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Merlin Fat Ti MTB - Headshok conversion help

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Merlin Fat Ti MTB - Headshok conversion help

Old 11-18-17, 01:37 PM
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LadyGypsyRose
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Merlin Fat Ti MTB - Headshok conversion help

Hello Bike Forums,

First, I hope I am in the right place with my thread. If not, mods please forgive me and move to the correct place.

I recently traded one of my bikes for a Merlin Fat Ti XL MTB. I am wanting to upgrade it to modern parts, and most importantly - convert the Headshok.
Is it even possible to change the original Cannondale Headshok to a more modern and regular suspension fork in my bike?
If so, what do I need to do the conversion?
And, what fork do you all recommend?


PS; Forgot to mention - my Merlin is actually a Fat Ti XL - I have seen specs for Fat Ti's but not Fat ti XLs and have no idea what the difference is. I will add pics as soon as I make 10 posts, as per our forums rules.

Thanks so much for your help and reading.







Last edited by LadyGypsyRose; 11-19-17 at 05:58 PM. Reason: specifics added
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Old 11-18-17, 01:45 PM
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jimc101
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Have a look here for ideas Anyone have feedback or riding stories on Merlin Fat Ti? | Retrobike
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Old 11-18-17, 01:56 PM
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I'd think measuring the steerer tube diameter will give a good guess. If it's 1 1/8", then probably many will fit.

I didn't know anything about Headshok and found this interesting read........ https://vintagecannondale.com/info/headshok/
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Old 11-18-17, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
If it's 1 1/8", then probably many will fit.
It's got a headshok, so it's not going to be a 1 1/8", being a Cannondale part, it's going to have some compatibility issues although they should be overcomable, for the OP, think you going to do a lot of research for this, here's a start Definitive guide: Cannondale frame headset fork compatibility for mountain bikes
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Old 11-18-17, 04:02 PM
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^Indeed. Thank you all for the advice thus far.
I had come across this compatibility chart previously- but had a bit of trouble understanding it. I apologize if this is simpler than I am making it.
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Old 11-18-17, 06:38 PM
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I know on the early Cannondales they can't be easily modified - they don't use standard dimensions.
Later ones do use standard dimensions and can be converted to 1 1/2" headsets.

I think you need to dismantle and take some measurements.
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Old 11-19-17, 05:59 PM
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Pics just added!!!!
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Old 11-22-17, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by LadyGypsyRose View Post
^Indeed. Thank you all for the advice thus far.
I had come across this compatibility chart previously- but had a bit of trouble understanding it. I apologize if this is simpler than I am making it.

Going by the 'Ultra' decals, and that it's got both canti posts and disc tabs, that's one of the 'old' 1.5 headshock tubes. (late 1990s-early 2000s) Which is not the same a a 'standard 1.5' on non-Cannondale frames.

There are adapters to convert them to 1.5, 1-1/8, and Tapered forks. Which adapter depends on which fork you plan to use.

IIRC, the axle-to-crown length of a Headshok is on the long side, or when compared to other shocks of the era, so it may limit choices. I havent shopped shocks in a long time, current-gen stuff seems pretty long-legged to me.
26" wheel, with V-brakes, so that may also narrow down your options.
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Old 11-22-17, 02:22 PM
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^Thank you for the input.
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Old 11-22-17, 02:39 PM
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I have a Cannondale that originally had a headshok and I converted it to a rigid fork with 1 1/8 steerer. I used a set of reducers to fit the 1 1/8" headset into the 1 1/2" tube. Worked perfectly.
Now you're gonna ask me where I got the reducers, and to be honest, I don't remember, but they are out there and a search should bring them up.
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Old 11-22-17, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Slash5 View Post
I know on the early Cannondales they can't be easily modified - they don't use standard dimensions.
Later ones do use standard dimensions and can be converted to 1 1/2" headsets.

I think you need to dismantle and take some measurements.
Not sure when that change would have been made, but mine was purchased new in 1999 and it has internal headtube dimensions for 1 1/2.


Last edited by Dan Burkhart; 11-22-17 at 05:57 PM.
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