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1991 Cannondale ST600

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1991 Cannondale ST600

Old 06-08-20, 09:46 AM
  #1  
mplsbiker
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1991 Cannondale ST600

I just recently picked up a Cannondale ST600 frame and fork. It was a semi-impulse buy but the price/size was right and I have been looking for a sport touring frame for awhile to replace my overbuilt Trek 520, something lighter that can handle 3-4 day bike camping trips. I think the 520 is a great bike but it ended up being overkill for the kind of rides I am doing.

So I have read tons of older posts on here about the ST600 but thought I would start a new thread, to get the good the bad and the ugly on this frameset from the people here who own or have owned them.




I currently have most of the parts I am going to be building this up with:
• Custom-built wheelset with Campagnolo Veloce Hubs
• Campagnolo Racing-T groupset, 8 speed, 46/39/30 in the front with Miche 8 Speed Cassette 13-28
• Campagnolo Chrous 8 Speed Ergos
• Nitto Technomic Stem and Nitto Grand Randonneur Bars (44)
• Jim Blackburn front lower riders and rear rack.

Things I still need/questions:
• Cantilever brakeset
• Tires, I have no idea about clearance yet???
• I have a 1" threaded Campagnolo Record headset but I am not sure if the crown race on this fork (Tange) is ISO or JIS
• I still haven't chosen a saddle or seatpost, but I will most likely go with a Thompson Elite Seatpost and B17 saddle.

Let me know your thoughts or anything you know about this frame!

Last edited by mplsbiker; 06-08-20 at 11:08 AM.
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Old 06-08-20, 07:36 PM
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This bike?

This is a time capsule garage queen which replaced a stolen T2 last summer. The T2 was a replacement frame due to a cracked drive side dropout on a mid 90's T600 (hugs Cannondale Corp). I have ridden over 20k+ miles of touring on this series of bikes. Love them.

Garage Queen comments:

​​​​​​The stock accushift dt shifters are horrific. (No friction mode due to a patent fight)
I had to destroy the orig freewheel to remove it.
50-40-28 is a wee bit tall for touring but I love the narrow Q-factor.
The old Cannondale's are rather "buzzy" unloaded on bad chip seal roads. (Invest in a suspension stem for relief.)

PS: I'll see your 8 speed chorus and raise you 9 speed c-record carbon. Campy gen 1/2 ergos "Best triple shifters ever".
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Old 06-08-20, 08:52 PM
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I rode one in 1991 from Pittsburgh to Portland. It was my first tour. Great bike when I was 30, but now my brittle bones favor steel and I ride a Co-Motion Cascadia. Very good handling and fast on the Cannondale but I now tour only on steel. I do miss the confidence of the original 36 spoke wheels however. I hit a brick on a fast downhill on my tour and had double snakebite pinchflats, but no rim damage; scared the crap out of me when I hit it though. I was on 700x25s back then I think at 110 PSI probably. Now ride Rene Herse 700x35s on the Co-Motion and that is a whole new world of comfort. I held on to the Cannondale for a very long time after I stopped riding it, but finally sold it off to a new tourer in Virginia. I sold the 25year old frame for nearly what I paid for the original bike in 1986.
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Old 06-08-20, 11:17 PM
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I had one of these last year (?) for about a month (?). Mine had 36-spoke wheels, but whoever built them, didnít tension them right, and they disintegrated on me. 🙄😟 This happened in Colorado, partly because of a corrupt/idiot cop, who made me get off the highway, by hauling my bike over a fence. 🙄 Karma will get him. 😉

Anyways, mine had Grip Shifters on drop bars, with Suntour X-9 derailleurs & cantis. I didnít care for the components much, but the frame was great. If you research a bit, youíll notice that not all ST600s had cantilever brakes, so these ones are generally harder to find for sale. Itís basically the same frame as a ST1000, which is also hardly ever for sale. 😉
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Old 06-09-20, 07:54 AM
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star, as an aside, I dont know what sort of mechanical aptitude or interest you have, and I know you are on the road full time, but do consider trying to get someone to teach you about using a spoke wrench and how to even roughly assess spoke tension. Could save you grief down the road.
My expertise is limited, but many many times I have taken old bikes and been able to at least tell by hand that the spoke tensions are too low, even if the wheels are true, and then slightly tighten up each spoke while maintaining a true wheel.
Ive used known wheelsets I have as a reference for tension (albeit only using my fingers to feel spoke movement and or plucking them using ears) and then brought a bikes spokes at least close up to a known set of good wheels.
It seems that you buy, use and then ditch bikes as needed, so this could be a good skill to at least start to pick up. A bike coop would be a good place to get some instruction, and or being allowed to practice on a crappy old wheel, to start to get the hang of it.

