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I know these forks come on pretty different bikes so it's hard to say precisely how they'll behave in reality, but can you tell me which one would be better and why you think so?

edit: the Lefty Max uses SPV in case that makes any difference.
 

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Go with the Fox

I think the Fox is superior. You will get much better downhill performance from the Fox. The lefty may be a better climber because of the SPV, however the talus has very adjustable low speed compression dampening so you can tune out that pedal imput. As you know this is very subjective. Fox forks are the best single crown forks I have ever ridden.
 

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Fox

I love my Talas fork it is super adjustable and has the best damping I have ever felt (mine has been pushed) but the Lefty is a great fork and would be my 2nd choice.
 

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Here's why the lefty is good:

Lightweight 3.7 pounds
Stiffer than a Fox
Smoother and les stiction than a Fox.


Other than that they look funny, wear out quick because it uses bearing instead of bushings. Also, they don't provide much confidence. I could never get around feeling like the front wheel is going to fall off.

Peformance/weight wise they are hard to beat.
 

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Hardtails Are Better said:
I want to slap the Crack'n'fail engineers who came up with the Lefty, and anyone I see riding one. They make NO SENSE. Get the Fox. Ride it. Be happy.
Hah. Very scientific evaluation here. But then, coming from a guy whose handle is "hardtails are better," it's hard to take anything you say seriously...

Now, I'm not going to say that you wouldn't be happy with either one, because they're both awesome forks. However, I think the Lefty is the most amazing fork out there. One thing that few people mention (and maybe don't realize) is that the Lefty can be completely rebuilt. That is, if you happen to have problems with it, you can have it serviced by C'dale (if you know somebody at an LBS, it's not that expensive), and it will be AS GOOD AS NEW. Not just better than it was, but just like new, because ALL of the surfaces that wear are replaced. Try that with a bushing type fork. That has more appeal to someone like me who likes to get quality stuff an then make it last a LONG time. If you regularly upgrade, it's a non-issue.

As for confidence on the trail, I've never felt more confident than I have on a Lefty. They do seem a little weird at first, it's true, but the control is so amazing. I guess there's something to the "square" design.

Unless you're racing or really want to focus on climbing, I'd highly recommend getting a Lefty with TPC+ instead of SPV. I still think that TPC+ is one of the best, if not THE best, damping system ever put in a fork so far. Just my opinion though. Others may disagree.
 

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Didn't know that about the Lefty rebuilds. That's definatly a plus. And I agree with the TPC+ over SPV assesment. I prefer manual lockout over having the fork doing it for me. And finally, my handle, and the post about the slapping are ment to be taken lightheartedly. I have just never felt comfortable riding a Lefty, I always feel like the front wheel will fall off or something of that nature. Not bacause the fork feels bad, it feels great, but because the design isn't exatly confidence inspiring, just from a mental standpoint. Also, I don't like the limitations in hub choice. The Lefty just isn't what I want on my bike. Personal preference. I was a little harsh in my sarcasm in that post. My apologies.
 

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Hardtails Are Better said:
And finally, my handle, and the post about the slapping are ment to be taken lightheartedly.
Wait, were you talking about bikes? ;)

I have just never felt comfortable riding a Lefty, I always feel like the front wheel will fall off or something of that nature. Not because the fork feels bad, it feels great, but because the design isn't exatly confidence inspiring, just from a mental standpoint.
Yeah, I'm still convinced that it pulls to the left when I ride with no hands...

Also, I don't like the limitations in hub choice.
Hard to argue with that one. I'm not a big fan of proprietary stuff either. At least C'dale went with the 1.5 headset standard instead of sticking with their dumb 1.25" ones...

I was a little harsh in my sarcasm in that post. My apologies.
No need to apologize. I guess I should have made my reply more sarcastic too, so you'd know I caught your humor...
;)
 

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I have been riding with a lefty (non spv) for three years and loved the damn thing to death. Light, responsive, stable and did I mention light!!! I built up a new rig recently with an AM1 which is also awesome, but in different ways. Don't have enough experience with riding fox forks to comment, but comparing a lefty to a standard fork is kind of like comparing apples and oranges.
 

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Matno said:
Wait, were you talking about bikes? ;)

Yeah, I'm still convinced that it pulls to the left when I ride with no hands...

Hard to argue with that one. I'm not a big fan of proprietary stuff either. At least C'dale went with the 1.5 headset standard instead of sticking with their dumb 1.25" ones...

No need to apologize. I guess I should have made my reply more sarcastic too, so you'd know I caught your humor...
;)
:D Yeah, I just had to try to build up a Cannondale that had the 1.25" headtube. PITA. Problem Solvers rocks! Proprietary crap sucks. It helps if your LBS is awesome though. I just went in to order in replacement sealed cartridge bearings for my Klein press in BB. Since the shop I deal with never carried Klein or Fisher, and they havn't used those BB's in years, I figured I'd have to order them in. But they were in stock! For $3 each! Woohoo! Swan Cycles in Ithaca, NY gets serious props.
 

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first off the technology of the lefty came from the front end of an airplane---basically.so i figure its ok for my bike.( even though it looks wierd). secondly the carbon spv lefty is one of the best performing shocks i have owned, and yet i would trade it for a talas version because it suits my style of riding. so guess ride them both before you make the purchase.
also the whole lot of the lefty fork family is stupid easy to service.i mean it!!

only bummer is it is NOT cool to get water in the boots, which sucks for most places where there is water.duh. but stream crossings some people ride are a walk for lefty owners...
 

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midget said:
only bummer is it is NOT cool to get water in the boots, which sucks for most places where there is water.duh. but stream crossings some people ride are a walk for lefty owners...
Why, what does that do? I used to ride 3x/week with 4 guys on Leftys and we finished almost every ride with a 30 yard stream crossing that was 12-15 inches deep (deep enough to submerge my feet every time - worse if I couldn't make it all the way!), and none of them every had issues with their Leftys. I'm just curious... (I know water is bad in general, just wondering about specific problems).
 

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Matno said:
Why, what does that do? I used to ride 3x/week with 4 guys on Leftys and we finished almost every ride with a 30 yard stream crossing that was 12-15 inches deep (deep enough to submerge my feet every time - worse if I couldn't make it all the way!), and none of them every had issues with their Leftys. I'm just curious... (I know water is bad in general, just wondering about specific problems).
well speaking from personel experience i did a race that was held in a freezing downpour. the course was peanut butter mud. a section was about 200-300 yards long and covered with a foot and a half of water, which submerged my fork boot during some repeated compressions.
i guess this sucked some mud water in the fork boot which protects the bearing races. i ended dumping three cups of coffee colored water out of the fork.
on the plus side i was able to call cannondale and have the tech people e mail me a step by step instruction sheet to gut the fork.while i am a mechanic, i have never taken apart a lefty. i was pleased at how easy it was. very simple... probably could have done it with out the instructions. the fork just needed new races and bearings to perform as new. this is something to remember about lefty forks in general...they do have bearings and races which is why they perform so darn well.but as with all bearings (non cartridge sealed) they are subject to contaminates (sand). but no stiction!!!!!
i can attest to the strength and great performance of these forks...it will be hard to ride another two legged fork.
i just wish cannondale would produce a 29er...then i could have my cake and eat it too...
 
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