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Opinions about a Cannondale R500?

Old 05-07-17, 11:46 PM
  #1  
TaywuhsaurusRex
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Opinions about a Cannondale R500?

Hello, all. I'm relatively new to both the sport and the forum, so please bear with me, and I hope I put this in the correct area.

I've been religiously searching my local CL lately in search of an upgrade to my current bike. This Cannondale R500 popped up recently. After a bit of research on my own I do believe it is a 1996 model. The guy selling it admitted to knowing nothing of bicycles, and honestly I don't know a whole lot either.

Does anyone have an opinion for me on if it's worth my time? Asking price is 300 USD, but I likely could talk him down some. The bike blue book seems to say 200 at excellent condition, but it also doesn't seem to list the same group set. I don't have any other pictures as I haven't gone and seen it yet. It's been sitting in a garage corner for years, according to the owner. Would it be possible to upgrade this to modern components, maybe Tiagra or 105, were it worth it? This bike is the same size as my current, so I know it will likely fit, other than probably the handlebars won't be wide enough if it's a woman's bike.

My current (only) bike is a 1985 Huffy ladies Champion 10 speed with a Shimano Skylark RD, and some sort of Shimano FD, Suntour Perfect cassette, and some stock no-name junk crank. Luckily the frame fit me reasonably well, and I was told it sat in someone's basement for essentially it's whole life 'til it was gifted on me. I won't say no to a free, reasonably serviceable bike in my size. The only work done to it is new tires and cables to make it useable, my LBS actually digs it, despite the brand. Mine does have mushy, awful stem shifters though. I feel like most bikes would be an upgrade at this point.
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Old 05-08-17, 07:41 AM
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bargainguy
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First off, welcome aboard!

Bicycle Blue Book values are to be taken with a grain of salt. Values don't seem to have any correlation with actual sales and appear to be based on a fixed depreciation schedule. My observation is that they are really low. I get contacted all the time from lowballers trying to use BBB as a bargaining tool.

This bike is FMV. Any road bike I sell with working brifters is a minimum $300 unless it's cosmetically challenged or has other issues. The R500 might bring a lower price with downtube shifters, but if you're looking for wiggle room on the price, don't expect too much.
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Old 05-08-17, 08:35 AM
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Your size if under 5'5". Make sure the RSX shfters both work without any need to "double clutch." They typical repair for them is replacment, not repair.

Exceptionally dirty cogs, old tires, in other words, it needs work to ride like new. Start at $200 and hold at $240.

You can identify year via serial number. Search vintagecannondale.com

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Old 05-08-17, 08:46 AM
  #4  
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Welcome, and you are indeed in the right place. I agree that's pretty much FMV, so if it fits, and you can get it for a little less, then it's probably a good deal if in good working order. Cannondale tended (and still does) use the same frame with different component mixes for different price points. So the R500 has the same frame as their top R2000 (this is their break-thru 2.8 frame, which my wife still rides on her 1990s R2000. This has the 'cantilevered' rear dropouts (where the rear hub attaches), which I think is a cool design feature, and has proven to be robust. This looks to have the original groupset, which should work just fine with a tune up.

Inspect carefully for any signs of cracking in the frame, or any significant dents. Frames that have been crashed can sustain damage that will decrease the life of the frame. If you can, take some Allen keys for your test ride, to confirm that the seat post isn't frozen into the seat tube (i.e., that you can move the saddle up and down). You'll probably need new tires. This will be a big step up from your Huffy.

Upgrading the groupset to modern Tiagra or 105 shouldn't be necessary, and would be somewhat expensive, especially if you have the work done. The components on there should be fine. Maybe new Kool Stop brake pads, and new cables and cable housing if the shifting/braking are at all sluggish.
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Old 05-08-17, 01:09 PM
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TaywuhsaurusRex
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Thank you all. I'm hopefully going to go look at it sometime this week between downpours. I just wanted to make sure it was worth the trip to check in person for anything the pictures may have missed.
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Old 05-09-17, 07:45 AM
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Welcome to the forums!! I saw this yesterday but since I don't buy/sell much I thought I would let others chime on the central question of value first.

I thought I would mention the huge difference in ride quality. Compared to your Huffy with the fat 26" tires. I am assuming you haven't had skinny road tires put on, the ride is likely to somewhat harsh at first. Those skinny 700c wheels with skinny tires will transmit every bump right into that stiff aluminum frame.

