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Canyon Ultimate CF SLX - fork/headset rattling

pedalbasherpedalbasher Posts: 215
edited September 2015 in Workshop
I have had my Ultimate CF SLX 7.0 Di2 for about 12 months.

Ever since it arrived, I've had issues with the headset - that stupid, weight-saving Acros Ai-70 plastic headset device is absolutely terrible. It has always had a small amount of "play" which neither I, nor the mechanic at my LBS, can get rid of completely. In trying, I've over-tightened the headset twice, resulting in the Torx T6 tool snapping on one occasion and on the other occasion the plastic screw threaded. To be fair to Canyon, they have sent me a couple of replacement T6 tools free of charge. But whenever it appeared that the "play" has gone, it comes back again with minutes of riding.

Now the situation has got worse. There is not a great deal of "play" but there is quite a noticeable rattle from the fork/steerer when I ride over even slightly bumpy ground. I've been playing around tonight, trying to isolate it, and there's basically a loud and unnerving rattle from just inside the head tube (i.e. where the 2 forks become 1 steerer and it disappears into the frame) whenever I drop the front end of the bike from as little as about an inch off the floor.

Has anyone had any similar problems? It's driving me crazy, and has now got to the point where I don't want to ride for fear of doing damage to the forks or steerer or worse still having the front end snap/collapse/etc whilst riding.

Any suggestions much appreciated. I am thinking of having the whole of the fork and headset replaced with a more conventional system (i.e. NOT the Acros thing). Is that feasible? If so, I'd be really grateful to hear ideas. Not sure this is something I can ask my local shop to do. Can I simply buy a new set of forks (albeit they won't match the Canyon frame) or is the problem specifically the headset device (and can that be easily switched?)?

One point to note: if and when I get a new front end, I'd like to get the steerer cut down to avoid the need for spacers above the stem. Where do I go about getting that done? I don't really have any contacts in the cycling / workshop world.

Thanks very much.

Posts

  • I believe this is a carbon steerer, hence the use of this device. I would replace the whole headset and use an expander in the steerer tube to secure the stem, they work much better. With regard to cutting down your steerer tube, yes this can be done quite easily, your LBS should be able to do this for you.

    The headset is, I suspect, the integrated type. If you measure the inside diameter of the top & bottom of the head tube you will then be able to ensure you get the correct headset. FSA do a good range, or Cane Creek.
  • pedalbasherpedalbasher Posts: 215
    Many thanks, that's very helpful. I'll book it in today and see what the LBS have to say.

    Has anyone else experienced issues like this? The headset/steerer combo just hasn't seemed to work for me. I've gone through 2 or 3 of the Acros devices and there's ALWAYS been at least some play. There's very little play now, but the jarring/rattling is terrible.
  • Coach HCoach H Posts: 1,092
    I have a Canyon and actually find the Acros adjustment is better than the more regular pre-load method.
    OK so it is a solution were no problem actually existed but I have found it does work.

    (Incidentally, Colnago also use Acros headsets on the Italian made carbon frames, C59 and C60)

    Are you sure the expander section is in its wound in position when you first set the stem? If it isn't then you are not going to take up any slack and load the headset when you try to wind it out. Unless there is something missing from the installation I cannot see what else there is to go wrong. The Acros spacer is just two wedges that push each other apart, there is probably more to go wrong with a fork expander.

    Have you tried communicating with Canyons UK support? Cannot remember his name but the German guy there is really good and certainly knows his onions. There are also plenty of good English speakers if you call customer support in Germany.
    Coach H. (Dont ask me for training advice - 'It's not about the bike')
  • Hi pedalbasher,

    I came across this post while searching for answers to the same problem as you were experiencing. I have a CF SLX and while I don't have a huge amount of play I'm getting a fair bit of the rattling noise you describe regardless of the adjustment of the Acros Ai-70 headset.

    Did you solve this in the end? Any suggestions would be very welcome!

    Cheers - Simon
  • tribantriban Posts: 149
    do you have spacers above the stem?

    i had a similar rattle from my canyon. i found that this was coming from the spacer above the stem which no longer has any tension on it after i'd moved the stem down. i put a little carbon grip paste on it to help hold in position and the rattle was gone!

    sounds stupid, i know. but i thought i'd throw it out there just in case. hope it helps.
  • cswitchcswitch Posts: 261
    triban wrote:
    do you have spacers above the stem?

    i had a similar rattle from my canyon. i found that this was coming from the spacer above the stem which no longer has any tension on it after i'd moved the stem down. i put a little carbon grip paste on it to help hold in position and the rattle was gone!

    sounds stupid, i know. but i thought i'd throw it out there just in case. hope it helps.

    +1. I had this issue too when having a spacer above the stem. Before tightening the stem to steerer bolts up, expand the headset very slightly which will push the stem up very slightly squashing the rattling top spacer between the top cap and the stem - it only needs very slight expansion of the headset to do this. Then tighten up the stem bolts and then the headset tension as usual. Rattling spacer should be no more.

    I now have the canyon expander plug type headset - much better in my opinion. The carbon acros expander type is not very durable ime, at least not if you tinker around regularly. The thread for the tensioner grub screw went on mine within a year - I'm not heavy handed either. The older metal one was okay but no doubt changed to save weight.
  • I know this is now an old thread, but since I had the same issue I might as well give my version: I purchased a Canyon Endurace CF in Nov 2014 and, even though perfect at first, gradually the headset would become loose and develop a rattle in the fork. The worst was not the rattle - it was the ambiguity in the steering and loss of confidence in descents. It was driving me mad, I removed the stem, undid the little T6 screw and pressed the stem down, re-threaded the stem bolts and re-did the little preload screw numerous times, but the play would come back. Eventually some sweat made its way into the top bearing so I spoke to Canyon and they sent me a new headset. My LBS stocks Focus bikes that used to employ this system and he told me that he had the same issues. The solution is basically to install a traditional expander for carbon steerers, but since the Canyon steerer is thicker than usual (has a diameter of 1-1/4 inch) it's not as straightforward. Giant uses the same dimensions in the OD2 fork and steerer, and FSA does one. I ordered this: http://www.avt.bike/WebStore/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=V305-HD5347 and I'll get it to my LBS to install it. I'll let you know how it goes. For now the new headset is great, but since I know that play will return (those plastic wedges are simply not strong enough to hold the fork in place) I'm hoping the expander will eliminate the issue.
  • I have a Canyon and actually find the Acros adjustment is better than the more regular pre-load method.
    OK so it is a solution were no problem actually existed but I have found it does work.

    (Incidentally, Colnago also use Acros headsets on the Italian made carbon frames, C59 and C60)

    Are you sure the expander section is in its wound in position when you first set the stem? If it isn't then you are not going to take up any slack and load the headset when you try to wind it out. Unless there is something missing from the installation I cannot see what else there is to go wrong. The Acros spacer is just two wedges that push each other apart, there is probably more to go wrong with a fork expander.

    Have you tried communicating with Canyons UK support? Cannot remember his name but the German guy there is really good and certainly knows his onions. There are also plenty of good English speakers if you call customer support in Germany.
    Not on C60. I had one on my C59 and changed it to a C60 headset.
    Pegoretti
    Colnago
    Cervelo
    Campagnolo
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