Lefty vs SID Race. Alloy vs Carbon.

*AL*
*AL* Posts: 1,185
edited March 2010 in MTB buying advice
I had a look at a couple of Cannondales today, a Flash F1 with a Lefty Speed alloy DLR and a Flash Carbon 4 with a pair of SID Race.

It was my 1st ever ride with a lefty and visually it was so much to take in I'm pretty confused as to which I actually prefer.

The Carbon 4 obviously has a carbon frame and the SID race isn't exactly shabby either, the rest of the kit is comparable to the F1 but the brakes are a little more down market (Elixir 5 vs Elixir R) but nothing I can't swap in the future if I feel the need.

Price wise, there's a £100 in it. Flash F 1 £1899.00 - Flash Carbon 4 £1999.00

The SID's are known to me and I quite fancy a carbon frame after a few alloy bikes, but I'm not too sure if I'm missing a trick by going with something familiar fork wise just because the Lefty appears rather strange to look at/unfamiliar to ride ?

Tell me what I need to know people...

Comments

  • Andy
    Andy Posts: 8,207
    Did you ride the carbon frame? Will be a totally different ride to the alloy frame.
  • *AL*
    *AL* Posts: 1,185
    Yes, rode both bikes.

    As I said though, I was so fascinated/distracted by the lefty I didn't really take a whole heap of notice of the rest of the bike :roll:

    Ideally, the lefty would be fitted to the same frame as the SIDs so I could evaluate it as a single item, but a carbon Cannondale with a Lefty is another £800 on top and there wasn't one available to try either.
  • peter413
    peter413 Posts: 5,120
    Which is lighter. Thats the biggest advantage with the lefty so if the carbon one is lighter then probably get that.

    Wish I even had the choice of which to buy :cry:
  • bomberesque
    bomberesque Posts: 1,701
    peter413 wrote:
    Which is lighter. Thats the biggest advantage with the lefty

    I disagree. Don't get me wrong, I like SIDs and both I and Mrs B have a pair on our XC HTs but...

    Depending on the model, aside from being very light, the lefty is flat out the stiffest XC fork I've ever tried. New SIDS are acceptably stiff but nowhere near as stiff as the lefty (not sure the model but not one of the carbon ones for sure) my sis-in-law has on her bike.

    That said, I found the same AL, I cant ride the lefty because it makes me feel like I'm going to fall off the whole time, like some sort of twisted Phantom limb syndrome. The rational part of my brain accepts that the design is sound (afterall car wheels are held on from one side) but the subjective side can't get over the gap that my peripheral vision picks up when I try to ride one.

    I suppose it's something you get used to but doesn't help with evaluation ofc.

    In the end, you're pouring a lot of money into the fork to go for the lefty option and as you say the SID is well known and capable. If you want carbon I'd probably go for it but I'd say you should try to get yourself into the right frame of mind to be able to evaluate the rides between the 2 frames more objectively (do they have an alu frame with a traditional fork available to test?) ... or maybe a chin-mounted blinker? :lol::wink:

    either way though, you're going to end up with a top bike
    Everything in moderation ... except beer
    Beer in moderation ... is a waste of beer

    If riding an XC race bike is like touching the trail,
    then riding a rigid singlespeed is like licking it
    ... or being punched by it, depending on the day
  • billysan
    billysan Posts: 575
    edited March 2010
    I still think that my old lefty was the best 'feeling' fork Ive ever used. Just so plush and supple. It was so accurate due to its stiffness as well. Maguras have a reputation for being stiff, but I'd happily say my old Lefty DLR was stiffer than my Magura Thor. They do look a bit odd when you look down, but I like that. Just get over it and look where you are going. If you're going quick enough and concentrating you wont have time to look down!

    Im having a similar debate with regards to what £2k race bike to get later this year. The F1 is currently at the top of my list, even though its alloy. It may not be as fashionable as carbon, but cannondale do know what they are doing with aluminium. Other bikes on my short list are the Giant XTC Advanced 3 and the Specialized Stumpjumper Comp Carbon.

