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Concept of lefty forks on touring bikes?

Old 11-11-19, 11:10 PM
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Aznman
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Concept of lefty forks on touring bikes?

Quick opinions survey of the day: is the lefty fork pretty much antithetical to the very concept of the touring bike frame (abundance of possible rack/pannier placements being the primary concern)?
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Old 11-11-19, 11:35 PM
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If you can somehow attach a low-rider to it, you could have one huge front left pannier, which woudl greatly facilitate counter-clockwise touring.
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Old 11-11-19, 11:45 PM
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guess it all depends on your style of touring.

wouldn't work for me to have no spare parts availability and be restricted to proprietary headsets and bearings and hubs and brakes.

there'd gotta be some impressive advantages to having a lefty to justify the price and limitations.

does it actually solve any problems encountered by the average tourist?
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Old 11-12-19, 08:19 AM
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Meh. I don't see any huge pluses or minuses for my style of touring. Do you have a particular reason to go that route? If you want to run front panniers it is probably a no go. You can run bar bag, bar rolls, and so on just fine. I am sure the setup is plenty reliable enough. Parts availability? If you are that worried have spare parts at home ready to be mailed/shipped to you in a pinch. If it is what you have and what to use it to tour, why not? If you are choosing a new setup to tour on, why?
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Old 11-12-19, 08:44 AM
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I've never ridden a bike with a Lefty (yet anyways), so no real opinion on that. Other than a lack of mounting options, as already mentioned, but that might not matter. 🤔

Here's my new-to-me Killer V, which not only works out great for riding various terrain, but it's also far easier to mount. 👍

The only drawback, it has a 1 1/4" headset, which is a little unusual, but shouldn't be too big of an issue. Kinda like your Lefty. 🙂

Good luck.
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Old 11-12-19, 05:02 PM
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A solution in search of a problem, and that's all I'm gonna say about that.
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Old 11-12-19, 07:27 PM
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A Lefty fork does have a place for certain mtb builds as they are lighter than traditional suspension forks but that would be a stretch of a reason for a touring build where weight isn't such a critical factor. I tour without front saddle bags but even still wouldn't see a need for an expensive design like that ordinarily. Where I might see a desire is for a fast, lightweight, off road bike packing capable bike with suspension - ie. gravel bike with suspension. Fairly niche.
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Old 11-12-19, 09:06 PM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
Meh. I don't see any huge pluses or minuses for my style of touring. Do you have a particular reason to go that route? If you want to run front panniers it is probably a no go. You can run bar bag, bar rolls, and so on just fine. I am sure the setup is plenty reliable enough. Parts availability? If you are that worried have spare parts at home ready to be mailed/shipped to you in a pinch. If it is what you have and what to use it to tour, why not? If you are choosing a new setup to tour on, why?
Hey staehpj. No, I am not looking for a lefty touring bike right now. I was just wanting to know the thoughts of those in the touring domain on lefty bicycles.
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Old 11-13-19, 08:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Aznman View Post
Quick opinions survey of the day: is the lefty fork pretty much antithetical to the very concept of the touring bike frame (abundance of possible rack/pannier placements being the primary concern)?
Where there's a will, there's a way. This cat's touring on his lefty fork bike:

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Old 11-13-19, 08:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
A Lefty fork does have a place for certain mtb builds as they are lighter than traditional suspension forks.....
i read that yes, the fork itself is lighter, but with the heavier bearings and the beefier headset/tube and crown, along with the honking massive hub, that it's actually a wash weight-wise.
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Old 11-13-19, 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Aznman View Post
Quick opinions survey of the day: is the lefty fork pretty much antithetical to the very concept of the touring bike frame (abundance of possible rack/pannier placements being the primary concern)?
For off-road bikepacking, it would be fine with one caveat. Bikepacking tends to be front heavy. That extra load is going to put stress on an axle that is only one sided. The possibility exists of damaging the axle. I'm not saying that it would but the possibility exists.

For regular road touring with panniers, you've already addressed its limitation.
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Old 11-14-19, 07:59 PM
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I have had a Cdale with Lefty and it is one heck of a sus fork. The best I have used for performance riding. Precise, small bump sensitive, and very smooth operating. Virtually no stiction at all. As for touring, it is overkill. Currently there is no good way to attach a front rack to it.

Addressing the hub and axle, I have yet to see one fail. Considering autos have their axles supported on one side, motorcycles have single sided swing arms supporting the rear axle on one side, and formula race cars the same, there is little chance of a failure of the Lefty axle.

