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Old 11-10-09, 11:22 PM   #1
wookv
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Help me make this old Cannondale Race-able

I have a carbon fiber scott CR1 that I love very much, it got me hooked onto biking. I've now joined a collegiate cycling team and I'm considering trying to race next season. Since I'm brand new and I really don't want to crash with my carbon fiber bike, I want to try to race with this old '86 Cannondale SR600 that I have too. I know I'm not out to win anything, so at least for the first few races I might try it with this old bike. Or even if I don't race with it, I think it's weight will be good training for me.

That said, I need some pointers as to what I can do to improve on the bike. I'd appreciate component suggestions and recommendations on what to change to. I think I'll be comfortable to spend up to ~$500.

My concerns are, in order of priority:
1. Wheelset?
2. Saddle (the Selle Italia Flite is classic but I can only last <1hr on it, I like the Selle Italia Max Flite Gel Flow, but I'm slowly waiting on ebay for a good price)
3. Yes, I will remove the reflectors.
4. DT shifters? (but brifters are really expensive)
5. Pedals?
6. Only 12 speed?

***What would be the #1 thing you would change on it?

Thanks for your input!
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Last edited by wookv; 11-10-09 at 11:28 PM.
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Old 11-10-09, 11:28 PM   #2
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I'd go for bar end shifters.

Also, image doesn't work.
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Old 11-10-09, 11:34 PM   #3
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I'd go for bar end shifters.

Also, image doesn't work.
Sorry, I added the images after. It should hopefully work now.
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Old 11-10-09, 11:34 PM   #4
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I'd just race the CR1, or race the Cannondale as is while saving your pennies to trade it for a more venerable race bike (aluminum with 105 or something).
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Old 11-10-09, 11:38 PM   #5
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Thanks for the replies so far. One question I have is about the wheelset, someone once pointed out that these are high spoke count wheels. Is there a big disadvantage to them?
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Old 11-10-09, 11:58 PM   #6
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You might be better off just buying an old used bike for 500ish. It might be better than the cannondale.

In all honesty, save the 500 bucks. Race the scott, and spend the 500 bucks on a frame replacement if it breaks.
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Old 11-11-09, 12:07 AM   #7
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Thanks for the replies so far. One question I have is about the wheelset, someone once pointed out that these are high spoke count wheels. Is there a big disadvantage to them?
They weigh more and are less aero, but that pretty much describes the whole bike. I would just spend enough money on the bike to make sure it is safe and no more.
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Old 11-11-09, 12:11 AM   #8
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That stem will eventually kill you if you can put out any power at all
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Old 11-11-09, 01:28 AM   #9
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$500 on a used bike.
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Old 11-11-09, 06:27 AM   #10
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Just race the Scott. If you are that worried about crashing and breaking your bike, you should not be racing.
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Old 11-11-09, 06:37 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wookv View Post
I have a carbon fiber scott CR1 that I love very much, it got me hooked onto biking. I've now joined a collegiate cycling team and I'm considering trying to race next season. Since I'm brand new and I really don't want to crash with my carbon fiber bike, I want to try to race with this old '86 Cannondale SR600 that I have too. I know I'm not out to win anything, so at least for the first few races I might try it with this old bike. Or even if I don't race with it, I think it's weight will be good training for me.

That said, I need some pointers as to what I can do to improve on the bike. I'd appreciate component suggestions and recommendations on what to change to. I think I'll be comfortable to spend up to ~$500.

My concerns are, in order of priority:
1. Wheelset?
2. Saddle (the Selle Italia Flite is classic but I can only last <1hr on it, I like the Selle Italia Max Flite Gel Flow, but I'm slowly waiting on ebay for a good price)
3. Yes, I will remove the reflectors.
4. DT shifters? (but brifters are really expensive)
5. Pedals?
6. Only 12 speed?

***What would be the #1 thing you would change on it?

Thanks for your input!
That is not a '86 Cannondale SR frame. That is an ST frame. It has a really long wheel base more suitable for touring than racing.

On the brighter side it has Shimano 600 series components (the pedals are a giveaway), but in order to accommodate the enormous freewheel (most likely the original and most likely a Shimano 600 freewheel that does not take any of the usual freewheel removal tools) it has a long cage RD. The freewheel is like that because the gearing set up is what was called half-step. The front chainrings are closely spaced (probably a 50/45). When riding bikes with this kind of setup you spend a lot of time making front shifts. That is not so good when racing.

So, you have nice old-school components on the bike, but not really suitable for racing. It looks like you have the original 600 series toeclips. Those are sought after if they are in good shape.

