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Bon Temps Rolleur: 1989 Cannondale Rebuild

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Bon Temps Rolleur: 1989 Cannondale Rebuild

Old 04-30-24, 01:36 PM
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Bon Temps Rolleur: 1989 Cannondale Rebuild

TLDR: Bought an old Cannondale, replaced everything but the serial number, put on some really nice tires; predictably it's a rocket sled


*Long Read Ahead
About a year and a half ago I picked up for nearly free, a very tatty, high mileage Cannondale Criterium (R500 Black Lightning)
I figured it would be a nice rebuild but I had no idea what I was getting into: while it was complete and rideable, nearly every bearing was loose and gritty, it had chips, dings and scuffs everywhere (no corrosion though) and a collection of mismatched parts.
I stripped it down and prepped for repainting, intending to keep the Black Lightning livery , until I found that Velocals had closed, rendering a lot of the pieces unobtainable. My original black and gold scheme gave way to the green-purple shift, “Purpleen” in the vintage Dale catalog, with repop Criterium Decals from VintageCannondale.com
I found a set of Mavic CXP-22s that already had a 10 sp cassette (11-28) so I added Microshift R-10s and some 5600 derailleurs. I had a 53-39 crank on hand, so I mounted it up on a new UN-300 BB to complete the drivetrain.
The cockpit got my favorite drop bar, the Salsa Cowchipper in 44cm, and I put new pads in the original Dia Compe brakes; because black single-pivots just looked right on this bike.
The icing on the cake was the tires, though: I found a pair of S-Works Turbo 320 tpi cotton clinchers in 26mm at my lbs’ “garage sale “ for about what I would have paid for something like GP4Ks or Gatorskins.
Let me tell you, these things are a game changer. They come out of the package like a ribbon, with a stripe of rubber painted on for tread; I put some lightweight Conti “Race” tubes in them and set them to my usual 80-85psi. Holy smokes. It is uncanny how fast this bike is over the road, but at the same time it skims over cracks and road texture like the 2.0s on my MTB. I rode this bike on the 23mm Kendas it came with, and it was every bit as bumpy and jittery as the reputation of the 3.0 Criterium that I’d been led to expect. Now it still feels fast, but it is absolutely on rails, like a German muscle car. This is also a bike that performs better the harder you ride it. Stand up and sprint 10/10 and dive into a fast corner and it’ll leave you laughing and ready for another.
I’ve only had the bike together for a couple of days but I have been riding it so hard and frequently that I may have overcooked myself (and I may be more out of shape this year than I thought)

Good Times!

#nogroundbeads




Cosmos Blue (Purpleen)

As found, mismatched wheels, ratty Tourney Brifters and all

Last edited by Ironfish653; 05-01-24 at 05:44 AM.
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Old 04-30-24, 02:18 PM
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Nice build! Love the new colors.
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Old 05-01-24, 03:25 AM
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Where did you get it painted? Very cool.
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Old 05-01-24, 07:09 AM
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Originally Posted by jdawginsc
Where did you get it painted? Very cool.
I painted it myself, thanks!

The color is Rustoleum Cosmos Blue, which is like a heavy pearl, applied over flat black.

Iím pretty handy with a spray can, and Iím happy with the way it turned out, but, dang is it a lot of work to paint a bike frame!
Thereís 5-6 different coats of paint, counting the primer and gold accents; and it took 10 large cans to cover everything , including two for the color-shift and three whole cans of clear gloss.
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Old 05-01-24, 07:43 AM
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What an awesome build. I love the paint, and those tires look great on there too. Glad to hear how well they perform.
Good call on the gravel bars. I'm not a fan of the "out the side" cables on the shifters, but the way the flared bars angle the levers, it doesn't look bad at all.
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Old 05-01-24, 09:29 AM
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Amazing job on the build and especially the paint! If you're up for it, I'd love to know more about your paint process, especially how you applied the god accents.

Glad it's bringing you miles of joy.
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Old 05-02-24, 04:41 AM
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Originally Posted by romperrr
Amazing job on the build and especially the paint! If you're up for it, I'd love to know more about your paint process, especially how you applied the god accents.

Glad it's bringing you miles of joy.
Sure;
Quick version:
Cleaned old paint and removed decals
Sanded chips scratches and missing paint.
Spot coats of High-Build primer to level out surface
Gold Leaf accent color to whole frame
Masked off accent lines
Flat Black base color, 3 large cans
Colorshift coats; the more coats, the more intense the effect. 2-1/2 cans
Remove masking to expose accent lines
Clear Acrylic gloss coats, 3 entire cans

Long-form Narrative: I started by laying out the graphics after I’d stripped the bike to a rolling frame and cleaned it. I used 1/4” masking tape since it was mostly based on straight lines. Once I had a look I liked, I took some pictures so I could replicate it when it was time to paint. I checked out a lot of custom bikes on Instagram; particularly [MENTION=30483]Squid[/MENTION]bikes and [MENTION=330480]save[/MENTION]thepostalservice; they show a lot of the process, so you can see how the effects are done.

Anyhow, I scraped off the original decals, brushed off any loose paint chips and bubbles, then cut the whole bike with 180, 220, then 300 grit. Next I applied high-build primer to anywhere paint was missing, sand and repeat to build up to the thickness of the original paint.
some spots took 4 or more times, old Dales have thick paint!

At this point it was time for the gold accent color: you mask off the accents before you lay down the main color, then when you remove the masking, the accent color is revealed.
Anyhow, I hit the frame and fork with Rustoleum Gold Leaf, then used my 1/4” tape to wrap the “ribbons” around the frame tubes and burnished it down.

The Colorshift calls for a flat black base, so that’s what was next. I often like to shoot flats to build coverage and then finish it off with a gloss. Bikes are difficult to paint because while there’s not much surface, what there is is all curves and inside corners, so you have to hit it from multiple angles to get full coverage, while not getting so close that you have drips and runs. Flats are much more forgiving. It took 2-1/2 large cans of black to cover everything and build up thickness for durability.

The “color” is Rustoleum Colorshift “Cosmos Blue” which is a green-purple shift. The paint is like a Pearl, it has very little color, and the more coats you apply, the more intense the effect gets. It takes 3-5 coats to get to the level I achieved on the bike. 2-1/2 cans were used here.

At this point I pulled off the masking and revealed the gold leaf accents. After the Colorshift had time to cure properly I added the 3.0 Criterium decal set from VintageCannondale.com and applied a clear acrylic topcoat. I used acrylic because I find it’s more forgiving than enamel or lacquer
two whole cans went into medium-light coats, with a third for the heavier wet coats that make it really shiny.
In actuality I probably could have used another can or two of clear to get it looking factory, but three was what I had.

I’m happy with the results, though I’m not sure if I’ll paint another bike, or at least one that’s not so elaborate, it was way more work than I expected

Last edited by Ironfish653; 05-02-24 at 07:44 AM.
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Old 05-02-24, 04:52 AM
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Itís a beautiful job!
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Old 05-03-24, 03:20 PM
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Amazing, thank you for the detailed write up.
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Old 05-03-24, 04:44 PM
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That was in pretty sad shape when you got it, good to see it being put back to good use. Bit of a bummer that another Black Lightning is no more (so to speak) but that bike was pretty far gone from its former glory. Being that is was a Black Lightning, that makes all the black components all the more fitting.

I did notice that you have the front derailleur cable housing routed around the outside of the front brake. That should actually be routed on the inside so that the cable sits against the head tube.
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