Wednesday, February 12, 2014

1988 Cannondale Restoration

1988 Cannondale Restoration - Bicycle After
A Cannondale like this 1988 white version was my first real bicycle after my Schwinn Varsity.  Mine was a 1985 ST-500, the touring version with triple water bottle cage brazings and 27 inch wheels.  Otherwise they were the same bicycles, the 1988 version here is the race version, it does have 700c wheels by 1988 and has a lot nicer headset and stem.  I road mine for well over 30,000+ miles and sold it not too long ago, wish I never sold it but it was 58 cm and I out grew it a very long time ago but continued to put miles on it.  I hope someday to find the same frame in at least 63 cm.

Cannondale was one of the first to build aluminum frames, you can tell this had not refined the design of an aluminum frame at this time, he tubing is very large but unlike today's refined design of aluminum frames the frames from the early days seem to have a much better ride to me.

I am very excited to work on the white 1988 Cannondale, it will be a trip down memory lane for me.  The Cannondale is in pretty decent shape to start, the white paint is pretty dirty and dull and has some chipping but being aluminum there is no rust under those chips.  The alloy has some corrosion and is very dull but all in all it The Cannondale should come out pretty nice.


The 1988 Cannondale will receive a total restoration with all new cables and cable housings, new tubes and tires, new handlebar tape and saddle.


1988 Cannondale Restoration - Bicycle Before

1988 Cannondale Restoration - Handlebars - Before

1988 Cannondale Restoration - Stem Before

1988 Cannondale Restoration
Front Brake - Before

1988 Cannondale Restoration - Shift Levers - Before

1988 Cannondale Restoration
Crank Before

1988 Cannondale Restoration
Rear Brake - Before

1988 Cannondale Restoration - Rear Derailleur - Before

1988 Cannondale Restoration - Rear Wheel Hub - Before

1988 Cannondale Restoration - Front Wheel Hub - Before
I stripped the bicycle down and got to work cleaning the frame.  White is a difficult color to get to shine nice, white has no depth to it and depth is what makes a finishes really pop.  It took a lot of elbow grease but in the end the white paint looks very good.

1988 Cannondale Restoration - Frame Before

1988 Cannondale Restoration - Frame Before - Bottom Bracket

1988 Cannondale Restoration
Frame Before

1988 Cannondale Restoration
Frame Before - Fork

1988 Cannondale Restoration - Frame Polished

1988 Cannondale Restoration - Frame Polished - Bottom Bracket

1988 Cannondale Restoration
Frame Polished

1988 Cannondale Restoration
Frame polished - Seat Stays

1988 Cannondale Restoration
Frame Polished - Fork
I had a shop injury a couple days back and cut my had pretty bad so The Cannondale was my first day back working in the shop again.  I started with the rear wheel as a test of my hand, my hand is functioning well and started on the rest of the bike.  A little strange start from my normal routine so you will see the rear wheel complete in all the photos.  The freewheel is a little rough, I have that soaking in oil at this time.  The rear wheel polished very nice and the new Continental Ultra Sport tires are the tires the White Cannondale was meant to have, great look between the all black tires and white frame.

1988 Cannondale Restoration -
Rear Wheel - Before

1988 Cannondale Restoration - Rear Wheel Hub - Before

1988 Cannondale Restoration - Rear Wheel - Old Grease

1988 Cannondale Restoration - Rear Wheel Hub - Polished

1988 Cannondale Restoration
New Continental Ultra Sport Tires

1988 Cannondale Restoration - Rear Wheel Complete
1988 Cannondale Restoration - Freewheel - Before
With my hand functioning well I got to work on the headset and bottom bracket.  The headset is a Levin CD, I have only come across this headset a few times, it seems to be fantastic quality, there is not one thing that says its quality other then the over all feel of quality you find in some products, just a feel.  The bottom bracket is also very nice, both cleaned up very well and polished very nice.  Installed the headset and bottom bracket really shine and function extremely smooth!

In the photo below of the headset and bottom bracket polished I laid the components out in the order they are assembled.  The frame fits between the two headset cups.

1988 Cannondale Restoration - Headset & Bottom Bracket
Before

1988 Cannondale Restoration - Headset & Bottom Bracket
Polished 

1988 Cannondale Restoration - Headset Bearings Packed

1988 Cannondale Restoration
Headset Cups - Pressed

Headset Complete

1988 Cannondale Restoration - Bottom Bracket Bearings
Packed

1988 Cannondale Restoration
Bottom Bracket - Complete
The stem and handlebars are very nice.  The stem is a fantastic Nittio stem and the handlebars are 3TTT, the handlebar stamped badges where covered by the old handlebar tape, I will keep them showing when I install the new handlebar tape.

Both the handlebars and stem polished beautifully, I could not be more happy with the results, a high polish to the stem and handlebars really make the over all look of a bicycle.

1988 Cannondale Restoration - Nitto Stem - Before

1988 Cannondale Restoration - 3TTT Handlebars - Before

1988 Cannondale Restoration - Handlebars - Polished

1988 Cannondale Restoration - Nitto Stem - Polished

1988 Cannondale Restoration
Handlebars & Stem - Complete

1988 Cannondale Restoration
Stem & Handlebars - Complete

1988 Cannondale Restoration - Stem & Handlebars - Complete
Next came the Sugino VP 130 crank set was next, it was dirty and dull, I disassembled it and cleaned and polished the components.  I am happy with the results, this is when the shine on the alloy components starts to set its self apart from the white frame, a great look!

