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Old 02-23-10, 10:54 AM   #1
Collin2424
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Cannondale Touring - Can ALU be Classic & Vintage?

My title may sound silly and it was semi-intentional, but it's an honest question. I've been on the hunt for a nice, lugged steel touring bike, but am unwilling to pay $500 for one. I've hunted the classifieds here for a little while and it seems that once a bike is labeled "touring," you can safely tack on another $200+. Here in the Bay Area, this is a real sellers market. I'm so jealous of the threads stating "look what I found for $10 at a thrift shop..." - I've never been so lucky.

Anyhow, what I'm going to see today is a Cannondale Touring bike. It has no model number, so I assume it's before the ST400, ST600, etc. Here's the posting - http://sfbay.craigslist.org/pen/bik/1613322512.html

The seller says it's in mint condition and I love the 18 speed setup with the bar-end shifters. This is exactly what I've been looking for except for one thing, the aluminum frame. My normal road bike is a Cannondale CAAD9 and while I love it, it's as stiff as anything out there. Will the stretched-out geometry of this touring bike be any less stiff of a ride? It's not a deal breaker; I'm young and I can take it, but I want to own this bike for a long, long time.

Lastly, do the frames on these last a long time? Cannondale says lifetime warranty and while I'd never be able to "use" that as I'm not the original owner, it's a breath of fresh air to see a manufacturer back their products like that. Can anyone comment on the Deore components? Deore what? Were the first Deore components simply called Deore?

Thanks so much and I'm sorry to throw a handful of convoluted questions out there. I haven't found much info on these Cannondales without a model/name.

-Collin-
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Old 02-23-10, 11:19 AM   #2
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That will make a great touring bike and when loaded it should be reasonably comfortable... it has a steel fork also so that should help. I bet if you went into a long time C-dale dealer with that bike and it had cracked they would warrenty it. I'm serious, Cannondale is awesome for that, but in all honesty it's not the company it's the rep. The sales rep makes the call on warranties to some extent.

That era of deore was very good quality, I don't think you can really go wrong with this bike and you can upgrade to long reach dual pivots for added stopping power.
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Old 02-23-10, 11:34 AM   #3
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sure they can be c+v.
thats a real nice bike too. i have a vetta gel[heavy but soooo comfortable] on mine as well.
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Old 02-23-10, 11:37 AM   #4
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Well, thanks guys. I appreciate it.

I got the serial number and it's a 23" frame from 1988. That's the perfect size for me.

What I'm confused about is looking at the catalog for 1988. This bike appears to be in between the 1000 and the 700. It has components from each, yet ONLY the 1000 came in black. It has the 27" wheels from the 700 model, yet it has the Dia Compe brakes from the 1000. Oh well, I guess that stuff has been changed. I'll use that as leverage to knock the price down a tad for the reason of it not being as original as he says :-)

-Collin-
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Old 02-23-10, 11:48 AM   #5
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The issue with older aluminum frames is that they fatigue and crack earlier than steel, but there are 25 year old aluminum frames out there that are still in service. And that bike looks like it was hardly ridden (or possibly repainted and rebuilt?).

If you search the touring forum, you'll find some long standing fans of the Cannondale touring bikes. If you plan loaded touring, and you're not a featherweight, you'll probably appreciate the stiffness of the frame. Thin tubed steel frames often become very whippy with lots of weight, which can be scary on fast descents. Additionally, the weight you carry will mitigate the alleged 'harshness' some people feel, and I bet the Cannondale will 'feel' quicker than some of the vintage steel tubed touring bikes.

The only potential downside is the sidepull brake setup. This will limit the size of your tires a bit (fatter tires make for a cushier ride and are an advantage if you'll be doing any unpaved roads). As cyclotoine points out, dual pivots will enhance your braking power (important if you're carrying lots of weight down hills). But again, dual pivots will further limit the size of your tires. You'll still probably have lots of clearance, but it's something you should check and consider. If you plan to use fenders, your tire size is even more limited with sidepulls.

