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Cannondale ST-400

Old 06-06-10, 04:51 PM
  #1  
gattm99
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Cannondale ST-400

Took the wife on a ride today and we had to make a detour to her parents house to feed their dog, kind of annoying but no big deal. I was riding a Schwinn Peleton I rigged a rear rack to and hung some motorcycle panniers on. I'm thinking about doing some touring this summer. A neighboor was out on a walk and stopped to talk. He wanted me to check out his old touring bike, a Cannondale ST-400.

He told me tales of his adventures touring the Bikecentenial trail and a few other tours. He then said he would like to sell the bike. He had the rear rack and panniers, front rack and low rider bags, fenders and 20 year old, 27 inch tubes that he would throw in.

I grabbed a tape measure and found the frame was 58 top tube and seat tube, my size. I couldn't believe this becasue I've been trolling craigs list and ebay for a touring bike for a couple of months and I just waltz right up to this one.

I tried to get a price out of him but I couldn't, he wasn't sure. He said he didn't want to cheat me but didn't want to give it away. Any idea what I should offer him?

I was in a hurray and I didn't take the components too seriously I didn't even count the number of cogs on the freewheel or cassette. It had downtube shifters and looked pretty old, the spokes weren't stainless.

I'm going back soon to take a better look at it.
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Old 06-07-10, 07:37 AM
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I would have reservations about the 27 inch wheels. They're outdated. I think it's possible to either get 27 inch tires that will work or convert to 700, but is it something you'd want to do? Others may want to chime in. I'm not big on vintage bikes for touring, but that's me. I like having them and fixing them up, but I'd prefer a modern bike for a big tour.
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Old 06-07-10, 09:43 AM
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id offer him $300, since the bike is 20+. not to mention the cost of repairs and replacements (whare aplicable). that leves the big Q: do you like the bike? would it be worth it to you?
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Old 06-07-10, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by BigBlueToe View Post
I would have reservations about the 27 inch wheels. They're outdated. I think it's possible to either get 27 inch tires that will work or convert to 700, but is it something you'd want to do? Others may want to chime in. I'm not big on vintage bikes for touring, but that's me. I like having them and fixing them up, but I'd prefer a modern bike for a big tour.
Coverting the bike to 700C wheels should be trivial if the bike is original. Most of the bikes from this era...way more than 20 years by the way...had brake calipers that could be set up for both. 27" tires are more difficult to find and they are usually of lower quality but you can still find them.

Originally Posted by mr geeker View Post
id offer him $300, since the bike is 20+. not to mention the cost of repairs and replacements (whare aplicable). that leves the big Q: do you like the bike? would it be worth it to you?
Start at $250. Settle at $300. Over $300 is just silly.

The bike is likely a 1983 to 85 so it's just a bit more than 20 years old.
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Old 06-07-10, 07:38 PM
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I have a 1984 Cannondale sport touring. They came with 27" and I have had 700's on it. For touring the 27" are wider and there are plenty of good tires for it.Many times the 27's are a stronger wheel to take the abuse and loads. I run 1.25 knobby's on mine for park trails and gravel surface rides.
Ed
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Old 06-07-10, 08:46 PM
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This thread requires pictures.
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Old 06-08-10, 08:34 AM
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Originally Posted by EddyR View Post
I have a 1984 Cannondale sport touring. They came with 27" and I have had 700's on it. For touring the 27" are wider and there are plenty of good tires for it.Many times the 27's are a stronger wheel to take the abuse and loads. I run 1.25 knobby's on mine for park trails and gravel surface rides.
Ed
Sorry to say but there are several silly statements here. 27" wheels aren't any stronger than 700C wheels. There are far too many factors involved to say that. A 26" wheel is stronger then either 700C or 27" because of the shorter spoke length but that's a different beasty all together.

You can currently find tire widths over 3" if you like in 700C since a "29er" is just a rebranded 700C (622mm) rim. That is far wider than any 27" tire ever made.

