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  1. #1
    bee
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    Riding no hands with a Cannondale Lefty Fork

    Is it true that it is alot more difficult to ride no hands on a bike with a Cannondale Lefty fork? I've heard this rumor before that the bike pulls to one side, but wanted to see from people who have ridden these bikes. For those that don't know. The Lefty Fork is Cannondale's one-legged fork.


  2. #2
    I bike long tyme.
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    I never noticed a difference.
    People wait for me on the way up. I wait for them on the way down.

  3. #3
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    I would assume it has more to do with your balance.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by bee View Post
    Cannondale Lefty fork
    gross

  5. #5
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    only if you're 1x9 or 1x10, then you'd be riding in clockwise circles.

    good AM topic, try the c-dale forum too
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  6. #6
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    it is absolutely true. the design engineers never even considered the possibility of that. even with your hands on the bars, the bike veers to one side. dirtbikes do this as well because of their one-sided rear end.
    RIP Adam Yauch

    "M.C. for what I AM and do, the A is for Adam and the lyrics; true"

  7. #7
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    What way does a unicycle pull?

  8. #8
    bee
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    Quote Originally Posted by saturnine View Post
    it is absolutely true. the design engineers never even considered the possibility of that. even with your hands on the bars, the bike veers to one side. dirtbikes do this as well because of their one-sided rear end.

    hmm. I knew there was something to this. It's strange though. I have heard of this strange phenomenon on these Lefty forks. Though, some people don't seem to be affected by this. I wonder if it is due to the different bike front end stiffness of different Cannondale bikes, or simply due to rider expertise that makes it harder for some people to not notice a difference.

    PS- I am all for moving this thread to the Cannondale forum. If a forum moderator sees this and is able to move it that would be great.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by 006_007 View Post
    What way does a unicycle pull?
    the force that acts upon a unicycle is more push than pull.
    RIP Adam Yauch

    "M.C. for what I AM and do, the A is for Adam and the lyrics; true"

  10. #10
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    These comments are rubbish. The bike does not veer to one side. I can take my hands off at different speeds and the bike tracks straight ahead. I ride a Carbon Flash 29er.

  11. #11
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    The Lefty does not pull to one side while riding with no hands on the bars. There should be a sticky about this since it comes up too often. Some of these other responses are ridiculous.

  12. #12
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    If you're riding no hands on a lefty then you're riding the wrong trail.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by bee View Post
    hmm. I knew there was something to this. It's strange though. I have heard of this strange phenomenon on these Lefty forks. Though, some people don't seem to be affected by this. I wonder if it is due to the different bike front end stiffness of different Cannondale bikes, or simply due to rider expertise that makes it harder for some people to not notice a difference.

    PS- I am all for moving this thread to the Cannondale forum. If a forum moderator sees this and is able to move it that would be great.
    Wow, either I'm missing the sarcasm or you're more than gullible.

    The Lefty tracks straight and true just like any other fork. Riding no hands is a non-issue, though as mentioned, if you're doing very much no hands riding, you've really no need for a Lefty.

  14. #14
    GAME ON!
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    RIP Adam Yauch

    "M.C. for what I AM and do, the A is for Adam and the lyrics; true"

  15. #15
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    Riding no handed with a Lefty? Sorry, it can only be done if you dance: Marco Fontana dance training...

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

  16. #16
    bee
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    Quote Originally Posted by kuan View Post
    If you're riding no hands on a lefty then you're riding the wrong trail.


    Well, when I win the race I am going to put my arms up and hand high in the air. Nothing wrong about that trail I would be on on that day.

  17. #17
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    Mine always goes right. Why?

  18. #18
    Ridin' dirty!
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    Quote Originally Posted by kuan View Post
    If you're riding no hands on a lefty then you're riding the wrong trail.

    Good point!

    "Common sense isn't always that common!"
    Custom Prophet and Custom Delta V

  19. #19
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    A lefty doesn't pull one way or another, if it is "pulling" it's likely to be a rider error or cable routing.
    and no, I am not missing the other half of my fork....

  20. #20
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    Just go test one and you'll soon discover the truth, which is that it does not pull but rides straight.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoostN7 View Post
    A lefty doesn't pull one way or another, if it is "pulling" it's likely to be a rider error or cable routing.
    DING! DING! DING! We have a winner here!