Is that a cable hanger on the rear stays? If so, you can potentially retrofit some centerpulls which give you more clearance than sidepulls and more stopping power.
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Old 02-23-10, 11:59 AM   #6
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Thanks for the info. Definitely looks like a cable hanger.

I'll do a little more searching in the touring section, but I think this bike is exactly what I want. I have no loaded tours planned, but in the distant future I definitely will. This will start out as a commuter, hauling my clothes and laptop at first. Also longer weekend rides will be a joy I think.

-Collin-
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Old 02-23-10, 12:47 PM   #7
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It's not a deal breaker; I'm young and I can take it, but I want to own this bike for a long, long time.

Lastly, do the frames on these last a long time? Cannondale says lifetime warranty and while I'd never be able to "use" that as I'm not the original owner, it's a breath of fresh air to see a manufacturer back their products like that. Can anyone comment on the Deore components? Deore what? Were the first Deore components simply called Deore?


-Collin-
In 1994 I made the biggest purchse of my young adult car free life, a C-dale T-400. We got off to a bit of a rocky start.

Day 1. BB asploded
Day 8. Rear hub asploded

Ahh life lessons, though the frame may be the same accros a line of bikes cheap parts break.

Mods:

These bikes are STIFF and the local chip seal roads beat me up until I replaced the stem with one of those softride things. (I just don't understand why they never caught on)

Life:
After 42000 miles 7500 fully loaded I started thinking about the meaning of Lifetime frame warrenty. Would I be one of those REI lamers who returns damaged goods? I came to a personal balence. If the bike dies while on a normal ride I'll strip the good parts, take a few pics and send a life story off to C-dale customer service. If it dies on tour I'll make a light effort for a replacement or a least some sort of discount to get me going.

Death:
I cracked the frame while on tour in the classic spot. "Rear Dropout near the chain stay drive side" Since I was stranded in Alabama (Aka 50 out of 50 in many bike polls) I made the effort for a replace. C-dale replaced the frame and fork.

In total I had 55,000 miles over 14 years of which 11,000 were fully loaded.
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Old 02-23-10, 12:53 PM   #8
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You will love it- I sure love my '86 and '87 ST tourers. You can go to a 27 X 1 1/4 tire with the stock brakes, or convert to 700C wheels and use fatter tires and fenders- but you'll also have to fit longer reach calipers for that (older Shimano 600's come nutted and fit & work just fine, especially with KoolStop pads).

Or...go all the way with a 650B wheel conversion and Rivendell Silver or TekTro super-long reach brakes (they are the same, but the Riv's come with KoolStop pads), which will give you super-fatty tire/fender option, albeit with limited tire availability whilst on the road. And if you go 650B, might want to double check on that BB-to-ground clearance, especially if you're running 175+ crank arms.

As a side note, if anybody else is looking for a Tall Boy Touring Frame, I have a very nice white '87 Cannondale ST frame and fork. 25 incher, so a 63cm equivalent. It's a big 'un.
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Old 02-23-10, 01:00 PM   #9
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Well, thanks guys. I appreciate it.

I got the serial number and it's a 23" frame from 1988. That's the perfect size for me.

What I'm confused about is looking at the catalog for 1988. This bike appears to be in between the 1000 and the 700. It has components from each, yet ONLY the 1000 came in black. It has the 27" wheels from the 700 model, yet it has the Dia Compe brakes from the 1000. Oh well, I guess that stuff has been changed. I'll use that as leverage to knock the price down a tad for the reason of it not being as original as he says :-)

-Collin-
It is an ST400 (it also came in black) where a previous owner upgraded the awful Accushift drivetrain to Deore and got bar end shifters. Crank, stem and bars are the same as the ST400

The ST400 description is on pages 22 and 23 of the 1988 catalog here
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Old 02-23-10, 01:26 PM   #10
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Darn, that makes me a little bit sad. I was excited to get the ST1000 for the bargain price. Now, is it still worth the $300?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the frame/fork the same with the only difference being the components? So, if the user upgraded the components to the components found on the 700 and 1000, then how does this bike actually differ? I know the wheels and crankset are different, but isn't everything else pretty much the same? I like the bar-end shifters, in fact.

