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87 Cannondale Black Lightning frame value?

Old 12-18-09, 06:57 PM
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EjustE
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87 Cannondale Black Lightning frame value?

Here is the deal:

I am totally ignorant about the value of Cannondale (& aluminum in general) frames; I do not ride them and I usually ignore them. However, there is a particular Black Lightning that is about to fall into my lap, which has its original Suntour and Sunsin black and gold components, replaced with Dura Ace and Campy Record bits. Which makes it extremely attractive to me as a decent priced source of those bits, and not as desirable to a potential buyer as a whole because it is missing its original black out (albeit lesser) bits.

My plan is to tear it down, keep the parts I want and ebay the frame to recover some of the cost. I just have not seen any of these frames for sale as framesets to try to figure out the value of the thing. It is an R700 '87 BL with a decent overall paint job, no scratches, but a couple of spots of the usual Cannondale paint bubbles of the era in the middle of the bottom of the TT (you need to look at the bike from underneath to see it) and on the back of the ST.

I am thinking that it might worth about $100. Am I way off?
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Old 12-18-09, 08:03 PM
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For the frameset only, I think your estimate is just about right, maybe on the high end for just the frameset. Most of the Cannondales I come across have a lot of chips in the paint. Seems that Cannondale paint jobs must have been mediocre. Otherwise, they are nice frames, and the paint is relatively easy to touch up. I have a 88 and a 89 myself right now.
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Old 12-18-09, 08:23 PM
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those black lightenings were as you surmised nothing special. that was also back when cannondale made three frames in different sizes, road, atb and touring. I think it sold for about $500. there was one, in desperate need of a tune up, on ebay over the summer for *giggle* $999.95. a self storage company was selling it and thought it was some rare bike
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Old 12-18-09, 08:35 PM
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Originally Posted by EjustE View Post
Here is the deal:

I am totally ignorant about the value of Cannondale (& aluminum in general) frames; I do not ride them and I usually ignore them. However, there is a particular Black Lightning that is about to fall into my lap, which has its original Suntour and Sunsin black and gold components, replaced with Dura Ace and Campy Record bits. Which makes it extremely attractive to me as a decent priced source of those bits, and not as desirable to a potential buyer as a whole because it is missing its original black out (albeit lesser) bits.

My plan is to tear it down, keep the parts I want and ebay the frame to recover some of the cost. I just have not seen any of these frames for sale as framesets to try to figure out the value of the thing. It is an R700 '87 BL with a decent overall paint job, no scratches, but a couple of spots of the usual Cannondale paint bubbles of the era in the middle of the bottom of the TT (you need to look at the bike from underneath to see it) and on the back of the ST.

I am thinking that it might worth about $100. Am I way off?
Ejuste, PM sent.

-Shin
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Last edited by High Fist Shin; 12-18-09 at 11:26 PM.
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Old 12-18-09, 08:43 PM
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I'll take an all original '87 or '88 in 58 cm please. Preferably with the Suntour Superbe black and gold, but I'll settle for Sprint.
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Old 12-18-09, 08:56 PM
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I thought they came with Blaze?
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Old 12-18-09, 09:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
I thought they came with Blaze?
Not the early ones. The catalogs only indicate Suntour Sprint on the '87 and '88, but I believe they were also equipped with Superbe at some point (or so I've heard).

http://sanaandterry.com/cannondale/year/1987/1987.pdf
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Old 12-18-09, 09:00 PM
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Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
For the frameset only, I think your estimate is just about right, maybe on the high end for just the frameset. Most of the Cannondales I come across have a lot of chips in the paint. Seems that Cannondale paint jobs must have been mediocre. Otherwise, they are nice frames, and the paint is relatively easy to touch up. I have a 88 and a 89 myself right now.
Do you ride them?

Cannondale was known for having atrocious paint jobs in the 80s; not sure whether it was the aluminum that needed some extra treatment to get a paint job right or something else, but these things just bubble from sitting. Never seen a pristine 80s Cannondale bike with an original paint job. They got their act together in this millennium, though, as far as durability of paint goes.

here are my thoughts as far as this goes:
-I've seen 80s Cannondale R frames go for $50-75 or so (and all of them are the same R300 to R1000; just the components differed)
-I figured that the "Black Lightning" designation and scarcity and that being a first year model might demand a premium
-just not sure what that premium might be.

