I've owned three LOOK frames with integrated headsets. The 461 and 381 both have aluminum head tubes, so I put plenty of grease on the cups and exterior of the bearings. I've never heard a noise from either. I would never put the bearings in dry. If nothing else, you could have corrosion problems.
The 585 has an all-carbon head tube, except for the removable bearing seats. I carefully put a small amount of grease on the bearing surfaces that rest on the bearing seat, being careful not to slop any onto the CF. I didn't grease the CF fork crown, even though the cartridge bearing rests on it. The new 585 has only been ridden 150 miles, but I don't expect any problem.
Are you sure it's the HS and not something else in the stem/bar area?
Another problem is failure to properly preload the bearings. The manufacturer's instructions seem really poor in this area. You have to tighten the top cap a lot tighter with integrated bearings. I apply enough top cap pressure to cause a bit of extra drag, then back off 1/8 to 1/4 turn. If you hit a sharp mismatch in the road and hear a "thwack" or pop, it usually means the HS is too loose.
I haven't noticed any thwack or pop, so I'm guessing top cap is tightened properly. By drag do you mean a bit of resistence when turning steerer? And why the need to be so careful with the grease on CF? (I have FinishLine teflon). I have checked bar tightness and assumed the headset is the issue, though I guess anything is possible. I'm starting from square one as far as bike maint, but I'm determined to learn. Thanks for your reply and patience.
BTW, our 585's are the same age and live down the road from each other. They'll have to meet up sometime.
Actually, grease should not harm CF. Other posters claim to have seen seatpost damage (swelling) from grease. I've done my own experiment, greasing a cutoff from a fork steerer. Left it all greased up for months and never bothered it a bit.
As for the top cap tightness, I try to get a bit of extra resistance as the fork is turned, but once the cables are installed that's a bit tougher to feel. The cartridge bearings require a lot of pressure to cause any real binding, unlike a Campy conventional threadless, which will bind up with an extra fraction of a turn, just like an old threaded headeset.
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