The less important question is - why would someone have upgraded all the components and then barely ride the bike? Or, has it been repainted? Ah the questions never end!

-Collin-
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Old 02-23-10, 01:53 PM   #11
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Darn, that makes me a little bit sad. I was excited to get the ST1000 for the bargain price. Now, is it still worth the $300?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the frame/fork the same with the only difference being the components? So, if the user upgraded the components to the components found on the 700 and 1000, then how does this bike actually differ? I know the wheels and crankset are different, but isn't everything else pretty much the same? I like the bar-end shifters, in fact.

The less important question is - why would someone have upgraded all the components and then barely ride the bike? Or, has it been repainted? Ah the questions never end!

-Collin-
The SR700 and the SR400 frame is identical. The SR1000 frame had canti brake bosses (huge plus for a touring bike)
These components could have been upgraded in 1990 and the bike would be sitting since.
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Old 02-23-10, 01:56 PM   #12
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No, the frames are not exactly the same and an upgraded ST400 is not equivalent to a T1000. There are no cantilever brake braze ons on the ST400. This lack of canti brakes makes it obvious that it is not an ST1000. And canti brakes are highly desirable on touring bikes.

I do not see the brakes from the 1000 on this bike. Same brand, sure, but the brakes have nothing else in common.

That is not a repaint. People upgrade bikes all the time, and then never ride them. Not logical, but fairly common.

+1 The ST400 came in black. That is clearly stated right on the spec page. Its an ST400.

No cantis depresses the value quite a bit. Still a nice bike, with some nice upgrades. Well worth the $300 price if it is ready to ride.

Funny ad in that the seller claims bike is all original. Bike has almost no original parts on it.... But Craigs List ads rarely are bastions of truth and information.

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Old 02-23-10, 03:15 PM   #13
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Well, I'll still go take a look at it then. I'm bringing $280 in my pocket because I had to eat lunch and don't feel like going back to the bank.

If it is in true mint shape, I think this is a fair deal for something that will give me many more years of use. As I don't have any definite plans of loading this thing up to the gills, I think the side-pull brake calipers will work fine for now. Going is much more important than stopping, right? :-D

Do you guys think the rims are stock? I didn't think they came in anodized black like that, but that's just a hunch with no reasoning.

-Collin-
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Old 02-23-10, 03:22 PM   #14
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No, those wheels are not original to the ST400.
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Old 02-23-10, 03:24 PM   #15
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wrk101 - that is pretty funny, isn't it.

It looks like all that's original is the frame, fork and stem. I'm not buying it because of its historical value, though.

Saw this that's about 5 minutes from my house - http://sfbay.craigslist.org/sby/bik/1613887895.html

I think that's a horse of another wheelbase though. Wonder if those are even considered "real" touring bikes. Looks like it has a triple up front, though.

-Collin-
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Old 02-23-10, 05:28 PM   #16
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Well, looks like you have two good choices. That Motobecane will not last long in the San Fran market.

And I am with you, it doesn't matter if the Cannondale is original, most of the changes were improvements to the bike. So if it is clean and ready to ride, its a good deal as well.

Depending on the age of that Motobecane, you could be stepping into the world of unique, french threading. That can be a pain, but not a deal breaker, particularly at that price.

I would go for the Motobecane if it fits because I really like lugged steel bikes. But I have had two Cannondale touring bikes, they were great, and I have two Cannondale road bikes right now.
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Old 02-23-10, 05:36 PM   #17
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Call me crazy or optimistic, but hear me out at least...

The seller mentioned that it was *VERY* hard to read the serial number. So, let's say he goofed one number and the bike is a 1989. If it is, the ST-600 came in black and the component spec matches this bike (aside from the bar-end shifters). What do you guys think? Maybe it's a 1989? Wait...I just figured it out...!

