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  1. #1
    Wandervans
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    Lefty Supermax 160 Issues

    Any out there breaking there Lefty Supermax 160s on Jekylls? I have owned the bike since December 2014 and broken a ring clip twice that separates the air chambers. When this happens the fork basically bottoms out completely whenever weight is applied. Both times this issue has been fixed under warranty in a timely fashion, just wondering if others have had similar experiences?

    I have about 900 miles on the lefty over about 135 hours.
    Live to ride!
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  2. #2
    bike rider
    Reputation: Lelandjt's Avatar
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    We had that happen to the Lefty (I think Supermax) on one of our Trigger 29 rental bikes this summer. On like the second ride. Fixed under warranty and fine since.
    Keep the Country country.

  3. #3
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
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    Incredibly common as of late (and mind bendingly frustrating for me).

    The wave washers worked fine for years. This most recent version of the Solo Air piston has a newer, larger wave washer.

    Why they changed the design, I have no idea.

    I'd see maybe a half dozen a year with the previous several versions.

    The Solo Air X piston? About every other call or email I get, it about the sagging fork problem.

    The good news? There is a non wave washer reliant Solo Air piston that is scheduled to start shipping in late November.

    So, while a huge PITA now? The hassles should be over before "the holidays"....
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

    - FrostyStruthers



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  4. #4
    Wandervans
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    The shop called me today and mentioned the design issue and the fact that Cannondale is working on a fix. My warranty expires in December so hopefully they will still fix it for me since I am destroying them every 3 to 5 months.

    Sounds like at the end of November I should just have my shop send in my lefty to get the new solo air piston installed.
    Live to ride!
    18 Cannondale Jekyll Carbon
    16 Diamond Back DB8

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  5. #5
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    Just got a used supermax (2015) 29-130 that I haven't installed yet. Should I be worried about this issue?

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  6. #6
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
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    Worried? No, ride it, know that there's a chance it will do this, then get the piston replaced.

    If there was no solution on the near term horizon, then I'd worry.

    FWIW, the pistons are less than $50 not some crazy expensive part, and while not speaking for them, I'd guess they will be pretty liberal with replacing them.....
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

    - FrostyStruthers



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  7. #7
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    Awesome, thanks. Will give it a go. I have have a feeling I should probably service it before using it since I have no idea about its history...maybe once I'm snowed in

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  8. #8
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    Hi guys. Did they find a remedy for this? My Supermax 160 started sagging to the bottom yesterday when gently pushed. Only 2 months old

  9. #9
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
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    Piston upgrade kits are shipping now, so yes.
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

    - FrostyStruthers



    www.mendoncyclesmith.com

  10. #10
    Wandervans
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    Just got my Lefty back from Cannondale with the fix. Ski season is in full swing here so I won't get to try it out for about a week, but will be interested to see if I can feel any difference.
    Live to ride!
    18 Cannondale Jekyll Carbon
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  11. #11
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    Dropped it off to the shop this morning. Fingers crossed.
    2015 Cannondale Jekyll Carbon 2

  12. #12
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    ok its back from the shop woop woop! They said it was the negative spring washer and it was done under warranty. I also found that the service schedule has now changed with this washer from 100 hours to 50 hours .......

    We have changed the replacement interval of the SOLO AIR wave spring from every 100 hours to every 50 hours of
    riding. Replacing the wave spring every 50 hours will maintain optimum performance of the SOLO AIR assembly.
    The LEFTY Maintenance schedule has been updated to reflect this change.
    2015 Cannondale Jekyll Carbon 2

  13. #13
    Just a flesh wound
    Reputation: Prophet Julio's Avatar
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    I have a Lefty Max 140 converted to the Solo Air. It failed soon after the conversion but Mendon hooked me up with the fix and it has been fine since. It has over 300 hours on it. Should I send it in for replacement?
    My name is Chris and I ride a Prophet 650b with a Lefty.

  14. #14
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
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    Thats the problem with the wave washer.

    Some last like, 3 rides. Others go the long haul, and never break.

    If I could figure it out, I'd be a wealthy man.

    Hours is likely the best way to go, but I find most people just don't think that way. Once a year for a bike used regularly and singularly, is a good metric. Multiple bikes? Every other year is likely a good schedule.

    You race/train etc 5 days a week for a few hours a time, on just that one bike? Every 6 months is probably not a bad plan.
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

    - FrostyStruthers



    www.mendoncyclesmith.com

  15. #15
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    Ok, it's 2018... I own a shop and have done dozens of rebuilds with no problems. We surviced the dreaded Solo Air issue and are now using 2Springs. Well, I got this 2016 Trigger 2 with SuperMax 140 in from the factory and the fork was 'flat'. I figured it might be dry inside, I would lube it up properly, maybe install 100 kit (2spring already installed) and it would be fine. Cust brought it back flat. It runs fine (but harsh) at 170+ psi but much below, it holds for while and under hard pounding it goes flat. The pressure remains the same and after it goes flat, the fork slowly rises back to full travel and might even work for a bit. I have installed 2 new 2Spring kits with new bottom plugs (and orings), replaced all air seals more than once. The damper seems to be working fine. I'm at my witt's end as an 'highly experienced' on all things Lefty. I know where the air can move about... but the 'slow rise', I've never seen, nor has Cannondale tech (at least the one I talked to). Ideas? Why would it hold at high pressure but fail at functional pressure? I have some ideas but looking for some experts out there with lots of rebuild experience. Thx!