Regardless, the PO was smart enough to get rid of all the original Suntour stuff and replace it with better components. Heck, the C-Record headset on this bike alone will make my purchase worthwhile at today's 'bay prices and the thing has a C-Record hub wheelset as well. Drivetrain and brakes are all Dura Ace. Methinks that the PO was someone who knew what was going on and wanted the best (albeit, liking to ride on foil)
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Old 12-18-09, 09:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
those black lightenings were as you surmised nothing special. that was also back when cannondale made three frames in different sizes, road, atb and touring. I think it sold for about $500. there was one, in desperate need of a tune up, on ebay over the summer for *giggle* $999.95. a self storage company was selling it and thought it was some rare bike
That was later...

(and, yes, foil is foil and I am not riding it). But, this is the first model year of that bike and I suspect that there might be some takers out there. I think that the original spec was Suntour Sprint (but a black and gold special version of it). I hear you, nada special to me, too... but there are a lot of people who like foil bikes still...
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Old 12-18-09, 09:09 PM
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Aw, c'mon, those frames ride like rockets! And I'm sure foil is a lot more forgiving.

Is that the one that was recently listed on Philly CL? It's gone now...
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Old 12-18-09, 09:26 PM
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You are correct, the components have been replaced. Later BL's came with Suntour Edge in anodized black and they were 7 speeds. Earlier ones like your '87 came with Sprint (although if it's a late 87 build date, might well have been sold as an 88). the '89s were nice bikes, shifted very sweetly, but the ano tended not to age very well. I'm not aware of any BL's that were spec'd with Superbe. The frames were like any other Cannondale frame of the period, only difference was that they used gold decals instead of another color and had one additional BL decal on the chainstay...which often has dried, flaked, and peeled off by now.

Cannondale frames on eBay are...variable. I've bought for as little as $40, paid as much as $112 for NOS- although that was in magenta. I would say $100 is on the high side, especially until spring, but that also depends on the size. And, like (I presume) others, I have sent you a PM. One can never have too many projects with which to occupy one's self during these dark, cold, snowy (we expect 20+ inches this weekend!) nights.
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Old 12-18-09, 09:51 PM
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Originally Posted by JunkYardBike View Post
I'll take an all original '87 or '88 in 58 cm please. Preferably with the Suntour Superbe black and gold, but I'll settle for Sprint.
That's an '87 and it was supposed to have the black and gold Sprint on it, but, the PO frankened it. The only thing original about this bike is the frame. The rest is Dura Ace and C-Record Campy bits (to my delight). Might be 58 cm, but not sure how to measure those things (they have that 2 inch solid extended ST over the TT, going).
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Old 12-18-09, 09:54 PM
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Originally Posted by JunkYardBike View Post
Is that the one that was recently listed on Philly CL? It's gone now...
No. That one is safely tucked into an obscure place I'd rather spit blood than having to drive down Schuylkill to pick anything up from Philly
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Old 12-18-09, 11:23 PM
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Originally Posted by EjustE View Post
That's an '87 and it was supposed to have the black and gold Sprint on it, but, the PO frankened it. The only thing original about this bike is the frame. The rest is Dura Ace and C-Record Campy bits (to my delight). Might be 58 cm, but not sure how to measure those things (they have that 2 inch solid extended ST over the TT, going).
For 1987, the serial number will tell us the frame size. I would be curious to know it myself. It can be found on the left chain stay or the left seat stay.

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Old 12-19-09, 06:19 AM
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A bare frameset with NO headset, BB or seatpost is worth $50-100 depending on the size. E, measure both the seat and top tubes C2C.
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Old 12-19-09, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by JunkYardBike View Post
Not the early ones. The catalogs only indicate Suntour Sprint on the '87 and '88, but I believe they were also equipped with Superbe at some point (or so I've heard).

http://sanaandterry.com/cannondale/year/1987/1987.pdf
OH I only recal seeing the Blaze ones which were UH how can I say this....... not the greatest effort on suntours part.
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Old 12-19-09, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by miamijim View Post
E, measure both the seat and top tubes C2C.
Was planning of doing, but I remember that Cannondale used to assign sizes for their bikes in a funny way and not the traditional ST C-C. Schwinn's sizing was ST C-T and I think that Cannondale used a similar method, but the ST continues for a good 3.5 cm over the center (like in the modern CF bikes).
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Old 12-19-09, 05:11 PM
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The frame size is included as part of the serial number. In my opinion, Cannodales run large for a given size,
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