As noted in a previous post - it all started with a blown HeadShok. Next, headset was replaced with Cane Creek reducer model to allow use of old Fox fork. All looked cool, until I discovered the Fox fork didn't clear the downtube. I installed a inner tube Band-Aid for the time being - while I plotted my next move. Replace headset yet again? Purchase 5mm fork crown spacer? Have the HeadShok replaced? Sell all bikes and take up bowling?
In the end, wound up purchasing another Cane Creek headset - same basic model, but with a normal lower bearing cup - instead of the ultra compact model. I had my pals at uBRODO order this and it arrived quick (thanks).
Since pictures are better then a thousand words - especially my words - follow along the visual path.....
Patented "Before" shot - not suitable for framing.
Let's zoom in for a better look - shall we? Notice ultra compact lower bearing race. Also notice dumb looking Stack-O-Spacers on top of stem. Feel free to laugh and comment.
Ouch - that's not good. Even a slow speed crash could break fork and/or dent downtube. Inner tube patch was a placebo that allowed bike to be ridden anyway. Plus I never crash.....
After installing new headset # 2, things are looking better. Notice the longer lower bearing race. I only installed a new lower, since the upper set is the same on both headset models. I also swapped the stem upside down and moved the spacers. This looks better to my screwed up eyes (minus upside down logos). Yes, I'm running riser bars and bar ends. I am Dork Boy.
Even with the (2nd) new headset, and to prove Murphy's Law is stronger then the law of gravity on such projects - Fox fork still didn't clear. The right side fork adjustment knob clipped the cable stop. Much cursing and throwing of tools didn't help matters. Grinding a millimeter or two off the cable stop with a Dremel tool did however. Cheesy, but effective. The plastic cable housing grazes the fork, but it works. I hate clapped out crap like this, but after two expensive headsets (or $250 to rebuild the HeadShok (as per Cannondale)) - good enough.
The "After" shot - suitable for framing and riding. The swapped stem lowered and stretched out my position a bit. This bike actually fits me really well - being the total old-school XC Geek that I am. The Fox fork is also much nicer then the HeadShok, though it's a bit heavier.
Until I sell this bike or strip the parts off for another reason, this is how it will remain. Cannondale frame, Fox Talas fork, full XTR with Mavic ceramic rims - I can't really complain. Until I score some extra dough, this will work just fine.
Over and out. The bike garage is now closed.