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  1. #1
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    1988 Cannondale Black Lightning

    Got my first Craigslist "good deal" and thought I'd share these pics with the forum for posterity (there seems to be a cult following for these old cannondales)

    Pictured below is a Cannondale Black Lightning - Serial Number 54020988109.

    Judging from the serial number, the bike is a 1988 production 54cm aluminum frame with chromoly fork. The decals more closely match the Black Lightning pictured in Cannondale's 1987 catalog (linked below for reference).

    http://66.147.244.179/%7evintagm8/year/1988/1988.pdf
    http://66.147.244.179/%7evintagm8/year/1987/1987.pdf

    I took it for a spin last night and WOW, what a fast, stiff, and solid bike. Makes my 2010 CADD9 seem delicate in comparison.

    The gearing on this thing needs to change ASAP... the freewheel and crank combo on this is not for the hills of western PA. Will a Shimano 7 speed freewheel work with the indexed Suntour Sprint rear derailleur and downtube shifters?

    anyways, on to the pics. These are "as is"... i just wiped off the dust. Plans are to replace the freewheel, shift and brake cables / housing, new bar tape and to have it for my wife to ride.




















  2. #2
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    I can only post 10 pics at a time...




















  3. #3
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    5 more...










  4. #4
    Senior Member The Thin Man's Avatar
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    Nothing much to comment except what a gorgeous Black Lightening that is. Nice work! Please don't forget to show us pictures when she's sparkling clean and a possible drive train upgrade.

  5. #5
    WNG
    WNG is offline
    Spin Forest! Spin! WNG's Avatar
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    Ummm, your wife is being handed a black air-air missile. She's never going to hand it back to you.

    Congrats on your acquisition. A great find.
    “You meet the nicest people on two wheels!"
    "Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow." ~Albert Einstein

  6. #6
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    Many members have reported success using SIS freewheels with AccuShift. However, my experience is contrary. I find that you can get good performance over about 4 cogs, then things start to unacceptable. Maybe I'm just too particular about my shifting.

    Of course, you can always switch it to friction mode but you're still going to have a problem. The Sprint is a relatively narrow range derailleur, with a wrap and maximum cog size of 26T. By the looks of it, you're not going to able to lower the gearing much more, maybe 4-6T, and even then it appears that you may have to split that between the freewheel and chainrings.

  7. #7
    Senior Member auchencrow's Avatar
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    That is a beautifully preserved example, and (as you already know too) a fabulous bike to ride. Congrats rosswog!
    - Auchen

  8. #8
    Freewheel Medic pastorbobnlnh's Avatar
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    If only we could find an all black or mostly black long cage RD. Not many options out there that look anywhere as cool as the all black Sprint RD.
    Bob
    Dreaming of Summertime in NH!

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  9. #9
    aka: Dr. Cannondale rccardr's Avatar
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    Wow. Super nice condition! When I get back from vacation I'll check to see if I have any more wide range Suntour FW's in the box. I've had good lucvk with 7 speed Accushift and SIS FW's but not the 6 speed stuff.
    Hard at work in the Secret Underground Laboratory...

  10. #10
    Senior Member ultimattfrisbee's Avatar
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    Very jealous, my friend. That's a great looking bike. Where are you in Western PA? I'm in Pittsburgh. Must've missed this one on CL (not that I'd have bought it. My wife is still trying to figure out why I need TWO bikes, let alone another. Have fun!
    2009 Jamis Aurora
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  11. #11
    FBoD Member at Large khatfull's Avatar
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    Beautiful, although I get to look at a nice one too whenever I want



    But with the addition of my new Klein this will probably go in the spring after I can get a few rides in on it.

  12. #12
    Senior Member AZORCH's Avatar
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    Nothing to add that isn't already posted above, but you made a great score. I've owned a couple of C-dales over the years, but never a BL. They are far and away the sharpest looking of any the company designed. I can only go by their reputation, but based on that I feel very confident in saying your wife probably needs to keep you around now! Nice!
    The Early Morning Cyclist: marksbikes.wordpress.com
    Life's too dang short to ride ugly bikes.

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