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  1. #1
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    '87 C'dale ST400, what should I do first

    I still have my very first real bike, an '87 ST400.
    The bike has been neglected by me but still rides fine. Most everything is original even the cables and housing. The only thing that isn't original are the saddle, pedals, handlebar tape, brake shoes and the Wheels, I switched over from 27" to 700c wheels after I was t-boned by a Harley and taco'ed my rear wheel.

    My question is what should I do to it first besides replace the cables. Everything still works ok, despite never being taken in for a tune.

    Is it worth the expense to upgrade the drivetrain or leave as is?

  2. #2
    Senior Member canopus's Avatar
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    Ride it first, upgrade it later.

    Whether or not "Its worth it" is a matter of opinion, however, I like mine.
    Last edited by canopus; 05-27-11 at 01:31 PM.
    1984 Cannondale ST
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  3. #3
    Senior Member knoregs's Avatar
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    I've got an '87 ST400 in the stand myself right now. The catalog shows two colors, white and 'banana'. I've got the 'banana' with red decals, 100% original. I plan to upgrade the drivetrain in the future but for now it'll remain mostly original. I did however order a new 7 speed Shimano freewheel to replace the shot 6 speed SunTour. I've got indexed 7 speed downtube shifters to go with the new freewheel. Also have new chain, cables/housing, bar wrap, tires, tubes, and brake pads ready to install also.

    I haven't ridden it yet but when I sat on it I smiled because the fit is near perfect. And with those long chain stays I think I'm going to like the way it rides. I already have plenty of 'race' bikes. So I'm thinking 'yeah', it'll be worth upgrading.

    ~kn
    "I'm a foreign diplomat. I don't pay for drinks. Do you think G. Gordon Liddy paid for his drinks while he was strangling people with piano wire for the good of our nation?" - Peter Griffin

  4. #4
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    I do ride it although mostly on the trainer when the weather stinks, but I'm thinking of using it for commuting to work. I have an R800 as my main bike, although that is only about 10 years newer than the '87

    Mine is white with the orange-ish lettering. I liked the Yellow Imron paint they used back then too, but they only had the white in my size. I really wanted the SR-400, but now I'm glad I ended up getting the ST-400 instead.

  5. #5
    Godbotherer dwellman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by superbleu View Post
    Everything still works ok, despite never being taken in for a tune. Is it worth the expense to upgrade the drivetrain or leave as is?
    I wish I had left mine alone. . . then again I was working on my second bent rear axle due to the freewheel setup. . . if bent axles become a problem you might could look at the rear wheel as first target. Verify that your rear spacing is 128mm or not. Mine is.
    "Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize"
    "So I do not run like someone who doesn't run toward the finish line. I do not fight like a boxer who hits nothing but air."
    "And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us."
    "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."

  6. #6
    Godbotherer dwellman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by knoregs View Post
    I did however order a new 7 speed Shimano freewheel to replace the shot 6 speed SunTour.
    Oh, yeah, I forgot I did that too a long time ago. SACHS 7 speed 12-21T. . . I've long since worn that out. So that along with the bent axle, I'm in three times the cost of the bike on a 100% SRAM Rival redeux.
    "Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize"
    "So I do not run like someone who doesn't run toward the finish line. I do not fight like a boxer who hits nothing but air."
    "And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us."
    "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."

  7. #7
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    I bought an old ST 400 at a fleamarket and it looks like the rear wheel is off center because it is closer to one chainstay near the crankbox. Is this normal for this frame? Sorry for a stupid question but I am quite perplexed by this frame. If it is straight I could use modern 130 mm rear wheels and I have an old Record Normal reach brakeset that allows me to use 700 cc wheels instead of the 27" set it was made for.