It was the 10th frame off the production line according to the serial and it was created 6/10/1988. That means there's no way it can be a 1988! What, they didn't start making them until mid-year? So maybe it was one of the first 1989 models, right??? I think this makes sense now. Here's the 1989 catalog - see page 23 - http://www.vintagecannondale.com/year/1989/1989.pdf

I think I've got it figured out. Someone care to correct me?

Serial number is 23062088010

Thanks!!!

-Collin-
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Old 02-23-10, 05:57 PM   #18
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You could be right. It could be a 1989. But it has no bearing on value either way. Bike has the components on it that it has. So either its a somewhat upgraded 1988, or a closer to stock 1989. Value is the same around here. Cantilever brakes is where the biggest jump in value comes in and it does not have cantis.

I sold two Cannondale touring bikes last year, one sold for $15 more than other, solely based on cosmetics (paint). Model level had zero impact on value, at least around here. In my case, the higher level model was the one I sold for the least. Neither had canti brakes which held the value down.

And the highest level Cannondale I picked up last year I ended up parting out. The components were great, but it had terrible paint.

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Old 02-23-10, 08:03 PM   #19
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The sidepull brakes will be fine for your intended use. Cantilevers do provide more stopping power when you have lots of weight, but plenty of people have toured with sidepulls, and they'll be fine for commuting/day trips.

As for the value, I think you're right. The bike will pay for itself. Think about it - you just spend $20 on lunch. If you paid the asking price, the bike costs only 15 lunches. Commuting by bike rather than foot will save you far more fuel than 15 lunches can provide! I think some of us, including myself, are irrationally cheap when it comes to the cost of a bicycle given it's cost/value ratio. Then again, I've got more bikes than I can use, so maybe it's not so irrational for me. But I digress. If it's in as good a condition as it appears, it's a good deal, especially in SF. Of course, you should always negotiate down, because you will inevitably be spending more to upgrade, even if the upgrades are minor (tires, saddle, pedals).

Good luck.
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Old 02-23-10, 08:20 PM   #20
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Call me crazy or optimistic, but hear me out at least...

The seller mentioned that it was *VERY* hard to read the serial number. So, let's say he goofed one number and the bike is a 1989. If it is, the ST-600 came in black and the component spec matches this bike (aside from the bar-end shifters). What do you guys think? Maybe it's a 1989? Wait...I just figured it out...!

It was the 10th frame off the production line according to the serial and it was created 6/10/1988. That means there's no way it can be a 1988! What, they didn't start making them until mid-year? So maybe it was one of the first 1989 models, right??? I think this makes sense now. Here's the 1989 catalog - see page 23 - http://www.vintagecannondale.com/year/1989/1989.pdf

I think I've got it figured out. Someone care to correct me?

Serial number is 23062088010

Thanks!!!

-Collin-
It might be kind of immaterial (but now I had more time to spend a look at the pictures of the bike) on the ad:

- the head badge (even though the pictures show just parts of it) looks like a 90+ headbadge
- the serial number with a 2 up front makes no sense (could be a 5; and those are hard to tell appart in black Cannondales; I know )
- where is the serial number? BB or left (non-drive) stay?

Again, all this does not matter, as long as the bike fits you
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Old 02-23-10, 08:31 PM   #21
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Serial number makes perfect sense, E...because Cannondale sized their touring bikes in inches (like the tires- 27 inch- get it?) instead of CM. So it's a 23 inch frmae made midway through the 88 model production. Could be an 88, could have been sold as an 89, either way it's a great bike. Hard to believe it's still available. Oh, wait...posting deleted.
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Old 02-23-10, 09:09 PM   #22
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since we are talking about old cannondales in here -- cannondale used to have racks for the canti dropout frames of the early 90s. did you need to have a touring model for these to work or would they go on, say, my 91 crit? been thinking about a small pannier...
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Old 02-23-10, 09:11 PM   #23
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Posting deleted - because I bought it. I walked away with it for $265 after I noticed a small chip in the paint that was touched up. A few of them, actually. Purely cosmetic, as I searched this bike high and low for any imperfections. Man, this thing is CLEAN. What a gorgeous, beautiful bike. The serial number was on the non-drive chain stay. I am going to take some glamor shots right now as soon as I get dinner on the stove :-)