there are spoke wrenches that have three or four sized holes or spaces for diff sized spoke nipples, handy for varying bikes. They are a bit heavy compared to a one size one, but obviously would be better for variable bikes and spokes.
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Old 06-09-20, 08:05 AM
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Originally Posted by mplsbiker View Post
Let me know your thoughts or anything you know about this frame!
a friend has about a 15-20 yr old cannondale tourer, and Ive ridden it and it reminds me of my very late 90s alum mtb frame--ie very stiff (great for when loaded) and a bit harsh if you have either the wrong tires and or too high pressures---so from this, my recommendation is to be selective of tires. I'd put as wide as is safely possible, so room for an untrue wheel, but also do think of putting tires that are nicer riding, ie more flexible, than some super stiff tire that inherently will have a harsher ride to them.

dont know if tire choice/width/pressures are something that have ever been on your radar, but it really can make a diff to how a bike feels and rides, and with an inherently stiff "old school" aluminum frame like this, it could make a real difference.
I have and ride regularly a newer alum frame, about 10 years old, and the shape of the chainstays etc that hydroforming or whatever it is that allows for fancy shaped alu tubing, did make a difference to feel compared to old school stuff that I either ride or have ridden. Not a huge hugh difference, but enough that I noticed right away---and my memories of riding my friends Cannondale T bike certainly back that up.
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Old 06-09-20, 03:54 PM
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djb So Yeah tire choice is one of my biggest considerations. I have not tested the frame for clearance yet, but I am hoping 38s without fenders will fit.

Its a balancing act with tires, since this bike will be used for bike camping trips and commuting I want something comfortable but I also need something with puncture protection. I would love to throw light weigh Compass tires on here but I don't like dealing with flats, so I will probably compromise with something like 38mm Slick Panaracer Gravel Kings or maybe even PTs.
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Old 06-09-20, 04:09 PM
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Great frame. I sold Cannondales in a couple of stores, starting back when they began building bikes in the early '80s, when the frame and fork were shipped to the store in one box and the rest of the bike in another. I've ridden and owned many top-end steel bikes, but for touring, I'd take a Cannondale ST-series frame over any steel frame ever built. (I seem to be immune to the placebo effect, since I've never found any of my aluminum frames to be less "comfortable," whatever that means for bikes without suspension.)
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Old 06-09-20, 05:11 PM
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I think any reasonable tire but not overly inflated is key. And certainly wider will be nicer, even 35s are much cushier than 28s for example.
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Old 06-09-20, 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by escii_35 View Post


This bike?

This is a time capsule garage queen which replaced a stolen T2 last summer. The T2 was a replacement frame due to a cracked drive side dropout on a mid 90's T600 (hugs Cannondale Corp). I have ridden over 20k+ miles of touring on this series of bikes. Love them.

Garage Queen comments:

​​​​​​The stock accushift dt shifters are horrific. (No friction mode due to a patent fight)
I had to destroy the orig freewheel to remove it.
50-40-28 is a wee bit tall for touring but I love the narrow Q-factor.
The old Cannondale's are rather "buzzy" unloaded on bad chip seal roads. (Invest in a suspension stem for relief.)

PS: I'll see your 8 speed chorus and raise you 9 speed c-record carbon. Campy gen 1/2 ergos "Best triple shifters ever".
That is the bike, can I ask what you have discovered as far as what size tires this frame has clearance for? Plus do you know anything about the headset, is it JIS or ISO?
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Old 06-09-20, 10:05 PM
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Originally Posted by mplsbiker View Post
That is the bike, can I ask what you have discovered as far as what size tires this frame has clearance for? Plus do you know anything about the headset, is it JIS or ISO?
25in (63.5cm) frame and straight top tube means things are a little close to the junk. 700x36 is the max I run for that reason. I ran wider on the T2 but it has a slopping top tube.

​​​​​​No idea on the headset.