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

  22. #22
    A guy on a bike Moderator
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    Before I put a Lefty on my bike, it always pulled to the right because the drivetrain is on the right. But with the new Lefty pulling left, the forces counteract each other and the bike pulls mostly forward, especially when riding down hills or with the wind. But on climbs, it pulls back, so I'm trying to figure out what to do. Maybe one of those rear shocks might "kick" the bike forward a bit? Or maybe if I put a bigger tire on the rear wheel? But that might make the descents too slow, so maybe I should get some lighter aero spokes for the Front wheel--but I'm worried that the wind resistance might not be equal, and then it would pull to the right again. I wonder if I angle the spokes a little, if maybe they would push the wind to the side, and the bike would self-right if it tipped over with the wheel spinning. But what if I tipped over the to right?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by TobyGadd View Post
    Before I put a Lefty on my bike, it always pulled to the right because the drivetrain is on the right. But with the new Lefty pulling left, the forces counteract each other and the bike pulls mostly forward, especially when riding down hills or with the wind. But on climbs, it pulls back, so I'm trying to figure out what to do. Maybe one of those rear shocks might "kick" the bike forward a bit? Or maybe if I put a bigger tire on the rear wheel? But that might make the descents too slow, so maybe I should get some lighter aero spokes for the Front wheel--but I'm worried that the wind resistance might not be equal, and then it would pull to the right again. I wonder if I angle the spokes a little, if maybe they would push the wind to the side, and the bike would self-right if it tipped over with the wheel spinning. But what if I tipped over the to right?
    Sarcasm might be the lowest form of wit, but this surely deserves a prize?

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by TobyGadd View Post
    Before I put a Lefty on my bike, it always pulled to the right because the drivetrain is on the right. But with the new Lefty pulling left, the forces counteract each other and the bike pulls mostly forward, especially when riding down hills or with the wind. But on climbs, it pulls back, so I'm trying to figure out what to do. Maybe one of those rear shocks might "kick" the bike forward a bit? Or maybe if I put a bigger tire on the rear wheel? But that might make the descents too slow, so maybe I should get some lighter aero spokes for the Front wheel--but I'm worried that the wind resistance might not be equal, and then it would pull to the right again. I wonder if I angle the spokes a little, if maybe they would push the wind to the side, and the bike would self-right if it tipped over with the wheel spinning. But what if I tipped over the to right?
    My head hurts...

  25. #25
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    good thing i looked at all the responces, "balencing off the drivetrain forces on the right" was what i was gonna write about. ha ha

  26. #26
    A guy on a bike Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by rmcsharry View Post
    Sarcasm might be the lowest form of wit, but this surely deserves a prize?
    And the prize is...a well-deserved beating?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bighec View Post
    My head hurts...
    Left or right side? No pain, no gain!

  27. #27
    bee
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    What about Amy's experience on page 1? Are you guys saying she is imagining all that? She has a Left fork and hers pulls to the right. She wanted to know why and all you guys do is make fun of her. Not cool.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by amy_marc View Post
    Mine always goes right. Why?

    I am not sure why your bike tracks to the right. Thats why I posed the initial question since I don't have a lefty fork. You know, you aren't the first to have this experience and I have heard others too. I wonder if it is just due to different types of frames with the lefty fork. Maybe it has something to do with some bikes have a lot of front end stiffness so some people can't tell a difference, but others do.

  29. #29
    A guy on a bike Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by bee View Post
    What about Amy's experience on page 1? Are you guys saying she is imagining all that? She has a Left fork and hers pulls to the right. She wanted to know why and all you guys do is make fun of her. Not cool.
    I think that most people on the Cannondale forum are a little jaded by questions such as hers, which is what leads to the inevitable silly responses. The truth is that Lefty forks don't pull to the side. Although they look like they might, they don't. But sometimes the cable routing is awkward, which can pull the wheel to one side or the other--which is not a problem that is unique to Leftys. If the wheel turns when the bike is lifted off the ground, it's probably a brake or derailleur cable that is either too long, too short, or somehow pulling or pushing on the bars.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by TobyGadd View Post
    I think that most people on the Cannondale forum are a little jaded by questions such as hers, which is what leads to the inevitable silly responses. The truth is that Lefty forks don't pull to the side. Although they look like they might, they don't. But sometimes the cable routing is awkward, which can pull the wheel to one side or the other--which is not a problem that is unique to Leftys. If the wheel turns when the bike is lifted off the ground, it's probably a brake or derailleur cable that is either too long, too short, or somehow pulling or pushing on the bars.
    I get asked by people if my Lefty is balanced,

    my response is "Yes, otherwise you would not be ETERNALLY stuck in your body asking such trivial questions"

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Gerous View Post
    DING! DING! DING! We have a winner here!
    Hooray!

