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80's/Early 90's Cannondales

Old 06-06-11, 09:48 AM
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80's/Early 90's Cannondales

When I was like 13 the cool bike to have whether it was road or MTB was a Cannondale.

I've been looking at some recently and remembering how much I always liked those late 80's and early 90's C'dale Road bikes with the big fat downtubes.

What should I look for (and look out for) if I'm considering one? the late 80's SR600 seems like a nice bike. Would I be smarter to spend a little more on a higher model? Are the later 3.0's any real improvement over an SR600?

It seems to me that once you get to a certain level in the lineup, the only real difference between models is the component group. Is that accurate?
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Old 06-06-11, 09:53 AM
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Well, if you want an '83 tourer, we should talk.
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Old 06-06-11, 09:54 AM
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No, I want a speedy tin can.
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Old 06-06-11, 10:04 AM
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1994 Klein Performance touring bike:

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Old 06-06-11, 10:06 AM
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Again, not looking for a tourer. I'm asking about something more like the R600 and similar.
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Old 06-06-11, 10:10 AM
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I just flipped through the '85 catalog and it seems that yes, the only difference is the components. Haven't checked on later years. In fact the only difference between the SR500 and SR600 in 1985 is the SR600 has a tubular wheelset. I have an '85 SR500 that has some pretty components on it. Black ano chainrings on a SunTour Superbe Pro crankset. Cyclone derailleurs and hubs which use pressed in sealed bearings that are still running buttery smooth after 26 years. It's a bit small for me at 53cm but I can still ride it with out to much modifying. The thread on it... https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...ale-SR500-1985

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Old 06-06-11, 10:18 AM
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+1 Only difference is the components, let the deal determine which model you end up with.

Note, the mid to late 1980s Cannondales tended to have really crappy paint.
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Old 06-06-11, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
+1 Only difference is the components, let the deal determine which model you end up with.
.
Well I missed out on my first choice by about 10 minutes just now There was an 87 SR600 on ebay for like $275 that I was literally just warming up my clicking finger to buy

Thanks for the pics Chukk, the 3.0 Crit or the Earlier model is the kind I'm looking for. What's the complaint with the cantilevered Wheel stays?
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Old 06-06-11, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Zaphod Beeblebrox View Post
No, I want a speedy tin can.
Perfect description! I love it. Mine is a tin can with retro rockets. For the fun value, I'd go pre 1990. The SR series were designed before computer methods allowed for the modeling of tubing strength and thicknesses. So, the SR's are grossly over engineered and over built. Also, they don't have that funny little cantilever dropout of the 90's models.

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Old 06-06-11, 10:37 AM
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at the risk of getting this kicked to the Valuation forum, what's the going rate for a machine such as what you've got right there? 400? more? less?
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Old 06-06-11, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Zaphod Beeblebrox View Post
at the risk of getting this kicked to the Valuation forum, what's the going rate for a machine such as what you've got right there? 400? more? less?
Here was one that I had for a little while. Upgraded form DT shifters to STI. This is an SR600 I believe that was equipped with full 105. It also had an aluminum fork rather than a steel one.



I'd say that they go for about 300 as OEM in the Seattle market.
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Old 06-06-11, 10:51 AM
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...and that one's got 105 on it?

Did you like it? Why'd ya sell it? Just curious.

Thanks for the explanation Chuckk.
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Old 06-06-11, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Zaphod Beeblebrox View Post
at the risk of getting this kicked to the Valuation forum, what's the going rate for a machine such as what you've got right there? 400? more? less?
I picked that one up in the local market about a year and a half ago for $225. The CL going rate still appears to be in the $250 range with the occasional coming up at $150.
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Old 06-06-11, 11:02 AM
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My favorites are the pre-cantilever chainstay '87-88 SR500's and SR800's, the ones with full Shimano 105 or Tricolor 600. Six (or seven) perfectly indexed rear gears, everything can be rebuilt & totally bulletproof. Came with Biopace rings but they're easily swapped out for any Shimano round ring (although many people like 'em). Simple to upgrade and will take a 130mm rear wheel without a problem. Not such a fan of the Suntour setups used during the earlier periods, but others like 'em.

