car guy, recovering
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Mount Vernon, NY
Bikes: Olympia Competizione & Special Piuma, Frejus track circa 1958, Dahon Helios, many others
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Cannondale Killer V with a British accent
Here's a new one for me: a vintage-esque mountain bike. I picked this up as a basket case from a local shop. Got it because it was fitted with hydraulic brakes, and I'd never tried them (on a bicycle, that is). The fork is the venerable Pace RC35, with urethane elastomers. As I discovered when I took it apart to see why it had collapsed, old urethane elastomers turn into horrid little crumbs when they age. I replaced that with two lengths of heavy-wall A/C hose. No damping effect to speak of, but the geometry is now correct. (I have the elastomers on order.) The brakes were a mess, but all the parts were there. After getting the thing together & mostly sorted out, I learned that this fork, true to its British heritage, is designed to be installed backwards: the caliper goes behind the crown. After trying it the other way, cursing its evil handling & wondering what they could possibly have been thinking by putting the drop-outs behind the steering axis like an old-fashioned TT bike, I read the literature that a thoughtful MB guy has on line and discovered my mistake. I also discovered that the headset is a lot smoother when the bearings are installed right side up, a fact which eluded the previous owner.
It is an awfully nice rider, though I have relatively little experience with mountain bikes to compare it to. The brakes, however, are more than nice. They are the most unbelievable brakes I've ever used on a bicycle in my life. Light touch, big power and, most important, fantastic modulation. Mountain bike brakes have always felt good to me compared to most road bikes, but the Maguras are in a class by themselves.
I want to use the bike in the wet, so I thought about buying fenders. Then it occurred to me that I had a pair of Bluemels that were uncommitted. I stuck them on a little while ago, and here is the goofy-looking result. I am probably going to have to reshape the front brake stiffener to miss the frame once the elastomers are installed and the fork can telescope.
So: a 20-year-old Cannondale with German brakes, Japanese drivetrain, English fork & fenders.
Any information about KVs, Pace forks and Magura rim brakes (why aren't they more popular?) would be appreciated!