Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Resurrrecting the Cannondale

After having Brian @ Bicycles Etc update the faithful John Cherry frame to Campy Chorus 10, my trusty Bianchi from 1993 has stood ready with the worn but serviceable Campy Chorus 9 speed, and a gentle reminder that the Giro d'Italia has been a tremendous race so far this year! Where does that leave the Japanese Shimano 105 parts that disgraced the glory of Italy for all those years? Well, since 1990 a Cannondole has been kicked around and ended up in my basement. Having first been raced under Bryn in some NCCA races for the University of Illinois before being taken up by Wheelfast member and my brother Stephen and seeing still more duty on the NCCA circuit, the venerable bicycle has seen some combat. It was last pedaled the day before my wedding now 12 years ago this past weekend in driving and cold rain that left the trio of us nearly hypothermic, quite literally. It has hung with down-tube shifters in my basement since as first Bryn then Stephen moved away. As they say, possession is 9/10ths of the law, and 12 years in my basement makes it mine. So, it took control of the Shimano 105 parts and saw its first voyage in 12 years on Sunday. For those of you that recall the hey-day of the Cannondale 3.0 and 2.8 frames, they were beasts, solid beyond words and as uncomfortable a ride as one could imagine. So, as I departed for a 17 mile ride yesterday, I longed for my nice custom steel frameset. It was a miserable ride into a headwind. The rear was so stiff it hurt. Maybe a carbon seatpost could cure it, but this is the spare's spare, not a bike for much use. The headwind was terrible and I was unhappy, even in the warmth and sunshine. Then I turned around and fell in love, or at least "like". These particular Cannondales were designed to do one thing great - crits. And so as I headed back, now cruising at 25 mph the bike suddenly improved and proved that it was really great at going fast and handling great at speed. In the sheltered peloton this bike now nearly 20 years old, sporting 14 year old Shimano parts, could still hold its own. Just don't take it out on a long ride where comfort would be desired. It will see action some Tuesday night.

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