    *Boost receives 10 points*
    and no, I am not missing the other half of my fork....

  32. #32
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    I reckon that's most likely but one other thing you could check...Is the wheel dished correctly? It's harder to notice if dishing is off on a Lefty.

    For what it's worth, mine definitely doesn't pull to one side or the other.

  33. #33
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    Problem I have with the Lefty is when I forget to use the rear brake and only apply the front. Since the brake caliper is also on the left side the bike just whips a tight left turn that scares the heck out of me.

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    hey,i actually have a serious reply!

    how is the dish on your wheel? i have zero experience with leftys, i usually make light of them when i see them, but if your wheel was not centered under the steerer there would definitely be this kind of problem, i'm guessing that they dish centered between the flanges, and a canondale dealer would have a truing stand spaced for this. Wheels usually go out of dish for me away from the brake ,front and back,and i really use alot of front brake and i guess those spokes see alot of stretching and releasing so the ones on the brakeside, particularly the ones that get unloaded when braking, tend to loosen and the wheels dish goes off a bit.

  35. #35
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    it's not that hard.....actually....
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Riding no hands with a Cannondale Lefty Fork-221827_10150153407748059_715353058_6775064_6623724_n.jpg  


  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by scalpel226 View Post
    it's not that hard.....actually....
    This guy gets paid to do it

  37. #37
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
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    Made a great discovery the other night.

    Was finishing out a ride, coming back on a dirt road filled with pot holes, many 6+ inches deep, but wide.

    Riding no hands isn't normally an issue. Lefty or not.

    Most of my time is spent on a Fat Lefty at this point, and I was not expecting to have issues with riding no hands, which I didn't. What did surprise me was I could aim for any pot hole I wanted, plow through, and be none the worse for wear. Road no hands, pounding holes for almost a mile.
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

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  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by thatdrewguy View Post
    Problem I have with the Lefty is when I forget to use the rear brake and only apply the front. Since the brake caliper is also on the left side the bike just whips a tight left turn that scares the heck out of me.




    Trolling at it's best
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  39. #39
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    Caution;  Merge;  Workers Ahead! my bike does pull to the right....

    Actually I just wrote to Cannondale about the pull problem I have. Next thing I started looking for info on the web and found this forum.

    In February I've got myself a new Flash 29er Carbon3 and I love it. I noticed the bike is not well balanced though. If I ride it no-hands I need to lean quite far to the left (bike pulls to the right). I tested another identical bike from my local reseller to discover the very same symptoms.

    I checked the routing of all cables and changed several configurations but nothing changed.

    If I stand above the bike aligning visually frame and front wheel it appears the wheel is moved toward the shok. Now I am thinking about adjusting the spokes so the wheel is moved away from the lefty by 2-4mm but I will wait for answer from C-dale first.

    Mar&Co

  40. #40
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    That's what is called "dish"

    The 26 answers in this thread who were suggesting to check the dish just meant that.
    "There is a big difference between kneeling down and bending over" -FZ

  41. #41
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    Just pull a string from the front wheel to the rear wheel. There should be four points of contact at the same time on the wheels.

    Use a straight edge with a good rear wheel, no tire. See if it sights straight with the head tube. Also check against the seat tube. Many bikes have misaligned dropouts or linkages and will cause pulling.

    Out of 8 assorted frames I've owned, all needed some tweaking with a round file at the dropouts to get them straight. I mean really straight.
    Last edited by 1niceride; 05-30-2012 at 01:12 PM.
    lean forward

  42. #42
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    Mine pulled to the right!

    I resolved the problem by re-aligning the rear tire and making sure it was nice and tight.

  43. #43
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    When I leave my bike perfectly vertical on a service stand, Lefty always goes to the left, which is natural due to gravity force, and it does the same when I ride. I have to lean the bike to the right to be able to ride with no hands. I think it might be different in other bikes, depending on the head angle. I owe Cannondale Prophet with 69* head angle, and that's pretty "flat" for a bike with asymmetric fork.

  44. #44
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    Does anybody know if the body's COG is the same left to right? Maybe that left pull counters that asymmetrical COG?


    I have found a straight bike/fork pulls straight. If the front wheel's contact is to the left of the rear, It will pull to the right. If the front wheel is to the right of the rear, it will pull left.

    If the rear wheel is toed to the left, it will pull right. If the rear wheel is toed right, it will pull left.

