EB14: Chris King Lefty Front Hubs Get Official, Plus New Threadfit Bottom Brackets

Chris King Lefty Front Hub in sour apple green

The rumors are true, the Chris King Lefty Hubs are now in production, and there are two versions available. He’s also got a new Threadfit bottom bracket for standard BSA frames that simplify the SKUs for shops offering more crank fit options.

The Chris King Lefty SuperMax hub is a standalone unit, made for Cannondale’s longer travel single-armed forks. The Lefty LD hub uses their standard LD (Large Diameter) mountain bike hub but replaces the axle and end cap then adds a 1mm disc rotor spacer. Rather than run new bearings, they opted to use their current bearings and create a new axle that allows you to adjust the preload like normal. It also lets you run the hub on any of the Lefty forks, from the older models to the race-ready XLR to the monstrous SuperMax.

Details and actual weights below…

Chris King Lefty Front Hub in sour apple green Chris King Lefty Front Hub in sour apple green

Chris King Lefty Front Hub in sour apple green

The larger Lefty Supermax hub is on the bottom.

Chris King Lefty Front Hub in sour apple green

See the resemblance to their LD front hub? It’s the same shell and axle and preload ring.

Chris King Lefty Front Hub in sour apple green

The new parts are really just the Lefty axle bolt and the end cap, which functions as a self extractor cup that threads backwards over top of the axle bolt.

Chris King Lefty Front Hub in sour apple green

With the axle installed, the bolt that would thread into the Lefty’s spindle sits inside it, ready to lock it onto the fork.

Chris King Lefty Front Hub in sour apple green

Once the cover bolt is threaded on with a 6mm allen key, a 5mm wrench can pass through to tighten the bolt onto the axle. Technically, you could tighten the wheel onto the spindle first, but removing the wheel means you loosen the inner bolt first.

Chris King Lefty Front Hub in sour apple green

This is what it looks like from the other end.

Chris King Lefty Front Hub in sour apple green

The axle can be removed using their freehub tool for their regular hubs.

Chris King Lefty Front Hub in sour apple green

It weighs in at 279g with the included axle mounting bolt. Retail is $235 for each. Starts shipping October 31.

chris-king-threadfit-BSA-bottom-bracket

The Threadfit is a new version of their basic threaded bottom bracket that comes in just one size and without the ability to directly run a crankset…you’ll have to buy an adapter sleeve (aka Conversion Kit) to fit your particular crankset. They’ll be available for 24mm Shimano, 24/22 GXP, several 24mm BMX fits and two different fat bike kits (24 and 24/22).

The standard sleeves between the cups are 68/73 compatible. For wider 83mm DH and 100mm fat bike frames, you’ll need to order a Conversion Kit that includes the wider sleeve. Retail is $16 to $32, with the wider shell widths coming as part of the kits that cost more.

ChrisKing.com

Comments

craigsj - 08/27/14 - 9:44pm

For all of those who want a Lefty hub that weighs a lot more than every other option. Requiring a disc spacer is extra nice touch. Hopefully it will cost twice as much too.

Bike_love - 08/27/14 - 9:57pm

How many years late is Chris King with this?

PR - 08/27/14 - 11:17pm

They still make Leftys? Haven’t seen one in close to a decade.

SamSkjord - 08/27/14 - 11:18pm

It’s twice the weight but if it stays at that price it’s actually one of the cheaper third party lefty hubs:

Chris King SuperMax £140ish 279g
Cannondale Lefty Hub £35.00 115g
PROJECT 321 LEFTY HUB £140.00 118g
Extralite Hyper JL hub £153.00 88g
Extralite HyperLefty hub £170.00 86g
Tune Cannonball hub £126.00 99g
Tune Cannonball SL hub £195.00 91g

PR - 08/27/14 - 11:20pm

Perhaps the replacement axle is the 150g difference… eh guys?

bike_love - 08/27/14 - 11:23pm

how many year late is Chris King with this?

SamSkjord - 08/27/14 - 11:25pm

@PR Indeed, given that the current lefty hubs were built for XC it would make sense to have an enduro one now.

not bill - 08/27/14 - 11:31pm

Good to see Rip Van Winkle got his job back after awakening from his nap.

SB - 08/27/14 - 11:49pm

Who’s missing the point? Cannondale shops now have a durable hub option to sell to ***Cannondale customers***. (deleted)
Anyway, nice of King to make this now that Lefties have finally gotten tolerable, from a mechanic’s perspective.

SamSkjord - 08/28/14 - 12:08am

Nice generalisations there SB, ask a doctor and 100% of the population are ill.

maddogeco - 08/28/14 - 12:18am

Can some one tell me what it the advantage of a left system is? The best i can think of is you can change a tube with removing the front wheel.

iperov - 08/28/14 - 1:25am

I want rigid one leg fork. WHere I can buy it?

wunnspeed - 08/28/14 - 4:58am

The German market is a HUGE Crack-N-Fail market. On any given outing I see a couple of Leftys… sadly. I can’t imagine why anyone would want one though. To each his own I guess. I do love the Candy Apple Green on the CK stuff though.

Sam - 08/28/14 - 7:13am

Don’t worry Lefty, you are wonderful, haters gonna hate.

Alan Kleivard - 08/28/14 - 9:31am

Why no Chris King Fat Bike Hub?!!

