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  1. #1
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    The reverse Lefty question

    Sorry to do this to you all but I have a problem you see. I have only ever ridden a lefty. I have thrown a leg over a mates giant anthem with a fox fork and ridden on the street but because he rides with clips and I have flats I have never ridden a conventional fork in anger.

    So I have to know what I'm missing out on. I love the lefty but I am considering whether the grass is greener on the 2 legged side of the fence. For those who know where the lefty is lacking let me know please.

    This is not an invitation to a good old lefty bashing. Keep it helpful.

  2. #2
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeddz3 View Post
    For those who know where the lefty is lacking let me know please..
    Near as I can tell, the answer to "where" is, on the right side.

    It's lacking in stiction.

    Lacking in creaky fork crowns after less than a year of riding.

    Lacking in "Legendary travel" that actually is always less than advertised.

    Lacking in factory fork seals that are so bad, there's aftermarket ones that are better that Fox refuses to use.

    Oops, well, at least I didn't bash on the Lefty.
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by mendoncyclesmith View Post
    near as i can tell, the answer to "where" is, on the right side.

    It's lacking in stiction.

    Lacking in creaky fork crowns after less than a year of riding.

    Lacking in "legendary travel" that actually is always less than advertised.

    Lacking in factory fork seals that are so bad, there's aftermarket ones that are better that fox refuses to use.

    Oops, well, at least i didn't bash on the lefty.
    +100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000

  4. #4
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    Well, to counter Mendon's statement consider:

    I've never seen the lower leg assembly of a Fox fork separate from the upper assembly, luckily the Lefty has a boot to hold it together when all other assemblies fail.

    Fox forks don't mysteriously lose their travel over the course of a few weeks (however, dual air Rockshox forks can, but it's easily rectified with a shock pump)

    Normal forks allow the fitting of a crown race, with a seal, and allow the use of a shielded lower headset cup to protect the headset bearings from contamination.

    Normal forks resist brake dive by increasing bushing friction under lateral loading (this is glass-half-full phrasing)

    The creaky crown I have no excuses for, and it's really annoying.

    Note: I work on all types of suspension forks and enjoy all of them (except White Brothers), but the Lefty forks are certainly a more profitably enterprise

    - Joel
    Cycling is Serious Business.

  5. #5
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    [QUOTE=tomacropod;9961112]Well, to counter Mendon's statement consider:

    I've never seen the lower leg assembly of a Fox fork separate from the upper assembly, luckily the Lefty has a boot to hold it together when all other assemblies fail.

    I have and my buddy lost half his ear when the fork came apart.

    Fox forks don't mysteriously lose their travel over the course of a few weeks (however, dual air Rockshox forks can, but it's easily rectified with a shock pump)

    You are correct, but you never get full travel out of a FOX anyways. The new Leftys do not lose travel.

    Normal forks allow the fitting of a crown race, with a seal, and allow the use of a shielded lower headset cup to protect the headset bearings from contamination.

    Never had an issue with the lower bearing on the HS with a Lefty that did not happen with any other fork.

    Normal forks resist brake dive by increasing bushing friction under lateral loading (this is glass-half-full phrasing)

    Wrong, if true FOX forks really need to have there shock re-engineered because they have a ton brake dive unless you set them up of course to only have 1/2 travel.

    The creaky crown I have no excuses for, and it's really annoying.

    Note: I work on all types of suspension forks and enjoy all of them (except White Brothers), but the Lefty forks are certainly a more profitably enterprise

    Note, I have been a bike shop Mechanic for 18 years and have worked on all types of suspension and concur on the WB. The only fork I prefer over a Lefty is a Marzocchi for big hits

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomacropod View Post
    Well, to counter Mendon's statement consider:

    I've never seen the lower leg assembly of a Fox fork separate from the upper assembly, luckily the Lefty has a boot to hold it together when all other assemblies fail.

    Fox forks don't mysteriously lose their travel over the course of a few weeks (however, dual air Rockshox forks can, but it's easily rectified with a shock pump)

    Normal forks allow the fitting of a crown race, with a seal, and allow the use of a shielded lower headset cup to protect the headset bearings from contamination.

    Normal forks resist brake dive by increasing bushing friction under lateral loading (this is glass-half-full phrasing)

    The creaky crown I have no excuses for, and it's really annoying.

