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  1. #1
    perpetually frazzled mickey85's Avatar
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    Cannondale Black Lightning

    Hi guys - I have a friend who's cleaning out a storage shed, and has happened upon a Cannondale Black Lightning. Here's a picture of it:



    Q said it's got Sugino cranks, so I'm guessing early 90's? The late '80's ones seem to be Suntour equipped...

    Anyway, He said I can have it (as in, for free). I'm going to pick it up next Saturday.

    So, WTH is this thing? All I see is that it's fairly low-end (as cannondales go)...
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  2. #2
    Rustbelt Rider mkeller234's Avatar
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    I don't think it's low end at all. It has a Cinelli saddle for starters... I thought the RD was a Black and gold Superbe Pro? Maybe I am wrong, but it looks opposite of low end to me.
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    Senior Member randyjawa's Avatar
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    The Cannondale Black Lightening might not be top of the line but it does have collectible value, in my opinion. In fact, I have been keeping my eye open for just such a bike.

    Consider yourself lucky to get the bike. Even if you don't like it or if it doesn't fit, it is great trading material.

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    )) <> (( illwafer's Avatar
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    far from low end.

    i'm not a fan of aluminum and thereby cannondale, but this is the bike that many C&V members make an exception.

  5. #5
    perpetually frazzled mickey85's Avatar
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    Thanks guys! About what frame size does it look like? (realizing that it's looking down on the bike in the photo)...f it's 22ish inches, it'll probably be a keeper.
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    Senior Member RobbieTunes's Avatar
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    Does look like a 56cm. Which is my size. Which I'd trade the one below for...

    I need to post pics of the one I found for sale. I've remeasured it. It's 58cm from c-bb to top of top tube. Because the seat tube goes up higher, the owner considers it a 60cm. I consider it a 58cm, because that's where the standover would come into play and that's where the boys could be hurt on a drop-over. It's 56cm c-c on the top tube. Full Dura Ace 2x6 indexed, including seat post. Stem is Profile H20 and bars are the over/under double. Wheels are the Dura Ace hubs laced to Velocity DeepV. He used it for criteriums....

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  7. #7
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    mickey85, It's an '88 or older pre 3.0 frame. Look along the bottom of the LHS chainstay. First 2 digits are the size, next six is the manufacture date and the remaining digits are the sequence number.

    The BL commands a premium, more so when original.

    Brad

  8. #8
    perpetually frazzled mickey85's Avatar
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    The 58cm would be more my size, but I'd like to give this one a spin before committing to anything. At 6' tall, the 56 is going to be a bit smallish for me, but then again, I like my frames on the big side anyway.
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    Master of the low end garbajj!

  9. #9
    Senior Member 3373jones's Avatar
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    here is one for sale:
    http://orangecounty.craigslist.org/bik/1936338352.html
    seems a quite bit high of an asking price ($1000)....

  10. #10
    Bianchi Goddess Bianchigirll's Avatar
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    IIRC threr were twodifferent years for those, the older one of course being the better one. if it has edge or blaze it is the newer one. neither were bad bikes but I would perfer the older one. the size is part of the serial number but I forget which two numbers it is.

    PS looking at this one and my '90 Cdale catalog I think yours is the older of the two as it does not have the cantilevered dropouts. I think the older ones were Sprint equipped.

    PSS the '90 model is listed as the SR500 model with "Exclusive Black lightning" features. so other than the black finish it really is nothing special
    Last edited by Bianchigirll; 09-04-10 at 02:33 PM.
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  11. #11
    RFC
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    The responders have missed something important. Yes, this is a late 80's Lightning. More importantly, it has the custom black components. It doesn't mean much to say where in the line this bike fits. They all had the same frame with components distinguishing the models. I'd jump on it in a second.

  12. #12
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    Something for the Cannondale collectors concerned with originality... my '89 CR300 is a Feb. build and has a carryover '88 steel front fork, the bike in the CL ad above is a July build and has the aluminum fork.

    The '89 catalogue states that the aluminum fork was introduced this year, either appear 'correct', depending on manufacture date. It'd be interesting to narrow the time frame a bit.

    Brad

  13. #13
    Senior Member Chombi's Avatar
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    I think the Black lightning was above mid level models for from Canonndale at that time. it was certainly marketed as something more special than their other bikes.
    I would consider it as a "special".

    Chombi

  14. #14
    Bianchi Goddess Bianchigirll's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chombi View Post
    I think the Black lightning was above mid level models for from Canonndale at that time. it was certainly marketed as something more special than their other bikes.
    I would consider it as a "special".

