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Old 01-02-07, 08:15 PM   #1
pippin65
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old Cannondale Black Lightning HELP please

Hi, I'm trying to get back into cycling and am in the process of getting my black lightning back into shape, so it can help me get back into shape! It's approx 17 years old but seems okay except for the rims and tires. Had a chat session tonight with a guy at performance cycling, was asking about rims and he said is it a cassette. is it? can someone tell me, or guide me in a direction to get economical rims--front and back. The tires say 700c, and are totally rotten, rims are far out of true.
where is the best internet parts provider? thanks in advance!
by the way, can I just brush the chain, which is not rusty, down and wd40 it?
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Old 01-02-07, 08:24 PM   #2
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Do you have an LBS that you can trust? Performance, Nashbar, etc. have good prices but you are almost completely on your own to figure out what you need and what will fit. If you are an experienced mechanic, mail order is fine. If you aren't sure what you have or what you need, a reliable bike shop (or a good friend who is a knowledgeable mechanic) is almost a necessity.

If your bike is 17-years old, it's from around 1989/1990 so it's probably a 7-speed cassette and probably downtube indexed shifters but I'm just guessing. The rear dropout spacing may be 126 mm (7-speed) or possibly 130 mm (8/9/10-speed) even if it has a 7-speed cassette.

It will likely be cheaper to buy complete wheels than to relace your current hubs with new rims and spokes. I expect you will need new wheels, new tires, new tubes, probably a new cassette (the new wheels will certainly use cassettes but probably 8/9/10-speed) and likely a new chain. Even if the old chain isn't rusty it is probably to be worn enough to skip with a new cassette.

As you can see from these comments, a good LBS will be able to answer all of the questions and be sure your bike is handled properly.

Last edited by HillRider; 01-02-07 at 08:32 PM.
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Old 01-02-07, 08:31 PM   #3
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DP- sorry
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Old 01-02-07, 09:10 PM   #4
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I've got an 88 Black Lightning, and it's NOT a casette, it's a freewheel (http://www.sheldonbrown.com/free-k7.html). If the hubs are black Sansin's and it's got Suntour components then it's probably the same year. Also, if you get the serial number (mine's on the right seat stay down near the freewheel) that will tell you the year built.

I got mine a few months ago off of ebay and the wheels were not in very good shape. I replaced all the spokes and nipples and cleaned up the corrosion on the eyelets as well as cleaning and lubing everything and it rides great now. Now it just needs some cosmetic work. A super sexy bike, good luck with it.
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Old 01-02-07, 10:50 PM   #5
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My '87 Black Lightning (that I love and ride every day) has a freewheel. Are you sure the wheels can't be trued up? Then all you need are tires. i WOULD go mail for those. You can often get $45 tires for 22 or so.
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Old 01-03-07, 11:47 AM   #6
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I LOVE my Black Lightning as well. There's nothing stock remaining on it now, but I ran it the way I got it from its previous owner for a good long time before upgrading. It's a great bike (climbs like a bat out of hell!), so hang on to it and ride the heck out of it.

As to your questions, in that era it could be either a cassette or freewheel- if you post pics we can tell you for sure. At least take the wheels to a shop and see if they can be trued; that'll save you a bunch if they can be fixed. My original wheels were fine until I broke an axle in an emergency skidding maneuver that involved sliding sideways into a boat trailer (driver's fault, not mine!). Now I run Open Pro/Ultegra wheels on it. You can get a set of those for around $200 from Performance or elsewhere, and there are cheaper wheels out there as well.

As to chain lube, don't use WD. Use a lubricant rather than a water displacement solution. ProLink, Finish Line, TriFlow are a few of the commonly used bike lubes. Any bike shop will have something good you can use.

For online parts try www.performancebike.com, www.jensonusa.com, www.pricepoint.com. There are many others as well.

Have fun with it!
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Old 01-03-07, 03:03 PM   #7
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Another Black Lightning ?

I also have a Black Lightning 1987. I'm a road rider of several years and bought this old Cannondale for the fun of it. My bike has Sun Tour edge parts but the current rear cogs says shimano and seem to be wreaked what would be compatable to replace this and the chain?
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Old 01-03-07, 03:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pippin65
Hi, I'm trying to get back into cycling and am in the process of getting my black lightning back into shape, so it can help me get back into shape! It's approx 17 years old but seems okay except for the rims and tires. Had a chat session tonight with a guy at performance cycling, was asking about rims and he said is it a cassette. is it? can someone tell me, or guide me in a direction to get economical rims--front and back. The tires say 700c, and are totally rotten, rims are far out of true.
where is the best internet parts provider? thanks in advance!
by the way, can I just brush the chain, which is not rusty, down and wd40 it?
My Black Lightning, which I think is an '86, used a freewheel, not a cassette.

Here's a page showing how to tell the diff:

http://sheldonbrown.com/free-k7

WD40 is a lousy lubricant, just about useless for bicycle applications.

See: http://sheldonbrown.com/chains

Sheldon "Eclair Noir" Brown
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Old 01-04-07, 05:59 PM   #9
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Hey Sheldon, WD-40 is great for cleaning frames.
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