    I do love cannondales though so my opinion will be biased.

    4052704441_ac8232c264_o.jpg

    It really is up to you.
  • bomberesque
    bomberesque Posts: 1,701
    billysan wrote:
    I'd happily say my old Lefty DLR was stiffer than my Magura Thor.

    I was thinking a similar thing but haven't ridden a lefty in a while so wasn't confident enough to claim it had the stiffness of a bolt thro fork but thanks for confirming my memory (which is that the lefty stiffness is closer to pike than to SID levels) for me. The stiffness just blew me away.
    Everything in moderation ... except beer
    Beer in moderation ... is a waste of beer

    If riding an XC race bike is like touching the trail,
    then riding a rigid singlespeed is like licking it
    ... or being punched by it, depending on the day
  • Dirtydog11
    Dirtydog11 Posts: 1,621
    Have you seen this?


    Go to 1.40

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LfDuAE8HdX4.


    Roller bearings very impressive!
  • *AL*
    *AL* Posts: 1,185
    That said, I found the same AL, I cant ride the lefty because it makes me feel like I'm going to fall off the whole time, like some sort of twisted Phantom limb syndrome. The rational part of my brain accepts that the design is sound (afterall car wheels are held on from one side) but the subjective side can't get over the gap that my peripheral vision picks up when I try to ride one.

    I suppose it's something you get used to but doesn't help with evaluation ofc.

    Thank god it isn't just me, I'm still not sure how I avoided going head 1st into a tree because 90% of the ride my eyes were firmly fixed on the lefty :roll:

    I'm sure the Lefty would become 2nd nature after a while, but considering my 1st 'MTB' was a Raleigh Grifter, I've had the best part of 30 years looking down at 2 fork legs.

    Do you have a link for the chin-mounted blinker :lol:
    billysan wrote:
    Im having a similar debate with regards to what £2k race bike to get later this year. The F1 is currently at the top of my list, even though its alloy. It may not be as fashionable as carbon, but cannondale do know what they are doing with aluminium. Other bikes on my short list are the Giant XTC Advanced 3 and the Specialized Stumpjumper Comp Carbon.

    The Carbon 4 is a stunning bike and Cannondale have ensured the main points are there, a great frame & fork, and saved a little on the running gear to hit the price point, but that's easily upgraded as required.

    The F1 frame is exquisite and IMHO makes my Stumpy frame look pretty 2nd rate.
    I assume the Lefty Speed alloy is entry level compared the the Lefty Speed carbon, but looks aside it rode very well, just how much of that was the alloy frame against the carbon, I'm not sure :?

    I think I need to find somewhere with both a Flash Carbon 2 and a 3 so I can compare the Lefty & SIDs on the same frame, and hope I don't fall for the 3 and find myself spending another £800 on top....
  • peter413
    peter413 Posts: 5,120
    Why not do the best of both worlds adn get the carbon one, sell the sid and get a second hand lefty?

    Just a thought :lol:
  • poucher
    poucher Posts: 102
    I Love my Lefty!

    I have had this bike for 7 years now and the Lefty has been bulletproof, dead stiff but still gives a plush ride, no sticktion from bushes as it runs on 88 needle roller bearings.
    I've got Mavic crossmax's on it so the front end tracks very accurately, you don't notice its "Oddness" when you are riding, after alll, who rides with their heads down looking at the fork legs? you'd crash into trees :lol: I'd always recommend looking where you are going, seems to work for me :shock:

    P1010693.jpg

    I have just bought a Lapierre Zesty 714 carbon for summer use, it has a tough act to follow because the Cannondale has been a fantastic bike, I'll be suprised if the Lapierre is still in one piece in 7 years time :lol:

    Carbon Flash with a Lefty would be brill,.... go on,its only money!! :lol::lol:

    Poucher