I'd forget about turning this bike into a race machine.
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Old 11-11-09, 08:06 AM   #12
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I don't know if Cannondale made a short wheelbase SR frame in 1986, but their first frames were definitely long wheelbase, and you definitely have one. They're not that useful for racing.

Worried about crashing? You can drill now and be totally comfortable by the spring:
http://sprinterdellacasa.blogspot.co...-crashing.html

Have an experienced rider on your team lead some riding clinics. Focus on bumping, touching wheels, bunny hopping, and etiquette on riding in a group. If the experienced rider tells you it's okay to elbow or push someone else in order to gain position, stop listening to them immediately and start doing research on your own or PM me or something.

Contact may not always be avoidable. For example, if there's a crash in front of you, and everyone starts to swerve to avoid it, you may end up tagging someone pretty hard. In such a case you need to know how to deal with your front wheel hitting the back of another bike, or your arm/shoulder/hip/thigh getting shoved, etc.

But if you resort to contact voluntarily, that means you failed as a bike racer. This does not mean you shouldn't know how to deal with contact; it just means that if you initiate contact that means you're in a weak position in the field and you've lost that moment. You need to learn enough tactical savy and patience to realize that you can almost always control your position in the field, and you can almost always maintain at least a position in the area of the field you're in. If you can't, you need to drill.

Other important posts on field riding:

The SPHERE (this has to do with you and protecting yourself - think condoms)
http://sprinterdellacasa.blogspot.co...scenarios.html

CONTACT (this has to do with contact)
http://sprinterdellacasa.blogspot.co...ontact-ok.html

I feel very strongly about contact for two big reasons:
1. It's bullying versus using proper tactics.
2. A guy bullying in a training crit I did took me out Aug 11 of this year. I broke my pelvis in two places, wrenched my shoulder (it hurt this morning), lost 6 weeks of work, $7000 in various expenses, and the guy that took me out does it all the time. Someone relatively important in the area joked that NE-BRA (New England Bicycle Racing Assocation, the local arm of USAC) should start a medical fund for all the racers he's taken out. In my crash another guy broke a bunch of ribs and a few riders sustained reasonably significant damage to their bikes. This doesn't include all the road rash etc. Problem is that the bully rider is also connected in the system so he got no penalty, no effective suspension, nothing. He was taught 20 or more years ago that contact is not only acceptable, but a preferable way of dealing with other racers. This means that he gets himself into tactically weak positions (like getting boxed in) and then pushes/swerves his way out. Based on his behavior before, during, and after my particular crash, it appears that taking out a half dozen riders is totally acceptable for him, as long as it's not him.

Normally you wouldn't need to deal with such riders as a new racer. You'll deal with riders who just don't know better. And that's why you need to drill, to learn how to handle contact between you and other riders.

Race the Scott. Ditch the Cannondale, it's worth more to a vintage bike collector than to any racer (and even to a collector, prob not worth much).

If I were to make just one change on the bike, I'd get a close ratio freewheel. A second change, the stem. Third, the pedals. But as pointed out earlier, the best change for that Cannondale would be to get rid of it. I say that with all good intent - I owned the first 5 generations of Cannondale race frames as soon as they came out (long wheelbase road, the short wheelbase road, 3.0 - later called the crit frame, 3.0 road, 2.8).

But I'd get rid of the Cannondale first and either save for a new frame (even a cheap one, but with modern geometry) or something else.

cdr
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Old 11-11-09, 09:16 AM   #13
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That is not a '86 Cannondale SR frame. That is an ST frame. It has a really long wheel base more suitable for touring than racing.

On the brighter side it has Shimano 600 series components (the pedals are a giveaway), but in order to accommodate the enormous freewheel (most likely the original and most likely a Shimano 600 freewheel that does not take any of the usual freewheel removal tools) it has a long cage RD. The freewheel is like that because the gearing set up is what was called half-step. The front chainrings are closely spaced (probably a 50/45). When riding bikes with this kind of setup you spend a lot of time making front shifts. That is not so good when racing.

So, you have nice old-school components on the bike, but not really suitable for racing. It looks like you have the original 600 series toeclips. Those are sought after if they are in good shape.

I'd forget about turning this bike into a race machine.
Correct

Cannondale made a racing bike starting in 1984 (I think), but that's not what you have.

Frames very rarely get damaged in a crash. It's usually the exposed components: Shifters, RD, front wheel, bars, pedals ....
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Old 11-11-09, 09:32 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by carpediemracing View Post

Worried about crashing? You can drill now and be totally comfortable by the spring:
http://sprinterdellacasa.blogspot.co...-crashing.html

cdr
Thank you very much for the advice carpediemracing.

