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  1. #1
    Senior Member supafast213's Avatar
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    1987 Cannondale Black Lightning (w/ PICS)

    Hi folks. I just wanted to get your thoughts on my newest acquisition, my 1987 Black Lightning. I picked this up off of craigslist from the original owner. The plan is to modernize it a bit. It took a spill and the guy put on a 105 RD. I think I will expand the group slowly. The crankset is shot.









    oh yeah... I found these at home while I was visiting for the holidays


    I've decided to post pics of the finished project for those of you who don't want to skim 4 pages of build thread. (If you want to see the agony, keep reading)...
    Last edited by supafast213; 08-04-12 at 05:44 PM.

  2. #2
    Señor Member 4Rings6Stars's Avatar
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    Nice rig. If you modernize it, keep the original parts on hand since people like to keep these babies original in their all black coolness. Also, if it's too small for you I will happily take it off your hands as it appears to be my size...

    Oh and I bet you'll be getting a PM shortly from a prolific C&V'er offering to buy your saddle
    Independent Fabrication Planet X-DeSalvo Monstercross Disc-Soma DC Disc-Wicked Fat Chance
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Kanegon's Avatar
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    Love the JP Lotus look. Why don't they make them like ths anymore?

  4. #4
    "Purgatory Central" Wino Ryder's Avatar
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    Love that bike. Did it come with a 7-speed cassette?
    ~ "I like the way the brake cables come out of the top of the levers and loop around to the brake calipers!...I like those downtube shifters too!...No no no, don't take 'em off, don't take 'em off,...leave 'em on, leave 'em on! - Thats right baby!!

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    Senior Member RobbieTunes's Avatar
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    You can keep it pretty close to the OEM look with black 105 stuff.
    I've been able to buy black 105 modern stuff (9s and 10s) for decent prices out of Taiwan.
    I still have a couple of the bits.
    Robbie ♪♫♪...☻
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  6. #6
    Still spinnin'..... Stealthammer's Avatar
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    That was my first and only Cannondale, bought as a used frameset in 2002 and built it up with mostly 105 parts. Beautiful lightweight and stiff bike with great handling. Sold me on aluminum road bikes and I have been riding one ever since......
    Just your average 'high-functioning' lunatic, capable of passing as 'normal' for short periods of time.....

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  7. #7
    Senior Member Kanegon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stealthammer View Post
    That was my first and only Cannondale, bought as a used frameset in 2002 and built it up with mostly 105 parts. Beautiful lightweight and stiff bike with great handling. Sold me on aluminum road bikes and I have been riding one ever since......
    That's quite the coincidence. Did the OP know you were on BF? I mean, how often does that happen?

  8. #8
    Senior Member AZORCH's Avatar
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    I've always thought the Black Lightning was the best looking bike Cannondale released.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member BigPolishJimmy's Avatar
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    Beautiful

  10. #10
    Senior Member OldsCOOL's Avatar
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    I love it. Nice find. The sinister factor is totally intact for a real head turner.

    Yepper, that's my next bike right there. I'll hopefully snag one somewhere between now and summer. Ride that thing and let me/us know what you think of it.
    Having a flat tire as part of the total cycling experience is highly overrated. Knowing how to fix one quickly is not.

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  11. #11
    Senior Member supafast213's Avatar
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    The bike came with a seven speed freewheel and a different set of wheels. It is "borrowing" a set of wheels off my other bike as the stock set had crap tires and some wobble. I have it tuned to a six speed freewheel at this time.
    Unfortunately, I had to leave town for a few days right after I picked it up, so I was only able to test the shifting. I'm excited about this thing because it's my first real performance based platform.
    Moving forward, I am wondering about wheel compatability. The plan is to use a modern cassette hubbed wheelset. Do I need to worry about chainstay widths?

  12. #12
    Senior Member Homebrew01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by supafast213 View Post
    The bike came with a seven speed freewheel and a different set of wheels. It is "borrowing" a set of wheels off my other bike as the stock set had crap tires and some wobble. I have it tuned to a six speed freewheel at this time.
    Unfortunately, I had to leave town for a few days right after I picked it up, so I was only able to test the shifting. I'm excited about this thing because it's my first real performance based platform.
    Moving forward, I am wondering about wheel compatability. The plan is to use a modern cassette hubbed wheelset. Do I need to worry about chainstay widths?
    You can jam a 130mm rear wheel in and run modern components. Many of us have done it with old Cannondales. You can't "cold set" it though.

    What's shot about the crankset ?
    Bikes: Old steel race bikes, old Cannondale race bikes, less old Cannondale race bike, crappy old mtn bike

  13. #13
    Senior Member supafast213's Avatar
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    I guess "shot" is overstated. The chainring teeth are heavily worn.

