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  1. #1
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    Headshok Fatty D question

    I have an old (1998?) Fatty D with hydraulic damping and coil spring. There is a nested elastomer within the coil spring which now has the suppleness of a dried carrot. It this elastomer replaceable? Is it even necessary?
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  2. #2
    I Tried Them ALL... Moderator
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    I believe the Fatty D Headshok can be overhauled, with a new, updated air cartridge. Ask your LBS or any Cannondale authorized dealer, about this R&R. I think it would be necessary, if you want to continue using the unit.

  3. #3
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    Yes, it is replaceable, and even tuneable. You just need to know where to look......
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  4. #4
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    Occasionally you'll see the elastomers on Ebay for about $10.00. Mine was brand new an lasted about two months before failing. Haven't decided if I want to rebuild it or just get a traditional fork.

  5. #5
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    Get a stiffer spring and get rid of the elastomer...It's waaaay plusher that way.
    On my old Delta V with Pepperoni Headshok I replaced the air unit with a coil unit and bought an aftermarket spring without elastomer.
    Spring was made by "speed springs" but an original c'dale spring that's stiffer will do the trick too.
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  6. #6
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    I meant the seals in the cartridge (DD60). I'll try the stiffer spring solution too!!

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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by cdalemaniac
    Get a stiffer spring and get rid of the elastomer...It's waaaay plusher that way.
    On my old Delta V with Pepperoni Headshok I replaced the air unit with a coil unit and bought an aftermarket spring without elastomer.
    Spring was made by "speed springs" but an original c'dale spring that's stiffer will do the trick too.
    So I would go from the blue spring to the next stiffer spring and discard the elastomer. I like this idea. Would I have to change the damper's oil weight to compensate somehow? I am 155 lbs and ride pure cross country, mostly technical stuff with twisty singletrack downhill and up.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by disease
    So I would go from the blue spring to the next stiffer spring and discard the elastomer. I like this idea. Would I have to change the damper's oil weight to compensate somehow? I am 155 lbs and ride pure cross country, mostly technical stuff with twisty singletrack downhill and up.
    I changed it to 5wt but my weight is 190 w/gear. You just have to see for yourself once you swapped the spring check if you like it. If it's "pogoing' too much, change the oil.
    Since those early cartridges only have a lockout and no rebound adjuster like their air/oil counterparts you have to dial it in to your liking with different springs/oil weights.
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  10. #10
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    I weigh 200 so 5wt is the way to go then. I'm using a medium spring right now so I'll find a red.

  11. #11
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    Get a new elastomer from cannondale. Fix the rest:
    All, do not make headshock maintenance so big deal. There is quite a bit of info on cannondale site. If youcan get castle wrench and parts (mostly just air seal) ordered by LBS the maintenance is simple. Take out air pressure! Leave fork in the frame, pull the boot, clean, grease races. Take out the stem, unscrew the top flange, using casle tool unscrew inner flange, pull out the cartrige, if it makes sound while piston moves unscrew nylon seal and fill with oil (2.5 wt new ones, 5 wt old ones), if air pump seal is good, grease, put back, add couple drops of fork oil on top of it, if not replace and do the same, grease races inside the fork, reassamble. If you have problem with any step ask on this forum a specific question.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by bo_vk
    Get a new elastomer from cannondale. Fix the rest:
    All, do not make headshock maintenance so big deal. There is quite a bit of info on cannondale site. If youcan get castle wrench and parts (mostly just air seal) ordered by LBS the maintenance is simple. Take out air pressure! Leave fork in the frame, pull the boot, clean, grease races. Take out the stem, unscrew the top flange, using casle tool unscrew inner flange, pull out the cartrige, if it makes sound while piston moves unscrew nylon seal and fill with oil (2.5 wt new ones, 5 wt old ones), if air pump seal is good, grease, put back, add couple drops of fork oil on top of it, if not replace and do the same, grease races inside the fork, reassamble. If you have problem with any step ask on this forum a specific question.

