View Poll Results: Fatt or Lefty

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  • Fatty

    9 33.33%
  • Lefty

    18 66.67%
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Thread: Fatty vs Lefty

  1. #1
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    Fatty vs Lefty

    Hi

    looking at getting a new C'Dale

    have been told the Lefty is the way to go - have been happy with Fatty

    so tell me what is good / bad of them - will be getting either a F2000SL or F4000SL so both forks will be topend

    I hear the Lefty does not perform so well in rivers? is this big rivers or a creek - what do they handle like in wet weather, mud etc?

    New Zealand is a land of extremes with lots of great wet weather riding but I don't want to be hindered by worrying about getting the Lefty wet, etc.

    I am an eduro XC rider - so like a little bit of everything - not into DH Extreme at speed - more technical DH.

    Any comments appreciated.

  2. #2
    Every Ride A Gift
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    I've had a couple of years' experience with first a Lefty, now a Lefty Max TPC+, and they have been unbelievably great - especially the new Max. The old one locked out which was nice sometimes, but the new one gives more travel and has a titanium spring and much smoother overall action, easy adjustability, etc. Never had any problems with them whatsoever - they're a lot tougher than you would think.

  3. #3
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    I've only test ridden both before I bought my Jekyll w/Lefty Max. I'd say at 80mm. they will perform equally well. The ELO is a lot more money for 20mm. more travel. The concern with water getting into lefties is negligible. I've ridden though 16" water several times with the suspension taking hits underwater. No water has gotten in, but I can see how it possibly could through air vent holes in the top of the boot. Personally I would take the F2000. That BBQ Matte Black is so cool, and XT is a better value than XTR. You're gonna love either one.

  4. #4
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    I've owned different Fatty's since '97 and when properly setup, they will feel a lot more than the 80mm travel that they give. I would love to have a Lefty, but only the carbon/titanium Lefty ($cha-ching$). Some of the other Lefty's are up to 720g heavier than a Fatty. You really feel that extra weight in technical sections or climbing!

    Since your going to buy a complete F2000 or F4000 (2004 I assume), the weight savings is only 136g (Fatty Vs. Lefty - fork only difference). However, the F4000 is lighter overall than the F2000 because of all the super-lite parts. The Lefty that comes on the F4000 is amazingly light (2004 = lightest Lefty ever built). If you can swing the cash, I say buy the F4000SL....that comes with the Lefty. The F4000 is maxed out with ALL the goodies and is a turn-key race bike in full race trim!!!! Also, if your only going to keep this bike 2 or 3 years, the Lefty will help its resale value.

    If you are not willing to spend the big bucks on the F4000, then the only way your going to get a Lefty on a F2000 is if you sell the Fatty that comes on it and buy a Lefty. Or build a bike buying frame and parts.

    BTW: Have you thought about the Scalpel 900? Unless your racing XC, I can't see spending that much for a hardtail (F4000SL).

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by RaveOn
    BTW: Have you thought about the Scalpel 900? Unless your racing XC, I can't see spending that much for a hardtail (F4000SL).
    I know I've been thinking about the 900... I bought one Saturday...


  6. #6
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    just how deep is the water we're talking about? the lefty is an upside down fork with the bearing boot about 4" above the front hub. so if you regularily ride with both hubs and bottom bracket submerged, which is kinda stupid,sorry but..., the lefty will be a problem. the boot on a fatty is way up above the fork crown.

    as for the performance comparison. for the past two months I have been riding my other c-dales with the 70mm fatty forks and have kept the F3000sl with the carbon lefty ELO inside nice and warm and dry. but the other day I took it out and it definately is a better fork. it has much better small bump response but really can take a big hit well also. it's valving or rebound and compression settings are just right for me. I thought I wouldn't like the extra travel for XC and XC racing but it's nice to have! and the ELO is just so luxurious.
    I think the damping of the fatty forks is too light. I have changed the oil to 10 and sometimes 15 wgt and just had c-dale add a shim for more rebound. it feels better now.

    I've ridden in rain and mud and have had no problems but I haven't crossed rivers up past the hubs either. I avoid them or walk through them. say good by to your hubs and bottom bracket if you do. I destroyed my BB and had to bleed my disc brakes after some deep water crossings in a race,not the lefty bike. never again!

  7. #7
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    ... and if we just ...

    Hi

    thanks for all these comments - when I mean river riding I mean the odd stream and not generally over the hubs.

    So in stuff like this the Lefty holds up?

    As you have mentioned I wouldn't expect any forks or hubs et al to hold up above that.

    And yes I have looked at the Scapel but I am a Hardtail lad through and through.

    In terms of cost, it is a dang sight cheaper to get here than back at home - so for the trip of a lifetime the bike of a lifetime [well 3-5 years!]

  8. #8
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    other issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Mtbrat
    Hi

    thanks for all these comments - when I mean river riding I mean the odd stream and not generally over the hubs.

    So in stuff like this the Lefty holds up?

    As you have mentioned I wouldn't expect any forks or hubs et al to hold up above that.

    And yes I have looked at the Scapel but I am a Hardtail lad through and through.

