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Old 07-21-08, 08:44 PM   #1
nickm77
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Newbie wanting suggestions for new Cannondale touring bike

I am a newbie to touring and I need some help from you'all. I really appreciate your help when I was first looking at this bike. I bought it and, well, here it is...My brand new (old) touring bike that I intend to use for fully loaded touring....



As you can see, it is in mint condition for a 1983. I think it is an ST500 but have not found any way to be sure. I know it was made in 1983 from the serial #. Any ideas???

I am planning on buying the Arkel GT-54 for my rear bags and the Arkel T-28 for my front bags (just in case you need to know that for below).

REAR RACK
First off, I am in perplexity as to the racks. Here are a couple pictures of the stock Cannondale rear rack that came on it.





Do you think it is heavy-duty enough for loaded touring? Or is it important that I get a new one. And if so, which one is the sturdiest one that will fit this bike? BTW, here is a picture of the braze-on eyelets for the top supports of my rear rack...





FRONT RACK
Okay, now the front rack. There is none on the bike so I need to buy one. But I am not sure which racks will fit my fork. From what I have read, it sounds like the Tubus Tara is an excellent way to go. Can I use that rack on my bike or is there a better way to go for my situation? There are no braze-on eyelets mid way up the fork, only eyelets down where the fork meets the wheel hub. Here is a picture of that...



Any ideas on what I should do for my rack situation?


OTHER THINGS
I am changing the pedals to clipless pedals. I am told that my saddle is very good so I think I'll see how it does. I think I will probably put bar end shifters on and maybe the brake levers on the upright part of the handle bar. Has anyone done that with the brake levers? Worth it?

The bike shop I took it to said I could probably fit 1 1/4" tires on the bike. Is that a good size or will this fit even larger?


And finally, if you have any other suggestions, please fire away. That is why I am posting here. Because I know that I don't know much and need some advice from seasoned tourers.

Many thanks in advance
Attached Images
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File Type: jpg rear-rack.jpg (53.9 KB, 247 views)
File Type: jpg rear-rack-top-eyelets.jpg (45.5 KB, 396 views)
File Type: jpg front-hub-eyelets.jpg (50.7 KB, 241 views)
File Type: jpg freewheel.jpg (55.2 KB, 29 views)
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Old 07-21-08, 09:26 PM   #2
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how far are we talking about? weekend? week long? cross country? beautifiul bike, btw.
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Old 07-21-08, 10:26 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nickm77 View Post
I am a newbie to touring and I need some help from you'all. I really appreciate your help when I was first looking at this bike. I bought it and, well, here it is...My brand new (old) touring bike that I intend to use for fully loaded touring....

As you can see, it is in mint condition for a 1983. I think it is an ST500 but have not found any way to be sure. I know it was made in 1983 from the serial #. Any ideas???

Looks like a beaut - the paint is immaculate. Here's the deal in 1983. You could buy the frame alone as model ST300. The built bike is the model ST500. The components on the bike make me fairly certain that it was a ST500. It would have an Suntour New Winner 6 speed freewheel 13-30 and SR Super Apex Crankset 48,44,28 (half step + granny, that is you get a 1/2 gear difference by shift the front) Hubs are really nice Suntour sealed bearing units. Derailleurs are very good sealed Suntour also. You can almost certainly get a modern Shimano 13-34 Mega range 7 speed freewheel to work (7 speed has narrower spacing, maybe add a spacer to the axle) This will give you a better low gear and modern Hyperglide tooth profiles - it WILL shift better. More info from Sheldon Brown here http://sheldonbrown.com/mega7/

You can continue to use the stock shift levers (They are the BEST friction shifters, period. So good that Rivendell contracted copies since they are no longer available) Rivendell also sell "Bar End Shifter Pods" that would let you use them as barcons. (Bar end controls)

Quote:
Originally Posted by nickm77 View Post
I am planning on buying the Arkel GT-54 for my rear bags and the Arkel T-28 for my front bags (just in case you need to know that for below).

REAR RACK
First off, I am in perplexity as to the racks. Here are a couple pictures of the stock Cannondale rear rack that came on it.

Do you think it is heavy-duty enough for loaded touring? Or is it important that I get a new one. And if so, which one is the sturdiest one that will fit this bike? BTW, here is a picture of the braze-on eyelets for the top supports of my rear rack...


