Best replacement expander and topcap for a Tarmac sl4

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Posts: 92
Joined: Thu Feb 11, 2010 6:46 am
Location: Jacksonville FL

by Jersland

Purchased a Tarmac sl4 pro and I'm getting nothing but creaking from the headset even after using some washers. I've read elsewhere that this creaking is a common problem. Does anyone know of a replacement expander and top cap that will work with the 2012-2013 Tarmac sl4? I know they had a recall on the forks and use a different expander. The stock expander is total garbage as I've had it back to my LBS already and it's still making noise after two rides. :noidea:

Last edited by Jersland on Sun Sep 08, 2013 7:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2009 9:19 pm

by Doolop

Maybe you need a new bike shop.

The headset is fine. apply grease to the inner and outer races of the bearings.

Some of the post-recall expansion plugs are bad (the ones with a spring compression system)

If the greasing of races doesn't help have your specialized dealer warranty your compression plug to get a new, more secure, plug.

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by Rick

I don't know anything specifically about the sl4, but it seems like the answer to most obscure headset problems is to call tech support at Cane Creek. They are very helpful and have parts in stock that don't show up in the catalog.
Creaking headset does sound odd.
Have you inspected for frame cracks ?
Wrap the OD of the bearings with teflon tape to take up any loose fit ?
Carbon grip paste on the bung ? Tightened properly ?

Just ideas.

Posts: 92
Joined: Thu Feb 11, 2010 6:46 am
Location: Jacksonville FL

by Jersland

Doolop I stand corrected. It's the expander and top cap is that I want to replace. I have the expander with the spring compression.

Thanks for the reply gents

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Joined: Wed Jul 31, 2013 4:05 pm

by Juggernaut

I ride a '12 Tarmac SL3 & recently had to deal with a horrid creaking noise emitting from the headtube. On one of my daily rides I stopped by the BS that I purchased the frameset from & they quickly diagnosed it to my headset bearings requiring some lube. Upon my teardown the following day the top bearing was pretty gunked up with grit so I proceeded to clean it up & apply some grease along with with the same for the lower bearing. Got cleaned up & went for my ride; no more creaking noise from the headtube.

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