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  1. #1
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    New Lefty Fork durability

    I am considering going back to a lefty for my 29er all purpose bike.

    Here is the deal. I Had the last carbon model before they went to the new design. I did not have many problems but it saw the shop more than I liked (they said the bearing shifted or something like that) The biggest thing I did not like was the stiffness. It was very flexy side to side.

    I rarely ever talk about stiffness because so many people have said on forum that their bike/wheels had so much flex and I had the same frame or wheels and never felt it.

    Is the new design better.... less flexy and more durable/maintenance free?

    Should I go with the alloy over the carbon. Any thoughts?

    I know bikes are not maintenance free however I like them to be as close as possible. I just like the cars I own..I do not maintain them like they say they require. When I go to the shop they use to ask me to do all this extra work.... clean out your injectors replace this and that and was told it would increase the performance. I had to tell them I am not a race car driver and am happy with the 95% performance I get out of it and the extra 5% is not worth the $'s. I feel the same about my bikes.

  2. #2
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    I ride a '12 XLR and I feel it is pretty stiff. I think it had more to do with your wheel then the fork. That said you were experiencing bearing migration and it is the nature of the design. You can run into it whether you have an alloy or a carbon fork. New models from what I read don't do it as much, but I think it is still there. If you were not happy with the last version hard to say if you would be with the new one. That would have to be your decision really and no one elses.
    '12 Flash 29r C3 with a few mods
    '10 Synapse 5 Carbon with a few mods as well..

  3. #3
    LA CHÈVRE
    Reputation: Dan Gerous's Avatar
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    Agree about the stiffness, a Lefty is pretty much always stiffer than any comparable travel two legged fork. The design of the Lefty front hub interface is also pretty much stiffer than even many through-axles... If you had a lot of side flex, you probably had a flexy wheel, or an unresolved issue. Too much bearing can be fixed by adjusting the bearing preload. Stiffness is one of the Lefty's advantage over regular forks.

    As for durability/maintenance, theorically, the newer Lefty models with the lower bushing (those without the ugly accordion boot) have pretty much eliminated the need to reset bearings. I haven't got the new design on one of my bikes so I'll let someone chime in if it is truly eliminated.

    DAN.GEROUS.NET : MOUNTAIN BIKING : CYCLOCROSS : ROAD :

  4. #4
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    I have one of the new carbon Lefty's on my Scalpel - I have been hammering it for a full year - and have not had any issues with it all so far - none. Hope I did not just jinx myself with saying that publicly - but it has been awesome and trouble free.

  5. #5
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    The bearing migration reset takes 5 minutes and you can do it at home using only one tool that is require to open the top collar of the Lefty.
    (Shimano FC32 Bottom Bracket tool or similar)

    How To Service Cannondale's Lefty Fork | News | mountain-bike-action
    Flash29C2
    Scalpel 29C1
    Niner One9 SingleSpeed RDO fork
    Supersix Evo 1 Hi Mod D/A

  6. #6
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
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    If you want stiffer, go alloy over carbon.

    The carbon chassis definitely will exhibit more signs of flex related wear, than the alloys do.

    Unless you're a bit of a horse. I'd agree, wheel flex is more likely what you're feeling.

    Over say, 220lb, and ride like you stole it? Yeah, you could be feeling some flex.

    The OPI lower is flexier than the heavier predecessor, can't lose weight and not expect some sort of change in stiffness.....
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

    - FrostyStruthers



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  7. #7
    Sweater
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    I've got a 2010 carbon lefty. I went from a Fox f32 and it was definitely stiffer and tracked better than the Fox. I generally weigh 220+ up to 250 if I really let myself go. I broke two frames with that lefty on in and it's waiting to go on a third frame right now. The worst issue I had with it was the cap of the damping cartridge came loose after I was afraid to tighten it too much when I did an oil change, that was user error. It did require some maintenance but not more than an annual service would take care of, outside of the bearing reset. The new lefty's reset themselves so that part is taken care now if I'm not mistaken
    All out of S**** and down to my last F***

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith View Post
    If you want stiffer, go alloy over carbon.
    The OPI lower is flexier than the heavier predecessor, can't lose weight and not expect some sort of change in stiffness.....
    Mendoncycles,
    Do you find the new lefty forks are more durable than the old? I would get the alloy over carbon.

  9. #9
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    I have the 2014 Carbon Lefty and have 1 ride on it.....It held up well

  10. #10
    allthingsbikey
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    Hello Craig, I'm trying to contact you regarding servicing some Leftys and finding your web address is up for grabs w/"GoDaddy"? Anyway an email address or web address would facilitate my need. Thanks, Mike Gillespie mggilley@gmail.com

  11. #11
    OMZ
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    The new Lefty is designed so the bearings will reset themselves on bottom out, so it is now required far less than on the pre 2013 Leftys. If you have to reset your bearings frequently on a 2013 or 2014 Lefty, you are likely running it too stiff for your weight (actually pretty common.) Try running a little less air in it. Use all that travel, that's why you've got it...

  12. #12
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by mggillespie View Post
    Hello Craig, I'm trying to contact you regarding servicing some Leftys and finding your web address is up for grabs w/"GoDaddy"? Anyway an email address or web address would facilitate my need. Thanks, Mike Gillespie mggilley@gmail.com
    Thanks Mike. Yep, having servers swapped, should resolve itself in the next little while.....
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

    - FrostyStruthers



    www.mendoncyclesmith.com

  13. #13
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    I've been running an Alloy 2013 Hybrid Lefty for a few months now and so far I'm very pleased with it..

    I was a bit sceptical at first as it felt significantly less compliant / plush compared to the 'standard' Lefty's I'm used to running.. I actually thought I'd made a big mistake selling the old fork and upgrading to the hybrid model..

    But.. after reading about it here, I removed the internal air volume reducer which made a huge difference.. the fork feels a lot more like the older model now.. plusher & much more compliant..

    It is definitely stiffer than the pre 2013 models.. nothing to complain about there.. I love the torsional stiffness of the Lefty.. no other fork I've used comes anywhere close.. but as mentioned by several folks above, if your front wheel isn't tensioned properly you won't benefit from or feel the stiffness of the fork in any way.. so get your wheels tensioned..!

    And one thing nobody seems to mention about the Hybrid forks is the lack of any air filter (hurray..!) not a big deal if you live in sunny California but where I come from the air filter had to be looked after, cleaned, oiled & generally protected from the elements.. if you were hosing down your bike after a muddy spin it was recommended to wrap some tape around the filter holes to stop water getting into the fork..

    So.. no air filter, self re-setting bearings, much better sealing from the elements and longer service intervals means the Hybrid forks 'should' be much more durable than the older models..

    Only time will tell though.. so don't go selling your old tried, tested and trusted booted Lefty just yet..!
    The names have been changed to protect the innocent...

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