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I am thinking about getting a custom 29 HT, and am considering a Lefty due to the forks reputation for stiffness and low weight. I know Cannondale only lists an 80 mm travel 29er
Lefty fork, and I will want more travel. I see they make a 130 mm travel Lefty carbon that is under 3 lbs. for 26" wheels. I would think I could just use this fork for 29" wheels by increasing the size of the bottom out stop enough to avoid the tire hitting the crown, and I should be able to squeeze out 100 mm of travel or so, has anyone tried this? With the custom frame I can have the headtube made for Lefty, or use the new "Lefty for all" models designed to fit regular bikes.
 

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you don't need a custom headtube, there is a $75 adapter to make it work. The Cannondale headtubes are larger to facilitate the HeadShock, not the lefty. So the adapter works perfectly fine.
From what I gathered, you should get a 130mm shock and put a 30mm spacer in it to prevent the frame from hitting the tire. Then you get your 100mm travel on a 29er. I THINK you can rework the spacers in the 110mm (or 80mm 29er) to get 100mm of travel. Actually I'm sure you can, just how easy I'm not sure.
I'm interested in further input because I'm also looking to do this.
 

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I have a Van Dessel hardtail with the Carbon Lefty. You can get a spacer kit to convert it for a 29er. You also need a Project 321 adapter. I love the fork - incredibly light and stiff and feels great. I would imagine the 130mm would work fine. I have the 110 down to 80.

I don't have a picture handy but you can do a search in MTBR for where I've posted pics before. Look for Van Dessel Jersey Devil.
 

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Yup, works great. I used a 20mm spacer to limit a carbon Lefty and it rode great.

If you are getting a custom frame, there are a few things to consider:

1 - The headtube will cost a fortune and is supposedly hard t oget. I would recommend having your builder call IF to see if they have any stock. Or, better yet, get IF to build the bike, as they have a lot of experience.

2- Lefty has some different A to C and Rake measurements, which will effect how the bike rides. You need to take these into consideration and think about if you want a bike made specifically for a Lefty, or one that will accept other forks as well. If you go through bikes regularly, this might be good for resale.

I would personally have the frame built with the lefty/cannondale fat headtube if possible. Then you would be able to use it with reducer cups to run a standard 1 1/8 fork, or possible use a 1.5 bottom and 1 1/8 top for use with the newer tapered steer tubes (not sure if this would work as I have not looked too hard at the numbers)

Heres some pics of the old bike - Mooto-X YBB with Rohloff and Lefty - Industry Nine front wheel,
 

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I found when having my frame built that it was easier (and would yield the same result in the end) to go with the lefty adapter, rather than have the lefty headtube found/made and welded to the frame. After a year of riding with the adapter I still feel it was the right choice. I have the PBR 130 MAX reduced with (2) 10mm spacers (netting 110mm of travel), it clears my 2.2 Captain and 2.25 Racing Ralph tires. With the PBR you should also drop a spacer in the air chamber to take up volume resulting in a more progressive stroke. You can ride it without this spacer, but you will find you either have no small bump compliance because its pumped up so much or it dives like a mofo because you have too little air in it. There is no sweet spot without the spacer.

Cannondale now offers an XL version of their Leftys, these have more space between the clamps. This version would have allowed me to not buy a custom frame (with a custom headtube length) had it been available when I was having the frame made.

 

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The_Boy said:
I found when having my frame built that it was easier (and would yield the same result in the end) to go with the lefty adapter, rather than have the lefty headtube found/made and welded to the frame. After a year of riding with the adapter I still feel it was the right choice. I have the PBR 130 MAX reduced with (2) 10mm spacers (netting 110mm of travel), it clears my 2.2 Captain and 2.25 Racing Ralph tires. With the PBR you should also drop a spacer in the air chamber to take up volume resulting in a more progressive stroke. You can ride it without this spacer, but you will find you either have no small bump compliance because its pumped up so much or it dives like a mofo because you have too little air in it. There is no sweet spot without the spacer.

Cannondale now offers an XL version of their Leftys, these have more space between the clamps. This version would have allowed me to not buy a custom frame (with a custom headtube length) had it been available when I was having the frame made.

That's one sweet bike!:thumbsup: The lefty makes it even better.
 

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We should make a sticky for this information:

-Models:
A. Lefty DLR2 and Lefty SL - stock 110mm: Yes, Cannondale sells a kit to reduce the travel for 29er use; the kit includes 3x10mm spacers and a larger piston spacer; without changing the piston spacer, the fork is difficult to tune to have small bump compliance and minimal dive. You will need the Cannondale Castle tool to replace the piston spacer. The kit retails for about $30.
B. Lefty Max (TPC, SPV, Fluid Flow) - stock 140mm: Yes, Craig of Mendon Cyclesmith sells a 30mm spacer that reduces the travel to 110mm. To install, you simply need to follow the instructions to change the Lefty spring and simply slide the spacer onto the shaft; 19mm and 9mm wrenches are required.
C. Lefty Max (PBR) - stock 130mm: Yes, the 3x10mm spacers from the aforesaid Cannondale fork will reduce the travel for safe 29er use. Just like the SL/DLR2, however, you must adjust the volume of the air chamber to maintain desired function on small bumps vs. dive. People reference an "elastomer" or a "spacer" to insert into the air chamber but no specific part has yet to be identified on this forum for easy reproduction.
D. Lefty RLC - either 110mm or 130mm Max: Yes, Craig from Mendon Cyclesmith can fabrication a 30mm spacer; you will follow the instructions to replace the spring, and similar to the Max 140mm instructions, you will simply slide the spacer onto the shaft. Cannondale says that this cannot be done; most people say on this forum that it cannot be done. I have been doing it for almost 2 years.

