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  1. #1
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    Pros & Cons of the Lefty

    I'm interested in getting a Cannondale for the upcoming race season. But I've never ridden a Lefty fork (except around the parking lot of a LBS). I'd like some opinions on the Lefty fork. I've heard a lot of good things about them, and I've heard some bad too. Can someone tell me the benefits and the drawbacks of this "fork"?

  2. #2
    PCC
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    Positive: stiff, no sticktion, no possibility of the two legs of the fork 'camming' from an off-center hit.

    Negative: front wheel selection is limited, not too many shops will look at the front strut if you have a problem with it.

    I really like mine.

  3. #3
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    I agree with PCC. Great performing strut once you have it set up right. Take your time setting it up and it will reward you. Wheels are becoming less of a problem with Mavic, Shimano, and Industry Nine making wheels for them. One other Negative... If you use a fork mount holder for you bike in/on your car, you have to buy an adapter for the lefty. I still haven't laid down the money for one, although it has cost me a brake rotor from lying the bike down in the back of my car. Good luck.
    "Don't take life too serious. You'll never get out alive."

  4. #4
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    Pro's-unbelievable stiffness for the weight (for the SL or carbon version), you get SID weight with stiffness the SID could only dream about with 110 mm travel, low stiction once broken in.
    No risk of dropouts breaking or your disc brakes pulling your QR wheel out of the droputs
    Easily tuneable with a little knowhow.
    Size specific negative springs and damping
    Looks different

    Con's-other than rebound and air pressure there is not a lot of external adjustment such as low speed compression. You have to pull the cartridge apart to make changes and not all bike shops have the knowhow. The Lefty Fox RLC addresses a lot of these problems
    You need to reset the bearings every 10-25 hours, about a 5 minute proceedure easily done at home, but if you are the kind of person who just puts a fork on and ignores it then forget it. They do require a little more service such as changing the air filter and greasing the bearing races every couple of months, but then again you are supposed to oil the foam rings regularly on a Fox fork, but lots of people dont and complain their seals go bad!
    As noted removing the front wheel is a little more time consuming, but a lot easier than a thru axle.
    Looks weird



    Kevin
    Last edited by Flying Wombat; 12-30-2007 at 02:40 AM.

  5. #5
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    A plus that wasn't mentioned - you don't need to take the wheel off to fix a flat.
    Another - you can put a multi-tool in the head tube for super fast access.

    I have had lots of Leftys and just got my first conventional fork, a Fox that came on my Trek 69er. Comparing to that, the Fox is plushyier and is softer on small bumps, that's about all I'll give it over my SL Lefty. The SL is much stiffer, lighter, tracks truer with much less bob. My SL went 1500 miles before it needed some work, other than the normal maintainance, but since then it has been to Cannondale twice. All seems good now and it has over 2500 miles on this season. The Fox is still new, so reliability is still open, but I doubt the 69er will see the kind of milage I put on my Rush.

    Mike
    Mike

  6. #6
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
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    When will the wheel thing end??

    You have a hub, build it with whatever rim spoke combo you like, end of story. This is soooo different from say, an XT or DT Swiss hub. Or buy Mavic, Shimano, I 9's offerings. This whole limited wheel availability thing is so silly.......

    BTW, there are also offerings from Woodman if you need a 36 hole hub, Cannondale offers 24 and 32. Golly, choices are so limited
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  7. #7
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    Lefty Stem selection is limited, and working around the confines of the higher crown means that some lengths can't be used.

  8. #8
    mad aussie
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    If you are shorter than about 5'6" and like to have that handlebar a lot lower than the saddle then with the longer head tube, you couldnt use the SI stem steerer, but a -30 stem would get you there. It would be nice if they had the XC3 stem/steerer in the same sizing options as the individual stems.

    On the plus side if you are on the fence about 26, 29 or 650B all it takes is some spacers and a piston change to convert backwards and forwards.

    Kevin

    p.s. I agree with Craig on the wheel options. Now we have Shimano XTR, Mavic SLR, I9, Spinergy, Stans all with Lefty wheel options, or you can do what I did and build a custom set with the Lefty Omega front hub and whatever rims and spokes you like!

  9. #9
    Avenger of Evil
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    One of my deciding factors in my purchase of Cannondales, is the Lefty. I rode a friends Jekyll, and at that moment .....I needed a Lefty.
    They are light, strong, "buttery" smooth, and go where you point them. I now own a Jekyll, and a Prophet, both with Leftys.....(Soon to be a third...caffine 29er.. )

    There has been a lot of negative talk, but as Mendon said, once you have the parts, it's like any other wheel and suspension combo, only better.

