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  1. #1
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    Cons about Head shock

    Hey guys I am thinking about making the shift to a lefty.

    My current set up is a 2010 trek 8500 with xt drive train and brakes, 2008 RS recon, and dtswiss x1800.

    When I got the bike I wanted to save some coin on buying lower grade wheels and fork to see if I would ride that much.

    Now I love riding and was going to upgrade the tires and shock to I9 xc, and 2011 fox 100 rlc.

    For a little bit more I can get I9 lefty xc wheels, 2010 carbon sl lefty with an adapter.

    Before I make the plunge could anyone give me any negatives about going lefty?

    I have only read good stuff about lefty and Cannondale.

    The negatives I find are mostly about the proprietary stuff that Cannondale has, and the difficulty about putting a bike computer on a lefty.

    Other than those what other negatives could you tell me about?

    I thought I read somewhere that riding too much in the rain could damage the lefty? I find that hard to believe. It was some obscure forum post I remember reading on another forum.

    Also I live in China and there isnít a local Cannondale dealer to where I live so I would need to take my bike to a local trek store to get it serviced. The owner is a cool guy and fairly knowledgeable. Would a decent bike mechanic have any difficulty should stuff arise with head shock issues?

    I could always send the fork back to the store I bought it for service but that would be some down time.

    Thanks again for any and all info you guys could give.

  2. #2
    mnt bike laws of physics
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    The Lefty isn't that hard to do work on, but it does take specific tools which are not that much of an investment. I ended up buying them and am happy I did. There is a definite learning curve to know all the intricacies of the Lefty....how it works and the maintanance required such as cleaning and lubing the air cleaner and regreasing the needle bearings once a year.

    I would rather ride a Lefty in the rain than any other suspension fork because the boot keeps any moisture out (unless there is a hole in the boot in which case you may be looking at new bearings and races which is not a huge deal).

    The only bummer for me is the constant resetting of the bearings which migrate quite often. I own two Leftys and they both have this issue. The first Lefty I owned did not have this issue because the bearings were so tight against the races so the bearings took a long time to migrate. Resetting the bearings in not a big deal, but it happens often enough that it just gets old. BTW, when I had a coil spring Lefty the resetting was much quicker and I didn't have to deal with the air chamber lube getting everywhere and pumping up the air chamber to 130 or 175 psi every time.

  3. #3
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    My opinion is 50/50 for the Lefty. I like the stiffness but the bearing migration is a pain in the arse. Mine needs reset about every tenth ride. I think the only reason I've kept it is because it has some cool factor.

  4. #4
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    I got my first Lefty in 2001, a DLR Titanium. 10 years ago this fork was incredible: 1700g, ultra stiffness, upside down, easy to lock-out.

    But it was ten years ago ... 'cause I hope your LBS is Cannondale Authorized Headshok Service Centers especially for the bearing migration. But for some who got the specific tools , it's one of the most reliable forks we've ever ridden. Except the bearings, very easy to work on.

    Today I miss the "cool factor" so much but I like my Revelation Team Dual Air QR20 better than my Leftys (DLR, ELO, TPC, PBR) .
    Last edited by euskafreez; 07-10-2010 at 12:55 PM.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the feed back keep them coming.

    I am really trying to justify the lefty. 2011 fox and I9 wheel set about $1800, lefty carbon, adapter for my trek 8500, and I9 wheel set about $2200. I donít mind the paying the extra $400.

    How long does it take to reset the bearings? Once a year doesnít seem too bad but once every 10th ride sort of sucks if itís a long and or dirty process each time.

    Also if I need to address any warranty issues I will need to mail the lefty back to Hong Kong and that could take some time for me to get it back.

    Before reading these posts I was about 80/20 leaning towards going lefty. Now I am about 40/60 leaning towards the fox.

    Also are newer 2010 models still prone to bearing resets?

    Thanks again for your input guys.

  6. #6
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    With the new lever, the reset on the 2010 is super simple and fast. It takes about as much time as it does to wipe and lube your chain. It is a fact of life with the needle bearing system. The good news is that bearings never wear like bushings in traditional suspension. Talk about a time consuming mess to replace bushings. For all of the performance advantages of the Lefty, don't be scared of this unique bit of maintenance.

  7. #7
    mnt bike laws of physics
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    I agree with wv_rider. You asked for the cons, but there are many pros to the Lefty. The quality of travel and craftsmanship is umatched from any other fork maker. I had to change out my damper in the 2007 SL after 3 years. Even though it is only 110mm, it takes the chunk amazingly well for as light it is. Much better than the comp. IMO. I just completed a ~70 mile very technical race today on the Rush with the Lefty SL, and it was such a blast to bomb down the rock infested trails at warp speed...and when the trail was completely haynes (I am talking very steep with huge rocks), I barely had to walk as it just ate it up. I'm not saying it couldn't be done with another just that it wouldn't be so damn fun

    And even though I complain about resseting because it does get old, no special tools are needed and it does take only about 4-10 minutes.

    The only other gripe I have about mine is that the locked out Lefty is like a stiff leg. It really needs to have a little give (like the Fox) to be optimal for mountain biking.

  8. #8
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    I started riding a lefty a few months ago and found it to start knocking. I did my first bearing reset and it was easy as and took about 5-10 minutes. While I would rather not have to do this, the lefty feels so good I will be willing to put up with the maintenance.

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