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  1. #1
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    Lefty spv 140 max is it high maintenance

    I have a 2005 Prophet with a Lefty 140 max spv. It seems that like I can only get 2 maybe 3 ride from this thing before it feels dead and I have to reset the bearings. Now I can decide if it worth getting the fork serviced by C'dale. Sell the fork and get a normal fork or the hell with it sell the whole bike. Can anyone help me out Thanks.

  2. #2
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    I too have an 05 prophet and still have the lefty. get it serviced it pays off in the end. you'll spend big bucks on a new setup and unless you really do your homework you may be dissapointed with the end result. the high maintenance thing is a dillusion it just needs to be fixed right once and it will last like an energizer. all forks have to be maintained and the lefty is no exception. spend the bucks and have it overhauled you'll probablly come out money ahead. i set it and forget it,no joke.

  3. #3
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    Sounds like you might just need a stiffer spring.
    Having to do frequent bearing resets is a sign of that.

    My 2005 small Prophet with Lefty Max SPV came with a green spring.
    I got a red spring from MendonCycleSmith and it's been perfect!

    Edit - The little "Prophet Setup Guide" that should have come with the bike has a chart in it that indicates general rider weight ranges and recommended spring colors (along with the rest of the shock settings) - Or post up your spring color and weight here if you need a little help with it.
    Last edited by jdr01930; 03-30-2008 at 08:27 PM.
    '15 Cannondale Trigger 27.5 Carbon 2
    '05 Prophet 1000
    '09 F3
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  4. #4
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    As said, try a stiffer spring first and see what that does for you (unless you find it to be too stiff already).

    As far as maintenance is concerned, that is actually pretty easy to do yourself. If you know how to strip the frame and build it back up again (a.k.a. have a bit of mechanical ability), overhauling the Lefty should be no problem at all. I recently tore mine completely apart, because I had the same issue with bearings needing a reset every 30 minutes. Turned out one of the bearing strips had broken. Ordered a new strip from Mendoncyclesmith, did the quad seal upgrade at the same time, and put it all back together again: problem solved, saved out 80 quid for a shop service and learned something as well. If you're feeling up for it, check out Wadester's excellent guide (and for a Lefty Max, you don't need any special tools).

  5. #5
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    It could also be that the bearing preload is too low, allowing the bearing to migrate faster than normal.

    DAN.GEROUS.NET : MOUNTAIN BIKING : CYCLOCROSS : ROAD :

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Gerous
    It could also be that the bearing preload is too low, allowing the bearing to migrate faster than normal.
    Definitely an option as well. You can measure this (as posted by MCS in Wadester's post): dismantle the fork (except for the bearings) extend it fully, and put a 2lbs weight on top of it. Does it drop? If yes, then you've got too little bearing preload (if it doesn't drop even with 4lbs on it, the preload is too high, but that will probably not be the case here).

    Copying MCS again: If your preload is indeed too low, measure the thickness of the two sides of the lower leg (so the width of both the horizontal axis'). Dismantle the fork completely and take off the two races of the thinner side. Measure these races, and replace the thinner of these two with the next one thicker. Put the fork back together and then measure your preload again, etc.

  7. #7
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    Yea, I would stick with the Lefty. You won't find a better fork out there. I upgraded to the stiffer spring and only have to reset my bearings myself once or twice a season. I have my shop overhaul it once a year (which you should do with any fork) for about $80.

    Also, a bearing reset takes maybe 3 minutes. Pop the cap off, slam it down a few times and put the cap back on. I take twice as long cleaning and lubing my chain.

  8. #8
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    Thanks for the info guys. I have the red spring in there now, my weight is 190 to 180, it drops as I ride more. I think I'll tear the fork down and check it out. I work on cars for a living so this shouldn't be bad.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by kendogz161
    Thanks for the info guys. I have the red spring in there now, my weight is 190 to 180, it drops as I ride more. I think I'll tear the fork down and check it out. I work on cars for a living so this shouldn't be bad.
    Red spring for your weight in the SPV fork sounds about right. I'm the same weight, and in the SPV Lefty I once had, I used a red as well, as black was way too stiff. Have fun tearing it apart. Most important thing is patience, especially when putting the two fork halves with the bearings in between back together again

  10. #10
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    New question here.

    I have been riding the Prophet for like a month now. The bike feels sweet with the repaired Lefty. I had a question about the sag. The Cannondale set up I find to be to stiff. I'm 190lbs with gear and I'm running 125psi main and 60psi SPV on the Swinger 3way and that puts me at 20% sag, I like the way that feels, but on the Lefty I have the red sping with just one turn of preload and 50 on the SPV with 2 turn of the hex nut around the air valve. I can't get the fork to sag more than 1 inch even when the fork was new. Has anybody else had that problem?

  11. #11
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    Well, I'm about 208lbs on the bike I run the brown spring and I havent opened the fork for almost 3 years now, I will definately have it overhauled now after reading this, but it really feels and sounds exactly the same as new.
    So if it's high maintenance, nobody ever told me.

