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  1. #1
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    blown out headshok advice

    Just wanted to see if anyone had any experience with this scenario.

    I think i blew out the seals or blew out something on my 2008 headshok dlr on my 2008 cannondale f3. Im not sure exactly what the problem is yet.

    I was wondering if anyone busted a headshok and if they know if they are fairly cheap to fix or if its not worth it and to go another fork. My warranty is def over so thats not an option. My fav riding is quick singletrack so i was tossing up the idea of a white bros carbon fork if the headshox is not worth it to fix. Not sure if they would even fit the bike or not, the steer tube looks a little larger than most.

    Sorry for the ramble, pretty much just want to see if anyone has killed a headshok and what have they done (aka fix it/toss it and get another shok/throw on a carbon fork).

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by csm929 View Post
    Just wanted to see if anyone had any experience with this scenario.

    I think i blew out the seals or blew out something on my 2008 headshok dlr on my 2008 cannondale f3. Im not sure exactly what the problem is yet.

    I was wondering if anyone busted a headshok and if they know if they are fairly cheap to fix or if its not worth it and to go another fork. My warranty is def over so thats not an option. My fav riding is quick singletrack so i was tossing up the idea of a white bros carbon fork if the headshox is not worth it to fix. Not sure if they would even fit the bike or not, the steer tube looks a little larger than most.

    Sorry for the ramble, pretty much just want to see if anyone has killed a headshok and what have they done (aka fix it/toss it and get another shok/throw on a carbon fork).

    Thanks in advance.
    If it has been a reliable performer, chances are quite likely it can be again. Certainly for far less $ than a new carbon fork too.....

    Typically it's seals getting old, hard and flattened that cause them to crap out, much like any other high performance product. routine maintenance is required to retain proper performance. Cannondale recommends once a year service, @ 2008, I'd say you got more than your moneys worth out of that service interval.
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

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  3. #3
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    I've blown the headshok on my 2009 F4 a couple of times now. The first time it cost 30 to repair - the bottom out spring broke, second time the seals went bottom out spring bent, the headshok hydraulic piston broke and allowed the oil passed the seals - cost including fitting 130.

    The white plastic disc (plastic I ask you!) you see in the picture is sposed to be attatched.

    Here's what it looked like.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails blown out headshok advice-imag0212_336-1.jpg  

    Attached Images Attached Images    

  4. #4
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    Yes absolutely right, ive bashed and beaten the thing for years before anything happened so i did get my moneys worth haha. Alot of people rip the headshok but i felt it was a really great fork (i ride a SS 26er f3 hardtail on some rough stuff) im not babying it. I think the fact that im only 175lbs might have helped the longevity of the shok too.

    I guess what I should do is take it apart and then show my bike mechanic to make a call so i dont have to pay labor to disassemble. Then maybe he can let me know (hes a trustworth guy so im lucky).

    I started thinking more about a carbon fork and on a 26er with some of the rough trails i ride - i will end up eating face. I guess if the headshok rebuild is not worth it then i will have to get another fork.

    Heres another questions - if i wanted to put a fox fork on, i would just have to get a new headset and it would fit?

  5. #5
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    It would be worth it to rebuild. I've only busted the seals once on my 09 F3. The current internals has survived through me sheding weight, carrying my daughter around, and many stealth potholes/roots.

    Knowing it is almost time to replace has me at a different "fork" in the road. Rebuild the headshock, or switch over to Lefty?

  6. #6
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    I really like the headshok despite wrecking it and having to have it rebuilt twice. I'd get the headshok rebuilt - well worth it IMO.

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    Thanks everyone for your input it really does help - i think im going to go the route of rebuilding the shock. Ive had nothing but enjoyment with it and like the performance despite what the critics who idolize every fox fork out there (they are amazing too but i ride the same trails as the fox people just as fast and pleasurable with my headshok). Plus the top lockout is a life saver sometimes. Im going to see what need to be done and then go from there.

