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  1. #1
    Senior Member jjciiijs's Avatar
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    Canondale headshock

    I thought I heard somwhere that there was an alternative set up available or perhaps adaptable for headshocks. Somthing that would improve their ability to react to bumps or increase their travel. Somthing like that.
    My current system is stock and has the lever to decrease response, but not lock it out. Year of the bike, I am not sure. It is a blue cross bike.
    Jeff
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  2. #2
    The Rabbi seely's Avatar
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    Depending on what mode you have, you might be able to get new internals from Cannondale with a rebound adjustment, but if your bike a hybrid it may not be worth it.
    commuter turned bike mechanic turned commuter (also a Velocity USA employee, but this is my personal account)

  3. #3
    Senior Member jjciiijs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seely
    but if your bike a hybrid it may not be worth it.
    Oh,that hurts Just for that I am going to make it the best 45 pound commute bike you ever saw . Head light, 2 tail lights, fenders, bell, trunk bag, rack, panniers, chain guard, reflecters, computer, and everything I can carry in the bags.
    Jeff
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  4. #4
    Portland, OR i_r_beej's Avatar
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    You're probably thinking about Magura's replacement cartridge. Mountain Bike Action had a brief review maybe a year or so ago and it seemed favorable. Only caveat is that the top of the unit stick up about 2 inches above the top of the steerer (the black lever and red dial).

    http://www.magurausa.com/mountainbik...cannondale.php

    At US$275 it's a bit out of my price range, but it sounds cool enough.

    Hang on-- you say you CANNOT lock out your suspension? I've never heard of a headshok that can't be locked out. Are you sure that your suspension isn't broken?

    As far as i know, the most basic adjustment on Headshoks is lock-out with other adjustments (damping, rebound) being present on more expensive models.
    Last edited by i_r_beej; 04-11-07 at 02:16 PM.
    Despite the fact that I constantly recommend Kool-Stop brake pads-- no, I don't work for Kool-Stop. (Although their factory is just a few blocks from my house!)

    I ride drop bars off-road. (The excellent On-One "Midge.")

  5. #5
    Senior Member jjciiijs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by i_r_beej
    Hang on-- you say you CANNOT lock out your suspension? I've never heard of a headshok that can't be locked out. Are you sure that your suspension isn't broken?

    As far as i know, the most basic adjustment on Headshoks is lock-out with other adjustments (damping, rebound) being present on more expensive models.
    Yes, that is right. My lever on top does not lock ouot the travel. It only seems to reduce it. I believe I heard that this is the usual for this unit. But if I could follow up on this it would be nice.

    If my unit is not working right, then I will have to live iwht it or do a rebuild.
    Jeff
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  6. #6
    Portland, OR i_r_beej's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jjciiijs
    If my unit is not working right, then I will have to live iwht it or do a rebuild.
    NO-- the headshok is NOT working right. It's should lock out. I'd recommend that you take it in to your C'dale shop and have them check it out.

    As for "living with it"? Might be a dangerous proposition.

    Good luck.
    Despite the fact that I constantly recommend Kool-Stop brake pads-- no, I don't work for Kool-Stop. (Although their factory is just a few blocks from my house!)

    I ride drop bars off-road. (The excellent On-One "Midge.")

  7. #7
    Erect member since 1953 cccorlew's Avatar
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    Ahhh. I have a F500 from about 99 and as far as I know there is no lockout.
    WANTED: Not a darn thing. I've got it all. Life is good.
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  8. #8
    That's how I roll..
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    I have a '98 f2000 with a fatty sl headshok, and guess what, no lockout. It just has 6 position damping adjustment.

  9. #9
    IchBinMeinLiebsterFeind C8H10N4O2's Avatar
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    +1 on the no-lockout fatty shock. Already rebuilt by LBS twice. Cdale reccommends rebuilding[(edit) repacking] more frequently than I'd like. (and it's best done by a shop...from what I hear, it's loaded with tiny roller bearings...)
    Wanna buy a bike?

  10. #10
    new newbie jorpe's Avatar
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    +1 to the faulty headshock camp.
    Learning how to rock out in the rockies since 2006

  11. #11
    Senior Member jjciiijs's Avatar
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    Gee. Have two sides of the fense forming here. So off to Cannondale with an e mail to see if they will respond. But nothing as of yet. First have to figure out what year this bike is I guess.

    Made a couple of calls on the replacement Magura system noted earlier, but was advised by a local dealer they don't offer any greater travel.

    I see one person indicated they had 6 position damping on their headshock, so I will have to see if that funtion can be transferred to my bike even though it does not provide a complete lock out.
    Jeff
    Square wheels need not apply

  12. #12
    The Rabbi seely's Avatar
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    Some Headshoks do have a lockout, some just have adjustable compression, and some have adjustable compression + lockout + rebound. Just depends on the model year/model of Headshok/model of bike. If yours is in fact supposed to have a lockout, it should *completely* lock out the fork.

    As for servicing, it is very easy, but it requires a few specific Cannondale tools. The principle behind the Headshok is brilliantly simple. Its essentially an inverted design (similar to downhill/moto-x bikes) with the stanchion being a very large square peice of tubing, with flat polished races on all four sides. The upper is round, with a square hole, with a sleeve of 22 needle bearings on each side, so there is a huge flat contact area between the stanchion/upper on all four sides, creating an insanely stiff fork. This design also allows them to create a lockout that actually locks your fork out, instead of reducing your travel to 3/4" or an 1" like most other forks on the market.