This thing really surprises me. I've never ridden a touring bike, but I instantly fell in love with this. The sizing is absolutely spot on for me! As for the bike itself, the components are so clean that I could eat off of them. The seller is a bicycle mechanic at a small shop in SF, but I forget the name. He knew his stuff and was a really nice guy. I think this was a trade in and the bike shop is doing poorly, so the owner paid him in the form of this bike. I didn't question the story too much as I don't really care.

I was under the impression that a touring bike was just a longer road bike...oh my was I wrong. This thing is a tank! The chainstays and seatstays are literally twice the size of the ones on my CAAD9. They are massively beefy and I love it. It has all the mounts, aside from cantilever brakes. I think the brakes it has on it are junk, however. What are my options for upgraded sidepulls? Well that's a dumb question, there are a thousand choices.

The wheels are really, really nice. 36 spokes in the rear and they're much larger than my 700c x 23 wheels on my road bikes. I cannot WAIT to hop on this and ride it to work. I almost want to have a baby just so I can tow a trailer! I'll see how the girlfriend feels about that one.

Anyway, going to take some photos now. This thing is going to be best friends with my CAAD9 :-)

Thank you guys so much for the help. Anything else you want to know about this thing? Is the head badge really mismatched?

-Collin-
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Old 02-23-10, 09:20 PM   #24
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Serial number makes perfect sense, E...because Cannondale sized their touring bikes in inches (like the tires- 27 inch- get it?) instead of CM. So it's a 23 inch frmae made midway through the 88 model production. Could be an 88, could have been sold as an 89, either way it's a great bike. Hard to believe it's still available. Oh, wait...posting deleted.
with that slash headbadge? I do not see a little house there... so it is 90+ and those serial numbers were in CMs
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Old 02-23-10, 09:23 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Collin2424 View Post
Posting deleted - because I bought it. I walked away with it for $265 after I noticed a small chip in the paint that was touched up. A few of them, actually. Purely cosmetic, as I searched this bike high and low for any imperfections. Man, this thing is CLEAN. What a gorgeous, beautiful bike. The serial number was on the non-drive chain stay. I am going to take some glamor shots right now as soon as I get dinner on the stove :-)

This thing really surprises me. I've never ridden a touring bike, but I instantly fell in love with this. The sizing is absolutely spot on for me! As for the bike itself, the components are so clean that I could eat off of them. The seller is a bicycle mechanic at a small shop in SF, but I forget the name. He knew his stuff and was a really nice guy. I think this was a trade in and the bike shop is doing poorly, so the owner paid him in the form of this bike. I didn't question the story too much as I don't really care.

I was under the impression that a touring bike was just a longer road bike...oh my was I wrong. This thing is a tank! The chainstays and seatstays are literally twice the size of the ones on my CAAD9. They are massively beefy and I love it. It has all the mounts, aside from cantilever brakes. I think the brakes it has on it are junk, however. What are my options for upgraded sidepulls? Well that's a dumb question, there are a thousand choices.

The wheels are really, really nice. 36 spokes in the rear and they're much larger than my 700c x 23 wheels on my road bikes. I cannot WAIT to hop on this and ride it to work. I almost want to have a baby just so I can tow a trailer! I'll see how the girlfriend feels about that one.

Anyway, going to take some photos now. This thing is going to be best friends with my CAAD9 :-)

Thank you guys so much for the help. Anything else you want to know about this thing? Is the head badge really mismatched?

-Collin-
Congrats!

please take good pictures, indicate where the serial number is and what the serial number really is (and it can be hard with black on black) and a full frontal of the head badge. And then ride it and enjoy it
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