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  #16  
Old 03-25-2020, 01:26 PM
Mark McM Mark McM is offline
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Originally Posted by benb View Post
In 1987 were these Cannondale frames already aluminum?

The tubes do look oversized already in these pictures but I can't tell for sure from the pictures.
Yes, Cannondale's first frames (in 1983) were oversized aluminum. They were very stiff, and also fairly inexpensive. This made them popular for criterium racers of the time

In 1985, Gary Klein (of Klein bicycles) sued Cannondale for patent infringement. Klein had patented the idea of oversized welded aluminum bicycle frames, and started his own company to produce them in the late 1970s. In the lawsuit, Cannondales lawyers called Harlan Meyers of Hi-E Engineering, a manufacturer of lightweight bicycle components in Tennessee. Meyers testified that he had made a frame with welded oversized tubing in the early 1970s, and produced documentation for it. When asked if he had applied for a patent for the idea, Meyers responded that he didn't, because he thought somebody else must have already done it. Klein lost the case.
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  #17  
Old 03-25-2020, 03:37 PM
RobJ RobJ is offline
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Two years prior to this I was entering my freshman year in college. I had one of the early Cannondale mountain bikes with the oversized tubes. It was also unique because it had the 26" front wheel and a 24" rear wheel stock. Nobody on campus was riding mountain bikes at the time, though one guy on our cycling club had a purple/lilac Cannondale mountain bike too.

Thanks for posting!
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  #18  
Old 03-25-2020, 04:13 PM
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charliedid charliedid is offline
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Originally Posted by RobJ View Post
Two years prior to this I was entering my freshman year in college. I had one of the early Cannondale mountain bikes with the oversized tubes. It was also unique because it had the 26" front wheel and a 24" rear wheel stock. Nobody on campus was riding mountain bikes at the time, though one guy on our cycling club had a purple/lilac Cannondale mountain bike too.

Thanks for posting!
Beast of the East

I remember feigning indifference when my then girlfriend's Dad showed me his Cannondale Black Lightning back in 1988. I'm sure I muttered "cool" or something but he thought it was the best bike ever made and was doing me a favor by showing it to me.

Bikes
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  #19  
Old 03-25-2020, 04:22 PM
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oliver1850 oliver1850 is offline
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My first good road bike was a pink 1987 SR600. I painted it red in the mid 1990s and still have. I came to regret changing the color, so bought another pink frameset here from pinkshogun. I'm still looking for a few of the original parts to get it built up. A couple of years ago I bought a 1987 Black Lightning from a guy who works in a shop in Chicago. It has most of the original parts but he had unfortunately sold the wheels before I bought the bike. Besides the wheels, I'd like to find a 42 or 44 black/gold Nitto handlebar and a black AC seatpost. As a moderator on the vintage Cannondale site I'm always looking for print copies of catalogs. I have most of the 1990s catalogs - know I'm missing 1994. Some of the scans are not the best but most years of catalogs are available here:

https://vintagecannondale.com/catalog/
Attached Images
File Type: jpg R600 12 2010.jpg (100.7 KB, 92 views)
File Type: jpg black lightning 7-2017.jpg (77.7 KB, 91 views)
File Type: jpg mini-1987 Cannondale R600 pink.jpg (73.3 KB, 94 views)
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  #20  
Old 03-25-2020, 04:54 PM
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oliver1850 oliver1850 is offline
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Originally Posted by Dave View Post
I was 34 years old at that time. I had a C'dale sport touring model of some sort, light blue metallic, with the longer chain stays. I had a rack on the back, with a kiddie seat mounted to it, to take the little one out on a ride around Richards-Gebaur Air Force base. At that time, the former military housing was converted to civilian housing.
Your frame was probably what Cannondale called a touring bike but was more representative of what we refer to as sport touring now. All the early Cannondale touring bikes used caliper brakes. The first touring model to use cantilever brakes was the 1986 ST800 but for several years after that the 2nd and 3rd level touring bikes still used calipers. Yours might have been a 1985 ST400, which was a 600EX bike with oddly chosen 45/50 rings. The color was called Continental Blue. Here's a poor pic of mine that at least represents the color well. I kept the 600 crank and calipers but changed the rings. Have it set up as an all surface bike with CX tubulars and 7 speed indexed bar end shifters.
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File Type: jpg 1985 ST400 Thomas Cemetery - .jpg (44.3 KB, 90 views)
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  #21  
Old 03-25-2020, 09:26 PM
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sw3759 sw3759 is offline
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that catalog brings back a lot of memories.the 87' sr600 in red was my first real road bike after i had ridden my schwinn world sport for the last 2 years and was educated enough from magazines to know these were real road bikes that real cyclists rode and i was ready to commit to the sport.purchasd from a dealer in Norman OK.i was amazed that they actually sold a bike for over 2K that had tires you had to glue on.
no one could believe i spent that much money for bicycle.i had to get a loan from the credit union for $1000 i think.
looking back the best thing on that bike was the lugged steel fork,at the time i probably thought it was the worst and caused that thing to be so harsh.i'm sure i ran 110lbs of air in the 23's and weighed 135lbs.
good times

i recall thinking the all white version was the most beautiful and really hated the black lightning version

