Cannondale’s Lefty has been confusing the punters for over a decade now; the single-sided fork is one of the most unique and recognisable items in mountain bike history. We’re big fans, especially after having just ridden the latest incarnation of the Lefty on Cannondale’s Scalpel Ultimate.
But the Lefty isn’t just available to Cannondale bikes, and we’re increasingly seeing riders of other makes of bike retrofitting the Lefty to their rides. Why? Well the Lefty offers a number of benefits when compared to dual leg telescoping forks. [private]
Firstly, the Lefty is damn light, letting you drop as much as 200-300g over comparable dual legged forks. Secondly, it’s incredibly stiff. Stiff you say? How can it be stiffer than a regular fork with just one leg? The answer lies in the interface between the lower and upper leg – the fork uses a square stanchion tube that runs on four sets of needle roller bearings. Square stanchion sliding into a square upper = zero twist. Thirdly, it looks freaking cool. Oh, and you can change a front flat without removing your wheel too.
Not every bike can be converted to run a Lefty, but most can and there are now more options to facilitate a conversion than ever before. To satisfy our curiosity we decided to give our BMC TE01 test bike the Lefty treatment.
We’ll be following up soon with a full run down of the Lefty’s on-trail performance and how it changed the ride of our BMC. [/private]