Will the new Cannondale Lefty Ocho suspension fork be any good for gravel bikes?
Cannondale launch their new Left fork, the Ocho today claiming its the world's first single crown, single-sided suspension fork, read on for all the details on the new 100mm cross country offering.
The new fork has been designed with just a single crown, rather than the triple crown seen on the old original Lefty and the use of a 1 1/8″ to 1 1/2″ tapered steerer tube. The fork is redesigned on the inside too reduce friction and weight, Cannondale says "There are fewer friction-causing bushings and seals than any other fork. The supple new Chamber damper and the new Delta Cage evolution of Lefty's revolutionary needle bearing telescope assembly, all adds up to the smoothest fork ever made. No sticking, no binding, no shuddering or hesitation, no matter how hard you push it. Just pure, smooth action always, for ultimate control."
The new fork is lighter at a claimed 1,446g in the carbon chassis and 1,735g in the alloy version, a weight saving of 250g. Cannondale says they could have made the fork even lighter but this would have compromised stiffness. The Lefty is renowned for being super stiff and the Ocho version has had the torsional stiffness decreased by 14% lower to improve tracking in rough terrain. Elsewhere there is a simple cable remote lockout with Fox bar lever, 6 clicks of compression adjustment and 23 clicks of rebound adjustment.
There is an updated SideCar air valve just below the fork leg guard and away from the brake disc. A new quick release Stop Lock brake mount design is simple to use with an allen key but as the new fork uses the same hub standard as previous Lefty's so any wheels built recently should work.
Although this has 100mm of travel we can see a shorter travel version being applicable for gravel use. It appears this fork is light and stiff (just a tad heavier than the Fox AX fork) but lighter than a Rockshox SID fork (1,530g). It'll also be a breeze to change a puncture! Cannondale are no strangers to sticking suspension forks on their gravel bikes, the Slate. Watch this space, we will be......
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