Development Story: Cannondale's Wild New Single-Sided, Single-Crown XC Fork

May 18, 2018
by Mike Levy  






The new Lefty is here, and it's unlike anything that's come before it. The Lefty Ocho, which is available for both 27.5'' and 29'' wheels, is a single-crown, single-sided cross-country fork with 100mm of travel that can be had in either carbon fiber or aluminum flavors. Internally, it employs an all-new damper that mirrors the proven closed cartridge layout found in the best forks on the market, and the air-sprung Ocho comes with a handlebar-mounted lockout and separate external low-speed compression and rebound adjustments.

Weight? Yeah, it's light; the carbon model comes in at just 1,515-grams on my scale with an uncut steerer tube and the remote lockout attached, a number that Cannondale says is 250-grams less than the Lefty Carbon that came before it. That also puts it within a handful of grams of Fox's Step-Cast 32 and lighter than a SID World Cup. The aluminum Ocho is said to weigh 1,735-grams / 3.82lb.

Lefty Ocho Details
• Intended use: cross-country
• Travel: 100mm
• Wheel size: 27.5'' or 29''
• Carbon or aluminum options
• Air-sprung
• New Chamber damper
• External low-speed compression, low-speed rebound adj.
• Remote lockout
• Lefty-specific hub
• Weight: Carbon - 1,515g / 3.34lb; Alloy - 1,735g / 3.82lb
• Only available as OE on Cannondale bikes for model year 2019
www.cannondale.com
The Ocho will be available to buy on its own at some point in the future, but not for the 2019 model year. That means that if you want an Ocho soon, you'll have to get yourself Cannondale's newest F-Si cross-country bike that it's bolted to the front of. I expect that to change in the future, of course. More travel isn't on the cards, either, at least not with the current package: ''With Ocho we wanted to make the best XC fork possible, and that meant focusing on 100mm of travel only,'' Greg Jakubek, Product Developer – Suspension and Components at Cannondale, explained. ''Longer travel is not compatible with this chassis. As for what we have cooking for the future, you’ll just have to wait and see.''


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One sided, one crown, and all Cannondale. The new, 100mm-travel Lefty Ocho Carbon weighs just 1,515-grams / 3.34lb on my scale.

I spent a few days at Cannondale's Bethel, Connecticut, headquarters earlier this year to learn all about the Lefty Ocho and also to throw some tough questions at Jeremiah Boobar, the Director of Suspension Technology Components and the project leader for the new fork.

The first and most obvious thing that needs answering has to be: Why pursue the single-sided fork design when it's been, without exaggerating, the single most polarizing product on the market since it was first introduced? ''We're Cannondale; we don't want to be the same as everyone else,'' Boobar countered when I threw that question at him.

''We can offer a fork that nobody else has, we can make it as light as everyone else's forks, we can make it smoother than everybody else's forks, and we can make it stiffer than anyone else's forks. So yeah, we gotta be a little bit different to get there, but we're happy being that way,'' he went on to say.
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Jeremiah Boobar, Cannondale's Director of Suspension Technology Components.

Fair enough, Jeremiah. But while I can see the benefit to not following the same path as everyone else, I'm also willing to bet that they'd sell a load more of their own bikes if they all came with traditional forks rather than the Leftys on the front of some models. ''I totally agree, there are a lot of traditional looking forks out there. But at Cannondale, we go really far to find unique ways to give riders true benefits out on the trail. And one thing that Lefty has done that no other fork has is being excellent in what we call loaded friction,'' Boobar explained. ''When the fork is seeing loads and starting to bend, the roller bearings inside keep it from having any friction whatsoever, whereas a traditional fork with its bushings starts to get bind-y and reduces that small bump feel.''

So it's not just to be different for different's sake, he's implying, although being an oddball certainly does also have its benefits, too.

bigquotesWe're Cannondale; we don't want to be the same as everyone else. Jeremiah Boobar - Director of Suspension Technology Components

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The Lefty Ocho has spent the last few months on the front of Santa Cruz's new Blur.


Boobar continued: ''You take a super lightweight carbon hardtail, and you could be the lightest one out there, but you put the same fork on there and it isn't really special, you know what I mean? And you put the same derailleurs on a bike; you put the same cranks on a bike... You see more and more of that, but by being unique and offering something else, it really attracts people who are looking to be their own person out there.''

''And once they understand the product, they understand that it's more than being unique and different from all your friends. It's about genuine performance and being able to ride faster out on the trail.''


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The idea for a single-crown, single-sided Lefty isn't a new one. On the far left is the OG prototype from 1995, and it's pretty much just a standard Lefty with its top cut off and a custom Si crown. Next to it is the proof of concept that went through destructive testing a few years later. The all-black Lefty to its right is the first with a three-sided stanchion rather than the four-sided design Cannondale had used on every prior Lefty. And, finally, the Ocho is on the far right.


The simple fact of the matter is that Cannondale's suspension division is never going to trouble the likes of Fox and RockShox when it comes to aftermarket sales or, obviously, OE spec, but that very fact also frees Cannondale up to be, well, Cannondale. ''Just like somebody loves one suspension company or another, and you're not going to convince them to go the other way. We realize that but we're also not trying to be one of the major players out there. We're trying to be Cannondale, and we're trying to be true to who we are, and we believe that our performance is going to speak for itself.''

Cannondale Scalpel-Si
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Cannondale's main reason for going single-crown? The Ocho can fit on any modern cross-country bike, something that the Lefty 2.0, with its one-piece upper tube and crowns, couldn't do.


But why a single-crown, especially after nearly twenty years of dual-crown Leftys? Most of their reasoning comes down to compatibility: The dual-crown Lefty 2.0, the Ocho's predecessor, has its crowns integrated into the upper tube in the name of weight savings and rigidity, but that also means that a bike's headtube needs to be precisely the right length for the Lefty 2.0 to fit. Even a few millimeters too long or too short means that it's a no-go.

So even if you wanted a 2.0, it might not fit your bike. But with a single-crown design and a standard tapered steerer tube, the Ocho will go on the front of essentially any modern cross-country rig.

In other words, the potential market for the Ocho is much, much larger than it was for the limited fitting Lefty 2.0. And I'd also argue that despite the 2.0 being quite light, the dual-crown design surely put off many cross-country types. ''You couldn't put it on many bikes, and you had limited stem and headset choices, all that stuff,'' Boobar said of the Ocho's forerunner. ''And we're really working to distill down what the genuine benefits are, but put it in a package that people can really understand.''
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You can bet your KOMs that Cannondale is hoping the Ocho's compatibility with everything will translate to more success in the aftermarket than the Lefty 2.0 ever had.

So, can you - and do you want to - understand a single-crown, single-sided cross-country fork? It's wild looking, no doubt about that, but Boobar stressed that the Ocho's appearance is only part of the story: ''It isn't just that aesthetic. Once people get out on the Ocho, they're really going to notice the benefits out on the trail,'' he said. The fork's design, with its roller bearings and three-sided stanchion, is said to provide the advantage of no binding and exceptional rigidity, and the byproduct of the layout is that it allows Cannondale to go with the single-sided, single-crown design that's sure to turn a lot of heads and blow a few minds.


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Three Ocho fork dampers being tested while each being mounted in a stanchion.


The Lefty Ocho has been under an incredible amount of secrecy during its development, with only a handful of Cannondale employees even knowing about the project. Despite the classified work being done behind closed doors, Cannondale gave us essentially unrestricted access to the Ocho, the team behind its evolution, and many of the challenges they faced while working to bring the fork to life.





Developing the Single-Sided, Single-Crown Chassis


If a company was going to come up with a single-sided, single-crown suspension fork, you know that it had to be Cannondale. After all, is there another brand of similar size that's spent as much time, effort, and resources on wild, out-of-the-box projects as Cannondale? I don't think there is. But while the Lefty Ocho is all-new from top to bottom, those decades of developing its predecessors also means that Cannondale are probably the only guys that could pull off a project like this

Steve Extance, Chief Engineer for Suspension at Cannondale, was on hand to answer my questions about the Ocho's radical chassis.
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Extance explaining the different steps and methods used to manufacture the alloy Ocho's upper tube.

