MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

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MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

CANNONDALE 400 - INTRO

FINDING THE CANNONDALE

BUILDING THE CANNONDALE

RIDING THE CANNONDALE

 

BICYCLES OF USA

 

BUILDING THE CANNONDALE 400

I can honestly say, that I was not the least bit interested, in spending much time riding the Cannondale, and it hung in The Old Shed for a couple of years.  I had already experienced the ride offered by very similar old road bike.  My Cannondale Team Comp and I had already spent a good part of a riding season together.  Plus, I had quite a full inventory, of other vintage road bicycles, that were more interesting to me, in those days.

In fact, I had so little interest in the 400 that I actually gave it to a family member.  The bicycle still went unused and I finally suggested that if my son-in-law was not going to ride it, I would offer it for on-line sale.  No interest was indicated and the bicycle was put up for sale, but not until I had given it a thorough going over.

It turned out that everything was in excellent condition mechanically and pretty darn good cosmetically.  The gorgeous Shimano 600 brake callipers needed a bit of cleaning and a dab of oil here and there.  I do like the 600 stoppers and use an earlier generation set on my mid seventies Sekine SHT 270.  The brake levers, though, offered a bit of a puzzle.  The Shimano 105 levers did not match the calliper set.  My guess would be that the levers had experienced crash damage at sometime in the past.  In a crash, anything sticking out on a bicycle usually experiences damage and levers do stick out.

For the same reason, I wondered about the rear derailleur since it too did not match the main grouppo.  Did the original owner swap the rear derailleur out in an effort to improve performance or repair damage?  After all, the rear derailleur does stick way out there and is very subject to damage if the bicycle is dropped on the drive side.

The crank set was in great shape, showing little wear on the ring teeth and no rub marks on the crank arms.  To me this means that the bicycle was not used a great deal and when ridden, clip-in pedals were installed.  If pedals and straps are installed, a rub mark will almost always occur on each crank arm.

The saddle that came with the bicycle "as found" was a mountain bike something or other and a bit scuffed up.  Neither did it look as if it belonged nor did it improve the appearance of the bicycle one bit.  I chose to install a similar saddle, but one that matched the Cannondale's color theme.  Was the blue fabric saddle a better choice?  From a cosmetics point of view, absolutely.

I frame trued the wheels which were actually in a pretty good state of tune already.  That fact inspired a bit of confidence in the bicycle.  The original tires, though hardly perfect, still looked pretty good showing no signs of cracking or material failure.  They too were left unchanged.  Prior to truing, the Shimano 600 hubs were taken apart, inspected and found wanting nothing, packed with fresh grease before adjusting to running clearances.

Fresh cables were installed and the brake pads were sanded to ensure that they would do their job in the manner intended.  The pad material was still supple and once again, I saw no reason to change them out.  When rebuilding a vintage road bicycle, it is not uncommon to come upon brake pads that have hardened with the years.  If this is the case, change them out since they will not stop the bicycle effectively and will likely do damage to the wheel rims in the process.

The rebuild was complete but pretty much uneventful.  It had only consumed an afternoon or so to take the Cannondale apart, clean, inspect and lubricate what needed it before reassembling the bicycle.  That done, I installed a set of quill pedals and applied fresh handlebar tape.  Rebuild done!  Time to test the results of my labour.

NEXT - RIDING THE CANNONDALE 400

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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