Last edited by sw3759; 03-25-2020 at 09:29 PM.
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  #22  
Old 03-25-2020, 09:31 PM
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charliedid charliedid is offline
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[QUOTE=oliver1850;2682038]My first good road bike was a pink 1987 SR600. I painted it red in the mid 1990s and still have. I came to regret changing the color, so bought another pink frameset here from pinkshogun. I'm still looking for a few of the original parts to get it built up. A couple of years ago I bought a 1987 Black Lightning from a guy who works in a shop in Chicago. It has most of the original parts but he had unfortunately sold the wheels before I bought the bike. Besides the wheels, I'd like to find a 42 or 44 black/gold Nitto handlebar and a black AC seatpost. As a moderator on the vintage Cannondale site I'm always looking for print copies of catalogs. I have most of the 1990s catalogs - know I'm missing 1994. Some of the scans are not the best but most years of catalogs are available here:

Cool
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  #23  
Old 03-25-2020, 10:09 PM
Tandem Rider Tandem Rider is offline
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My first C'dale was an '88 with Ultegra. I raced them for I think 3 years. I went through a bunch of frames, I saw colors and designs that never made it to market. It was an exciting time at Cannondale, and I still have good memories from those times.
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  #24  
Old 03-26-2020, 03:29 AM
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oliver1850 oliver1850 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tandem Rider View Post
My first C'dale was an '88 with Ultegra. I raced them for I think 3 years. I went through a bunch of frames, I saw colors and designs that never made it to market. It was an exciting time at Cannondale, and I still have good memories from those times.
Did you break any of them? The first generation frames look pretty stout to me but I can remember Errol at On Two Wheels in Moline telling me that my pink frame would eventually crack at the front derailleur. After 30 years and owning lots of 80s Cannondales, I still have not seen one cracked there. I can see the rivnut mounted FD as being a stress riser but on the other hand it's hard to imagine a frame that was much stiffer at the BB.
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  #25  
Old 03-26-2020, 07:49 AM
Tandem Rider Tandem Rider is offline
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Originally Posted by oliver1850 View Post
Did you break any of them? The first generation frames look pretty stout to me but I can remember Errol at On Two Wheels in Moline telling me that my pink frame would eventually crack at the front derailleur. After 30 years and owning lots of 80s Cannondales, I still have not seen one cracked there. I can see the rivnut mounted FD as being a stress riser but on the other hand it's hard to imagine a frame that was much stiffer at the BB.
I broke a few but I can't remember how many. Nothing catastrophic to cause a crash, dropout at least twice, after that it's foggy. The 3.0 Criterium frame was a beast, I weighed about 140 at the time and I kind of suffered with it. The 2.8 Road frame came out and it was a lot nicer to me. IIRC, around 89 or so I started getting frames with the aluminum fork, SR maybe, those completely changed the bike's personality.
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  #26  
Old 03-26-2020, 07:53 AM
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majorpat majorpat is offline
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1987 SR500...16 years old, scrounging for Winning magazines and reading VeloNews when it was a newspaper. That bike was my gateway drug. Here I am all these years later, still a junkie.
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  #27  
Old 03-26-2020, 08:19 AM
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SlowPokePete SlowPokePete is online now
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First real road bike...still have it.

Peter-20on-20bike by SPP™ SlowPokePete, on Flickr

IMG_2343 by SPP™ SlowPokePete, on Flickr

SPP
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  #28  
Old 03-26-2020, 08:40 AM
redir redir is offline
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Those 80's frame colors were the best.
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  #29  
Old 03-26-2020, 09:51 AM
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Hellgate Hellgate is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SlowPokePete View Post
First real road bike...still have it.



Peter-20on-20bike by SPP SlowPokePete, on Flickr



IMG_2343 by SPP SlowPokePete, on Flickr



SPP
What has been seen cannot be unseen!
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  #30  
Old 03-26-2020, 10:08 AM
Mark McM Mark McM is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tandem Rider View Post
I broke a few but I can't remember how many. Nothing catastrophic to cause a crash, dropout at least twice, after that it's foggy.
The early Cannondales did have a reputation for breaking. Thus, the nickname "Crack-n-fail". Later, they got more reliable. Also of note is that early Cannondales had steel forks. While a broken fork usually results in a crash, broken frames are less likely to cause crashes. I've known many people who broke their early Cannondale frames, and some that broke several frames, but I don't know anyone who crashed because of it.
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