Lefty Supermax, outdated?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Lefty Supermax, outdated?

    Hello all, I am considering a Supermax for my next bike build.
    Since it's been out for a few years, and the product seems to be going towards obsolescence by the manifacturer, I have a few questions.

    First, If I run the risk of being left without critical spare parts.

    Then, I'm curious about what the current users think about the performance, in particular compared to the current best telescopics forks (grip2, mezzer, formula). There's been a run towards increased mid-stroke support and initial sensitivity mostly by increased neg.spring volume in the recent years, how's the lefty in that regard?
    How's the damper? Is the lack of external compression adjustment annoying?

    The offset(rake) is way too much for my tastes. (I would be using a 160mm 27.5" with travel decreased at 140 with a 29" wheel, with a 50mm offset but I'd like it even shorter) What are your impressions?

    I know about the ridigity advantages and others related to the design. Maintenance shouldn't be a problem for me. I would be making some serious mods to address some of the issues above (further offset reduction, I'd also problably make a 3 chamber air spring Manitou style and maybe increase neg.volume if necessary) But I'm interested in users opinion of the stock product anyway.

    Cheers

  2. #2
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    Don't buy it!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by livedder View Post
    Don't buy it!
    Care to elaborate? I too was considering this for my next build. The 130mm Carbon PBR that I've been riding for the last 6-7 years has been awesome!

  4. #4
    Hybrid Leftys aren't real Moderator
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    They killed the fork.

    Parts will not be available for it very soon.

    Parts you invariably need, like the lower legs that chew themselves to death from the sh*tty design *improvements* they did to get away from the boot.

    Or, dampers.

    Or, lower collar.

    Or, bearings.

    Races.

    Air system parts.

    Basically, everything. It'll all be gone within a season or two.

    My suggestion is get yours in for work NOW. Get the leg replaced (and swallow the $500 bill like its your job) if you really like it and want to keep it.

    Then change bath oil every other ride.

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

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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by romphaia View Post
    Hello all, I am considering a Supermax for my next bike build.
    If you can get one NOS with the updated air spring for a very, very good price I'd steer clear.

    Quote Originally Posted by romphaia View Post
    I'd also problably make a 3 chamber air spring Manitou style and maybe increase neg.volume if necessary)
    Interesting. I'm not sure how you would achieve that given that it's designed around a solo air spring, and a solo air spring that works without divots in the internal wall of the leg.

    Quote Originally Posted by romphaia View Post
    But I'm interested in users opinion of the stock product anyway.
    Heh. If you want one, get one - it's not like you can something similar from another manufacturer. But like you say it's old and outdated, and as above it's mothballed and somewhat flakey if you don't treat it well.

  6. #6
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    Hey, thanks for all the replies. It seems I underestimated the issues.

    I am a machinist and I could probably remake myself most parts if required - but NOT the whole lower leg, or the roller bearings.... I read now that the air chamber wears, is that the reason for the lower leg replacement or there are other problems? Would there be enough room to fit an inner cylinder (and make a smaller air piston), or it would collide against the upper cartridge when compressing?
    Why is the 2-spring still failing as I read?

    I'm just trying to estimate how practical it would be for a long term usage.

    Quote Originally Posted by Howards View Post
    Interesting. I'm not sure how you would achieve that given that it's designed around a solo air spring, and a solo air spring that works without divots in the internal wall of the leg.
    Not sure why that would make a difference. I'd be installing one of these, modified:
    https://ridemonkey.bikemag.com/attac...um-jpg.121749/

  7. #7
    Hybrid Leftys aren't real Moderator
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    Speaking as one of the longest serving service centers that specifically deals with Cannondale forks?

    Pains me to say it, but run far and fast.

    Outer leg wear is a much larger issue than inner leg wear. I've had maybe 3 or 4 inner wall issues in 15+ years.

    I see worn, shot, damaged outer leg issues on every 3rd or 4th Hybrid that comes through here. The design sucks, their approach to solving it sucks, the company sucks, I cannot support anything they do at this point.

    They also lied to consumers about 2Spring not being compatible with pre Hybrid forks. Just a garbage company with morals to match their products now.

    I could go on, but I've said all this many times before.
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

    - FrostyStruthers



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  8. #8
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    Mendon how is the 2.0? Been a long since I fiddled with a Lefty internals

  9. #9
    I Tried Them ALL... SuperModerator
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    True, original Cannondale is nothing but a fading memory now. Iím glad I still own my pre-CannonDorel Bad Boy:



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  10. #10
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    I totally agree with Craig. We call it the "hybrid syndrome"

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brad View Post
    Mendon how is the 2.0? Been a long since I fiddled with a Lefty internals
    Same dog, different fur. It's not the "generation" it's the bootless design.

    Let's just think about this from a business, design, logic, perspective.

