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  1. #1
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    Reputation: lowpsihighspeed's Avatar
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    Vulnerable areas on Scalpel

    I am just getting to know my first cdale lefty and competed in my first race on my new Team Scalpel. For the last 5 years, I had been riding a SC Blur xc and it had inherent issues with its upper shock link system and had major issues with creaking, bearings and pivot axels. When you ride a lot your rig gets muddy fast and as I know not to spray my water hose right into bb, hubs, bearings, etc. what areas on the magnesium/alloy link to I want to take special attention to? Re-torqueing, lubing, cleaning or whatever.. Also what parts of Scalpel or lefty are most susceptible to the elements and need attention? Thanks in advance for any solid advice
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  2. #2
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    I try to get my Lefty overhauled once a year as preventative maintenance. I get Craig from Mendon Cyclesmith to do it. I think it cost less than $60 last time I had it done. Well worth it.

  3. #3
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    As far as taking care of the rear suspension linkage, it really depends on the conditions your bike sees. Checking the torque on all bolts periodically is a wise move, and on some bikes the rearward shock bolt has a tendency to loosen over time.

    You will want to check the shock linkage bearings from time to time (once again, depending on how much water/mud the bike sees). Checking is the perfect time to clean and relube.

    Make sure the chrome chainstay guard is in place before each ride (mine fell off once, but I was able to reattach it).

    Examine all cables from front to rear checking for any frame rub - it doesn't take long for a rubbing cable to damage a frame.

    Check your Lefty boot frequently to make sure it has no holes or tears. Water inside the Lefty will ruin it in a hurry. Check below the boot from time to time for oil - should your Lefty begin leaking, this is where you'll see it. Certainly avoid any water crossings that may be deep enough to submerge the Lefty's air filter. I avoid getting any part of the boot submerged - better safe than sorry since it's hard to tell whether the boot clamp will be waterproof enough, or if you have undetected holes in the boot.

    Read the Lefty bearing reset thread. Most Leftys need to have the bearings reset periodically. This is something most riders can do themselves, although some choose to have a mechanic do it for them.

    I used to hose my Scalpel off if it got really muddy, and I never had any issues from it. Like you, I used the lightest mist that would get the job done, and no aiming the hose at bearings or the Lefty's air filter. When the bike is really dirty and a light sprinkle won't clean it, a bucket and rag are the right tools.

    One more - if you remove your front wheel, you need to be careful not to get water or anything else inside the hub. I usually plug the hub hole with a clean rag when I remove the wheel. It doesn't take much inside the hub to foul the bearings.

    -Pete
    I can barely get my mouth around it.

  4. #4
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    Thank you Pedalfile, this is very helpful!
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  5. #5
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    Did you do Mohican 100? It was a mud-fest.

  6. #6
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    As a side note that is only semi related to susceptibility to the elements, be aware of where the cables are routed on the scalpel (2008 and newer). The shifter and rear brake are routed along the bottom of the top tube, to the seat stays. Along the bottom of the top tube the housing can (and will) rub through the paint, and if you have a carbon frame it is possible to wear all the way through the frame.

    A customer of mine last summer had developed a hairline 'crack' (really just a crack in the paint) and had his bike warrantied. The cannondale rep then took the bike and inspected it. After determining that it was cosmetic, he continued to ride the bike to see if the problem would worsen. A few weeks later, while visiting the shop, the rep told me that the cables had worn partway through the carbon and asked me to inform the owner and keep track of it on new bikes. Needless to say I changed the routing on my scalpel ASAP
    I ONLY make weird noises when i ride SS

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