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Ignored Cannondales for too long.

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Ignored Cannondales for too long.

Old 10-02-19, 06:05 PM
  #1  
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Ignored Cannondales for too long.

I've had a lot of Cannnondales go through my hands without really giving them a chance, a few months ago I picked up an SR and love it. The other day I picked up this ST and it rides great. I can't believe it took me this long to really appreciate how great these bikes ride. I think I just heard to many times how harsh and terrible the Aluminum frames ride. This ST is definatly a keeper, took me a couple miles to get the fit dialed in but its really comfortable now.






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Old 10-02-19, 06:25 PM
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I have heard great things about those ST models. Never have ridden a Cannondale though other than our tandem (2004).
How is the tire clearance?
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Old 10-02-19, 06:29 PM
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My R600 is one of the bikes you can't ride slow.

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Old 10-02-19, 06:31 PM
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I'm right there with you. I was also shocked. Actually mentioned it over here earlier about an '86 SR500.

After how much I've enjoyed the SR I'm interested in finding one of the ST of similar year/model to give it a go.
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Old 10-02-19, 07:05 PM
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They are harsh and horrible. Send me yours.

There actually were some real crap riders, but that doesn't mean they weren't fast.

The few that sucked got a lot more press than those that didn't . Those owners were out riding.

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Old 10-02-19, 07:29 PM
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Agree! Here's one I covet. On the lower end but never fails to amaze and make a journey ready for any surprises. A HeadShock equipped hybrid just over 20 yrs and before the term gravel grinder / adventure bike. Fits big and wide 700c making this thing roll over cobbles smooth as glass. Simple powerful brakes, a robust shift system completes my wishes.






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Old 10-02-19, 07:52 PM
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Originally Posted by RobbieTunes View Post
There actually were some real crap riders, but that doesn't mean they weren't fast.
I sold Cannondale bikes from their introduction up to the mid-'90s and never encountered a crap rider.

The more likely explanation for their mixed reputation is that some people who had ridden only Japanese sport touring bikes and then bought a Criterium Series Cannondale found themselves in over their heads. Everything happens too fast on this bike!

Of course, if those same people had bought one of the few available Italian steel crit geometry bikes instead, they'd have had the same experience, but they wouldn't have had an aluminum frame to blame.
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Old 10-02-19, 08:02 PM
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Originally Posted by crank_addict View Post





Impressive lightsaber.
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Old 10-02-19, 08:39 PM
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I own a lot of vintage touring bikes (they all have their merits), but my '90 ST 600 is quite simply the standard to beat. Just a bit lighter, just a bit longer, quite a bit stiffer, but with big tires is still a very nice ride. Crazy fast descending on this bike feels safe as houses; it's on rails; all the cliches. I seriously doubt I'll ever find better.

But I'll keep looking, just in case

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Old 10-02-19, 09:22 PM
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I love my 1985 Cannondale ST 400. It came to me with the stock half step gearing and stock shimano 600 parts. I rebuilt the bike with a shimano 600 triple, shimano XT RD, and 7 speed click shifting. I built the bike with wide range gearing as I wanted to be able to take it to the mountains to ride (48/36/24 crank, 13-28 freewheel).

The bike rides great. The weight is very decent for a touring bike. I swapped the 27 inch wheels out for 700c (the 600 brakes reach but barely). The bike is comfy with 32c tires. It is a responsive machine and a mile eater for sure. Plus the triple water braze ons are a real plus on a long ride. Here it is when I did BAM (Bike Ride Around Minnesota) earlier this year:



I cracked the rear hub on the ride. The zip ties on the spokes kept them from flying out while I babied that bike to the lunch stop on the 3d day. Still that wheel could have collapsed on me at anytime, lol. I caught a ride to the nearest town with a bike shop and managed to find a 126 mm rear wheel so I could finish the ride.

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Old 10-02-19, 09:31 PM
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Originally Posted by crank_addict View Post
Agree! Here's one I covet. On the lower end but never fails to amaze and make a journey ready for any surprises. A HeadShock equipped hybrid just over 20 yrs and before the term gravel grinder / adventure bike. Fits big and wide 700c making this thing roll over cobbles smooth as glass. Simple powerful brakes, a robust shift system completes my wishes.






Where are the shifters? I'm missing them.
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Old 10-02-19, 09:36 PM
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Originally Posted by TriBiker19 View Post
Where are the shifters? I'm missing them.
In the brake levers.
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Old 10-03-19, 12:01 AM
  #13  
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I'm glad you and the ST have really seen eye to eye now. ST's are pretty incredible in that they respond like a race bike when out of the saddle, but in the saddle, even loaded down with fenders and racks, they move and ride so smoothly and so well. I've owned a number of crit and road frames. They are proper race frames and the crit frames have very responsive rear triangles, but I have never had any of them feel harsh. Stiff, sure. Immediately responsive, yes. Aside from the very real possibility that many buyers went from lazy steel frames and big tires to racy Cannondales and freaked out, many forget--or never realized in the first place--that wheels and tires can make or break the bike's ride quality. Case in point...for steel in my case: Brand new Vittoria Corsa G/G+ tan wall tires have all the look yet are noticeably dull in comparison to the much snappier/springier and older Vittoria Open Corsa Evo CX. On the same wheel!

"Cumulative stiffness or rigidity" could be an apt term. Stiff frame meets less stiff box section rims with double-butted spokes and softer tires/tubulars. Anyway, I'll can it for now. This is about cool Cannondales and seeing the light. With that being said....

