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PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 10:04 am 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2011 5:03 pm
Posts: 22
OK. Bike now finished, so I thought I'd summarise my experiences, as I'm new to this lark. Hopefully it might be of interest to some other inexperienced retro MTB lovers.

The bike is a 1997 Cannondale F900 in Tangerine. I am guessing it's an L but haven't checked the serial numbers as it fits me fine. Frame, DD60 Headshok, stem and cranks bought on ebay from a chap who'd been running it as a singlespeed.

My second MTB as a teen was a 3.0 Cannondale, black with white speckle. Nothing after that gave me so much pleasure so I thought I'd try to rekindle some of that Cannondale feel. Not everybody's cup of tea, I know, but I love 'em.

I decided that top exotic spec wasn't for me, so plumped for a core of XT with a smattering of random bits. For price, availability and for me a nice clean look the M750 fitted the bill. Not the purist's choice, perhaps, but great for me, particularly as the bike came new with the predictable lowly STX & LX bits on it, plus CODA branded 'Dale items, often made by A N Other and rebranded.

I love the idea of sourcing bits on ebay & RB and building a bike - what could be more sustainable than that? Plus you get exactly what you want.

So, before I start thanking the people who've helped me here's a brief spec summary, with notes for each item where appropriate.

F900 hardtail in tangerine. Wishbone stays, nice slope to top tube, fat main tubes. square chainstays. Paint has a lovely deep lustre and decals are 100%. Only quibbles are the odd scuff and bubble in the paint.
DD60 headshok & fork, rebounds & locks out perfectly.
Decided on mostly black bits with some silver, plus accents of gold & white. Some red crept in later in the process.

Built up new for this project, as I couldn't find a complete set in budget with the spec & look I wanted.
Mavic 317 black rims.
Sapim race spokes.
XT T-780 hubs.
Conti Race King 2.2" tyres.
They feel stiff and smooth.
Hope gold skewers.

Black CODA OE item.
X Lite riser bars in black. These are uncut and I suspect I'll shorten them to quicken up the steering a bit.
Magura HS33 'Olympia' special editions, with gold lever arms, boosters and red adjusters.
Sadly the boosters don't fit over my tyres, so rather than go for the EVO 2 I'm running them without.
The red adjustment wheel meant I could introduce a bit more red here and there to tie everything together visually.
Happily I found some in period OE CODA grips on ebay, which tied in with the Maguras a treat.
Bar plugs:
Hope grip doctors, again in gold to match skewers.
Seat post:
Race Face Deus, lightly used off ebay. Great looking 27.2 x 400 pin with lovely quick adjustment mechanism. Gold & white branding also matches overall scheme.
Love this. From the US, it's loosely in period but up-spec from the original. It is in superb condition and all gold (!) badges are unworn. The side panels are in some kind of Alcantara fiabric. Love it.
OE 175mm CODA M300. Branding worn off.
Crank Bros 'Candy' in black, used off ebay. Running with the brass cleats. I find these SO easy to engage. They are brilliant.
OE spec was compact, 22/32/42, 94BCD with a 58 granny.
Bought TA rings as a direct replacement. I put them on and the granny spacing was way out. It's now spaced off a few mm. In hindsight I should perhaps have gone for black.
Chain: HG93
M750, off ebay. 9spd.
Front mech:
M750, 34.9 shimmed down to 31.8. Bottom pull.
I overtightened the anchor nut but it's now been rescued by my LBS with a bigger diameter bolt.
Rear mech:
M750 long cage.
M750 rapidfire. I love these. Having experience of XC Pro thumbies, LX Rapidfire, SRT-800 Gripshift and road bikes rapidfire is still my favourite.
Top tube hydraulic cable mounts:
BBB, off ebay. About a tenner. hose is too thick to fit thro' cable guides.
Chainstay protector:
orange Lizard Skin. Was going for black for practicality but the orange was such a good match I couldn't resist it.

I THINK that's it.

So now to the thanks.

Thanks to Malcolm at cycleclinic in Suffolk, for building the wheels and sourcing parts. Exactly the kind of small indy bike shop I love to use. Reminds me of John Machin in Melton Mowbray (anybody?). I would recommend him to anybody in East Anglia. He's based near Cavendish, a lovely village spot for lunch or a country ride.

Recommend Grannie Gear ebay shop for components, he couldn't have been more helpful.

Thanks to Revel Outdoor in Newmarket for spacing the rings and bleeding the Maguras. I want to do this from now on. Revel are super helpful and I would definitely recommend them.

Thanks to Veedubba for the Maguras and Jussa for a bit of advice and for buying my XT skewers.

I think that's it. Here are some pics. The bike rides exactly as I had hoped. Quick, stiff and precise. I also like the look. It's just what I had in mind.

Next project when I move to a bigger house? Klein, no question.

Thanks for looking and sorry for the poor photos. My wife dropped my camera on the beach a couple of weeks back and the sand has killed it.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:49 am 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2011 5:03 pm
Posts: 22
crikey. is it really THAT awful/dull? not a single comment. never mind!

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 12:06 pm 
Lincs, East and South Yorks Deputy AEC
Lincs, East and South Yorks Deputy AEC
User avatar

Joined: Fri Feb 29, 2008 11:55 pm
Posts: 5248
nah man, not everyone comments. i love my yellow f500, really wish id took more notice of these years ago 8)

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 1:51 pm 
Gold Trader
Gold Trader
User avatar

Joined: Thu May 20, 2010 9:13 pm
Posts: 4772
Location: All you other Iron Men are just imitating
I like those chimney pot planters 8)

Bike's cool too :D

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 10:21 pm 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Sat Nov 06, 2010 11:36 pm
Posts: 96
Location: Glasgow
I've got one of these, same age and colour, but completely standard and original. When I bought it I intended to do pretty much what you've done to yours, m750 or 751 bits. Yours looks like I wanted mine to look, its turned out really nice.

However after riding it about a bit I've decided to leave it alone and just enjoy a nice old bike and see if a delta v hardtail frame turns up instead!

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 8:08 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2009 10:06 am
Posts: 983
Location: manchester
I love these F-series bikes and the clean look of the Headshok forks.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 9:02 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2012 6:03 pm
Posts: 6
Location: Netherlands
Very nice bike.

Lovely color too.

My love affair with Cannondale's started with a black M500 in 1993.
It was also my first mountainbike.
The very cool oversized fat tubes, the stiffness, the lightness, the speed, was a totally different experience.
Later in 1994 bought a blue M700 with better components, and it never has let me down , every time i sit on this bike i am impressed how "new" it feels after al these years.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 1:11 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2011 8:01 pm
Posts: 839
Location: Saarfend on sea
I would really love to own a Cannondale like yours, I saw one in a bike shop recently but the shop owner decided he wanted to keep it so did not get a chance to prise it off him. One day!!!

Your build looks great, hope you enjoy it.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 4:47 pm 
Retrobike Sponsor
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Joined: Sat May 22, 2010 10:33 pm
Posts: 2188
Location: Suffolk
thanks for the mention. I really like your bike as well.

Bleeding magura's is not to difficult. If you do them ignore there bleed instructions as I have found that does not always get all the air out. I 'll show you if you like.

Been on many rides yet?

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