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Cannondale H300 frame suitable for touring?

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Cannondale H300 frame suitable for touring?

Old 08-11-13, 07:54 PM
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Cannondale H300 frame suitable for touring?

Greetings everyone!

I am new here, making a bit of a return to biking after many years away. The touring part of this board looks very active, so I am hoping you all might be able to help me with a "project" I am thinking about starting.

I have my late father's 20" Cannondale H300 hybrid (purchased in 1997). It still has all the original componentry and has very few miles on it. Back in the early 90s, I rode quite a bit--including a few unsupported tours--on a Cannondale T600. I loved that bike, but I sold it many years ago (for more than I paid for it new, actually).

Short question: will the geometry of the H300 make a nice touring bike? I did some research and found the frame specs for my old T400 and the H300 I have now. I really don't know how to interpret them. Here they are:



What I am thinking about is using this H300 as the base for a nice commuter/touring bike that is set up like the Novara Safari, which is probably the touring bike I would buy if I were going to just get a new one. Because this is my dad's bike (and a Cannondale, like my old tourer), I would like to keep this one.

My follow up question would be more general: what advice would you have as I work to "tourify" this hybrid? I am thinking fenders, trekking bars, and front pannier rack for starters. I am also thinking of adding a third water bottle mount on the down tube (my T600 had this). I loved that T600 and took it with me to Finland for a tour back in the 90s. I do remember thinking that I'd want a less "road-bikey" touring machine in the future; now that I am 15 years older and 20 pounds heavier, I think that makes a lot of sense! But let me know your thoughts about using the H300 as a base for a touring bike. My dad's bike is 100% original, including the tires. Here's what's on there:



If folks are willing, I might have follow up questions.

Thanks!

--Steve

P.S. Here's me with the T600 back in 2000 after a supported ride from Detroit to Muskegon, Michigan.

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T400 H300 frame comparison.jpg (62.4 KB, 215 views)
File Type: jpg
H300 components.jpg (66.0 KB, 204 views)
File Type: jpg
muskegon.jpg (67.2 KB, 206 views)

Last edited by Stev187; 08-12-13 at 10:14 AM. Reason: corrected T600/T400
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Old 08-11-13, 09:02 PM
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Stev187, There doesn't seem anythng about the H300 that would be a problem. Chain stays are a bit shorter than ideal, but that may only be an issue if you have big feet, but there are fixes. Also there are front pannier racks that don't require a mid mount. The lower end Shimano bits aren't going to be a detriment from a reliability stand point. Ride it for awhile to determine what, if anything, you'd like to change...maybe an overnighter.

Even if it sat unused for an extended period I suggest an overhaul.

Brad

Last edited by bradtx; 08-11-13 at 09:04 PM. Reason: sp
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Old 08-11-13, 09:16 PM
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Originally Posted by bradtx
Also there are front pannier racks that don't require a mid mount.
Thanks, Brad! The H300 fork actually has the mid mount, which surprised and cheered me. If I remember correctly, my T400 came with low-end Shimano stuff that never bothered me at all. I left it all there. Thanks for looking at the geometry. It feels a little tighter and and more "upright" than I remember my T400 being, but that one really felt like a road bike to me. I think I'll slap on the fenders and do a few longer rides with it. I am planning an overnight with a pal in Canada, so you're advice is great. I'll give it a whirl. Thanks!

Any other suggestions?

--Steve

P.S. Here's the catalog photo of the H300 for future reference. My dad's is just like this but black. Again, it even has the original tires!

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Last edited by Stev187; 08-11-13 at 09:18 PM. Reason: added photo
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Old 08-11-13, 09:50 PM
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Steve, I went to Vintage Cannondale, but the catalogs wouldn't load and the only photo I found was a different year that didn't have the mid mounts, so you'll have more options. The only suggestion would be if the overnighter is before the overhaul, at least check the wheels, rim tape and replace the tires and tubes.

When I built my Cannondale T bike a couple of years ago I used lower tier bits and bobs along with take offs from my roadie builds just in case it wasn't for me and if it was, I'd upgrade. Well the low end stuff does just fine and, oddly for me, I feel no need to make any changes.

Brad

PS I forgot to comment earlier about the longer top tube on the hybrid. I think this is a good feature should you try some trekking bars.

Last edited by bradtx; 08-12-13 at 05:59 AM. Reason: PS
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Old 08-11-13, 11:04 PM
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Guess so,, but I cannot do a condition test ... from Here.. good Luck..


To be sure, tear it apart and rebuild it..
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Old 08-12-13, 02:08 AM
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I'm using the Cannondale H-600 for my daily commute. Bought in 1993, I like the fork that has eyelets that allows me to fit on the Blackburn Lowriders. I also have a rear rack at the back. Fully loaded it takes 6 bags, and I have done a number of tours on it. The parts have been upgraded over the years to Shimano XT and for a 20 yr old bike, it still handles like a dream.
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Old 08-12-13, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob
To be sure, tear it apart and rebuild it..
Thank you to everyone. It's been a while since I've worked on bikes, but I will take this advice before the September overnight in Canada. I appreciate everyone's help--this is a great forum.

--Steve

P.S. My memory has faded about my previous touring bike; I found an old photo (the one I used to sell it on eBay more than 10 years ago), and it was a T600. Nice bike! Still, I think my dad's H300 will make a very nice touring bike for me.

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Old 08-12-13, 11:31 AM
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The H300 is a fine platform for touring. It will be slightly more upright than your T-series was, since it is a flat bar hybrid. Otherwise, the frames are pretty similar. If I recall, most of the H-series (and T-series) bikes used the same frame throughout the line, with only the components changing as you went up in price. This made them nice for upgrading, as the H300 frame was identical to the top-level "H" frame. Compared with the T-frames, the hybrids had a slightly higher BB height, which will make it a bit less stable under load than the touring frames (but I doubt you will notice it).

I had a T600 and really liked it. Also a later T700. I built up a H-frame for my wife years ago, as well as a C'dale "SilkTour" hybrid frame. Both were good tourers.
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