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Old 05-16-05, 11:50 PM   #1
feefaloo
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Updating a Cannondale Delta V 1000

I ride a Cannondale Delta V 1000. I know it's a relic (12 years old), but I don't ride much, and I can't justify the expense of getting a new bike. However, it kinda sucks and I'm afraid for my safety.

So, I'm wondering if some one could help me with the following problems:

1. It only has 2" of suspension travel, front and rear.

2. The handling is way too quick (it's twitchy). This is partly due to the fact that it's a 19" frame,
and I am a tall, top heavy weightlifter (6' 1" tall and 176lbs). The only thing I know will help is
replacing the flexy wheels I have on it.

3. I don't know if the frame has any weak spots where it might break (it has a few thousand miles
on it).

Any help would be much appreciated.
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Old 05-17-05, 12:01 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by feefaloo
I ride a Cannondale Delta V 1000. I know it's a relic (12 years old), but I don't ride much, and I can't justify the expense of getting a new bike. However, it kinda sucks and I'm afraid for my safety.
Even not riding much you've probaly run that frame to it's limits as far as actuall service age
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Originally Posted by feefaloo

So, I'm wondering if some one could help me with the following problems:

1. It only has 2" of suspension travel, front and rear.
Upgrading to a new fork will throw the geometry of the bike WAY off. Plus with it being a Cannondale you have the Headshock issue. In the rear you're SOL
Quote:
Originally Posted by feefaloo

2. The handling is way too quick (it's twitchy). This is partly due to the fact that it's a 19" frame,
and I am a tall, top heavy weightlifter (6' 1" tall and 176lbs). The only thing I know will help is
replacing the flexy wheels I have on it.
Longer stem might help
Quote:
Originally Posted by feefaloo
3. I don't know if the frame has any weak spots where it might break (it has a few thousand miles
on it).
Have a shop check it out. Bear in mind that this bike IS 12 years old. I wouldn't be surprised if there was an issue
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Old 05-17-05, 08:44 PM   #3
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I forgot to mention that it has about two to three thousand miles on it. Also, it's never been in a bad wreak. Nothing is bent. There are no visible stress fractures.
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Old 05-18-05, 12:34 AM   #4
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I forgot to mention that it has about two to three thousand miles on it. Also, it's never been in a bad wreak. Nothing is bent. There are no visible stress fractures.
It's STILL 12 years old. You have no idea what's going on under the paint.
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Old 05-18-05, 02:28 PM   #5
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I'm not really sure how "flexy" wheels create a "twitchy" bike. Twitchy comes from geometry and handlebars really. A wider bar will help you stabilize the front end of the bike a bit more, especially climbing. If you have a big upper body maybe try like a 26" or 27" bar if you currently have something narrow, as was the style 12 years ago.

Just for reference, I'm also 6'1, but like 160, and ride a 19" frame in most applications. 19" should really be your size unless you have a rediculous inseam (mines just a hair above average at about 35").

As for Raiyn suggesting the longer stem, we rarely disagree, but I think I have to here. A longer stem in my experience typically contributes to faster handling whereas a short one makes the bike handle sluggishly. I may be way off, but thats my perception comparing my old Kona with a 105mm stem to my P.1 with a 10mm stem (same HT angle of 69.5 deg). My Stumpjumper has a 120mm stem with a 72 deg HT angle and handles like a razor. If someone can counter this with science, feel free, cause as I said its my perception and I know jack**** about scientifically what the extra length would actually do to leverage and stuff like that.
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Old 05-19-05, 10:49 PM   #6
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I'm embarassed to admit this, but I was riding down a residential street yesterday, and I noticed that the stem wasn't quite lined up with the front wheel. How could I have missed this? It was off only by about a degree or so, I guess that's my excuse. Also, most of the time I'm either riding at night in town, or out in the forest, dodging trees. This was one of the few times I was riding in bright sunlight, in a residential neighborhood. It was one of those "Aha!" moments. I immediately whipped out a hex wrench and lined it up as best as I could. Man, what a difference! I can now ride the bike down the street on a perfectly straight line. I must have had it on crooked for years.

Yep, twitchy really does come from the geometry! I'll be preaching that for the rest of my life.

But it was only slightly crooked! I wouldn't have thought it would make that much of a difference. There must be a lot of guys who are scratching their heads over that same problem.

Thanks for that stem tip seely. That is something I might try if it still isn't quite right. You asked about my inseam... it's about 34"... depending on which leg you measure. I'm one of those freaks who has to wear a really high lift in one shoe (over an inch!).
I can't hike anymore bacause of this; it would be nice if there were more wilderness trails open to bicycles.

The stress fracture question is something I am a bit worried about. I'm thinking next year I will get a new frame.

I'm still looking for some way to increase the suspension travel. Even when I do get a new bike, I would be nice to have a good spare bike.

