Cannondale Lefty – What is it good for?

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  • Cannondale Lefty – What is it good for?
  • Liftman
    Member

    you can change tyres/fix punctures without taking the wheel off

    mtbtomo
    Member

    Doesn't it use needle bearings rather than bushings in 'normal' forks?

    retro83
    Member

    bearings instead of bushings, so lower friction than regular forks

    AndrewBF
    Member

    Quick responses, thanks.

    On the changing the tyre / fix punctures… I can get my front wheel off and on in seconds. Plus the idea of messing with a wheel still attached to the bike doesn't appeal. It's enough fun when I just have the wheel to deal with. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Bearings instead of bushings – if this is such a good thing why don't regular forks have the same (apologies if some do, I've not read that much into the technicalities of fork mechanics)

    Splash-man
    Member

    Doesn't it use needle bearings rather than bushings in 'normal' forks?

    However, the selling point on this is that you will need to sell your gran when they go wrong…

    Elfinsafety
    Member

    S'actually stiffer than a number of 'conventional' design forks. Roller bearings instead of bushes. Upside down design means less sprung mass or something. Gubbins in one leg simplifies things somewhat.

    Overall I think it's more about being 'different'. And why not? Always good to see something new. Looks mad. Good bit of innovation though. I like mine. Always wanted one from the first time I saw them.

    AndrewBF
    Member

    Always one for innovation and novel products I've looked at the Lefty for some time but still don't get it.

    What is it all about?

    Sell it to me, wise people of STW…

    Always been lighter than most conventional designs and usualy stiffer. Needle bearings make things very low friction so small bumps just dissapear.

    I had a headshock which whilst not very clever in the damping department (at 80mm is not realy needed arguably) which was stiffer and lighter than the new SID's yet was on cannondales then bottom of the range XC bike from 7 years back!

    They even came as standard on cannondales dirt jump bikes for a few years so despite being odd to look at, they are certainly strong enough!

    cynic-al
    Member

    Torsional stuffness has been touted as the main benefit.

    I'm not aware they were light. Always seemed to me they were crying out to be made in Lon travel versions, at a reasonable price.

    ChrisE
    Member

    Perhaps not that dear. My mate just got his Fox forks serviced and the damage was ยฃ265!! new stanchions etc. My lefty is always about ยฃ100 for a service. I love it (Carbon ELO, Standard DLR and a spare Carbon ELO)

    C

    Elfinsafety
    Member

    a spare Carbon ELO

    A spare carbon Lefty? Spare?

    Oh look mine needs replacing can I have your spare one please you don't need it oh go on please?

    Premier Icon Garry_Lager
    Subscriber

    Stiffness is the main thing I'd say – ridden various leftys for ten years now and it's the main thing I notice compared to a conventional shortish travel fork. They're also very durable if you keep up basic services – I think the fundamental design has stayed very consistent, thumbprint can sort out a lefty from ten years back no problem.

    Only drawback to performance is the bearing migration – been an issue for years and it doesn't seem to be going away (although it's easy to address). There's obvious compatibility issues but you can get high performance lefty wheels if you need them, and personally I like CDale bikes so I don't have to deal with any conversion issues.

    They're ridiculously expensive to source new, but they go for good prices second hand. You could pick up a carbon one now on ebay for a few hundred and that would be the front end of your XC bike sorted for the next 5 years or more, as long as you were prepared to service it once in a while.

    Premier Icon ratherbeintobago
    Subscriber

    People will have you believe the service schedule is onerous – bearing reset /25h, greasing of stanchion /50h, oil change /100h. Except Fox recommend oil changes every 30h IIRC.

    Sourcing wheels is a bit of a pain, but DT have just launched a 240s Lefty hub. It would be nice if Hope would, too.

    Andy

    ChrisE
    Member

    Only spare as I saw it in Ebay and got it v.cheap. It's nice to have a spare to send away when the other needs service (once a year for me).

    C

    lovewookie
    Member

    Servicing is not much of a problem. Full whack service will set you back about ยฃ150 ish, but you will end up with a fork that will not need any attention for a couple of years!

    new ones make bearing migration problems easily remidied, although I’ve not had problems with my old forks, and yes, the new ones are very very light. The 140mm carbon one is something like 3 lb.

    all in all, great forks, maybe not buttery smooth, maybe need an ajustible air negative spring, but theres always room for improvement. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    ChunkyMTB
    Member

    I have a Carbon Max 130 on my HT. 2.9lbs of coil plushness. Mine is the RLC with Fox internals.

