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  1. #1
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    Trashed LEFTY PBR Bearing Race

    Anyone ever seen this? I dropped the air to do a bearing reset and took the cap off and the race poked right out the top!

    My hunch is I'm screwed. I don't have a ton a scratch to "donate' to the Cannondale techs (again), so it looks like I'll be looking for a traditional Fox fork to replace this with - had enough of this lefty stuff.

    Anyone that has done a fork swap - is it complicated? Any tips/suggestions?



  2. #2
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    Take it to LBS before taking any advice other than Mendon's. A QUALIFIED C'DALE LBS.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by mickeydesadist
    Take it to LBS before taking any advice other than Mendon's. A QUALIFIED C'DALE LBS.
    Thanks - Yup - That's the plan. I'm taking it back to the Cannondale LBS where I bought it - they know me well as this is the 3rd failure for this fork and I've had it for only a year. I'm PMing Mendon as well to link him to my post to see what he thinks...

  4. #4
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
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    If the fork was still functioning at all, it's likely an outer race. They have tabs that engage the clip that holds them in place. If one or both little ears break, they develop a wanderlust that just won't quit.

    Time for a service.
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

    - FrostyStruthers



    www.mendoncyclesmith.com

  5. #5
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    Thanks for both replies Mendon. You're estimate for repairing this at your shop is quite reasonable. However, I think I'll still take it back to the LBS (first anyway) because I am wondering if Cannondale will consider the failure of these outer race clips as normal wear or if it is something they might consider abnormal failure. Obviously I am hoping for the latter as I don't consider riding / racing this fork on mild to moderate XC trails as anything above and beyond its performance and wear tolerances. I do bearing race resets regularly (every 2 weeks or when I feel play at the top) and I don't do any crazy air stuff - I am miffed at how fragile this system is. Seeing that race migrated all the way up past the black retaining clips, I can't help but wonder how much damage was done to the unit from the riding I did since the last reset.

    Oh well. We'll see what they say. I'm hoping for a replacement, a warranty repair (or at worst) a reasonable service/rebuild cost. If none of those 3 happens, I will take you up on your estimate. That or I'll be posting a WTB Fox Fork post in the Buy & Sell forum.

    Thanks Again!
    Sean

  6. #6
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
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    A few thoughts. Constant heavy handed resetting of the fork can cause tab breakage. Not saying it did, but it's possible. I don't see this very often, nor do I think you'll see may here reporting it.

    If the fork needs to be reset every week or two due to topping out noisily, you may want to look at having the bearing preload increased. It'll make it take longer between resets.

    Also, you may want to adopt a more gentle hand in resets. You'll need to do it again, so trying to squeeze every last mm out of it isn't a requirement

    How long have you owned the fork?
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

    - FrostyStruthers



    www.mendoncyclesmith.com

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith
    A few thoughts. Constant heavy handed resetting of the fork can cause tab breakage. Not saying it did, but it's possible. I don't see this very often, nor do I think you'll see many here reporting it.
    It's possible - I extend the fork with firm pulls until the stop clunk sounds solid - then I stop. Some times I get it back to the recommended mm spec, other times short a few mm - I listen for the sound to change and then I stop.

    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith
    If the fork needs to be reset every week or two due to topping out noisily, you may want to look at having the bearing preload increased. It'll make it take longer between resets.
    That's a certified technician adjustment, yes?

    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith
    Also, you may want to adopt a more gentle hand in resets. You'll need to do it again, so trying to squeeze every last mm out of it isn't a requirement
    Very good point - it still seems that this whole bearing race migration thing is more of a design shortcoming or flaw. I know that needle bearings typically utilize races and that they migrate, but wouldn't the system be better served with tabs that keep the races in place? Maybe it's not possible - if it was i doubt I'd be the first and only person to think of it. Oh well...

    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith
    How long have you owned the fork?
    Almost a year. Ridden from April - November.

