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Newbie rider... was given an'87 Cannondale SR500. I want to restore it. Need advice

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Newbie rider... was given an'87 Cannondale SR500. I want to restore it. Need advice

Old 02-24-14, 08:01 PM
  #1  
Kclymon11
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Newbie rider... was given an'87 Cannondale SR500. I want to restore it. Need advice

Howdy all. I'm a new road bike enthusiast brought on by a knee injury that forced me to give up high impact activities. With 4 kids and a single income, I was happy when a friend gave me his '87 SR500 Cannondale. It rides good for all I know. Had it out on 4 15-20 mile rides and I liked it. I did take it in to my LBS in which I got a couple new wheels, break pads, chain, and a tune-up for $150. I am very handy and want to restore/learn to fix this bike myself and save $$$. I've read a lot of the threads here and gleaned lots of good resources on DYI.
What I am specifically wondering about are parts. For example, I need to replace the hoods, cable stays, and want to find the matching (turquoise, this was an '87!) paint.
All of my riding friends have nice, new (expensive) bikes so I think it would be nice to ride up in my beautifully restored vintage Cannondale.
I would appreciate any help/advice in this area.
Kim
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Old 02-24-14, 08:19 PM
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Is it the Hojo's color scheme turquoise with orange decals, like mine below? If so, then it is a Shimano 105 group. You can get 105 aero hoods and plastic cable guides on ebay. The cable guides are otherwise unobtainium, although some wag here is using a 3D printer to make them.

Paint match would have to be done by an automotive paint supplier. Check with your local body shop. There are lots of examples of cannon dales in this forum and some have been fully powder coated with new decals. That would set you back at least $150.

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Old 02-24-14, 08:20 PM
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Welcome! You've come to the right place. You picked a sweet bike that will fit in just fine with newer bikes and can be upgraded accordingly.
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Old 02-24-14, 08:42 PM
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well if money is tight, i think your capital would be better spent if you just set it aside to buy a new bike down the road.

its going to cost $150+ for a repaint/decals and other parts. for $300-500 total you have a lot of high quality vintage steel options out there.

the SR500 is a nice bike but at the end of the day it's an aluminum frame- which imho makes it more a rider than a collectible. spend money to keep it rideable, dont put money into it for aesthetic/fashion reasons. now if money wasnt a concern, then yes rehab/refurbish it all you want....

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Old 02-24-14, 08:48 PM
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@zazenzach why torch the OP's enthusiasm? His questions were specific, not an aluminum vs. steel debate. Does it make you feel better to dis a Cannondale? Yes, most prefer lugged steel bikes in the C&V forum, but there are many Cannondale enthusiasts as well.
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Old 02-24-14, 09:10 PM
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I'd vote you delay spending to improve the bike's looks. Focus on function and building experience first. Those miles will help you set priorities and discover what you like and don't like. Check out books and online sources for maintenance and mechanical advice if you want to wrench on it, and don't forget that the right tools help.
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Old 02-24-14, 09:18 PM
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The original white hoods are unobtainium (OOP). You can find them on ebay, but they tend to go high. A cheaper option is to just pick up a set of generic aerolevers with hoods. I have bought a lot of sets from a seller on ebay for $8 a pair or less, shipped.


I'd delay some on the paint, as to do it right, it tends to be spendy. The original cable guides are also unobtainium. I tend to harvest them off a donor Cannondale frame I keep around. I bought a set from the 3D printer guy, he sent me a key chain instead…..

Focus on the key mechanicals instead (sounds like you are well on your way already in that regard).

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Old 02-24-14, 09:29 PM
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Originally Posted by oddjob2 View Post
@zazenzach why torch the OP's enthusiasm? His questions were specific, not an aluminum vs. steel debate. Does it make you feel better to dis a Cannondale? Yes, most prefer lugged steel bikes in the C&V forum, but there are many Cannondale enthusiasts as well.
don't get defensive over your bike choices mate. as i clearly stated it is a nice bike- i'd like one myself in fact. its a great starter bike, one that wont hold him back and he will learn a lot on.

point is though, OP has stated money is tight for him. in light of that fact, you need to prioritize things. OP would be much better served by saving up for a higher quality and more pristine steel bike down the road.

id be saying the same thing if this was a mid-range steel frame too. repaints are costly and time consumming and on tight budgets, often not worth it.
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Old 02-24-14, 09:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Kclymon11 View Post
Howdy all. I'm a new road bike enthusiast brought on by a knee injury that forced me to give up high impact activities. With 4 kids and a single income, I was happy when a friend gave me his '87 SR500 Cannondale. It rides good for all I know. Had it out on 4 15-20 mile rides and I liked it. I did take it in to my LBS in which I got a couple new wheels, break pads, chain, and a tune-up for $150. I am very handy and want to restore/learn to fix this bike myself and save $$$. I've read a lot of the threads here and gleaned lots of good resources on DYI.
What I am specifically wondering about are parts. For example, I need to replace the hoods, cable stays, and want to find the matching (turquoise, this was an '87!) paint.
All of my riding friends have nice, new (expensive) bikes so I think it would be nice to ride up in my beautifully restored vintage Cannondale.
I would appreciate any help/advice in this area.
Kim
Ha! '87? You're lucky it's turquoise and orange rather than pink and green. If it really has an original white seat and bottle cages, you might want to look at white bar tape as well. If it has the honey-colored tape, I'd see if I could track down the same color saddle since it really sets off the orange and the turquoise.

