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Cannondale Fork and Headset Disassembly
Hi. Great site and forum!

I'm looking for help on disassembling my Cannondale road bike's headset. The long story is I have a creak when I stand and pedal, and I've isolated it to the steerer tube. I think there's dirt in the contact areas, so I want to take it apart, clean it up, and regrease everything. The reason I'm pretty sure this is the cause is because I tried to take apart the headset (and failed, thus this thread) to do just that, and when I snugged everything back up, the creak went away for a while.

Anyway, here's a picture of the headset:
[Image: headset.jpg]

According to Cannondale's tech document on their website (my bike is an '05, but this is closest I could find: )
the top cap threads on to the expander bolt assembly, and you should be able to insert a 6mm hex key into the cap to remove it. My top cap doesn't have the 6mm hex key (it's a round hole to accept the cap screw head), and when I loosened all the pinch bolts the stem wouldn't slid up off the steerer tube like it should if it had a star nut. Am I missing something? I tried inserting a bunch of different size hex keys through the top cap to try to loosen up the expander bolt, but nothing would engage. I haven't peered through the top hole with a flashlight to see what's down there, yet...

Anyway, has anyone run into this before?

Are you sure you have a carbon steerer tube? If not, then you shouldn't have the expander piece inside the fork.

But assuming you do, the 6mm allen goes in the top cap. Once you remove that, you put a 5mm down through the hole to loosen the expander. I don't see how you would easily remove it. but once it's loose, and you loosen the pinch bolts, then the stem should slide off the steerer.

I see some corrosion on your bolts so maybe the whole things been together a long time and the stem has stuck to the steerer a little. Sometimes you need a little force to pop it free if it's stuck. But don't force it too much if you're not sure you've loosened everything properly.
I broke down and took it to my LBS. It has a carbon steerer, but is a vintage before they started using the expander bolt so it has a star nut. The top cap fits very snugly into the steerer tube to reinforce it when the stem clamps onto it, and the mechanic had some trouble getting it to come out. Anyway, tomorrow's the big day to see if the creak is gone!
Not really related to the topic, but it is why i started this thread. My creak was from a loose wheel hub.

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