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I have a 2014 Cannondale Scalpel Carbon 2. It's an amazing XC race bike but some courses are so gnarly that I'd love to have a bit more trail. The head tube angle is so steep. I would like to make it just a bit slacker without having to buy the new 2017 model. Is there any way to do this? I am new to biking and bike mechanics so I hope I got all the terminology correct.

  • If you go for a longer travel it may affect the geometry. You could get a slacker head angle at the expense of a higher bottom bracket. Sometimes this can be offset slightly if your headset is external and you manage to change to an internal type. I have a 2010 Cannondale and to be honest, when I looked at the amount of hassle and what the benefit would be of changing travel, I bought a better second-hand bike from a bike forum instead. – Chris Oct 30 '16 at 21:00
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    I don't have exact details but I've heard it is possible to increase travel on some Lefty 29s. Try this thread to start: forums.mtbr.com/cannondale/2011-xlr-29er-lefty-743144.html . Also note that what you don't want to do is go removing the internal travel reducers, at least without extreme caution, because they're there to keep the tire from bottoming out on the crown, making you crash. – Nathan Knutson Oct 31 '16 at 18:04
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If you get a fork with longer travel, it'll result in a less-steep head tube angle, and a higher BB. I'd say it's worth trying, but in your case there is a major complication: the Lefty fork. So you have two options:

  1. Get another Lefty with longer travel. And I don't think they sell those separately, so that's probably impossible.

  2. Get a normal fork. And this will means replacing the parts that are designed to work with the Lefty: the front wheel, the stem, and the headset (you'll have to get a special reducer headset to make it fit in the over-sized headtube.) This is definitely doable, but you'll be better off just buying another bike.

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    Lefties are available aftermarket. – Nathan Knutson Oct 31 '16 at 3:58

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