The Ocho doesn't share a single component with the Lefty 2.0 internally or externally, and both the carbon and aluminum models have been designed as a single-crown fork right from the get-go. And it turns out that Cannondale was experimenting with a single-crown version of the Lefty back in 1995, first by taking one of those 2.0 forks, lopping the top off of it, and manufacturing a hollow crown using the same method as they do for their lightweight and stiff Si (System Integration) cranks.

This early proof of concept did exactly that, proving that the idea was completely feasible thanks to the stanchion's shape, the roller bearing design, and some clever thinking.

That early prototype was all Lefty 2.0; it used a mostly standard chassis - aside from it being diced up - the four-sided stanchion tube/needle bearing system that originally made the Lefty possible, and the fork boot that it required. From there, Cannondale set to work on a fresh design, eventually going with a three-sided stanchion rather than the four-sided design that's been used in every Lefty up until now.

The only part of the new Ocho fork that Lefty fans will recognize is the tapered fork axle - it's the same size as what's on all previous Lefty forks, but it's been created via 2D-forging rather than the 3D forging used for the older Lefty forks. ''We found that actually helps the manufacturing process, and we're able to get the stanchion tube section straighter in the end,'' explained Extance.

Extance went on to give a brief, simplified description of the process: ''We bore out the entire ID; it's finish honed, and the OD is polished for a low-friction surface, and then we machine all the flats for the needle bearing races. And we've added a bunch of weight reduction cuts,'' he said, referring to the lightly scalloped sections of the stanchion. The result, he told me, is the lightest spindle and stanchion assembly that Cannondale has ever designed, and one of the lightest cross-country forks on the market.
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You're looking at the first single-crown, single-sided Lefty Chassis. It was actually a heavily modified standard Lefty with an Si crown.

A big reason for the Ocho's low weight is its all-new stanchion and lower tube design that Extance says is the lightest that Cannondale has ever designed. If you were to strip the Ocho down, you'd find that the stanchion is three-sided rather than four-sided like on all previous Lefty forks, and its three strips of roller bearings are actually manufactured as a single, flat piece before being rolled up and clipped together to fit inside the fork. If you've ever worked on a Lefty or Head Shok, you'll know that this captured, one-piece roller bearing setup will make the fork infinitely easier to work on.

The three-sided stanchion is said to provide a few advantages over the old four-sided tube; three strips of roller bearings weigh less than four strips, of course, and there's less friction in the system for the same reason. Also, Cannondale says that it allows the stanchion to self-center, which make for more consistent action from fork to fork; a four-sided tube might have two facing sides that have tighter tolerances than the others.


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The three-sided stanchion rolls in and out of the upper tube on Cannondale's one-piece Delta Cage needle bearing system. No more hard to service separate bearing strips.


The single-sided, single-crown design is obviously the big talking point here, but there's another detail that's sure to raise some eyebrows: The Ocho has a (kinda) quick-release brake mount that lets you remove the caliper by turning a single, captured 5mm Hex bolt 180-degrees.

There's no backing any bolts out only for them to roll away into the ether, and the slotted mount found on older Leftys that required loosening two bolts so you could slide the mount up to get it off the fork and allow you to remove the wheel is nowhere to be seen.


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Just in case the fork's wild appearance isn't polarizing enough, it's also got a quick-release brake mount instead of the Lefty 2.0's slotted system.

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Turning the 5mm hex bolt in the center of the mount 180-degrees unlocks it from the fork leg. The bolt is captured, and there's no loose hardware.


With only a single fork leg, you obviously don't need to take the wheel off to fix a puncture, but the easily removable brake mount lets riders remove the wheel off if they need to put the bike inside a car or do some mechanical work, all without needing to set up the front caliper from scratch afterward. Braking actually pushes the mount onto the fork leg, too, so there shouldn't be any possible way for it to come off. Pretty clever.

The design has two main components that make it possible: The cam itself that grabs onto a small steel post on the fork lower, and two cone-shaped extensions that ensure perfect alignment every time you re-install the mount. The 5mm hex is captured on the mount itself, with the locked and unlocked positions being clearly labeled; turning the bolt to the unlocked position rotates the cam and releases the mount, and doing the opposite locks it back down onto the fork again.


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Cannondale tested a bunch of different brake mount designs before settling on what they say is the most robust and easy to operate version.

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On the right, you can see the posts that interface with the lower tube and ensure spot-on alignment. If you look inside the mount in the photo on the right, you can spot how the cam comes out to lock the mount onto the fork.


Neat, but it's not exactly like the Ocho needed something else to set it apart from the crowd, is it? Of course not, but Extance was quick to point out that the Ocho's removable brake mount has passed testing with flying colors, and the production version is as robust as anything else out there. It's also a component that saw a load of development, with many different versions being trialed, some of which even employed a locking button, before Cannondale settled on a simpler, easier to use, and more durable design. You can see it in action in the video below.


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Inside the Ocho's Chamber Damper

While the Ocho's platform is wilder than anything we've seen since, well, the Lefty 2.0 that came before it, Cannondale took the opposite approach when they designed the fork's internals. That's a very good thing, too, because, after eighteen years of sub-par damping inside previous Lefty models, this one has to be a home run. In the past, Cannondale has either made their own dampers (that weren't great) or licensed technology from other suspension companies.

The latter approach was certainly smarter but, even then, the Lefty was never on-par with whatever fork was best in class at the time.


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The new Chamber damper that's inside the Ocho features an internal floating piston, external low-speed compression and rebound, and a remote lockout.


So with the Ocho, Cannondale did two vitally important things: One, they decided to design and build a closed damper that uses a proven layout; second, they brought in Jeremiah Boobar, one of the main guys behind the Charger damper that raised the bar when it was introduced in the Pike a handful of years ago. It's no surprise that most fork manufacturers have since followed the same closed damper route, and it's even less of a surprise that Cannondale is doing the same.

But while they're using a proven damper design, Cannondale does have one big, fat challenge that Fox, RockShox, and the rest of the gang don't have to deal with: All of the Ocho's internals - both the damper and the air spring - need to be shoehorned into a single fork leg rather than the two legs everyone else gets to work with.

With effectively half as much real estate that's defined by the fork's top cap needing to clear the underside of every bike's downtube, and not wanting too much extension below the axle line, it wasn't ever going to be an easy task. ''We made every millimeter count,'' Bob Slaw, Suspension Design Engineer, explained before getting into the nitty and gritty of how his team made it happen.
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Cannondale's Bob Slaw giving me the rundown of the new Chamber damper.

''Some of the ways we got around the space constraint is that we minimized the height of everything in the damper circuit and, separately, everything in the air spring circuit.''

Job done, right? Well, it turned out to be much more involved than just shrinking everything down by as much as possible. The story of the damper's internal floating piston, usually an uninteresting and relatively simple component, highlights the lengths that Cannondale had to go to.


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The internal floating piston is a relatively simple component, but things can get tricky when every single millimeter needs to be carefully accounted for.


First, a quick refresher: The IFP is a piston that has the damping oil on one side and gas (usually air these days) on the other. There is essentially no air in the damper, so for the damper rod to compress into the cartridge, the IFP moves and compresses the gas behind it. Not only does this allow for fluid displacement, but the gas behind the IFP also provides important back-pressure to help keep the damping oil from cavitating. This is all proven stuff that's been around for years on all sorts of vehicles, both gas and human-powered.

Proven it may be, but Slaw and his team had quite the time getting the Ocho's low-profile IFP to work as required. ''The reason it has to be that way is just to fit our space constraints,'' he said of what looks a lot like a plastic top hat.


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A lot of effort was put into creating a usable, effective damping adjustment range. On the left are a handful of the different low-speed compression adjustment needles, and on the right are the different low-speed rebound needles that Slaw created. Notice the slightly different shape to the tip of each that determines the flow of oil through a small port.


The IFP grew during testing as the larger the diameter, the less it needed to move up to allow for the same displacement. The relatively massive IFP can be so big because the upper portion of both the alloy and carbon Lefty Ochos are huge, so the room was there. Slaw used it, too, and the IFP in the Ocho's production damper has roughly a 10:1 ratio, meaning that it moves around just 1mm for every 10mm for shaft movement.

