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Outfitting a '84 Cannondale ST500 for a commuter

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Outfitting a '84 Cannondale ST500 for a commuter

Old 02-19-12, 01:01 PM
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kfkcam
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Outfitting a '84 Cannondale ST500 for a commuter

Hi Everyone, I've been lurking here for a while in the search for a solid road/commuter bike. I settled on an 25" '84 Cannondale ST500. I figured this would be a good bike as I'm in solid clydesdale territory at 6'7/250 and I run a daily RT commute of 25 miles. In any case I had some questions on outfitting the bike and I decided to break my lurking trend and start posting.

The bike looks to be in pretty good shape, my two areas of concern are the original Suntour Superbe rear derailleur looks to have been replaced with a Suntour Accushift XCD 6000--which I believe is off a mountain bike? The other is that the front brake handles look to have some serious road rash on them, so I'm looking for a replacements.

So my questions are should I replace the rear derailleur with something more road bike related? If so,which ones would you recommend? The ST500 is running a six-speed freewheel and I'm curious if that will have any impact on RD choice. FWIW the bike uses the original Superbe friction shifters so I won't need to worry about indexing. And as for brake handle replacements, I am considering installing Retroshift which would take care of the brakes, but would you C&V folks recommend something else instead? I got the bike for a good price so I'm willing to throw a couple hundred bucks into the upgrade, more if the components are of good quality.

Other than that it looks the the bike hasn't been ridden in a while so I'll be taking it in for a full tune up at my LBS. I'm also going to be throwing some Gatorskins on for what will hopefully allow for flat-free commutes.

Other than that any thoughts or additions you have would be much appreciated.

Cheers!

Last edited by kfkcam; 02-19-12 at 01:10 PM. Reason: added budget info
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Old 02-19-12, 01:14 PM
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Welcome to the forums!! Great choice for a commuter since it has lots of brazeons if you need a rack.

Back in the early '80s it was not uncommon to see a MTB RD (Mountain Bike ) (Rear Derailleur) on a Touring bike and if it shifts fine let it be.

as for the brake levers... My choice is always Campy aero.nonaero levers since I like he way they feel but they can be price. a really good and inexpensive lever is the Tektro RL520 wich has a very nice feel.


Any pics? this is a metallic green color?
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Old 02-19-12, 01:18 PM
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Sounds like a solid commuter choice, let's see some pictures! As far as the RD is concerned , I'd say unless you really want to replace it for cosmetic reasons keep it (assuming it works fine) . If there's one thing I've learned over the past couple of years working on bikes , don't replace it if it works.
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Old 02-19-12, 01:35 PM
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The RD will be fine, Run it till it wears out (and that could be a very long time). Good tires, service it and roll. I tend to lik Bar end shifters on loaded bikes. That would be the only recommendation beyond the Tektro BG posted. I have them on one bike and quite nice although I do have a soft spot for Diacomp 287 Aero levers as well. Look a little more vintage, about the same performance.
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Old 02-19-12, 02:21 PM
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Cane Creek sells nice brake levers similar to the Tektros. With either, double check the specs. There are some available that are for linear pull or V brakes. You don't want those.
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Old 02-19-12, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
Cane Creek sells nice brake levers similar to the Tektros. With either, double check the specs. There are some available that are for linear pull or V brakes. You don't want those.

I wasn't sure if you wouls want Linear pull for Cantilevers or not. the link I posted I believe is for Linear pull but they make others
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Old 02-19-12, 03:29 PM
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ST500 had side pull caliper brakes, and most road aerolevers should work fine. Tektro is the standard. Lots of other people making them. +1 Be sure to get ones for road calipers and not V brakes.

I would not go the retro shift route. You are talking about a pretty serious investment into a 27 year old bike. If you want to go that way, sell the bike for a nice profit, and buy a nice used bike set up the way you desire.

I would have the basics: bearings, grease, cables replaced, chain serviced, freewheel flushed, etc.

RD is basically a dumb device, that moves the chain inward or outward. The lever is the brains of the operation. In friction mode, the levers will not notice that you have a MTB derailleur.

+1 To below, for a commuter, and on such a large frame size, I would look for some barcons. Suntour made great ones.

Last edited by wrk101; 02-19-12 at 04:07 PM.
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Old 02-19-12, 03:41 PM
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I have full Accushift XCD 6000 on my tandem with bar end shifters, works great and keep it if you have a wide range freewheel.
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Old 02-19-12, 03:46 PM
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C'Dale is a great foundation! I've been tweaking mine for 26 years... Suntour XCD RD is great and should allow a very wide gearing range. I'd recommend you check the chain for wear...It'll be worth the $20 or so for a replacement.
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Old 02-19-12, 06:16 PM
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Hey, thanks for all the suggestions everyone! You have eased my mind on the RD and given me some great options on brake levers. I'm out of town for the Holiday weekend (picked the bike up the evening before I left) but I'll post a pic when I get back, but it has the Cannondale ST dark red color scheme.

