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Modernizing my 87 cannondale

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Modernizing my 87 cannondale

Old 08-08-10, 06:09 AM
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karrar
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Modernizing my 87 cannondale

I am considering, and have read several articles regarding, upgrading my 1987 cannondale from a downtube shifting 5 speed cassette/double chainring to a modern STI style shifting 8 or 9 speed casette/double chainring. i know i would need the little cable stops on the downtube, sti shifters, the cassette, a new rear wheel, new chainrings and a new derailleur. do i also need a new front derailleur? and with an aluminum frame am i going to be able to go from a 5 speed to 8 or 9 speed or will it not fit regardless of hub choice? i love the look of this bike and its very light but im just sick of the downtube shifters. is this even worth it?


thanks
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Old 08-08-10, 06:49 AM
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OK, You almost certainly have 126mm space between the dropouts. You can easily go to a 7 speed rear and acquire (off ebay) 7 speed brifters, preferably RSX model, but Sora if available too. In fact, you can keep your rear wheel and buy a Shimano or Shimano equivlent 7 speed freewheel. You may have to redish your wheel, but a competent bike shop should be able to do that. The nice thing about 7 speed is you don't have to spread the stays to acquire a wider spacing.
IF YOU GO TO 8/9/10 Speed, you have to force a 130mm rear wheel into a rear that's set up for 126mm. Because the stays relax when you open the Quick release, it's actually more like shoving a 130mm rear wheel into a 128mm space. YOU CAN NOT COLD SET AN ALUMINUM FRAME. But I'm currently shoving a 130mm spaced rear wheel into a 86 Nishiki Prestige. It's a little awkward and it could be interesting if I get a flat on the road, but it works.
If you like the bike, yes it's worth it. From a financial standpoint, you won't get all the money back when you sell it, but to guy that bike new with brifters will run around $800. Your call.
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Old 08-08-10, 06:53 AM
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I forgot to mention here comes the debate about the 'dangers' of putting a 130mm rear wheel in an aluminum frame. Some will say 'so what', it works fine, others will tell you your frame will break. Also, you might want to take this over to the C&V or double post because a number of those guys, myself included, have done this to vintage/older bikes.
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Old 08-08-10, 07:49 AM
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Originally Posted by roccobike View Post
I forgot to mention here comes the debate about the 'dangers' of putting a 130mm rear wheel in an aluminum frame. Some will say 'so what', it works fine, others will tell you your frame will break. Also, you might want to take this over to the C&V or double post because a number of those guys, myself included, have done this to vintage/older bikes.
This is exactly what I was going to add after i read the first response. If the frame were steel, no problem--I have a couple of old bikes I picked up here and there. One of them has 126mm spacing, but I've been using a 130mm wheel in it for years. I'd be reluctant to do the same with aluminum...I think the frame would probably take it, but I'm not SURE it would, over time. On the other hand, 3 or 4mm isn't much. I think I'd do it and just check the stays for cracks occasionally.
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Old 08-08-10, 08:46 AM
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Hi Karrar
Yes you can go STI. But are we talking about the ST800? if it is, I believe your wheel size a 27 inch with a threaded freewheel.
Without replacing a rear wheel with a freehud, you should be able to use 7 or 8 speed Sti shifter with a 6 or 7 speed freewheel.
but you will most likely need to redish the wheel.
with a new freehuub rearwheel you can run 8 out of a 9 speed cassette(you only have enough space to install 8) on a 126mm hub, and use a 9 speed shifter.
(same concept should work for 10 speed but i have not tried it)
anoher option you might consider is a strainght bar with grip shift.

any way you look at, you would be replacing majority of you drivetrain.

looks like a fun project. good luck.
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Old 08-08-10, 09:04 AM
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I put a 10 speed setup on a 1985 SR500. The rear wheel is a little snug but it's not a struggle to get in and out. I used the original suntour FD and it works OK - the shifters are Shimano 6603. I used an external bearing BB and compact crank.
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Old 08-08-10, 09:26 AM
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You can use your original FD and RD.

The only thing I would be concerned with is the spacing. On steel frames, it's okay if you bend the frame out a bit.

I would say it's not worth it. You'll have to invest a bit of money, which could go towards a new bike or buy a used bike with STI shifters.
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Old 08-08-10, 09:38 AM
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I've always ridden on steel road frames, and ran a 130mm hub in 126mm spacing on one of my builds. Aluminum is another story; you can safely (for the most part) fit a 128mm hub in a 126mm frame. But I would recommend you work on resizing the hub a bit.

Here's a typical hub


You can replace the spacers, and lock nuts with thinner ones; that will reduce the hub size about 2 to 4mm.
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Old 08-08-10, 09:49 AM
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Here are three conversions I've done. Two where straight up 7 speed downtube to 7 speed brifters. The Nishiki is a total conversion, 6 speed friction downtube shifters to 8 speed Shimano 600 brifters. The total cost for the Nishiki change was $210 and that includes the Alex deep V wheelset (used). The cost of upgrading a 6 speed to 7 speed re-using the wheels with a new freewheel, is about $130 if you do the work yourself. If you were a little closer to Raleigh, I'd help you make the change. It's not that hard.


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Old 08-08-10, 09:52 AM
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I was thinking about doing it on my commuter bike. You could get 7speed thumb shifters and put it on your bars.
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Old 08-08-10, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by ptle View Post
I was thinking about doing it on my commuter bike. You could get 7speed thumb shifters and put it on your bars.
That's a really inexpensive way of making a change to index shifters that are located on the bars, very good for a commuter where you want to be in an upright position. I'm making the same change to a 87 Schwinn World Sport that has flat bars, but still has the Suntour shifters on the stem.
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Old 08-08-10, 10:50 AM
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another easy solution would to to go to a bar-end shifter for the rd, indexed.
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Old 08-08-10, 11:17 AM
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this is all very good advice, i think a 7 speed hub sounds like less trouble and 14 speeds is enough for me on a touring bike like this, i already have a brand new shimano front wheel from my raleigh fixie that is about to get ditched, so might as well get a new real wheel. the current wheels are 23 years old anyway. so if i go seven speed and dont have to worry about damaging the frame, i will still need new chainrings yes? and what about derailleurs? i can only find 2 x 8 brifters, but thats ok i assume. just one 'ghost' index


also roccobike, my parents live in winston and my gf is from chapel hill so i plan on coming to the triangle area every so often anyway, so thanks for the offer i may take you up on it if i go through with this
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Old 08-08-10, 12:01 PM
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Yep, as Servo said, one option is to re-space the hub if it's 'coned'. I've done this with a couple of my old steel frames. The trick is to try to get the last cog as close as possible to the right dropout, then space the left side accordingly. Then, you've gotta re-dish the wheel. because it will be off centre. Also, depending of the thickness of the dropouts, you may have to cut a few mm off the axle.
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