    Out of 9 frames I've owned in 12 years, the Sette Riddik has been pin straight with any fork I've used on it. All other frames pulled one way or the other alittle. Lastly, many forks are sprung on one side only.
    lean forward

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by saturnine View Post
    it is absolutely true. the design engineers never even considered the possibility of that. even with your hands on the bars, the bike veers to one side. dirtbikes do this as well because of their one-sided rear end.
    What?
    You're nuts... I am 100% sure that my Lefty does not make my bike pull to one side. And if it was that easy to offset the centrifical force and inertia of a bike in motion then wouldn't the chain and gearing which drives the wheel create even more such instability???
    Mtb bikes and compnents are expensive and due to location many must rely on these forums to form an opinion before making such an investment. Knowing this I wouldn't try to steer someone toward a rediculouse bias based off of nonsense passed off as "Fact"!

    So NO this is not true!
    I ride my Lefty 20 miles to work and 20 miles back 5 days a week and have never felt this tendency when I let go of the bars. MAybe you have bent seat rails or something?

    My personal take on my Lefty Fork:
    The fork feels like a short travel XC fork.Besides the feel of the needle bearings it feels just like any other.
    It has it's pro's and con's - just like any other. I don't love it and I don't hate it.
    It just serves it's purpose. It's light and stiff, responds well to terrain and has shown zero signs of weakness but it requires some servicing to ensure best function and reliability. (as do many others, e.g. Fox forks)

    I personally I have jumped, climbed, twisted and turned my lefty DLR for 3 years now and it's done fine, but I have also had it serviced by Cannondale every year without fail as my LBS has suggested at a cost of around $200 per service. (Which I do consider to be a high price but in my situation I will save that in gas money in a week!)

    Pros=
    - I find the fork to be very reliable, consistent and trustworthy.
    - It doesn't flex or twist so I know that the fork will always be pushing my wheel back toward the Earth in the interest of solid traction.
    Cons=
    - $200. is expensive for annual service.
    - Must be sent to Cannondale for servicing ( Two weeks is the longest it has taken for my fork to come back)
    -Limits aftermarket Hub and stem selection.

    -Hope this helps.
    Last edited by s570e; 09-09-2012 at 02:23 PM.

  46. #46
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    The Flash 29 with the lefty PBR is definitely more difficult to ride with no hands compare to the my other bike Niner one.
    S.C. TB2
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  47. #47
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    my lefty was pulling to one side as the front hub bearings had worn out and there was play. replaced and now its back to normal

  48. #48
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    I may be late to this party but I can contribute. I am a new Lefty owner and I was concerned with this issue. So, testing the fork for no hands riding was on my priority list. I have the new 2013 Lefty and I report that you can ride no hands until the cows come home. I'll see about getting video if I have the time.

    In addition, it does not pull.
    Ricardo aka "El Toro"
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    Better late than never. The thought of this never entered my mind when I was buying my Flash 29er...After reading this of course I had to try it.

    I can now say yes, mine does tend to track left but only very slightly. Could be the weight of my Incredibell mounted on the left side of the cockpit that could be causing it, or my poor (but improving) balance.

  50. #50
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    I just transferred my Lefty + wheel to another frame and I am now convinced more than ever , that the 'pull/push' phenomena is cable related.

    On my other setup , a 1FG with a Rohloff and hydros , I could ride no hand without any problem and on my new setup , the 4 cables passes on the same side of the frame and it "pushes" to the right. I can compensate but I definitly feel it more than I use to.


    It's the exact same fork and wheel , with two different cable running setups.
    "There is a big difference between kneeling down and bending over" -FZ

  51. #51
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    Have you changed cables?

    I find that Gore Ride-Ons cause me problems because they're so stiff. Because the front end is so light it doesn't take much to push-pull the Lefty around.
    and no, I am not missing the other half of my fork....

  52. #52
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    I find that my Lefty causes my bike to "corkscrew" whenever I jump it. Luckily, the Lefty's rigidity allows it to handle the awkward landings with aplomb . . .
    '95 M2 StumpJumper FS
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  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoostN7 View Post
    Have you changed cables?

    I find that Gore Ride-Ons cause me problems because they're so stiff. Because the front end is so light it doesn't take much to push-pull the Lefty around.
    Yep , cables have been changed.
    More the fact that all cables now passes to left side of the frame so they all "push" the Lefty to the right.
    I'll experiement with cable lenght , I'll try to shorten them a bit.
    "There is a big difference between kneeling down and bending over" -FZ

  54. #54
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    It's funny. I rode with a CFR team member, and mentioned this thread. He proceeded to ride the first 3 miles of our single track with no hands...with a Lefty. I wish I could have taken video of it, but, I was laughing so hard (and quite amazed to be honest!).