  8. #8
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    Ok so im going to rebuild - should I contact cannondale to see if there is a specific place they take them and rebuild them? Has anyone send it out to have rebuilt? Or are cannondale going to say they dont want anything to do with it?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by csm929 View Post
    Ok so im going to rebuild - should I contact cannondale to see if there is a specific place they take them and rebuild them? Has anyone send it out to have rebuilt? Or are cannondale going to say they dont want anything to do with it?
    MendonCycleSmith (who posted above) would be your best resource.

    I've got a '09 F3 that needed to have the bearing re-set at about 18 months and my LBA (Sunshine in Fairfax, CA) went to bat and Cannondale caved and covered it under warranty.

    I was kinda hoping that you would go the lefty route as that may be how I evolve my ride at some point down the line...

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by dyusem View Post
    I've got a '09 F3 that needed to have the bearing re-set at about 18 months and my LBA (Sunshine in Fairfax, CA) went to bat and Cannondale caved and covered it under warranty.
    Just curious, am I misunderstanding you, or are you saying that you got a fork warranted for bearing migration?

    Makes no sense if so, it's normal, routine maintenance, and can be reset in about 5 to 10 minutes by any dealer with the proper tools....
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

    - FrostyStruthers



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  11. #11
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    I sent my Lefty to MendonCycleSmith last year. He did a great job, got it back to me pretty fast and the price was very reasonable. The local dealer was going to send it to Cannondale and I read that turn around times are not that fast.

  12. #12
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    Ok thanks - i dont think my problem is routine, i rode it from 2008 till now and pretty rough at times and its been fine till last weekend when it started making a clunking noise and it would no longer lockout rigid. I can lock it out and it still compresses.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith View Post
    Just curious, am I misunderstanding you, or are you saying that you got a fork warranted for bearing migration?

    Makes no sense if so, it's normal, routine maintenance, and can be reset in about 5 to 10 minutes by any dealer with the proper tools....
    I believe that I only mentioned part of the story: I just looked at my notes and the oil cartridge was also leaking and required replacement. If I'm not mistaken, Cannondale was out of replacement oil cartridges at the time and I had to wait a few weeks while they were manufactured by their vendor.

    Sounds plausible or still confused?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by dyusem View Post
    I believe that I only mentioned part of the story: I just looked at my notes and the oil cartridge was also leaking and required replacement. If I'm not mistaken, Cannondale was out of replacement oil cartridges at the time and I had to wait a few weeks while they were manufactured by their vendor.

    Sounds plausible or still confused?
    Sounds better, but I'm guessing that the damper must have been damaged or defective in some way, as they are normally serviceable, many times over.
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

    - FrostyStruthers



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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by csm929 View Post
    Ok thanks - i dont think my problem is routine, i rode it from 2008 till now and pretty rough at times and its been fine till last weekend when it started making a clunking noise and it would no longer lockout rigid. I can lock it out and it still compresses.
    Clunking upon returning to top? If so, topping out. Simply needs a bearing reset. No lockout either means the seals are tired, and are either leaking, or simply allowing oil to blow past, or, you broke a lockout circuit shim, not a big deal to get fixed either...

    2008 till now is a a good run. Cannondale recommends once a year service.
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

    - FrostyStruthers



    www.mendoncyclesmith.com

  16. #16
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    Ok I spoke with my mechanic and he used to deal with cannondales yearsss ago but not for along time. He was wondering if anyone knew if there is any special tools you need for the new headshoks. He thinks there were some back in the day, and he prob has them around the shop somewhere if he could remember which tool he needed (he thinks there is a specific one to take it out of the frame).

    Also, does anyone have a diagram of the internals of the shok or know where to get one?

  17. #17
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    Maybe it's too late, but the white plastic disc is an air piston. I've broke one when screwed it in by using a little bit more force that is necessary. However I've cut there M5 thread (in piece that is in shaft) and screw piston (disc) in it's place.