    While Cannondale recommends fairly frequent service, so does EVERY other fork manufacturer. In addition, good luck ever finding parts for a Rockshox or Manitou (especially) fork more than 3 years old... parts are limited to non-existant.

    In dealing with a 4-5 year old Manitou fork recently, I was told by Manitou "sorry, we no longer support that model, but I can send you a bag of random shock parts". I accepted, even after being told "they aren't necessarily for that fork, but maybe something will work". So, two weeks later, I got a bag of completely random o-rings, seals, bushings and dust caps, none of which fit that fork.

    In a similar situation, working on a first or second gen. Headshok circa 1999 or so, Cannondale was not only able to replace the damping unit but upgrade it significantly. I believe parts are readily available for even the oldest of Headshoks, and they rarely seem to need major work other than replacing the bearings or races eventually.

    And no, I don't work for Cannondale, but as a Fisher/Cannondale dealer I can say its RARE we get a Headshok coming back for repair. Maybe 2-3x a year at most. However, I can't tell you how many Manitous we have warrantied out of the box or a week after the bike leaves the store. I've blown a seal on a Rockshox Tora in a week, a coworker had a new Rockshox Lyrik (top end freeride fork) fail in two weeks, and another coworker of ours had his new Manitou Stance break the first time he rode off a curb, and about two weeks later a customer had a similar situation with a new Stance. Right now one of our mechanics is riding on a blown out Manitou Mars, circa 2002, because Manitou no longer has parts for the fork.

    This isn't to say Headshoks never fail--they do--but in my experience when looking at the number of Cannondales we sell to the number of Rockshox/Manitou forks we sell, we see an alarmingly disproportional number of the "other" forks coming back or being warrantied. In the instances that a Headshok does fail, its nice that Cannondale does stand behind and support their products, unlike most other manufacturers.
    commuter turned bike mechanic turned commuter (also a Velocity USA employee, but this is my personal account)

  13. #13
    Senior Member jjciiijs's Avatar
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    Well Seely has certainly put out a lot of good info on this subject . Looks like if I find the year of my unit, I will be able to know if I need servicing.

    I would ask one question however: How should I go about improving my current unit? I mean, there are after market as I have noted and there is Cannondale. if I was to do any owrk ro changing to mine, i feel I should go to somthing that would allow a better overall ability for the shock to work. Seely, sure wish you were around here . However, i wilol get he number off the bike to ID what i have and then perhaps you can comment on the best way to go.

    FYI, I have heard back from Cannondale and they want the SS number to ID the bike and comment further.
    Jeff
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  14. #14
    #5639 robertkat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seely
    Some Headshoks do have a lockout, some just have adjustable compression, and some have adjustable compression + lockout + rebound. Just depends on the model year/model of Headshok/model of bike. If yours is in fact supposed to have a lockout, it should *completely* lock out the fork.
    My Cannondale has the headshock with the lever on top for lockout only, but underneath the fork I can hook up a pump to adjust the air pressure. I had it serviced recently and it's working great.

    As far as I know, the design hasn't changed much, so parts should be available no matter how old the bike is. Sounds like he needs to have it serviced. It's possible the seals may be worn. I had that problem were a leaky seal was causing oil loss, so the shock was sticking and rattled. Just make sure it's a Cannondale shop. Some LBS's I've been to will not work on headshocks.

  15. #15
    IchBinMeinLiebsterFeind C8H10N4O2's Avatar
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    seely, thanks for taking the time for such an informative post.


    jjciiijs-

    I found some info on maintenance here, and some cool pictures of the internals in case you decide to modify it yourself.

    http://sheldonbrown.com/cannondale-headshok/index.html

  16. #16
    The Rabbi seely's Avatar
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    I'm glad you guys found my post informative--I'm not a Headshok expert by any means but I am reasonably sure that all the info I gave is correct. As always, Cannondale is the final say, however. My girlfriend was sitting and waiting to head out for coffee and a few rounds of Sequence whilst I typed it, and declared that she admired my efforts to write the great-American-novel, but felt they would go unappreciated on Bikeforums! I showed her!
    commuter turned bike mechanic turned commuter (also a Velocity USA employee, but this is my personal account)

  17. #17
    Senior Member jjciiijs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by C8H10N4O2
    seely, thanks for taking the time for such an informative post.
    jjciiijs-
    I found some info on maintenance here, and some cool pictures of the internals in case you decide to modify it yourself.
    http://sheldonbrown.com/cannondale-headshok/index.html
    Nice info and he is working on my fork(see the bright blue paint)
    Jeff
    Square wheels need not apply

  18. #18
    Certifiable Bike "Expert"
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    FYI - I had a Cannondale with a Fatty D Headshok on it, but the internals had been upgraded to the Fatty SL (air spring, 5-position Damping Dial).


    Strictly informational - "Ultra" in reference to a Cannondale fork means aluminum steerer.
    I don't even use the offensive term "Fred." -- Sheldon "All Cyclists Are My Friends" Brown (1944-2008)

  19. #19
    Senior Member jjciiijs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phantoj
    FYI - I had a Cannondale with a Fatty D Headshok on it, but the internals had been upgraded to the Fatty SL (air spring, 5-position Damping Dial).
    Now this is informational. A possible up grade. But is it dollar worthy?
    Jeff
    Square wheels need not apply

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