    Try it, you'll like it.
    Famous Last Words....."Hey, watch this!!"

  10. #10
    FIRENZE rulez !!
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    i rode lefty since 2002

    no other fork on my bikes ...

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith
    When will the wheel thing end??

    You have a hub, build it with whatever rim spoke combo you like, end of story. This is soooo different from say, an XT or DT Swiss hub. Or buy Mavic, Shimano, I 9's offerings. This whole limited wheel availability thing is so silly.......

    BTW, there are also offerings from Woodman if you need a 36 hole hub, Cannondale offers 24 and 32. Golly, choices are so limited
    Friend with a Lefty taco'd his front. Took the lbs a week to order the rim then another week to build it. We normally share stuff including wheels if a buddies bike is down but none of us have leftys. He eventually sold the lefty and switched to 32 Fox Talas.

    Pro: The lefty has super mud clearance for riding in clay type mud.

  12. #12
    Cannondale Snob
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    Umm... just buy a spare wheel-set. Eventually something is going to happen and you'll have to plunk down the money anyway, so just use a little fore-thought and avoid the inconviniance (sp?). A Cannondale Dealer worth their salt should really have a front wheel hanging about anyhow...
    '06 Cannondale Rush 1000 4" travel 27lbs
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    '96 Cannondale Uber-V 6" travel 30lbs

  13. #13
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    I tried the lefty thing, it didn't work out for me(after two leftys blown). So I changed over to a normal fork, not only do I like it better but its also what everyone I ride with uses. So I didn't like the lefty, and I don't really understand why people think they are so great.

  14. #14
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    I think the maintanence

    may be the most noticeable "daily" issue. As stated above, loved the stiffness, smoothness, minimal stiction. But the only thing that used to really annoy me was the bearing reset. seemed like often times my TPC+ max was needing a reset in less than 10 hours. and even then, tough to get it back to full travel. My other lefty, SPV max seemed to need this less but may be that I rode it less.

    I keep up on my routine maintanence on my Marzocchis and Rock Shox but the Lefty seemed more finicky. But not a day goes by that I don't miss the ride and action of the Lefty fork.

    REEK

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by RiskEverything
    Eventually something is going to happen and you'll have to plunk down the money anyway, so just use a little fore-thought and avoid the inconviniance (sp?).
    Actually that's what my friend did. His son has a Specialized with a conventional QR wheelset. He figured it was better if he got rid of the lefty and switched to the convertional fork. He bought a spare wheelset that he & his son can share.

    Ironically he started raving about the fact that he could run a really short stem on a regular fork. The shorter stem got his weight way back over the rear tire that reduced his endo'ing on steep technical descents. The endo is what cause his wheel to taco in the first place.

    I agree that sh#t happens and you need to be prepared for it. On my summer trip to Whistler I figured I could buy most of the parts on my bike at Whistler. My only concern was my Magura Gustavs. Wasn't sure if spares would be available or how much down time to fix it so I pulled my mechanical Avids Disc brakes off one of my bikes and threw it in the lugguage. Didn't need it but I was prepared.

  16. #16
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    I love how the bb7 is like the never breaks down and can take anything brake

    as for pos.: basically what everybody has said already.
    neg.: wat everybody said already and also your always gonna meet some dick thats gonna annoy you all day about the 1 sided fork.

  17. #17
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    I've owned two lefty's both the same fork alu bonded dlr2's one on my scalpel and the other on my rush. I agree with all the pros that have been listed here in particular the stiffness off the fork is unparalleled, and I've never had any problems with migration which other people seem to have. Overall my opinion of the lefty is very positive.

    So I guess I'm going out on a limb here when I say that in my opinion the lefty has one glaring weakness.. It turns better to the left than it does the right.

    When I say turns better I'm talking about when you are pushing the bike, leaning it to the limit to try and get around a corner quickly with out washing off speed.

    TO THE LEFT it grips, the traction is dialled in, it tracks true and highlights the stiffness of the fork.

    TO THE RIGHT sometimes all of the above, other times depending on certain conditions (surface type/gradient/moisture) I find the traction is not there, its not as grabby, It doesn't track as well and I find myself autocorrecting the steering to compensate. I'm also 6'3" and so my center of gravity is higher than most.

    Nowhere is it highlighted as much as a local 3k loop dirt crit I do on Wednesday nights where if the course can alternate between clockwise and anticlockwise depending on the mood of the organizers.
    Anticlockwise - mostly left turning... all good, Clockwise - moslty right turning ... OK but not as good.