Disclaimer, I have been working in a Cdale shop for the past 3 years. Before that it was 30 years in a Specialized shop. Have seen a lot of fork failures, almost all of them, at least 99%, due to lack of maintenance or really, really big hits.
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Old 11-14-19, 11:28 PM
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I’d like to see a drop-bar suspension touring bike, if I had money to blow I’d ask custom builders if they’d make one.

Heavier by .5 to 1 kg but narrower lighter tires would negate some of that & higher tire pressure would give lower rolling resistance.

No front rack mounts but perhaps a builder could weld rack mounts to the fork or make a custom rack

Overkill for road touring on smooth roads but much more comfort & some increased safety & speed on the rough roads, bumpy sidewalks or trails that one might commonly encounter.
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Old 11-15-19, 05:14 AM
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Originally Posted by DropBarFan View Post
Id like to see a drop-bar suspension touring bike, if I had money to blow Id ask custom builders if theyd make one.

Heavier by .5 to 1 kg but narrower lighter tires would negate some of that & higher tire pressure would give lower rolling resistance.

No front rack mounts but perhaps a builder could weld rack mounts to the fork or make a custom rack

Overkill for road touring on smooth roads but much more comfort & some increased safety & speed on the rough roads, bumpy sidewalks or trails that one might commonly encounter.
Why not just put drop bars on one and related components on one? People have been doing that with with MTBs for years.

Cheers
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Old 11-15-19, 10:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Miele Man View Post
Why not just put drop bars on one and related components on one? People have been doing that with with MTBs for years.

Cheers
You mean like a hybrid or German trekking bike? I've tried drop bars on a MTB & the handling is not ideal esp for those who like a more aero position. Also there's no suspension forks with rack mounts AFAIK A bit ironic considering some carbon forks have rack mounts.
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Old 11-15-19, 11:38 PM
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Originally Posted by DropBarFan View Post
... Also there's no suspension forks with rack mounts AFAIK A bit ironic considering some carbon forks have rack mounts.
you can add a front rack to a suspension fork, either to the brake studs or with clamps. this one gots lowrider mounts and a platform.

https://www.amazon.com/Minoura-MT-40.../dp/B00FHV0Q92
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Old 11-17-19, 01:02 AM
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Originally Posted by saddlesores View Post
you can add a front rack to a suspension fork, either to the brake studs or with clamps. this one gots lowrider mounts and a platform.

https://www.amazon.com/Minoura-MT-40.../dp/B00FHV0Q92
I cant think of a good suspension fork that has brake studs on it. I cant really think of too many bad ones that have them. This is the age of disc brakes, remember.
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Old 11-17-19, 02:02 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
.... This is the age of disc brakes, remember.


disk wha?? only disk I got is slipped.



now git off muh lawn!
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Old 11-17-19, 10:16 AM
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Now you kids are confusing me again, dagnabbit. Is it disc or disk? 🤔
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Old 11-17-19, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by stardognine View Post
Now you kids are confusing me again, dagnabbit. Is it disc or disk? 🤔
It's 'disc', as in 'disc breaks':

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Old 11-17-19, 01:05 PM
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So, did you break your brake disc, just for this thread? 😁
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Old 11-17-19, 01:18 PM
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Today Lefty forks are better engineered...they used to be max ASTM condition 2 AKA 6" drops or less (think less than a regulation road-curb in the USA). Problem being everyone treated them like XC equipment....result was lots and lots of people were surprised when they broke prematurely after being abused by people who didn't know they were abusing them.

These days Cannonwhale engineers them to Cond 3 I think.

Either way...they don't gain you much for a touring context at all--and introduce hard-to-source proprietary parts where you don't need them.

Originally Posted by tcs View Post
Where there's a will, there's a way. This cat's touring on his lefty fork bike:
There was a guy a few years ago on Tour de Nebraska that brought a Bike Friday. I remember it because I was about to leave a convenience store on my bike, he rode in, and his front fork snapped. Was just one of those things. He was fine, but his tour was done. No spare parts within who knows how many hundreds of miles, and for a 5 day organized tour he was done, given time constraints.
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Old 11-17-19, 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted by saddlesores View Post
you can add a front rack to a suspension fork, either to the brake studs or with clamps. this one gots lowrider mounts and a platform.

https://www.amazon.com/Minoura-MT-40.../dp/B00FHV0Q92
Minoura rack...nice that such a model is available but it's massive & heavy. I looked at the Old Man Mountain website that claims new rack production will soon resume. But I don't think there are any production drop-bar touring bikes suitable for swapping in a suspension fork anyway & if I had $5,000 to build a custom susp-fork tourer I'd spend another $1,000 for sweet custom racks. Oh well, my touring bikes are reasonably comfortable so I'm not considering that seriously. I'd email some builders just to see but they're busy guys so I don't want to bother them with theoretical questions.
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