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87 cannondale ST frame quality VS Surly LHT? Someone with experience?

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87 cannondale ST frame quality VS Surly LHT? Someone with experience?

Old 07-24-12, 12:32 PM
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human33
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87 cannondale ST frame quality VS Surly LHT? Someone with experience?

Hello from Croatia!

Need someone with experience to give me a honest not subjective advice regarding my challenge?

First, just to say that here in Croatia is very hard to find a thrully touring bike.
I toured few times during past few years on my road bikes such as 1982 Bridgestone diamond road cromo,... Slowly collected experience and all the components for my future ultimate touring rig.

After soaking all the informations regarding touring subject on the web i finally decided to buy a brand new Surly LHT frameset. Unfortunately in this moment there is no any surly frameset on stock in any shop in Germany or Austria as far as i know, where is the closest Surly dealer near Croatia. It would not be a problem to wait for such a thing even i wanted to catch this summer to take a longer tour in August, but a day ago i suddenly found in a local bycicle online add for 1987 Cannondale ST 400 bycicle in excellent condition for a 24 old bike. The frame was taking good care of its owner...

Since i have all the components i need i dont care about the low end suntour / dia compe components that are on. The frame is what i am after and the frameset was the same for all their touring models back then.

Now, Surly LHT frame would cost me cca 500 usd, The guy is asking for CA complete bike 400? About Surly we know everything.... If you asking me it has nicer vintage design, smaller tubes, and of course its a steel. Cannondale is made of strong alu with tange steel fork and it looks confident too. The design even looks good to me as more as i am watching it. The both frames are tigwelded with steel forks. They have brazeons for racks and bottle cages...Cannondale has 1" fork which i prefer more, even because of it bigger tubes i think VO tall stack stem would fit really great?!

I compared those two 23" geometries and except of course material, there are some differences such as
little longer wheelbase on surly, top tube Su 58, CA 56,5cm, Seat tube angle Su 72, Ca 73,5, Ca has fork bigger than Su... Ca also doesnt have a slopping top tube...

You can check Cannondale details here: https://66.147.244.179/~vintagm8/year/1988/1988.pdf

So, my question is can somebody with cannondale experience from that era and with knowledge/ experience with LHT, honestly tell me will i be much more dissapointed regarding functionallity and in general with quality of ride with Cannondale vs Surly OR the both frames are excellent choice for purpose with some difference that not affect riding quality so much?

You can realize from that is all about impatience ....but it has also something with rationality too.

Any good thoughts or advices are more than welcome?

Ps. Sorry for my bad english...

Thank you very much in advance.

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Old 07-24-12, 09:23 PM
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I'm not providing "perfect" information for you. But, seeing that you have no replies yet, I want to provide some information that might be helpful.

I can comment directly on the Surly LHT. It is an awesome bike (and I am a racer saying that). I bought one for my son and another for him when he gets bigger (or for me if he changes preferences). I love the ride/feel of it. I feel so relaxed and enjoy taking in the sights and smells of the world when on it. He just rode 1400 miles with several others (all carrying all their stuff on their bikes) through Europe, including parts of the Alps and Pyrenees, in less than a month and he says that the bike was absolutely awesome.

I rode Cannondale's SR series back in the 80s and I ride a System Six these days. I can't comment on their touring bikes, although, I think the most recent versions have a fine reputation.

You make some comments about the bike sizes. I'd be very careful about compromising on size in order to get a great deal. If you like the ST and it fits you well, then, why not seriously consider it. But, if the fit is off, personally, I would not get it.

If cost is a key issue, you can find the LHT frameset new from some vendors who offer discount codes (10 or 15% off -- although, they may not ship to Europe); you could then build it up economically. Alternatively, keep an out on eBay.

Good luck.
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Old 07-25-12, 03:58 AM
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Thank you,

i am sure that LHT is awsome frame. Its not so much about the money but still, The thing is that Cannondale could be great ride too and it is 100 bucks cheaper, i can use all its components on another frame and sell it and i can get the Cannondale in few days.
So that what i want to found out from somebody from exp...

Thank you anyway for your help. I will probabbly go with LHT because i can miss ....
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Old 07-25-12, 07:13 AM
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human33, In these parts the older non cantilever braked Cannondale ST has become fairly popular lately, more so as a non touring road bike. The major touring issue for the T400 is the 27" wheels. Changing to a 700C wheelset and long reach calipers is a pretty common modification. The cable housing guides along the top tube can be fragile and, if broken difficult to find replacements.

I admit that I'm partial to Cannondale's road bikes and I have a '95 Cannondale touring bike I built so I'd recommend the T400, but still I tried to list any issues you may encounter with it. You can go to the C&V forum, search for rccardr and see the STs that he's rebuilt for more info.

Of course pick the bike that fits you best.

Brad
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Old 07-25-12, 09:45 AM
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I think you'd be wise to wait and pay the extra $100 and purchase a LHT frameset over a 87 ST400.

Depending on the size you need, the LHT geometry is probably significantly superior to the ST400. The LHT's ST angle is lower, longer wheelbase, less chance for toe overlap, and the much longer head tube really helps to achieve a more comfortable, higher handlebar position.