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by fokof View Post
    Yep , cables have been changed.
    More the fact that all cables now passes to left side of the frame so they all "push" the Lefty to the right.
    I'll experiement with cable lenght , I'll try to shorten them a bit.
    That's exactly why! You should be routing all do the cables through the left side of the frame?

    I'll tell you what, I'll take a photo of my cabling tonight for you. It might not be the right way to do it but it works for me.

    Too long and you will get resistance when steering, too short and you can't steer at all. It's a fine line, and it's different for everyone (Different setups etc). My front mech cable is slightly too long at the moment, and I get a little bit of resistance from it. I'm hoping that when the cable "beds in" it'll be fine!
    and no, I am not missing the other half of my fork....

  56. #56
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    Okay, I've cropped this photo down a bit, it's not prefect but it should give you enough to work with.



    Firstly, please bare in mind that my cables are cross rooted on the down tube. That's how I've always done it, and how CSG usually do it. Also, sorry if my terminology is a bit off. I'm not a bike mechanic, just trying to help based from my own experience.

    The rear mech cable goes across the head tube and through the gap on the left between the frame and the lefty. When idle the cable should not touch the Lefty at all, only when turning right (sharply) should you get any sort of contact, and it should be minimal. You can use the rear brake cable as a guide and kind of sit the rear mech cable on top (depending on the rooting on the down tube.

    The front mech cable again goes across the head tube and over the top of the rear mech cable. I cut mine a little bit too long, which as I said above causes a little bit of resistance, but better to have too much than too little...

    Hope this helps. As I said, this might not be THE way to do it. But it works for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by 58teeth View Post
    It's funny. I rode with a CFR team member, and mentioned this thread. He proceeded to ride the first 3 miles of our single track with no hands...with a Lefty. I wish I could have taken video of it, but, I was laughing so hard (and quite amazed to be honest!).
    That's amazing haha, who was it? I was doing that last weekend, I got hit by a cross wind and almost crashed. That will teach me for being smug.
    and no, I am not missing the other half of my fork....

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    ... and if we just ...

    Quote Originally Posted by bee View Post
    Is it true that it is alot more difficult to ride no hands on a bike with a Cannondale Lefty fork? I've heard this rumor before that the bike pulls to one side, but wanted to see from people who have ridden these bikes. For those that don't know. The Lefty Fork is Cannondale's one-legged fork.

    I know it doesn't pull to the left riding no hands cause I do it all the time. But it definitely pulls left when doing mono's always always. For what it's worth I pull right when watching the Internet.

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoostN7 View Post

    Firstly, please bare in mind that my cables are cross rooted on the down tube. That's how I've always done it, and how CSG usually do it. Also, sorry if my terminology is a bit off. I'm not a bike mechanic, just trying to help based from my own experience.

    The rear mech cable goes across the head tube and through the gap on the left between the frame and the lefty. When idle the cable should not touch the Lefty at all, only when turning right (sharply) should you get any sort of contact, and it should be minimal. You can use the rear brake cable as a guide and kind of sit the rear mech cable on top (depending on the rooting on the down tube.

    The front mech cable again goes across the head tube and over the top of the rear mech cable. I cut mine a little bit too long, which as I said above causes a little bit of resistance, but better to have too much than too little...

    Hope this helps. As I said, this might not be THE way to do it. But it works for me.
    My setup is with a Rohloff , so both shifter cables passes alongside the downtube together (photo) so is the rear brake cable and , of course , the front.

    I have to experiement different length.
    Thanx anyways !!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Riding no hands with a Cannondale Lefty Fork-dscn1380.jpg  

    "There is a big difference between kneeling down and bending over" -FZ

  59. #59
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    Well...

    Quote Originally Posted by amy_marc View Post
    Mine always goes right. Why?
    .
    .. it ain't the fork.

    ... in all seriousness....

    You probably have a wheel that isn't dished properly, or not fully seated in the dropouts, or maybe your frame is not perfectly straight. Yeah, it even happens sometimes with brand new frames.

    I sometimes get speed wobbles if I ride no-handed above 25 mph, but that's pretty much the only odd Lefty related behavior.
    Last edited by pimpbot; 12-05-2012 at 04:22 PM.

  60. #60
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    My lefty tends to cause my front wheel to feel unbalanced. Does anyone know the toe/camber/caster factory specs to resolve this? Also, can anyone explain why my tire loses some air over a months time with a lefty?