    I've talked to other lefty owners about this and some agree, some do not. I'm suprised I have never seen this mentioned on this forum so I would say my opinion is in the minority.
    My opinion is not based on a quick blast around the carpark. I'm talking about 4 years racing/trail riding many K's on both scalpel and rush.

    I'm aware I might be shot down in flames criticising the lefty is such a way but opinions are like a@@holes in that everybody has one.

  18. #18
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    bleebs
    your opinion on it's own is valid, but without some reasoning or evidence, it's not worth much.
    I DO have some explanations for why this might happen, but they're all to do with alignment, bot of the bike and you. (as a long time lefty rider I can definitely turn better to the right, not left, and I know it)
    I can't think of an engineering reason for the behavior your describing - care to offer one?
    To the original poster - go ride one. Cycling is sooo fashion based. A lot of people love leftys, some don't. If they were a real failure, so the company pushing them would be too, but it's got to be the right thing for you.

    Nick

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by nicholasc2
    bleebs
    your opinion on it's own is valid, but without some reasoning or evidence, it's not worth much.
    I DO have some explanations for why this might happen, but they're all to do with alignment, bot of the bike and you. (as a long time lefty rider I can definitely turn better to the right, not left, and I know it)
    I can't think of an engineering reason for the behavior your describing - care to offer one?

    Nick
    Nick, An opinion is just that... an opinion, what evidence do you want? I explained how it feels and I would only add that I have washed out a lot more times turning right then left.

    I'd qualify myself to say that I haven't just discovered mountain bikes in the last 6 months, but have been riding them for 10 years and racing them for 6 of that. I have two lefty equipped cannondales hanging in the garage (scalpel and rush) as well as a 29er hardtail and another short travel race 26" dually as well as road bike so I do have a diversity of riding experience and bike choice to base my opinions on.

    It has nothing to do with alignment, I'm talking across different bikes/wheels/tyre combos over a long period of time. No where did this become more obvious then a dry and dusty enduro where I had an inappropriate front tire for the conditions, I was riding this tyre to the limit and had a torrid time of it washing out on quite a few occasions. It wasn't till the next day when looking at the scabs on my right leg that I recalled that every fall was to the right.

    I'm not an engineer but I would have thought that it was obvious at the lefty is not a symmetrical fork that it's turning properties in different directions would be different even if it is small.

    As for explanation and at risk of making myself sound like an idiot , when you turn to the left you lean to the left and the weight and momentum of the rider is transferred down through the left side of the fork where the lefty strut is through the wheel and in to the ground (most direct route - superior). When you turn right the you lean right and the weight needs to be transferred not through the right but through the left side of the fork then back through the hub and wheel into the ground (a compromised route - inferior), This is not the most direct route and on top of that its a different route so It seams obvious to me that as different dynamics are in play in the different directions that there would be a different feel.

    I would go as far to say that when you pushing the fork (i.e. racing) I find it hard that you do not feel the trait in the fork. As I say the lefty is a great fork, I have two of them, but when you talk about pros and cons of the fork I would say this was a definite con.

    Leigh

  20. #20
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    I'm not an engineer but I had a friend in college who majored in mechanical engineering. For one of his final projects he designed a suspension fork. After calculating all the forces he came to the realization that the Lefty was the way to go for its weight to stiffness ratio. I must also say that this guy hated Cannondale. He said he worked the numbers several times to try and disprove it. He couldn't. The junction of the axle and strut is stiff enough to handle the stress (remember, cars, planes, and little red wagons don't have connections on both sides of the wheel.) so left and right hand turns are identical.

    I have had my Lefty Max for over 2 years and have never noticed a difference from turning left or right. I probably average about 40 miles a week during summer and have been riding steadily since 1991. I typically ride pretty aggressively over the many rocks that New England has to offer and my Lefty has handled it all perfectly. From my experience it is much better at fast big hits than the Fox Talus.

    Like was said earlier, it is most likely your form an not the shock.

    As for resetting the bearings, it takes about as long as lubing the chain so I don't consider it an issue. It is a fair trade off for silky smooth needle bearings.

  21. #21
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    Nick I agree with your engineering friend whole heartedly, and the infinitely more qualified Cannondale engineers would agree with him to. I am not an enemy of the lefty or hate Cannondale..... I like the fork.

    You say you don't feel the difference between left and right, I respect that, you ride 40 miles a week in summer and talk about big hits, your ride a lefty max (prophet or similar) so you obviously don't race XC and your riding style is different to mine. And there is no problem in that.