    The company that ran into financial troubles, had a design starting in 1999, that was been subtly tweaked, slightly changed. It showed (at least to me) earnest observation, careful improvements, and an understanding of what worked, and why.

    Original steel legged Lefty DLR became ti legged.

    That ran till the Speed series introduced the bonded clamps (carbon legs clamps, always were bonded) and axle stub to the alloy leg, as well as added 10 mm travel. The damper changed, added internal pressure compensation.

    Then the Max forks, 130, and 140. Back to removable clamps in alloy, damper design(s) borrowed from Manitou.

    Throw a redone DLR damper, converted to a push button (PBR) with blow off valving, and that became the basis for all the modern stuff, still using either a short travel Speed chassis, or longer, with the PBR 130.

    Add the Fox RLC and Terra Logic to the Speed line, and boom, you're done.

    That was 1999, till what, 2012?

    2013, 1.0. Same damper, whole new chassis. Ran that for what, 2, 3 years, and the 2.0 comes out, whole new chassis, and damper Throw in the Super Max, whole new chassis and damper, then a second gen 2.0 damper for the SuperMax too, throw in the Olaf, (chassis and damper unique) plus Slate (chassis and damper unique) The Ocho, multiple versions of the XLR remotes, all in the span of less than 8 years.

    Let's not forget about the 4 revisions of Solo Air (when the original worked pretty damn well as it was, the newer versions, not so much), in 3 years, before becoming 2Spring.

    And now, they drop the whole Lefty program like a bad habit.

    Struggling company on hard financial times, gets bought out, then said purchasing company spends untold amounts of cash, reinventing every single, solitary aspect of the forks, none, offering substantive improvements for the end user (all of us riders), all while increasing the purchase prices, increasing the service prices, and increasing the penalty for failure to service them, to the point that the forks eat themselves alive if not fully serviced with frightening frequency.

    All to do, what, exactly?

    Drop the Lefty from the industry?

    I'd love for someone with more business sense than me, to explain how this is good for anyone but the Asian factory that got paid to make all the garbage, and the design engineers who got to polish their knobs reinventing everything, every other season.

    Add to that, since they're spending obscene amounts of money redesigning everything already? Seems wise to also change ALL the packaging of shop/back room/service parts, that used to come in light plastic bags, stapled, with a printed paper sticky label to the baggie, to extraordinarily heavy gauge plastic, with hang tags of thick, large, fully inked cardstock WITH a paper sticky label too, emblazoned with gigantic logos for better marketing, to whom, precisely? The people tearing the bag open to get the boot out, to work on the fork? They really needed more garbage in their cans, and more awareness of the Cannondale brand?

    The volume of garbage created by that simple "branding improvement" easily doubled, possibly tripled over the original service part packaging. Worth noting, all cardboard on the original stuff was raw brown cardboard too, so no ink, no printing costs, etc.

    This company is just a repulsive example of everything that has gone wrong with our industry, and I have no idea what the solution is, beyond consumers telling brands to cut this crap out, by stopping buying new crap they don't need, and fixing what they already own.

    End rant.
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

    - FrostyStruthers



    www.mendoncyclesmith.com

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith View Post
    Same dog, different fur. It's not the "generation" it's the bootless design.

    Let's just think about this from a business, design, logic, perspective.

    The company that ran into financial troubles, had a design starting in 1999, that was been subtly tweaked, slightly changed. It showed (at least to me) earnest observation, careful improvements, and an understanding of what worked, and why.

    Original steel legged Lefty DLR became ti legged.

    That ran till the Speed series introduced the bonded clamps (carbon legs clamps, always were bonded) and axle stub to the alloy leg, as well as added 10 mm travel. The damper changed, added internal pressure compensation.

    Then the Max forks, 130, and 140. Back to removable clamps in alloy, damper design(s) borrowed from Manitou.

    Throw a redone DLR damper, converted to a push button (PBR) with blow off valving, and that became the basis for all the modern stuff, still using either a short travel Speed chassis, or longer, with the PBR 130.

    Add the Fox RLC and Terra Logic to the Speed line, and boom, you're done.

    That was 1999, till what, 2012?

    2013, 1.0. Same damper, whole new chassis. Ran that for what, 2, 3 years, and the 2.0 comes out, whole new chassis, and damper Throw in the Super Max, whole new chassis and damper, then a second gen 2.0 damper for the SuperMax too, throw in the Olaf, (chassis and damper unique) plus Slate (chassis and damper unique) The Ocho, multiple versions of the XLR remotes, all in the span of less than 8 years.

    Let's not forget about the 4 revisions of Solo Air (when the original worked pretty damn well as it was, the newer versions, not so much), in 3 years, before becoming 2Spring.

    And now, they drop the whole Lefty program like a bad habit.