Do you have a requirement for a fast racing type bike or are you just looking for something better than your current bike? If you not looking ride fast and long for exercise and doing group rides but are just looking for a better bike for errands and recreational riding around the neighborhood you may be better off looking at Hybrid type bikes. They have the basic look, feel and comfort of a mountain bike, like you ride now, but a larger diameter wheel to make them faster and more lively.

Something along the lines of this trek 7100 for example.
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Old 05-09-17, 06:27 PM
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My current bike does have the original 26in rim, but with modern Bontrager T1 1 3/8 tires, so I'm already used to a certain amount of road buzz. I didn't really think that was all that fat of a tire, but I've been trying to learn more about frames and components than tires and rims admittedly. All the roads I usually ride on are packed tar and gravel, not exactly easy on the arms but I'm used to it. It is a road bike though, not a mountain bike. For some reason, the Champion I have is not the one that pops up in internet searches, maybe it's not even a Champion. It's what the decals say though, so I'm going with it. I looked at hybrids at my LBS, but I'm not interested. The most I'd be interested in is the more casual geometry of an endurance ride, but a more racy profile isn't going to bug me, either. I want an upgrade, but I am looking for something to go long and fast with. Cycling is my new exercise, because it's lower impact and hopefully won't aggravate all my old dance injuries. 200 miles in and so far so good.
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Old 05-09-17, 07:14 PM
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Wait a second. That exact Trek is posted on my local CL. Is that just a stock image or did you pull it from there.
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Old 05-10-17, 06:35 AM
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I sold my wife's (with her permission of course!) 1996 R300 a year or so ago for $275. It was a very good bike and provided years of reliable service. The R300 was equipped with 7 speed RSX components. I see an RSX RD and a 105 crank.make sure the shifters click through all the gears as these are the most likely component to wear out over 20 years. They don't have to shift to every gear smoothly, as that can be fixed with a tune up, just make sure you get a click for every gear.
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Old 05-10-17, 08:07 PM
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So I bought the bike! It is a 1996 like I suspected, thanks for the link, oddjob. It has some minor cosmetics, scratches on the left rear drop out and a very minor dent on the right one, but nothing that will cause any issues down to road. Other than being very dirty from living in a basement for 10 years, it's in absolute perfect working condition, shifts like buttah in to all gears. All it needs to be road worthy again is some new tires, these look a little dry rotted. It'll need bar tape and maybe pads too, but it looks like the previous owner took it to a shop for maintenance before putting it in storage. Even the seat post grease is clean still.
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Old 05-11-17, 05:09 AM
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Congrats and enjoy! Post pics when she's cleaned up!
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Old 05-12-17, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by TaywuhsaurusRex View Post
So I bought the bike! It is a 1996 like I suspected, thanks for the link, oddjob. It has some minor cosmetics, scratches on the left rear drop out and a very minor dent on the right one, but nothing that will cause any issues down to road. Other than being very dirty from living in a basement for 10 years, it's in absolute perfect working condition, shifts like buttah in to all gears. All it needs to be road worthy again is some new tires, these look a little dry rotted. It'll need bar tape and maybe pads too, but it looks like the previous owner took it to a shop for maintenance before putting it in storage. Even the seat post grease is clean still.
Congrats on scoring a very nice bike. If you like brisk rides, this one will be enjoyed.
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Old 05-14-17, 03:35 PM
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it's a good bike. adjust the handlebar and saddle so it fits you and buy some good quality tires and you're golden
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Old 05-14-17, 07:26 PM
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I took it to the LBS and bought a better saddle and had them check it over real quick. The tires are in acceptable condition for now, they told me I could probably quite a bit out of them. I'm waiting on adjusting the handlebars til my new bar tape comes in the mail, height is correct but I'd like it turned down more, which of course means moving the shifters too. Whoever taped it up also did it really weird and it's too big and squishy for my liking right now anyway.

I finally had some time and daylight to ride it, and man do I love this thing already. It's a bit of a learning curve going down to 19mm tires, and navigating the clay bombs all over the road from tractors today was certainly interesting when I felt like I was on a razor blade. This bike is fast though, and I read a comment somewhere about this bike being a mountain goat, I have to agree. I live in an area where the hills are all long, medium grade climbs (if you're headed southbound anyway) and short steep descents, and I had no issues getting up them like I used to with my steel bike.
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