    But I don't think that your 2 years of riding a lefty max can qualify you to say I that I am wrong in my opinion. I ride 200k+ a week and race XC most weeks in the year. I'm telling you the fork has the taint, leave it at that or otherwise your saying I'm mistaken or your calling me a liar. Just allow somebody else to have an opinion after all diversity of opinions is what these forums are all about.

  22. #22
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    i'm not a racer but i've tested the limits of the lefty and i'm gonna keep it. don't ride no handed!!!

  23. #23
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    Looking at the Lefty it does look like like most of the weight of the fork is on left side of the fork centerline. I don't see a counter balance but I could be wrong. I can see how the fork could feel different in performing a left turn and right turn.

    In making a left turn the bike will lean to the left. When this happens the fork leg is below the fork centerline. This means the center of gravity of the fork is also below the fork centerline.

    In making a right turn the bike will lean to the right. When this happens the fork leg is above the fork centerline. The means the center of gravity of the fork is also above the fork centerline.

    The lower center of gravity left turn could make the steering more controlable for some riders because the effort could be less. The right turn could have the opposite effect.

    If the fork is stiff it shouldn't affect the left or right turning performance. I can see a rider will have a different feel for left and right turns.

    Just my 2 cents.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by racerzero
    Looking at the Lefty it does look like like most of the weight of the fork is on left side of the fork centerline. I don't see a counter balance but I could be wrong. I can see how the fork could feel different in performing a left turn and right turn.

    In making a left turn the bike will lean to the left. When this happens the fork leg is below the fork centerline. This means the center of gravity of the fork is also below the fork centerline.

    In making a right turn the bike will lean to the right. When this happens the fork leg is above the fork centerline. The means the center of gravity of the fork is also above the fork centerline.

    The lower center of gravity left turn could make the steering more controlable for some riders because the effort could be less. The right turn could have the opposite effect.

    If the fork is stiff it shouldn't affect the left or right turning performance. I can see a rider will have a different feel for left and right turns.

    Just my 2 cents.
    What about your drivetrain? Can you feel the difference since it is all on the right? If so, then the Lefty might be the perfect counterbalance. I guess this is a testiment to how great the Lefty really is if people have to try and fabricate the cons.

  25. #25
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by bleebs
    It turns better to the left than it does the right.

    Odd, I guess all the BMW's with single sided rear wheels are washing out in corners one way too? Sorry, not seeing it. Not attacking you, but I'm not seeing it.....
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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodsguy
    I guess this is a testiment to how great the Lefty really is if people have to try and fabricate the cons.
    What con? I clearly state that if the fork is stiff enough it shouldn't affect left or right turning performance.

    Bleebs states that it turns better to the left.

    Nicholasc2 states that it turn better to the right.

    I assume everyone else turns equally to the left and right.

    How can that be? Is everyone wrong or right? I think everyone is right. I think it a perception (feel) issue.

    A real life test is to compare to a Lefty to a Righty. Since we can't really do this test than I can come up with a Myth Buster style test.

    You need 1 or 2 additional guys to help with this test. Stand the bike straight up on the rear wheel. Lower the front of the bike till the fork leg is parallel with the ground. Lean the bike toward the left about 30 degrees keeping the fork leg parallel the ground. (This is to simulate the banking effect). Have someone grab both grips on the handlebar standing behind the bike. Start turning the bar from left to right and back and try to feel the steering effort. Do the same by leaning the bike to right. I suspect the steering effort should be different based on my previous discussion post.

    This does not affect turing performance if the fork is stiff enough. It might affect how the rider perceives the turning performance when actually riding. Some may feel the bike turns better to the left and vice versa when riding. Some can't feel any difference when riding. For those who can't tell the difference is probably because they adjusted and got use to it.

    As someone posted earlier test out a Lefty.

  27. #27
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    Pros: Maybe I've been lucky, my 2001 Lefty ti dlr still runs flawlessly after years of commuting, epics and races. I've only had to bring it to the LBS once for new bearings and seals. For some reason I've never had to reset the bearings--no changes in fork extension-- but I've gone ahead and done it a few times. Regarding the debate on steering deflection, personally I don't detect any such effect. I have another bike with a Marzocchi and find the Lefty steering to be much smoother and consistent. And I regularly ride no-handed.

    Cons: Only a few stems that I'm aware of: Profile Designs, Kore, Cdale. I've only found one manufacturer for fenders: SKS, but heard Shimano or Sram was producing one. The more of us on Lefties the greater the demand for accessory options.
    Last edited by Spinny; 01-02-2008 at 04:29 PM.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by racerzero

    Nicholasc2 states that it turn better to the right.
    I believe he is stating that HE turns better to the right, not necessarily the Lefty. I also find that I can turn much better to my right. As a result, I take right hand turns faster with more lean. This leads to more wash outs/wrecks when turning right, but this has nothing to due with my Lefty fork, just my riding abilty (or lack thereof).

