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  1. #1
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    new to Cannondale, (headshok ?'s)

    Howdy all! My first post.

    So I've actually had my 2006 F400 for almost 2 years (in may).

    When I bought it from the LBS, they never said anything about the headshok maintenance or even asked about needing/wanting headshok maintenance when I brought it in for the regular service. Actually, I never even got a headshok manual with the bike, just a general Cannondale manual. I think you're supposed to get a headshok manual too right? And a cheesey video or something?

    Only after finding this site, (awesome) and going through the Cannondale headshok threads did I find out about the maintenance & h-shok manual! Oh, and the crappy reviews for the LBS I got it from... didn't surprise me.

    Just the other day I rode down to an other LBS (same chain, different location) and asked the tech about maintenance service. He didn't seem to understand the "service maintenance" and only mentioned the rebuild. He said they send it in to Cannondale for a rebuild, costs 300 bucks and takes about 5 months, (seriously!). The tech also told me as long as the boot is ok, there's nothing to worry about and just keep filling up with air as necessary, oh, and that it's normal for headshoks to run out of air after 5 days. My impression was they didn't know squat. And the tech guy kept laughing...it was kinda creepy

    So my questions were, of course,

    1. Um, do I REALLY need the headshok "maintenance"? I found the pdf online of 2005 headshok, (can't seem to find 2006 yet) and it says you need an under boot grease renewal (2 months), a boot replacement ( suggested annually/as needed) and an inspection rebuild, ( annually for normal use, 6 months for race). I haven't done any after 2 years. I'll put in a pic too.

    http://www.cannondale.com/asset/iu_f...plement_en.pdf

    2. If I do need it but can't take it (don't want to) to the shops, (we'll call it... H's) what can I do? I have seen MendonCycleSmith threads and the 88aid, ( I think that's the name) threads. Would that be the best option? Should I keep looking in my area for other Cannondale dealers? Maybe anyone in SoCal could recommend a good place to bring in my Cannondale.

    3. I have ridden mostly for city commute so my shok has been locked out the majority of the time. Is this bad for the headshok or does it not matter? I read a thread somewhere here that suggested that wasn't a good idea. I've been riding the last week with the shok "on" and everything seems ok.

    4. Has anyone never serviced their head shok and not had any problems or does everyone take in their head shoks for service...or do it themselves?

    Sorry for the long post. I'm finaly wanting to take my bike up into some real trails and off the streets, hopefully Mammoth this summer. Just want to make sure everything is cool with my bike. I was a bit surprised to find the maintenance stuff and a lil' miffed at the shop for not even mentioning anything about it. If I don't have to worry about it, that's cool too!

    Any advice will be greatly appreciated!
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  2. #2
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    Reputation: cdalemaniac's Avatar
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    Well I guess you have all of your answers in your attached image already
    Sending it off to Mendon is a good idea (if not the best )instead of paying $300.- and wait 3 months... heck...I believe for only $50.- more you can get a new fork on eBay already.....
    ANDFINDA DIFFERENT BIKESHOP AS IT SEEMS THEY HAVE NO CLUE ABOUT CANNONDALE FORKS!
    Last edited by cdalemaniac; 03-29-2008 at 06:18 PM.
    "Common sense isn't always that common!"
    Custom Prophet and Custom Delta V

  3. #3
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    Here is what I would say... but my opinion really has little value... it is just what I would do...

    I would say that if your shock is holding air and not leaking, its not clunking and performing 100% as normal then you really do not need to mess with it. If it ain't broke don't fix it.

    At the same time, you may consider getting some grease under the boot for the simple fact that it has probably developed dirt and dust, despite the boot, and 2 year old grease probably is not as lubricating as fresh grease.

    I guess its really a judgment call on your part.... I am not expert... but I doubt your headshok is going to go from functioning 100% (as it seems to be now) to unfixable over night... I would just service it as it needs, especially since you are beyond the warranty.

    Thats my $0.02

  4. #4
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    I don't know a ton about bike shoks but i don't think think you need to worry too much about the boot grease every 2 months and id say from my research the rebuild should happen every 2 years or so... maybe 2,000 miles... guess it depends on what you ride it on, in your case it may not even need a rebuild yet, id probably grease it though(you can do this yourself)
    Also just wondering was that bike shop Helen's.... i haven't had too good of an experience with them so far.