As for matching the paint, I second the suggestion to look at a body shop. If you just have a few scratches or scuffs you want to prevent from getting worse in the meantime, check out some of the different nail polish lines especially Essie and OPI. We had a dark blue bike in the shop that needed some very minor spots covered up and it turned out I had some polish that was nearly a perfect match.
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Old 02-24-14, 10:22 PM
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These old Cannondales are stellar riders, Kclymon. The power X-fer is about 100% pedal to the macadam, and they can climb vertical walls with no effort on the part of the rider whatsoever. Well, that could be a SLIGHT exaggeration, but with the '87, you have the best of BOTH worlds with a steel fork and no real harshness that people typically associate with aluminum.

My only concern is your wheel set - The bike came with pretty decent wheels - (See spec below) - but if a bike store provides and tune-up AND a new wheelset for $150, it is unlikely that the wheels are especially good - and good wheels ARE important. Do you still have the original Wolbers perchance?

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Old 02-24-14, 10:23 PM
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Wow, thanks everybody! All had great points of view and advice. A lot I need to consider... Sure, I'd love to purchase a new bike- saving some money, slowly, while I feel out the sport and the road on my vintage Cannondale. In the mean time, I like the suggestion of making sure the mechanical parts are working and not look to restore quite yet. I think I will try to match the paint so I can at least do a DYI job on the front fork. I will need new hoods though as the original ones are like sticky playdoh. Yuck!
Thanks again- Kim in SoCal
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Old 02-24-14, 10:30 PM
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Auchen,
I misspoke. I didn't get new rims/wheels(?), I'm still learning all the correct terms. I got new tires. But, I just looked at the wheels and all I can find stamped on them is ARAYA 700c JAPAN. Those aren't the originals I suppose. Have you heard of that brand?
And you're right, I have never done any serious kind of riding before (besides joyriding with the kids on some random bike) and I was amazed immediately at how it rode up hills. I felt like I could almost go vertical and it would not be a problem...okay, slight exaggeration. Kim
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Old 02-24-14, 10:44 PM
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Oddjob2, it's all turquoise with white decals, seat, tape & hoods- No orange.
I think I may go to a black seat, tape & hoods until I make the decision to restore it. I have a feeling white may be hard to keep clean.
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Old 02-24-14, 10:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Kclymon11 View Post
Auchen,
I misspoke. I didn't get new rims/wheels(?), I'm still learning all the correct terms. I got new tires. But, I just looked at the wheels and all I can find stamped on them is ARAYA 700c JAPAN. Those aren't the originals I suppose. Have you heard of that brand?
And you're right, I have never done any serious kind of riding before (besides joyriding with the kids on some random bike) and I was amazed immediately at how it rode up hills. I felt like I could almost go vertical and it would not be a problem...okay, slight exaggeration. Kim
Arayas are decent wheel rims. If you have Araya red label rims, (which you very well may have because there aren't so many that will package so well within a C'dale's frame) then they are VERY decent - very accurate copies of the Mavic Module E rims, and IMO just as good.

"Immediately" up the hills?
Yes indeed! I have an '87 SR-400 (same frame) but that was my epiphany regarding C'dale as well. I was really impressed by it.
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Old 02-24-14, 11:05 PM
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Sure, I'd love to purchase a new bike- saving some money, slowly, while I feel out the sport and the road on my vintage Cannondale.
I was in the same boat as you last year. I bought an '80s Trek, took it apart and replaced and/or cleaned & greased everything. I repeated that a few times. I've even built a half dozen or so wheels since last year. I discovered I actually really enjoy riding and fixing '80s road bikes and don't have much desire for anything newer now. Don't get in too big of a hurry to buy a new bike if you like the Cannondale.
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Old 02-25-14, 02:00 AM
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Kim,
You can buy brand new black replacement hoods for your gooey melted ones. Around 10.00.

You have a very nice and sporting vintage bike as your first ride. It'll have no trouble keeping up with your friends' newer bikes. If they have new carbon fiber bikes, there's realistically about 3 lbs difference. Improve your fitness first, then look into improving the bike.
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Old 02-25-14, 02:32 AM
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This is a truely great American made classic of a bike that with a little work and a few components can be rehabed into great bike.
Well worth spending a couple of hundred on or more with a nice wheelset the ride and performance rivals many modern bikes with a $1000+ price tag.
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Old 02-25-14, 05:00 AM
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SR's rock. And they are getting increasingly difficult to find. There is a reason for this. There is a premium attached to them. I have found it frustrating finding and obtaining them in my area. This is why I bought a frame (a Criterium Series) thanx too our own Bobotech.