    Note: I work on all types of suspension forks and enjoy all of them (except White Brothers), but the Lefty forks are certainly a more profitably enterprise

    - Joel
    I know Mendon will not appreciate me saying this yet again, but:


    My Lefty has been the single most unreliable bit of MTB kit I have ever owned since I started biking in around 1993.

    Lockout failed, whole lower leg almost fell out while riding, clunks when locked out. I work with a guy who has had EXACTLY the same problems with his Lefty too.

    I love the way it rides, though TBH they are not as smooth as folks would like to have you believe, and there's a kind of "bearing" feel to the action, but just so unreliable and at least here in Australia a real PITA to get fixed.

    I have never had a conventional fork with a creaking crown, harking right back to the bolt up crown on the likes of the Mag 21.
    My Cannondale Lefty keeps failing....

  7. #7
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    Yes, I have that Porsche here... I'd like to trade it for a Hyundai.

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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sideknob View Post
    I know Mendon will not appreciate me saying this yet again, but:


    My Lefty has been the single most unreliable bit of MTB kit I have ever owned since I started biking in around 1993.

    Lockout failed, whole lower leg almost fell out while riding, clunks when locked out. I work with a guy who has had EXACTLY the same problems with his Lefty too.

    I love the way it rides, though TBH they are not as smooth as folks would like to have you believe, and there's a kind of "bearing" feel to the action, but just so unreliable and at least here in Australia a real PITA to get fixed.

    I have never had a conventional fork with a creaking crown, harking right back to the bolt up crown on the likes of the Mag 21.
    Well I'm sure you know about RLCsport in Brisbane as a service centre, but if you're ever in Canberra and need someone to take a look at your Lefty, just send me a PM for shop address.

    - Joel
    Cycling is Serious Business.

  9. #9
    No good in rock gardens..
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomacropod View Post
    Well I'm sure you know about RLCsport in Brisbane as a service centre, but if you're ever in Canberra and need someone to take a look at your Lefty, just send me a PM for shop address.

    - Joel
    Yeah, I know about RLC, cheers.

    The first time it spewed its gut up I was without the bike for five weeks in summer. I ended up getting my hardtail out.

    That amount of downtime is just not on.

    The second time (when the lower leg turned sideways and almost flicked me over the bars) I think it was about three weeks.

    I don't trust the thing anymore and the only reason I don't swap it out is because it would be cheaper to just buy a whole new bike which is a win-win. Lefty gone, and whole new bike.
    My Cannondale Lefty keeps failing....

  10. #10
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    I know about the lefty

    I bought a 2nd hand rise 3 with a damaged damper shaft and soon decided to replace the damper with a 2012 140mm version. I've run it hard, I've run it soft and I've hit things hard too. I take it off drops and I have had zero issues with it over two years. I have now attached it to a 2012 Jekyll and it looks great.

    The question was really for owners or riders who have had both. What did you prefer?

    BTW if you are in Sydney with a cannondale ( or not ) you should try the 'ride in workshop' in Balgowlah.

  11. #11
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeddz3 View Post
    The question was really for owners or riders who have had both. What did you prefer?
    Lefty.

    Own or owned, Fox (multiple models and generations ditto for RS and WB), RockShox, White Brothers, Winwood (don't even get me started on that one), Noleen, Girvin, Manitou, even an 1896 Pierce Arrow leaf sprung jobbie.

    Quality of travel, chassis stiffness, nothing else came close.
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

    - FrostyStruthers



    www.mendoncyclesmith.com

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeddz3 View Post
    The question was really for owners or riders who have had both. What did you prefer?
    I've been mountainbikng for 25+ years and I've ridden all kinds of forks during that time.. Fox, Marzocchi, Rockshox etc.. I got an opportunity to use a Lefty a few years ago... performance wise it blew me away and I haven't looked back since...

    I now have 3 Lefty's and 2 Headshok equipped bikes.. they have been flawless.. totally reliable and never given any trouble.. even my old 2001 Lefty DLR and my oddball Terralogic fork have proven to be 100% reliable..

    I'll never go back to a 'standard' fork for XC or AM riding..

    The only 'standard' fork I have now is an RS Pike on my dirt jumper..