Maybe some one could x-ray the frame for me? I know they do this to test pipeline welds. For shure, I will have the local Cannondale shop eyeball it.
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Old 05-19-05, 11:05 PM   #7
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I'm still looking for some way to increase the suspension travel. Even when I do get a new bike, I would be nice to have a good spare bike.
.
You're not going to with that frame. In all honesty I think you should retire the ol' girl to coffee runs at most.
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Old 05-19-05, 11:07 PM   #8
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If you are going through all the 2" of travel, rather than add more travel I would try to address the problem with stiffer springs perhaps. Suspension on a cross-country bike is really just to the edge off a bit, I wouldn't invest a lot of money if you are looking to upgrade. When you do upgrade, check out something like a Stumpjumper with 4"+ of travel, might be more to your liking. If the bike hasn't been ridden hard I wouldn't worry about stress fractures TOO much... its quite rare we see a broken frame in our shop, and usually its a new frame with a manufacturing defect that was discovered after a few weeks or months of ownership, not something that surfaces 12 years later (though it DOES and CAN happen).
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Old 05-19-05, 11:11 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seely
As for Raiyn suggesting the longer stem, we rarely disagree, but I think I have to here. A longer stem in my experience typically contributes to faster handling whereas a short one makes the bike handle sluggishly. I may be way off, but thats my perception comparing my old Kona with a 105mm stem to my P.1 with a 10mm stem (same HT angle of 69.5 deg). My Stumpjumper has a 120mm stem with a 72 deg HT angle and handles like a razor. If someone can counter this with science, feel free, cause as I said its my perception and I know jack**** about scientifically what the extra length would actually do to leverage and stuff like that.
Want to try to steer my Kona with the 50mm stem on it in tight conditions?, when ever someone tries my bike the usually have their hands full with the front being twitchy. But I'm used to it and it's perfect for me. A longer stem slows down steering, a shorter stem will make a bike more nimble, but twitchy.
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Old 05-19-05, 11:17 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by seely
If you are going through all the 2" of travel, rather than add more travel I would try to address the problem with stiffer springs perhaps. Suspension on a cross-country bike is really just to the edge off a bit, I wouldn't invest a lot of money if you are looking to upgrade. When you do upgrade, check out something like a Stumpjumper with 4"+ of travel, might be more to your liking. If the bike hasn't been ridden hard I wouldn't worry about stress fractures TOO much... its quite rare we see a broken frame in our shop, and usually its a new frame with a manufacturing defect that was discovered after a few weeks or months of ownership, not something that surfaces 12 years later (though it DOES and CAN happen).
Do you know how heavy those springs would have to be for a fork with 2" of travel? I'd rather have a fork with more sag, but with it being a 2" fork, there is no room for sag, and with the circumstances, given, it's time to retire it.
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Old 05-21-05, 12:54 PM   #11
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I just checked out Risse Racing's current line of shocks, and I have good news. They have a shock that will fit this frame that will increase the rear suspension travel to 3". I have great confidence in this company, having used an earlier Genensis damper on the rear suspension since the bike was still new. As for the front, I would have to play Dr. Frankenstein (or maybe this would be in the "Six Million Dollar Man" idiom) to get much more travel. If I recall correctly, a Cannondale mechanic said they could fit a head shock unit in the current frame that would have a bit more travel. There is a much longer travel unit that technically would fit in the current frame, but would raise the front end of the bike, and would therefore not be such a good idea.

Being an advanced gearhead, I did indeed play with the spring rates and damping adjustments. Cannondale offers three different springs for the Headshock unit I am using right now. I have the stiffest one. I also played with the preload adjustment until it felt right. There just isn't any way to make up for the fact that the travel is soo short.

This really is going to be a "coffee run" bike as soon as I get another one. I looked at the frame closely, and I noticed that the framed IS bent a little bit at a critical point. Cannondale's designers of the day put ergonomics before structural integrity. It doesn't have a proper triangle for the front section of the frame. It's hard to explain if you haven't seen one; the top tube connects to the down tube about three inches back from the head tube. A short section of tubing runs from the upper portion of the head tube to the top tube, about six inches back from where the top tube would ordinarily connect to the head tube. It's at that unsupported junction that it is bent. If I wasn't so young when I bought it, I would have noticed this structural flaw right away. I'm impressed that it survived all I have done with it with so little damage. At least the fabricators knew what they were doing. I'm not taking it off road until I have time to modify the frame.

For shure, it's days of max speed downhill runs are almost over. I think I might get a Specialized bike, but I haven't made up my mind. I have heard great things about Cannondale's new front suspension units, but Specialized seems to have the best rear suspension. If only we could combine the two... there has to be a way!

Don't worry too much about me, guys. I know that deaths and severe injurys can and do occur on bicycles. I have no wish to meet an untimely demise.

Last edited by feefaloo; 05-24-05 at 06:24 PM.
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