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  1. #1
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    Cannondale Criterium...is it worth?

    I work in a bike shop and snagged a mid 80's Cannondale Criterium Series bike. The bike as almost no miles on it. The frame looks brand new and talked to the previous owner some. Now the componentry is a little old school with down tube shifters..... I am considering a new groupo since I can get a steal on a new Shimano group. I am unfamiliar with the Cannondale bike...I have an extra set of wheels...Is this bike worth any investment in...Thanks

  2. #2
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    .... much of what I'm about to say is subjective, but you're likely to find the frame fairly harsh when compared to many contemporary designs (regardless of material) especially with it's original fork... it would make a decent backup/beater... but I'd save my top dollar for a "better" frameset...

  3. #3
    Home Brew User!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob1010
    ...Is this bike worth any investment in..
    No

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob1010
    ....Thanks
    You are Welcome
    Joined the other team in the name of the economy

  4. #4
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    If you want to ride it, ride it as is, it is not worth fixing up. My suggestion, pump the tires up to 110 psi and go for a nice 50 mile ride. After 50 miles, you will be ready to pay someone to take that thing from you. Trust me, I rode a Mid 80's Cannondale for way to long.

  5. #5
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    Me Too

    Quote Originally Posted by cdmc
    I rode a Mid 80's Cannondale for way to long.
    4 months and about 200 miles
    Joined the other team in the name of the economy

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lifelover
    4 months and about 200 miles
    For me it was from 1987 (was a 1986 r400) until 2002.

  7. #7
    What the Hell is going on
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    Cannonball Express

    I still have my Cannondale 3.0. The bike was designed to be a Crit racer and for that you can't really falut the bike. My Cannondale 3.0 has all the elements that make up a good Crit bike: high bottom bracket, short wheelbase, steep angles and stiff frame (super stiff frame). Of course that doesn't make the Cannondale a good bike to take on long rides and, gawd forbid, bombing down mountains at 50mph.

    So, if you are going to do some crit races I'd say you can't find a better crit bike than that Cannondale Criterium. You may be able to wedge a 8/9 speed hub in the 126mm rear dropout which would mean you could use STI and then you'd have a beast of a crit bike.

    Sadly, my Cannondale has been regulated to short fast club rides and rainy days. I still use down tube shifters and have a fairly good tubular wheelset (32 hole 7spd 105 hubset laced 3x with 14g spokes to Wolber Aubisque rims and Vittoria Rally tubulars). It's a 63cm bike and it weighs a little shy of 20lbs.

  8. #8
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    Just turn in into a fixie or singlespeed with flat bars and a big basket on the front or something like that.

  9. #9
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    3.0 Crit vs 3.0 Road

    I bought a Cannondale 3.0 in 1990. At least at that time, you could get a 3.0 Crit model with short wheelbase, high BB, and steep angles or a 3.0 Road model with more balanced geometry. I had the Road version and liked it. It was straight, stable, fast, stiff, solid, and comfortable enough for the riding I did. The only thing I didn't care for was a somewhat dead feel coming from the super stiff BB when pedaling out of the saddle. Everything else about it I liked. I think a lot of the knocks against Cannondales of that era come mostl from people who never actually owned one.

    I sold it years ago and moved on to steel frames which I like very much, but I have fond memories of my one Cannondale....enough that I wouldn't complain if for some reason I found myself with another Cannondale.

  10. #10
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    I have a 1992 C600 that I will probably never get rid of. It is so stiff the rear axle "bit" into the front side of the rear drop out on the drive side. I guess this was the weak connection in the drivetrain so it gave way. The quick release would no longer hold the axle perrpendicular to the frame so the frame hung on the garage wall for a couple of years until I found out about the white industries eno hub. It now serves as my lunchtime ride fixie. It seems perfectly suited for these relatively short one hour rides. The stiffness gives a great snap feel to riding fixed, you stand up and it shoots forward. The high bottom bracket helps in the corners as well. Plus I have never seen another one out on the road (that might be a bad thing though).

