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  1. #1
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    New question here. So what's the general consensus?

    Hey there.

    After nearly 20 years - I've decided to purchase a bike specifically for city commuting & some trail riding. Up until now I've been using my trusty Bianchi (set-up for highway riding) - but I find that the city is just too hard on this bike (it has the high pressure tires on it - and is real happy picking up broken glass and making me repair flats).

    I went into my local bike shop - and narrowed my search down to a Cannondale F800.

    Here's where it gets wacky.

    This bike has the "Lefty Jake" front fork system - which when looking at it - just doesn't make any sense...

    I took the bike out for a spin (along with other bikes with and without this front fork system) and surprisingly didn't notice the odd front fork system.

    So - my questions are - whaddaya people think of this front fork system? Is it a fad, will it dissappear in a couple of years so that when I need to repair something on it in the future will parts be obsolete? Also - anybody out there bought a bike with this type of front fork system then later on wished they hadn't or vise versa?

    Just trying to make a wise decision...

    Thanks,

    Sparky

  2. #2
    SOB
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    Quote Originally Posted by SparkyCanada
    Hey there.

    After nearly 20 years - I've decided to purchase a bike specifically for city commuting & some trail riding. Up until now I've been using my trusty Bianchi (set-up for highway riding) - but I find that the city is just too hard on this bike (it has the high pressure tires on it - and is real happy picking up broken glass and making me repair flats).

    I went into my local bike shop - and narrowed my search down to a Cannondale F800.

    Here's where it gets wacky.

    This bike has the "Lefty Jake" front fork system - which when looking at it - just doesn't make any sense...

    I took the bike out for a spin (along with other bikes with and without this front fork system) and surprisingly didn't notice the odd front fork system.

    So - my questions are - whaddaya people think of this front fork system? Is it a fad, will it dissappear in a couple of years so that when I need to repair something on it in the future will parts be obsolete? Also - anybody out there bought a bike with this type of front fork system then later on wished they hadn't or vise versa?

    Just trying to make a wise decision...

    Thanks,

    Sparky
    The lefty is amazing... I'm getting a Scalpel 900 and it also has a lefty on it but it's the DLR model. Everything I have read about it makes me believe that it is one of the best out there and I certainly don't think its a fad. I really don't think you need to worry to much about it breaking and then having to service it (especially if your going to use it as a commuter), but most things you buy these days get harder to service as they get older. The F800 is a great trail bike however i don't think it makes the best commuter especially if your going to lock it up to a tree or something ($).

  3. #3
    ceteris paribus
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    Make sure your LBS has a competent Headshock/Lefty mechanic, otherwise it's gonna be hard to fix anything on it.
    SOB is right, you sure don't wanna leave an F800 tied to a tree. It won't last 2 seconds. It's a great bike for the trials though.

  4. #4
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    Me again - thought I'd update ya on what's been happening...

    Well I took the Cannondale F800 out again this morning - but put on "slick" tires - made the ride way more efficient.

    Didn't really notice or mind the "Lefty Jake" this time.

    I told the bike guy I'd sleep on it one more night - but I'm kinda leaning towards the purchase.

    The thing I came to realize after doing research on the net all weekend was that I was trying to find an efficient road bike with suspension - and I should either look at a bike with suspension or a bike that's very efficient - but if I want both - I'm gonna have to sacrifce some efficeincy from the bike by having suspension.

    Also - I think I saw a trend this weekend - lots of people seem to own more than 1 bike - they will use one for city commuting - another type for hills & another type for road riding (I think one guy I came across owned something like 5 or 6 different types of bikes!).

    Are my last 2 observations above accurate?

    Thanks,

    Sparky

  5. #5
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    I'd look at a Specialized Epic...

    I've been playing with the idea of making a road / city bike and I've been looking at the Specialized Epic with a Fox F80X front fork.

    Nothing wrong with the Cannondale Lefty mind you (I've had one for years and it's one of the best fork around), but the inertia valves technology ("brain") in the rear shock of the Epic and Fox fork should be great on the street... compliant on the potholes, locked and stiff on the smooth stuff.

    DC

  6. #6
    jcw
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    Quote Originally Posted by SparkyCanada
    The thing I came to realize after doing research on the net all weekend was that I was trying to find an efficient road bike with suspension - and I should either look at a bike with suspension or a bike that's very efficient - but if I want both - I'm gonna have to sacrifce some efficeincy from the bike by having suspension.

    Also - I think I saw a trend this weekend - lots of people seem to own more than 1 bike - they will use one for city commuting - another type for hills & another type for road riding (I think one guy I came across owned something like 5 or 6 different types of bikes!).

    Are my last 2 observations above accurate?
    Yep, adding suspension increases weight. maintenance, and decreases effeciency. Getting a fork with a lockout can help with the latter, but you'll still have the weight and maintenance penalty. Have you considered a cyclo-cross bike? The bigger volume tires (compared to a standard road bike) make it more comfortable, but they're still very effecient and fun to ride. If you're set on a mountain bike, I'd recommend the C-dale F600 with headshock over the F800 for your application. The headshock is lighter with less travel and has a great lockout.

    As for observation 2, I own 6 bikes: a FS mountain bike, a fully rigid single speed mountain bike, a cyclo-cross bike, a racing road bike, a touring road bike, and my commuter (old rigid mountain bike with slicks).
    "The question before the human race is, whether the God of nature shall govern the world by his own laws, or whether priests and kings shall rule by fictitious miracles."
    John Adams to Thomas Jefferson, 1815

  7. #7
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    jcw:

    Yeah - I did actually take a cyclo-cross bike for a spin. The only downside to that bike was that there was no front suspension - and I guess that's one feature I've come to realize that I would like - 'cause my road bike has no suspension & I really don't enjoy riding it in the city...

    Thanks,

    SparkyCanada

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