FRONT RACK
Okay, now the front rack. There is none on the bike so I need to buy one. But I am not sure which racks will fit my fork. From what I have read, it sounds like the Tubus Tara is an excellent way to go. Can I use that rack on my bike or is there a better way to go for my situation? There are no braze-on eyelets mid way up the fork, only eyelets down where the fork meets the wheel hub. Here is a picture of that...

Any ideas on what I should do for my rack situation?
Rear might be OK to start. While the rack is probably strong enough for any load, it's going to swing from side to side with a load, scary feeling Personally, I'd look at a different rack. I prefer a rack like the Tubus Cargo with 3 legs on each side, 1 with a dogleg to prevent any possibility of the pannier making contact with the wheel. If you look at the pictures of the Cargo, notice how one set of legs is triangulated to stop the rack from swinging back and forth. Also, most panniers today are designed to attach to round top rail, I'm not sure how well they'll fit the shape of frame

Front racks - almost anything you want. All of the rack makers have bracket that raps around the forks when you don't have braze ons. The fork will have no problems. I have 1000's of miles on my Blackburn low riders. The Touring store has nice adapters for the Tara.

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OTHER THINGS
I am changing the pedals to clipless pedals. I am told that my saddle is very good so I think I'll see how it does. I think I will probably put bar end shifters on and maybe the brake levers on the upright part of the handle bar. Has anyone done that with the brake levers? Worth it?

The bike shop I took it to said I could probably fit 1 1/4" tires on the bike. Is that a good size or will this fit even larger?


And finally, if you have any other suggestions, please fire away. That is why I am posting here. Because I know that I don't know much and need some advice from seasoned tourers.

Many thanks in advance
The Avocet is a very nice saddle, but lots of us swear by Brooks leather saddles (and a few swear at them). I use an SPD type clipless pedal (Nashbar/Wellgo) since I can walk in my shoes without sliding around. Lots of folks use Shimano ro Lake SPD sandels.

You can definitely fit 27 x 1 1/4" tires and fenders with no problems. You can get Kendas at the low end, Panaracer Pasela in the middle and Schwalbe Marathon Plus or Continental Gatorbacks at the top end. Fenders are so nice if it rains or the roads are wet.

I'm not sure what you mean about the brake levers. Do you mean interrupters or cyclocross levers?
like these http://www.sheldonbrown.com/images/i...ter-levers.jpg.


I'd upgrade the rear freewheel to 7 speed MegaRange 13-34, replace the crankset with something like a Sugino XD300 (Steel rings, 46-36-26), some racks and fenders and probably a set of dual pivot brakes. New chain and good tune, and your set to go.

Congratulations

Doug
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Old 07-21-08, 11:19 PM   #4
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Gorgeous bike. As far as mods - Doug nailed it.
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Old 07-22-08, 09:16 AM   #5
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Just a couple of things

Change the way you use the quick release. If you align it with the stay, it's easier to make sure that you have the right amount of torque on it. They should look like this.





This bike is very upgradeable. You don't have to do it now but start thinking about some things. The brakes could be replaced with dual pivot road calipers. These are much better brakes than the already pretty good ones it has. Ditch the freewheel as soon as you can. If you can get a 130mm hub in there (measure the dropout with a caliper), go with a road hub. When you change to cassettes, you can use 11 tooth cog on it and so you can run a smaller front crank (get a new seal bottom bracket probably first thing).

You can go with a 700C wheel but that will cause brake issues. 700C wheels offer you more choices on tires. You can find 27" but it can be a hassle. Out in the boonies, who knows?

While the rack looks okay, it might be flexy. Bolt together racks aren't as stiff as welded ones. With a load a flexy rack makes for a horrible ride. Also get a front lowrider rack. All bikes handle better with a loaded front wheel over a heavy load on the rear.

It's a nice bike but don't think of it as a museum piece. Use it!
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Old 07-22-08, 10:55 AM   #6
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Thanks so much guys!

Quote:
how far are we talking about? weekend? week long? cross country? beautifiul bike, btw.
I will probably start out with a few days at a time but I would like to work up to a few weeks or a month.


Quote:
I'm not sure what you mean about the brake levers. Do you mean interrupters or cyclocross levers?
Yes, I'm talking about interrupters. Would that be a good idea or not necessary?

Also, from what you guys were saying, I'm not sure what to do about my shifters. The main type of shifters I am used to are STI, so the stock shift levers are very new and unusual to me. So I was just wondering if the bar end levers are easier to deal with while one is riding. I would be most interested in any comments you guys have regarding the two. I will need to replace my bar tape anyway so if I'm going to do the interrupter brake levers and/or the bar end shift levers, now would be the time.

