1993 Cannondale M800 BOTE


Dirt Disciple
I’ve been really into bicycles since the early 80s, when mountain bikes came out I started with a basic BRC unit and quickly moved to a Ritchey Ascent. Fitted as many XT parts as I could afford. I always drooled over Brodies, Fat Chance, etc, etc. My Ritchey was fantastic as well but I’ve always wanted to go next level. My grail bike would be a Klein (before they sold to Trek), any number of Kleins would fit the bill. Back in the late 80s early 90s I had an admiration for Trek/Cannondale/Specialized, some of the bigger top quality brands. Anyway, Cannondale was never a brand I drooled over. I always had respect and thought their sanded wells, American/built in-house frames were very cool, was always jealous of the listed frame weights, didn’t like the cantilevered rear drop outs too much (at the time) …

Fast forward 25-30 years. Going through FB marketplace I noticed a pretty ugly Cannondale for $100. The Syncros seatpost and XT thumbies sold me right away, with the LX other parts it was a great parts bike at the very least. Talked him down to $90 and brought her home. Wouldn’t be a problem to build up a vintage Cannondale and sell it right?

After stripping down to the frame and weighing it I started doing some research. Never took notice of the Beast of the East build, remembered the odd early version with the 24” rear wheel. Wheels started turning and before you knew it told the wife “sorry” I’m keepin’ it…

I have a bare frame aluminum GT Zaskar that’s polished and really like the look. After removing the rattle can blue paint I found it was one of the dark-blue-purplish ones with pink/fuchsia quick release and rear canti’s only. I needed a fork. Its has 1-1/4” steering, what to do? Ended up sourcing reducers, the best deal on a Pepperoni fork was unthreaded 1-1/8” steel steerer. The fork that I bought the bike with was 1-1/8” Rock Shox low end, with and extra crown race thrown in for good measure, not sure how the previous owner didn’t die, plus 1-1/8” headsets and stems will be cheaper and easier to source.

Decided to go stripped of paint/polished and source decals. With black and silver only I wanted a bit of fun color. The decals I found had yellow in them so went with yellow grips instead of black (a first for me using non black) and a couple gold anodized (well more like orange) bits for chainring bolts and seat collar. Had to use the Dura-Ace RD I grabbed last year for $20 all scratched up which I then polished (yes, it needs a cable anchor trick to work with any other Shimano 7 speed shifter)

The flat carbon bar has been sitting, waiting for a couple years due to it’s larger clamp diameter which came off a bike that needed a riser. Figured with the threadless fork I could go a bit modern in the steering area, then threw on the more modern Ritchey carbon railed saddle (yellow accents too). The Innova tires are crasy light at 618g a pair, love the skin wall look, I’m confident the minimal knobbies will be fine for the smooth trails I take me old school fully rigid MTBs on.

I was worried about the high BB at 13”. Here I am putting all this work and close to $500 into this project, what if I don’t like the ride? Yikes!

Okay, so pretty long story, I know. What follows are pictures only. She weights 19.75lbs, I basically put almost every lightest version of a part on it as a light weight build. Drum roll ..… it rides amazingly well. If not my favorite vintage MTB it’s in my top three with my Kona and Rocky Mountain. And I can say I have a real and proper Cannondale, built in the USA


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Retro Guru

That’s stunning, hats off to you! Loving the polished frame - good choice. What crankset is that by the way?


BoTM Winner
I love this! Great work... polished frames are so nice and your choice of coloured accents looks great against the frame. Good job!


Senior Retro Guru
Great execution on a BoE, I'm not fond of the level chainstays but it's somehow lost on your build. It looks awesome in my eyes. I love the pre CAAD era frames, those iconic rear dropouts & the Peps.


Retro Guru
Really nice job.
I'm interested in stripping an aluminum frame and polishing like you did.
Not looking forward to all the work though :eek:!
Did you top coat after polishing?


Dirt Disciple
Thought I would provide an update. Sorry DrGooGoo, never replied: I don't apply a top coat. I keep my bikes indoors and clean them after every ride. I have give the odd re-polish since completing the build and it's held up well.
So I like this bike soo much I decided to make it even nicer. Got rid of the generic modern carbon flat bar and alloy stem and when with Syncros Cattlehead and Syncros Hardcore bar, Flite Alpes saddle, a nicer large chainring, black foam grips, XTR M900 RD and Avid Ultimate Ti levers. It's still under 20 lbs. I also ordered some Syncros seatpost decals from a UK outfit. Yup, one of my top two 90s MTBs for sure