  8. #8
    Senior Member canopus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by plodderslusk View Post
    ....the rear wheel is off center because it is closer to one chainstay near the crankbox. Is this normal for this frame?
    No but sometimes the heat treatment did some funny things to the tubes. It is not critical, just align it between the chain stays and seat stays when you put the wheel in or, if your really anal, you can file the dropout, gently and carefully, with a round file using some dropout alignment tools to get it dialed in. Personally, I don't worry about it since I have to spread the frame anyway to put in 130mm hub.

    My ST is the bike I do my longer distances on. Very rarely does it do less than 60 miles on a ride.
    1984 Cannondale ST
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  9. #9
    Senior Member knoregs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwellman View Post
    Verify that your rear spacing is 128mm or not. Mine is.
    Lucky you... I read this in rccardr's thread and thought 'great, I can use some modern wheels'. Upon measuring I find mine at actually 125mm which seems to much to spread an aluminum frame to put my modern 130mm wheel in there.

    Quote Originally Posted by plodderslusk View Post
    I bought an old ST 400 at a fleamarket and it looks like the rear wheel is off center because it is closer to one chainstay near the crankbox. Is this normal for this frame?
    I don't know if it's normal but I've noticed that with mine also.

    ~kn
    "I'm a foreign diplomat. I don't pay for drinks. Do you think G. Gordon Liddy paid for his drinks while he was strangling people with piano wire for the good of our nation?" - Peter Griffin

  10. #10
    Senior Member knoregs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by canopus View Post
    I have to spread the frame anyway to put in 130mm hub.
    Is your ST frame rear spacing in the 125-126mm range? Or more near 128mm others have mentioned?

    ~kn
    "I'm a foreign diplomat. I don't pay for drinks. Do you think G. Gordon Liddy paid for his drinks while he was strangling people with piano wire for the good of our nation?" - Peter Griffin

  11. #11
    Senior Member auchencrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by superbleu View Post
    .....
    ... what should I do to it first ...

    Lube it up first.
    Do the bottom bracket, headset and hubs too (if they weren't recently done when you replaced the wheels)
    - Auchen

  12. #12
    Is a real super guy. Henry III's Avatar
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    I had one of those a few months ago. The downtube if I recall was pretty massive and rivaled a soda can. lol.

  13. #13
    Senior Member canopus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by knoregs View Post
    Is your ST frame rear spacing in the 125-126mm range? Or more near 128mm others have mentioned?

    ~kn
    127.5

    If yours is spaced at 125 I would check it for any bending and alignment. All of mine have been 127 to 127.5. I don't remember any new ones back then having small spacing issues either.
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  14. #14
    Godbotherer dwellman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Henry III View Post
    I had one of those a few months ago. The downtube if I recall was pretty massive and rivaled a soda can. lol.
    Hey: steel strength at titanium weight-- i's a beautiful thing.
    "Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize"
    "So I do not run like someone who doesn't run toward the finish line. I do not fight like a boxer who hits nothing but air."
    "And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us."
    "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."

  15. #15
    aka: Dr. Cannondale rccardr's Avatar
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    Even 125 is OK to take a 130 axle. Could be one of the dropouts is a little bent. No worries.

    Anybody who wants replacement Suntour freewheels, Cyclone RD's or Accushift downtube shifters for these bikes, let me know. I have a bunch of them, yours for the cost of postage.
    Hard at work in the Secret Underground Laboratory...

  16. #16
    Senior Member knoregs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rccardr View Post
    Even 125 is OK to take a 130 axle. Could be one of the dropouts is a little bent. No worries.
    It's good to know that spreading the 125 to 130 hasn't been a problem. I think that'll be the direction I go on my ST400.


    Quote Originally Posted by rccardr View Post
    Anybody who wants replacement Suntour freewheels, Cyclone RD's or Accushift downtube shifters for these bikes, let me know. I have a bunch of them, yours for the cost of postage.
    Could've uses a freewheel a week or so ago but I ended up buying a 'Mega Range' Shimano Hyperglide freewheel in 7 speed to replace the original 6 speed. I've got my fingers crossed that the RD will handle the 34T low gear on it.