A couple of follow up questions: Since it sounds like Retroshift isn't worth the money, which barcons should I look for? Are there some that are preferred for Suntour hardware? I've seen a few write-ups on the Suntour Command Shifters and mounting the DT shifters to Kelly Take-Offs. I noticed on ebay that some of the Command Shifters said they were seven speed, will that have an issue with my six-gear set up?

Thanks again for all the info!

Last edited by kfkcam; 02-19-12 at 06:20 PM.
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Old 02-19-12, 06:31 PM
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Suntour was the king of friction barcons. They are routinely for sale on ebay, and occasionally they pop up here. I got a NOS in package set at my LBS a couple of weeks ago.

I've put them on dozens of bikes, I've got four or five in the project queue right now with Suntour barcons.

Command shifters go high if you want to go that route (about 3X barcons), will probably blow the budget by the time you are done. I would rather spend those dollars on better tires, getting new bearings and grease, brake pads and cables.

Last edited by wrk101; 02-19-12 at 06:38 PM.
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Old 02-19-12, 07:03 PM
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If you know the make of the freewheel you might be able to go indexed with the right suntour bar cons as xcd 6000 is indexed.
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Old 02-19-12, 07:13 PM
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Straight up barcons sound like a good idea. I'll check around and see if I can find a set. Are there specific models that are better than others, or are all Suntour barcons essentially the same? This sounds like a silly question but should I be looking for six-speed barcons, or would a seven work?

As for Freewheel specs, if it is still running the original equipment, it would be a Suntour New Winner. What would I need to do to check in order to see if the freewheel is index-able? Are there any benefits/drawbacks for going indexed?

Last edited by kfkcam; 02-19-12 at 07:17 PM.
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Old 02-19-12, 07:47 PM
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1984 predates indexed shifting by several years. Converting a non-indexed bike to index shifting can be costly, can mean the shifters, the RD and the freewheel as a minimum get replaced.
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Old 02-19-12, 08:07 PM
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Well if op is buying shifters and has the rd, if the suntour new winner spacing is the same as xcd then its gold.
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Old 03-03-12, 01:59 AM
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Sorry for the late followup on this. Got back from vacation, took the bike to the shop and went for a complete overhaul, new cables, Cane Creek aero levers, some Barcons, Time Alliums, and Gatorskins.



Going to be installing a Jand rear rack and black SKS fenders tomorrow, after which I plan to go for a nice long relaxing ride.
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Old 03-03-12, 08:15 AM
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Looking good! Like the color and dressing it out pretty close to mine.

https://www.bikeforums.net/attachment...3&d=1304863157
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Old 03-03-12, 08:24 AM
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That looks like a great bike, Being Portland, I'd put fenders and lights on it, and Ride it.....

I like it....
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Old 03-03-12, 12:35 PM
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Grim, that looks like a sweet ride!

Yes, I'll be installing the fenders and rack this afternoon and the lights will follow shortly after that.
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Old 03-03-12, 02:30 PM
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Looks great except for that chunker of a saddle. I love that deep maroon, and tall frames always make the triples look really cool instead of busy. IMHO.
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Old 03-03-12, 03:39 PM
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Not mine, bu I like what he did with the cockpit. Rather intrigued with modern compact drops.



Someone else, possibly another BF member's ST400.

https://66.147.244.179/~vintagm8/node/451
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Old 03-03-12, 07:27 PM
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Wow ..a first Gen cannondale. havent seen many of those. I was a dealer that first year and people were buying those and putting racing wheels on them till they came out with their race bikes a year or so later. looks great!
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Old 03-03-12, 09:48 PM
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Very nice kfkcam! I like the burgundy color and I think you'll like the Gatorskin choice. I have a set on my tourer and they offer a very comfortable ride but can be slick on wet surfaces.
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Old 03-04-12, 08:04 AM
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kfkcam, The Cannondale tourers have an excellent reputation and the first gen. bikes, with their caliper brakes and crowned fork generally are considered the most attractive, 'specially the larger sizes. Pics w/fenders and rack?

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Old 03-05-12, 01:31 PM
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I got the fenders installed. As expected it was quite an involved process but well worth it. But my allotted time at the LBS's open workbench ran out, so I'll add the rack some evening this week at home. I'll post pics this evening.

jebensch: yeah the saddle is original, it's not bad for the 25 year old OEM saddle. Probbaly going to grab an SAA Titanico in the next week or so.
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