As the previous poster mentioned, 27" tires are relatively rare compared to 700c. When you get right down to it, nearly all decent touring-capable tires, whether 26"(559mm), 700c (622mm) or 27" (630mm), or other have to be special ordered, since few stores stock anything besides knobby mountain bike tires, or 700x23mm racing tires.
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Old 07-25-12, 12:46 PM
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I am familiar with 27" issue. I have 700C mavic open sport , ultegra hubs 36 dt swiss with Vittoria ranndo 32 tires ready together with the long reach calipers and koolstops...I am not sure regarding plastic cable guides on that particular model cause it brought in Germany and its black color frame so i couldn't figure out. I am waiting better pics from the seller...

Regarding frame VS LHT i agree. On the other hand Cannondale has biger fork rake. Chainstays are practicly the same. I prefer seat handlebar level to level. I realy dont need my handlebar too much above seat since i am use to more racing style of riding. Level is pretty comfortable for me on 100-130km per day ride.

I am little bit more worried regarding rigidity and stiffnes. Some people say Ca is realy stiff but on the other hand i found some review that seems to me reliable where owner says its one of the best aluminium touring bikes cause its extra strong, ultra light and extremly responsive...specially on hills...Its his best ever bike..

I am planning to put brooks B17 flayer anyway so maybe that helps....I also have sugino XD600 46 36 26 Rear LXM580, Suntour FD 11 32 cassette and cane creek levers together with NOS RX100...ESGE fenders some pretty good racks and nice technomic stem, MKS sylvan touring and thats basicly it..

Thanks guys, i think will try to go with the cannondale...It seems to me its a good chance to buy a great frame. Specially here in Cro...Surly will not go away....
https://www.njuskalo.hr/trkaci-bicikl...-oglas-5498944

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Old 07-25-12, 03:34 PM
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human33, That link's title startled me for a moment. It is a ST in the photos, however.

Cannondales are stiff and rigid. Ride comfort is dependent largely on tire pressure, as I've learned over my two decades of riding them. For a tourer the stiffness is desired to control what is loaded onto the bike for a tour. Unloaded I run 65 PSI (4.48 BAR) front and rear and ~75 PSI (5.17 BAR) in the rear with a 30 lb. (13.6 kg) rear load.

Brad
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Old 07-25-12, 05:32 PM
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Got your PM and also read through this thread. First off, I have zero experience with KHT's, so cannot comment there. However, I have a great deal of experience with many Cannondale ST's, particularly those from the mid to late 80's.

If the Cannondale frame is the correct size for your height and stance, in my opinion (please note some bias above) it would make an excellent touring rig. I've put many miles on ST bikes and to me, they are very comfortable. I've never experienced the harsh ride that some others have talked about. For comparison, I also own and ride a number of steel bikes including several Eddy Merckx models.

Botom line is, if the bike fits you and speaks to your soul, buy it and have fun. '87 is my favorite year for ST's as the fork included front pannier racks and the factory did a much better job of smoothing out the welds than in the 83-84-85 model years. I've put that combination of wheelset and Rando 32's on several customer bkes in the past year or so, and every one has been pleased with the results (one guy picked his up, took it home, loaded it with bags and rode across the US). The top tube cable guides are an issue, so be very careful with them as they cannot be replaced. Looks to me like at least two out of the three are OK, but after 25 years they become very brittle. Jagwire makes a hydraulic cable mount that uses a zip tie and adhesive backing- it works but is not as elegant.

Let us know what you choose to do.
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Old 07-25-12, 11:52 PM
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D do thI just found out serial: 23110387189. At least the guy says so...
I am 184, with 88 inseam so 58/23" its my size. I ride 82.
bridgestone diamond road in 58 & 58 gitane super corsa
from 84 which suits me perfectly.
Gitane has 58 toptube instead 56 bridgestone & Ca, but i have 120 technomic.
Now i just need to decide and do the purchase before something happens:-$
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Old 07-26-12, 06:26 AM
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human33, The ST is an '88 model year bike built in Nov. 1987.

Brad
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Old 07-26-12, 06:37 AM
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Rear spacing is a crucial issue. Your Cannondale likely to be 126mm, modern standard is 130mm, and not recommended to press-out aluminum drop-outs.
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Old 07-26-12, 10:21 AM
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!! Thanks Brad!
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Old 07-26-12, 10:47 AM
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There is no problem fitting a modern 130 OLD wheelset in a Cannondale ST frame of any year of manufacture. Cold setting is not required (nor an option, since the material is aluminum).
It will be tight, but the difference is so small that, based on the dozen or so I have built, it should not require dropout alignment.

Couple of examples:



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Old 07-26-12, 12:16 PM
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F....g hell!!!! ) Its tough decision but yellow is the winner. I think i made decision.
If i did mistake ill sell it to you Ricc
Now i just have to buy it. I offer the guy 250usd but he said that he doesnt giving it less than 400 which is a lot money. I need to travel 150km to see the bike cause i am not giving that money before i sit on it and do the complete check...

