The Golden Wrench

A blog about bicycle repair and maintenance by the mechanics at Freewheel Bike.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Cannondale VIPs

If you've been following our Facebook page, you know that Shockspital recently sent a couple of representatives out to Cannondale's assembly/tech facility in Bedford, PA to further refine our technique when it comes to Lefty service. Our hosts were two of the planet's foremost experts on Leftys: Headshok Product Manager Drew Hanna and Lefty Production Engineer Derrick Miller. With so much Lefty wisdom in the room we couldn't help but learn something.

Thumbs up for Lefty!
As part of our visit we got to see Cannondale bikes and Leftys being put together from the ground up. Except for my basement, I've never seen so many good-looking bikes in one room! The assembly floor was awash with new frames, forks and parts, and every corner of the building was a flurry of activity.

"Can I fit this under my jacket?"
In the Lefty assembly room, we saw telescopes going together faster than most people can open a bag of potato chips, and that includes the time it takes to size the bearing races for proper bearing preload! We later got to go through the process in detail back in the lab with Derrick and Drew, so you can now consider us experts. (The first thing I did when we got home was test my telescope technique on a fork which was heading straight out to Chequamegon--I've already heard back from the rider and the verdict is 100% success!)

Telescope rebuild
In addition to sharing race-clip/clip-clip stories and comparing favorite bearing greases, we got the scoop on some damper tuning possibilities that I don't want to let out of the bag yet--we need to try them out in the Shockspital lab first. But stay tuned (sorry for the pun) if you have a current-generation PBR or XLR damper in your Lefty, as your options are about to broaden.

If you don't already have PBR/XLR, keep in mind that most Leftys since 2005 can be upgraded to these new dampers. And if you have an SPV Max, you can also drop some serious weight, as the new dampers use an air spring instead of the heavy coil that comes stock in those Leftys.

Checking race thickness
This was a great field trip for us, with equal parts new knowledge gained and, on the other hand, validation of our time-tested Lefty techniques. It didn't hurt that we had a 1-to-1 student/instructor ratio. And at this point it also doesn't hurt that we're the only Cannondale dealer in the Twin Cities. We sell Cannondale, we fix Cannondale. And we have Cannondale's full support.