  16. #16
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    So when it is flat does it register air pressure on a pump gauge or not? If not, it's actually losing air and is probably the o-ring on the outside of the upper air seal or one of the two on the inside of the upper air seal. If it is registering air pressure it might be a rolled o-ring on the outside of the air piston.

  17. #17
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    Thanks for the quick reply. It does not lose air (externally). I can accept any number of causes but orings have now been replaced 2 times with brand new Cannondale kits, careful install and lubricated well enough to avoid a rolled oring ... but anything is possible. Thanks!

  18. #18
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    Check the grooves that the o-rings are installed in for any debris...especially machining 'hairs' that are the same color as the machined part. They can be very difficult to see. Too much grease on the actual piston can cause it to stick open causing 'suck down'. Check the ID of the lower leg for any scratches or scrapes allowing the air to transfer to negative side.

  19. #19
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    All good ideas ... will double and triple check this time. I haven't seen any irregularities inside the lower leg and would expect high pressure to leak even faster than low pressure if that were the case?? I'm grabbing a straws here but I will check the grooves ... as far as the lower piston and it's oring, I have not applied lube for fear of sticking the valve one way or the other. I have done dozens of rebuilds and never lubed that last tiny oring on the piston. I don't mind being corrected though

  20. #20
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    Adding one observation. It appears that the air transfer upon compression is happening all at once when it bottoms. I ride it all day long at 65psi and its fine. The customer is hammering it and thus I suspect it only occurs at full bottom. That would explain why it functions fine for him at 170psi - he simply can't bottom it out. Does that clue help??

  21. #21
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
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    Cold a factor?

    Been seeing a lot of 2Spring forks that hate cold this year (single digits F).

    My Solo Air forks work just like they should, even in single digits.

    Beyond that, what Headshockr said, or, consider selling a brand where the company actually listens to your input and observations, rather than telling you you're wrong, because their product is made by magical unicorns, and thus, are perfect.
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

    - FrostyStruthers



    www.mendoncyclesmith.com

  22. #22
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    Thought of the cold ... but we're in Az ... it's happening in the 60's so not a factor. I did call Project123 and found someone who really knows how the fork works or functions insided (ie, pos, neg chamber interactions) and validated that I'm doing all the right things. They said they would do nothing different and they can't test for the bottoming condition. So I would likely get it back with the same issue UNLESS they found scoring on the inside of the lower. We are both convinced that I have been either very unlucky in that the pistion oring has rolled twice on me or there is some defect near the bottom of the stroke (recall it works great until it reaches the bottom of the stroke ... then ALL air seems to transfer from pos to neg chamber ... then leak back slowly causing the fork to rise).

    As for the product/company, I'm a Dealer for that company and have been for 30+ years but since CSG acquired them, things have gone south from our standpoint. I hesitate to share too many details but lets just say that our new anchor brand rep drove from Tuscon on his vacation time to deliver an ebike requested but not available at the warehouse. He grabbed one from a local dealer and drove almost 3 hrs to us in the Valley, turned around and went home with a smile. ...... We haven't seen our C rep but once in the past year (

  23. #23
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
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    I hear you, no need for details, I have more than my fair share I'm not sharing! I've been defending these forks against the haters for close to 20 years, know then inside and out, love them for all I'm worth, and I find nothing more frustrating the the level of corporate hubris they now exhibit to anyone not literally in their employment. And once employed there, you best not open your mouth about a thing.....

    Such a great company, so innovative a product line, ruined in the relative blink of an eye, in the name of greater profitability.

    P321 is good. Sort of freed up from needing to toe the company line, despite being the only other place you can get a Hybrid telescope torn apart. Cannondale will just tell you there's nothing wrong, and plug their ears when you try to explain the issue, not a cool way to value/empower your dealers.
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

    - FrostyStruthers



    www.mendoncyclesmith.com

  24. #24
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    Hey ..thanks for chiming in. I should reinforce that I'm a big believer in the technology, I ride a SuperMax carbon and love it. I'm an engineer by education so the whole thing makes sense to me and the "missing half" doesn't bother me. It sure does bother a lot of others and they are indeed hard to sell. We did manage to sell quite few along the way which why I got such experience with them (also made sure to be certified by C).

    Tearing into the fork for the 4th time today. Will post back if I find anything new

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