And thanks to everyone (urbanknight, homebrew01, mollusk and everyone else) on the thread. I think I've been convinced that I'll just race with the cr1. Might ebay or craigslist the cannondale.
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Old 11-11-09, 09:35 AM   #15
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Thank you very much for the advice carpediemracing.

And thanks to everyone (urbanknight, homebrew01, mollusk and everyone else) on the thread. I think I've been convinced that I'll just race with the cr1. Might ebay or craigslist the cannondale.
The touring crowd will likely take an interest. I doubt you will have much trouble selling it.
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Old 11-11-09, 09:37 AM   #16
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Just race the Scott. If you are that worried about crashing and breaking your bike, you should not be racing.
I agree. Unless you're racing a lot of crits, you can bet against breaking your bike in a crash in a collegiate road race. You're just as likely to crash on a charity ride or training ride. Your Scott is meant to be enjoyed and occasionally gently hitting the ground! Use that Cannondale as your commuter to get to class and get beer, because it's days as a race bike are over.
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Old 11-11-09, 09:40 AM   #17
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Those cannondales make great commuter bikes, I'd keep it around just for that. Throw some racks and fenders on it and you're good to go. I commute on an old Caad 3 cross bike and love the thing, it's totally indestructible.
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Old 11-11-09, 10:29 AM   #18
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I'll be the only one to say "race it". New tires, maybe bar ends, saddle and pedals. After one race (or one long ride), you'll want to be on your scott so much, that it'll be worth it to you to take the chance.
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Old 11-11-09, 10:37 AM   #19
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I agree. Unless you're racing a lot of crits, you can bet against breaking your bike in a crash in a collegiate road race. You're just as likely to crash on a charity ride or training ride. Your Scott is meant to be enjoyed and occasionally gently hitting the ground! Use that Cannondale as your commuter to get to class and get beer, because it's days as a race bike are over.
First, collegiate racing generally has at least a crit and RR each weekend.

second, you're more likely to break a bike in a RR than a crit. RR crashes are generally worse.

Third, you're much more likely to crash in a race than a training ride.

Fourth, I agree you should just race the Scott.
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Old 11-11-09, 10:42 AM   #20
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First, collegiate racing generally has at least a crit and RR each weekend.

second, you're more likely to break a bike in a RR than a crit. RR crashes are generally worse.

Third, you're much more likely to crash in a race than a training ride.

Fourth, I agree you should just race the Scott.
you lost me there. Not saying you're wrong, just saying........well, that's an awfully big generalization.
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Old 11-11-09, 10:50 AM   #21
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you lost me there. Not saying you're wrong, just saying........well, that's an awfully big generalization.
RR crashes are often faster, involve more riders, can involve oncoming traffic, trees, fences, etc.

Crits are on closed and barricaded courses and have hay bales protecting hard things, have smaller fields (usually), top speeds are generally lower (depends on course obviously).

Obviously these are generalizations, but it's what I've found in my (rather limited) experiences.
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Old 11-11-09, 11:01 AM   #22
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RR crashes are often faster, involve more riders, can involve oncoming traffic, trees, fences, etc.

Crits are on closed and barricaded courses and have hay bales protecting hard things, have smaller fields (usually), top speeds are generally lower (depends on course obviously).

Obviously these are generalizations, but it's what I've found in my (rather limited) experiences.
Usually (but not always) crashes in road races happen when the pack is slowing down, or already going slow...8/10 road race crashes happen that way, in my experience. Never the less, a crash is a crash and and you're definitely more likely to crash in a crit.

So anyway, race that Scott!
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Old 11-11-09, 11:03 AM   #23
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Usually (but not always) crashes in road races happen when the pack is slowing down, or already going slow...8/10 road race crashes happen that way, in my experience. Never the less, a crash is a crash and and you're definitely more likely to crash in a crit.

So anyway, race that Scott!
more umbrage from me.

I'm definitely more likely b/c I do about 4 times as many crits as RR, but on a 1 for 1 basis......
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Old 11-11-09, 11:47 AM   #24
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yeah I tend to agree that RR crashes are hairier. it just seems like the nature of racing in a centerline-restricted, one lane situation, causes bigger / nastier pileups.
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Old 11-11-09, 05:06 PM   #25
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race the scott or spend 500 on a slightly preloved alumnium 10 speed bike. 10 speeds on the cassette that is.
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