Finally, I must say that I am quite confused and perplexed by the whole freewheel situation. I was inclined to just try out the bike and see how the current setup does. But I don't really want to start out only to find that I have to walk up hills. That would be a bad way to start out my touring career. So if my gear situation is that dire, what would be the easiest and least expensive way to get my gear situation straightened out in a quality way that won't brake down? Please give me as much detail as possible as I am new to this and my local bike shop guys are not what you would call experts on touring. They have a working knowledge of it but I don't think they have done it much.

Many thanks again!!!
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Old 07-22-08, 10:57 AM   #7
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Beautiful bike! Well done! Enjoy it.
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Old 07-22-08, 10:59 AM   #8
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Oh, one other quickie...

Will my new Arkel bags mount on pretty much any of the good front and rear racks (such as Tubus) or do I need to choose the proper rack to work with these bags?

Thanks!
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Old 07-22-08, 01:12 PM   #9
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Yes, I'm talking about interrupters. Would that be a good idea or not necessary?
I've never found the interrupters necessary. Even in traffic, switching from the flat part of the bars to the hoods isn't a problem. I do, however, ride on the hoods more than anything else.

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Also, from what you guys were saying, I'm not sure what to do about my shifters. The main type of shifters I am used to are STI, so the stock shift levers are very new and unusual to me. So I was just wondering if the bar end levers are easier to deal with while one is riding. I would be most interested in any comments you guys have regarding the two. I will need to replace my bar tape anyway so if I'm going to do the interrupter brake levers and/or the bar end shift levers, now would be the time.
This bike would be pretty easy to convert to STI. You'd need a cassette and freehub however. Not many STIs for 6 speed freewheels For this bike, you would need a new set of derailers, however. The old ones probably won't play well with indexing.

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Finally, I must say that I am quite confused and perplexed by the whole freewheel situation. I was inclined to just try out the bike and see how the current setup does. But I don't really want to start out only to find that I have to walk up hills. That would be a bad way to start out my touring career. So if my gear situation is that dire, what would be the easiest and least expensive way to get my gear situation straightened out in a quality way that won't brake down? Please give me as much detail as possible as I am new to this and my local bike shop guys are not what you would call experts on touring. They have a working knowledge of it but I don't think they have done it much.

Many thanks again!!!
Freewheels will work but they aren't as available as cassettes. Nor are they as strong. Additionally, for touring, changing a broken spoke isn't something that you could do in the field without some heavy tools. You don't need to change it today...it won't break on you...but consider it for the future. If you want to go with STI, you will need to change it.
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Old 07-22-08, 02:06 PM   #10
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Additionally, for touring, changing a broken spoke isn't something that you could do in the field without some heavy tools.
So are you saying that I couldn't change a spoke in the field with a freewheel but I could with a cassette setup? If so, how common is it to brake a spoke and is it something that would incapacitate the bike and end my trip unless I could find a bike shop?
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Old 07-22-08, 02:18 PM   #11
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One other thing...I am not ready to go to STI right now, but the local bike shop has some Shimano Dura Ace bar end shifters that can use either indexed or friction settings (of course I would have to use friction with my current setup). So I guess I am wondering if it is worth it to go that route or are the bar end shifters no easier/better than my stock levers? I am asking because I have little or no experience with either.

Thanks
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Old 07-22-08, 03:04 PM   #12
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i recommend giving the downtube shifters a chance for a few weeks. if you ride on the hoods or flats most of the time like most riders, even with bar end shifters you have to move your hands to shift. i like them on the downtube because you keep the cables against the frame and don't have them out there to snag stuff on, and when you lean your bike against a wall it doesn't bump the shifters as much as when they're on the bar end. it's one less component to deal with when changing out the handlebars or retaping, etc. i've never used STI, but if you're concerned about field maintenance, you should probably stick with a friction-type shifter whether on the downtube or bar end. lots of extra $$$ for STI depending on what level you get, too.
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Old 07-22-08, 03:34 PM   #13
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I ride a 93 Cannondale t1000 with Dura Ace barcons. They are, IMO, vastly better than downtube levers, especially in terms of trimming the front derailleur. I rode downtube shifters for years, and never got used to shifting them under less than ideal conditions - like heavy traffic, et cetera.