1988 Cannondale Restoration - Crank - Before

1988 Cannondale Restoration - Crank - Exploded

1988 Cannondale Restoration - Crank - Polished

1988 Cannondale Restoration - Crank - Complete

1988 Cannondale Restoration
Crank - Installed
I remember the brake calipers well from my Cannondale, they work descent and are easy to adjust. This set of calipers have really strong caliper springs, it makes for a very crisp action.   I am very happy with the before and after of the brake calipers.  I really like the way the bracket around the adjustment area polished out gold, it looks very cool.

1988 Cannondale Restoration - Brake Calipers - Before

1988 Cannondale Restoration - Brake Calipers - Exploded

1988 Cannondale Restoration - Brake Calipers - Polished

1988 Cannondale Restoration - Brake Calipers - Complete
1988 Cannondale Restoration - Front Caliper - Installed

1988 Cannondale Restoration - Rear Caliper - Installed
The derailleurs are nice, it is a Sun Tour Accushift 6 speed indexing group.  The rear derailleur need some internal work on the tension spring, I do not have a photo of that.  The front derailleur is a brazed on derailleur, I think they did this then because they did not want a clamp on to collapse the aluminum frame?  Both derailleurs polished out very nice and after lubricating function really nice.  I know this group set very well, it was the same on my Cannondale.

1988 Cannondale Restoration - Derailleurs - Before

1988 Cannondale Restoration - Rear Derailleur - Exploded

1988 Cannondale Restoration - Derailleurs - Complete

1988 Cannondale Restoration
Front Derailleur - Installes

1988 Cannondale Restoration
Rear Derailleur - Installed

1988 Cannondale Restoration - Shift Levers - Before

1988 Cannondale Restoration - Shift levers - Installed
Last of the main components of the frame was the seat post and saddle, as I always say "Fluted seat post, My favorite!".

1988 Cannondale Restoration - Seat Post - Before

1988 Cannondale Restoration
Seat Post Complete - New Saddle
The front wheel was a little rougher then the rear wheel, it took a a lot of cleaning, polishing and truing but it came a long ways back, a little rough on the side wall of the rim but not to bad over all.  The new Continental tire really looks good also.

1988 Cannondale Restoration - Front Wheel - Before

1988 Cannondale Restoration - Front Wheel Hub - Before

1988 Cannondale Restoration - Front Wheel - Old Grease

1988 Cannondale Restoration - Front Wheel Rim - Before


1988 Cannondale Restoration - Front Wheel Hub - Polished

1988 Cannondale Restoration - Front Wheel - Complete
The brake levers functioned well before but the levers where very dull and the white hoods where black and horrible looking.  I am going to toot my own horn hear and say this may be the best I have ever done on brake lever hoods, they turned out fantastic!!!  I could not believe I got the white to come that far back, it took a lot of work and a secret I have for brake lever hoods. That secret I am going to keep a secret for a while yet!

1988 Cannondale Restoration - Brake Levers - Before

1988 Cannondale Restoration - Brake Levers - After

1988 Cannondale Restoration - Brake Levers - Installed
At this point the Cannondale is ready to be wired and tuned.  The wiring went fine other for the ridiculous angle they want you to get the cable through the brake lever.  The new handlebar tape looks great installed and the white cable housings are perfect for the white frame.

1988 Cannondale Restoration - New Bits & Pieces

1988 Cannondale Restoration - Front Wired
1988 Cannondale Restoration - Handlebar Tape - Installed
At this point the Cannondale is 99% complete.  I took the freewheel off and it is soaking in oil one more time.  Later today final photos will be taken.

1988 Cannondale Restoration - Cannondale 99% Complete

I have the freewheel back on the rear wheel, it is okay.  I tuned out the Cannondale and took final photos.  I am very happy with the results of the Cannondale, it was a lot of fun working on a bicycle I know so well and have so many miles on.

I like the white, I really like the black and the white.  I think the white cable housings where the perfect choice, it sets them into the frame color so there is not a black line running down the center of the frame.

The final photos are below, they are not very good because I could not get a good white balance setting right and taking the photos indoors does not help.  I wish they where a little better to show of the white paint but i think the beauty of the Cannondale still shows through!

1988 Cannondale Restoration - Bicycle Complete

1988 Cannondale Restoration - Bicycle Complete

1988 Cannondale Restoration - Bicycle Complete - Handlebars

1988 Cannondale Restoration - Bicycle Complete - Front Brake

1988 Cannondale Restoration
Bicycle Complete - Nitto Stem

1988 Cannondale Restoration
Bicycle Complete - Front Half

1988 Cannondale Restoration - Bicycle Complete - Drive Train

1988 Cannondale Restoration - Bicycle Complete - Rear Brake

1988 Cannondale Restoration - Bicycle Complete - Rear Wheel
As always, thanks for the interest,
John Z.

4 comments:

  1. That was a great job. I own a couple of older Cannondales and they still hold their own. How did this one ride after all the work?

    ReplyDelete
  2. What did you use to polish the components? crank, brakes etc? did you use a tool to buff them?

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have this same bike, so this is a great resource. Thanks for uploading all the great pictures.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love this post, and I read it often. I got into cycling after I found this same bike leaning up against a dumpster. Lifted it up, and holy crap was it light! So I took it home and got to work restoring it. It has been a several year project for me, 50 bucks at a time, but what a great bike!

    ReplyDelete