Ps. Here was (alternative) touring set up for past year and this june 8 day trip on the coast
(yes the chain is missing )

and this one of my past projects....


https://www.flickr.com/photos/prostor...th/6501317273/

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Old 07-26-12, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Drakonchik View Post
Rear spacing is a crucial issue. Your Cannondale likely to be 126mm, modern standard is 130mm, and not recommended to press-out aluminum drop-outs.
Really not such a big deal even with the shorter chainstays of a Cannondale SR. My crit bike has had various 130 mm hubs in it's 126 mm spaced drop outs for nearly 20 years.

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Old 07-26-12, 03:10 PM
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I agree that fitting a 130 hub in a 126 frame is not that big a deal. In fact, some "!26" frames were actually spaced 128mm during the transition period to 130mm spaced road frame standard, those made around 1990.

However, there are other less obvious aspects to consider. Fitting an over-width hub into your dropouts causes the dropouts to splay out a bit, they are no longer parallel, and as a result the derailleur hanger is no longer parallel to the plane of the rear wheel. Consequently the RD itself ends up being non-parallel to the cassette cogs, and it will not move across the width of the cassette exactly right. This increases friction and wear since the chain has to bend laterally a bit in the small gap from leaving a cog to entering the top RD pulley. Shifting suffers, and it requires more frequent adjustment to keep it working.

Fitting an over-width hub into a frame works a whole lot better on steel frames where it is possible to realign the dropouts to parallel, thus realigning the derailleur hanger too. This is not really an option on Al or CF frames with Al dropouts and hangers.

I've fit a dishless 142mm OLD rear wheel into a 135mm spacing, but realigned the derailleur hanger to maintain good indexed 9spd shifting. You really need the Park RD alignment tool that references a true rim to do this right.
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Old 07-27-12, 09:16 AM
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guys,

i decided to buy the bike. Will use all its components on another spare frame and sell it. That will be ok regarding money issue.
If it shows that bike is not what i expected, i will sell it and buy the LHT......It would be a shame not to try it..., After all...

I am posting pics ASAP!

Cheers
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Old 07-27-12, 10:56 AM
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Fitting an over-width hub into your dropouts causes the dropouts to splay out a bit, they are no longer parallel, and as a result the derailleur hanger is no longer parallel to the plane of the rear wheel. Consequently the RD itself ends up being non-parallel to the cassette cogs, and it will not move across the width of the cassette exactly right. This increases friction and wear since the chain has to bend laterally a bit in the small gap from leaving a cog to entering the top RD pulley. Shifting suffers, and it requires more frequent adjustment to keep it working.
In theory, yes.

In practice, not so much of an issue. None of the conversions I've done suffer from poor shifting or require more frequent adjustment...or really any adjustment at all over several thousands of miles. And I've done a buttload of them.
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Old 07-27-12, 11:02 AM
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human33, Keep us updated on the rebuild, if you would.

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Old 07-30-12, 02:24 AM
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Old 07-30-12, 07:18 AM
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Looks like a good starting point! Like you I used a few parts I already had for my build, some were Cannondale branded items from my road bike builds.

Brad

Initial build before rear rack and misc. minor items:

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Old 07-30-12, 01:56 PM
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Very nice! BTW Bike is GREAT! I was driving from the bus station where i took it over to my house and i already felt the bike is riding like a charm...Waiting to put something on it to feel it loaded....
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Old 07-30-12, 02:06 PM
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87 , is 25 years ago, and aluminum does have a fatigue life, steel does too.
but is a different set of characteristics , that lead to failure.
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Old 07-30-12, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
87 , is 25 years ago, and aluminum does have a fatigue life, steel does too.
but is a different set of characteristics , that lead to failure.
That steel and aluminum have different fatigue characteristics is what engineers would call "trivially true." Frame design and engineering expertise are what count. Multiple frame torture tests conducted over the last couple of decades have demonstrated that, among lighter-weight frame material categories, aluminum and carbon frames can generally be expected to outlast steel frames, internet lore to the contrary.

To the OP: enjoy that Cannondale. They're great bikes. I should have bought one when I was selling Cannondales in the '80s and '90s.
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Old 07-30-12, 11:38 PM
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Hi, I used to ride an 80's Cannondale T400 for courier (delivery) work & recreation & the frame was very good & strong, withstood crashes with no problem other than paint damage. The aluminum frame was light & stiff. Only reason I stopped using it was that due to the wide chain stays tire width was limited especially if using mudguards. For touring this may not be a problem but for downtown Washington DC (with very bad streets) it became quite uncomfortable--at that time many couriers switched to mountain bikes that gave a comfortable ride.

I have bought an LHT which I haven't ridden yet since it is at the frame shop for a coupler addition. However I test rode an LHT once & the ride was quite comfortable in accordance with it's reputation. However the Cannondale T400 did not have a harsh ride, I think it would be fine for most touring unless the roads are bad. I still have the 23" T400 frame & want to sell it though I suppose shipping cost to Europe is high.

BTW your English is great, my grandmother was from Croatia though they never taught us any of the language, she & my mother would speak it as a code so the kids wouldn't understand!
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