    On a side note... Anybody with one of these late 80's ST400 frames find them a bit odd. I mean the frame is all decked out 'touring' ready with double eyelets front and back, lowrider mounts on the fork, long chainstays. But yet it's outfitted with a double crank with 52/42 rings. And I'm looking at the clearance after mounting only 25mm tires on the stock 27" rims thinking fenders would be a SQUEEZE, if they fit at all.

    ~kn
    "I'm a foreign diplomat. I don't pay for drinks. Do you think G. Gordon Liddy paid for his drinks while he was strangling people with piano wire for the good of our nation?" - Peter Griffin

  17. #17
    aka: Dr. Cannondale rccardr's Avatar
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    ST = sport/touring. Not intended for fat tires or fenders, more like relaxed geometry for credit card touring. If you go to 700's you canusually mount something a little thicker.

    The higher end 600 and up ST's had triple rings, but so did many of the 400's even though they were not in the catalog. I've picked up two in the past six months that had SR Apex half step + grannies.
    Hard at work in the Secret Underground Laboratory...

  18. #18
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    +1 New bearings and grease. You risk destroying bb cups and hubs if you ride it as is. Assume those haven't been serviced in 25 years.

  19. #19
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
    +1 New bearings and grease. You risk destroying bb cups and hubs if you ride it as is. Assume those haven't been serviced in 25 years.
    Don't forget the headset.

    It doesn't take long to service a bike, if the special tools are handy. A LBS can service a bottom bracket and freewheel and shouldn't be too expensive.

    Brad

  20. #20
    Senior Member canopus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rccardr View Post
    ST = sport/touring. Not intended for fat tires or fenders, more like relaxed geometry for credit card touring. If you go to 700's you canusually mount something a little thicker.
    A set of 700x32 and some 45mm fenders is the max you stuff under them. And you aren't taking that through any mud since the clearances are in the 2mm range.
    1984 Cannondale ST
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  21. #21
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    Any suggestions on what currently available brakes might work with this frame and 700c wheels? The current/original brakes no longer stay centered and pull to one size when actuated.

  22. #22
    RFC
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    Quote Originally Posted by knoregs View Post
    Lucky you... I read this in rccardr's thread and thought 'great, I can use some modern wheels'. Upon measuring I find mine at actually 125mm which seems to much to spread an aluminum frame to put my modern 130mm wheel in there.



    I don't know if it's normal but I've noticed that with mine also.

    ~kn
    Actually, I have 130's on a 126. It really is no big deal and many on the forum have done it.

  23. #23
    Senior Member badger_biker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Henry III View Post
    I had one of those a few months ago. The downtube if I recall was pretty massive and rivaled a soda can. lol.
    Henry - it didn't happen to be a blue T400 did it? I noticed your location and my son bought a T400 a few weeks ago in Neenah. I'm doing a few tweaks on it for him and I had to chuckle at your comment because I thought the downtube was huge too. I never knew they were that oversized.
    1975 Motobecane Le Champion
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  24. #24
    Is a real super guy. Henry III's Avatar
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    Hahaha that'd be the one! Your son works out at Gulfstream right? Small world!

  25. #25
    Senior Member badger_biker's Avatar
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    Yeah that's him. I rode it a little but the plastic on the cable housing in front of the RD kind of shattered so the indexing was off. I replace that and am waiting for a new cartridge BB. The spindle was fairly pitted and the cups had a little to so I decided to replace the whole thing. I'm anxious to give it another spin and see how stiff that huge frame is. It should make a sweet tourer for him.
    1975 Motobecane Le Champion
    1984 Bridgestone 400 -- 1985 Specialized Expedition 1986 Cannondale ST400 and Nishiki Cascade -- 1987 Trek Elance 400T and Schwinn Voyageur
    1990 Cannondale ST400 -- 1994 Univega Via Carisma

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