Typical of this place, you go browsing in the classifieds for something and a week later something completely different turns up in your shed. Such is the way I became the owner of an early 90's Cannondale Delta V when I had been looking for an RTS.
Thing is, I was never a huge 'dale fan back in the day, just a bit too quirky for me. Don't know if it's an age thing (mine or it's) but I like the way a lot of the design and technology has stood the test of time and is still around now in some shape or form. Last years purchase of a new Flash 29er proved that bloody single mindedness in refining a concept can work. So while browsing this caught my eye.viewtopic.php?t=211365&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0
Not what I was looking for but after a days thinking ( quite a long time for me) I stumped up the electronic cash and went for it. So it arrived yesterday, minus the stem but I'm assured thats on the way, and after a quick look I popped it in the shed until tonight. Other half at work, so I had loads of time to have a proper look.
First the good points.
The frame is in great nick for its age. Loads of wee scratches but only one big one on the top tube. Frame colour is a kind of black/gunmetal so I may get an airfix enamel in a rough match. Not going to bother with a respray as I'm not too precious about this kind of thing.
Headshok forks seem to work fine, and are nice and smooth. Bike doesn't look like it's seen much offroad use so I'm hoping the forks are pretty good internally considering their age.
Came with original coda bars, bar end and seatpost. Pretty scratched and manky but I'm sure they'll come up ok with a bit of work. Original stem (to follow).
Headset bearings present. Need a flush and grease, but will do fine.
Came with bottom bracket, but this was a mixed blessing. Good to have one so I know what size to get, but I had to wrestle it out first. It'd been in a while (possibly original) and assembled by someone allergic to grease. A lot of swearing, brute force and a 12" adjustable knocked by a rubber mallet eventually won the day. Frame threads look pretty good, not a sign of any water sitting in the the shell. Will get my LBS mate to chase the threads before re-assembly as a precaution.
Now the bad points.
No rear canti bosses. Missed this in the original photo so my bad. An easy fix I thought. I have a set of M8 Fox bosses but when trying to fit the wouldn't go in. After checking I have discovered cannondale use an imperial size (bloody Americans!). See my point above about "quirky". Available new from Qwerty for 6 quid so not a big deal, but I do wonder why they were missing in the first place? There's no disk mounts so it can't be that, but the threads look ok so I don't think anything has snapped off. Worst case is I have to drill them out and use an M8 helicoil to fit the fox bosses. Half a mind to do that anyway at least I know that'll work.
Headset missing the upper seal but again a cheap fix.
Now the big one. Headshok forks missing the top cap. An easy replacement you'd think but this is a cannondale. From what I can see, the fork has had so many varieties over the years it's difficult to know what flavour I have. I know its early and basic but thats it. Not sure if I need it to tension bearings a la aheadset, or if it works a different way. Will need to wait on stem to see how it all goes together in the metal. Used to ride with a guy who'd ride nothing but cannondale, so I think I might need to track down a number for him. At least he could have a look over it for me and hopefully have a secret stash of obscure spares.
So, the plan. The bike hails from the days of 7 speed and cantis, but I'm going with a mid 90's build. I still have a lot of M739 stuff from when I rebuilt my STS with XTR, so I'm going to base my build on that. Already have STI units and rear mech, along with a set of LX parallax hubs built on mavic 221s. Bought an LX chainset from Tazio, so I'm down to looking for a front mech, V's and a cassettte and chain. Tyres are nobby nic's as thats what's left in the shed, as were the hugely heavy DH inner tubes but they'll re-inforce the paper thin schwalbe side walls. Stem, seatpost and bars will be the originals for now but that may change as time goes on. The original bars are very narrow. Saddle will be my original 1991 flite that's been on more bikes than I've had hot dinners and grips will be whatever.
As you can see I'm not going for a perfect restoration, frankly I don't see the point. The frame design was around for years, so I think it'll stand the later parts and it'll also keep costs down. When I was riding at the time the bike was around, we were always upgrading to the newest parts so the finished bike will be representative of what I would have had back then.
Hoping to keep cost below £200, which won't be a lot of money for the finished article. Currently at £105 (£85 for frame etc and £20 for chainset). I'll keep updated with an honest ledger (just don't show Sharron).
'97 GT STS 2 - XTR'd to the hilt.
'94 Retrodale Delta V