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  1. #1
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    Info on Fatty DLR80

    I'm not very knowledgable on bike parts yet and have been looking at a few Cannondales. Don't know too much about front suspension but I've noticed that Cannondale seems to offer unique forks on their bikes opposed to other manufacturers. I've read a little about the Lefty but there seems to be a lot less info about the Fatty on the web. I've been looking at the Flash 3 alloy which comes with a Fatty, and while most bikes have a fork with suspension on both sides, the Fatty is stiff on both sides with the suspension on the top. I'd like to hear the strengths/weaknesses of this, how it compares to a regular style fork like a RockShox Recon, and how this fork handles on the trails. I'm mostly looking to do XC riding for fitness and endurance, and perhaps getting into some XC racing in the future. I don't have any intention of bombing massive hills and hitting big jumps, but I would like to get into some more aggressive riding as my skills progress. If it makes any difference I weigh 180 lbs. I appreciate the input from you Cannondale guys.

  2. #2
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    Great fork, really good tracking compared to standard suspension forks. Easy to access lockout lever, great for long climbs and road sections when you don't want any bob.
    i say go for it you will never look back!!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by LLOYDSTEVENS View Post
    Great fork, really good tracking compared to standard suspension forks. Easy to access lockout lever, great for long climbs and road sections when you don't want any bob.
    i say go for it you will never look back!!
    +1. If you are worried about weight, there are lighter forks. It isnt a boat anchor by any means.I have also heard rebuilding them is a PITA, but I dont have first hand knowledge of that.
    Overall good fork.

  4. #4
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    I have a 2009 F3 with the Fatty DLR80 which I use exclusively for riding on and around Mt. Tam (Marin County, CA) but almost exclusively on pavement. It has performed exceptionally although Cannondale did replace it (under warranty!) at the 15 month mark due to an issue with the bearings.

    I love the fork because of the reasons that were already provided and most especially because the front end is amazingly responsive allowing for super quick turns and the ability to respond to the terrible driving behavior of people in this neck-of-the-woods. The roads that I ride are steep and in poor condition and the bike climbs well, is very stable at fast downhill speed and allows for the occasional off-road foray.

    I find that it is best to check the air pressure on the Fatty every 3-4 weeks. I weigh 170lbs and prefer to keep the pressure up between 110-120psi; when it drops below that the performance of the shok begins to deteriorate.

    While I'd like to install a lefty on this bike...and may do so some day, there is no reason to change a great performer at this time!
    Last edited by dyusem; 07-21-2011 at 06:38 PM.

  5. #5
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    Is there a formal name for a single shock center mounted type suspension? My 1999 Cannondale F400 uses one (Head Shok P-Bone M Coil/Mechanical Damper is the full title I believe). I like the design of the single/center arrangement and just wonder why I don't see it more widely incorporated in builds. In another year it's going to be time for me to reenter the market on a new hardtail and this would be a big factor to me, does anybody know of any who use this type?

  6. #6
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    don't bother

    I have a 2009 Cannondale F3, Ultra DLR80, two weeks before the warranty end, the air cartridge gave up, had this replaced under warranty, replaced with the newer version of the cartridge (there's a tech note about this).
    Then the bearings really started to get rough a few months later, paid to get those replaced, then the oil cartridge started to leak. These haven't had any significant abuse, faced with an huge repair cost, I cut my losses and switched to Recon. What a difference, more travel (80mm travel on headshok forks seems optimistic at best), smooth and they can be serviced without special tools. ITs definitely the way forward as far as I'm concerned, the only slight difference is the fork is less responsive (maybe a maxle would help???).
    Its worth looking at servicing costs too, in the uk its 150 - 250 for a headshok, for a rockshox its about 80, AND if thats too expensive you can do it yourself!!
    On the reliability side, the recons are 4 months old and still running perfectly, rockshox seem to be pretty good on that side, for me headshok have been an expensive mistake

  7. #7
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    I am seriously considering a Cannondale F3, which has this shock, and now I am worried about it.
    Should I save my money and go for the F2 or F1 (aluminum) which has the Lefty fork?
    I weigh 170 pounds and will be doing recreational riding in the Midwest ...no big drops, boulders or tree trunks to hop, but I will be climbing some hills on single-track trails.
    Thanks for your advice. I don't want to get the wrong fork/shock and then regret it.

  8. #8
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    I've owned 2 lefties and 2 headshoks. Lefties - I've never had a problem. No leaks or roughness or whatever. My first headshok died but it was only because it spent 5+ years in the garage with no use (I lived overseas) and.... it was an elastomer. They just don't last.
    I dumped the elastomer and had a spring of sometype put in and it worked great for a year. I replaced it with a 2011 headshok and it is fantastic.
    Lefties and Headshoks are awesome I think. I'd save for the lefty but I still love riding my headshok. Both are accurate and supple and light.

  9. #9
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    I own a 2011 lefty (2011 RZ 120 one) and a 2005 fatty ultra dlr (2005 F800 SL). All I can say is that the fatty is excellent for cross country riding. My fork has never been serviced in those 6 years (i know i should get it rebuild or so), and it still works like a charm. Over the course of it's lifetime, on average it has been used close to once a week every week. However, I'm only 63 kg about 140 pounds, so perhaps my forks do not have such hard lifes after all.

    I use the lefty for bombing up and down singletracks with lots of roots and rocks. It's great for that

    I think the fatties are also relatively light, maybe not the lightest, but definitely on the light side of the spectrum.

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