Cannondale Lefty – What is it good for?

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  • Cannondale Lefty – What is it good for?
  • loddrik

    Don’t think I’ve ever seen a Use SUB fork for sale though..

    Premier Icon pedalhead

    I’ve got one on my 29er & I rather like it. It’s extremely light, appears to have zero stiction & goes boing boing when it’s meant to. The travel feels far more sensitive than other forks I’ve owned (Revs, air Pikes, 32 Floats, 36 Talas, DUC32), and it’s very stiff indeed. It was a bit of a faff to source one and work out the effective stack height & what it would do to the figures of the bike, but I did my homework & I could’t be happier. Bought it from Project 321 in the ‘States. Warranty is valid in the UK. Oh, and the PBR lockout with blowoff is excellent. Clearly it’s not the cheap nor the simple option, and the extra of both might not be worth it to many.


    Pedalhead. How doe sit work. Well you know what I mean. is there enough spacce for the extra wheel size. I think I could convince my non cycling brother to sell me the Lefty off his old Jekyll and might be tempted if it woould be 29er friendly.
    I must admit I always thought that they were a bit big for normal steering tubes.
    Would be good to be wrong.

    Premier Icon pedalhead

    Well for a start you mustn’t put a Lefty from a 26″ bike onto a 29er as there won’t be enough clearance & your lower clamp will hit the tyre when the fork compresses.

    You need to do two things. First is get an adapter to allow you to run the Lefty on a non-Canondale frame. Best option here is from Project 321. Second, you need to get some spacers, from either Project 321 or Mendon Cyclesmith (both in USA), oh and Dr Canondale (EU) probably does them too. Installing the spacers is very simple and reduces the travel of the Lefty by 30mm (three spacers…you may get away with two, depends on the tyre, but three is best to be safe). You may also want to add a spacer into the air chamber to tweak the progression of the travel now that it’s got 30mm less.

    This applies to the newer Lefties…I don’t have any experience with older ones & the method might be different. Bear in mind that the space between the two Lefty clamps is a given, so you will need to factor in how that will affect your stem height, or perhaps even factor in an XL clamp to allow for a tall head tube for example.

    As you can see, bit of a faff, but I sussed it after a bit of research & calculations. Happy to help you avoid the legwork if you want more details.

    Oh, and of course you can buy a brand new 29er Lefty as well, though options are limited.


    ahwiles – Member

    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’

    My understanding was that when applying the front brake on a normal fork the fork tends to compress/dive – so it uses up travel while you are braking (still active, but losing travel due to the diving)

    However the SUB has the lower link that as you brake stops the the forks diving, BUT they continue to be active whilst you brake – they just don’t dive. The stiffening of the suspension action, whilst it must be there, isn’t noticeable under normal riding conditions. In fact these are the plushest forks I’ve ridden.


    I too, have an F800, (thanks Jon, 😉 ) and a spare lefty, plus a couple of fatty headshoks, one disk and canti, the other just canti.
    the disk headshok is really light, I don’t have a scale handy, but I’d guesstimate the spare lefty being a little heavier than the fatties. but with a lot more travel (max tpc lefty), at 130 mm Vs 80mm, (Ultra Fatty air shock).
    Riding wise the headshok’s are stiffer, sometimes a little heavier (more noticable, as everything heavy is well above the wheel), than a regular shock of similar travel, say a judy.
    the lefty is similar, but with the weight a little lower, and a really positive, direct, turn. Not quite as “on rails” as something like the whyte prst-1, but that’s a totally different geometry/kettle of fish.


    I was really keen on an F800 about 8 years ago, but ended up buying a Kona instead based on the whole package (I basically wanted the F800 for the Lefty). The Kona was a great bike, but the Lefty lust hasn’t left me…

    I get the impression you have to really want one – there’s little middle ground with Lefty owners, as opposed to RS, Fox etc. I’m sure I’ve seen a photo of someone with a Lefty on a Soda, which would be my ideal I reckon; but the stack height, 1 1/8″ stem and wheel issues are pretty high barriers to entry.


    the lefty fork compared to conventional forks has no lateral movement, i.e. rocking sloppyness when brakes are applied. plus they are lighter. however i agree with latest rz140 review in what mtbike mag, very light weight all mountain bike but a decent £500+ fox fork is better over the rough stuff.

    all though im a big fan of the lefty, they do limit the choice of wheels and the lefty is twice the price as a decent fox fork. They need regular servicing as well.

    for 2011 cannondale have dropped all 140mm travel bikes, big mistake in my opinion, flash hardtail is 110mm, scapel and rz120 are 120mm travel, the jekyl 160mm and the claymore 180mm.

    its alomost like you need a bike for each discipline. one of my mates now has 5 bikes, a bmx , a long wheelbase bmx, specialised hardrock hardtail, specialisd pitch pro and a commencal furious.

    i just have a 2006 cannondale prophet 800 lefty pimped with ritchey wcs carbon bar/seatpost and 2008 crossmax ST with xc pros. my original wheels have 2.35 maxxis high rollers. recently bought crossmax 2008 slr at a bargain price from merlincycles fitted with road tyres. i.e. one bike does all. although looking for 2009 or 2010 F1 hardtail for road use only. (ive tried a roadie but cant get on with them)


    Premier Icon Garry_Lager

    Does that mean they’re calling it a day with the Moto? Debated replacing my gemini with a second hand moto but never took the plunge. I don’t think I’ve ever seen one out on the trails, or even heard it being discussed on here the way everyone is always yammering on about 5-spots, 5s etc. Seems like a forgotten bike?

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