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Road Test/Bike Review (1988) CANNONDALE SM600 (mtb; 24" rear/26" front)

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Road Test/Bike Review (1988) CANNONDALE SM600 (mtb; 24" rear/26" front)

Old 08-10-23, 11:29 AM
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Road Test/Bike Review (1988) CANNONDALE SM600 (mtb; 24" rear/26" front)







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Old 08-11-23, 07:41 AM
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Whoa! And here I thought the 69ers in the late-2000s were the first MTB mullets. That's wild.
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Old 08-11-23, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Airborne Geek
Whoa! And here I thought the 69ers in the late-2000s were the first MTB mullets. That's wild.
This design was nicknamed “Beast of the East” to distinguish it from the long-wheelbase slack-geometry West Coast bikes. As the article notes, the ‘80’s were a time of experimentation and adaptation in mountain bike design.
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Old 08-11-23, 10:28 AM
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$750 in 1988 was not inexpensive. Neat bike.
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Old 08-11-23, 01:15 PM
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Very cool, would love to try one of these on the trail
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Old 08-11-23, 01:29 PM
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Very nice vintage bike from Cannondale , thanks for sharing
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Old 08-11-23, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Jeff Wills
This design was nicknamed “Beast of the East” to distinguish it from the long-wheelbase slack-geometry West Coast bikes. As the article notes, the ‘80’s were a time of experimentation and adaptation in mountain bike design.
The "conventional" M800 26'er actually wore the BotE moniker in production; in a couple of versions, through 1999
It definitely stands out in the catalog from the other bikes in the lineup ; kinda like the SM, it looks like it's the wrong size; like a 24" frame sitting on top of a pair of 26 wheels.
High ~13" BB height, short wheelbase and kicked back seat mast; it's as close to a factory Trials bike as you could get from one of the big manufacturers.
A lot of East Coast trail riding is steep and tight, techy climbing, lots of obstacles like rocks, root ladders and loose surfaces like clay and loam. Before suspension, you needed a bike with a little something different to attack terrain like that

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Old 08-11-23, 04:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Ironfish653
The "conventional" M800 26'er actually wore the BotE moniker in production; through a couple of versions, through 1999
It definitely stands out in the catalog from the other bikes in the catalog; kinda like the SM, it looks like it's the wrong size; like a 24" frame sitting on top of a pair of 26 wheels.
High ~13" BB height, short wheelbase and kicked back seat mast; it's as close to a factory Trials bike as you could get from one of the big manufacturers.
A lot of East Coast trail riding is steep and tight, techy climbing, lots of obstacles like rocks, root ladders and loose surfaces like clay and loam. Before suspension, you needed a bike with a little something different to attack terrain like that
An accurate description. An '86 (I think) M500 was my second MTB, after an '84 Bianchi Grizzly. Quite a change, especially the sky-high seat position, thanks to the high BB. Plenty of pedal clearance.

Too bad the 24" rear wheel put the bottom of the rear derailleur cage so low. I went through (conservatively) over a dozen derailleurs thanks to the front tire launching sticks at it. Plenty of sticks on the trails near Baltimore.

Sturdy frame. Crossing the Johns Hopkins campus on that bike one dark night, I rode straight into a curb at speed. The steel fork bent, but the aluminum frame was undamaged.

Thanks to the accidental change in the front end geometry, the bike actually handled better afterward, so I never bothered straightening or replacing the fork.
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Old 08-11-23, 05:30 PM
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I've posted it before, but I still have 1985 SM 600
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