Old 01-06-09, 02:50 PM
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bigwoo
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 1,378

Bikes: March [B]'71 Schwinn Sports Tourer [/B] [B]

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The Cannondale That Won My Heart, 1986 SR 500

It's strange, the bikes that we sometimes get attached to.....
My initial intention for this '86 SR500 was to dust it off and turn it into THE dedicated rain/freezing rain/light flurries commuter for my ride to work. I did after all have that old super light, low profile pair of fenders hanging in the basement.....
I told myself that I should feel no regrets or guilt about utilizing an aluminum machine in super wet,damp, and generally awful conditions... "If I can get those fenders to clear, it is a done deal.....I'm not going to get attached to this bike; I will lube it but not have to worry about keeping it clean... I don't need a TT/ Crit bike; I already have steel race bikes...... Aluminum is a really harsh ride......I am super picky about a tight cockpit and I don't like anything but 56cm frames so this 58cm will be all wrong.....You've got too many road bikes.....Derby will probably remain supremely consistent and destroy this Co just like they did with so many other good bike Co's......." etc...

The deal was done; I would show this bike no mercy and so it would be....
And then one sunny morning I was speaking with my friend Jon from Grinderbikes about my intentions for it and he looked me straight in the eye's and said "Hey Man, when was the last time that you lost a steel frame to moist/damp conditions...? You've been riding them forever and that has never happened. Plus, this is one of the cool one's that was baked in the pizza oven they used....Look at those beefy stays....They accelerate like a rocket."

For the next several days I took the bike out around the City Park and Wash Park circuits of Denver and did balls-to-the-wall sprint laps. I also used it to commute through the gritty city, dodging busses and inner city cabs. The bike truly is a rocket and the original full Shimano 600 group performs fantastically. I love the Nitto stem (But I love all Nitto stems). And though the 600 hubs are filthy, along with the drivetrain, they are velvety smooth and fast as a laser. The bike is not terribly harsh at all and is quite nice to ride; It often makes me smile at higher speeds. After nearly 2 weeks of trying to talk myself out of it, I just don't have the heart to thrash this machine. I guess that I have another project waiting for me....

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