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  1. #1
    ukenut Haptown's Avatar
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    What Have I done!! or I just bought a money eating bike from hades!

    I recently posted about my proud purchase of an '89 Cannondale Black Lightning here
    and I finally put the tubular tires on, did a great job too, I was so proud of myself for getting such a deal on this bike.

    Then I had to go and spoil it all by taking it to my bike mechanic. I needed him to look at that back wobbly wheel and it turns out that I'm going to need a new rear wheel built. Yipeeeee!! That will only cost me about $200, maybe $250. My wife will be happy to hear that. There are other things this bike needs that I was going to do myself and so the price keeps going up and up.

    Now I'm not sure what to do. I told my mechanic to true the wheel as best he could and don't do anything else to it.

    Are there any others out there who have old C'dale dinosaurs that they have brought back from the dead? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
    A few chords strummed on an ukulele, enough to please a few others beside yourself, does more good in this world than the combined efforts of all the financiers and politicians that ever lived. - Frank Littig

  2. #2
    Novist senior member tolfan's Avatar
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    do the wheel yourself I dont know how but I just did it this past week. I got the new(used) rim, laid the wheel flat, put the rim on top, transfered the spokes up 1 at a time. Then take it in to be trued.
    I did this and when I took it to the shop one of the eyelets broke and back to square one. So the shop owner felt bad, he sold me the replacement rim, so he gave me another rim and nice black spokes. Did the wheel a 2nd time replacing each spoke 1 at a time. $20 rim and spokes, $20 final dish and true. Thats my cash sucking miyata 916 story. Hope it helps.
    There are some things a man needs to believe in wether they're true or not;

  3. #3
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haptown
    I recently posted about my proud purchase of an '89 Cannondale Black Lightning here
    and I finally put the tubular tires on, did a great job too, I was so proud of myself for getting such a deal on this bike.

    Then I had to go and spoil it all by taking it to my bike mechanic. I needed him to look at that back wobbly wheel and it turns out that I'm going to need a new rear wheel built. Yipeeeee!! That will only cost me about $200, maybe $250. My wife will be happy to hear that. There are other things this bike needs that I was going to do myself and so the price keeps going up and up.

    Now I'm not sure what to do. I told my mechanic to true the wheel as best he could and don't do anything else to it.

    Are there any others out there who have old C'dale dinosaurs that they have brought back from the dead? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
    I don't think it matters if it's a Cannondale, but for compatibility with the existing bike you probably should re-use the existing hub and cogs (freewheel or cassette). $250 sounds kinda high for a rim replacement on an existing hub (re-use the hub, cogs, and skewers). You should probably look around and ask around on-line for advice on a better price with quality in your local area. Cost-effective wheel building is an art, and it's important to find a good builder. If this guy is one of the good ones, pay the money, be sure you get all the bearings rebuilt, too, and you'll have a wheel that barring extreme mishaps should be good for a good number of years.

    In Ann Arbor, I've had good truing and spoke replacements done at Two Wheel Tango. The truing and tensioning part cost around $45. With a good guidebook you might be able to assemble (lace) the new rim to teh spokes and have a local shop true/tension/finish it.

    Regarding the bike as a whole, get to teh point where you don't have to do everything jsut to be able to ride it, whether this is to make a few final fixes or just you, a mental adjustment. Getting it running is practical. Getting it perfect is obsessive, or at least not essential.

    Road Fan

  4. #4
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haptown
    I recently posted about my proud purchase of an '89 Cannondale Black Lightning here
    and I finally put the tubular tires on, did a great job too, I was so proud of myself for getting such a deal on this bike.

    Then I had to go and spoil it all by taking it to my bike mechanic. I needed him to look at that back wobbly wheel and it turns out that I'm going to need a new rear wheel built. Yipeeeee!! That will only cost me about $200, maybe $250. My wife will be happy to hear that. There are other things this bike needs that I was going to do myself and so the price keeps going up and up.

    Now I'm not sure what to do. I told my mechanic to true the wheel as best he could and don't do anything else to it.

