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buying old used: cannondale vs. trek ?? some sugestions(10 posts)

buying old used: cannondale vs. trek ?? some sugestionsPBWatson
May 31, 2002 7:20 AM
OK I am new to road riding & the bike I buy will probably get 60 - 100 miles per week + the occasional long weekend ride. I would like something light & fast (doesn't everyone) But I am on a serious budget & have 2 choices, with either choice I will be immediately upgrading the wheels, seat & post with parts I already have

1st choice
cannondale black lightening 3.0 (c.1980)
mish mash of parts
dia comp edge brakes
sugino cranks
suntour edge f. der
shimano rsx r. der
This bike weighs about 20# & with my upgrades I will drop it down to about 17#

2nd choice
Trek 1500
w/ Shimano 105 grouppo
thats all I know about this bike, both are the same size (62cm)

Any thoughts would be welcome. If all goes as planned I will buy a new bike in a couple years & this one would become my rain bike, either way once purchased I will keep it for almost forever.

some thoughts...2_cheap
May 31, 2002 7:45 AM
First, test ride both bikes (at least 20 miles each, if possible) and see if either one is more comfortable. If a test ride is out of the question, inspect the bikes carefully. Aluminum can't rust, but check the condition of the components. The Cannondale is 22 years old, that's serious aging for steel components if you don't live in a dry environment.

Since you have the parts to upgrade the Cannondale, really try to focus on which frame is more comfortable. A lot has been written about the fatigue life of aluminum frames. At some point in time, with enough use, they theoretically will fail. Unfortunately, you won't know how close either bike is to that point until it's too late! Good luck.
some questionsJekyll
May 31, 2002 7:51 AM
How much are the bikes selling for and what parts do you already have?
If the price on the bikes is more than about $500 and you have a large number of good parts it might make sense to get a frame and fork and add the stuff you already have rather than going down this road.
don't buy old crap...C-40
May 31, 2002 8:31 AM
Buying anything that's not current 9 speed Shimano is a mistake, IMO. You'll end up spending more on it than just buying something decent in the first place. There are a lot of decent starter bikes in the $500-1000 range.

The old Cannondale won't have the current 130mm spacing for current model rear hubs.

Save your pennies or make payments if you have to, but don't get involved with really old stuff.
Why?Mel Erickson
May 31, 2002 9:06 AM
If it's in good working order what's wrong with old stuff? Parts are available, ususally at bargain prices, for a lot of older groups. Other than a wider selection of gears and STI type shifting is there anything so significant about new 9 or 10 spd systems that would make older systems obsolete? I enjoy my commuter bike and ride it nearly every day. It's got seven speeds and I have no plans to upgrade. As things wear I'll replace them and I fully expect to be riding this bike in another 10 years. I also have the latest and greatest but just because it's older doesn't make it obsolete.
...beat me to the punch; completely agree.SteveO
May 31, 2002 10:07 AM
if you're really worried about not finding that 7-speed freewheel in 10 years, buy a spare today....lot cheaper than spending mucho bucks on 4 or 6 extra, unnecessary gears.
re: buying old used: cannondale vs. trek ?? some sugestionsPBWatson
May 31, 2002 9:02 AM
The bikes are $250 either way, why is 9 speed the only option? or is it just that my lighter wheels wont fit this frame?
What spacing are your wheelsMel Erickson
May 31, 2002 11:30 AM
There are 126, 128 and 130mm spacings. If you have newer hubs with 130 spacing you can't use them on older frames without spreading the stays. I would never try and spread the stays on an aluminum bike. You're just asking for a disasterous failure. Steal, no problem, any decent shop should be able to spread and set them to the correct width. Make sure they align them, too. If the hubs on your wheels have the correct spacing for the bike you buy then, of course, you're in like flynn. You could also consider relacing with new hubs of the correct spacin, but this would me more costly. Or, you could just ride the wheels that come with the bike. Anyway you look at it you could ride and enjoy these bikes with a range of investment. At this price point on a used bike I wouldn't worry about brand, material or components as long as there was no damage, everything worked and wasn't so worn you'd need to replace it in short order (save tires, pads, tape, etc., normal replacement items). I'd get the bike that FIT the best and felt the best to you. You'll always ride a bike more if it fits, therefore, you'll get more for your money.
Upgrades are not an issueKerry
May 31, 2002 4:49 PM
People are all worried about frame spacing thinking that you want to upgrade the bike. At $250, you do exactly what you said. Ride it for a couple of years and then make it your rain bike. You might get some spare parts now - a freewheel/cassette is probably the only thing you'd need to "warehouse". Forget everything else. Putting upgrade money into either of these would be a mistake.
re: buying old used: cannondale vs. trek ?? some sugestionsWalter
May 31, 2002 12:29 PM
That Cdale isn't quite that old. I bought a SR600 in either 85 or 86 to ride with a college club. I'm pretty sure that's right around the first generation of fat-tubed aluminum Cdales. I remember the Black Lightning and would say it's probably an 86 or 87. Knocks a few years off. However, as others have pointed out, modern rear wheels won't fit b/c of dropout spacing. Old steel frames can be spread but not aluminum. I tried putting a wheel with Campy Veloce 9spd in my Cdale just for the heck of it and it was a no go. Your front would be fine and might be a useful weight reduction in an area that matters.

I still have that Cdale btw though it doesn't get many miles anymore.

If they're clean $250 is a fair price but at the upper end of 15+ year old bikes that aren't really collectible. Don't hesitate to negotiate. I join with the others who say there's not a thing in the world wrong with older bikes. However, I'd ride them pretty much the way they are rather than spend money on upgrades. Even at $250 it's a cheap entry to a fine sport. You can always spend more money later