  12. #12
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    craig at mendon cycle told me that you need to clean the air filter every 2 or 3 months or so and to make sure to keep your boot on tight and to keep a good layer of royal purple in there too

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    kendogz161-
    I'm almost exactly the same specs as you. ~190 w/ gear, 100 psi in main, 70 psi in SPV, and 25% sag. I too couldn't get more than ~1" of sag with the red spring and 50 psi SPV, so I stepped down to the blue. I forget how much preload I needed with the blue, but it's not much and I now can get 25% sag.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by kendogz161
    I have been riding the Prophet for like a month now. The bike feels sweet with the repaired Lefty. I had a question about the sag. The Cannondale set up I find to be to stiff. I'm 190lbs with gear and I'm running 125psi main and 60psi SPV on the Swinger 3way and that puts me at 20% sag, I like the way that feels, but on the Lefty I have the red sping with just one turn of preload and 50 on the SPV with 2 turn of the hex nut around the air valve. I can't get the fork to sag more than 1 inch even when the fork was new. Has anybody else had that problem?

    Same here. I run a red spring with the TPC, 2 turns of preload, 175 lbs. I bairly get an inch of sag. I stopped worrying about. The fork feels great and I use most, if not all of my travel.

  15. #15
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    That sounds cool maybe I'll try the blue spring to see how that goes. do you like it so far?

  16. #16
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    It's good. I'm using most of my travel, or at least much more than before. I still don't think I have bottomed it out though.

  17. #17
    siv
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    Im 200 lbs and have a black spring with about one turn of preload and find it to be too soft. Only saying this because I have issues at low speed not getting over small rocks as well as endoing on some downhills unless my arse is on the back wheel. Even with the rebound set all the way fast it still dives. I guess I'll try more preload but then the sag is way off, less than an inch. I run my Swinger at 140 and 90.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by siv
    Im 200 lbs and have a black spring with about one turn of preload and find it to be too soft. Only saying this because I have issues at low speed not getting over small rocks as well as endoing on some downhills unless my arse is on the back wheel. Even with the rebound set all the way fast it still dives. I guess I'll try more preload but then the sag is way off, less than an inch. I run my Swinger at 140 and 90.
    I never pay attention to the sag. I'm 175 lbs and I would need a blue spring with no preload to get the sag that cannondale recommends.

    I use a red spring with 1-1/2 turns of preload. The fork is soft and plush but not too soft. I have about an inch or less of sag.

  19. #19
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    Great stuff here! I feel like I had a "Ureka" moment finding this thread. Can any of you guys tell me if running too soft a spring could also be the cause for frequent (every 3 rides) bearing migration on my Fox Lefty 110 RLC?

    Mine is new (2 months old) and I have to reset all the time. I also feel the Blue spring is too soft as I have preload maxed out and wish it was stiffer. New springs are $150 but I'd part with it to fix this issue. Thanks!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by celdred1
    Great stuff here! I feel like I had a "Ureka" moment finding this thread. Can any of you guys tell me if running too soft a spring could also be the cause for frequent (every 3 rides) bearing migration on my Fox Lefty 110 RLC?

    Mine is new (2 months old) and I have to reset all the time. I also feel the Blue spring is too soft as I have preload maxed out and wish it was stiffer. New springs are $150 but I'd part with it to fix this issue. Thanks!
    Yes, a too soft spring (low air pressure for air sprung Lefties) accelerates migration. Bottom outs also accelerate migration.

    DAN.GEROUS.NET : MOUNTAIN BIKING : CYCLOCROSS : ROAD :

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by celdred1
    New springs are $150 but I'd part with it to fix this issue. Thanks!

    $150??
    They were $25 on the "older" Lefties!
    Is that for real? Or maybe that's for a Ti spring?
    '15 Cannondale Trigger 27.5 Carbon 2
    '05 Prophet 1000
    '09 F3
    '93 Delta V 700
    '08 F6 Lefty (son's)

  22. #22
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    That's what I heard for the Ti version. I'll check for sure but if the steel is only $25 I'll be paying the weight penalty. Especially since it may not fix the issue!

  23. #23
    siv
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    You better check with Mendon on the spring price, I believe gas is cheaper than that.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by celdred1
    Great stuff here! I feel like I had a "Ureka" moment finding this thread. Can any of you guys tell me if running too soft a spring could also be the cause for frequent (every 3 rides) bearing migration on my Fox Lefty 110 RLC?

    Mine is new (2 months old) and I have to reset all the time. I also feel the Blue spring is too soft as I have preload maxed out and wish it was stiffer. New springs are $150 but I'd part with it to fix this issue. Thanks!

    The Lefty MAX springs are about $25.

  25. #25
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    Same here the LBS I go to has can get them for $30.00. and they are a mission to find use on e-bay.

  26. #26
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    this fork aint no j-lo !

    Quote Originally Posted by OMEGANOX
    Well, I'm about 208lbs on the bike I run the brown spring and I havent opened the fork for almost 3 years now, I will definately have it overhauled now after reading this, but it really feels and sounds exactly the same as new.
    So if it's high maintenance, nobody ever told me.
    This fork is rock solid and needs pretty much zero maintenance.

    In 3 years of hard riding on average 3-4 hours a week I have had it serviced......ONCE.....
    and that was 3 years ago : out of the box it had some play - Eighty Aid fixed it, they even cut down the bearing cage so I get 150mm travel (at least thats what they claimed) and I run a 203mm XT disc.

    To be fully transparent, I have cleaned and greased the fork races (without full disassembly) only one time and that about a year and a half ago.

    Bearing migration is almost none existant. (Once every 3-4 months tops)

    Riding in the Jura mountains of Switzerland is rooty rocky, muddy & steep, sometimes hot sometimes below freezing. I weigh 190 lbs and my nickname is The Missile.
    You get the idea.

    This fork rocks.

    3 years on it is going back to Eight Aid for an overhaul - just these past two weeks it has developped a slight top out clunk....

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