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Old 06-24-14, 07:15 PM   #1
Stradguy93
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Cannondale Black Lightning derailleur

I bought a 1988 Cannondale Black Lightning a while back and love it. It came with Shimano 600 Tri Color shifters and derailleurs as well as Campy rims and 600 tri color hubs. I am wanting to bring it back to original minus the wheels so I have been hunting for original components. Last week I bought and installed a rear derailleur sight unseen that was supposed to have come off of a 1988 Black Lightning, however upon inspection I noticed it is a Suntour Superbe Pro derailleur and not a Sprint. Am I mistaken or did 88 Black Lightnings come with Superbe Pro derailleurs?
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Old 06-24-14, 08:16 PM   #2
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When one bought the Black Lightning from dealers just as a frameset, It did come with Suntour Superbe Pro front and rear derailleurs, but the RD had derailleur arms that were anodized gold to match the Black Lightning decals on the frame. The FD had also had gold anodized touches, IIRC. That's what was on my brother's Black lightning when he bought it from a Trek Dealer in Milwaukee......
I think Trek included the higher spec, special Superbe Pro derailleurs (Compared to the ones that came standard on the whole bikes) to enhance the frameset so they would sell more of it.
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Old 06-24-14, 09:12 PM   #3
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Mine has a black Sprint with a gold bar under the logo.



Don't forget that a '88 bike could easily be on its third derailleur by the time somebody takes one off of it.

The '88 catalog shows a Sprint with a gold parallel


while the '87 shows one like mine


But, you go to VintageCannondale and check out the '88 BLs, and those that still have what could be the original parts seem to have the gold bar AND a mostly chrome FD.
Go HERE
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Old 06-25-14, 07:31 AM   #4
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My front derailleur is long gone, thinking about just putting a Superbe on it and calling that correct for now. Is this rear derailleur supposed to have a barrel adjuster for the cable? Also, is there a secret warehouse somewhere with all the DID gold chains in it?

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Old 06-25-14, 10:49 AM   #5
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Finding OEM parts for the Black Lightning's are like looking for hens teeth. The 1990 Black Lightning I purchased last year was taken care of and not ridden to death, hence all original components except for tires. Bike rides great!
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Old 06-25-14, 11:27 AM   #6
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I love mine, the Darth Vader look is gorgeous. They don't make bike frames with beautiful welds like this anymore. Almost reminds me of a Klein.
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Old 06-25-14, 03:12 PM   #7
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Finding OEM parts for the Black Lightning's are like looking for hens teeth. The 1990 Black Lightning I purchased last year was taken care of and not ridden to death, hence all original components except for tires. Bike rides great!
The Imron paint on the Black Lightning (at least the earliest ones) was not very resistant to chipping, so any kind of "normal/regular" use might really be hard on the paint.
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Old 06-25-14, 08:46 PM   #8
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I have a little bottle of Toyota Black Mica paint that matches perfectly for small chips. Personally think it's pointless to have a bike for any other purpose than putting the miles on it.
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Old 06-26-14, 06:54 AM   #9
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The Imron paint on the Black Lightning (at least the earliest ones) was not very resistant to chipping, so any kind of "normal/regular" use might really be hard on the paint.

The bike has just a few tiny chips. (Incredible, considering the bike was purchased in California new, ridden, and when the owner moved to Long Island brought it with him). Maybe the paint was improved as the years wore on. I have a white 1989 Criterium that I purchased from a local seller a few years ago. He was a real clean freak with his bikes, and treated them with love. To this day, there isn't a chip on it.
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Old 07-12-14, 09:38 PM   #10
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StradGuy...funny, I just picked up a Black Lightning on Craigslist about a week ago - ironically, just a bit of distance south of you (going to throw a post up about it somewhere if the forums can handle another BL love fest). While it has a number of components swapped out, the owner handed me a box with original parts in it. Has an RD in there and other goodness, most of which looks to have never been used or was very well maintained. The frame looks like it came out of a time capsule. Super happy. Anyway, I'll have to go back and dig through that box of parts....hmmm...
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Old 07-13-14, 04:29 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Stradguy93 View Post
My front derailleur is long gone, thinking about just putting a Superbe on it and calling that correct for now. Is this rear derailleur supposed to have a barrel adjuster for the cable? Also, is there a secret warehouse somewhere with all the DID gold chains in it?

That model Suprebee does not have an adjuster and is not index compatible. You might try an inline adjuster where the cable housing meets the frame but I don't know if that will give the desired results.
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Old 07-21-14, 06:37 PM   #12
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Bought the grupo from a guy who was parting out his Black Lightening and put it on my 11.8.





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