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formicaman 07-02-13 01:55 PM

What should I do with this bike?
I just bought a 1997 Cannondale V700 to replace my '99 Jamis Dakar that was stolen last week. I was considering a new bike, but I only had about $500 to spend and anything under $1,000 in FS seems to be junk. I'm a recreational rider and prefer FS for the added traction climbing up roots and rocks and general control as opposed to crazy jumps.

The Cannondale is near-mint, original tires and everything. It had a totally shot replacement Rockshox fork though, so FOR NOW I'm having a new RockShox X28 installed, which I know is crud, but will have to do for now - I should be able to sell it used later since the Cannondale bike has a very long head tube (which is also why I can't get anything used).

Anyway, help me out. What should I know about this bike? Is it worth investing in a great fork and maybe a new rear shock at some point? Better wheelset, should one come along? I haven't ridden it on the trails yet (it's in the shop for the fork), but I do have to say I love the geometry - it's a fairly short cockpit, which I prefer and very nimble. Plus the damn thing is goregeous in a weird way.

jimc101 07-02-13 03:19 PM

Suspension design has moved on, even putting a good rear shock, like a RP23/CTD and a good fork, say a Reba or 32 Float, will still give you a bike that was designed in and rides like a 1997 bike.

Would ride it as is before looking to put any money into it, and if you do put any major investment into it, like wheels / rear shock, would these be transferable to a modern bike? unlikely, as the wheels will need to be 9mm/QR rear, when modern wheels are going 15 maxle / maxle rear (although you can get some higher end wheels which come with conversion parts), and shocks need to be specific shaft / travel length for the bike, so is unlikely to be transferable. All the expense for this could be put into a 2014 bike, which will probably offer better long term value for money.

Also the Cannondale won't last forever, a friend who rides one, of a similar age to yours now has mismatched ends, as the rear snapped last year, and he had to source a replacement, can you get replacements?

Interested in how they got the X28 to work in the frame, as the bike was originally designed for a Headshox, which has a different setup to modern forks.

dminor 07-02-13 03:33 PM

I would concentrate on the things that matter: Cockpit parts that make riding it more comfortable and enjoyable for you; tires that actually work; and brake pads if it needs them. I wouldn't spend money on wheels unless you trash a rim beyond saving; and then I'd get a RhynoLite and lace it back to the stock hub, provided it's good. If not, get a $100 Rhynolite/LX wheelset when/if the time comes.

I wouldn't spend a lot of money on the rear if the Vanilla is working. If it goes, look for a good-condition Vanilla R or something with adjustable rebound. Don't go out of your way to put too much lipstick on a pig (no offense intended). When you can, get as much fork as you feel you need and that you might want to move to another bike later (keep the X28 to slap back on it to sell later).

From there, only replace the drivetrain stuff, etc. if it wears out or if you just hate the item and it doesn't work for your needs. With it comfortable and fun for you, ride the piss out of it, enjoy it and sweat the small stuff as it it comes.

formicaman 07-02-13 04:17 PM

Good thoughts. I probably should have just bought a Jamis Dakar and upgraded that, but I think I want a fatbike at some point, so I'll save up for that.

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