Happy 10th Birthday Lefty

July 7, 2009

Would you believe it, the Lefty has made it to 10, and is still a fork surrounded by controversy. People just can’t get past that single fork leg despite your car having four of them. Unless you drive a Robin Reliant, of course, but then you’re probably quite open to a little strangeness anyway.

Happy Birthday Lefty, now blow out your candles.

Since the start, the fork (prong?) has run on 88 needle bearings. All other forks have bushings. There’s a significant force required to overcome the stiction created by bushings, as demonstrated in a test that was set up for us all to try. Two forks with their internals taken out, push the lowers. The (in this scenario) Fox required an enormous amount of pressure to overcome the stiction. Once it was going it was fine. I was surprised by how much was needed. The Lefty, on the other hand, required the force of my pinky. It felt like no resistance with my unscientific pushing arm. On top of that the Lefty flexed very little compared to the standard fork design. Oh, and it’s really light.

What you doing back there?
Mmm, quite stiff, non?

So what’s new? The PBR features ‘Push button PopTop with Integrated Rebound’. PopTop is lockout with a blowout valve. Updated low speed damping, and ‘Solo Air’ by SRAM that simultaneously fills positive and negative air chambers. You’ll find it on the Rize in 140 mm and 120 mm travel options. The carbon version weighs 2.83lbs (1284 grams). There’s also a new aluminium version with the steerer clamps forged into the main unit, saving 80 grams over the previous clamp design.


The RLC has Fox internals with a coil spring, which you’ll find on the Rize 140 Carbon 2. A bit further down the line there’s the DLR that loses the PopTop but keeps the Solo Air and a lockout lever, found on various versions of the Flash and Scalpel bikes. All come in 140, 120, 110 mm depending on the bike they are fitted to.

Then of course there’s the Super Fatty Ultra DLR/DL. Looks like a rigid fork but has the suspension action happening inside the head tube. You know the one. 80 mm of travel and found on the Flash F2 and F3.

Lefty Speed Carbon SL 110

And, finally, the Lefty is going to be available for non Cannondale bikes. Affectionately titled Lefty 4ALL. It has a 1 1/8″ steerer and should fit around 80% of bikes. I’m not sure of the exact travel details. Will let you know… Expect to pay something around the £1300 mark.


A handy toolkit that fits inside the lefty steerer tube.
A handy toolkit that fits inside the lefty steerer tube.

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