A few months back, after some time on my F29 Carbon 2 I made a short blog on my first impressions. After many more hours, races, and all sorts of trails a more detailed follow up is needed.
The first thing that has been so great is the long time between service intervals this "fork" needs. Compared to the Fox or Rockshox forks, the Lefty just about doubles all of the service intervals. This is attributed to the inverted design, and the fact that it uses needle bearings instead of a slider and bushing system. the latter requires oil lubrication to stay running smooth and prevent wear, where the Lefty operates similar to a wheel or steering (headset) bearing. The Inverted nature of the Lefty is also an important thing to note here. an inverted fork design means that the smaller telescope of suspension is lower on the bicycle, or motorcycle. What an inverted design achieves is lower weight on the unsprung side of the fork, or the part of the bike on the other side of the suspension. It also allows oil to sit directly on the seal due to gravity, and also doesn't tend to get dirt caked on the seal like a regular suspension fork.
What really surprised me was how active the suspension is under hard braking and steep downhills. I believe this to be partly due to the needle bearing design and having such a low unsprung weight. the first time I race it at the West Virginia state Championships I was pleasantly surprised on course and my confidence increased during the race when I realized I could really trust my suspension!
I'm going to continue to use the Lefty on my Scalpel Carbon 2 in 2014, should be fun!