    P.S.: I didn't know is it important not to close this hole hermetically, so I have use not a regular screw, but the "tubular" from Shimano shifter (cable adjusting screw), it also have M5 thread.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith View Post
    Clunking upon returning to top? If so, topping out. Simply needs a bearing reset. No lockout either means the seals are tired, and are either leaking, or simply allowing oil to blow past, or, you broke a lockout circuit shim, not a big deal to get fixed either...

    2008 till now is a a good run. Cannondale recommends once a year service.
    Do you ever sell rebuild lefty forks? Or you just service them only. Just wondering. I would love a lefty for my 08 f3 but for the price of them new i might as well just get a new bike.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by csm929 View Post
    Do you ever sell rebuild lefty forks? Or you just service them only. Just wondering. I would love a lefty for my 08 f3 but for the price of them new i might as well just get a new bike.
    I have, but it's not a normal part of my business and sadly, I have none currently. I've seen several (as well as recently scooped a few for Fat Leftys) for ~$300 on eBay and CL. Not too bad. Many will just need a service to be back in first rate shape. Not a bad call if you want more travel but don't want to break the bank.
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

    - FrostyStruthers



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  20. #20
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    Fox also makes forks. 300 you can get a nice fork.

  21. #21
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    I was thinking of going the fox route but i wasnt sure if its a better idea than the headshok fix. Im not going to do a lefty due to the fact that i need a lefty hub too and i would have to rebuild my front wheel which said and done if it doesnt come out right i would have to pay to get it right and its just too much at that point. Most likely i will just fix the headshok, ive had alot of good luck with it and its taken some hard hits many times and held up for a long time. I think that me weighing 180 might have kept the lifespan a bit longer too.

    Im going to wait a few months before spring comes to do anything, but if i was interested in getting a fox fork what headset would I need for this frame and how much do they approx run?

    Also, do fox forks last that much longer? Ive always wondered this. Alot of serious riders bash the headshok from what ive heard/read and everyone pretty much rides a fox (which i guess shows 2 things, they are worth it or fox corners the market because they are so big).

  22. #22
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    just type in mountain bike in google, or downhill. and most people do ride fox. the headshox is a great fork, but its a 80mm fork. the fox shocks are adjustable from 100-140 on some. Fox makes dune buggy and motorcycle syspension. they know what they are doing. I think that might be why they have the market. they have been doing bicycle for awhile. I am a huge fan of the lefty, best handing fork ever. i have also blown 3 of them. but your right, they go for a lot even used, and you have to get a hub/rim....But a fox you will needa headset adapter.... i have bashed on my fox talas since 2007. it still feels the same since 2007.

    i love both, but cost wise. i would choose a used fox over a used headshox.

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    Thank you broomhandle! (LOL great name), i really appreciate that feedback from someone who has experienced them all. Your completely right abot Fox knowing what they are doing. I dont have a huge budget (im a car guy too - my karmann ghia like me to spend money on it too) so im going to just assess the headshok, too much or not worth it and get some extra dough go with a fox.

    Where could I get a fox headset adapter for a headshok, is it a special order item?

  24. #24
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    Sight unseen? Assuming it's repairable, worst Headshock reincarnation, around $150.

    $300 is going to be for a well used Fox, which'll likely need new seals and a rebuild for $50+. Adapter, headset and stem, another $75 to $100.

    All to get you a fork that doesn't use all it's travel, will tend to develop creaky clicky crown syndrome, and has more stiction than your kid brother with his butt superglued to the linoleum floor.


    Hmm, decisions decisions......
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

    - FrostyStruthers



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  25. #25
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    Haha well put! Ive decided to rebuild the headshok this time (ive had nothing but enjoyment for years and it took a hell of a beating) and then next time consider other options if it doesnt last too long after the rebuild. My friend has a fox and doesnt think its much better than my headshok for the riding we do. I guess if i was launching off 10ft rocks it would be a diff story....

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