Happy 10th Birthday Lefty

by Tom dB 20

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.

Comments (20)

  1. £1300!!!

    plus new wheel.

    I’d quite like a Lefty but not at that sort of money.

  2. I’ve always wanted a lefty but never found a Cannondale I liked.

    It’s good that they’ve made it available to all. I liked the USE Sub too though, and still lust after Girvin Vectors whenever I see them.
    So maybe I’m an idiot.

    That toolkit is brilliant.

  3. I love the lefty idea too but wouldn’t be willing to pay £1300 for them, £800-900 possibly at a push. I love the needle roller bearing idea.

  4. Lefty’s come up fairly regularly on the Bay and sell for between £150 to £500, depending on how old they are and model. You can also get adaptors for $200 to run them on 1 1/8″ steerers.


    So if you really want you can have a carbon Lefty for less than £800.

  5. Lefty with fox internals sounds v.good, silly money tho.
    BTW that lefty tool should fit in any 1.5″ steerer shouldn’t it?

  6. BTW that lefty tool should fit in any 1.5″ steerer shouldn’t it?

    The lefty doesn’t have a sfn to tension the headset like normal forks.

  7. “Expect to pay something around the £1300 mark.”
    Is that for the carbon version?

    If so will they offer the aluminium one in a 4ALL version also?

  8. I have a lefty max for sale if anyone wants it…..:)

  9. A birthday cake for a fork? sheeeeesh

  10. I love the needle roller bearing idea.

    I don’t – the bloody things knacker up and fall out the bottom of the fork…..

  11. still looks so so wrong
    and ‘dales are ugly ugly bikes.

    rather than have a lefty on my bike, i think i would rather have a fork that uses needle bearings?

    then again, cant say ive noticed the problem with bushes, sure they are hard to overcome with a little finger, but when my little finger is on the bike, generally, so is the rest of me.

    is it really a problem in the real world?

    happy birthday lefty, would still love to try one out…

  12. A birthday cake for a fork? sheeeeesh

    The fork didn’t eat it, I did 🙂

  13. Dales are beautiful Olly ! FACT ;]

  14. I rode a F900 with the original Lefty Fork for about 3 years and it was fantastic except for servicing which is a nightmare. E=ven the local Cannondale dealer’s mechanic hated servicing them!

  15. You didn’t use a fork Tom? You slob!

  16. am i right in thinking that you can’t ride no hands with them though?

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