My headset is creaking very bad on my 04 Scalpel... I want to remove the headset and grease it, but this is as far as I can get... What's next?
I'm trying to use these instructions but they don't seem to match up...
No - they don't really match up as it's a cartridge bearing in there. I've had a really creaky head on an '02 F3000SL. I had it in and out of the (Cannondale) shop and no-one had any answers until I contacted a shop in another city.
Originally Posted by Xyzzy
1. Remove the fork - use a rubber mallet, hold the frame firmly and give the exposed stem a good whack. Everything is a press fit so a good whack is required.
If the lower cup comes out of the frame then that is probably the cause of the creak - it shouldn't.
2. Remove the cups from the frame. The Park RT-1 does this for a normal frame, but not a cannondale. The shop should have the correct tool, but if they don't you might knock the cups out by VERY carefully tapping a piece of wood around the inside of the cup. Take your time - a lot of patience is required.
In my circumstance new cups were tried; grease; no grease, and the creak always returned within a ride or two.
The savior was 'Loctite 609 Retaining Compound'. Thoroughly clean everything with a solvent, apply a thin film between all contacting surfaces (stem bearings and cups) and reassemble. I used the shop headset press to make sure the cups went back in straight. Interestingly the cups would always spring back a bit when the press was removed - so don't worry when this happens.
Now the reason for all of this is that you probably have a slightly ovalised head tube. The retaining compound is filling the microscopic gaps that allow movement and the creak.
I am certainly not the type of rider that would expect an ovalised head tube but...
I also believe that another Cannondale rep and another shop may well have pushed for a frame warranty - Cannondale have usually been very good to me in this regard, however that did not seem likely in this circumstance and after about 3-4 months of creaks I was prepared to do anything to make it stop. I could best reproduce the creak by standing next to the bike, holding the bars and seat and pushing against the crank, twisting the frame.
Good luck - I'd be seeking a new frame but if that fails then the above fix has been solid for well over a year. Feel free to ask more questions.
Wow, that doesn't sound good...
Is the headset an "integrated" head set? I'm worried that if it is it might be destroying my frame...
If all it is doing is tearing up the bearings and races I can deal with that, but if it is destroying the frame like that link suggests, then we have a problem...
I tried to dribble some oil down in that area last night... It only started to creak after riding it in the rain a few times... (I ride twice a day, rain or shine.)
I *really* can't afford any downtime... It is the only bike I have... I have very little confidence in my local Cannondale dealer and even if I did, I know it would take them forever to look at this...
I've only had it a 3 or so months... Could it be ovalized in that short period of time?
The BB creaks a bit too... Maybe it is just water getting in the bearings?
Taking apart, cleaning and regreasing the bottom bracket has eliminated the creak!
To do a bottom bracket job on a Scalpel 900 you need:
Park BBT-2 & CCP-4
8mm hex socket and a 10" 3/8 drive breaker bar
Ft/Lb torque wrench
And these instructions:
The other source of creaks can be dirt between the frame and welding location tabs - wait till you get a bit of dirt and water down the seat tube for that one......
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