    A real life test is to compare to a Lefty to a Righty. Since we can't really do this test than I can come up with a Myth Buster style test.
    The only really good way to do a test would be to have a bunch of people ride bikes (the bikes would have to be setup exactly same) with different forks (leftys, "rightys", and conventional forks) around a short course. The rides would ride a couple of laps, note the handling charcteristics, and repeat with the other bikes. The hard part is that the riders can't know which fork they are riding, since they can't be truly impartial if they know which fork they are riding.

    Since it is pretty difficult to ride blindfolded, there is no good way to test if there is a difference in turning. Sure, if you lift the front wheel way up in the air and flop it around, you will notice a difference, but I don't think most people actually ride in that position.

    I think the vast majority of Lefty riders can't notice any real difference in handling.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith
    Odd, I guess all the BMW's with single sided rear wheels are washing out in corners one way too? Sorry, not seeing it. Not attacking you, but I'm not seeing it.....
    Very true Mendon, but....

    You notice that BMW & Honda do single sided rear wheels where it the wheel is always in line with the frame, and NOT front wheels where the steering takes place.

  30. #30
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by bleebs
    You notice that BMW & Honda do single sided rear wheels where it the wheel is always in line with the frame, and NOT front wheels where the steering takes place.
    True, yet many scooters use a trailing link single sided fork. A great number of aircraft too, but that's a different ball of wax. Me? Never felt a difference, whatever works for you, you know? Cheers
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  31. #31
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    Didn't BMW used to have a Lefty (or righty) front too?

    Anyway, I thought it was now a well-known fact that the Lefty turning better right or left had nothing to do with the weight being on the left but a bad cable routing thing... If your cables are too short or too long, they can pull or push the lefty to one side. Just route them correctly and it should be fine... but even with the cable problem, with both hands (even just one) on the bar, it shouldn't be a feelable issue. If it is, I suggest you do some basic upper body training like wearing a watch or drinking beer.

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  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Gerous
    Didn't BMW used to have a Lefty (or righty) front too?

    Anyway, I thought it was now a well-known fact that the Lefty turning better right or left had nothing to do with the weight being on the left but a bad cable routing thing... If your cables are too short or too long, they can pull or push the lefty to one side. Just route them correctly and it should be fine... but even with the cable problem, with both hands (even just one) on the bar, it shouldn't be a feelable issue. If it is, I suggest you do some basic upper body training like wearing a watch or drinking beer.
    Dan I respect your opinion, but believe me when I say what I talk about has nothing to do with cable routing. I'm not talking about difference in resistance levels turning the fork in either direction but rather the different properties the fork exhibits under hard leaned fast cornering as I eluded to in an earlier post.

    Regards

  33. #33
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    As much as I love the Lefty I have to agree with some riders here that it is not well balanced.....
    See, I always keep my bike in the workstand with the front wheel lower than the rear and it is NEVER inline with the frame, but turned to the right.....
    If I mount it with the rear wheel lower than the frontwheel you have the opposite effect.
    So I can see someone feeling this while riding and maybe this explains why one rider says it steers more to the left (maybe while climbing) or to the right (while descending).
    I guess I just automatically compensate that effect 'cause my bike goes exactly where I want it to go (most of the time at least ) and the stiffness of the Lefty is incredible......
    The first "normal" suspension fork I used was a Manitou Sherman with regular qr drop outs and it felt like a noodle compared to the lefty.
    It's all about making compromises I guess....
    Thank goodness we all have a different taste or otherwise we would all have the same bikes.
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  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Gerous
    Didn't BMW used to have a Lefty (or righty) front too?
    Not sure about the BMWs - Yamaha had one though:


  35. #35
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    I can ride without using my hands with no problems. If the Lefty is so unbalanced wouldn't this action be difficult? So if it tracks straight without even holding the bars tell me how you are going to feel it when charging down a rock strewn trail? The rotational forces are greater than the unbalanced weight of the fork so it will always feel balanced as long as your wheel is spinning. Try this. Take your front wheel and hold it upright and give it a spin. It will stay upright even if you only hold one side. The faster it spins the harder it is to tip over.

