Newbie Question: 120mm Lefty on Flash hardtail frame
I am roadie trying to mountain bike and purchased a used Cannondale alloy 2010 Flash 29er. The bike got some components off a full suspension Cannondale including a 120 mm pbr lefty fork. This is more fork than I want or need. My question is how does this effect the handling. Do people run 120mm forks on hardtails? Is a bad idea for an inexperienced mountain biker to go with a 120mm?
I didn't know they made a 120mm fork for 29er use. I thought the official limit was 110mm... that is a 140mm 26er fork (and all Max series forks are potentially 140mm forks if you adjust the lower spacer) minus 30mm to clear the tire = 110mm. But, I'm running a bit more because my front tire clears the crown.
As far as being 'too much fork? Nah. Perfect!
The axle to crown of a 120mm Lefty fork is about the same as a 100mm Reba, plus you get to use all of the travel. It's XC kinda stuff, not Freeride or DH, plus it's super plush. It slides on roller bearings not bushings like other forks, so it's super smooth and very responsive, all while being laterally super stiff. In other words, the wheel doesn't flex or twist much in relation to your bars. Bonus points for not binding up under twisting loads, unlike two legged forks.
Awesome fork, but you have to take care of it. Nice thing is if you abuse it, you can easily rebuild them, and for not a lot of money. Worst case, you trash the damper, you can buy a new one for under $300. Just keep the roller bearings cleaned and greased, and get it refreshed (oil, seals) every year or so.
Mendon Cyclesmith does a great job on this, and charges a reasonable amount of money to do it.
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