Long before anything was locked-in for production, Slaw and his team discovered that the large diameter of the IFP, along with the low height requirement, was allowing it to rock ever so slightly under heavy loads.

As you probably guessed, this isn't a good thing. Damping oil was getting around the IFP, so they had to stop it from happening. It just needed more support, but they couldn't add a bushing (like you'd find in a seal head) because then it'd be too tall. And they also couldn't just use a larger outer seal as that'd add far too much friction into the system: ''We were also very diligent with how much friction we have. We wanted to keep that as low as possible because our competitors are doing that.''

A handful of different IFP designs were trialed, and they even modified a prototype damper's top cap so they could push on the IFP to induce the issue on demand. Different shapes and materials were tested, and the final, leak-proof IFP employs a funny looking top cap shape that does the job.
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The Ocho's compression piston is designed to allow for a lot of oil flow, but testing revealed that the shims needed more support. The piston on the right provides exactly that.

''There is no way we could have ended up with the same stack [height] using aluminum as we did by using Delrin,'' Slaw replied when I asked why they didn't go with metal.

The final product looks a lot like any other high-end fork damper, and that's exactly what Cannondale was going for. For a brand that's never shied away from doing things their own damn way, the damper was one area where it pays to not think too far outside the box. The way many riders look at cross-country riding and racing is changing, however, with more and more people pushing short-travel bikes harder than ever before, which surely means that many of those same riders are expecting more from their damper than someone who might not run a dropper post on their cross-country bike.


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The crown-mounted dial controls low-speed compression.


''It's really hard to balance that,'' Slaw said of the task of trying to keep everyone happy. ''I think, kind of to our advantage, most of us here ride a lot of trail bikes and then downhill on the weekends, so we understand that low-speed performance that you're looking for. We did our best to put that more in the max range and have it super compliant at anything below that.''

So while there's no three-position compression switch for on-the-fly tinkering, the Ocho's crown-mounted low-speed compression dial should provide all the range required, Slaw says. ''Between what I think is optimal for a dry day, a pumpy track, somewhere where you can really pump and generate a lot of speed through your progression; that rider should be able to find something they're interested in. Then, also, a marathon rider, or someone who's spending a ridiculous amount of time in the saddle, maybe even sloppy conditions where traction is your main concern; you can dial that low-speed [compression] back and have a super supple, well-tracking fork for that day.''
bigquotesDamping was a huge priority for this project, and we felt the only way to get the right performance, the right quality that we wanted, as well as the lockout performance we wanted, was to split it up into two pistons. Bob Slaw - Suspension Design Engineer

While the Ocho's low-speed compression is tuneable incrementally rather than a three-position switch, it does come with a handlebar mounted lockout remote... Whether you want it or not, at least right now. It's a two-lever RockShox unit meant to mount below the handlebar, and you can't remove it as it stands right now. So, if your bike already has a remote to control the shock, and a dropper post remote, you might end up looking for room to add a third lever if you end up considering the Ocho.


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Slaw designed the lockout piston to allow for as much oil flow as possible when it's in the unlocked position but to also retain some forgiveness when its locked out as pictured above.


Given that it's a pure cross-country fork with race-focused intentions, the lockout makes complete sense. ''Damping was a huge priority for this project, and we felt the only way to get the right performance, the right quality that we wanted, as well as the lockout performance we wanted, was to split it up into two pistons.'' Compression damping is done on what Cannondale calls the 'Performance Piston,' which is where you'll find the shim stack and check valve, of course, while the lockout piston sits above all that and has two jobs to do. First, it needs to firm the fork up substantially while also providing a blow-off for when I forget to unlock my fork because I'm busy suffering an anaerobic death during a race; second, it needs to allow for maximum oil flow when it's not locked out, which explains the large ports machined into it.

The Ocho's air-spring chamber sits below the damper with a Schrader valve down by the axle and a self-adjusting negative spring. Progression is tuned by adding or removing volume-reducing tokens that go on over the damper rod, so you can easily tune how much ramp-up it has.





The Little Things

While the Ocho is sure to make jaws drop from afar, a closer look reveals a few interesting details as well, including a well thought out brake hose guide that consists of three pieces. First, there's the slotted cable guide on the upper tube that's split to wrap around the hose before being locked into its home on the leg. Just below that is a stiff shroud that clips onto the hose, and it's just the right length to slot into the upper guide and rest in a groove at the top of the fork guard. The guard itself is the last component of the system; a small clamp on the backside of the guard grips the hose firmly.


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Even the Ocho's fork guard is wild; it's a carbon fiber piece with an integrated hose clamp.

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The slotted upper guide captures a stiff sheath that's pushed on over the hose and slotted into the carbon guard.


If you think that setup sounds a lot like what you'd find on an inverted motorcycle fork, you'd be bang-on. It lets the fork go through its travel and displaces the hose above the slotted guide, thereby keeping it far away from your spokes and the Ocho's lone stanchion tube. You can see how the top guide works in the video below.


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The sturdy looking guard itself is also quite the thing, too. It's carbon because why not, and its shape means that it's rigid to keep it from rattling around against the fork regardless of how rough the trail is.








As wild as the Ocho looks, there are a few rather simple questions to answer here: Is the fork's three-sided stanchion and single-sided chassis torsionally rigid enough? And is the fork's air-spring and damper leaps and bounds ahead of what Cannondale has offered in the past? To find out, I've had a Lefty Ocho mounted to the front of Santa Cruz's 100mm-travel Blur for the last few months, but given that the single-crown, single-sided fork sticks out like a cross-country bandit at Crankworx, I've had to be a bit sneaky about it.

Cannondale supplied a trick, 3D-printed extension that clamped under the stem and extended down to the top of the Ocho, an add-on that, at least from a few feet away, had the Ocho looking very much like a run of the mill Lefty 2.0. It even had dials at the top that you could turn; they were obviously not attached to anything, but the stealth setup tricked more than a few passerbys.


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The Ocho's chassis is as precise as any other cross-country fork, and its Chamber damper is top notch.


Disguises aside, I'm guessing that you want to know how the Ocho performs. A long term review is almost complete, but for now, I can tell you that yes, the Ocho is more than torsionally rigid enough, and comparable, if a smidge stiffer, than the likes of the 32 Step Cast and the SID World Cup. I'll also tell you that the new Chamber damper is as good as anything else on the market right now, which means that it's light-years ahead of anything Cannondale has used in the past. This is also underlined by the fact that the Lefty 2.0 will be put out to pasture after this model year, with it being replaced in the catalog by the Ocho.

I'm currently putting together my final thoughts and notes on the Ocho's performance, so you can expect a long-term review in the near future.

In the meantime, tell us what you make of Cannondale's single-sided, single-crown suspension fork... Is it too different for you, or do you care what it looks like so long as the performance is there?


320 Comments

  • + 276
 Thats only half the story
  • + 36
 Yes, show us the All-Righty!
  • + 30
 Though Lefty has always been tempting, time and time again it proved to be fake news. Just can't see it trump the level of suspension that Fox can offer.
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns:https://youtu.be/0tJGk4ofc18
  • + 13
 Righty Tighty, Lefty Loosey.
  • + 13
 @jollyXroger: suspension of disbelief?
  • - 14
flag WAKIdesigns (May 18, 2018 at 3:04) (Below Threshold)
 @BenPea: that hit close to home mate Ouch-Oh!
  • - 3
 @jollyXroger: Lol. Just wait, orange edition: Lefty Donald coming soon.
  • + 11
 Comes with a full face to make it all right.
  • - 4
flag jollyXroger (May 18, 2018 at 5:09) (Below Threshold)
 @BenPea: Alternative facts are in the eye of the beholder.
  • + 2
 @megatryn: only if you drive on the wrong side of the road.
  • + 2
 It's good to see Connor McGregor promotes the Lefty.
  • + 0
 Groan.
  • - 40
flag Rocky-Urban (May 18, 2018 at 8:17) (Below Threshold)
 An inverted lefty, excuse while I go vomit. This Boobar guy needs to be arrested and locked away for life for creating something so hideous.
  • + 7
 @Rocky-Urban: that’s harsh, lighten up mate - did your parents lock you up in a metal box with a speaker playing Gorgoroth until you were done eating your salmon pudding?
  • + 19
 @Rocky-Urban: You should learn more about who “This Boobar guy” is, and what projects he’s been behind. (Hint: direct mount dh stems, RS Pike, bottomless tokens, etc.)
  • + 9
 @Rocky-Urban: they've always been inverted.

