    Let me tell you a little bit more about my accident. I was on a non-climbing stretch of the trail. This area was like a mini roller coaster with the distance of peak to valley not exceeding 2-3 feet's height (5-6 rolling-peaks in a row). The last dip on this stretch of trail had a little bit steeper valley and this is the one that got me. I had ridden this trail 40 or 50 times before, so I was familiar with almost every nook and cranny. Have you ever noticed when you're going through a mini roller coaster-like area that you tend to let your bike go down into the valleys and keep your upper torso up and not bobbing up and down? Well I think I was doing this during my crash. The combination between the steep dip, my extreme high center of gravity, and undersized shock spring, caused a lightning fast face plant . It caused 30-40 stitches in my upper lip, which went all the way through, and plenty of trail-rash on my forehead and a broken helmet in two pieces. Without the helmet, I would have certainly brained my damage!
    Needless to say, I have very high hopes with the Red spring replacement on the Lefty Shock…. By the way, what are some examples of changes in riding technique that you made from switching distances in fork travel?
    Are you sure that you need a new spring? Measure the bar height with no weight on it, then have someone measure the bar height with you on the bike, in your riding position. the fork needs to be sagging about 25mm. Have you checked this? What stem rise/length are you running? Have you tried to get your LBS to do a fit for you and your bike?
    gfy

  11. #11
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    Jeff I have a Jekyll which is 2 years old, but 6 months ago I changed to Lefty Max. I'm 6'1 and 190lbs. It came with blue spring... seemed a little soft, started with no shims, added one then, then two... still a little soft.... Then ordered a red Ti spring.. quite a bit firmer, but feel like not getting full travel except in a huge hit...

  12. #12
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    What Size Bike??

    Quote Originally Posted by rogue
    Jeff I have a Jekyll which is 2 years old, but 6 months ago I changed to Lefty Max. I'm 6'1 and 190lbs. It came with blue spring... seemed a little soft, started with no shims, added one then, then two... still a little soft.... Then ordered a red Ti spring.. quite a bit firmer, but feel like not getting full travel except in a huge hit...
    Hello Rogue,

    What size frame do you have? When you had the blue spring in your lefty, did you ever feel like you were flip over the handle bars on some downhills? If so, did the upgrade to the red spring solve your problem?

    Thanks,
    Ken

  13. #13
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    Sag and that would be common sense, the bike just wouldn't feel right, you should have around 1" of sag when you sit on the bike. If that is set right, i'd move to stem and handlebars. Get a higher stem, and do you have riser bars. Also do you have your seat jacked up really high, if your decending steep terrain, lower your seat.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by kenthomson
    Hello Rogue,

    What size frame do you have? When you had the blue spring in your lefty, did you ever feel like you were flip over the handle bars on some downhills? If so, did the upgrade to the red spring solve your problem?

    Thanks,
    Ken
    Ken

    Yes with the blue i thought I would sometimes but need did, close too though... With my previous Lefty ELO I did go over a few times. The red spring seems to have had it more stiff, but lost a little small bump sensitvity... still good for agressive riding with the red though... Its quite technical/steep/rocky here in Hong Kong... cheers

    Rogue
    PS my other bike is a 2003 Bullit

  15. #15
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    Ken
    I have a Large Jekyll frame, hopefully the red has solved the problem. Its a great fork with easy external adjustments

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