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1986 Cannondale ST400 - Would you go for it?

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1986 Cannondale ST400 - Would you go for it?

Old 04-06-20, 05:17 PM
  #1  
jonny7
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1986 Cannondale ST400 - Would you go for it?

Ok so there is was seems to be a relatively well maintained (1986?) ST400 available near my hometown for $100. I do have a thing for vitnage cannondale but in this case I'm hesitating, because I'd have to buy the bike without seeing it in person (due to covid related circumstances).

From what I can tell its parts are mostly originals. My plan would be to restore it, ride it a bit this summer, and then decide if I keep it or not. I don't technically need it.

Any red lights from the photos? I did ask for some more detailed pics.





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Old 04-06-20, 05:31 PM
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$100 is a very fair price for this bike assuming you're OK with buying it without an inspection first which I think is what you are saying.
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Old 04-06-20, 05:45 PM
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I would go for it if you think it will fit you. Looking at the pictures the bike does not appear to be very worn or beat up, especially as it is 34 years old. I would assume you will need new tires, brake pads and bar tape, and you may need to disassemble the hubs, bottom bracket, and steerer and re-grease them as if it has not been done before and solvents would have evaporated out of the grease. Even if it needs all this it would still be a fair price, as long as you do the work yourself..
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Old 04-06-20, 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by jonny7 View Post

Any red lights from the photos?

Have you ever ridden a vintage Cannondale aluminum bike with 23mm tires inflated to 110+ psi for 30 miles? You may not want to do it twice.

Not being snarky, but I had a similar Cannondale that I purchased after getting bored with my first real road bike (a nice mid-level, steel/lugged Peugeot) - mistake.

Cannondales had a reputation for bone-jarring rides for a reason.

But, $100 is a decent price if that's what you want.

Good Luck!
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Old 04-06-20, 06:40 PM
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Good padded gloves, good padded shorts, good to go...
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Old 04-06-20, 07:02 PM
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Originally Posted by jlaw View Post
Have you ever ridden a vintage Cannondale aluminum bike with 23mm tires inflated to 110+ psi for 30 miles?
Yes actually ! Not necessarily a good memory
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Old 04-06-20, 07:23 PM
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$100 for that bike is a good deal, providing it is as nice as it appears to be.

I put a lot of miles on a similar Cannondle that I had a few years back. My only complaint would relate to the stiff ride quality. However, ad I known more about ride quality, in those days, I would have simply opted for larger volume tires, getting the added cushion that they offer. Anyway, my long gone 400...
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Old 04-06-20, 07:26 PM
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I would say it's a good buy I see no red flags looks clean and well setup with no damage. Even in a worst case situation the parts should be worth more than the asking price.
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Old 04-07-20, 06:52 PM
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It looks in decent condition
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Old 04-07-20, 07:33 PM
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I love all the older Cannondale. The only update I would do is put arrow break levers on it. Get rid of the brake cables sticking up.
ed
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Old 04-08-20, 07:28 AM
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Originally Posted by jlaw View Post
Have you ever ridden a vintage Cannondale aluminum bike with 23mm tires inflated to 110+ psi for 30 miles? You may not want to do it twice.

Not being snarky, but I had a similar Cannondale that I purchased after getting bored with my first real road bike (a nice mid-level, steel/lugged Peugeot) - mistake.

Cannondales had a reputation for bone-jarring rides for a reason.
Yours is the perfect example of what I've suspected for years accounts for the (to me) mystifying Cannondales-ride-roughly meme: a rider goes from "first real road bike" (invariably a longish-wheelbase sport touring bike) to a Cannondale with racing geometry and incorrectly associates the faster handling and faster wheel-to-wheel bump perception with the aluminum frame.

Most of the few of us who rode Cannondale bikes back then after riding short-wheelbase pro-level steel racing bikes (especially Italian bikes) noticed only that the Cannondales accelerated better and handled more predictably on fast descents.

Nothing against steel bikes: I loved my Raleigh Professional, Schwinn Paramount, and Bianchi Specialissima Supercorsa, to name only the blingiest of my steel bikes. But none of them were any more comfortable than the Cannondale racing bikes of the same era. Of course, that was long before the Internet saw to it that vague guesses at what people may or may not perceive concerning the behavior of aluminum versus steel bikes (and of, e.g., various "tone woods" used to build solid-body guitars!) hardened into dogma.
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Old 04-08-20, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak View Post
Yours is the perfect example of what I've suspected for years accounts for the (to me) mystifying Cannondales-ride-roughly meme: a rider goes from "first real road bike" (invariably a longish-wheelbase sport touring bike) to a Cannondale with racing geometry and incorrectly associates the faster handling and faster wheel-to-wheel bump perception with the aluminum frame.

