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  1. #1
    wonderer, wanderer gonesh9's Avatar
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    I hate Cane Creek headsets!

    I've got one on my 520 touring bike, and can not stand it...

    From the day I brought it home, there was an annoying squeak that I pinpointed to the headset area. I found out that the spacers were able to twist easily by hand. So I tightened the headset....

    But then the front end wouldn't turn easily. So I asked a mechanic at the bike shop, who told me something about Cane Creek's headsets having plastic seals or something, so you can't tighten them too much. So he loosened it to the proper setting.

    But then I was riding down the road, got to a red light and started to trackstand. When I turned my wheel to balance, then handlebars turned but the wheel stayed where it was, and gonesh9 fell ungracefully to the pavement.

    Since then, it has been a constant battle finding the sweet spot between too tight, and not tight enough. I keep my allen wrench handy for just this reason. It seems like when it is at the right spot, though, I can still turn the handlebars fairly easily if I hold the front wheel between my legs.

    Is there something the bike mechanic and I are missing here?

  2. #2
    Advertise here! Chuvak's Avatar
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    I have cane creek C2 on my MTB. From the first day I installed it I also had squeaking issue. I even posted the same question about what to do with it on this site. I solved my problem by applying grease on EVERY single part of the headset. The sound disappeared. Only one-problem remains, after a hard ride it becomes a bit lose, nothing major, but I can live with that for now. I hope this helps.

  3. #3
    newbie newbie georgesnatcher's Avatar
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    Every bike I have bought in the last few years has come with a Cane Creek headset. Every one of those bikes has had the Cane Creek headset removed and a Chris King headset installed. My experience with Cane Creek is that if you ride every day you are lucky to get 6 months down the road before the headset starts 'creaking". Maybe thats how they came up with the name. :confused:

  4. #4
    wonderer, wanderer gonesh9's Avatar
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    Good to hear I'm not the only one. Thanks guys

  5. #5
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    I'm sure confused here. On my bikes, it's the bolts on the stem that keep the bars from twisting on the steerer tube. Unless the headset is binding, its adjustment has no bearing on stem slippage.

  6. #6
    Crank Crushing Redneck SamDaBikinMan's Avatar
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    The Cane creek headset on my 1999 Caad 4 cannondale has been on the bike since purchase with no problems and no adjustments. I could not be happier. This bike probably has over 10,000 miles on it.

    Sam
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  7. #7
    Love Me....Love My Bike! aerobat's Avatar
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    Ditto Sam's post, but not quite so many miles, or km's
    as we say here in Canada!
    "...perhaps the world needs a little more Canada" - Jean Chretian, 2003.

  8. #8
    Senior Member danr's Avatar
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    I have a cane creek on my road bike. I had it professionally installed by a top-notch bike shop, and I still had problems with it. It binded up on me big time. I regreased it. Now, every now and then, it hits a rough spot.

    Once this wears out, I'm done with the cc hs. CKing, here I come.
    Does the perfect bike really exist?

  9. #9
    Chi
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    Rides with Cows Chi's Avatar
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    My friend's CC headset has begun to loosen, after a few REALLY HARSH RIDES on rough terrain (it's a Trek MTB). He's using that as an excuse to go Chris King.

  10. #10
    Senior Member oxygen_77's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gonesh9
    But then I was riding down the road, got to a red light and started to trackstand. When I turned my wheel to balance, then handlebars turned but the wheel stayed where it was, and gonesh9 fell ungracefully to the pavement.
    I think the mechanic forgot to tighten your stem back on the steerer tube after he adjusted the compression from the stem. The stem clamps to the steerer and should be on there tight. Maybe the real problem is that these Cane Creek Headsets weren't pressed into the headtube properly and so they started creaking?
    Specialized Stumpjumper FSR, Specialized P.2, Kona Coiler.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Don Cook's Avatar
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    A year or so ago, I decided to convert the fork on one of my bikes to a threadless carbon fibre. I had no experience with threadless headsets. The headset that I used was the Cane Creek (c2?). Since the conversion, this bike has probably been ridden 1600 miles. I've not had any squeaking of any kind. But I do agree in general that a threadless headset seems considerably more touchy about how it's adjusted. When I adjust it, it normally takes a few attempts to get the feel just right without any headset to steerer tube looseness. The other road bike that's in my garage is a threaded steerer tube fork, and as most of you know they're much easier to adjust.

  12. #12
    newbie newbie georgesnatcher's Avatar
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    Personally I have had nothing but problems with Cane Creek headsets. Granted I am a "clydesdale" but I think I should be able to expect more than 6-12 months service from a headset. With the CK headsets I now have I never had a problem or needed to adjust them.
    I've always been a big believer in the saying you get what you pay for. Can you imagine Cane Creek giving a 10 year warranty on any of their parts? They'd be bankrupted.

  13. #13
    wonderer, wanderer gonesh9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oxygen_77
    I think the mechanic forgot to tighten your stem back on the steerer tube after he adjusted the compression from the stem. The stem clamps to the steerer and should be on there tight. Maybe the real problem is that these Cane Creek Headsets weren't pressed into the headtube properly and so they started creaking?
    I know that is the theory, but when I clamp the stem onto the steerer tight, my wheel won't turn. It just sticks there. Seems like something is all binding up in there. Maybe it's just a faulty headset, but when I can I'm switching to anything else.

  14. #14
    Senior Member oxygen_77's Avatar
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    Is the Steerer tube on your bike made of carbon fibre? Also is the stem expanding on it's top and bottom when you clamp it to the steerer tube? The stem shouldn't be able to spin on the steerer so if it can then it's not tight enough... as for the headset binding when the stem is tight, there is definately some problem if that's what it is doing.

    If you tighten the stem onto the steerer tube loosely so that it doesn't bind and works correctly you should then be able to tighten the stem completly so it also doesn't slip. Are you sure you're tightening the right bolt? I don't mean any disrespect, but you aren't tightening the bolt on the top of the stem are you? that should only be used to set up your compression and then the stem should be clamped down on the steerer using it's hex bolt on the side of the stem. After you clamp the stem to the steerer tube you could effectively take off the top cap if you wanted and ride the bike around.
    Specialized Stumpjumper FSR, Specialized P.2, Kona Coiler.

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