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Old 04-11-11, 06:40 PM   #1
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Eats Frost Heaves for Dinner! Silk Road Headshok

Not exactly C&V at 15 years old, but I am thrilled with how my winter project turned out, a 1996 SR500 Cannondale. I won the frameset and then a NIB vintage '96 Shimano 105 full 8 speed groupset back in early January.

I have been intrigued in the Headshok system since 2003 when I bought the MTB version. I have wanted to try the road version for several years now, but I couldn't find one in my size.



Took it out on Saturday for a flat and smooth road shakedown ride. Mechanically it was perfect. Only a small adjustment to the saddle height.

Tonight, I put it through the paces on the frost heaved roads. Climbs, descents, sprints, grinds, anything I could toss its way. It eats the rough frost heaves* for its dinner!



*Frost heaves are northern New England's answer to winter speed bumps.



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Old 04-11-11, 06:46 PM   #2
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sweeeeet!
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Old 04-11-11, 07:02 PM   #3
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A beer can for each day of the week Bob?

It seems a bit counter intuitive. Soft front end, super stiff short rear triangle.
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Old 04-11-11, 07:02 PM   #4
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whoa! They let you ride that beast in New Hampster?

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Old 04-11-11, 07:07 PM   #5
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whoa! They let you ride that beast in New Hampster?

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A beer can for each day of the week Bob?

It seems a bit counter intuitive. Soft front end, super stiff short rear triangle.
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sweeeeet!
You guys just know how to bust my chops!

tugrul, it actually is a very smooth ride!

The 105 gear shifts exceptionally well. It is sweet!
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Old 04-11-11, 07:37 PM   #6
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Hmm. I bet it's pretty good for NY potholes, too.
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Old 04-11-11, 07:48 PM   #7
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Hmm. I bet it's pretty good for NY potholes, too.
It would drink them up and spit them out like bad beer.
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Old 04-11-11, 07:58 PM   #8
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Nice, but those rim decals make my eyes hurt. Do they come off easily?
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Old 04-11-11, 08:35 PM   #9
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Bob, Looks good, wheels included. I'm trying to dredge up an old memory, IIRC the Silk Road's design had something to do with the Paris-Roubaix race, which is famous for it's sections of cobblestone roads. Rock Shox built the Ruby fork for the same race. Seems neither were able to race the P-R per UCI regulations. Correction sincerely welcomed.

The SRs were never popular in my area.

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Old 04-12-11, 05:47 AM   #10
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Nice, but those rim decals make my eyes hurt. Do they come off easily?
Joel, I agree about the decals. The wheels were such a great deal from Nashbar over the winter, I couldn't resist. I didn't want to ruin the return if I didn't care for them. I'm going to ride it a few more times and then decide whether to peel the decals off or not. They will most likely go, because the wheels ride very well.

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Bob, Looks good, wheels included. I'm trying to dredge up an old memory, IIRC the Silk Road's design had something to do with the Paris-Roubaix race, which is famous for it's sections of cobblestone roads. Rock Shox built the Ruby fork for the same race. Seems neither were able to race the P-R per UCI regulations. Correction sincerely welcomed.

The SRs were never popular in my area.

Brad
I'm not an expert about the Headshoks. Most of what I've learned is in the PDF catalogs, which are on line at Vintage Cannondale.

The 1993 Catalog shows the MTB version of the Headshok, but the Silk Road Headshok does not seem to debut until 1995. That year the SR2000 and SR900 ran the Headshok. In 1996 there was the SR900 and SR500 (mine).

Apparently the Rock Shox was raced in P-R in '93 & '94.



Eventually, C-Dale did use them on the P-R, but I can't find out when. I'm not certain about the year of this Catalog page, but I'd guess 1999 or 2000.

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Old 04-12-11, 07:03 AM   #11
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That head shock thang looks a lot like the front suspension on my 1964 Moulton 4-speed!