  5. #5
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    Thanks guys, pretty much what I was thinking and expecting to hear, I just needed second opinions!

    Yup jman, bought at the Santa Monica store. My recent trip was to the Marina Del Ray one. I hope your experience(s) wasn't too bad, which one did you go too? Have you found a good shop you like?

    Also tried Bike Attack which seems like a cool place and has cool people, but the "Cannondale guy" wasn't too much help in the head shok department, but they're not Cannondale dealers in the first place so, no big deal.

  6. #6
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    Yeah, I just got a caffeine F3 from the santa monica store a couple months back. I've had alot of problems with it(mainly components so not their fault) and for the most part they've been good about fixing it. Two instances have kind of made me mad though. First off i took it in b/c the lockout lever jiggled some and the guy said it was normal. So i showed him the other cannondales that had no jiggle and he proceded to take it apart. Well 45 mins go by and it comes out with the same amount of jiggle... And when i mention that its exactly the same he gives me this bs about how the other bikes were all over tightened and its completely normal.... So fast forward a month or so and im out biking and i break something in the head shok and take it in. This guy was pretty cool and when i mentioned the jiggle he's like yea we can fix that. So i got it back the other day and all that's fixed now thankfully. The only other problem i think i may have is that the rebound doesn't seem to adjust at all. I tried out the a few lefty's adjustment and it was obvious... I don't notice any difference on the headshok... so right before i left i asked the guy about the rebound and he was like "the headshok is cheap you probably won't notice it" uhhh huh.. whatever i guess i'll save that battle for another day, im just getting sick of driving out there.
    I'll probably try to find a different shop once the warranty's up but i haven't looked around yet. If your able to find one let me know.

  7. #7
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    That's good you're still under warantee though finding those problems. I get worried about sticking with Cannondale if I can't find a trustworthy place to do necessary work on em'.

    I did a Cannondale dealer check for a 10 mile radius from me and the first FIVE of six shops were all Helen's! After that was an REI at Manhatten Beach (there's one in Santa Monica but they don't have any Cannondale's there from what I saw).

    I'll keep looking... and keep on riding!

  8. #8
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    I have a headshok on a F400 from 2005. I have had it rebuilt 3 times and each time it has required "extensive" service which has included replacing the damper-and needle bearings. After 3 rebuilds I was hit with what would have amounted to a new fork. But the pain is not worth it. It is a good shock when it works but it is usually laid up in the LBS with a C-Dale rep hovering over it saying that its not under warrenty.
    Ride is nice. Quality is flat out embarrassing. Cannondale should be ashamed for this hunk of cheese. Just a money pit. I have an old RST shock from my first mtb that I am going to put on it. It will last longer.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by J-Bone
    I have a headshok on a F400 from 2005. I have had it rebuilt 3 times and each time it has required "extensive" service which has included replacing the damper-and needle bearings. After 3 rebuilds I was hit with what would have amounted to a new fork. But the pain is not worth it. It is a good shock when it works but it is usually laid up in the LBS with a C-Dale rep hovering over it saying that its not under warrenty.
    Ride is nice. Quality is flat out embarrassing. Cannondale should be ashamed for this hunk of cheese. Just a money pit. I have an old RST shock from my first mtb that I am going to put on it. It will last longer.
    I have a 1999' HShock , still running strong.
    Went once to a shop , last year at Mendon's.

    I guess you are unlucky.....
    "There is a big difference between kneeling down and bending over" -FZ

  10. #10
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    I wouldn't stress it too much.
    Unless your lockout stops working or there's play in the fork, etc. (unless something is wrong) - it's not a huge deal. It might not hurt to pop up the boot, get some good grease in there and ride on, since fresh grease will help the needle bearings last longer.
    If it's losing air too quickly, that's an equally good reason to have it overhauled - send it in to mendon or find a reasonable LBS to do it. An overhaul never hurts since it's good preventive maintenance, as a tech i overhaul my forks at least once a year since the labor's free, but i wouldn't stress anyone else to do that - not holding air, bad lockout, play, etc = bring it in, otherwise just keep riding...
    Quote Originally Posted by sickspeed16
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