If you want a classy ride that others will look at and reminisce, this will turn heads. Later on you can upgrade but really, this bike will fit in and keep up with modern riders if you do your part.
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Old 02-25-14, 05:36 AM
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Kim, Best advice I can give is to ride it as is to determine what you'd want to change in the future. Concentrate on how well the bicycle fits you. Bicycles are like shoes, a good fit is very pleasurable, while a bad fit is torture.

Brad
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Old 02-25-14, 06:09 AM
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Originally Posted by WNG View Post
You have a very nice and sporting vintage bike as your first ride. It'll have no trouble keeping up with your friends' newer bikes. If they have new carbon fiber bikes, there's realistically about 3 lbs difference. Improve your fitness first, then look into improving the bike.
+1 I bought a 2000 R600 CAAD3 a couple of years ago and have pounded a lot of ground and learned a lot. GREAT bikes, you have a good one. I agree with the advice to get the mechanicals right and learn to wrench your own machine. I learned long ago on the motorcycles to just not trust the previous owner (PO) on anything. Over time work your way thru every component and bearing and be sure it's got fresh lube and done right. Then you know what your baseline is for further maintenance.

And meanwhile put many miles under the BB and get the fit right. I've studied bike fit (gobs of info out there, not all consistent) and applied that to my bike a little at a time. I've returned from many rides to make a minor adjustment (seat height, bar angle, lever position, saddle position, etc) then go ride another 30 miles seeing how that works. Over time I've dialed it in and am very comfortable and convinced it's the right bike. Once you'v'e done that THEN you can spend the money getting it painted. If, by chance you find that the frame is the wrong size or just does not suit (or truthfully, you hate road riding), you can move it on and have saved the money.

As to 'all those other guys on their new carbon frames' I'm also convinced that many (most???) people want to buy their way into speed and flash. Many are not willing to take the time and endure the pain to get fit, loose weight, get their seat, hammer their legs, stretch their backs out, work out their neck muscles and lean on their hands until their body is used to this stuff. So they drop $$$$$$ on gear and kit and flash so they look the part. Its easier to buy gear 3 pounds lighter than loose 3 pounds behind their belts. As folks have said, be proud of your great C'dale and go get fit and dial in the bike. If those guys have adverse opinions about your ride then they are just not busy enough. Go ride your way and enjoy.
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Old 02-25-14, 06:13 AM
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Kim, I believe I have a set of the same 105 levers with black hoods that are in fair to good shape. As a C&V welcome to our mostly friendly and supportive forum, I'd like to offer them to you for free and zero obligation. It's great to have a newbie join us with such enthusiasm and excitement about riding.

I haven't noticed anyone suggest posting pictures yet. Seeing your bike, specific parts, paint problem areas, etc., will help us to best guide you on the most cost effective way to achieve your ascetic and mechanical goals. This group has a deep and wide knowledge base. We can trouble shoot and help you solve pretty much any challenge on your C-Dale.

Welcome to C&V and email me pastorbobnlnh@gmail.com about the 105 levers and hoods.
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Old 02-25-14, 08:50 AM
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Yes, let us "enable" you.
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Old 02-25-14, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by pastorbobnlnh View Post
Kim, I believe I have a set of the same 105 levers with black hoods that are in fair to good shape. As a C&V welcome to our mostly friendly and supportive forum, I'd like to offer them to you for free and zero obligation. It's great to have a newbie join us with such enthusiasm and excitement about riding.

I haven't noticed anyone suggest posting pictures yet. Seeing your bike, specific parts, paint problem areas, etc., will help us to best guide you on the most cost effective way to achieve your ascetic and mechanical goals. This group has a deep and wide knowledge base. We can trouble shoot and help you solve pretty much any challenge on your C-Dale.

Welcome to C&V and email me pastorbobnlnh@gmail.com about the 105 levers and hoods.

Thanks! I will try to get a picture up this afternoon.
And I feel better about my 'old' bike compared with my friends new ones after reading your posts. I DO like the Cannondale- I like that I saved it from the landfill. I like that I am not blowing a bunch of money on something new (not necessarily better).
I am just gonna ride, improve my fitness and learn what the road and my bike wants to teach me.
~Kim
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Old 02-25-14, 04:05 PM
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Congrats and welcome. Check for posts by rccardr for inspirational Cannondale builds. The early SR and ST Cannondales are desirable, collectible and worthy of any restoration, upgrade or modification.
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Old 02-25-14, 04:15 PM
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IIRC, weren't the Cannondales back then painted in Imron paint?
My Brother's Black Lighning looked nice, but he always complained the the paint chipped easily on it....
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