  36. #36
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    [QUOTE=MrCrash]Not sure about the BMWs - Yamaha had one though:

    and Ducati has a single sided swing arm, maybe we will get a rear end Lefty someday


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    Because this seems to have become an issue I'll further clarify what I understand:
    To the best of my knowledge the impact of the lefty on turning is so minimal as to be un-noticable - the engineering supports this. In fact the centrifugal force at even low speeds outweighs the fork by so many factors that I'm certain that this feel - left-right - that different riders feel is due to other factors.
    If anyone has ever put multiple frames on an alignment jig they'll find that frames and wheels are RARELY in alignment, and the discrepancies are enough to feel for experienced riders. I rode a bike for months that didn't feel right before getting serious about alignment. In my case it was in the rear triangle and once demonstrated my frame was replaced immediately by Cannondale - one of the reasons I still support them with my purchases.
    If anyone has put multiple lefty wheels on a truing stand you'll find the same (especially because checking the trueness of a lefty wheel is harder). Again, if the frameset is true you can tell if a wheel is not.
    So if frames and wheels are out - I'm not surprised that bikes turn differently?
    This is a weakness of the lefty, and I'll explain why:
    The alignment of the lefty can be adjusted because the crown can move independently of the steerer and lefty shaft upper, and this is precisely where the majority of error comes from. It also means that the left right bias can be corrected.
    bleebs - if you're so inclined you can do the testing and get back to us.
    I don't have a frame alignment jig any more, or even a truing stand, so my current wheel is trued to a simple homemade jig that inserts into the steerer tube. Even still, this likely means that I'm now compensating for misalignment with a little bit of front wheel dish, which I'm sure has a minimal impact on turning.

    So, in summing up:
    I can't 'prove' it, but some reasonable engineering debunks the turning issue, or at least suggests an alternative with evidence.
    It doesn't change bleebs' opinion, in fact he might be right, but as I originally questioned, without evidence or a hypothesis, we've no way of evaluating his claim or the cause of it.

    Back to the original poster - whatever the cause of bleebs claim - you can correct it pretty simply by trial and error adjustment of the lefty system and like bearing resets (if required - mine doesn't...touch wood) it's a small quirk for the stiffest, best turning shock on the market (I think that is provable).

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Gerous
    Didn't BMW used to have a Lefty (or righty) front too?

    Anyway, I thought it was now a well-known fact that the Lefty turning better right or left had nothing to do with the weight being on the left but a bad cable routing thing... If your cables are too short or too long, they can pull or push the lefty to one side. Just route them correctly and it should be fine... but even with the cable problem, with both hands (even just one) on the bar, it shouldn't be a feelable issue. If it is, I suggest you do some basic upper body training like wearing a watch or drinking beer.
    I've experienced this cable routing issue in the past. (Not to get into an arguement with bleebs, please.) In my case the brake and derailler cable housings were too long for the frame I'd put them on, causing the fine steering to be corrupted toward the right, which was only noticable when attempting to ride sans hands. Shortening solved the problem.

  39. #39
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    i never notice a difference when turning left vs right. just don't let go of the bars

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by nicholasc2
    The alignment of the lefty can be adjusted because the crown can move independently of the steerer and lefty shaft upper
    How? Since the steerer is keyed to the upper clamp, and permanently fixed to the lower?

    Here's another thought, since this is still going on, and my wheels always turn.... All bicycles have a propensity to turn towards the right, and this is due to there being more weight on the right side of the bike, than the left (drivetrain components). Since you are accustomed to an equal amount of weight acting on the front end, with an unbalanced system, once that weight is shifted all to one side (lefty), effectively counter-balancing the load on the right, you no longer have to compensate for the difference, and your body is trying to come to terms with that. Chew on it......
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

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  41. #41
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    I think most riders are also naturally better on one side than the other. Kind of like skateboarders, snowboarders and surfers having a natural ability to be better with a regular stance or a goofy stance...

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

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by nicholasc2
    So, in summing up:
    I can't 'prove' it, but some reasonable engineering debunks the turning issue, or at least suggests an alternative with evidence.
    It doesn't change bleebs' opinion, in fact he might be right, but as I originally questioned, without evidence or a hypothesis, we've no way of evaluating his claim or the cause of it.

    nicholasc2, Nick what evidence do you want? All I can state is my experience. But please enough of the school boy engineering theories.

    But lets just clarify what I'm talking about.