    GlitterGary
    Member

    Just like war – absolutely nothing.

    lighter and stiffer… does not compute…? i can’t see how they would be either

    i can see that the needle bearings would provide lower friction than bushings, but is this a necessicity because the sliding parts have to deal with the moment caused by the offset load? i can imagine that a bushing might just bind up. do all the lefties have these bearings?

    you’re obviously all happy with yours. i confess i don’t know much about them – i’m a leftie sceptic willing to be converted!

    bland
    Member

    Sell it to me, wise people of STW…

    I have a Carbon 140mm Max if you want to buy it?

    Elfinsafety
    Member

    lighter and stiffer… does not compute…? i can’t see how they would be either

    Well they just are! ๐Ÿ˜€

    My Lefty is lighter and stiffer than my Reba, for the same travel.

    All Leftys have needle roller bearings, yes.

    avdave2
    Member

    I reckon they’d be pretty good in a fight. OK a set of bombers might do more damage if you get in a good strike but I reckon the lefty would be a much more precise weapon and allow for thrusting strikes as well.

    thepublican
    Member

    They make great table legs; I am sure Mud Dock made a table with them…

    i just read this
    http://www.compositesworld.com/articles/in-search-of-a-better-ride

    the article is a little one-sided ๐Ÿ™‚ but i understand the concept.

    presumably Cannondale have a patent on the needle bearings since that seems to be where all the action is

    is a lefty stiffer than a conventional bolt-thru fork of similar weight/travel?

    AndrewBF
    Member

    Thanks for that post @peterfromearth

    Ah well, I won’t have long to wait. Impulse got the better of me and I bid on an F800 Lefty on eBay over the weekend and only went and bloody well won the auction.

    Next task is to convert the F800 to SS ๐Ÿ™‚

    I’ll keep the P7 Rohloff as a commuter bike for winter…

    Elfinsafety
    Member

    is a lefty stiffer than a conventional bolt-thru fork of similar weight/travel?

    Is there any bolt-through fork anywhere near the weight of a Lefty though?

    Nice one Andrew. I imagine the F800 will be a CAAD5, and weigh around 3-3.5lbs. Nice lightweight frame. The fork probably about the same.

    ajantom
    Member

    On a similar note it’s always worth looking out for USE SUBs second-hand. A good example + wheel will set you back ยฃ200ish.

    I bought one recently of the classifieds here – loving it ๐Ÿ™‚

    very stiff, light weight, easy to service (all comes apart with 5 & 6mm allen keys), Anti-dive design (so it’s active under braking), and looks really cool!


    USE Sub being serviced by silly-boy, on Flickr


    Global Ti with SUB Forks by silly-boy, on Flickr

    Elfinsafety
    Member

    Anti-dive design (so it’s active under braking)

    I don’t understand that. My Lefty still works as I brake. Isn’t that ‘active under braking’?

    Ax3M4n
    Member

    I’m no expert, but my tuppence worth of opinion comes from the bike mags -WMTB, MBUK etc… none of whom seem to rate these Leftie’s with anything positive.

    I am likewise bemused when I see more than the occasional ride with one of these.

    Being a purely practical guy… if standard forks out-perform a Lefty in all practical criteria… then the only reasons I can see why people have them is:-

    – They came with the bike.
    – They look “Rad”
    – ???? (answers on a postcard)

    Elfinsafety
    Member

    none of whom seem to rate these Leftie’s with anything positive.

    Probably because Cannondale don’t give them freebies/bribes like other companies. I’ve never taken much notice of what is written in mags, in fact I don’t even bother reading them these days. MBUK? The only thing of any worth in that entire mag is Mint Sauce. The rest is shit.

    My own experience of actually using a Lefty is that it’s a bloody good fork, and is lighter than my Reba, which is also a bloody good fork. The Lefty, imo, is better though.

    retro83
    Member

    Ax3M4n – Member

    I’m no expert, but my tuppence worth of opinion comes from the bike mags -WMTB, MBUK etc… none of whom seem to rate these Leftie’s with anything positive.

    I am likewise bemused when I see more than the occasional ride with one of these.

    Being a purely practical guy… if standard forks out-perform a Lefty in all practical criteria… then the only reasons I can see why people have them is:-

    In what way does a lefty not work as well as a regular fork?