More importantly, we're still waiting for the PB special edition. The Pinko Lefty.
  • + 1
 @kcr138: You can scroll through the page and see atleast two mentions of his name at any given point. Like starbucks, the name adds value.
  • + 5
 This fork is straight from wakanda
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: You can't go wrong with a bit of Norwegian black.

IMO it always has and always will be an odd ball fork. The "just because you can doesn't mean you should" alarm is ringing in my head...
  • + 183
 Hats off Cannondale. Its not a product for everyone but the attention to detail, the technology and the fact that they are doing their own thing its admirable.
  • + 14
 Agree impressive engineering is behind it, though it's interesting that they are very upfront about the fact there is no engineering justification for it - it's all about market differentiation. If they applied the same level of engineering behind a normal fork, presumably it would be lighter / better than all the competition. And if that's indicative of their approach to engineering and priorities, why should I believe that the rest of the bike isn't compromised in the same way?
  • + 4
 @Mojo348: I guess they would want you to believe they would be upfront about that as well. Still shows their approach though.
  • + 44
 @Mojo348: That's not what Cannondale said. They said they like being different and doing things differently, but this fork does have it's benefits besides just standing out. From the article- "And one thing that Lefty has done that no other fork has is being excellent in what we call loaded friction,'' Boobar explained. ''When the fork is seeing loads and starting to bend, the roller bearings inside keep it from having any friction whatsoever, whereas a traditional fork with its bushings starts to get bind-y and reduces that small bump feel.''

The argued performance benefit of this fork is that it is as light and as stiff (or stiffer) as the traditional competition but with better small bump feel when loaded at an angle.
  • - 14
flag Mojo348 (May 18, 2018 at 3:12) (Below Threshold)
 I'm all for being different, though i don't buy their claim.

I'd argue that the need to have roller bearings in is a direct result of the compromise of only having one 'leg' - with bushes a lefty would be more prone to bush bind than a normal fork with two legs, as all the forces go though one leg and set of bushings, creating more friction. So to get compatible small bump sensitivity they *had* to go with roller bearings. Though at what cost to service life?

Also to my previous point expect if they had engineered a normal fork with roller bearings it would perform better than a lefty does now, in lightness, stiffness, and small bump...
  • + 17
 @Mojo348: first off, the Lefty only works because of the previously square, now triangle, stanchion, otherwise the fork would just be able to spin around the stanchion. Bushings wouldn't work in this setup because they're too soft. Enough bushing surface area to keep the fork from twisting would mean an incredible amount of friction. Hence, the roller bearings. Now if you were to add the square or triangle stanchions to a traditional two legged fork, you could significantly increase torsional rigidity, but at the expense of stiction. Add roller bearings to two legs, and you now have a very heavy fork. I'm not sold on the Lefty, but it's an all or nothing kinda deal.
  • + 8
 @Mojo348: With bushes, the stanchion tube would just spin around inside the fork leg. The roller bearings ARE required for the one sided design, but the primary reason is not because bushes would have too much friction, it is because bushes simply would not work. There needs to be some sort of anti-rotation factor to the design, which the three (or four) sided roller bearing flats achieve nicely.
  • + 11
 @Mojo348: I think you are looking at it backwards. The advantage comes from the needle roller bearings, which offer low friction even when there is some bending. In order to make that arrangement light enough to be viable, they need to go to one stanchion. Having that setup with a traditional fork would be incredible rigid, but also very heavy.
  • + 3
 @Mojo348: C'dale has been using needle bearings since their Headshock days. The synthesis of the Lefty idea originated with removing the right leg of their double-crown suspension fork to prove how stiff it was - a "conventional" fork that also used needle bearings.
  • + 13
 Cannondale: "I see your negative PB comments, and raise you one less crown..."
  • + 2
 @mrleach: Bushings come in whatever shape you want them to, they do not have to be round. They are just pieces of plastic. You could swap out cannondale's roller bearings for bushings (appropriately shaped) and it would still keep it from rotating.... might feel like shit, but that's another topic.
  • - 6
flag Veloscente (May 18, 2018 at 9:47) (Below Threshold)
 "Doing own thing" = HALF POUND heavier than Stepcast 32in carbon and FULL POUND heavier in aluminum, while limiting your wheel choices, with a design proven to creak & be a maintenance nightmare, at what is guaranteed to be a premium price? Checks all the XC boxes: FAIL, FAIL, & FAIL!
  • - 3
 Interested what frame mfgs think of the side moment exerted on the head tube.
  • + 103
 Can’t stop thinking Dodgeball, ESPN 8 The Ocho:

It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for 'em.
  • + 12
 Jason Bateman gold
  • + 1
 It's actually called ocho because it'll be four times moar a expensive than the 2.0 version.
  • + 2
 That was exactly my first thought too
  • + 2
 @southoftheborder: And 8 times as annoying when trying to get it serviced...
  • + 4
 @Waldon83: pure gold..................


www.youtube.com/watch?v=uLr0v9MyGgM


gen x at its finest.
  • + 77
 I don't want to brag, but I covered the release of this product long time ago: www.pinkbike.com/u/WAKIdesigns/blog/waki-bikes-of-the-future-cannonrail-jeronimo-2020.html
  • + 3
 Nice to include integrated dropper.
  • + 25
 Top comment on that post checks out
  • + 22
 Stop resting on laurels (or yannys, if you prefer) it's time for a 2029 update
  • + 15
 @jollyXroger - this will be the poster fork for Down Country (if you haven't heard of it the biggest thing in MTB since 2019 Stumpjumper) and the key to it's superiority lies in using the roller bearings instead of bushings. That is because you can achieve 45 degree head angle and the fork will still compress rather freely. That means, we can finally reach a 1500 wheel base - F-I-F-T-E-E-N-H-U-N-D-R-E-D wheel-BASE! Just think of that. The ultimate solution, and so help me God! I bet @sickbicycles are busy drawing it as we speak and Leo from @Polebicycles is sweating on how un-unique he will be in close future. He'll have to design a bike from Broccoli fiber and it will be called PLANT
  • + 11
 I spy with my little eye, Mike running a seat bag. A Downcountry move for sure. Seat bag: aka SWAT box for the poor.
  • - 1
 @WAKIdesigns: A proper Down Country bike deserves nothing less than a Lewy fork
  • - 1
 @jollyXroger: Cannondale Levity
  • + 2
 Really nice,that is impressive!I think next Cannondale forks for trail/enduro,aka longer travel ,it would be maybe a two leg regular forks taking advantage of those roller bearings&lower leg design and of course,inverted layout. Put nice internals and nice settings and it could be easy best forks on market.
  • + 3
 Oh f*ck. Well, I had no idea you could draw so well. I've always been drawn to your excellent trolling, but now I feel an affinity.

I just bought $300 USD in prismacolor markers for some logo and bike mockups.

The only logical conclusion, is that if you have any ability as an artist, and like mountain bikes, you will make people go nuts on pinkbike with "interesting" comments. It is inevitable.