    It's not wheel alignment, I can ride no handed on them like any other fork.
    It's no cable length.
    It's not turning resistance, both ways are similar.
    It's not my turning style, I have too many bikes in the garage (ask the wife), I commute/train/race on a variaty of different bikes over the last 8-9 years and my techinique when turning to the left pretty similar to turning to the right (just in a different direction ).
    But what it is precisely is the different characteristics of the fork underload when leaning on the bike at speed, It doesn't just happen once or twice, but it occurs a lot.. I refer to it as the 'lefty factor'. Maybe its has something to do with my high center of gravity (I'm 6"3") maybe not. But I also currently race on a RS reba race 29er on a steel hardtail and a RS reba race on my BMC 4 stroke as well as a number of different bikes in the past and I have none of these differential properties that I have when racing on my lefty DLR2 on the scalpel and DLR2 on the rush.

    Warning, Schoolboy engineering theory coming up
    The lefty is not symmetrical, loads applied to the fork when turning left are handled differently to loads applied turning right, they have to be because the lefty only has a strut on one side...THE LEFT SIDE. And don't forget as stiff as the lefty is - it still flexes. One of my unqualified theories could be that the fore/aft and side to side flexes if charted would be different for the fork if measured in both directions. But its just that a unqualified theory because I'm not an engineer and don't pretend to be.

    I raced last night (on a Reba, it flexes like a POS compared to the lefty, but it does have the consistency between turning left and right), and after the race I spoke to and elite racer who used to be sponsored by cannondale, I mentioned this post and my take on the lefty's turning characteristics and asked him what he thought... and he agreed with me, but said it didn't bother him. This guy has raced at the UCI xc World Champs before, he is qualified to form and opinion and he was more than capable of disagreeing with me.... but he didn't. This elite racer is a real person and not a figment of my imagination suitable for this post, I will not say his name because at the time of asking I never thought to ask permission, and also knowing how sponsorship works in the industry it would not be in his interest to publicly state such a thing.

    I find when I'm trail riding I don't often find this taint, but when I'm racing and trying to get to the pointy end of the field (i.e. putting my balls on the line and taking risks while cornering) it becomes more than apparent.

    I respect everybody here who says they love the lefty and they have never experienced what I am talking about, I'm not out to convince them that they are wrong or there is something wrong with there fork. I'm not here to bag the lefty, as I have said in everypost I like them and have two of them, but please people respect the fact that in my opinion there is a inconsistancy in the fork and therefore in line with the original posting that I call it a con.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by bleebs
    nicholasc2, Nick what evidence do you want? All I can state is my experience. But please enough of the school boy engineering theories.

    But lets just clarify what I'm talking about.

    It's not wheel alignment, I can ride no handed on them like any other fork.
    It's no cable length.
    It's not turning resistance, both ways are similar.
    It's not my turning style, I have too many bikes in the garage (ask the wife), I commute/train/race on a variaty of different bikes over the last 8-9 years and my techinique when turning to the left pretty similar to turning to the right (just in a different direction ).
    But what it is precisely is the different characteristics of the fork underload when leaning on the bike at speed, It doesn't just happen once or twice, but it occurs a lot.. I refer to it as the 'lefty factor'. Maybe its has something to do with my high center of gravity (I'm 6"3") maybe not. But I also currently race on a RS reba race 29er on a steel hardtail and a RS reba race on my BMC 4 stroke as well as a number of different bikes in the past and I have none of these differential properties that I have when racing on my lefty DLR2 on the scalpel and DLR2 on the rush.

    Warning, Schoolboy engineering theory coming up
    The lefty is not symmetrical, loads applied to the fork when turning left are handled differently to loads applied turning right, they have to be because the lefty only has a strut on one side...THE LEFT SIDE. And don't forget as stiff as the lefty is - it still flexes. One of my unqualified theories could be that the fore/aft and side to side flexes if charted would be different for the fork if measured in both directions. But its just that a unqualified theory because I'm not an engineer and don't pretend to be.

    I raced last night (on a Reba, it flexes like a POS compared to the lefty, but it does have the consistency between turning left and right), and after the race I spoke to and elite racer who used to be sponsored by cannondale, I mentioned this post and my take on the lefty's turning characteristics and asked him what he thought... and he agreed with me, but said it didn't bother him. This guy has raced at the UCI xc World Champs before, he is qualified to form and opinion and he was more than capable of disagreeing with me.... but he didn't. This elite racer is a real person and not a figment of my imagination suitable for this post, I will not say his name because at the time of asking I never thought to ask permission, and also knowing how sponsorship works in the industry it would not be in his interest to publicly state such a thing.

    I find when I'm trail riding I don't often find this taint, but when I'm racing and trying to get to the pointy end of the field (i.e. putting my balls on the line and taking risks while cornering) it becomes more than apparent.