I'd like to find a very nice ST800 or ST1000. I sold my very good '90 ST400 which I hung very nice parts on, but I'm looking for that anthracite/dark slate grey that the top dog ST's wore in their day (ok, they were black too sometimes).
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Old 10-03-19, 12:28 AM
  #14  
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Originally Posted by RiddleOfSteel View Post

I'd like to find a very nice ST800 or ST1000. I sold my very good '90 ST400 which I hung very nice parts on, but I'm looking for that anthracite/dark slate grey that the top dog ST's wore in their day (ok, they were black too sometimes).
This one has your name written all over it. For sale locally here but at $175 - too much in this depressed market. I always thought the gray color Cannondale had was awfully muddy and blah.

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Old 10-03-19, 01:55 AM
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I bought a R400 from a coworker a few weeks ago. It has been in storage for 20 years but is in very good shape. The tires were in bad shape so I slapped a couple of used one I had and rode it a little. He even had the original owners manual for it. I'm not sure what to do with it or if I should even trust the aluminum fork. I'll post some pictures if it if anyone is interested in them.
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Old 10-03-19, 02:27 AM
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I donít know why you wouldnít trust a Cannondale welded aluminum fork any less than a welded aluminum chainstay.
Itís a long way away from the cast, bonded Viscount forks from the Ď70s that the steel-is-real crowd likes to trot out as proof that all aluminum bikes are ticking time-bombs.

Back to old Cannondales, an ST would be redundant in my fleet, as Iíve already got a couple of long-legged roadsters. A Crit would be motivation to get in better shape though, or an R600/800 as a companion to my F1000.

That old F-bike is still pretty handy on singletrack, and is an absolute weapon on slicks as a fast urban commuter.
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Old 10-03-19, 04:48 AM
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Count me in as a "believer". 👍 My '85 ST is all that and a bag of chips, but has one flaw, it didn't get cantilever brakes. 😒😉
I keep telling myself it's no big deal, but coming down mountains, you really start wishing you had them. Maybe I'll run into one with cantis down the road. 🙂

I might be buying an old Bianchi MTB today, WITH cantis, but that's a whole 'nother thing. 😉
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Old 10-03-19, 05:47 AM
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Perfect timing on this thread, as I just came across this bike at the co-op, which appears to be a 1988 ST700. Color and components all match the catalog description, except for the brake levers, which aren't aero. Paint's a bit chipped, but otherwise looks great. I'm going to clean it up and see how it rides.
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Old 10-03-19, 06:04 AM
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Nice ST. @sloar, you really got a nice example in that one. I've had three 'Dales, beginning on 1991 with my SR300, criterium geometry. My current contemporary ride is a 2012 CAAD10-4, converted to all Ultegra. The ST have been looking more and more inviting as I see them here on the C&V, yours has me thinking more about finding one.

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Old 10-03-19, 06:11 AM
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I picked up an SR600 a few months ago. What was the difference between the ST and SR models?
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Old 10-03-19, 06:32 AM
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Originally Posted by 76SLT View Post
I picked up an SR600 a few months ago. What was the difference between the ST and SR models?
"R" means racing and "T" means touring, so ST's have, for example, much longer chainstays, a third bottle cage mount, rack and fender mounts and sometimes canti brakes. You can see the geometry differences in the charts at the end of this catalog: https://vintagecannondale.com/year/1988/1988.pdf
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Old 10-03-19, 07:18 AM
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I hated the Critirium I owned 20 years ago when I started back to road bikes.Maybe it's time to give them another try.

Cannondale bags are great.
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Old 10-03-19, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by due ruote View Post
I have heard great things about those ST models. Never have ridden a Cannondale though other than our tandem (2004).
How is the tire clearance?
I built up a 1985(?) ST400 for my wife and I was able to get SKS longboard fenders and 32 mm Panaracer Paselas in there, but it's a tight fit (maybe 3 mm clearance at the tightest spot). Could probably do 35 mm tires without fenders, but I'd like the clearance better with a 28 or 30 mm tire if I wanted fenders and planned on doing any muddy roads or gravel.
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Old 10-03-19, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by stardognine View Post
Count me in as a "believer". 👍 My '85 ST is all that and a bag of chips, but has one flaw, it didn't get cantilever brakes. 😒😉
I keep telling myself it's no big deal, but coming down mountains, you really start wishing you had them. Maybe I'll run into one with cantis down the road. 🙂

I might be buying an old Bianchi MTB today, WITH cantis, but that's a whole 'nother thing. 😉
Shimano makes R451/600/650 dual pivot brake calipers in standard (47-57mm) reach that work with 700C wheels. I did this on my '85 ST400 and it worked extremely well. Single pivot brakes and long mountain descents are often not good, but the Shimano units (with good pads, of course) with the dual pivot geometry are absolute vices. If you're running non-aero levers, a switch to the newer SLR/Super SLR type Shimano brake lever with it's much improved geometry and comfort will provide an immensely confident brake feel that won't fade. Canti brakes can be good, and were introduced after 1985. My '90 ST400 just fit Tektro CR-720 canti brakes and those things didn't squeal and clamped like an alligator when I needed them to--as good as any Dura-Ace 7800 brake caliper even (I run them on my bikes).
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Old 10-03-19, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by sdn40 View Post
This one has your name written all over it. For sale locally here but at $175 - too much in this depressed market. I always thought the gray color Cannondale had was awfully muddy and blah.

That lavender is a fun color, but for a tourer, I will pass. Anthracite is where it's at for me.

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