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What Cannondale touring bike is this?

Old 11-07-16, 01:09 PM
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chiyama
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What Cannondale touring bike is this?

I found an old Cannondale touring bike for sale on Craigslist, and was wondering if anyone has some info on it. I'm currently asking the owner for model name. How good is this bike?

They're asking for $150 for it.



Description: 22 1/2 inch Cannondale for sale with padded seat and back bike rack. 15 Speed. Chips in paint on frame but great bike and good tires! Light aluminum frame.
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Old 11-07-16, 02:01 PM
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Based on the decal font and placement, plus the componentry, it looks like a 1984-ish ST-300 or ST-500. From the catalog scans at vintagecannondale.com (linked below), I'm not sure what the difference is between the two models. All of Cannondale's frames were top-notch, though, so the difference would be in component selection.

https://vintagecannondale.com/year/1984/1984.pdf

Model aside, there's no way it's a 22 1/2" frame. Based on the short head tube, it looks smaller than my 21"/54cm bikes. Quite possibly a 19". If the owner's measuring, he's probably measuring to the very top of the seat tube. Cannondale measured their frames "center to center", though, meaning from the crank spindle to the point on the seat tube where the center of the top tube intersects.

If you don't mind that it has caliper brakes, it's mechanically sound, and if you're roughly 5'8" or under (depending on actual size), then you could do worse for $150

Last edited by SkyDog75; 11-07-16 at 02:06 PM.
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Old 11-07-16, 02:31 PM
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chiyama
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Thanks for the great response. I looked at those catalogs too, and I agree it is somewhere around that year.

The bike may fit me since I'm only 5'6". The bike is located about 1.5 hours away, so I won't be able to go check it out very soon. I currently have a 50cm Centurion Comp TA, but was considering getting an old touring bike for a short tour next year.

Edit: Confirmed that it is a ST500

Last edited by chiyama; 11-07-16 at 03:13 PM.
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Old 11-07-16, 02:49 PM
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Tim_Iowa
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Good info so far.

This bike has a "half-step" triple crank. Gear Theory for Bicyclists

Possible issues:
1) with a 5-speed rear end, the OLD (Over Locknut Distance, aka dropout spacing) will be 126 mm. 8-speed drivetrains require 130 mm spacing.

A steel frame can be easily bent wider to accomodate the wider hub.
But, vintage Cannondales are aluminum, which shouldn't be bent. Some folks have successfully bent the stays without problems, and some folks have been able to just open them up by hand and cram in the wider hub.
Just a word of caution.

2) this model has caliper brakes, not cantilevers. Although you can get decent braking from caliper brakes, most folks prefer cantilevers (which can be upgraded to V-brakes) for serious touring.

Otherwise, it looks like a nice bike for the price (if it fits you).
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Old 11-07-16, 03:19 PM
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chiyama
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I wasn't planning on converting the rear end to an 8 speed. Is this a common thing for bikes like this?

Why are cantilevers preferred over caliper brakes?

Sorry, I'm somewhat new to bikes in general, especially vintage touring bikes.

Seems like the general consensus from what I've been reading online is that this bike is good quality.
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Old 11-07-16, 04:15 PM
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-Is this a common thing for bikes like this-

There was a time when spreading steel bikes from 126 to 130 was very common.
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Old 11-07-16, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by chiyama View Post
I wasn't planning on converting the rear end to an 8 speed. Is this a common thing for bikes like this?

Why are cantilevers preferred over caliper brakes?

Sorry, I'm somewhat new to bikes in general, especially vintage touring bikes.

Seems like the general consensus from what I've been reading online is that this bike is good quality.
I've read here that Dr Cannondale has no problem with a slightly wider 130mm hub on older C-dales. I can vouch the same experience. Some want to have more gearing options, others not so much.

Cantilevers allow you to run wider tires and some believe give you better leverage for more effective braking.

Cannondale touring bikes are revered by many. I have an ST400 in my size and other C-dale tourers not my size.
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Old 11-07-16, 04:47 PM
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I converted the ST in my thread to 700c, 130 spaced. A non-issue IMO. Finger pressure nudge. Your ST seems to have the metal top tube cable guides which makes it an early model and interesting from that perspective.
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Old 11-07-16, 05:28 PM
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The only thing to add is that is the XS version of the RT with slightly different geomtry for smaller riders basically 50cm for riders 5' to bout 5'4". As a light touring bike it might be OK for the OP worth checking out this is a very solid bike for a good price.
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Old 11-07-16, 06:03 PM
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1985 ST. The Huret Duopar derailleur was original along with Mondolo Speed brakes Suntour Cyclone II front derailleur, Suntour shifters and a Sugino SR crankset. The rear spacing is actually 128MM and a 130MM modern 700C rear wheel will fit with a little effort.

The price is good. Ride it like it is or upgrade it. I bought one over the summer I am upgrading to 105 10 speed for my wife with parts from the bin. The frame is stripped and the first coat of primer is on it.
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Old 11-07-16, 07:16 PM
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chiyama
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Do vintage touring frame sizes differ from regular vintage steel frames? I'm currently riding a 50cm Centurion Comp TA, and I feel very comfortable on it. I'm afraid that this bike may be a bit smaller, but I'm not sure how vintage touring geometry relates to seat tube length on my Comp TA.

I'm currently looking at vintage touring bikes to do a 6-7 ride from San Francisco to Santa Barbara with some friends. Would this need to be upgraded or would it be okay as is?
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Old 11-08-16, 01:18 AM
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Originally Posted by chiyama View Post
Do vintage touring frame sizes differ from regular vintage steel frames?
Seat tube & top tube sizing are pretty comparable between many road bikes, but there are subtle differences in frame geometry, tubing, and features that tailor bikes for particular niches like touring or racing.

Touring frames, whether vintage or not, are built to be stable while loaded down and comfortable over long distances. Comparing a touring bike with a racing-style road bike is kind of like comparing an RV to a sports car. Touring bikes typically have a longer wheelbase and slacker angles, longer chain stays which help with heel clearance for panniers (bags), cantilever brakes, eyelets to mount racks and fenders, etc.

Originally Posted by chiyama View Post
I'm currently riding a 50cm Centurion Comp TA, and I feel very comfortable on it. I'm afraid that this bike may be a bit smaller, but I'm not sure how vintage touring geometry relates to seat tube length on my Comp TA.
The top tube, or the frame's length, is arguably more important than the frame's height. Height you can adjust simply by moving the seatpost up or down. Length often involves swapping parts, particularly stems. With that said, though, I'd bet this bike is right in your size range given your height. A test ride and comparing measurements from your current bike would confirm.

Originally Posted by chiyama View Post
I'm currently looking at vintage touring bikes to do a 6-7 ride from San Francisco to Santa Barbara with some friends. Would this need to be upgraded or would it be okay as is?
It'll need a thorough going-over and maintenance, but once it's relubed and any worn-out parts are replaced, the bike could certainly make that ride (and then some). These things were built to be loaded down and ridden a long way and they're no less capable of that today than when they were built.

Of course, there's different hardware available today that you might find more preferable... Cassettes with more cogs give you more gearing options, for example. Integrated brake/shift levers allow you to shift without having to reposition your hands, which is nice if you're trying to keep a loaded-down bike under control while climbing or descending. It's kinda like comparing a 2016 car to a 1984 model: the old car will get you from point A to spoilt B, but the new one might do it with more comfort and more bells & whistles.
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