Last edited by escii_35; 06-09-20 at 10:21 PM.
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Old 06-10-20, 03:11 PM
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Perhaps this has the info you want.

https://www.tangeseiki.com/jm/images/...seiki-2011.pdf

I saw the Cannondal specs here which where I found out which headset it has but not the model number of it.

https://cimg0.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...40ca8be960.jpg

Cheers
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Old 06-11-20, 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Miele Man View Post
Perhaps this has the info you want.

https://www.tangeseiki.com/jm/images/...seiki-2011.pdf

I saw the Cannondal specs here which where I found out which headset it has but not the model number of it.

https://cimg0.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...40ca8be960.jpg

Cheers
Thanks for the resources, the sad thing is, even with the headset completely disassembled, I cannot find any markings other than "Tange". I guess I will have to buy a caliper so I can measure it, part of me wants to assume it is ISO spaced just based on the age (1991) and the fact that it shipped on an American built frame.
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Old 06-11-20, 05:00 PM
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You could always take it the fork to either a hardware store or to a garage or even a bike shop, if any one of those three are close to you, and have them measure it for you.

Cheers
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Old 06-11-20, 05:36 PM
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I had a 1992 T1000 and a 1994 or 1995 T600 touring bike. I believe both had similar frames.

Overall, I really liked my Cannondale frames as providing the right mix of stiffness and flexibility. I rode the T1000 half way around Australia before developing a crack most of the way around the right chainstay.

After that happened, I put duct tape around the chainstay, crossed my fingers and spent the next few days cycling 280km to Geraldton, WA which was the nearest bike shop. We diagnosed the cause of the failure before stripping down the bike. I took the bus to Perth and then flew to San Francisco before returning five days later with the T600. From the airport, I cycled ~360km back to Geraldton where we mixed and matched parts from the bike. I then continued cycling the rest of the perimeter of Australia.

Cause for the failure? My mistake. Some 1500km earlier close to Broome, my rear rim had developed some scary looking cracks near spoke holes. Given it was pretty remote, I went to the bike shop in Broome. They didn't have wheels but could have one built in Perth and then shipped up to Broome via truck. It all took a few days, but at end of the week, we went to replace the wheel. As the bike shop mechanic was replacing the wheel, I was taking the old wheel apart so I could mail home my hub. I should have paid more attention, but the spacing for the hub was wider than the frame dropouts. Not to worry, the mechanic pushed open the frame to squeeze in the wheel.

I should have noticed, but the net effect was two things (1) stress on the frame and (2) tire was closer to one side resulting in more grit blasted on one side. The frame lasted another 1500km to Shark Bay before I noticed the crack.

So I'm sure you will watch things, but my lesson learned is to be careful with wheel spacing
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Old 06-11-20, 08:50 PM
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re grit blasting, I was rather surprised on my old mtb that I use for winter riding, that one year I used 2.5 inch knobbies on it, which passed really close to the top of the bridge of the front suspension fork. When snow would accumulate on the tire, and then on that part of the fork, I would hear snow being scraped off it, but never really thought much about it , its soft snow right?
Was surprised to see how the road grit that gets put down along with salt and started to wear away at the aluminum there, so while it was fun riding with the 2.5's at really low pressures on snow and ice, I changed them out to some more narrow 2.1's or whatever tires that the bike had been designed around back in the day. Actually, the 2.5's never did fit in the rear, no room, but just fit up front, until I realized my folly.
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Old 06-12-20, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by mev View Post
I had a 1992 T1000 and a 1994 or 1995 T600 touring bike. I believe both had similar frames.

Overall, I really liked my Cannondale frames as providing the right mix of stiffness and flexibility. I rode the T1000 half way around Australia before developing a crack most of the way around the right chainstay.

After that happened, I put duct tape around the chainstay, crossed my fingers and spent the next few days cycling 280km to Geraldton, WA which was the nearest bike shop. We diagnosed the cause of the failure before stripping down the bike. I took the bus to Perth and then flew to San Francisco before returning five days later with the T600. From the airport, I cycled ~360km back to Geraldton where we mixed and matched parts from the bike. I then continued cycling the rest of the perimeter of Australia.

Cause for the failure? My mistake. Some 1500km earlier close to Broome, my rear rim had developed some scary looking cracks near spoke holes. Given it was pretty remote, I went to the bike shop in Broome. They didn't have wheels but could have one built in Perth and then shipped up to Broome via truck. It all took a few days, but at end of the week, we went to replace the wheel. As the bike shop mechanic was replacing the wheel, I was taking the old wheel apart so I could mail home my hub. I should have paid more attention, but the spacing for the hub was wider than the frame dropouts. Not to worry, the mechanic pushed open the frame to squeeze in the wheel.

I should have noticed, but the net effect was two things (1) stress on the frame and (2) tire was closer to one side resulting in more grit blasted on one side. The frame lasted another 1500km to Shark Bay before I noticed the crack.

