NCAA - DUAL CHAMPIONS!
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: From Sarasota, FL sitting in front of a computer spewing random thoughts!
Bikes: Intense Uzzi SL, Masi Speciale, Trek 3700 Nashbar Single Speed, Old Cilo Road frame
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Headshock - Thumbs Up!
I'm generally a big fan of Specialized products, but in this instance, you're probablly better off with the C'Dale. The headshock was developed to eliminate the flex(front to back and side to side) of a telescopic fork. Most telescopic fork have a beefed up brake arch to help eliminate this problem. All of these types forks flex to some degree. The one that minimizes the flex the best is a Marzocchi, but it's also heavier. With that said, try to flex a headshock. It doesn't! Primarily because both fork blades are integrated and the shock is obviously in the head tube. Although this is great for flex it causes a couple of problems which may not be of concern to you. The first is standover height. C'dales are taller than other bikes because of the headshock. Secondly, the Headshock is limited in travel (60 to 80 mm depending on model). Most other new forks are getting 80 mm as a minimum. Now back to the "pros" column of the Headshock. C'Dale offers a couple different options depending on the model you buy. Some offer a lockout which is desirable on long climbs. Other models have a five position damper which controls how slow or fast you want the fork to return to the extended position. Reliability is very good with the Headshock. The system is comprised of a squared off bearing surface with needle bearings on each side. (simple yet smooth). Now another "con". You need special tools to service your Headshock. This means you have to take the bike into your LBS for them to service the fork. The last "con" is cost. C'dales are usually more expensive than other similarly spec'd bikes. However, you get what you pay for. A made in the USA frame and fork and a superior suspension system, and an expansive network of dealers nationwide.
BTW, I sold my Specialized FSR (which I loved) and bought a Cannondale with the Lefty.(whick I like, but miss my FSR) Although I'm somewhat partial because of my current situation, I don't think any of my statements can be argued to the contrary. I think both companies offer great bikes and have each individual "better points". If you're making your choice based on the fork alone, you're better off with the C'dale.
"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "WOW, What a Ride!" - unknown
"Your Bike Sucks" - Sky Yaeger