    I don’t understand how that can be the case given you can get them with Fox RLC internals, the bearings are (at least in theory) better than bushings and they are stiffer & lighter than normal forks.

    See also:
    http://www.singletrackworld.com/2009/07/happy-10th-birthday-lefty/

    Singletrack seemed suitably impressed.

    I tried to get one under the lefty-for-all program, but they are just too expensive

    Ax3M4n
    Member

    Notice my disclaimer

    …my tuppence worth of opinion comes from the bike mags

    Never ridden one, wouldn’t have the foggiest what to look for even if I did.

    I was hoping someone could supply “The” Reason you would have one over a standard two-legger. I am genuinely interested.

    pjbarton
    Member

    Pros
    very stiff, in all directions
    less sticktion’ – although all forks seen good in that regard
    light weight!…
    140mm – 2.83lbs
    120mm – 2.75lbs
    110mm – 2.56lbs
    looks cool

    Cons
    Very expensive – especially bought alone
    looks weird (i like ๐Ÿ˜‰

    but crap it is not

    walleater
    Member

    I like the way that when the seals fail, oil comes through the bottom of the rubber thing and dumps itself all over the disc rotor. I also totally loved the way a Cannondale rep tried to show off the advantages of the Lefty, and the best he could do was show that due to the roller bearings, if you push down with just one hand on the handlebaaaa, the fork continues to work. Ooooh, that’ll be useful in a real world scenario then!

    pjbarton
    Member

    ooh, another con…

    don’t wash it upside down! – mine seems good in water when the right way up, but i knackered it washing the bike that way – Leisure lakes sorted for me.

    warpcow
    Member

    I was hoping someone could supply “The” Reason you would have one over a standard two-legger. I am genuinely interested.

    Apply that to any choice between 2 similar components; RS Rev. vs. Fox Float for instance. Why would someone pay more for the Fox? Because they want it (and have the money), and some detail of its function appeals to them over the perfectly adequate RS.

    Leftys are just another suspension fork, that someone will choose to buy. The only reason (other than price and marmite-iness) you never see them is that they weren’t very practical for anything other than a C’dale frame until recently.

    retro83
    Member

    Ax3M4n – Member

    Notice my disclaimer

    …my tuppence worth of opinion comes from the bike mags

    Never ridden one, wouldn’t have the foggiest what to look for even if I did.

    I was hoping someone could supply “The” Reason you would have one over a standard two-legger. I am genuinely interested.

    Same here, I was wondering what their criticism was?

    I also totally loved the way a Cannondale rep tried to show off the advantages of the Lefty, and the best he could do was show that due to the roller bearings, if you push down with just one hand on the handlebaaaa, the fork continues to work. Ooooh, that’ll be useful in a real world scenario then!

    Presumably to show the fork wouldn’t bind under braking/cornering?

    Premier Icon ahwiles
    Subscriber

    ajantom – Member

    On a similar note it’s always worth looking out for USE SUBs … Anti-dive design (so it’s active under braking)

    exactly wrong.

    they’re anti-dive, that’s because they stiffen when you use the front brake.

    that’s because the lower-link rotates during compression/extension, this is the bit that the calliper is bolted to, so when you use the front brake, wheel rotation tends to extend the fork. they’re the exact opposite of ‘active under braking’

    that was kind of the point…

    sorry.

    normal telescopic forks are ‘active during braking’ because they rely on linear motion; wheel rotation can’t cause them to extend or compress when the brake is applied.

    Premier Icon turboferret
    Subscriber

    I bought a carbon ELO very cheap off here as I’ve fancied one for years just to be different. Light and stiff, but does like to drip oil on the floor ๐Ÿ˜•

    It is certainly a talking point here in India where they aren’t exactly common!

    Cheers, Rich

    nicko74
    Member

    I’m with Elfinsafety that I’ve wanted one since the first time I saw one.
    The thing is, fork tech has moved on in the last 5 years or so – with Maxle, forks are stiffer than they used to be, and I’m not certain that Leftys have kept up with damping and rebound tech.

    Although someone did mention a Fox RLC cartridge in theirs, so I may be talking out my ‘arris. If they were a similar price to other forks I would have one in a jiffy.

    loddrik
    Member

    Bland, could be interested…

    Email me?

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 50 total)

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