Also, sweet bike!!! isn't 1500mm for wheelbase kinda' small though? And where is the kale fiber guaranteed to offend no hippies chain guard and downtube protector? Also missing 7 bottle mounts. I won't ride a bike that can't mount more than seven water bottles in the front triangle.
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: As long as we're doing this Razz ... I was down-country before it was a thing. Old Mongoose XR200. Not tons of squish, but bombproof, and I put flat pedals and aggressive tires on the thing... it can now double as anything up to and including a park bike. Got it from a friend for $20, with about $100 of upgrades, maybe a tad over $100.
  • + 0
 @mtbikeaddict: I had Blur TRc and sold it before downcountry was cool. I used same arguments for buying it as current DCs use for using their bikes. Fairy tales about efficiency, feedback, squeezing juices from local trails, climbs better than Enduro bike but descends almost as well, and then started upforking it, overtire-ing, ending up with exact same setup as one would have on 160bike, just with less rear end travel. I watch this temd grow with amusement.
  • + 1
 Where all the cables drawn in accounted for, or were there extras for cable changes on the fly? gears seem sticky... switching to fresh line on the next straight-a-way
  • + 56
 How I wish these videos would go:
PB presenter: "Don't you read the comments' section? What do you think of what people say about your (very polarising) product?"
Cannondale Director of Suspension Technology/Engineer/Product Designer: "No, sorry, I was busy getting a college degree, then landing a job in the industry I love, honing my skills through countless hours of working, travelling and testing, so no, sorry, I did not have a whole day to read comments from anonymous haters on the web. My bad."
  • + 4
 Shouldve included the "...anonymous haters and online course engineers on the web..."
  • + 40
 This can't be right. If you take away half the fork than what do you have left?
  • + 2
 This needs to be higher
  • + 1
 It appears to more closely resemble some kind of long, spear-like object. I dub thee Assegai! Off to the trademark office...
  • + 29
 If I were rich and rode XC I'd get one... I'm not either of those things but still, cool fork
  • + 18
 Love it. I am a long time Cannondale fan and Lefty rider, and I appreciate what Cannondale does regarding their development of new concepts and products. Nice to see what they are up to. Thanks Mike.
  • + 16
 Rarely do I comment, but I thought this deserves special appreciation. I had a 2012 Cannondale F29 with a Lefty. Had it precisely 3 months. Rode great, but when it came to compatibility and service, it was frustrating. Running lines was annoying, mounting brakes was annoying, getting the fork off the frame was annoying, dealing with the stem was annoying. Everything about what was a pretty fantastic hardtail boiled down to a bike that I was just annoyed with because of the fork. I kept thinking to myself why had they made it such a huge, proprietary thing. I figured it came down to engineering and it was the only sound way to give a chassis with 50% of the components the same stiffness as its counterparts without turning your fork into a broken stick. Fast forward to this new Lefty... this is awesome. No funky proprietary dual crown, a normal brake mount, and you can throw this on other bikes if you want ride this fork on another steed. When everyone's making new standards for wheels, forks, shock lengths even, it's a cool to see a company go the opposite way and make their stuff compatible. Good stuff, Cannondale, good stuff.
  • + 15
 A lot of people hate Cannondale coz they're so biased to the left.
  • + 10
 The lefty always seems to get a lot flak. I just don't understand why. Here we have a company spending a ton of money on R&D and engineering working hard to put out something different and in some cases better than what we are used to. I don't ride a lefty but I've definitely got a soft spot for their work.

If and when the endurocho hits the market I might have to jump on the band wagon.
  • + 5
 If nothing else, this should be up voted for the term "endurocho"
  • + 11
 Can you now do bar spins with a lefty?
  • + 7
 yes.
  • + 12
 Will it spin more than half a turn with the lack of symmetry? Ever tried throwing half a frisbee? Me neither. Is that relevant? I hope so.
  • + 2
 @BenPea: I loled
  • + 8
 Excellent work, very insightful article, lots of tech details as we get to see the inside of the beast. Now the suspension nerd inside me is asking for more tech videos like this with the other suspension manufacturers!
  • + 7
 Man, love 'em or hate 'em you gotta hand it to 'em, Cannondale have created some rad and progressive stuff over the years, not to mention the Moto, the one with the engine that is. Excellent article Mike, nice rIding too.
  • + 10
 This is actually cool.
  • + 5
 @mikelevy: Do you also have pictures of that 3d printed extension tube? Seems like they put a lot of effort in that one two. If they're really that cool I may just want two of those for my single crown forks to make it look like I've got a dual crown fork with lots of dials. Should be pretty. Plus it may serve as a nice knock-block. Makes me bang up to date!
  • + 5
 Lefty's are great and this really should be the standard for light trail or XC bikes. I guess cannondale used all the money they saved on refusing to honor their lifetime frame warranties to develop a better damper.

For all of the hate on leftys they perform fantastic but I am done with Dorel/Cannondale as a company. Just keep hoping their patent expires and some real suspension companies come in with their own single sided strut design
  • + 9
 Is it down country worthy?
  • + 7
 Say what you want but back in the days I always liked my Lefty. It gave me that front end precision that I like. Most of the other xc forks were like a butter.
  • + 7
 The real story is how much did Cannondale have to throw at Boobar for him to leave Rockshox
  • + 0
 and land in wilton, ct as well? My guess is 200k+
  • + 0
 bingo. jerimiah is gettin paid!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • + 3
 Prob wasnt hard to leave a company that couldn't make internals properly and had tolerance stacks like a first grader engineered it.
  • - 2
 @atrokz: lol You think Cannondale is even up to par with RS? Cdale has some of the worst QC management in the game. RS has come leaps and bounds from their former self. I'd like to see your engineering prowess.
  • + 2
 @kmg0: I know this as fact and its echoed by various suspension tuners. RS is a PPM quality model conpany. Im sure you dont know what that means. And Sure. DDG1000. F135. F414. 787. 788. Look em up kiddo.
  • + 1
 @atrokz: Oh I'm aware of their short falls. But I'm saying Cdale is worse. They are.
  • + 5
 I actually think this is a pretty awesome development, especially the new damper and the removable brake caliper. Shows a lot of attention to detail. Probably wouldn't buy it aftermarket but would love to demo one.
  • + 1
 If the tech trickles down to the regular lefty, I'd strongly consider one! This single crown design is perfect for a 100mm XC bike, but for 120mm+ travel you need the double crown for increased stiffness and more room for more travel. I would love a 160mm 29er lefty with a damper on par with FIT or charger!
  • + 3
 i still am confused as to why they would spend MILLIONS of dollars trying to convince the world of an INFERIOR designed wheel that might not self destruct during the first year. Then they have to gather an army of idiots to INVEST in this insanity.
  • + 3
 [quote]"And it turns out that Cannondale was experimenting with a single-crown version of the Lefty back in 1995, first by taking one of those 2.0 forks, lopping the top off of it, and manufacturing a hollow crown using the same method as they do for their lightweight and stiff Si (System Integration) cranks. "[/quote]

This bit of the editorial needs correction. Back in 1995 the fork they experimented with to create a single crown single leg fork was the Moto. Lefty as launched at the back end of 2000 was still in development in 1995 in both single and dual crown versions. The basis for these design developments was the Moto. Lefty 2.0 project started around 2012/13 so it could not be the basis for a 1995 design experiment.
  • + 6
 That's some serious r&d effort! Props to Cannondale. Although I'd put money on being able to break it..
  • - 5
flag nojzilla (May 18, 2018 at 2:25) (Below Threshold)
 Yep, this definitely a fork for 'cyclists'
  • + 0
 I know members of their enduro team who broke somewhere around 30 Lefty's before Cannondale agreed to let them use other forks, so I'd put money on that too! I rode for them in the OG days and was on some of the first Lefty's, can't believe they are still going at it 15+ years later. At least they dropped the head shock....
  • + 0
 @jmrbauer: you rode for crackandfail during the early lefty days?