Look out for: Crappy paint (can be touched up, tho). Shredded brake hoods (hard to find replacements, easier to buy a replacement lever set). Expect to replace all cables, housing and tires and most likely the saddle as well. Anodized rims will generally have lots of (unsightly) rim rub but will work fine, but check corrosion at the spoke eyelets- a sure sign that the bike was kept outside or in the damp. Top tube cable guides are a particular sore point, as Cannondale no longer has a supplier and no intention of sourcing new ones. Old ones are brittle and break off easily. Jagwire makes a stick-on one for hydraulic cables that works but is not quite as elegant.

Don't know what size you are looking for, but give me a shout if you need a 58. I think I have a few still in storage in boxes.
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Old 06-06-11, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Zaphod Beeblebrox View Post
...and that one's got 105 on it?

Did you like it? Why'd ya sell it? Just curious.

Thanks for the explanation Chuckk.
It was a great bike. Super speedy and flex was non-existant. I did not find that the ride was overly harsh, even with the alu fork. However, I'm use to riding a really stiff modern bike. It was originally built to be my training/wet weather bike, but then I decided to pare down by fleet to only 3 bikes so this one had to go. This one, with STI shifters, went for considerably more than my quote of 300 for an OEM SR600 since the paint was in almost minty condition and the STI shifters have that appeal to people.

Also, mine had just enough clearance to put 28s in there.

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Old 06-06-11, 11:26 AM
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What a timely thread - I have always liked these, but prefer the really early sport-touring ones (84-88, I think??). I see them on CL for $200-400 all the time, depending on condition, and how much crack the seller has been smoking.
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Old 06-06-11, 11:27 AM
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Timing is everything. I sold an '87 SR600 in Raspberry Blue last year with a full Sante gruppo. Would have been the perfect size for you. I would own another (preferably a 53cm) in a second. The pre 90s SRs are EXTREMELY stiff but are absolute rockets. Let me know if you need an extra set of eyes before purchasing.
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Old 06-06-11, 01:24 PM
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1988 SR500, BlueBerry in color, Shimano 105 parts, as stock, bought it from e-bay little over a year ago, in beautiful stock condition.


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Old 06-06-11, 01:54 PM
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I like these bikes, too. I test rode the ST-400, the first model, when it came out in 1983. I was super-impressed.

The only Cannondale I have owned was that M-700 or whatever it was, from the early 90's. It was stolen a few months ago, and I had hardly ridden it at all. But it was too small for me. I thought it had promise. It was the lightest MTB I had ever seen, and I got it for a song at a police auction.
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Old 06-06-11, 01:55 PM
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Stop the press ! Got one for you. As new as old stock can get.

57cm. You've got a pm coming.
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Old 06-06-11, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Zaphod Beeblebrox View Post
When I was like 13 the cool bike to have whether it was road or MTB was a Cannondale.


actually would cannondales have been on the road in '80?
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Old 06-06-11, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post


actually would cannondales have been on the road in '80?
you've got me pegged older than I am ...try more like '90.
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Old 06-06-11, 02:24 PM
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I know I have enjoyed my Cannondale 3.56432srxhgt whatever it is. I don't know it was rough when I got it. It has all Campy Veloce on it. Real nice bike, I'll have another if I run across one.
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Old 06-06-11, 02:31 PM
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^^^ He's like your personal bike broker. (EDIT: JohnnyBee that is)

The other thing to consider is the period when they went to aluminum forks. I think that is what gives them the reputation as teeth chatterers. I had a 2.8 frame with the cantilever dropouts and aluminum fork, and the thing was a rocket. A little sad I sold it, as I too am persuaded by the late 80's/early 90's 'Fresh Prince' styling cues.

You might also want to check with Machin Shin, if you can contact him. He had a SR800 (I think) with a full Mavic group. It was sweet!

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Old 06-06-11, 02:34 PM
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I've had a bunch of them. $250 - $300 for good condition OEM, pre STI 105 or 600 is about right.

I've got a tiny 88 frame/fork that I'm selling / going to be selling. If you happen to ride a 50 shoot me a PM...
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