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Old 04-12-11, 08:31 AM   #12
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Many years ago when I had my first Cannondale, there were a number of these frames for sale, NOS, at the local bike swap. I thought about it but decided to pass. My Cannondale was from the early 90's and had the aluminum fork, the ride on that thing was brutal. It had the 105 group which was excellent, a bit better than the 105 group that is on my Specialized Sequoia.
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Old 04-12-11, 08:58 AM   #13
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Bob goes Paris-Robaix on us

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Old 04-12-11, 09:24 AM   #14
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That head shock thang looks a lot like the front suspension on my 1964 Moulton 4-speed!
Rudi, I had noticed the same thing a few years back. It would be interesting to see how the Moulton shock is engineered and how similar or different the Headshok is from what is clearly an earlier example at the same thing.

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Many years ago when I had my first Cannondale, there were a number of these frames for sale, NOS, at the local bike swap. I thought about it but decided to pass. My Cannondale was from the early 90's and had the aluminum fork, the ride on that thing was brutal. It had the 105 group which was excellent, a bit better than the 105 group that is on my Specialized Sequoia.
Did it look like this R600 that I picked up for cheap back in October? I've not ridden it yet. It's rehab wasn't done until December. I doubt I'll keep it. But it is a beauty.



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Bob goes Paris-Robaix on us

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I certainly have the weight to keep the wheels on the cobbles! I sort of doubt I could ride it in the 6 or so hours the pros manage. My time would be more like 18 to 24!
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Old 04-12-11, 09:54 AM   #15
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Bob, WRT the R600... This is my all day distance bike, aluminum fork equipped. Tires really do make a difference on a stiff racing frame.



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Old 04-12-11, 11:32 AM   #16
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The SR500 is running 25mm Continental Gator Skins. The R600 has 23mm Vittorias. I ran a yellow pair of the same tire on my CAAD4, but stripped them off after the 3rd flat in four rides.
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Old 04-12-11, 11:41 AM   #17
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I think it is a great idea and looks great. There are a number of new city/commuter type bikes on the market with a front shock and 700 wheels.
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Old 04-12-11, 11:48 AM   #18
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I'm another one who gave up on stiff AL frames - one CAAD was all it took. I guess if the roads were smooth and you ran 28 tires it might be acceptable, but the frame wouldn't accept a 28 (and California - Santa Cruz - mountain roads weren't smooth). The Silk Road series interested me but never took the plunge.
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Old 04-12-11, 12:23 PM   #19
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I'm wondering if a person's weight has a great deal to do with the perceived stiffness of the frame. Since riding aluminum I've been 250+ and not found the stiffness to be an issue. The ride is very zippy and smooth.

I'm back down to 250 from 283 over the winter, and my goal is to be in the 210s by the end of this year. It will be interesting to see how my weight change affects the perception of the ride.
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Old 04-12-11, 06:00 PM   #20
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Today the SR500 took me on 32 miles of rough NH roads, including the 9 mile climb. Got a nice horn toot and a thumbs up from the driver in an F150 as I reached the top! The pond at the top is still frozen, snow is thick, but it was 45F when I got home. Wish I had not worn the shorts and short sleeves.



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Old 04-12-11, 06:09 PM   #21
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Very nice bikes, it still way too cold....look I see ice and snow on the ground.
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Old 04-12-11, 07:07 PM   #22
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Very nice bikes, it still way too cold....look I see ice and snow on the ground.
Mike, you would adjust! That actually is a pond, or alpine bog, at about 1600 ft above sea level. This is how it looks in July.

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Old 04-12-11, 07:10 PM   #23
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Mike, turn down your AC. You're freezing yourself in your mind

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Old 04-12-11, 07:35 PM   #24
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Well, it's warm here now but I think I'd still rather be further North.
Nice pics.
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Old 04-12-11, 08:01 PM   #25
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What mind? I lost it back in the 70's.....
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