you are a brave man sir.
  • + 3
 Is the "bearing reset" procedure still a thing with the new Lefty? Losing 5-20mm of available travel throughout a long ride is just not acceptable. Glad they improved upon the QR caliper mount.
  • + 0
 That hasn't been an issue since the lefty 2.0 in 2012? when they moved to the hybrid bearing system
  • + 2
 I'm betting this fork will be pretty damn good. I had a Lefty on an 08 Prophet. While the damping left a bit to be desired, the chassis was stiff as hell and it took some real beatings on the Shore. i think it's awesome to have products like this on the market, especially with the standardization of rear shocks and the saminess frame design wave it's creating.
  • + 4
 That thing looks freakin' sick. Granted, I won't ever get one, 100mm isn't my speed, but I think it's cool. Very well written story, to boot.
  • + 2
 I'm sure it rides well enough and that it's a great engineering achievement but why should you get this over well-proven and lighter fork like the Fox stepcast? (other than allowing Cannondale to make it in-house and have a higher markup)
  • + 1
 better damping, probably stiffer, smoother, much smoother when under torsional or side loads (ie everywhere but the showroom floor or parking lot) and its deff a head turner!
  • - 1
 @hamncheez: I disagree on dampening and definately not stiffness in many planes of movement. It also wears the edges of the rolling surface and pins and gets slop after time. Been there done that.
  • + 2
 How is this stiff enough with a single-crown interface? Lefty's secret sauce has always been the dual-crown design. What's changed to allow this Lefty, which looks for all the world like half of the noodly RS1, to outperform even a 32 fork in that metric, never mind the Lefty 2.0?
  • + 4
 Looking at the crown, what's changed is the addition of a bunch of carbon/aluminium in that area.
  • + 14
 I'm pretty sure that is all covered in the lengthy article above
  • + 2
 the secret in this lefty is the three-sided stanchion,older lefty runs on square shape stanchion. Triangle shape is stronger than square,think in the big cranes .Regular forks like RS1 or fox 32 are just a tube,very smooth one,only the crown and the axle interface keep all forks in place from twisting,less stiffer than lefty design.
  • + 2
 @homerjm: Yes, and all those roller bearings are heavy which necessitates a single stanchion to be weight competitive. I would be interested in a 1750 gram version with traditional layout using normal hub.
  • + 1
 @JohanG: I bet next Cannondale forks for enduro allmountain are 2 leg inverted forks but keeping those roller bearings and the shape,much much stiffer than any other design. What you would be interested is a regular fork,not a Lefty. At least Cannondale said "this is not for all people", totally agree. Weight thing is important for XC top riders IMO. Why using roller bearings make that forks heavy?is obvious a rubber seal is light but this forks are design since day 0 to use roller bearings,you can cut weight in many other areas of the design...is not so hard...
  • + 1
 @homerjm: The Lefty project started from their two-legged Moto FR fork that used roller bearings (though it wasn't inverted). It was very, very stiff but also very, very heavy. It didn't take them long to realize they could remove one leg to make the weight reasonable and still have a stiff enough fork.
  • + 1
 @showmethemountains: The needle bearing system started in their head shock, where the telescoping stanchion was in the head tube. Their first fork WAS inverted, and used the needle bearings to keep it torsionally stiff.

www.getmefixed.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/1997_01-model-chart.jpg
  • + 5
 The "secret" is that they just stopped caring about how flexy it was. That's why you are seeing this in an XC fork not an enduro fork. They probably saw how flimsy the new SID's and stepcasts were and realized that XC people just didn't care, so why would they offer a product that's stiffer when nobody actually wants that.
  • + 2
 @hamncheez:
Yes, I skipped past the headshok to get straight to the Lefty's most direct predecessor. But those earlier inverted forks did not use needle bearings. From Cannondale:

"We already had the Moto 120 fork in 1996 – which was on the Super V DH4000 – but that was a regular telescoping fork and suffered all of the bushing/stiction/flex that was typical of any telescoping fork at that time (and many still today).

The Moto FR (Freeride) fork was introduced in 1998 which was essentially two Headshok’s – one each side, offering 100mm travel. It was bombproof but weighed a bloody tonne!"
  • + 4
 @SonofBovril: No, it wasn't. The triangular runner is for torsional stiffness, not the fore/aft and lateral stiffness that derived from the dual-crown interface, in particular the ability to clamp the head tube between two mounts. The force on the lower crown and the steerer has to be up by at least half. I'm having trouble believing that spindly bit of angled carbon isn't only adequate, but superior to the forks that use two of them.
  • + 1
 @alexdi: because it most likely isnt. #hype
  • + 1
 @golefty:
I'm aware of those. Like I said, the Moto 80 and Moto 120 used normal round stantions and bushings. They first used roller bearings in a non-Headshok fork with the Moto FR
  • + 5
 Cannondale rules. This is innovation - the real deal and not minor shitty standards and all.
  • + 2
 I like that it's different, because hey, variety is the spice of life. Good on them to keep letting their freak flag fly. That said - it's a bit of a pointless exercise if they go through all this expense to develop a fork that imposes significant cost on the rider (maintenance, spare parts, harder to service, worries about future support) while managing to be same weight and stiffness as its competition, with a claimed small increase in small bump compliance as the performance benefit. The reviewer does seem to perceive it as blowing the competition out of the water in that respect - so why bother?
  • + 4
 being different isn't innovation............... its just being different.
  • + 1
 It's shit.
  • + 2
 I loved my Lefty Supermax. It was a great fork. Sadly, sold it with the bike because of how much of a disaster the rear DYAD shock was. I am one of the sheep on a Fox fork now, and while it rides well, it is nowhere near as supple, or precise as the lefty is / was. Good for Cannondale to keep pushing the envelope with this design.
  • + 1
 Yes! Can’t wait til I get to watch more cross country NARPS try and send it over the rollers and blow out their fork and rocket launch a tree. It’s like Christmas has come early! Thank you cannondale!! (Or whoever made this garbage because tbh I didn’t read this nonsense)
  • + 3
 55mm offset only as reported elsewhere on the stock F-Si models @mikelevy? Gonna limit aftermarket scope I'd have thought, no?
  • - 1
 Super disappointing that they make this intriguing fork with so much innovation, and then double down on REDUCING the trail, which the entire rest of the mountain bike world has figured out that more trail is the primary ingredient for stable/predictable handling.
  • + 1
 "And one thing that Lefty has done that no other fork has is being excellent in what we call...." .... Being a pain in the ass. You need to take off the caliper. You need a special hub.