  8. #8
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
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    I don't know of any certification that takes place, but yeah, if you don't know your way around inside, leave it to someone who does. Bearing preload is simply exchanging the thickness of the inner races, for thicker, or thinner, based on how the fork compresses. If it falls under it's own weight alone (just the telescope, no spring or damper included) it's too light.

    The newer style forks have a spring clip holding the bottom end in place, they can be dislodged trying to get the last little bit on a reset. Or, things like what happened to you.

    At a year, it should be serviced, according to Cannondale officially, and me, just from past experience.

    Migration isn't a flaw, it's part of the needle bearing assembly, regardless of where it's utilized. Industrial machines that use them, have reset procedures that need to be done.

    No flaw, just is what it is. Which is precisely why they make resetting so easy. You used to need to bring it back to the shop for a reset, now? It's two minutes of DIY.

    As for new fork, warranty, etc, nope, it's simply a service, and a $5 race. Demand warranty for it, and you won't get it, and folks will cringe the next time you walk in the shop. Would you demand a new engine if you never replaced your oil? Your fork is simply saying I NEED SERVICE, in the only voice it has
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

    - FrostyStruthers



    www.mendoncyclesmith.com

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith
    ...Your fork is simply saying I NEED SERVICE, in the only voice it has
    A voice interpreted obviously from the perspective of the service technician, respectfully.

    From a consumer's perspective, I interpret the fork's voice (and the race sticking out the top of the tube) telling me that it's time to go back to Cannondale again to get fixed. I can deal with a routine annual servicing on a complex high performance piece of technology, but, in less than a year, this will be the 3rd time I've had to send it back to Cannondale to get fixed. I agree that routine bearing resets don't really constitute design flaw, but 2 O-ring failures and a race poking up to the top of the tube in less than a year does not instill much faith in the dependability of the design. The two previous times I had to send it back to the factory, I lost 3 and 4 weeks of prime riding time - I anticipate at least another 3 and a half weeks of down time this time - that will total 10 weeks down time in 1 year. You say it needs serviced, I say it needs fixed semantics aside, the bottom line is it is unridable and I am in for MORE DOWN TIME. 10 weeks in a year.

    And for what it's worth, I have dropped about 6 grand at this LBS in the last 3 years. If a loyal customer comes in with yet another issue hoping (was the word I used, not demanding) that it might be covered under warranty and that causes them to treat me differently, then shame on them & they'll never get another dime of business from me. It doesn't hurt to hope nor does it hurt to ask. Again, I can see your LBS angle though.

    Nonetheless, the real voice I hear is that of the little man on my shoulder telling me I should have done more research before I spent 35 hundred on this rig. When it's not in need of a bearing reset and when it's not sitting at the Cannondale factory waiting on parts to service it, this lefty is a great fork - superb by far. But I'd have done myself better by going with a comparable conventional fork that is less persnickety. No matter how great the lefty is, I'd rather have my 10 weeks of riding time back and less concern about the next thing happening that requires MORE DOWN TIME. I missed 2 of my favorite 3 races last summer waiting on my lefty to come back from the factory.

  10. #10
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
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    Let me boil it down for you. Cannondale screwed up as soon as they stopped requiring authorized dealers from knowing how to service their product. I've said it for years, so I won't bore the general public again.

    If they worked on it in house, it would generally be less than a week at most shops, plus, nothing like shipping to and fro, to add a bunch of days to the process.

    It sucks your LBS can't fix it, and develop a relationship with your usage of it, so it'll work right for your needs.

    The vast bulk of these forks are used hard, for years, with little interference from mechanics

    Good luck with it!
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

    - FrostyStruthers



    www.mendoncyclesmith.com

  11. #11
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    I'm not sure if i had *exactly* the same issue, but I had a needle bearing come out of place once. There were some pretty drastic warning signs that had me bring the fork in to get looked at before any serious damage was caused. My LBS had me rolling again very quickly.

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