  13. #13
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    I'm on my 4th Lefty and the only problem I've had is the latest which has a slight knock coming from the top of the fork. I haven't taken it to my LBS yet, but they're thinking it might have something to do with the remote lockout. It still rides fine... well, fine is an understatement. It rides bloody brilliant other than the slight knocking noise.

  14. #14
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    I'd just like to add the following..

    Before I got my first Lefty I'd heard all the rumours and 'horror' stories about Lefty's and Headshok forks.. my initial impression was that they were a kind of novelty item, something odd or unconventional to look at, a bit of a conversation starter on the trail.. that type of thing..

    Well the horror stories turned out to be total fiction.. my novelty oddball fork is now a tried, tested and trusted piece of kit that I will never give up..

    Quote Originally Posted by Quentin View Post
    I'm on my 4th Lefty and the only problem I've had is the latest which has a slight knock coming from the top of the fork. I haven't taken it to my LBS yet, but they're thinking it might have something to do with the remote lockout. It still rides fine... well, fine is an understatement. It rides bloody brilliant other than the slight knocking noise.
    Sounds like you need a bearing reset... an essential peice of maintenance.. its very very easy to do, takes a few minutes first time around but once you get your head around it takes 2-3 minutes max..

  15. #15
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    oops... double posted by accident
    Last edited by Mac the Knife; 12-13-2012 at 07:42 AM. Reason: oops... double posted by accident

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mac the Knife View Post
    I'd just like to add the following..

    Before I got my first Lefty I'd heard all the rumours and 'horror' stories about Lefty's and Headshok forks.. my initial impression was that they were a kind of novelty item, something odd or unconventional to look at, a bit of a conversation starter on the trail.. that type of thing..

    Well the horror stories turned out to be total fiction.. my novelty oddball fork is now a tried, tested and trusted piece of kit that I will never give up..



    Sounds like you need a bearing reset... an essential peice of maintenance.. its very very easy to do, takes a few minutes first time around but once you get your head around it takes 2-3 minutes max..
    The bike had all of 12 miles on it when I noticed the noise. I shouldn't need a bearing reset yet. It is definitely an easy job, but shouldn't be required yet.

  17. #17
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    True, under normal circumstances 12 miles of riding shouldn't lead to a bearing reset.. but if the fork is making a knocking sound it would be the first thing I'd check..

    When it comes the mountainbiking I've learnt never to ignore a 'problem sound'.. when things start making unusual noises it is usually a sign that something needs attention..

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mac the Knife View Post
    True, under normal circumstances 12 miles of riding shouldn't lead to a bearing reset.. but if the fork is making a knocking sound it would be the first thing I'd check..

    When it comes the mountainbiking I've learnt never to ignore a 'problem sound'.. when things start making unusual noises it is usually a sign that something needs attention..
    Yeah, a knock sound almost always means something is too loose or too tight. Definitely not something I'll ignore. I'm going to have my LBS look at it tomorrow.

  19. #19
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    In my experience, the Lefty is a fun and reliable shock. Alas, a lot of bike shops have no idea how to maintain them, despite what they might claim. Cannondale doesn't require their dealers to get professional training, so oftentimes some self-appointed "expert mechanic" pops one open a Lefty and does terrible things with the wrong tools. Bad service will ruin the best shock in very short order.

    The solution is to send your shock to someone who really knows what they're doing, like Craig at Mendon Cyclesmith.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by TobyGadd View Post
    In my experience, the Lefty is a fun and reliable shock. Alas, a lot of bike shops have no idea how to maintain them, despite what they might claim. Cannondale doesn't require their dealers to get professional training, so oftentimes some self-appointed "expert mechanic" pops one open a Lefty and does terrible things with the wrong tools. Bad service will ruin the best shock in very short order.

    The solution is to send your shock to someone who really knows what they're doing, like Craig at Mendon Cyclesmith.
    So true, I asked my local dealer to look at a staining (later I found out it was from oil) and thought they would investigate and send it to C'dale. This was clearly not done and I should have realised as they mainly sold road cycles. I have finally located another reseller slightly closer who sell far more Lefty. One more thing was that the mechanic also rode my bike 2kms (testing it!), my bike was then cleaned even though it was given to them super cleaned.

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