  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by poorboy006 View Post
    My lefty tends to cause my front wheel to feel unbalanced. Does anyone know the toe/camber/caster factory specs to resolve this? Also, can anyone explain why my tire loses some air over a months time with a lefty?
    I run -2 camber with a smidge of toe-in for great cornering with tremendous stability. No-hands riding is rock solid in a straight line, and extreme no-hands lean angles are tolerated for hairpin turns with my hands firmly clasped behind my head.

    Did not know caster was adjustable on the Lefty?????

    Use anti-sieze on the axle nut to prevent the loss of air.
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  62. #62
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    It seems that my lefty likes to pull left no handed but when I ride home with a gallon of 1% in my right hand, stretched out I can ride straight. Just the other day I had to run to the store for 1/2 and 1/2 and didn't want to drive so i took my rush. TERRIBLE! Kept crossing the dotted line! I replaced my cables but the 1/2 and 1/2 still causes my lefty to pull left...? Should I just stick with whole grain wheat? I'm seriously thinking of switching back to my tried and true RS Judy.

  63. #63
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    I'm new to the Lefty, I've owned mine for only 2 months. I started reading this thread BEFORE I got my Lefty, but I'm positive it steers to the left going no-hands. I feel I have to compensate with body weight on the right.

  64. #64
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    I find it more difficult to balance. I've gone miles no handed but it's not as easy as some other forks.

  65. #65
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    29er Flash no problems with no hands
    Hi-mod Flash also no problems with no hands

    Amy hope you got your problem sorted, check your cable routing & dishing on this latter point here is a helpful video: How to Dish a Bicycle Wheel | TheBikeTube.com - YouTube

  66. #66
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    29er Flash no problems with no hands
    Hi-mod Flash also no problems with no hands

    Amy hope you got your problem sorted, check your cable routing & dishing on this latter point here is a helpful video: How to Dish a Bicycle Wheel | TheBikeTube.com - YouTube

  67. #67
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    Please don't hate for my resurrection of an old thread, but I'm baffled as to why no-one has done any basic maths on the matter. Some simple mathematical analysis could have done away with three pages of bantering, most of which was a competition for sarcasm (or lack thereof). The OP asked a legitimate question that can be analysed using some basic school science and mathematics.

    For now, let's ignore the rest of the bike, let's assume that the bike manufacturer has done all it can to have the most balanced bike possible with a traditional dual-legged fork. All else held constant, we can calculate the change in gravitational torque caused by swapping out say a 1650g traditional 100mm double fork (e.g. RockShox Reba), for a 100mm carbon lefty at around 1400g (just using round numbers).

    For this analysis, we consider the conventional fork as being made up of two forks, a left and right side, equidistant from the steerer tube, both weighing approx. 825g. The lefty is obviously treated as a single leg on the left side with mass 1400g.

    Lets also make the assumption that the radius r remains the same. Here, r is the distance from the centre of the rotation (which would lie somewhere on the steerer tube, going through centre and along the length of the bike) to the centre of mass of the fork leg. Even if r differed between the two models, I would imagine the difference to be absolutely negligible comapared to the mass shift.

    Let us now define our point of view. We will be looking at the fork 'from the cockpit', so that the lefty would indeed be on our left.

    Now, let it be very clear that a conventional fork would cause ZERO NET rotational torque. The left leg would cause a counter-clockwise gravitational torque, which would be equal and opposite to what is caused by the right leg. What does this mean? A conventional fork causes NO NET rotation either way. But that's obvious.

    What does the lefty do? Okay so we need to do some maths, but for those un-initiated in calculus, you can assume that the notation d(Q) represents "the change in Q", whatever Q is.

    Let T represent torque, g (a constant) acceleration due to gravity, F (also a constant) the force due to gravity, m (this changes) is mass of the leg, r (assumed above to also be approximately constant) is the radius as defined above. Then the net change in torque as viewed from the cockpit would be:

    d(T) = d(r×F) = r×d(F) = r×d(mg) = d(m)(r×g)

    So we see that ultimately the change in gravitational torque is proportional to the change in mass. The value of g on Earth is approx. 9.8m.s^2 (we'll be using SI units here) and using a crude measurement from my own bike I find that the value of r is approx. 65mm = 0.065m (again using SI units).