    I respect everybody here who says they love the lefty and they have never experienced what I am talking about, I'm not out to convince them that they are wrong or there is something wrong with there fork. I'm not here to bag the lefty, as I have said in everypost I like them and have two of them, but please people respect the fact that in my opinion there is a inconsistancy in the fork and therefore in line with the original posting that I call it a con.
    If I can put my "schoolboy" psychiatrist hat on for a sec, I read you telling us that you truly don't find any steering bias whatsoever in the Lefty. You protest too much. Rather, you are merely transferring your frustration and boredom at work onto this website and are thus attemping to look focused and busy on the computer--even going so far as to wave off any interruptions from coworkers--by seeing how far you can push the schoolboy philosophic stance of devils advocate.
    Just kidding. I'm actually projecting my own condition right now.
    For just twenty more minutes...

  44. #44
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    bleebs
    fair enough.
    I'm not trying to argue for the sake of being right - I'm just keen to debate the point - it's really the only way to test and see if I am right or not.
    As I said before - you might well be totally correct, but because I can't replicate your experience, Im interested in the 'why'.
    Good talking with you - I accept your point.

    Mendon - adjustable was the wrong word - the adjustment is done at the time of manufacture and isn't user adjustable thereafter - sorry for the confusion. I guess my point is that adjustment in any for can lead to error, and in my experience, does on Cannondales. As I've done, wheels can be dished slightly to make sure the C of G is aligned with the contact patches.
    Also while I'm chewing....There are a bunch of other inequalities too, and in fact alignin the contact patches with the frame centreline might be false anyway - see the Vespa offset...not to mention the differential flex of a dished rear, or variances in bottom bracket spacers, or crank arm manufacturing errors - more than enough to chew on.
    I think the point that both you and Dan allude to is the strongest: humans are not symetrical and don't act so, in fact in most situations we're very good at adjusting to compensate, though 'sidedness' is pretty hard to escape.

  45. #45
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    Think also the fact that that the center of balance at the body can be disorded just from a flu or from some liquid in the ear as everyone knows that the center nerves of stability are between the ears and some litlle malfunction (most often never noticed) can cause lost of balance one or other side so litlle most of the times we don't know that there is!

  46. #46
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    I can't ride No Handed on my lefty. Anybody else feel this? I can ride for miles no handed and do no handed bunny hops on my other bikes so it's not my riding ability. Most of you say who cares, but I like to ride a few pedal strokes no-handed even on the trails to stretch my back. I can't feel the lefty turn any different any where else. My buddy was the cannondale rep so we would talk about it, we figured the weight on the left side just made the bike pull when you didn't weight the bars. I can't feel it when I'm riding normal. I think it has more to do with making my Prophet sag more when I ride no handed. I try to hate my Lefty, but it's like a ugly chick with a 10 for a body. You just have to respect the great parts and close your eyes when your riding it..
    Last edited by mmills416; 01-04-2008 at 08:39 PM.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmills416
    You just have to respect the great parts and close your eyes when your riding it..
    But then you don't see where you're going...
    "Common sense isn't always that common!"
    Custom Prophet and Custom Delta V

  48. #48
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    Really the only issue I have with c'dale suspension is their lack of a quality seal. A rubber boot and zip ties on a $1000+ fork doesn't make a lick of sense to me. Other than that the leftys and headshocks are stiffer and lighter than traditional suspension but I've found that they are more problematic in the moisture area.

    They fix this issue and I'll continue to say that they're the best fork on the planet for XC use at least. Until then I probably won't invest in a new lefty/headshock.

    I've had to completely overhaul my headshock after a muddy race. Riding and racing in the mud is a bad idea in general I've found but no one who owned a fox or rock shox had the same issue.
    My one says BRAP!

  49. #49
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    Well, the rubber boot is only to protect the needle bearings and races from dirt and water, the damping cartridge itself can resist water with no issues.
    As long as the Lefty or any other HeadShok is not submerged or pressure washed it'll be no problem on the long run.
    There will be always a drawback in any design no matter what though...the "Perfect" fork or bicycle simply doesn't exist because there's always one way or another to improve an existing design....
    But if one constantly rides in wet, muddy conditions or crossing creeks I have to agree that a HeadShok won't necessarily be the best pick....
    PS...I've seen "regular" suspension forks with busted, rusted internals too, so it's not a "Lefty Only" problem....
    "Common sense isn't always that common!"
    Custom Prophet and Custom Delta V

  50. #50
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    mmills416, I agree on the no handed. I dare someone to ride no handed at 40km/hr, on the road of course; first time I did this I was sure I was going down. Talk about speed wobbles, much worse than I've ever felt on my decade of road riding.

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