The barcons I can shift without even realizing I've done it. If you go that route, definitely see about picking up the inexpensive shifter pods from Velo Orange to convert your excellent downtube levers into barcons. If you decide NOT to go this route and DO get the Shimano shifters, please sell me your old levers.
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Old 07-22-08, 03:53 PM   #14
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So are you saying that I couldn't change a spoke in the field with a freewheel but I could with a cassette setup? If so, how common is it to brake a spoke and is it something that would incapacitate the bike and end my trip unless I could find a bike shop?
Other way around. Freewheels tighten as you ride (it's threaded onto the hub and your legs are lever arms). Cassettes are set by a lock ring and are much, much, much, much easier to remove. There are even little tools that you can use on the road to remove the cassette. Freewheels generally take large wrenches or a vise to remove them.

Spoke breakage is something that occasionally happens. Next to flats, it's probably the most frequent mechanical failure on tour. You can ride on a wheel with a broken spoke but your wheel will be weaker and more prone to breaking more spokes. Break too many and you'll be doing this.... There are things call Fiberfix spokes which are used to replace a broken spoke until you can get to a shop. But if you are riding across the wide prairie those shops can be very few and far between.
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Old 07-22-08, 04:29 PM   #15
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If you go that route, definitely see about picking up the inexpensive shifter pods from Velo Orange to convert your excellent downtube levers into barcons.
Thanks much for the info! I checked out the Velo Orange website and I don't seem to see the item you are referring to. Please help as this sounds very interesting and my billfold is feeling better already :-).

Quote:
Other way around. Freewheels tighten as you ride (it's threaded onto the hub and your legs are lever arms). Cassettes are set by a lock ring and are much, much, much, much easier to remove. There are even little tools that you can use on the road to remove the cassette. Freewheels generally take large wrenches or a vise to remove them.

Spoke breakage is something that occasionally happens. Next to flats, it's probably the most frequent mechanical failure on tour. You can ride on a wheel with a broken spoke but your wheel will be weaker and more prone to breaking more spokes. Break too many and you'll be doing this.... There are things call Fiberfix spokes which are used to replace a broken spoke until you can get to a shop. But if you are riding across the wide prairie those shops can be very few and far between.
Please forgive me if I am a little slow. Just want to be sure I understand. So a broken spoke is not something that can be dealt with in the field with either a freewheel or cassette? But when it comes to taking apart things, the cassette is a lot easier? Or are you saying that broken spokes with a cassette can be dealt with in the field because the cassette must be removed to do this and it is a lot easier to remove the cassette?

As you can tell, I don't know much about bike repair. I did get a book recently and hope to learn.

Thanks
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Old 07-22-08, 07:00 PM   #16
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Thanks much for the info! I checked out the Velo Orange website and I don't seem to see the item you are referring to. Please help as this sounds very interesting and my billfold is feeling better already :-).
The pods are from Rivendell Bicycle Works http://www.rivbike.com/products/list..._and_derailers Complete shifters on pg1 and pods on page 2

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Please forgive me if I am a little slow. Just want to be sure I understand. So a broken spoke is not something that can be dealt with in the field with either a freewheel or cassette? But when it comes to taking apart things, the cassette is a lot easier? Or are you saying that broken spokes with a cassette can be dealt with in the field because the cassette must be removed to do this and it is a lot easier to remove the cassette?

As you can tell, I don't know much about bike repair. I did get a book recently and hope to learn.

Thanks
As cyccommute mentions, freehub cassettes don't get lock together by the constant pressure and can be removed using a hypercracker or similar tool. You generally only need to remove the cassette if you break a drive side rear spoke, but they are the most likely to fail.

Heres the current iteration of my 1983 ST300



9 speed road Ultegra hubs with SRAM 11-34 cassette, Deore derailleurs. Rims are 700c Sun CR18's (cheap, like $10 each, but strong) built with triple butted stainless spokes. With the 700c rims I'm able to fit 700 x 37 mm (1 5/8") tires under the fenders.
Crank is OLD Triple Aero Tour retro fitted with 46,36,24 tooth steel chainrings
Rear brake is old Shimano 600 side pull (soon to be replaced with a dual pivot)
The front fork has been replaced (incident with the bike falling off of a rack) with a 700c cyclocross fork with cantilever brakes





Brifters are campy ERGOS and I use a shiftmate to get flawless indexed shifting with the Shimano cluster and derailleur. Performance FORTE interrupters.
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Old 07-22-08, 07:22 PM   #17
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That's a great looking bike. Personally, I'd give the downtube shifters a chance. It takes a bit to get used to them, but if you like them you may be able to save yourself some money. And if you don't want them, I may buy them from you.
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Old 07-22-08, 09:22 PM   #18
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I like your bike. You must have put a lot into it!