    The change in mass is interesting yet obvious when you think about it. Calculating d(m) is done using two parts: we find that we have a 825g LOSS due to the right leg 'disappearing' (by construction/design of the lefty), whilst we end up with a weight GAIN on the left leg equal to 1400g-825g=575g. Thus, adding these two figures together gives us a value for d(m) being 825g + 575g = 1400g = 1.4kg (SI), which is exactly the weight of the lefty.

    [Note: I could have bypassed all this calculation and just quoted the 1400g figure immediately, but I wanted to highlight how the left and right legs of the conventional fork effectively balanced each other out, just in case skeptics didn't believe my argument.]

    Plugging the numbers into the equation yields:

    d(T) = 1.4×0.065×9.8 = 0.8918 N.m (Newton-meters, SI unit for torque).

    Let's convert this figure into the lovely imperial foot-pound unit for the sake of interpretation. Then d(T) = 0.66 ft.lbs (approx.)

    ***

    SUMMARY: the gravitational torque induced by a lefty can be simulated by placing a 250mL bottle of water (assuming the bottle itself weighs approximately 50g) on your handlebars, one foot to the left of your stem.

    In reality, if you did the above test, would you feel the front end of the bike tip to the left? It depends upon two things: your travelling speed and the mass of your bike. If you're going fast, the vastly stronger gyroscopic stability of the wheels will fight against any gravitational torque induced by the bottle. If you have a heavy bike, then the mass of the bottle is small in comparison to the mass of the bike itself.

    If you're travelling at say 30mph (keeping it imperial for you guys) on a 30 pound DH monster (not that you should fit a lefty to a DH monster, but I'm making a case here), almost definitely not. But the XC guys riding sub 20 pound lightweight machines, doing technical climbs and switchbacks at nearly walking pace, then not only does the bottle weigh potentially more than 3% of the bike's weight, there will be negligible gyroscopic stability to counteract this at those speeds.

    ***

    SUMMARY: changing a fork from a traditional dual-legged design to a lefty (something I'm doing on my Lapierre bike), DOES induce a NON-ZERO torque, which MAY be SLIGHTLY noticeable on lightweight (mine's around 22 pounds) at slow speeds (I do lots of XC climbs and switchbacks at near walking pace). The pulling effect due to the change in mass distribution of such a fork may be small but should not be automatically ruled out or neglected in certain circumstances.

    ***

    That being said, I wonder if the (equivalent of a) bottle of water on the handlebar's left side would only help to counteract the (equivalent(s) of) bottle(s) of water on the right side of the bike, namely the drivetrain components on the driveside of the bike? I personally suspect that all the stuff on the drive side (cassette, derailler(s), chain, chainrings) etc. may outweigh the stuff on the non-driveside (namely the brake discs and calipers)? If so, then I would assume that the weight re-distribution caused by the lefty (namely, moving 1400g to the left of the bike) would actually IMPROVE the balance of the bike, causing it to be LESS prone to 'pulling' to one side or the other. BUT, how balanced or unbalanced a bike is ultimately depends upon how balanced the bike manufacturer has got the rest of the bike, and that comes down to the individual frame geometries and material density distributions, i.e. another can of worms... so let's leave that technical analysis for another day!

    ***

    Sorry for the long post, but I hope it was (A) interesting (B) accurate/correct and most importantly (C) useful for readers and perhaps the OP!

    Happy grooving
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  68. #68
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    Just hang bike from rear tire... Easier to visualize the offset mass effect that way.

    The precession is the hard one to demo... U addressed it nicely

  69. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcko View Post
    Just hang bike from rear tire... Easier to visualize the offset mass effect that way.

    So riddle me this, given the torque resulting from the offset mass, what is it's gyroscopic effect? And how would it vary with wheel speed?
    G'day @rcko, firstly, hanging the bike from the rear tire would make it much harder (I imagine) to visualise the rotational torque due to the "offset mass", because (I think) this would be due to the much longer axis of symmetry (i.e. along the bike's length vs. along the bike's steering axis which is much shorter), but I could be wrong...

    Sorry, though I should have done enough physics to answer that question, I honestly don't know, perhaps someone else better versed can provide some insight?

    Nice things to consider though!
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  70. #70
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    I think u did a pretty cool analytical approach. Bravo! Just figure, for some folks, hanging the bike from its rear wheel will help visualize the effect as well.

    The gyroscopics is what always gets my attention and how verse we become at unconscious motor muscle reflex to counter it.