  11. #11
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    This is my Cannondale 3.0 criterium. I converted it to fixed gear almost a year ago. I could not bare to see it put out to pasture. It was and still is one of my favorite bikes. It's a little stiff especially on a fixie but it handles better than any bike I have had. I used an Eno hub for the conversion. I would not bother trying to go 9 or 10 speed with it because of the rear spacing. It might work but I doubt it.

  12. #12
    mercierfils
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    remember why we like cannondales

    Keep the present group; it's probably pretty decent, sturdy stuff. All the stiffness comments are right on for this bike (mine was '88) - there is no way you are going to spread out the rear end. Between the ovalized (in the wrong direction for your intent) and tubing and the reinforcement a the brake caliper, this frame is bombproof. If you yanked it hard enough to get a 9-speed in there you'd crack it for sure. Not an engineer, but I researched this pretty thoroughly before giving up on my faithful steed (a 5-month-old '04 R2000 helped dry my tears).

    Ride and enjoy!

  13. #13
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    Thanks for all of the help....Here's the deal, I have a 5.9 Madone and all the goodies but have many memories on an older bike...in any case this frame has some Dura-Ace 10 speed stuff coming..just installed a Dura-Ace headset and have a set of tubular wheels to soften the blow of the frame..and going back to an old school quill stem ( Dura-Ace)..so at this time I am going to have some fun..Thanks again for the input...Bob

  14. #14
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    I guess I should start out by stating that I have owned a car very few times in my life, and have always used bicycles as my major form of transportation. I currently have 4 bikes, and ride around 100+ miles a week.

    I have a 1987 R-400 that I bought brand new. I am the bikes only owner that it's ever had, and it still has most of the original parts (all that I have done is rebuild the bottom bracket 3 times, new tires/tube, newer handlebar wraps., and replaced cables, brake pads, and normal maintenance over the years...). It probably has close to 28,000 miles on it (I average 100 miles a week, with at least 20 of them on this bike. 20 x 52 weeks per year = 1040 miles per year x 27 years = 28,080 miles. I don't think anyone could fault it for reliability. As far as riding, yes, it is a bit harsh and skitterish, just like a good road-racing bike should be. After almost three decades, the maneuverability and responsiveness is still second to none.

    I bought it when I was 27 years old, and in the Marines, as a replacement for my 1972 Schwinn Varsity, also purchased brand-new when I started High School. In 1987, it was run over by a car in a parking lot and destroyed at Camp Lejune. I used the insurance money to buy this beauty, mainly to ride around the base (cars were a pain in the butt to drive on base, for lots of reasons like parking, having to have a sticker, etc...), and club races and rides. Now, I am 54, and use it for fast, light touring, centuries, and general use when I don't have to carry a lot of stuff.

    I am probably the wrong person to ask if a bike is worth restoring or not, because I collect and restore classic bikes. I'll never part with any of mine, especially the Cannondale, because they are too much a part of my life, and have tons of memories attached to each of them.

    If you are looking for a modern-style riding experience, then no, it's not worth sinking a lot of money into. If you want to restore it and ride it as a great example of the golden age of modern bicycling, and a definite collector, absolutely, but try to keep it as original as possible.

    It would be a great errand-bike if you don't have to carry a lot, and an outstanding bike for recreational and fitness use.
    Last edited by schwinnhund; 07-26-2013 at 08:15 AM.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by schwinnhund View Post
    I guess I should start out by stating that I have owned a car very few times in my life, and have always used bicycles as my major form of transportation. I currently have 4 bikes, and ride around 100+ miles a week.

    I have a 1987 R-400 that I bought brand new. I am the bikes only owner that it's ever had, and it still has most of the original parts (all that I have done is rebuild the bottom bracket 3 times, new tires/tube, newer handlebar wraps., and replaced cables, brake pads, and normal maintenance over the years...). It probably has close to 28,000 miles on it (I average 100 miles a week, with at least 20 of them on this bike. 20 x 52 weeks per year = 1040 miles per year x 27 years = 28,080 miles. I don't think anyone could fault it for reliability. As far as riding, yes, it is a bit harsh and skitterish, just like a good road-racing bike should be. After almost three decades, the maneuverability and responsiveness is still second to none.