The only reason to convert to a 700C from a 27" is the availability of tires and rims. 27" stuff is of poor quality anymore since it's obsolete.
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Old 12-21-20, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by EddyR View Post
I have a 1984 Cannondale sport touring. They came with 27" and I have had 700's on it. For touring the 27" are wider and there are plenty of good tires for it.Many times the 27's are a stronger wheel to take the abuse and loads. I run 1.25 knobby's on mine for park trails and gravel surface rides.
Ed
Bumping an old post but I'm looking at an '89 ST400 and had the same question about 27 inch wheels. Would you advise against using 700 on this frame, or did you not have any issues?
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Old 12-22-20, 08:22 PM
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Originally Posted by zachleft View Post
Bumping an old post but I'm looking at an '89 ST400 and had the same question about 27 inch wheels. Would you advise against using 700 on this frame, or did you not have any issues?
I don't understand your question. I think a 1989 Cannondale would have 700's on it. Why would you consider putting 27" on it. Most of the older Cannondale's I had I put 700's on them. Not for the tire size but for the 8 + speeds I could use. I was a bike flipper so I had more wheels than I new what to do with.
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Old 12-22-20, 08:47 PM
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Originally Posted by EddyR View Post
I don't understand your question. I think a 1989 Cannondale would have 700's on it. Why would you consider putting 27" on it. Most of the older Cannondale's I had I put 700's on them. Not for the tire size but for the 8 + speeds I could use. I was a bike flipper so I had more wheels than I new what to do with.
Ed
According to the catalog, it came out of the factory with 27" on it, so I was just curious if it's possible to fit 29" on there. You mentioned you had a sport touring so I assume this is similar, but a bit newer.

Check it out:



https://vintagecannondale.com/year/1989/1989.pdf
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Old 12-22-20, 10:41 PM
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I have no idea?
ed
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Old 12-22-20, 11:37 PM
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Originally Posted by zachleft View Post
Bumping an old post but I'm looking at an '89 ST400 and had the same question about 27 inch wheels. Would you advise against using 700 on this frame, or did you not have any issues?
Really the brakes can be the biggest limiter, if its using canti brakes, and I'd assume a touring bike is, I've run into problems dropping the pad low enough to hit properly. 27" doesn't have a wide selection of tires but there seems to be a small selection of fairly decent, dependable, touring style tires. Personally I wouldn't go touring on a 30+ year old wheel build of unknown mileage unless it was really local or I was doing a couple of shorter tours. But velocity offers the Dyad in a 27" and that's the same extrusion as their old mtb rim so more then sturdy enough at 27". Build with a new set of Ultegra or XT hubs in 36h and you'll have a wheelset that'll last the next 30 years, base it on the rear hub spacing, by 89 it should at least be 130mm but some touring bikes adopted 135 early so its a possibility. Wouldn't add much to the cost but strong rim, cassette hubs and new spokes will make it faster and less of a worry.
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Old 12-23-20, 05:21 PM
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Zachleft I flipped over 50 Cannondale's all pre CAD 3. I didn't pay much attention to what model they were as I just cleaned and serviced them and out the door they went. I believe I only saw two bikes
with 27" wheels on them. I am sure a few of those bikes must have been ST models and the wheels had been changed by someone before I bought them. Also only saw one with Cantilever brakes
Looking back through the old Cannondale Catalogs The ST400 seemed to be the same bike all the way up to 1990. I came with caliper brakes and 6 speed freehub.
My Sport Touring model mentioned was a 1984,one of the first bikes they built. Everyone on here since the thread was started said to put 700's on it.
Ed
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Old 12-23-20, 05:49 PM
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I must be living in the dark ages, because around here if you break down on the road (Hwy 101 or PCH) chances are you're going to find a hardware store long before a bike shop and with guess what on the shelf--27" tires. Bell is all they carry. And if you tell the clerk you need 700C his eyes are going to go crossed as he says. "That must be one of them newfangled things." Now there's a good chance they'll have a 29" knobby MTB tire too, and lots of 26"ers. If you get the bike, I would re-lace the wheels with stainless spokes, service the free wheel and keep the 27" for practicality in the boonies. The 27x1.25 is a good stout tire. Good luck, Oh, and btw, you ask what to offer the guy, assuming the bags, racks, and panniers are all in good nick, I'd start at a couple hundred and watch for any facial reaction. You don't want to upset him, but you will be investing some money in repairs and servicing.
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Old 12-25-20, 01:39 PM
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I put thousands of great miles on my original owner ST400 from 1986. It was a 6 speed friction shift but had 700C wheels. I converted it to 7 speed barcon index shifters with no problem. When the brake pads wore through the rims i relaced with newer Mavic Open4 CD rims that were much lighter and even stronger. It was a fine bike but I sold it after 30 years of use and now tour on a steel Co-Motion which even a much nicer bike. I missed Bikecentennial, but I did everything I could to make up for it later.
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Old 12-31-20, 10:18 AM
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My 1990 ST600 came stock with 27" wheels, as did the ST400 that year, according to the catalogue.
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Old 01-02-21, 11:27 PM
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Love the old 'dale touring bikes. Vintage guys belong on vintage touring bikes. 😁 They usually came with 27" wheels that were plenty sturdy and there's plenty of decent tires still available to tour on. If you want to go to 700c they will fit though. I like a little lower gearing, (24t granny), than the stock set-up but I carry a lot of stuff. I'd also go to barends. It's a simple change and indexing 7 or 8 speed levers both work nicely on a seven speed freewheel or cassette.
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