    I just need 2 get out there and try riding my lefty no hands

  71. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcko View Post
    Just figure, for some folks, hanging the bike from its rear wheel will help visualize the effect as well...
    ^^ this ^^

    Gives me an idea. Folks can hang their bikes from two points: the stem and the saddle. That should lead to the bike being able to be held balanced horizontally, simulating riding (albeit at zero speed ). Thus, if the bike tilts to the left, then it would undoubtedly visually indicate whether there is a virtual bottle of water sitting on their left handlebar!
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  72. #72
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    True! Worth testing.

    Thank for the explanation above.

  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcko View Post
    True! Worth testing.

    Thank for the explanation above.
    You're welcome, and thanks for the kind compliments 😊

    Sent from my 0PJA10 using Tapatalk
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    Definitely an interesting read.

    Not sure why you bring up calculus, I understand you are calculating difference, but this is still seesaw-math.

    Also, if we want to do serious calculations here (assume we do as you seem to be very serious with that G 9.8 instead of just going with 10...) why do we not look at the entire system, including the rider?

    A 75 kg rider would have to move his body exactly 0.89/(75*9.8)=1.2 mm to the right to counteract the torque from the Lefty, assuming the human body is balanced with the organs nicely arranged.

  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by pvajko View Post
    Not sure why you bring up calculus...
    Touché, agreed, apologies. Indeed you need not deal with infinitesimals, but rather just ordinary 'changes'. I was just lazy and couldn't be bothered copy-pasting the Delta (Δ) symbol every time, so I just decided to use 'd' instead
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  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by pvajko View Post
    Definitely an interesting read.

    Not sure why you bring up calculus, I understand you are calculating difference, but this is still seesaw-math.

    Also, if we want to do serious calculations here (assume we do as you seem to be very serious with that G 9.8 instead of just going with 10...) why do we not look at the entire system, including the rider?

    A 75 kg rider would have to move his body exactly 0.89/(75*9.8)=1.2 mm to the right to counteract the torque from the Lefty, assuming the human body is balanced with the organs nicely arranged.
    It just so happens that I was experimenting with no-handed riding on my Lefty-equipped 2012 Flash Carbon 2 early today. In fact, I had to shift my body weight to the left to balance while pedaling.

    I suppose this difference may be related to some cable pressure from the right side controls pressing against the Lefty... pushing it left... therefore to counteract, I had to get my center of gravity to the left of that.

    _Matt
    I just wanna ride...

  77. #77
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    I can't actually believe I'm replying to this thread BUT I find no handed riding as easy on my Habit 1 Carbon than on any other bike, if not easier than most. I reckon the whole lefty thing is all in the mind, they've never felt biased to any particular side to me.

  78. #78
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    My Lefty doesn't pull to one side or the other, it just doesn't seem to track very straight. On my road bike I can ride with no hands for ever, eat ,everything. I don't know if it's the Lefty or maybe the big soft tires more sensitive to road fluxuations or my movement. Iv'e only really tried it on the road , I would think on a trail that would be obvious.

  79. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kooper View Post
    My Lefty doesn't pull to one side or the other, it just doesn't seem to track very straight. On my road bike I can ride with no hands for ever, eat ,everything. I don't know if it's the Lefty or maybe the big soft tires more sensitive to road fluxuations or my movement. Iv'e only really tried it on the road , I would think on a trail that would be obvious.
    In my experience this is a worn bearings in lefty hub effect. The "play" in bearings cause this kind of fluxuation in front.

  80. #80
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    There is no difference. In fact I think it is easier to ride no handed. Wheelies on a lefty are sooo easy because the front end is very light.

    Go to 6:00 on my periscope ride for some wheelies. There are More wheelies later in the vidoe too. (ps use chrome to open)
    https://www.periscope.tv/w/afiiFzIyO...xoEZWFaFVbNgtW

  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kooper View Post
    My Lefty doesn't pull to one side or the other, it just doesn't seem to track very straight. On my road bike I can ride with no hands for ever, eat ,everything. I don't know if it's the Lefty or maybe the big soft tires more sensitive to road fluxuations or my movement. Iv'e only really tried it on the road , I would think on a trail that would be obvious.

    In my experience this is caused from the front and rear wheels not lined up center within the fame and fork (and each other). It may also cause an oscillation at the front when riding no hands on the road.

    On the original subject of riding with no hands on a Lefty and it sometimes requiring extra attention over a standard fork, I still haven't figured out all the magic needed to make that happen 100% of the time. It seems all the stars must need to be aligned to make it happen. I don't know if it's only related to wheels trued and aligned within the frame along with cable length and routing being non-inhibiting or what. Wish I knew the exact recipe to attain, but I usually give up if not too much of a burden. I love the Lefty, regardless.

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