    I wonder if you post this in every thread that has to do with HeadShoks
    The original question was:
    "I have an old (1998?) Fatty D with hydraulic damping and coil spring. There is a nested elastomer within the coil spring which now has the suppleness of a dried carrot. It this elastomer replaceable? Is it even necessary?"
    Now, how do you release the air in a coil unit
    We're just discussing here if certain things are necessary and how you can dial in your suspension fork to one's personal preferece .....
    And yes, you're right as far as the REGULAR maintenace on a HeadShok goes...I think that they are the easiest suspension forks to work with.
    Last edited by cdalemaniac; 01-29-2008 at 09:01 AM.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by cdalemaniac



    I wonder if you post this in every thread that has to do with HeadShoks
    Good call, I was jumping in to say the same thing. And while I'd agree that they are easy to work on, and the tools available, none of that gives the cartridge a chance against the inexperienced user. The number of mangled cartridges I see is substantive. Their replacement expensive, and parts numerous, and harder to source than a castle tool. My point being, just cause you can get the cart out, and cut a zip tie on the boot, doesn't necessarily mean you are A: saving money, or B: doing proper service procedures, or C: doing yourself any favors. If you even bother getting into it, you may as well replace the seals, flush and clean the system, put in fresh oil, inspect for damage, and be very careful not to damage anything while your at it. And yes, this requires a few extra tools. My point is, don't be a cowboy about how easy it is, use the same cut and paste post across the board, and come across as if you know what you're talking about. Folks come to these boards to get truthful information and helpful advice, what you did was encourage people to end up damaging their stuff, possibly hurt themselves (as you don't include info on the various iterations of forks disassembly procedures) and costing thmeselves extra cash in the process. Do it yourself by all means if you wish, but be careful, and do the whole job properly while you're at it.
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  14. #14
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    Been there, done that....
    I actually "repaired" a couple of HeadShok forks when they were first introduced and our local rep had to save my behind several times to fix what I had "repaired"
    Live and learn, right?
    "Common sense isn't always that common!"
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  15. #15
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    I pasted the post since most of it applies to removal if internals (and replacement of elastomer), the air was a mistake, so what, anybody can figure it out. My point is that most of headshock maintenance is routine and and about as difficult as recabling the bike. And no, it does not require any other special tools for the tasks describe above. So I suggest some mebers here stop the misterious warnings and describe better what they know. BTW, I do not consider myself skilled but I have 5 cannondales with different headshocks, one with elastomer, had them for last 10 years, 2 in my family race and I never had to ship headshocks anywhere for service. It is really no big deal.
    Last edited by bo_vk; 01-29-2008 at 10:31 AM.

  16. #16
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by bo_vk
    so what, anybody can figure it out.

    So I suggest some mebers here stop the misterious warnings and describe better what they know.
    That's what scares me. Those that think they can figure it out, but don't, until it's too late.

    There's nothing mysterious about it, that's what research and the search function are for. If I, or any of the other knowledgeable folks here, gave full descriptions, every time anyone asked "how do I...." we'd all have carpal tunnel. The procedures have been described in detail, many times, endlessly recapping fully, for every post, is frankly a waste of typing time, and disrespectful to the search function

    P.S. I've already typed more on this topic with you, than the amount of cut and paste you did
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by bo_vk
    I pasted the post since most of it applies to removal if internals (and replacement of elastomer), the air was a mistake, so what, anybody can figure it out. My point is that most of headshock maintenance is routine and and about as difficult as recabling the bike. And no, it does not require any other special tools for the tasks describe above. So I suggest some mebers here stop the misterious warnings and describe better what they know. BTW, I do not consider myself skilled but I have 5 cannondales with different headshocks, one with elastomer, had them for last 10 years, 2 in my family race and I never had to ship headshocks anywhere for service. It is really no big deal.
    I'm surprised your forks haven't failed....
    like I said: Been there, done that....luckily my "mistakes" were customer bikes and the local rep helped me out with technical videos, illustrations and hands on training.
    If you say you don't need anything else but a castle tool you're setting people up for failure!!!!
    Pictured are the most basic tools for a CORRECT maintenance on older HeadShoks & Fatty forks.
    For some leftys and Moto forks, there are even more tools to consider!
    So please stop bull$hitting by saying a castle tool is all you need, because most people here that actually put out valuable info work on these forks on daily basis!
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  18. #18
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    I am sure you all know more about headshoks than I do, I am not disputing that. Good picture of the tools. If you do not change the headset then you do not need the tool top left, the rest on the picture are 3 castle tools (if you have just one headshock you need only one), the colorful tools are "normal" workshop tools, not special cannondale tools (and yes, you need at least one of them). I think the last tool I never had (top center) is for setting the bearings, I never had to do that. So I still think you can do a good maintenance with just a castle tool to unscrew the cartridge, even on the new headshock, my last one is ~1 yr old 80mm Ultra. Would a person want to do it - I cannot decide but I would not discourage that. I described how to get the elastomer out. Sorry for kind of garbling the original thread.

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