    I bought it when I was 27 years old, and in the Marines, as a replacement for my 1972 Schwinn Varsity, also purchased brand-new when I started High School. In 1987, it was run over by a car in a parking lot and destroyed at Camp Lejune. I used the insurance money to buy this beauty, mainly to ride around the base (cars were a pain in the butt to drive on base, for lots of reasons like parking, having to have a sticker, etc...), and club races and rides. Now, I am 54, and use it for fast, light touring, centuries, and general use when I don't have to carry a lot of stuff.

    I am probably the wrong person to ask if a bike is worth restoring or not, because I collect and restore classic bikes. I'll never part with any of mine, especially the Cannondale, because they are too much a part of my life, and have tons of memories attached to each of them.

    If you are looking for a modern-style riding experience, then no, it's not worth sinking a lot of money into. If you want to restore it and ride it as a great example of the golden age of modern bicycling, and a definite collector, absolutely, but try to keep it as original as possible.

    It would be a great errand-bike if you don't have to carry a lot, and an outstanding bike for recreational and fitness use.
    Great post and insight, however I don't think Bob1010 is going to see it, his last activity on this forum was almost 8 years ago...take a look at the date on this thread. BTW, welcome to the site schwinnhund!!

  16. #16
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    Oh well. That's what happens when you get older.........

    Maybe it will help someone. There are lot of R-400s still out there. They're sort of like C-47 (DC-3) aircraft. After over 70 years, there are still a lot of them flying.

  17. #17
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    Quote Originally Posted by schwinnhund View Post
    Oh well. That's what happens when you get older.........

    Maybe it will help someone. There are lot of R-400s still out there. They're sort of like C-47 (DC-3) aircraft. After over 70 years, there are still a lot of them flying.
    Name:  kitten-killer-thread.jpg
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    I work for some bike racers
    I've got some bikes, some guns,
    and a bunch of skateboards

  18. #18
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    I consider me duly warned. I have a soft spot in my heart for little-bitty kitties.....

  19. #19
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    I will say it is a stiff tight frame but that doesn't mean you can't take it on longer rides. My father has 2 of the late 80's Criteriums built up with suntour superb of the same vintage, he will be 68 this month and just a few weeks ago road the MS 150 on one of them. So I guess to each there own.

  20. #20
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    I have to disagree. I've had my Criterium since the early 1980s, and it is still mostly original. It's a great ride for sport touring, still going after all these years. I guess it depends on whether you value the bike for it's resale value, or for it's collector value. Personally, I would restore it, and add it to my collection.

    Quote Originally Posted by cdmc View Post
    If you want to ride it, ride it as is, it is not worth fixing up. My suggestion, pump the tires up to 110 psi and go for a nice 50 mile ride. After 50 miles, you will be ready to pay someone to take that thing from you. Trust me, I rode a Mid 80's Cannondale for way to long.

  21. #21
    Not a rocket surgeon.
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    Quote Originally Posted by schwinnhund View Post
    I have to disagree. I've had my Criterium since the early 1980s, and it is still mostly original. It's a great ride for sport touring, still going after all these years. I guess it depends on whether you value the bike for it's resale value, or for it's collector value. Personally, I would restore it, and add it to my collection.
    You have dredged the same thread twice.

    Awesome.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by tihsepa View Post
    You have dredged the same thread twice.

    Whaaaaaat in the world

  23. #23
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    What is 'dredging'?

    Is there a time limit on responses, that I am not aware of?

    I am a musician, and I travel a lot, so it may be a few months before I get to look at threads.

    Quote Originally Posted by tihsepa View Post
    You have dredged the same thread twice.

    Awesome.

  24. #24
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    big tour

  25. #25
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    It only took 4 years :)

    Hey Schwinnhund! Your input sure was valuable for me, and since this thread has a habit of not dying for good, I took the time to create an account to tell you about it haha.
    Thanks for sharing and happy riding.

    Quote Originally Posted by schwinnhund View Post
    Oh well. That's what happens when you get older.........

    Maybe it will help someone. There are lot of R-400s still out there. They're sort of like C-47 (DC-3) aircraft. After over 70 years, there are still a lot of them flying.

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