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  1. #1
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    Bikepacking with a lefty?

    Thinking about buying a Cannondale F29 1, which has a lefty fork. Anyone ever bikepack with one of these? Also planning a 6 or 7 day trip. What do you think?
    Last edited by xycarp; 05-23-2013 at 09:00 PM.

  2. #2
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    It's been done - the guy in the Great Divide documentary rode with one as I recall. The problem you'll have is if you run bags on your h-bars that require mounting on the fork crown (such as the relevate design's feedbag + sweetroll).

  3. #3
    Unhinged Aussie on a 29er
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    I can see it also having the very minor problem of only having one fork with which to strap a waterbottle to.

    But RandomGuyOnABike is right - in the trailer you can see he's riding a Lefty. IIRC there were some issues with the shocks, but otherwise won the race.
    RIDE THE DIVIDE Official Movie Trailer - YouTube

    News & Events - CFR's Lee Wins Tour Divide: Lefty Goes 1-2-3!

  4. #4
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    Another (obvious) issue that you will have is the lack of an option in regards to a front rack / front pannier system.

    I would recommend that you look at your setup and layout to decide whether or not you need a standard fork or if you can get away with using a lefty.

  5. #5
    Unhinged Aussie on a 29er
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    True, but you do gain the advantage of being able to change a front flat while the wheel is still on the bike

  6. #6
    A guy on a bike Moderator
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    Last year, I raced the Colorado Trail Race with a Lefty. I carried my sleep kit in a Revelate Sling. Worked great.

    Photo: Toby Gadd: 2012 Colorado Trail Race Gear

  7. #7
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    I just replaced my lefty with a fox. My reasoning is that almost every bike store in the U.S. will have parts for a fox or some ability to fix it. The lefty was a great fork, I just wanted the availability of standard fork parts or replacements.

  8. #8
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    I ride a Flash29 Alloy 1 with a lefty and love it. Both for local trail riding and longer bikepacking trips. Light and nimble but super stable at the same time. Only issues I've had with it:

    1. Feedbags need to be secured to the crown, I'm able to route the strap around the left side of the headtube to secure it to the fork arm. Works fine.
    2. My year fork requires the bearings need to be reset periodically. This would be a pain to do on the trail although my LBS said it's not necessary to do it as often as Cannondale recommends so I just have it done when I get back from longer trips. If you're looking at the current model F29 the fork is now sealed and doesn't require resetting.

    In bikepacking mode from the Stagecoach 400 last month:
    IMG_3127 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

    Felt good even with the big honkin sleeping bag on the front end.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by bncrshr77 View Post
    I just replaced my lefty with a fox. My reasoning is that almost every bike store in the U.S. will have parts for a fox or some ability to fix it. The lefty was a great fork, I just wanted the availability of standard fork parts or replacements.
    Smart. I try and steer clear of proprietary wheel/component stuff that's hard to get sorted at an average LBS. Unless the part is highly unlikely to fail.

    In Ride the Divide Matt Lee had to get a new Lefty shipped to him and installed mid-ride. I assume he's sponsored so that's not as tragic for him as it would be for a typical rider.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  10. #10
    Stubby-legged
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    My lefties have been the most reliable forks (other than rigid) I have ever owned. I have watched multiple two-sided forks being sent in for repair from my LBS. If reliability was a factor, I would side with a rigid, steel fork with optional racks mounts.

  11. #11
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    I'm pretty sure Matt Lee's Lefty isn't the only one that was KIA on the GDR. I've heard about others. I'm sure Fox & RS forks have had problems as well, but they are more easily serviced at most bike shops from in stock parts.

    I ride with a steel fork on my bikepacking rig for the reliability and ease of maintenance. Although my bike has 3" 29er rubber on it which helps take the edge off anything small on my rides.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  12. #12
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    I agree with all the posts about lefty being reliable. I only switched due to to fork and hub being proprietary and not all that common at bike stores. You can find a standard six bolt or center lock hub of some sort at most any bike shop in the world, you will not be so lucky with the lefty. Once again, I never had an issue, just switched for availability of parts.

  13. #13
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    If you aren't racing you could stock all the commonly needed parts at home and have a trusted friend overnight you anything you need to the closest bike shop.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  14. #14
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    I just noticed this open thread from last year and thought I'd wrap it up...

    I dig get the Cannndale, and did bikepack with it and it worked great. I rode a carbon flash 29er with the lefty of course, and had not one issue. I had a bag off the saddle, a frame bag and a dry bag strapped to the bars. It worked just fine. Here is a pic:

    Full trip report here if you are interested: Ride across Michigan - full trip report (many pic and details)

    Feel free to PM me if you have any questions about my lefty or how it was loaded.

  15. #15
    ballbuster
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    Quote Originally Posted by bncrshr77 View Post
    I agree with all the posts about lefty being reliable. I only switched due to to fork and hub being proprietary and not all that common at bike stores. You can find a standard six bolt or center lock hub of some sort at most any bike shop in the world, you will not be so lucky with the lefty. Once again, I never had an issue, just switched for availability of parts.
    I'm not sure how the hub would fail. If the bearings fail, it's no big deal to tap the bearings out and tap in a new set. I've done it myself in my garage with a drift and a dead blow hammer. Any bike shop should be able to do that. The bearings are standard off-the-shelf sizes. Heh... I just got some ceramic hybrid bearings off fleabay for like $10 each, shipped. So far I have a few rides on them, and they've been crazy smooth and fast (feeling).

    If you completely destroy your wheel, any LBS should be able to lace it up agian, providing they (or you) have the Lefty truing stand adapter, which is like a $25 tool.

    I would be more concerned about the fork internals puking their guts out. No LBS is going to be able to deal with that except a Cannondale dealer... and even those are questionable. I've seen a lot of C'dale dealers in the area don't touch the forks at all, but send them all back for repairs.

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