    Struggling company on hard financial times, gets bought out, then said purchasing company spends untold amounts of cash, reinventing every single, solitary aspect of the forks, none, offering substantive improvements for the end user (all of us riders), all while increasing the purchase prices, increasing the service prices, and increasing the penalty for failure to service them, to the point that the forks eat themselves alive if not fully serviced with frightening frequency.

    All to do, what, exactly?

    Drop the Lefty from the industry?

    I'd love for someone with more business sense than me, to explain how this is good for anyone but the Asian factory that got paid to make all the garbage, and the design engineers who got to polish their knobs reinventing everything, every other season.

    Add to that, since they're spending obscene amounts of money redesigning everything already? Seems wise to also change ALL the packaging of shop/back room/service parts, that used to come in light plastic bags, stapled, with a printed paper sticky label to the baggie, to extraordinarily heavy gauge plastic, with hang tags of thick, large, fully inked cardstock WITH a paper sticky label too, emblazoned with gigantic logos for better marketing, to whom, precisely? The people tearing the bag open to get the boot out, to work on the fork? They really needed more garbage in their cans, and more awareness of the Cannondale brand?

    The volume of garbage created by that simple "branding improvement" easily doubled, possibly tripled over the original service part packaging. Worth noting, all cardboard on the original stuff was raw brown cardboard too, so no ink, no printing costs, etc.

    This company is just a repulsive example of everything that has gone wrong with our industry, and I have no idea what the solution is, beyond consumers telling brands to cut this crap out, by stopping buying new crap they don't need, and fixing what they already own.

    End rant.
    Dorel has no idea about true innovation. All they care about is profits. If you come across another Magura CCR Headshok cartridge let me know and I will send my DLR80 to you for service.

    Their weak attempt of reviving original Cannondale with vintage colorways and mixing with Ocho is simply pathetic.

    Cannondale is no more...


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  13. #13
    A guy on a bike Moderator
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    I used to have a silly degree of loyalty to Cannondale. I still have 6 of their bikes! They were such a great example of American ingenuity and manufacturing. Alas, I don't see myself buying another Cannondale. They're just another soulless corporate brand...

  14. #14
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    Aaaa...That is why the used Cannondale bikes with lefty go for pennies on a dollar. I get it now.

    This is a problem of every industry unfortunately. Everything is made disposable, nothing last as before, service quality suck, and prices go up.
    What do I know, ask the "experts"!

  15. #15
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    I used to work for the company that made the filament wound carbon lower body on the Lefty carbon forks. I was extremely proud to be in the supply chain, and I have several Cannondale bikes with Lefty's. Craig serviced mine regularly. But then he got cut off on spare parts and it went downhill from there. And then there was the oil bath leaks and the bad anodyze. And so on and so on. I've spent a ton of money replacing telescope assemblies on forks that were meticulously maintained. But I'm done. I ride Trek now.

  16. #16
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    I wished that the Cannondale employees would start their own bike/suspension manufacturing company. Lots of Cannondale followers would support them.
    What do I know, ask the "experts"!

  17. #17
    Hybrid Leftys aren't real Moderator
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    That basically what I'm doing. Air piston parts they don't make anymore. Boots. Air filters. Races, that's just the beginning of the list of things I've spent my own money getting made independently, just to keep these things rolling.

    Got some money you wanna throw at it? Happy to take any business investments riders might want to consider.....
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

    - FrostyStruthers



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  18. #18
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    If they stayed in the business here and continued producing quality products they were known for, I would already had a new high-end bike from them or more. They had such cult followers but they are gone now. I will keep my Prophet running as long as I can....
    What do I know, ask the "experts"!

  19. #19
    A guy on a bike Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith View Post
    That basically what I'm doing. Air piston parts they don't make anymore. Boots. Air filters. Races, that's just the beginning of the list of things I've spent my own money getting made independently, just to keep these things rolling.
    That's awesome, Craig! Thank you!

  20. #20
    Hybrid Leftys aren't real Moderator
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    Thanks man, happy new year!
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

    - FrostyStruthers



    www.mendoncyclesmith.com

  21. #21
    High Alpine Adventure
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    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith View Post
    Thanks man, happy new year!
    Happy New Year to you Craig! You've done so much to keep the Lefty alive, sad to see it fade out like this!
    Dug-Da-Goat

    Something changes at 12,000'
    ...so welcome to the Odyssey!

    Building your trails at FooMTB

  22. #22
    Hybrid Leftys aren't real Moderator
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    Thanks.

    What really stinks is the Super was their opening salvo on the next generation. Bigger chassis, more travel for 29 than ever before, more tire clearance (swallows a 3" with room to spare), only to have it wither on the vine and die.

    Giving my energy to a corporation that disrespects the environment, doesn't give a crap about the legacy of the company they bought for pennies on the dollar, and prefers bilking their remaining customers out of their hard earned money with products designed to die and be unsupported within two or three years, just seems like wasted breath. =
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

    - FrostyStruthers



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