Cannondale Lefty Front Shock

Lefty

Cannondale Lefty

User Reviews (60)

Showing 1-10 of 60  
Sideknob   Weekend Warrior [Nov 24, 2012]
Strength:

Stiff, looks cool.

Weakness:

Most unreliable fork I have ever owned and seems to take forever to get repaired. Not smooth. Can't use ordinary stems. Can't use ordinary hubs.

I got an '08 Rush with the Speed 110 Lefty on the front - I got a Rush because I liked the low maintenance, single pivot design - but the front end turned out to be high maintenance! Just outside of the 12 month warranty the lockout stopped working, resulting in a five week turnaround and a $150 bill. The Lefty came back feeling not quite the same - and clunked when locked out. A couple of months after this the whole lower almost dropped out of the fork, leaving my front wheel facing sideways. I am very lucky I didn't have a huge crash. So back to the shop again. This time it was fixed under warranty, for some odd reason. Hmmm... Again it came back with the clunk when locked out. I'm scared to ride this piece of overpriced gimmick junk ever again! Cracknfail fainboys would have you believe this is unusual - a friend of mine has had exactly the same problems with his. The DEALER admits these things are as high maintenance as a supermodel girlfriend. Fanboys will tell you the Lefty is amazingly smooth - it's not bad but if you ever felt an old Marzocchi you have felt smooooth and the Lefty isn't it. Want to change your stem - tough, it will cost you an arm and a leg. You are also stuck with the Lefty specific hub too. Yeah, the Lefty is stiff - but then again so are the latest QR20 forks too. Lefty might have been a boat load stiffer back in the Mag 21 days and forks with QR's, but now I don't think it has a huge advantage for XC and trail riding as claimed. Words cannot describe the disappointment I feel with the Lefty. I'd put a new fork on the Rush but it will cost my firstborn for a new hub, wheel build, headset or adaptor and the new fork so the whole bike is going and good riddance!

Similar Products Used: Many, going right back to the Mag21
OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
gene long   Weekend Warrior [Aug 11, 2011]
Strength:

great turning great shock rebound

great system very fuctional

Similar Products Used: trek dual fork
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
kavika   Weekend Warrior [Jul 25, 2010]
Strength:

Extremely stiff, super plush

Weakness:

A little too plush perhaps as it can nearly send you over the bars on steep descents

Amazing fork (well strut anyway). Always wanted to own a Lefty equipped bike, mainly to have something a little different, but am more than pleased with the purchase.
Amazed how well this thing tracks, and swallows everyhing thrown at it.

Would be nice if a "home mechanic" could service this (well, you can, but tools are harder to source, and no official manual for stripping/building available from Cannondale)

Have kept it away from moisture, and no problems as yet.

Similar Products Used: Can't really compare a normal fork
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Big Ali   Cross Country Rider [Jun 12, 2010]
Strength:

The lefty fork not only looks the biz but it is VERY tough. Low maintenance, no weeping, I'm careful about water. At high speeds it just swallows the bumps. Even stoppies are predictable on lockout, no twist - AMAZING! The travel is very progressive, and after I tightened it up it slides very predictably on steep descents under braking. Full control in most situations. The headclamps are very sturdy and have not gone out of line on any spills, so I'm impressed as i expected the straightening to be a bit of a nightmare. Bent and snapped a handlebar and it's still true.

Weakness:

In Kazakhstan I'm worried about parts but I have enough trips to Europe to get spares maybe. Trouble mounting a mudguard without robbing too much travel space but it has never bottomed out yet. Heard about the water problem so I smothered on some repellant grease under the boot, which has no rips, made of sturdy stuff! not sure why my brake cable came outside the down tube, except for possible pinching?

This is an endurance fork with the added bonus of being able to remove the tyre easily, though why people think that a normal fork is a hassle I don't know. i guess in a race time might be an issue so there's another reason to have a lefty. I would use this fork on a long distance bike too if i could figure out a way of building a front rack. Maybe that is the only weakness...

Similar Products Used: Never had one before but saw one a couple of years back in the Netherlands. I remember thinking that it would be great at 3000m but in Holland??!
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
fat tire love affair   Weekend Warrior [Dec 10, 2009]
Strength:

unconventionally beautiful, tracks like its on rails, no tools required to change tire or tube, excellent rigidity, needle bearings are like warm butter, adequate travel,pure beautiful simplicity,predictable rebound, and excellent stiffness.