    Chombi
    I am not so sure. while the first one may have been a cut above, this one (again assuming it is a '90 and therefore the 2nd BL) may not be that special other than the components being black. going by the '90 catalog there were 7 road bikes, 3 of which were "Criterium" series frames

    in the road series there were 4 bike SR 300, 500, 900, 2000 and the "Crit" bikes were SR 400, 600, 800. in a line up like this I would consider the 500 with Edge a lower end bike.

    the 300 is Blaze and the 400 RX100

    I discovered something interesting. I had always thought ( and IIRC was told by the rep) the "Crit" frames had a higher BB and shorter wheelbase. however according to the catalog the BB height is the same and the Crit bikes seem to have a tad longer wheelbase, but a steepr HT and less trail
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  15. #15
    i'll probably break it 91MF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobbieTunes View Post
    I need to post pics of the one I found for sale. I've remeasured it. It's 58cm from c-bb to top of top tube. Because the seat tube goes up higher, the owner considers it a 60cm. I consider it a 58cm, because that's where the standover would come into play and that's where the boys could be hurt on a drop-over. It's 56cm c-c on the top tube.
    my 1990 SR600 crit is also 'a 60' but the exact measurements you state above. i never understood their logic to this. also kinda funny you mentioned i've laced velocity dvs to my 105sc hubs. heavy like MTB but perfect for my rough commute - i've gone 2 years without so much as a wobble.

    @the OP - as already stated, the black lightning while not top of the range, is desirable from an aesthetics standpoint. hence the need for it to really be in fantastic condition for the value to remain higher. meh, its just a bike, if it fits you ride the hell out of it.
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  16. #16
    i'll probably break it 91MF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
    assuming it is a '90
    its older, like an 87 or 88. 1990 had cantilevered rear dropouts.

    and that business about the wheelbases/bb height being the same is not true. the catalog is wrong, rep was right.
    i had an 1991 SR600 road as well as the crit and there was about a cm more bb height and the head tube angle was a degree steeper and the top tube was a cm shorter. wheelbase was drastically reduced on the crit.

    for reference:
    the crit[dont cry about the setup folks, the 1x7/13-21 suits my commute]

    and the road when i first picked it up while on vaca[i put some mks with clips/straps i packed and bought that ripoff regal to replace the cardboard mongoose that was on it]


    also, i'll mention the cokecan downtube of the crit makes for a much stiffer ride. much much stiffer. i often wonder why i have chosen to commute on this bike.
    Last edited by 91MF; 09-04-10 at 04:23 PM.
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  17. #17
    Bike Junkie roccobike's Avatar
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    The first Black Lightnings are the most desirable, and that's the one the OP is getting for free. Take good care of it, as that is a desirable bike. While the 1990 is the least desirable, it still brings the $$$ because it's a really cool looking bike. Pics are of my 1990 Black Lightning as I picked it up.

    Last edited by roccobike; 09-04-10 at 04:29 PM.
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  18. #18
    RFC
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    Here you go, 1988 Blueberry with original 105 components:


  19. #19
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    91MF, The cantilever rear debuted on the 3.0 frame, which appeared in 1989. With the steel fork it made sense to have a crit model with it's straight diameter downtube (stiffened the HT shell) and steeper head tube. The aluminum fork has a little less kick out which made a SR frame as nearly quick turning as the steel fork CR frame and the aluminum fork reportedly made a CR frame a bit twitchy at first, I can't say I noticed any difference. The CR was dropped around '92 because it simply wasn't needed.

    BGirl, As far as I was aware the SR and the CR had the same BB height, the ST had a lower BB. There is also a CR300, which was sold as a frameset, this is what my '89 is. CR wheelbase is a bit shorter simply because of the steeper head tube, but the difference is slight. I wasn't aware that a BL could be had as a CR, but seems they could be... comparing the pics in post 1 and 17.

