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45 gone, 15 to go
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Leftys:
I have done some searching on the subject and so I know that there are a few options for getting a lefty to work with a frame. I know that there is a 1 1/8" steerer tube conversion or the regular Cannondale steerer tube. Also, although I am not entire clear on the set up there appears to be a carbon steerer that may be used or needed in some situations because when dealing with the bonded 29er lefty that comes on the Caffeine 29er. I have also seen some 29ers with the carbon lefty installed. I didn't see that this is offered as a option on the Cannondale site, so I assume that people are converting a 26er lefty and then dialing down the travel.

Please feel free correct or clarify any of the above.

I bring this up because I am going to have another 29er built. I am not sure what yet, or even what material. I am considering setting it up with the lefty, especially if I can get the carbon lefty to work. I have not ever ridden a lefty, but I have heard over and over that they are nice. I like the idea also of a total lockout, which I believe they have. I am wondering if I should go with a purpose built headtube to run a lefty or if running a modified 1 1/8" steerer tube version is better in the long run. It also seems that with the 29er lefty a 105 headtube length is preferred, true?

My other thought is to go old school and do an Action Tec fork. I don't need a lot of travel, and this fork is not exactly HiTech these days. But perhaps it would work well for my use. I have been riding rigid bikes for the past year, but occassionally I see the need for a little give. I have never ridden an Action Tec fork either. Doug at Curtlo seems to like these though.

What spawned these thought were my memories of my last 26er, a Cannondale 1FG. I had misgivings about the Headshok, but it was a very nice fork. The lockout was great, and though the travel was limited it was stictionless and had a nice feel overall. If a 29er Headshok was available, I would be tempted to go that way.

ANyway, I will step aside to see if anyone has any thoughts. Sarcastic comments welcome as well:p
 

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What the Crap?!
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188 Posts
carbon lefty info

Law,
i have a carbon speed lefty with a project 123 steertube. the quality is top notch. it's simple and easy and works great. all you need then are a couple of travel reducing clips and your in business, literally a 10 sec. job! these clips are cannondale items that they use to limit the travel for their 29er offerings.
i checked into doing a cannondale size HT instead of having to do the adapter and it seemed like more work and money. at least the couple of builders i talked to. the 1.5 HT is not a stock tube size, so it would need to turned down. another factor here is that if you decided the lefty wasn't for you - throw on any other fork, something you can't do with the lefty HT size.
as for lockout, i never thought i would like one before i had it, now, i love it.
 

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Shamisen Appreciator
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2,098 Posts
Just for general edumacation...Kirk Pacenti will be offering 1.5" head tubes if he's not already. They're looking pretty sweet too. I don't know what lengths are going to be available, but your local builder will be able to sort you out.

http://www.frameforum.net/forum2/index.php?showtopic=3607&hl=

If you read the thread, you'll see that he may offer Ti sometime in the future...I guess we'll see. Otherwise, a ti HT for a 1.5 front end is surely going to cost you.
 

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45 gone, 15 to go
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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Cù Ciotòg said:
Law,
i have a carbon speed lefty with a project 123 steertube. the quality is top notch. it's simple and easy and works great. all you need then are a couple of travel reducing clips and your in business, literally a 10 sec. job! these clips are cannondale items that they use to limit the travel for their 29er offerings.
i checked into doing a cannondale size HT instead of having to do the adapter and it seemed like more work and money. at least the couple of builders i talked to. the 1.5 HT is not a stock tube size, so it would need to turned down. another factor here is that if you decided the lefty wasn't for you - throw on any other fork, something you can't do with the lefty HT size.
as for lockout, i never thought i would like one before i had it, now, i love it.
Where to you get the project 123 stuff? MendonCycleSmith, maybe

Edit: found them a couple of places, Ebay for one.
 

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Dr Gadget is IN
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2,393 Posts
I've got a frame being made now - and decided to go with 1 1/8 rather than 1.5/Cdale size. It really came down to esthetics: on a steel frame, the big HT looks Way big. Didn't even check price.

As far as Lefty's and CDale go - I've been converting Lefty's for a while now, but always the Max version rather than DLR's. I like the Manitou dampers and longer travel in the Max'es. Travel reduction requires dropping in an additional spacer.

I've run P321 adapter clamps, and made my own steertube with adapter rings for stock CDale clamps similar to the P321 "carbon" and ebay adapters. Both styles work very well, tho I recall someone having the P321 clamps hitting the downtube in a funky way - something about the frame, and not a problem I've had.

There is a max HT length that will fit between the clamps, depending on your headset stack height - or maybe I should say there is a maximum stack that will fit. This was discussed recently - probably in the CDale forum, which is a good place to search for converter discussion both 1 1/8 and 29er.
 

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bike geek
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I had a steel hardtail purpose-built for a Lefty at one point, and just after giving the go-ahead to the builder to build it with a 1 1/8 headtube, I wondered if I should have gone with the 1 1/2 or whatever the Cannondale's use in stock form. In the end I left it 1 1/8 and was happy I did, because I ended up getting rid of the Lefty, and it was very easy to move on to any other 29er fork on the frame.

Also regarding Action-tec, check out what Waltworks has to say about them, since he builds frames for them (custom fork legs welded to the Action-tec steerer). They require some special headsets and/or stems, I can't remember exactly what right now off the top of my head, but just be aware before you jump.

Oh, and for the record, I am not Walt, nor work for Walt, nor am affiliated in any way, aside from owning a Waltworks frame/fork and cool new TwinSix jersey...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The more I think about it, the more I am into the simplicity and, from what I read and hear, the reliability of the Action Tec Pro Shock. Either that or I may stick to rigid forks. I am thinking about having Doug at Curtlo do something fancy for me--if I can talk him into it. Either that or another Ti frame will be coming my way.
 

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Registered
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I'm a fan of the Lefty, and the only thing stopping me running one on my 29er is the cost of the damn things. It would be nice if they'd be less protectionist and offer them at good prices to builders. They're like triple the price of a top end Fox or Manitou and double that of the WB Magics.

Definitely a decision of the heart, not the wallet!
 

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Mr.650b - Mr.27-5
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1,630 Posts
why look anywhere else?

I like the Lefty too, heck, that is why I built a HT to work with them. And I must say... I would love to try one out with a 650b front wheel... but I digress...

Stick with the 28.6 steer tube. White Brothers forks are the best out there, and more fork than you'll ever need!
 
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