Many thanks for the link to the pods. I think I'll try my downtube shifters for a little bit and then upgrade to the bar end shifters using the pods if I don't like the current setup.
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Old 07-23-08, 06:44 AM   #19
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First of all, that is a lovely bike. Let me know if you ever want to put her up for adoption.

Two, check this thread, but make sure you're wearing a bib :-): Cannondale Erotica

Three, I have an '89 ST700 - they are great bikes.
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Old 07-23-08, 07:16 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by truman View Post
I ride a 93 Cannondale t1000 with Dura Ace barcons. They are, IMO, vastly better than downtube levers, especially in terms of trimming the front derailleur. I rode downtube shifters for years, and never got used to shifting them under less than ideal conditions - like heavy traffic, et cetera.

The barcons I can shift without even realizing I've done it. If you go that route, definitely see about picking up the inexpensive shifter pods from Velo Orange to convert your excellent downtube levers into barcons. If you decide NOT to go this route and DO get the Shimano shifters, please sell me your old levers.
My experience is the opposite. I found bar ends to be a complete PITA. Not particularly convenient, easily and often bumped by a knee, etc. Maybe try the D/T shifters for a while and if you hate them try someone else's bike with bar ends.

I am a convert to STI and love them, but D/T would be my second choice among the current fairly standard choices.

I would recommend the trying the current rear rack to see how it is and replacing it with a Blackburn EX-1 if it is found lacking. Odds are that it will be fine. I also recommend that you use the Blackburn Lowrider clones from Nashbar or Performance on the front if price matters to you.
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Old 07-23-08, 07:28 AM   #21
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I forgot to mention tires. 27 x 1-1/4" are plenty wide enough for most touring. Continental Ultra Gatorskins in that size are a good choice IMO.
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Old 07-23-08, 08:10 AM   #22
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Please forgive me if I am a little slow. Just want to be sure I understand. So a broken spoke is not something that can be dealt with in the field with either a freewheel or cassette? But when it comes to taking apart things, the cassette is a lot easier? Or are you saying that broken spokes with a cassette can be dealt with in the field because the cassette must be removed to do this and it is a lot easier to remove the cassette?

As you can tell, I don't know much about bike repair. I did get a book recently and hope to learn.

Thanks
A broken spoke can be dealt with in the field if you have a cassette and the tool to remove it. Freewheels can also be removed in the field but they usually require at least a 12" wrench and a remover and a whole lot of muscle. A 12" wrench isn't something that I want to carry with me

There are kevlar spoke replacements that can be used in the field also (FiberFix spokes) but I have yet to use one so I don't know how it works or how easy it is to use. Others here have used them.
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Old 07-23-08, 09:17 AM   #23
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Just a couple of things

Change the way you use the quick release. If you align it with the stay, it's easier to make sure that you have the right amount of torque on it. They should look like this.


Why is that? (I'm not doubting you, I've just never heard this before.)
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Old 07-23-08, 02:01 PM   #24
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Why is that? (I'm not doubting you, I've just never heard this before.)
You can use your fingers wrapped around the fork and the chainstay* to pull the skewer tight without hitting anything. The way Nickm77 bike is now, the skewer handle may hit something before it's tightened enough. On the fork, you don't want to have the blade of the skewer in line with the blade of the fork either. If the skewer is tight enough, you may not be able to loosen it...no room to grab it.
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Old 07-23-08, 02:32 PM   #25
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A broken spoke can be dealt with in the field if you have a cassette and the tool to remove it. Freewheels can also be removed in the field but they usually require at least a 12" wrench and a remover and a whole lot of muscle. A 12" wrench isn't something that I want to carry with me

There are kevlar spoke replacements that can be used in the field also (FiberFix spokes) but I have yet to use one so I don't know how it works or how easy it is to use. Others here have used them.
The kit cost about $10 bucks when you can find them.
I fellow rider had one when we were 35 miles into a 90 miles ride. He got me home. It can be reused.
I now carry a spare spoke and wrench. Rode this way for 55 miles.

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