    Brad
    Last edited by bradtx; 09-04-10 at 06:40 PM. Reason: bass akwards

  20. #20
    Bianchi Goddess Bianchigirll's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 91MF View Post
    its older, like an 87 or 88. 1990 had cantilevered rear dropouts..
    how did I botch that up. I knew it was the older one but for some reason screwed up my response. I must have been looking at the CL bike Jones posted a link to.

    the OPs is clearly the nicer of the two BLs
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    Others but still loved,; '80 RIGI, '80 Batavus Professional, '87 Cornelo, '86 Bertoni (sold), '09 Motobecane SS, '98 Hetchins M.O., '09 K2 Mainframe SOLD, '89 Trek 2000, '?? Jane Doe (still on the drawing board), '90ish Haro Escape

  21. #21
    i'll probably break it 91MF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bradtx View Post
    91MF, The shortened seat stays debuted on the 3.0 frame, which appeared in 1989. With the steel fork it made sense to have a crit model with it's straight diameter downtube (stiffened the HT shell) and steeper head tube. The aluminum fork has a little less kick out which made a SR frame as nearly quick turning as the steel fork CR frame and the aluminum fork reportedly made a CR frame a bit twitchy at first, I can't say I noticed any difference. The CR was dropped around '92 because it simply wasn't needed.
    i never said the 89 didnt have the canti'd dropouts... i said the 90 did. i made the comment that the bike was most likely a 87 or 88... so i really dont know what you are getting at. also, if you mean rake when you say 'kick out' then no, the steel and alu forks had the same rake, regardless of which bike they were on - crit or road. wheel base ends up shorter due to a slightly shorter top tube and steeper headtube angle on the crits.
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  22. #22
    i'll probably break it 91MF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
    how did I botch that up. I knew it was the older one but for some reason screwed up my response. I must have been looking at the CL bike Jones posted a link to.

    the OPs is clearly the nicer of the two BLs

    yea i figured. honest mistake and not really anything that matters in the grand scheme, we arent talking about italian bikes here...

    FTR i prefer the canti'd dropouts[for aesthetics really] AND the crit geo. they are extremely responsive, like track bikes, only without hipster street cred.
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  23. #23
    i'll probably break it 91MF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RFC View Post
    Here you go, 1988 Blueberry with original 105 components:

    also, i've told you this back when you originally posted this badboy but i love this bike. [please throw away that saddle and put something pretty on there - white perf turbo? -, that looks like an ironing board /2c]
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  24. #24
    perpetually frazzled mickey85's Avatar
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    Well, I picked it up today. A bit small, at 22" (center of BB to top of top tube), but it seems to fit well for an aggressive bike. Serial number (right seat stay) is 56012888142. Derailers are Suntour Spirit 1000's front and back (shiny front, black rear). Cinelli saddle, Wolber grey anodized rims, Panaracer 700X25 gumwalls (sure don't seem 25c...), Sugino AP130 cranks, Dia Compe CXIII black calipers, Aero Compe brake levers, aSuntour ratcheting (rear), microshift (front) shifters, and Nitto Mod55 bars. It's really pretty - a few scratches on the downtube and chainstays, but other than that, it's pristine. It's so nice that even the anodizing on the braking surfaces isn't completely worn off yet.

    The rear wheel needs trued, the tires could use replaced (but are solid and supple as-is), and the tape at the bar ends is tearing, but other than that, it's completely perfect as-is. Think I'll pull apart the BB tonight, then take it for a ride on Monday - we'll see what it does. Never had an aluminum bike before...according to the digital bathroom scale, it's 19.6 lbs...lightest bike I've got otherwise is my 23 lb Modulus...never thought that 3.5 lbs is that noticeable, but just on a pick-up test, it certainly is.
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  25. #25
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    "i never said the 89 didnt have the canti'd dropouts... i said the 90 did. i made the comment that the bike was most likely a 87 or 88... so i really dont know what you are getting at. also, if you mean rake when you say 'kick out' then no, the steel and alu forks had the same rake, regardless of which bike they were on - crit or road. wheel base ends up shorter due to a slightly shorter top tube and steeper headtube angle on the crits." --99MF

    I just added that the '89 model, which you skipped, debuted the cantilever rear triangle, nothing more. Rake is different from kick out, though both have an effect on trail. The fork's kickout, also called front wheel offset is the amount of the forward bend built into the fork and the term is limited only to the fork, the rake is built into the frame. The steel fork has a bit more kickout than the aluminum, which fractionally increases the trail. While my CR and a couple of other local ones have TT lengths longer than the frame size spec, these things were hand built and there's bound to be some differences between two frames of the same frame size.

    Brad

    PS mickey85, Once you get it sorted I think you'll like it. Tire size varies by manufacturer. My Contis are a fair amount larger 23C than my 23C Vredesteins. Most prominent initial impression will probably be how quickly it turns.
    Last edited by bradtx; 09-04-10 at 07:55 PM.

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