Timothy - 08/28/14 - 9:42am

Once again, not impressed by CK. How much time did they spend making this tank of a hub for the lefty fork while claiming the fatbike market is too small to bother with? But hooray, here’s another overly complicated, maintenance heavy, old-fashioned j-bend spoke hub, and a 24mm BB straight out of 2003. Still making “precision” headsets that hold the steerer tubes alignment in an o-ring.

From integrated headsets to XD cassette bodies to 30mm bb’s, they’ve been dragging their heels and outright fighting innovation every step of the way. Add rude & arrogant service people, and an ego that threatens to blot out the sun, and I’m just glad there are plenty of other better companies making quality parts out there.

Paul - 08/28/14 - 10:05am

It’s quite hard to find lefty haters who have ridden one I find.

MB - 08/28/14 - 10:21am

@Paul, bingo! Have loved mine for years. No issues. And I’m a big dude at 235 plus gear.

Brad at KirkLEE - 08/28/14 - 10:35am

Advantage of a Lefty? True 2.5lb XC fork, no/minimal stiction due to needle bearings, One of if not the stiffest XC fork available, it is also a upside down fork which minimizes unsprung weight (like the new Rock Shox and every modern motorcycle), IMO they are even prettier on the inside with the Anodized Al dampening cartridge, and to top it all off I think they are still Made in the USA (check me on that).

A properly functioning Lefty is about as good as it gets on a XC bike.

djdrysdale406 - 08/28/14 - 10:37am

I’ve never used one, but from my experience the only people that criticize Leftys have never actually ridden them. Everyone that I’ve talked to that has owned one seemed to like it. just putting that out there

superfreak - 08/28/14 - 11:01am

will this work with a 205 rotor?

Peter R - 08/28/14 - 11:13am

2006 Cannondale Rush with lefty owner. Bike is great, fork is great, my stans crest 650b wheel cost about as much as the King hub alone. Ouch!
I’d agree with the sentiment that people who harp on Lefty forks have never actually ridden one for an extended amount of time.

Brian - 08/28/14 - 11:59am

I have a Cannondale R29 (the hardtail carbon 29er) that I purchased through my team’s sponsor shop. I was a little skeptical of the lefty after hearing bad things about past versions but the new ones are pretty nice. Big advantages are:

- Weight
- No stiction and great dampening
- Stiff (no really, it tracks awesome)
- Local shops can now service them easily

The big downsides are:

- The proprietary front hub
- Mounting it on your car/truck

I had to buy a stupid fork mount adapter from Thule for $75 so I could use my roof rack tray. It also kind of sucks to need an allen wrench to remove your wheel and front brake caliper every time you need to transport it. My current car doesn’t have a hitch mount but if yours does it’s massively more convenient.

I do get a little nervous traveling to races without a backup wheel because you know that finding one is going to be difficult, but overall I have raced the crap out of it for the past year and I’m not a small guy (6’1″, 190lbs) and it’s held up perfectly.

The CK hub may be a slightly heavier, but with my size I would have confidence in knowing how well they are made and also that they have a great warranty.

JBikes - 08/28/14 - 1:01pm

@maddogeco –
The Lefty is a good design and addresses the twist/parallel “faults” present in current 2 leg fork designs. Any force not directly inline with your stanchions (essentially all of them) tends to want to twist the forks or torque them laterally/longitundinally. This places forces on the stanchions and increases stiction as the components required to slide/seal are the same ones resisting these forces. It also affects wheel tracking. Bracing to prevent this is hard/heavy since the only real place is above the wheel and bikes need to be light. Inverted forks help but not completely.

The Lefty solves a lot of these issues. The needle bearings take the external loads, freeing up the seals and suspension components to do what they are designed to do. You also only deal with the deflection twisting of one member, rather than trying to make both legs act the same. But like all solutions, it tends to make other problems.

Lefty’s are great forks. But so are a lot of 2 leg forks. They all have pros and cons.

craigsj - 08/28/14 - 1:32pm

Indeed, Lefty’s are great and I love mine. As you go into higher travel their appeal diminishes though. The Supermax doesn’t have the big weight advantage that Lefty’s have had in the past plus axle-2-crown dimensions are what they are. Adjustable travel is something they don’t have. It will be interesting to watch the future unfold since conventional forks keep getting better.

No, my criticism is this (deleted)

gringo - 08/28/14 - 4:43pm

Children, children…. Please get back on topic and listen to TIMOTHY.

Sir, if you are in Friedrichshafen this week I’d buy you a beer for that comment.

sean - 09/08/14 - 11:22am

I’m surprised that no one has commented on the fact that they have now increased cost of the BB while making it worse in my opinion. Now not only do you have to purchase a BB if your running shimano but the adapter as well. This same adapter also now leads to more chance that youll develop a creak as there is now another metal to metal contact point. I used their adapters when I ran gxp and still had creaking issues after about 2 weeks of use, and had to constantly remove the crank to adjust and clean them which ruined the extractor bolt in short manner. Now Im not saying they are bad as its honestly the best BB Ive ever had once I went adapterless with shimano and that goes for all of the other chris king parts I use which includes their hubs and headsets.

zaph - 10/07/14 - 5:48pm

for those interested, after emailing CK the lefty hubs have been postponed until December. And if i am to interpret the email correctly, an upgrade kit is planed for older ISO LD hubs, though a release date was unknown.

Cant wait to finally have a silver hub from king to complement my lefty speed carbon.

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