|Garage Sale Treasure|
Hardy Menagh 9/05/07
I ride a bike for fitness and fun for an hour almost every morning. This past Friday before Labor Day, I was just a mile up the road from my house on my Ross Eurotour when I noticed "Garage Sale" signs. Ordinarily, I avoid garage sales but a few yards past the driveway, a nagging voice in my head interrupted my riding reverie and said "You should go back".
I don't usually listen to voices in my head but I turned around and rolled down the driveway, came to an embarrassingly loud squealing stop and was taking my helmet off when the proprietor of the sale smiled and told me he recognized me. "I see you riding by the house all the time. You really fly!"
It's true, I do enjoy going fast.
He told me he had a couple of bicycles that he wasn't going to put out but he wondered if I might be interested in them and had I ever heard of Cannondale bikes? I allowed that I had but had never seen one in person. He took me into a room off the garage where two black 53 cm Cannondale 12 speeds were hanging on the wall. I noticed that the tires were hairy with sprue and still had the mold seam flash around the center. "They've never been ridden", he said. He told me he had planned to sell them some day but since he knew I rode bikes and might be able to use them, I could have one or both for $25 each. I told him I would take them if I could go home and get a check. He told me a check was fine but the tires didn't have air and he didn't have a pump that worked with the valves which were different from usual. "Um, I think they're Presta", I said. "I have a pump that will work".
I rode the Ross home and walked back with a check and a small plastic frame pump. A ride, a walk and another ride later I had the two SR300s home and after I checked the serial numbers on line and was satisfied that they had not been stolen, I started cleaning and re-lubricating them.
Variations on a Theme
The first thing I noticed was that there was absolutely no wear on any of the parts. However, these bikes had been stored outside or were submerged in water at some point. The steel parts, including the forks had some light to moderate rust on them. One of the chains was lightly rusted on the outside of some links. It could be salvaged but the other was badly rusted inside and out and would have to be replaced. Most of the rest of the rust was minor and could be cleaned, oiled and in some cases, treated with rust neutralizer/converter. The grease in the bearings seemed fresh, like the day it had been put there so I left it alone.
The other thing I noticed was that although these bikes had only one serial number between them, some of the parts were different.
The SR300 with the serial ending in "6" was set up, as far as I can tell, factory stock with a Vetta saddle, toe clips and straps1 and a Sugino GS crankset. The one with the serial ending in "8" appeared to be set up for touring. It had an Avocet Touring saddle2 and non-clipable pedals with rubber blocks. You might assume that these aftermarket options were installed by the dealer but the odd thing is that the crankset was different as well. This bike had a Sugino GLP crankset3. I could find no information about the differences in these cranksets on the web but the GLP version appears to have narrower chainrings and slightly sturdier arms. Was this an option or a change during a production run? if you know, please email me.
The Future of These Bikes
I've been riding one of the SR300s for a few days now. At 23 lbs, it's a pleasant change from my Ross. It climbs hills easily and really moves on the downhill side.
Even as a teenager, I didn't find the hunched over position on a racing-style bike to be comfortable but I embraced it because it was in vogue. Now, at a slightly wiser 50 years old, I will be replacing the stem with a longer one but keeping the rest of the bike more or less stock.
The other bike will likely be stored until such time as I may need it. Don't ask to buy it. After two decades together, I don't want to see these bikes split up. Rest assured, they will have far better care taken of them in the next two decades and beyond, if I make it that far. I'd like to think I'll still be riding bikes well into my 70s.
Serial number ending in "6"
Serial number ending in "8" Note the Registered Trademark symbol.
1The straps pictured are not original. The original black straps had been cut too short to use.
2The Avocet Touring WI saddle was standard on some of the other 1985 Cannondale models, notably the ST500 touring bike and the SM600 mountain bike.
3The Sugino GLP Crankset would later be used on the 1986 Cannondale SR400 which was otherwise identical to the 1985 SR300.
Vintage Cannondale Brian was very helpful. We exchanged many emails about this model
Cannondale Bicycle Corp Special thanks to Lori Pahl for helping me get the date of manufacture nailed down permanently
- Update 9/10/08 - More on Sugino GS and GLP Cranksets
After disassembling both cranks for cleaning and relubrication, I can offer some more information about them.
As you will notice in the picture, the Sugino GLP crankset offers some obvious improvements over the GS model that preceded it. The GLP positions the cranks closer together and supports the spindle with 22, 1/4" caged ball bearings compared to the 18 caged ball bearings used with the GS.
The GS model uses a 123mm 3TB spindle with a 68mm shell width. The left side end measures 32mm to the outer edge of the cone surface. The right side end measures 39mm to the outer edge of the cone surface. the distance between the two outer cone edges is 52mm. This particular spindle was marked with a 1984 date code.
The GLP model uses a 117.5mm 3KB spindle with a 68mm shell width. The left side end measures 32mm to the outer edge of the cone surface. The right side end measures 33.5mm to the outer edge of the cone surface. the distance between the two outer cone edges is 52mm. This one had a 1985 date code.
Neither of these spindles are currently manufactured as replacement parts, however you may be able to substitute the Sugino 3SB spindle for the 3TB used with the GS model. The 3SB is 1.5mm shorter on the right end and will change your chainline slightly but it matches in all other respects and is still available from online suppliers at this writing.
Both cranksets use a standard ISO/English/French cup size of 1.37" x 24 TPI.
When I reassembled the cranksets, I discarded the the caged bearings and used 22 loose 1/4" ball bearings in each of the two bottom brackets.
For more specifications of obsolete Japanese bottom brackets see "Japanese Bottom Bracket Spindles, Traditional Cup And Cone Type" on this page on Sheldon Brown's site.
Copyright © 2007 Hardy Menagh