Weakness:

proprietary hub,but i dont really consider it a weakness as it is the nature of an unconventional design, and mounting on a roof rack that requires the front tire to be dismounted posed a problem but i solved that problem with the yakima king cobra. so really, none performance wise, and nothing that i would change about it.

all forks (or struts in this case) require maintenance and the lefty is no different. since this is a Cannondale specific item if you don't have someone that is capable of working on this item or you yourself are not capable of servicing it, you may look toward something more conventional. If you are a tinkerer or have someone who is qualified to service this strut,then you may consider this strut. i have overhauled my and it really is not that challenging. so if your willing to learn, then you may consider this innovative design.The design is tested and proven. I myself have wondered what a broken lefty might look like and what the first point of failure is. i googled it and every broken lefty I've found has a pretty lengthy story behind its untimely failure. overall, I love this shock and hope to see the next generation of this design. it feels solid (and it is solid) and its not something thats going to leave you walking off your favorite trail.

Similar Products Used: cannondale super fatty headshock, manitou p.o.s, several different rock shox
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
mueller   Weekend Warrior [Jan 29, 2009]
Strength:

Performs Very Well

Weakness:

I needed a firmer negative spring and I thought that cannondale should have let me have it for free sence the one that came in the front end dived to much and was harsh but still used full travel. See Cannondale Tech Notes if you are having problems.

Some people give the lefty a hard time. One said that the lefty plain dives to much and I say get a firmer negative spring which is what the set up guides say. Once I got the right negative spring all my worries went away! One also said that the lefty does not roll through the bumps and I thought that he probally means going downhill and here again with out the proper negative spring I think that I would of had the same problem. The spring was twelve dollars and install sixty. O-yea the new avid elixir cr with 203mm's are perfect for me at 220lbs. Sure I could get more power but for XC I think they are good to go for me. THe CANNONDALE RUSH 5(2007) is a good bike. If you stop to get the lefty in a best it can be working order it is really a good front end.

Similar Products Used: never used anything but lefty
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Krispy   Downhiller [Dec 06, 2008]
Strength:

Shock was surprisingly stiff and durable. Lasted 3 years of daily abuse before rebuild was necessary. Never creaked or leaked. Plenty of mud clearance.

Weakness:

$$$COST$$$ The Low end model started at 699 for a replacement and since its hard to successfully marry any standard fork to Cannondale's oversized headtube replacement would have cost alot of bucks for a 6-year old bike.

Bearings were soft and when hitting large drops they needed replaced annually. People asking silly questions about your fork did get old after several years.

I am 6'4" and 300 lbs. I raced or commuted nearly everyday of this poor forks existence.
Continually overpowered, it never broke or even budged. A marvel of engineering. Too bad I can't say that about ANY other Cannondale product. I destroyed and replaced ever part of that bike from snapped handlebars and frames to taco'd rims and broken crank arms.

Similar Products Used: Fox rl90,
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
2
Steven Thorne   Racer [Jul 02, 2008]
Strength:

Light weight with little travel. Great handling shock.

Weakness:

Water gets inside the rubber boot and causes it to lock out. Nearly impossible to keep water out. $200.00 rebuild and two weeks down time. The lock out stopped working after six months.

I doubt that I would purchase another lefty. I foresee a rebuild each season. The performance is fantastic, but the flaw with the boot is unacceptable.

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
2
Eric A   Cross Country Rider [Jul 05, 2002]
Strength:

very plush
good travel
light for long travel

Weakness:

got tired of taking off front wheel with hex wrench
Ti wheel mount alittle flexy

I developed a love/hate relationship with the lefty ,
While I loved the 100mm of travel and how plush it was i was growing tired of taking the front wheel off and with the ti wheel mount on it was alittle flexy and being an agressive rider i was developing control issues with it .
overall I never had any problems with mechanicals with it and in the one year i had it i rode hard on some very rough trails , without any issues . even in wet rainy conditions .
liking greater control on the bike i traded it for a super fatty d

Similar Products Used: fatty d
zokes z3
manitou svx
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
The Notorious R.O.B.   Cross Country Rider [Dec 17, 2001]
Strength:

Half the legs is half the weight! Very light, 4" of travel, innovative ELO feature, stiffer than a 14 y/o on prom night---plus all the cool looks and comments! Draws a lot of attention! Very smooth fork. Ti spindle. New ones have EZ-Off disc brake mount bosses. I cut them on my generation 1 Lefty to allow for this after I saw the new ones. Since, I have a new one with the Ti Spindle and ELO.

Weakness:

Must have Cannondale (or VERY knowledgeable LBS) custom-tune the damper with shims and oil weight, especially for the ELO model, but if you're riding a $750-$1,100 fork, what's 40-60 dollars? Pain in the @$$ using a regular roof rack, even WITH the hurricane fork-up adapter. People always asking you about it and pointing and staring..(Is that a weakness?)

If you are a Cannondale nut, and love being locked into proprietary stuff, and don't mind being gawked at by millions of slack-jawed yokuls, and you like lots of stiff, smooth travel, and having the latest gadgets, GET THIS FORK! It's a perfect match for the 4.5" travel jekyll rearend, or on a superV.

Similar Products Used: R.S. Sid, Indy, Duke, Psylo, Headshok, Lefty DLR (1 year)
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 60  

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