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Thread: Notchy Lefty

  1. #1
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    Notchy Lefty

    My 2011 PBR Ultra has been doing this for awhile so I was hoping a reset would remedy it... but it didn't. Travel is best described as notchy. Soft travel to start followed by a dead spot to firmer travel.
    Anyone else getting this? Suggestions?

  2. #2
    mnt bike laws of physics
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    I would start by lubing the needle bearings. Even though it is new, that helped mine that had a rough feel to the travel. Although, I am not exactly sure what you are feeling.

    BTW, I find it is easier to remove the clamp to the upper boot and lower it to apply the lube.

    1) remove the upper boot clamp and lower the boot
    2) turn your bike upside down
    3) remove the air
    4) inject some bearing lube on each bearing race as deep as you can get in there
    5) cycle the leg and reapply more lube and cycle again

  3. #3
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    ....with some phil's tenacious oil......
    "Common sense isn't always that common!"
    Custom Prophet and Custom Delta V

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by cdalemaniac View Post
    ....with some phil's tenacious oil......
    Any lube is better than none, but Phil's Tenacious is a bit too runny for my taste, no offense to the Maniac.

    How long has it been in use?

    Is your lockout still solid to the top, or is there some free play at the top before hitting lock?
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

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    Thanks for the suggestions. Iíve wiped and re-greased twice since it was new in the spring. Both times I used Finish Line grease with Teflon. In the future should I use something thinner like Prep M?

    My bike, a RZ 120 2 two was new in May and has on average 8 hrs of riding a week since new. I generally do a reset every three or four rides. The rougher the ride, the more frequent the resets. Does this make sense? I did notice last time I had the boot slid down that one bearing doesnít seem to line up with the others (about 5mm different than the others). Even after a reset. I am getting the prescribed measurement though.

    The lockout doesnít have any free play at the top, only a steady resistance all the way through itís travel. It doesnít really lock. Unlocked thereís some free play at the top of travel followed by a notchy feeling as it enters a phase of more resistance.
    Last edited by macdeal; 07-23-2011 at 04:58 PM.

  6. #6
    mnt bike laws of physics
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    Okay now we're getting somewhere...

    Quote Originally Posted by macdeal View Post
    Thanks for the suggestions. Iíve wiped and re-greased twice since it was new in the spring. Both times I used Finish Line grease with Teflon. In the future should I use something thinner like Prep M?

    My bike, a RZ 120 2 two was new in May and has on average 8 hrs of riding a week since new. I generally do a reset every three or four rides. The rougher the ride, the more frequent the resets. Does this make sense? I did notice last time I had the boot slid down that one bearing doesnít seem to line up with the others (about 5mm different than the others). Even after a reset. I am getting the prescribed measurement though.
    Unless you removed the lower collar (which would require that you remove the lock-ring at the bottom of the outer leg) you would not be able to see the bearings. I think you must be talking about the inner bearing race and not the bearing. If one of the inner races is not aligned with the others you should NOT BE RIDING YOUR LEFTY as that could cause some serious damage. Please get back and clarify!

  7. #7
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    OK, this is my first Lefty so I consulted the owner's manual to try and use the right terms.
    During the last reset I slid the boot down to clean and re-grease. With the outer collar and split rings removed I re-greased the inner tube. As I cycled and applied grease I noticed the mark left in the grease by the inner set of needle bearings was not even with the marks left by the other three sets bearings It was about 5 mm higher. This was after the reset was completed obtaining the correct telescope length of 725 mm.

    I hope this clarifies. Thanks for you help.

  8. #8
    mnt bike laws of physics
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    That's better

    Not many people go through the trouble of taking the collar out to grease, but it does make it easier to get the grease in there. Also, you usually don't need to grease it as often as you have. If I'de known you already did it since you bought it, I wouldn't have suggested to do it again. I'm no expert on grease. I have been using Prep-M becuase I have it in my grease gun and it is easy to squirt it inside.

    Ideally, the bearings should be aligned after a reset. If you are needing to reset as often as you do, I think you bearing preload is to low and you need thinker inner bearing races. I just changed mine out and it requires less resets because the bearing don't move as quickly.

    Without actually feeling it for myself, I or anyone would have a hard time accessing what is the problem. Could you clarify exactly what you mean by "Unlocked thereís some free play at the top of travel followed by a notchy feeling as it enters a phase of more resistance."
    Mechanics people tend to be visual learner types and words just don't do the trick unless you are very descriptive.

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    Thanks again.

    The first re-grease happened because I wanted to see how things look under the boot so I thought Iíd give it a wipe and a grease while I was in there. The second was after a month of very wet, muddy rides.

    Is installing thicker races a ďhomeĒ job or a shop job? I always done the maintenance on my forks and shocks but the Lefty is clearly a different beast. I assume itís not warranty as the fork is new?

    The first inch or so of travel is almost spongy. It doesnít feel right. Past this first inch I feel a slight ďclickĒ as it enters the remaining travel. Thereís also a slight top out click as well. I donít notice the top out while riding.

    I realise this is an issue best solved by an expert but the shop where I bought the bike has not really inspired my confidence and Iím a long way from anyone else. Iím hoping I can at least steer them in the right direction so any help would be great.

  10. #10
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    I hate to say this, but I think you need to send it off to Cannondale for warranty work. Something(s) are not right.

