Saturday, July 24, 2010

early-90s Cannondale 2.8

This ~1994 Cannondale 2.8 R900 road frame is a little small for me, but these are pretty scarce nowadays (and they made few to begin with), so I went with a 56cm. The "2.8" refers to the approximate weight in lbs. (1270g), so despite being 18 years old, it's weight competitive with most non-carbon bikes even now.
The only real challenge with building up these things is the fork steerer. Since I wanted it to be as light as possible (within reason -- no tubulars/carbon rims, and it had to be 9-speed shimano), I had to fork over $300 or so for a new Easton EC90 1" fork. There's a lot more selection with 1.125" forks, and you can find a nice Alpha-Q for about $150. No such luck with the relatively rare 1" size nowadays, at least in full carbon. Oh well.
despite marginal utility, I love the cantilevered dropouts of the 90s Cannondale 2.8s and 3.0s
So why did Cannondale go with these wacky cantilevered dropouts? Well, if you take it to the extreme and imagine the seatstays as connecting to the chainstays near the bottom bracket, I can only conclude that the idea was to improve compliance/comfort, since the earlier Cannondale road frames were heavily criticized for an excessively harsh ride. Does it work? I dunno, but it looks sweet.

gotta love the "I have a Chris King hub and you don't" super high-pitched ratcheting sound going down hills

From what I've read, Cannondale took much more time with the polished aluminum frames, since there's no paint (well, other than clearcoat) to hide rough welds. So they had these miniature belt sanders that they painstakingly sanded each joint with until the tubes seemed to become a single cast piece. Beautiful.

mmmmm sexy

Fingerprints dull these things fast, but when they are clean (Pledge works well), they are mirror-finish shiny. So cool.

16.99 lbs. (7706g) including pedals, not bad!

The wheels were sourced used, from ebay of course, and had a wacky 2x lacing front and rear, with black spokes (not my favorite). They quickly went hopelessly out of true, so I rebuilt them with double-butted wheelsmith stainless-steel spokes. Much better.

Found NOS Dura-Ace cranks, shifters and brakes, which are really gorgeous.

NOS Dura-Ace is getting pricey (derailer is new, 10sp)

Since these pics, the bourgeois carbon headset spacers have been replaced with Chris King.

25th anniversary Dura-Ace seatpost, a nice piece

Next time has a 25% off sale, I'll pick up a Dura-Ace 11-23 cassette. The SRAM one on it now looks cool, but is pretty basic compared to the pinnacle of 9-speed technology. D/A cassettes are partially titanium, and are beautifully made. It seems like a shame to put a greasy chain on 'em.
the finished bike... as capable as any 2010 road bike

1 comment:

TBoz said...

I know that bike!