I'll keep my Fox thank you very much.
  • + 1
 Mike, I believe the article has some confusion/typo. In the photo of Lefty evolution, it references the OG as being from 1995 twice in the article. I think it should be 2005 (Cannondale guy says this in your YouTube video while holding that exact fork). That fork on the far left of the evolution photo is a Lefty SL, which didn't exist in '00 when Lefty first came out, never mind '95. Cannondale also didn't have "SI" hollogram cranks in '95, either, for the crown prototyping. I believe the confusion is about the early days of preproduction Lefty prototyping from the Moto in the 90's, when Cannondale tried a single crown and realized it wasn't strong enough, which is why the first Lefty debuted in Y2K was double crown.
  • + 2
 There should be a company that makes a fake righty fork leg that can be attached so that Mike Levy doesn't have to sneak around Crankworx hoping no one sees his bike. Kind of like Kirt Voreis disco slippers video.
  • + 1
 Anyone who rides dirt bikes knows that the current state of MTB forks is pathetic.Damping is tuned around one rider weight and that is very high. The clickers barely do anything. It would really be nice if Showa or Kayaba or someone with actual damper experience would step up and make a bike fork that didn't suck. I don't know if Leftys are any good, but most others are certainly not.
  • + 1
 Ohlins tried, but to make cost and deadline goals they just put out something made with off the shelf Taiwan parts.
  • + 1
 Yup. You're mostly right.
  • + 4
 Part of me hates the lefty forks but it's outweighed by the appreciation of something different to the normal looking stuff.
  • + 3
 So Cannondale managed to make a light upside-down single crown fork that's light, functions well and is missing one leg? RockShox do your homework.
  • + 1
 "''We can offer a fork that nobody else has, we can make it as light as everyone else's forks"......................lighter than everyone else's fork? ....I'd hope so, its 1/2 the fork. Freaking better be lighter. I always wanted to ride a lefty though. They do look kinds fun.
  • + 3
 half fork for twice the price and looks as weird as that?!...I want one ! supermax on my bronson is the best fork i ever had!
  • + 1
 About time Cannondale introduce a fork suitable for any XC bike.
I think lefty is a great idea.
Easy fixing flats and changing tires
Good I wet
Very smooth
Takes longer to change wheel
Not comfortable on a roof rake (the type attacking to the fork)
  • + 1
 Quite a bit of amazing design and engineering work here. Cannondale are masters of forging (more impressive than the dart-throwing carbon layup process alot of people use ) and the quick release brake mount would be handy not just for lefty owners. Great work ! pitted against other 'innovations' like widening axle/flange spacing or 'torque caps' this takes the cake. Long live progress ! keep at it Cannondale.
  • + 4
 What if you want a righty?
  • + 11
 I have both combined on my bike Smile
  • + 6
 Fit it backwards.
  • + 3
 The manufacturing process looks crazy expensive, what is it gonna cost, upwards of $1200 USD?
  • + 7
 SID World Cup is $999-$1079USD so $1200 for something that's not a flexible piece of junk seems fairly reasonable to me.
  • + 4
 So where does the mudguard go?
  • + 2
 Just zip tie it around the rim. That should be sturdy enough!
  • + 4
 Mike walked into a tattoo shop and said, " I'll take all of them!"
  • + 3
 Mostly done in prison tbh
  • + 3
 @mikelevy Thanks for the utterly comprehensive review - at least I appreciate it! ;-)
  • + 3
 Buy any regular size Subaru, Saab, Volvo, or Starbucks...and get a Lefty Ocho for FREE!!!
  • + 1
 What's the service interval? That's the biggest point against the current Lefty if you're getting a cannondale for XC, if you actually ride your bike enough to race XC you're going to have to service the fork all the time.
  • + 1
 @mikelevy Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think Cannondale settled with a locking button for the removable brake mount.
static.bikehub.co.za/uploads/monthly_05_2018/ccs-62657-0-13428900-1526626862.jpg
  • + 2
 Cannondale has always been a very experimental brand, different from it's competition. Although some might not like it, I respect that they are innovative
  • + 2
 I love that mike will go into that interview not knowing a single benefit of the lefty fork. "Why man? Why is it a thing? Your wasting your life man, why?"
  • + 2
 I feel like I used more tact than that haha
  • + 1
 @mikelevy: Also realise it's literally ONLY BC where the lefty isn't popular; East xc crowd love them, euros and Oz's love them.
Seems there's just a concentration of "it looks funny and my one brain cell doesn't understand it" drongos in BC who ride bikes.
  • + 1
 I love the lefty but I just have never understood why they make it. It's super cool for sure but it's still heavier than the lightest xc forks. Is it just to be different?
  • + 2
 I'm surprised that no one has mentioned the new Sram Eagle groups on the F-Si 4 on their website.
  • + 1
 Saw one this morning here at the Grand Junction off-road, strange looking beast for sure, never thought I would see the day, a single crown lefty...
  • + 1
 Ask those called engeneers how badly that SuperMax 2.0 was... unbelievable how Cannondale is still on market or anybody can trust them...
  • + 3
 Doesn't a Fox 32 or a Sid fork weigh about the same ?
  • + 3
 What kind of people buy this shit? Where is the delete article Button?
  • + 0
 I love it, but as with all inverts remember to maintain your seals so oil doesn't squirt on your brake rotors in a terrifying yet hillarious sequence of events as I saw happen to a rider years ago.
  • + 2
 Some cool inovations but man that thing is ugly. Don’t think it’d ever grow on me.
  • + 1
 All the good comments are hidden at the bottom. Common sense opinions about paid advertisements on pinkbike downvoted by mods.
  • + 1
 The moment I saw the tagline I knew I had to skip the article and head straight for the comments. Let the peanut gallery begin
  • + 3
 Fox's new 32 is 1300g. And its got 2 legs.
  • + 1
 same weight in 29" as this new lefty is the Fox 34 Stepcast. And I'd much rather have that. In orange.
  • + 3
 I've not been able to weigh a Fox 32 SC Factory Racing at less than 1470gr with oil and lockout lever with star nut. Ocho is claimed at 1515gr with all hardware.
Rock Shox SID XX with all hardware and oil is 1560gr ave (across the few I've weighed)
Also bear in mind that neither the Fox nor the RS is weighed with a thru axle fitted and the weight difference is less than a sparrows fart.
What Id be more interested in establishing is how well the damper and air spring will hold up within the 120hr overhaul interval. This is a similar service to a FOX or RockShox at 120hr. Ultimately how easy the fork is to live with will determine its success
  • + 3
 nice fork and all, but the quick release brake mount is brilliant!!
  • + 1
 Funny how in the old school test rig article everyone was loving on Cannondale for thinking outside the norms, but here, it's all the usual bs.
  • + 2
 Not sure you pointed out enough that it's a single-sided, single-crown suspension fork.
  • + 3
 No, I didn't so thanks for mentioning it again!
  • + 1
 Does anybody know the location and the name of the trail in the video. Heading to Canada in a month and I would love to ride it. (I'm guessing it's Canada...)
Cheers!
  • + 2
 Mamquam Road, up behind Quest University in Squamish...... most likely
  • + 7
 "Heading to Canada"... that's like saying heading to Asia. Where?
  • + 1
 @bishopsmike: "Heading to Canada"... is like saying "Heading to Japan". "heading to Asia" is like saying "headed to North America". Asia is not a country it is a continent.
  • + 1
 @mkosloske: He's saying Canada is about as big as Asia, so it could be ANYWHERE.
  • + 1
 @bishopsmike: Touché. Asia is still a little bit bigger than Canada though Smile
I will be in British Columbia. And also Squamish.
  • + 1
 @maxatrillion: Jealous - enjoy!
  • + 3
 It's Angry Midget in Squamish, a classic.
  • + 2
 If it was unlike anything that’s come before it it would be a righty you uhhhh... goofs
  • + 2
 I wouldn’t need one, especially because it’s XC, but the technology put into this is fascinating.
  • + 1
 Jeremiah Boobar used to be in SRAM/RockShox isn't he? And that handlebar has his namesake.
  • + 1
 Yes, just as it said in the article.
  • + 1
 OG=ORIGINAL GANGSTER not just original lol you kind of look stupid when you use it thinking it only stands for original
  • + 1
 Holy shit this is an in depth technical report. This was allot of work to reason out all their design decisions.
  • + 2
 ..and they're back...good!
  • + 2
 It just doesn’t look righty
  • + 2
 Cause is left
  • + 1
 I will make the right side disappear in count of 3
Uno
Dos
Poooooooof!
Disappeared without a trés
  • + 2
 Like a MAGA hat, it lets you know at a distance who to avoid. Well done!
  • - 2
 Absolutely ridiculous. Im all for radical evolution but not one that puts the life of the rider at risk. Do not tell me for one moment that this is just as strong as a proper fork. This is just doing something for the sake doing it to be different. It doesn't actually offer anything new....well apart from a new face when it snaps.
  • + 2
 Don't ride a car anymore and don't trust any airplane or modern motorbike ... ;-)
  • - 2
 @treg: Modern cars still have 4 wheels and planes still have two wings last time i checked. How would you feel if all of a sudden some lunatic engineer decided a plane should have one wing just on the left?
  • + 4
 @Matt76: when the Supermax was tested, the only fork that was stronger was a Fox 40.
Just because you don't understand the engineering doesn't mean it's unsafe.
  • + 0
 @Bahh: Lol Whatever. You believe that you believe anything!
  • + 3
 @Matt76: since your mentioned planes; go google and see for yourself how the wheels of those babies are attached to the rest of the plane. Kind of looks like a lefty (several Leftys) too. Just because it looks unusual on a bike doesn't mean it's not gonna work on such.
  • - 1
 @TinuKu: Go buy one of these monstrosities then. Instead of a new Pike, Lyric or Fox 36. Put your money where you mouth is!
  • + 1
 @Matt76: FYI, many airplanes have one sided landing gear struts...
  • + 2
 Poor SC being subjected to that
  • + 1
 Yeah I'm sure they hate the publicity
  • + 2
 No thanks, being different is not being better.
  • + 1
 Had a lefty on a Cannondale scalpel. Loved it!