    I hope MendonCS gives his opinion on this, but if it were me, knowing what I know. Well let me tell you. I had a very similar thing happen. It turned out the inner races were moving up (migrating if you will) up into the structure. It started to click or clunck about midway in the travel. Cannondale told me not to ride it and to send it in....but that was with the old lower which did not have a retainer on the inner races. The damper kept the races from moving up but they somehow worked their way past it.

    Yea, working on the Lefty (especially the newer ones as they require the Diggler Tool) are getting more and more specialized. You need to know what you are doing and have all the right tools for the job. Although it sounds like you would be a good candidate for learning

  11. #11
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by macdeal View Post
    Is installing thicker races a ďhomeĒ job or a shop job? I assume itís not warranty as the fork is new?

    The first inch or so of travel is almost spongy. It doesnít feel right. Past this first inch I feel a slight ďclickĒ as it enters the remaining travel. Thereís also a slight top out click as well. I donít notice the top out while riding.

    I realise this is an issue best solved by an expert but the shop where I bought the bike has not really inspired my confidence and Iím a long way from anyone else. Iím hoping I can at least steer them in the right direction so any help would be great.
    Increasing bearing preload (thicker races) is best done by someone who knows how to do it, and has a good selection of races in stock.

    My guess is that the preload is a tad light, hence the loose soft feeling at the top end. Can't guarantee it without seeing and feeling it of course. Could be some extra flashing n the bearings, etc. Clicks could be a race clip not fully in position, migration, some bubbles of air in the damper, the list goes on.

    I'd have a knowledgeable wrench go through it, with your concerns in mind. Likely, it'll be a very fixable set of issues.
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

    - FrostyStruthers



    www.mendoncyclesmith.com

  12. #12
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    they are not ALL notchy??

    <>

    not that I have ridden thousands of them, but every headshock or lefty I have ever ridden felt indexed and notchy. kind of like they were gear driven or had ribbed stantions

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dichotomous View Post
    they are not ALL notchy??

    <>

    not that I have ridden thousands of them, but every headshock or lefty I have ever ridden felt indexed and notchy. kind of like they were gear driven or had ribbed stantions
    The lighter the preload, the less you feel that. It's the bearings rolling. Run a fork for a year or two, and it polishes in. Get it rebuilt at that point but keep the races and bearings, and then they feel close to invisible....
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

    - FrostyStruthers



    www.mendoncyclesmith.com

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    I know WHY they do it, but didnt think it went away. wouldnt less preload lead to more damage from impacts? or less torsional ridgitity? as a heavier rider, wouldnt I need more preload? and I dont mean spring preload.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dichotomous View Post
    I know WHY they do it, but didnt think it went away. wouldnt less preload lead to more damage from impacts? or less torsional ridgitity? as a heavier rider, wouldnt I need more preload? and I dont mean spring preload.
    The only thing lighter preload "does" is let bearing migration happen faster. Otherwise, as long as it's within proper parameters, no damage rigidity loss etc.

    Heavier riders don't "need" more preload, the same works for all. Certain situations like a heavier, more aggressive rider, hitting big drops and high speed rock gardens with regularity, and possessing a hatred for resetting bearings every few rides, benefit from higher preload, but they don't "need" it.

    Me? I love the feel of a more lightly built fork, butter baby, butter. I'll deal with needing to reset every week or two.
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

    - FrostyStruthers



    www.mendoncyclesmith.com

  16. #16
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    Thanks for all of the advice. I guess now is as good a time as any to start the Lefty learning process for me and my local shop. So far the performance of the fork is worth the work.

    Just so I'm clear...lower preload means better small bump. Performing a reset every 3-6 ride does not case undue wear or damage and is not unusual. My local Cannondale dealer should have the required tools and access to Cannondale's troubleshooting brains.

    Thanks again!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by macdeal View Post
    Just so I'm clear...lower preload means better small bump. Performing a reset every 3-6 ride does not case undue wear or damage and is not unusual. My local Cannondale dealer should have the required tools and access to Cannondale's troubleshooting brains.
    Correct, the telescope simply moves with more ease, at a lighter preload. This makes it more able to react to smaller stuff, in a bigger way, if that makes sense.

    As for your shop, no idea. BITD many shops were trained how to work on the stuff, and had the tools. Since then, due to many factors, most dealers don't bother to work on them, and just send them into Cannondale. Cannondale does good work (no surprise there) and under a warranty situation, it's best to let them handle it, as it costs you nothing, and things that are covered by warranty, should be. However, with things like retuning preload, annual services, things not working properly after your warranty period is up, etc, going through them can get expensive, and due to the volume of work they do, slow (unless you pay extra to expedite it). At that point, there are several places around that work more personally with the owner, are faster, and often, cheaper.


    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

    - FrostyStruthers



    www.mendoncyclesmith.com

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    Makes perfect sense. The small bump compliance is one of my favorite things about the Lefty so far. I'll stick with the resets for now.

    Given that this is a 2011 is it fair to assume this is probably a warranty issue?

    Thanks.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by macdeal View Post
    Given that this is a 2011 is it fair to assume this is probably a warranty issue?
    It's certainly worth asking. Have the shop call and ask about your exact situation, and whether or not it's something they feel should be looked at under warranty. If not, save yourself some time and money and get it handled yourself.


    It only has a few months use no? If so, they ought to be checking into it for you, but bear in mind, you're going to be without it for several weeks typically, so plan accordingly....
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

    - FrostyStruthers



    www.mendoncyclesmith.com

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