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Update 1990 LLBean Cannondale?

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Update 1990 LLBean Cannondale?

Old 04-20-15, 03:18 PM
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Update 1990 LLBean Cannondale?

I'm new to the forum and have been reading a few posts related to my old bike and finally decided to post a question or two. I have an LLBean branded Cannondale touring bike that I bought in college in 1990. My roommate's dad said it was a pretty good deal. I was hoping to ride cross country with my roommate but I had to work instead. I commuted on the bike in college and occasionally to work but never made it on a camping trip! I'm wondering if the bike is worth upgrading with better or newer components. The brake pads are shot, but otherwise it is in pretty good condition. I always thought it would be nice to have better components. The wheels always seemed to be the weakest link. Would I be better off buying something new or newer? The headset was replaced at one time, but otherwise it's all original. For now I'd just use it for local riding, to the beach or into town. Maybe in a few years when my son is old enough, we could get out on a tour. I've been thinking about a tour for 25 years, but it has yet to happen!
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Old 04-20-15, 03:48 PM
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put on new brake pads, 500 miles, then do a reassessment.
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Old 04-20-15, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Beaton
I'm wondering if the bike is worth upgrading with better or newer components.
What's wrong with the components you have now? If there is nothing wrong with them i.e. they do what they are suppose to do, why waste money on new components that will do the same thing? Change anything that is worn out and off you go, how easy is that?
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Old 04-20-15, 10:48 PM
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Touring bikes of that type haven't really changed in basic form, and there are pros and cons to almost all the advances in componentry. Upgrading components is not really worth it because the frame isn't worth much, and piece by piece upgrades are expensive. Sounds like it would be a great bike to ride, and US/Japanese made.

Better wheels are always nice, but tires will go a long way, and spending a lot on wheels if they aren't compatible with newer bikes may not make a lot of sense.

I remember when LLBean had their own touring video and was promoting that brand. If it is reasonably equivalent to Canondale stuff made under their name, you won't find better stuff from China.
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Old 04-20-15, 10:50 PM
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If you started a thread about whether you should use a classic MTB frame from that period for touring, you would get tons of support, a lot of people are all for that. But older Touring bikes tend not to be as sexy. But it is a better bet for actually touring.
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Old 04-21-15, 06:08 AM
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The upgrades on this LL Bean/Cannondale I own was a Sugino crank and Tektro R539 brakes. The stock crank was a SR Custom one piece that I wasn't real fond of. These frames are the same as the top Cannondale models (ST600, ST500, ST400, etc.) except they have caliper and not canti brakes as the top ST models. Very nice and capable bike for touring. Go for it!

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Old 04-21-15, 08:29 AM
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Beaton, Welcome to the forum.

If you bike is a rebranded Cannondale, it's worth upgrading and/or updating. I'd take care of the consumables like the brake pads, tires, tubes and have the wheels tuned by a professional. Ride for awhile a assess whether you want to put more money into it.

Brad
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