    Are there any others out there who have old C'dale dinosaurs that they have brought back from the dead? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Another bit of perspective: getting into a nearly-ridable bike that good for $100 is pretty darn good, so look at how your total costs compare to the cost of a cherry original Cannon or a curretn comparable model. My bet is your bike's current equivalent is $1500, and you are in fine shape so far.

    Get a good book on repair and maintenance, and try some of it yourself, or if you do wrench be sure you have a good guide. Lennard Zinn's Art of Road Bike Maintenance (I think) is very comprehensive, covers the old stuff, and is clear, logical, and AFAIK correct. He tells you how to assess the condition of what you have as well as how to fix it. He even tells you how to build wheels, install tubulars, and repair tubulars. None of it is really that hard, it just takes care and patience. You saved a lot of $$$ so far, and nearly have a really nice bike. And just think how good you're gonna look in your black suit, a black turtleneck, and a gold chain posing next to teh Black Lightning.

    Road Fan

  5. #5
    Senior Member mattface's Avatar
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    You can actually get tubular rims pretty inexpensively since tubies aren't that popular any more. try ebay. A rim, 36 spokes (or however many your wheel needs), and Sheldon Brown's wheel building tutorial and you're good to go with a shiny new straight wheel and a new skill.

  6. #6
    Seņor Member USAZorro's Avatar
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    This is something that could be easily done by yourself for under $40.00. Sheldon Brown's web site has links to a nice Raleigh wheel-building guide. Park tools and dtswiss also have some decent instructions. You can lace it yourself wrong 30 times, and if you get it right on the 31st, you haven't hurt anything (unless you forced something really badly). You don't even really need a truing stand if you're going to have someone else do the final adjustment for you.

    Good luck, and don't hesitate to stop back here for any other questions you have. There are lots of people here who have done this before and would be willing to help.
    The search for inner peace continues...

  7. #7
    Don't call me sir cmdr's Avatar
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    Building wheels gave me more of a thrill than putting the bike together. It is more of an art than assembly and every time you ride you know that you are riding YOUR wheels. Get yourself going.
    1969 Bob Jackson, 1989 Schwinn Paramount, 2004 Santa Cruz Blur, 2011 Specialized P-3, 2013 Salsa Colossal Ti

  8. #8
    don't try this at home. rm -rf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmdr
    Building wheels gave me more of a thrill than putting the bike together. It is more of an art than assembly and every time you ride you know that you are riding YOUR wheels. Get yourself going.
    +1

    I replaced a bent rim. Got new spokes and the rim from the local LBS, and copied the old wheel's spoke pattern. It's cool when it starts coming together with the last few spokes, until then, it looks like it'll never work.

    I already had one of those cheap Minoura truing stands and a Park tension tool. It took me a long time to true it up, but it's an interesting puzzle if you like doing anything mechanical. And after that, it's easy to touch up your wheels instead of having to take them in.

  9. #9
    Chrome Freak Rabid Koala's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmdr
    Building wheels gave me more of a thrill than putting the bike together. It is more of an art than assembly and every time you ride you know that you are riding YOUR wheels. Get yourself going.
    +1

    I did one or two wheels as a teenager working in a LBS. I always wanted to "get it right" and finally did a couple of years ago.

    Nothing like the feeling of riding on YOUR wheels!
    1971 Paramount P-13 Chrome
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  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rabid Koala
    Nothing like the feeling of riding on YOUR wheels!
    I don't think I'd like that feeling.

  11. #11
    ukenut Haptown's Avatar
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    Thanks for the words of encouragement - I'm going to try and build up my own rear wheel. Now it's off to ebay!
    A few chords strummed on an ukulele, enough to please a few others beside yourself, does more good in this world than the combined efforts of all the financiers and politicians that ever lived. - Frank Littig

  12. #12
    Senior Member
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    I was always afraid of spending a lot of money only to have it go to waste by screwing up a new rim and spokes, so I took apart some cheap steel wheels and used the parts to practice. Now that I have done a few, I am fairly confident in my ability to build a wheel.

  13. #13
    VPR
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    I suggest truing the wheel yourself, its not hard, you just need that little tool

    if the wheel moves left for example, tighten the spokes on the right side at the point where it moves

    saves you money and you'll be truing them all yourself in the future

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