Most of the few of us who rode Cannondale bikes back then after riding short-wheelbase pro-level steel racing bikes (especially Italian bikes) noticed only that the Cannondales accelerated better and handled more predictably on fast descents.

Nothing against steel bikes: I loved my Raleigh Professional, Schwinn Paramount, and Bianchi Specialissima Supercorsa, to name only the blingiest of my steel bikes. But none of them were any more comfortable than the Cannondale racing bikes of the same era. Of course, that was long before the Internet saw to it that vague guesses at what people may or may not perceive concerning the behavior of aluminum versus steel bikes (and of, e.g., various "tone woods" used to build solid-body guitars!) hardened into dogma.

I agree- racing bikes suck.

But aluminum racing bikes REALLY suck!

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Old 04-08-20, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by jlaw View Post
I agree- racing bikes suck.

But aluminum racing bikes REALLY suck!

More for me!
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Old 04-08-20, 11:27 AM
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Would you pay $100 for the crankset and wheelset? You could transfer them to a steel frame. Anyway, that's the way I would look at it. I sometimes rescue a bike just to harvest its organs, and discard the frame at the coop.
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Old 04-08-20, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
Would you pay $100 for the crankset and wheelset? You could transfer them to a steel frame. Anyway, that's the way I would look at it. I sometimes rescue a bike just to harvest its organs, and discard the frame at the coop.
Or buy it and ride it for a while with an open mind. Also, read the long Classic & Vintage thread on vintage Cannondales: it's full of postings from passionate fans.
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Old 04-08-20, 03:50 PM
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Thanks for all the tips, but this whole COVID situation ended up playing against me. I thought I had the deal (in which the owner would have dropped the bike at a family member's house near his own place) secured, but it seems the owner decided to sell it to someone who was able/allowed to visit him. Can't blame him. Yet I'm totally bummed.
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Old 04-08-20, 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by jonny7 View Post
Thanks for all the tips, but this whole COVID situation ended up playing against me. I thought I had the deal (in which the owner would have dropped the bike at a family member's house near his own place) secured, but it seems the owner decided to sell it to someone who was able/allowed to visit him. Can't blame him. Yet I'm totally bummed.

Check ebay - the prices are higher but there's plenty of vintage Cannondales.

Here's one for $150 + $70 shipping - needs two wheels and a chain. R500T - 56 cm

Not pristine - but supposedly no major dents or any cracks (one thing to be aware of with vintage frames of any kind, but particularly aluminum)

https://www.ebay.com/itm/56cm-Cannon...IAAOSwu6teYqhD


You can also check Goodwill - some very good deals there if you are patient - not sure about shipping to Canada.

https://www.shopgoodwill.com/

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Old 04-08-20, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak View Post
Or buy it and ride it for a while with an open mind. Also, read the long Classic & Vintage thread on vintage Cannondales: it's full of postings from passionate fans.
Meh. I've ridden one hundred plus bikes. If a bike doesn't absolutely thrill me, it moves on. I've gotten rid of some well regarded C&V bikes that didn't bring me joy. Others would hold these bikes on a pedestal, but for me...

Life is too short not to be a absolutely delighted by one's ride.
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Old 04-08-20, 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
Meh. I've ridden one hundred plus bikes. If a bike doesn't absolutely thrill me, it moves on. I've gotten rid of some well regarded C&V bikes that didn't bring me joy. Others would hold these bikes on a pedestal, but for me...

Life is too short not to be a absolutely delighted by one's ride.
Absolutely.

Which is why there will always be a Cannondale -probably an ST- in my collection.
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Old 04-10-20, 01:46 AM
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Originally Posted by jlaw View Post
Have you ever ridden a vintage Cannondale aluminum bike with 23mm tires inflated to 110+ psi for 30 miles? You may not want to do it twice.

Not being snarky, but I had a similar Cannondale that I purchased after getting bored with my first real road bike (a nice mid-level, steel/lugged Peugeot) - mistake.

Cannondales had a reputation for bone-jarring rides for a reason.
I am aware of that reputation but I had an early 90s Cannondale R900 2.8 and it was the smoothest, most comfortable, most responsive bike I've ever ridden up to that point (compared to various modern low-mid level steel Bianchi, Lemond, Specialized) 🤷‍♂️
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