    In terms of cost, it is a dang sight cheaper to get here than back at home - so for the trip of a lifetime the bike of a lifetime [well 3-5 years!]
    I have a fatty, and appreciate the fact that it uses a regular front wheel. so you can upgrade the wheel, or borrow a wheel from someone if need be. also, if you use a fork mount roofrack, the lefty will not work and you will have to get a different bike mount. I have ridden a lefty, and the ride is excellent. the wheel aspect is just a matter of convenience.
    That said, if I could get a carbon/ti left for a reasonable price, i would do it. for short travel, i dont think it's worth the upgrade, though.
    as for river crossings, you will need to be more careful with the lefty. it will work fine for the most part, but is more susceptible to water damage than a headshok.
    but it's a bike you will have for a while. get the lefty, that way you will not have to upgrade later! but for the 2000 and 4000, you gotta ask yourself: black or silver???
    Only boring people get bored.

  9. #9
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    black or silver?

    yeah I know - I used to have one of the 'burnished' silver C'dale and it sucked big time after a month it looked like a bit of steel wool (not sure what you call it over there)

    the F2000 looks the part - does anyone who has the 'team replica' paint jobbie tell me if it lasts? what does the GLOSS bit mean? A layer or gloss to protect or what?

    Cheers

  10. #10
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    Gloss finishes are clearcoated. The clearcoat is pretty durable. The Jet Black matte is just black powdercoat w/o the clearcoat. I have the Jet Black on my Jekyll 1000, it's the reason I got the 1000. The finish is soooo nice but cables rub through it quickly if you dont put something under the cables. I've crashed several times and had hundreds of pieces of gravel hit the downtube and no scratches yet.

    Since it's the Lefty ELO you're look at, please note that there have been 2 recalls on that fork in the past few years. They were having trouble with the bonding (glue) between the carbon and the titanium spindle for the first recall. The second recall was just about the bearing race retaining clips failing which was solved. I just haven't learned to trust glue yet, but I do trust Cannondale's warranty reputation.

    Disregarding my bias toward the black bike, I'd say the 2000 will be a bit more rugged, mostly based on the wheels. Crossmax XL are for racing, they're strong but they don't take rocks very well.

  11. #11
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    I really think the determining factor as to whether you go Fatty or Lefty is how much travel do you need and how much are you willing to pay. I have two bikes with 80mm Fatty Ultras on them (Scalpel and a Merlin Extra Fat SS) For the twisty wooded singletrack in Indiana, the 80mm is enough for me. I have a couple of friends with Scalpels with Carbon Leftys and they would not part with them for anything. I do not think one is any stiffer than the other.

    Bottom line is, if 80mm of travel is enough for you, save your money and buy a Fatty and use the rest of the money to buy trick parts for the rest of the bike. If not, get the Lefty and have no regrets.
    "Son, The world needs ditchdiggers, too"-Ted Knight, Caddyshack

  12. #12
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    Forget 80mm on a fatty!

    [QUOTE=Mtbrat]Hi
    After two seasons on a SuperV with a Fatty (super fatty), and other three seasons on a Jekyll with a lefty DLR, the answer is: Forget the fatty.

    It is sold as a 80 mm fork: I disassembled it many times and immediately discovered that 80 mm are impossible to reach: The internal mechanism virtually has 80 mm, but the negative travel coil eliminates at least 10 mm. So your fatty will provide you at max 65mm.

    If you do not need a 120/130 mm, buy the 80/100 version. It is easier to replace a crackset or a handlebar later than a fork...

    BTW: The incoming season, will be on a FOX Float RLC mounted on a Blur. Cannondale provided me good bikes, but its "proprietary" design (frames and forks) requires a Cannondale dealer, and the one that lives next to me is simply not honest.

  13. #13
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    Good job! lefty vs. water

    Quote Originally Posted by Mtbrat
    Hi

    looking at getting a new C'Dale

    have been told the Lefty is the way to go - have been happy with Fatty

    so tell me what is good / bad of them - will be getting either a F2000SL or F4000SL so both forks will be topend

    I hear the Lefty does not perform so well in rivers? is this big rivers or a creek - what do they handle like in wet weather, mud etc?

    New Zealand is a land of extremes with lots of great wet weather riding but I don't want to be hindered by worrying about getting the Lefty wet, etc.

    I am an eduro XC rider - so like a little bit of everything - not into DH Extreme at speed - more technical DH.

    Any comments appreciated.
    My experience has shown that the headshock design, either lefty or headshock, is not tolerant to getting any water inside the rubber boot. The roller bearings don't take long to get rough feeling and if left ungreased will seize up. I ride in lots of mud on a regular basis and a couple of rides with a hole in the rubber boot is all it takes to effect the headshock. I have worked in a Cannondale shop for a couple of years and have seen a few in rough shape. If you take care of the boot and every once in a while work some new grease into the bearings they will last. And by the way I love my lefty, have never ridden a high end Headshock only the low end, but the Lefty blows away all others I have ridden.

  14. #14
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    you make a very good point regarding the wheel problem. I have never had a front wheel failure but if I did on the lefty bike I'd have to temporarily change to a fatty fork so I could use one of my spare wheels. definately a consideration for someone who breaks front wheels.

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