Clamp Height:
A. Alloy non-bonded - found on older DLR forks and alloy 140mm Max: Allow for adjustment of clamp height. Requires you to either place a rivet/bolt into the Project 321 adapter for "carbon Lefty" - $80 or to purchase the $200 adapter for non-bonded Lefty that include new clamps.
B. Bonded clamps - found on all current models and older carbon models. Height between clamps is fixed; Cannondale now makes an XL version with larger spacing between the clamps. With the standard, bonded clamps (non-XL version), the max height of your headtube + headset had to be < 5.417 inches. Look to Crankbros headsets for the lowest stackheights on mountain specifics headsets (about 20mm). Sure, Campy Record headsets can also be about 20mm in stackheight, but when is the last time that a Campy engineer designed their headset around mountain use?

Steerer tubes:
A.Project 321: See above for use of "carbon specific" steerer for bonded clamps vs. steerer + clamp version for non-bonded Lefty forks.
B: Custom: Lynskey has just entered the game; Indy Fab, as of Friday, has just left the game. I repeat, IF will no longer spec bikes with 1.5" headtubes for Lefty use. I spoke to them last week, and they referenced Project 321.

Travel Reduction:
-To be safe: 30mm reduction from stock travel is safe on all available tires.
-To gain more travel: Fully compress fork and measure greater than 3-6mm of clearance between your tires and the bottom clamp. This may be possible anywhere from 30mm of reduction through 15mm of reduction. Do you value your teeth or 5mm of more travel?

Game over.

JAH
 

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The_Boy said:
With the PBR you should also drop a spacer in the air chamber to take up volume resulting in a more progressive stroke.
Boy, please provide the identity of this said "spacer." Others call it an elastomer. No one tells me what exactly they used. Thanks...
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks

Great information here. RE: C, under "models", to reduce the air volume one could probably just add extra air piston fluid on top of the air piston, right? I used to do this all the time to adjust the progressiveness of older Rock Shox air forks.
Looks like all the information needed is out there, great idea to make a sticky for Lefty on 29er info.
 

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xJAHx said:
Boy, please provide the identity of this said "spacer." Others call it an elastomer. No one tells me what exactly they used. Thanks...
check you PMs.....sent you a question on your fox rlc lefty conversion a month or so ago. ;)

as for the elastomer/spacer for pbr forks, some folks are using an elastomer from the old manitou sx/sx-r forks. you can probably find some here and there and they are cheap. they should not break down if in contact with grease/oil.
 

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Lefty 29ers are awesome. Almost any regular Lefty can easily be converted to a 29er. A guy named Mendon Cycle Smith, found on the Cannondale board can easily convert a 26 inch Lefty into a 29er. Or you can do it yourself. Really the only tools needed are a Shimano outboard Hollowtech BB tool and a 10 mm long drive socket. 5 minute job. Plus some plastic spacers.

Leftys are stiffer, stronger, lower maintenance than any othe rfork I have owned. The are rock. solid. period.
 

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The_Boy said:
I found when having my frame built that it was easier (and would yield the same result in the end) to go with the lefty adapter, rather than have the lefty headtube found/made and welded to the frame. After a year of riding with the adapter I still feel it was the right choice.
The only disadvantage of going with a smaller than 1.5" steerer is that you cannot use Cannondale's Head Wrench Tool.
 

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xJAHx said:
Boy, please provide the identity of this said "spacer." Others call it an elastomer. No one tells me what exactly they used. Thanks...
I have an elastomer in mine, but it could really be anything. It just has to take up volume... it could be a wooden dowel, a wood broom handle, an epoxy filled tube, etc. An elastomer works because its pretty light, can be trimmed to adjust the feel of the fork and can be found lying around in a lot of shops. There is an air chamber in the bottom of the PBR, you just have to reduce the amount of compressable air in there so it ramps up quicker.
 

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Lefy, where to find...

I'd like to get a Lefty but can't seem to find a used (or new) one at a reasonable cost. The stock 29er version would be fine.

Anyone know where I can pick a one up?

Ideally I'm going to go with a Project 321 setup. First bike it would go on a my SS KM, if it will fit the HT on a large. Any advice?

Thanks.
 

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my dlr2 110mm for is about 480. the 130mm are 500mm.

travel change does not change crown to axle.

best place to find them???? ebay. retail is VERY high.

my 06 lefty dlr2 has a ton of miles on it. both from me and the previous owner and it is better than a reba or minute IMHO. i have not ridin' a fox f29 so i cannot comment on that comparo.
 
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