  14. #14
    Senior Member OldsCOOL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by supafast213 View Post
    I guess "shot" is overstated. The chainring teeth are heavily worn.
    You must have one that's been ridden like it was meant to but not quite the maintenance it required.

    Have you inspected the frame for cracks?
    Having a flat tire as part of the total cycling experience is highly overrated. Knowing how to fix one quickly is not.

    '85 Trek 460 road racer

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    '79 Motobecane Super Mirage

  15. #15
    Senior Member supafast213's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldsCOOL View Post
    You must have one that's been ridden like it was meant to but not quite the maintenance it required.

    Have you inspected the frame for cracks?
    I checked it out while I was wiping it down, nothing so far. Where do the cracks form on these frames?

  16. #16
    Senior Member OldsCOOL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by supafast213 View Post
    I checked it out while I was wiping it down, nothing so far. Where do the cracks form on these frames?
    I'm new to C-Dales but my son has an aluminum framed BMX....I check the joints/welds/stays. Not sure where the C's would have a prob.
    Having a flat tire as part of the total cycling experience is highly overrated. Knowing how to fix one quickly is not.

    '85 Trek 460 road racer

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  17. #17
    Senior Member OldsCOOL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by supafast213 View Post
    I guess "shot" is overstated. The chainring teeth are heavily worn.
    Are there any chainrings out there that are black anodized? I have seen pics of the black lightnings with shiny alloy rings and cranksets and wondering if they wore the black off or scuffed them in wrecks so switched over to a more uniform look conventional chainring.
    Having a flat tire as part of the total cycling experience is highly overrated. Knowing how to fix one quickly is not.

    '85 Trek 460 road racer

    '89 Raleigh Technium PRE

    '79 Motobecane Super Mirage

  18. #18
    Senior Member supafast213's Avatar
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    Who knows? I'm gonna stay as close to the solid black theme as I can. Does anyone recognize the headset? Mine is pretty beat up. (pics added to first post)

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    Quote Originally Posted by RobbieTunes View Post
    You can keep it pretty close to the OEM look with black 105 stuff.
    I've been able to buy black 105 modern stuff (9s and 10s) for decent prices out of Taiwan.
    I still have a couple of the bits.
    Help me learn. If you could only get replacement in silver or natural or whatever, and powdercoat it? The wear areas would scrape down but the other surfaces would remain black, right?
    Last edited by davez26; 12-27-11 at 07:39 PM. Reason: clarification

  20. #20
    Senior Member RobbieTunes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davez26 View Post
    Help me learn. If you could only get replacement in silver or natural or whatever, and powdercoat it? The wear areas would scrape down but the other surfaces would remain black, right?
    I'll PM you.
    Robbie ♪♫♪...☻
    Perhaps you didn't really hear what you thought I said...

    1979 Centurion Semi Pro
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  21. #21
    RFC
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    Senior Member RFC's Avatar
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    Lawn Darts! Cool! When my mother passed, my sister threw my Lawn Darts away out of some sense of safety. I still want a set. One of the best products liability examples of all time.

  22. #22
    Senior Member OldsCOOL's Avatar
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    The chains were gold so it may be yours was replaced at some point? Or maybe it's me not seeing the chain clearly. Sorry I cant add any info on the headset.

    I assume you've found the vintage cannondale site? I'm looking at the picture and specs for the '87 there.

    http://66.147.244.179/~vintagm8/year/1987/1987.pdf

    Strange to see the significant weight increase between the '87 and the '89....I'm talking LB's. If that is accurate I'm wanting the '87 like yours.
    Having a flat tire as part of the total cycling experience is highly overrated. Knowing how to fix one quickly is not.

    '85 Trek 460 road racer

    '89 Raleigh Technium PRE

    '79 Motobecane Super Mirage

  23. #23
    FBoD Member at Large khatfull's Avatar
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    Looks awfully familiar.....hmmmm...



    I have the original RD, you have the original saddle, go figure.

    I found the yellow Cannondale bottle on eBay, I'd LOVE to find a second. My saddle is a Turbo special with gold rails, it fills in the for Volare SLX pretty well I think.

    Nice bike, I have to approve

  24. #24
    Iconoclast rat fink's Avatar
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    Hawt bike. I hope you get a lot of enjoyable miles out of it.
    "Winning is the best deodorant. Someone can look at your bike and say it stinks, but if you win with it, suddenly it's okay." - Jim Busby

  25. #25
    aka: Dr. Cannondale rccardr's Avatar
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    Whole hog, updated '87 BL. Didn't mind doing this since the original bits were all messed up. Went with a Tricolor 7 speed group.
    Frame was powder coated, new decals, the whole schmear:
    Hard at work in the Secret Underground Laboratory...

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