Would love this, if I hadn't just bought a new bike Frown
  • + 2
 No. Not ever. I strongly dislike the political connotations of the name.
  • + 3
 If it was called the "f*ck the poor" would you be more interested?
  • + 1
 @Patrick9-32: can't tell if sarcasm, double sarcasm or if he's actually that afraid Big Grin
  • + 3
 @nojzilla: I am going with heretofore unheard of TRIPLE SARCASM!
  • - 1
 Ocho sounds like a tripple fructose syrup covered oat meal, or better, a brand of packaged donuts. "Ocho trail donuts" - no wonder Mike loves it
  • + 1
 LOL, don’t worry it’s just a connotation, just ask Dorel Industries Wink
  • + 2
 Why do we need half a fork?
  • + 2
 Did they call it ocho because it's version #8 or because Spanish is cool?
  • + 3
 Por que no los dos?
  • + 2
 Yes to mono swing arm, no to mono crown plz, it just doesn't look right
  • + 1
 @mikelevy: any word on if you’d be able to swap a Lefty 2.0 to the new damper?
  • + 1
 Good question. Pretty confident that the answer is no on that one, though.
  • + 1
 it's not compatible. Only 2 parts of the Ocho is compatible with the 2.0 and those are the decals
  • + 1
 So, wait, if you’re right handed, shouldn’t this be called “The Stranger”?
  • + 2
 maybe the dutch rudder?
  • + 1
 Cannondale has left me in the cold before with their limited run proprietary forks. NEVER AGAIN.
  • + 4
 I agree with being down on proprietary designs, but if you read the article you'd see that part of their design goal was to get rid of the dual crown design and switch to a standard tapered steerer. The only thing more proprietary in this design than any other fork is the hub, which is the same Lefty hub that's been around for years.
  • + 0
 Never
  • + 2
 @JasonALap: we going to mention the roller bearings or fancy brake mount? In three years cdale will change the design, no parts or after market support available, no apologies....
  • + 1
 @JohanG: sourcing the roller bearings are no different than the bushings for any other fork, but yes, the brake mount is proprietary.
  • + 2
 Tell me there's a 29er version of the Habit to go with it!
  • + 1
 100mm only dude. 29'er habit won't come out for another 15 years!
  • + 1
 There is...It's called the Bad Habit. 27.5+ or 29
  • + 2
 @JasonALap: while something might fit, it jacks up the bb height and extra few mils will bottom out on the seat tube with some tires. i know, i had one.
  • + 2
 @JasonALap: ALSO, do yourself a favor and look at the inside of the seat stay bridge to see if yours is cracked.

forums.mtbr.com/attachments/26-27-5-29-plus-bikes/1073640d1464747824-cannondale-bad-habit-img_6801.jpg
  • + 1
 @raditude: you mean the chainstay bridge, since there is no seatstay bridge. And I've checked, mine's fine. That seems to be an issue that plagued the early Bad Habits. You can run "normal" size 29" tires with negligible geometry differences, but yes, anything 2.4 or larger and you're going to have clearance issues and a raised bb, which isn't necessarily a bad thing depending on your terrain.
  • + 1
 @JasonALap: Thanks for proving my point about lack of 29'er cross-compatibility.
  • + 1
 @dthomp325 the Scalpel SE models might just work for you ; )
  • + 1
 @TinuKu: nah, still has old school geometry with super short top tubes.
  • + 2
 Fuk yes - can have a lefty and still do bar spins and tailwhips
  • + 2
 NX EAGLE TO BE AVAILABLE ON LOWER MODEL FSI'S???
  • + 1
 ShUt Up
  • + 1
 @mikelevy with the hard hitting journalism. Next stop 60 minutes.
  • + 1
 Interesting how Lefty has evolved over time. Darwin would be proud Wink
  • - 1
 Try changing a flat without taking the wheel off and let us know if you still think it's an option. It is 10x harder than just taking the wheel off.
  • + 0
 if its not available aftermarket, why theres a big ad on pinkbike frontpage?
  • + 2
 ...for 2019
  • + 3
 Good question. It'll likely be in the aftermarket next season. I covered it regardless because it's pretty damn interesting.
  • + 0
 Lol this is worse than when Mavic announced their new Cross max pro wheels with 24 whole, straight pull, bladed spokes.
  • + 2
 just so ugly.
  • + 1
 I wonder if people with amputee fetishes would find this appealing?
  • + 1
 i knew this girl that used to race bikes in the 80's with only one leg.....

what was her name again?

oh yeah, it was ilene.

there was also a japanese girl who skied with one leg back in the 90's.

her name was irene.
  • + 1
 That blur looks sweet with those Ti cranks!
  • + 1
 Left? I'm right; oh no I can't ride it sorry
  • + 1
 Amazing, just not enough travel to be bothered.
  • + 1
 They were able to make it even uglier (clap clap).
  • - 1
 Most companies selling fake increases in stiffness every year. Cannondale purposely making things weak, lopsided, and noodly. The MTB industry is the worst.
  • + 0
 Who has the patent on the righty? Sounds like a great shock technically but it's too far off in left field for me.
  • + 1
 Only available as OE on Cannondale bikes....why test it on a Santa Cruz???
  • + 23
 Why not?
  • + 2
 @mikelevy: I agree, although a Cannondale might have a better balance with the rear suspension (because it was tuned as a whole).
  • + 2
 I think the operative words in the statement regarding aftemarket availability were "at some point in the future." They'll be around.
  • + 1
 Did you not read? They're Cannondale, they do not want to be like everyone else, successful.
  • + 0
 @Mac1987: Yea, that's why it was launched on the F-SI hardtail.
  • + 1
 I would have more confidence riding a unicycle than riding that thing..
  • + 1
 I wonder how the flex is during stoppies? I don't see it going over well.
  • + 1
 You do not need the ride side until you need it.
  • + 0
 I am so wealthy I have a lefty and a righty and I am so obnoxious I use both at the same time when I ride.
  • + 0
 disclaimer: I am not wealthy enough to be XC. Lol
  • - 3
 I like that Cannondale is doing something different, but at the end of the day, I'm surprised they are doing something that is just an offshoot of the telescopic fork. The telescoping design has so many limitations, despite being very refined, but is the most aesthetically pleasing that it has become the norm. The Lefty, IMHO is so ugly, that they might as well have just gone and worked on a revamped Amp fork design, or an Earle's style fork, as with the Lefty, they have already forsaken good looks, so might as well go for function.
  • + 0
 So it's heavier than a pike? Mmh. I'd rather modify a pike to 100mm if I want a stiff xc fork.
  • + 2
 Heavier than a Pike? No, of course not. Where'd you see that?
  • + 1
 Patiently waiting for redesigned Scalpel...
  • + 1
 @mikelevy: Yup, sooner or later we'll see the new one with Ocho Wink
  • + 2
 Can I get a Bothy?
  • + 1
 I think they call it the Ambi
  • + 1
 1995? Nonsense.
  • + 1
 I would love to try it.
  • + 1
 hum... deep and thicker
  • + 1
 Pretty enduro
  • + 1
 NOPE.
  • - 2
 Sometimes, just because you can, no! Like gear box, no! Spokes, made of strings, no! Bamboo bikes, no! Hip pack for mtbiking, hell no!
  • + 1
 Y THO?!?!?!?!¡
  • + 1
 Needz moar donuts.
  • + 0
 This article comes across as half-*ssed...
  • + 0
 Lol at people with Lefty 2.0's
  • + 0
 Nothing wrong with my Cane Creek Helm
  • + 7
 Not yet, but as its made by cc, give it time!
  • + 1
 Poor Cane Creek, one bad air shock and their reputation is ruined.
  • + 2
 I have the new 29er Helm set to 120mm and it's great, but it's also a very different fork - with different intentions - than the Ocho.
  • + 2
 In the sense that the Helm is for brute, and the Ocho is for finesse . . . . The Ocho is also missing half of it self that it apparently doesn't need. On the topic of 'Bad Air Shock' and 'Cane Creek' My Double Barrel, my AIR CS, my CoilCS and my Helm Air have NEVER had a single fault. As far as I'm concerned, Cane Creek have a great reputation unless you want a first generation Inline, so I don't see what the problem is.
  • + 2
 Inlines last anywhere between two days and 2 months.I replaced those with the DB CS. The first one lasted almost a year, which was amazing, the second one lasted three months. Cane Creek stuff is not engineered to last. Don't buy that crap.
  • + 1
 Strut
  • - 1
 My buddy dated an amputee once.
  • + 1
 only dated?

dude i got stories from buddys about the 'end of the paralympics' parties that would make larry flint blush.
  • + 0
 Still never riding one.
  • + 0
 I'll buy none.
  • - 1
 Thought it was April fools for a hot second...
  • - 2
 When you're primary goal is spandex and uphill climbing.....I guess you really only need half up front.
  • - 1
 The old "two are better than one" seems very applicable right now
  • + 0
 "Viligent".
  • + 0
 What an F'n pile!
  • - 1
 jesus tldr pls
  • - 2
 Still a no from me.........
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