So I'm sure you will watch things, but my lesson learned is to be careful with wheel spacing
So can you tell me what the clearance for tires is on your ST1000, I am hoping I can fit 38s in there but have not tested. A 92' ST1000 and a 91' ST600 should basically be the same frame dimensions.
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Old 06-12-20, 04:14 PM
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I remember running 700x38 on my C-dale but was mostly using 700x35. This was a time where I was slowly switching from Continental Top Touring tires to Schalbe tires but I forget exactly when I switched.

A photo of 700x35 including fenders after a particularly muddy day on the Dempster Highway in 1996.

Last edited by mev; 06-12-20 at 04:18 PM.
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Old 10-05-20, 02:42 PM
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Old thread, but I just thought I would update it with where the bike is at today. Maybe 1 evening of work left and this beauty will be on the road.

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Old 10-05-20, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by mplsbiker View Post
Old thread, but I just thought I would update it with where the bike is at today. Maybe 1 evening of work left and this beauty will be on the road.

Looking at the doll set, stuffed animals, and the '91 'Dale, it is clear you have a well rounded collection of toys.
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Old 10-05-20, 04:45 PM
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Beautiful bike. But I have a bias, I think any bike with a Campy crankset on it is a beautiful bike.

Looks like it is geared a bit high, but you did say it was for shorter trips, so the gearing probably does not hurt if the bike is never too heavily loaded. Is that a Campy Rally rear derailleur? I have seen those change hands for a fortune.

You mentioned Blackburn low rider. Not many panniers will fit well on that rack, you might wait on installing that rack until you can figure out what you want to put on it.

Now if you had a pristine condition set of Cannondale Overland panniers to go with the bike, you would be set.
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Old 10-06-20, 06:21 AM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
Beautiful bike. But I have a bias, I think any bike with a Campy crankset on it is a beautiful bike.

Looks like it is geared a bit high, but you did say it was for shorter trips, so the gearing probably does not hurt if the bike is never too heavily loaded. Is that a Campy Rally rear derailleur? I have seen those change hands for a fortune.

You mentioned Blackburn low rider. Not many panniers will fit well on that rack, you might wait on installing that rack until you can figure out what you want to put on it.

Now if you had a pristine condition set of Cannondale Overland panniers to go with the bike, you would be set.
I am bias for anything Campy as well. The gearing is slightly higher than ideal but itís now a franken-crank a TA Vento 46 and 39 and a Surgino 26 granny rings. The RD is not rally but Racing T, along with the crank and FD. The Ergos are (pre 2001) Chorus 9 Speed. The Cassette is Miche with 13-28. So 46/39/26 with 13-28 not to bad wish I could do a 32 in the rear.

I am one of the people that has a old new Rally sitting around but canít part with it even though you are correct they do get a premium on eBay.
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Old 10-06-20, 07:34 AM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
Beautiful bike. But I have a bias, I think any bike with a Campy crankset on it is a beautiful bike.

Looks like it is geared a bit high, but you did say it was for shorter trips, so the gearing probably does not hurt if the bike is never too heavily loaded. Is that a Campy Rally rear derailleur? I have seen those change hands for a fortune.

You mentioned Blackburn low rider. Not many panniers will fit well on that rack, you might wait on installing that rack until you can figure out what you want to put on it.

Now if you had a pristine condition set of Cannondale Overland panniers to go with the bike, you would be set.
And donít worry the search for proper Cannondale Overland panniers will begin shortly
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Old 10-06-20, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by mplsbiker View Post
And donít worry the search for proper Cannondale Overland panniers will begin shortly
A couple years ago someone had a pair of rear Overland panniers that were almost new in a box on a table at a swap meet. I pulled them out of the box, inspected them for a few seconds, asked the price and hearing $15, became the new owner of a pair of pristine condition Cannondale panniers (black with red trim, the version with all the extra pockets). I had several offers to sell them while walking up and down the aisles at the swap meet, but I still own them. Nope, they are not for sale.
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Old 10-07-20, 01:27 PM
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mplsbiker
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
A couple years ago someone had a pair of rear Overland panniers that were almost new in a box on a table at a swap meet. I pulled them out of the box, inspected them for a few seconds, asked the price and hearing $15, became the new owner of a pair of pristine condition Cannondale panniers (black with red trim, the version with all the extra pockets). I had several offers to sell them while walking up and down the aisles at the swap meet, but I still own them. Nope, they are not for sale.
pretty please?
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