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Thread: Headset...

  1. #1
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    Headset...

    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...

    http://www.parktool.com/repair_help/...readless.shtml
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xyzzy
    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...

    http://www.parktool.com/repair_help/...readless.shtml
    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.

    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.

    nick

  3. #3
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    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...

    http://www.chrisking.com/pdfs/Int%20...0Explained.pdf

    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?

  4. #4
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    Good news:

    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:

    http://www.parktool.com/repair_help/FAQcartdg.shtml
    http://www.parktool.com/repair_help/...dle_type.shtml
    http://www.parktool.com/repair_help/...queaking.shtml


  5. #5
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    lucky you!!!
    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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