1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
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2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
Results 1 to 14 of 14
  1. #1
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    Its been years... should i resuscitate my old cdale CAD3 or pickup something else?

    So I haven't ridden seriously in probably a decade now, and I am amped to get back on and start riding again. When I was younger I was into dirt jumping, freeriding, rythem/xcountry, pretty much everything, with a little bit of street trick riding... While I don't intend on getting into anything too extreme, at least for awhile, I would like something that will hold up to the likely abuse I will start dishing out. Again, it probably won't be like I was when I was a kid, I have a meniscal tear in one of my knees and a few other injuries that I'm hoping I can start remedying by strengthening via bike riding.

    Anyhow, here are my somewhat choices I am looking at right now:

    Getting my old CAD3 cannondale back up and going... the headshok puked out and i've since lost the parts for the fork, but everything else on the bike is XT or XTR, vbrakes, hand built wheels, but its all circa 1999-2000 parts... So I would need a fork, adapter, headset, probably have to redo cables and whatnot as well

    I'm also looking at the used dept. on craigslist

    In particular, I found a 2005 specialized hardrock comp disc with bomber forks, double track wheels, 2.25" dh tires, nicer riser bars and a few other goodies for about $300... Very tempting considering I will be around that mark to get the cdale back up and going...

    I considered going all new, and maybe a 29er, but I really need to see if my knee and rest of my body will hold up so I'm not trying to spend a whole lot right now... if things go well, I rode my buddies Kona coil air (somethjing like that) the other day, and that might be right up my alley if I can get back into things the way I used to...

    Some notes: I'm 6'4" weighing in over 300 (a bit of a belly, but I have a very thick frame, even when I was playing HS football and in great shape I was 250ish...

    I'm just hung up because I spent a small fortune on that Cdale frame back in the day, and if its still a worthy frame, I wouldn't mind building it all back up....

    Anyhow... learn me some stuff!

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
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    I've got an older Stumpjumper, so this is a more general type comment. Mine bike was really expensive when I bought it, and I've kept it in good working order. I recently had to do major repairs to the fork, and that was around $300.

    Parts and maintenance are always way more expensive than a new bike. That Hardrock you are looking at isn't new either, and sounds like it was a lower overall quality bike and build than your Cdale. I'd look at getting the Cdale rolling again, see how your knee is doing, then maybe save for a new bike. (Incidentally, I had knee surgery about a decade ago; easy riding, first on a trainer, then on pavement was part of rehab.)

  3. #3
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    I would get a new/used fork for the cannondale, get it ready and ride it.
    2008 Redline Monocog 29er SS/Rigid
    2013 Marin Mount Vision XM7
    FS: 26" Black Flag Expert Wheelset (new), Reba 29 Fork

  4. #4
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    Is the Cdale frame a worthy frame? Seems like there were mixed reviews on the hardrock frame and the build of the bike was not very high end when off the showroom floor, but this one seems to have everything replaced, alex wheels, hayes disc brakes (albeit mechanical), riser handlebars etc etc...

    I guess the biggest drawback of the Cdale would be the fact it isn't set up for rear discs... but maybe throwing a nice fork/front brake/handlebar/etc setup on it, may leave me the option of moving to another frame/rear wheel down the road...

    Hmm....

  5. #5
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    We may be long lost brothers...lol. I'm a big guy (300+) that recently dug out my old CAD3 to help get back into shape and ride with my son. My bike is a mix of xt and xtr with the 9.0 rear, I have a manitou fs shock with a hard ride kit. I'd spend the money on the Dale and get back into it. I haven't had any frame issues and I'm on my bike everyday. The old xt v brakes still work great. Here's my old girl...still love her.


  6. #6
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    There are a few "it depends' type issues to consider.

    If it's in otherwise good shape (not thrashed, stored outside, etc.), it may be worth rehabbing.

    If you can do some of the work yourself, it may make rehabbing a better option.

    What type of terrain do you ride?

    At your height, you might really like 29" wheels once you get back into riding.

    At your weight, if you're going to get a new(er) fork, I would recommend an air spring fork. You'd have to get a headset that would adapt to a different steerer tube than that of a Headshock, and they are not cheap, not to mention the cost of a fork.

    If you have long-ish descents, getting a bike that is disc brake compatible might be a good idea.

    That Cannondale is a decent XC frame, but they are a bit harsh, and the lack of disc brakes makes the idea of updating less feasible.

    Lots to consider unless you have a fair amount of cash to throw at the project.

  7. #7
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    I would consider replacing the C-dale with a decent used bike.
    If you do decide to build it back up, beforehand, give it a serious looking over for cracks, or maybe even have a shop take a look. Those frames aren't exactly known for longevity, specially under a good-sized rider.

  8. #8
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    Jeffj's post it spot on, I'll add.
    -Most any fork comes set up for average rider of 170#, so even a new bike will need springs, oil whatever to dial in for you unless it's an air fork then it just needs air.
    -There's a Clyde forum on here
    -Some of my older and newer bikes alike I still have because I love them, some I don't. That's your call
    -I'd rather have a better used bike than a cheaper new one any day.
    -Having more than 1 bike, each set up for different types of enjoyment is a good thing.

    Welcome to the site
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  9. #9
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    I don't know about your specific bike, but many of the Cannondales from the 90s had 1.5" head tubes. It may not be the end of the world, but it's something that has to be compensated for when upgrading a fork. I have two older Cannondales: a '92 M2000 configured as a singlespeed commuter and a '96 M900. I'm not a huge fan of the frame geometry on these bikes, especially the M900. If you like your bike, it might be worth putting a little work into it (not too much). I wouldn't start upgrading the wheels to discs or anything like that. A new (or new to you) bike would probably be a better value in the long run, but if you really want to start riding in earnest, you'll probably want to spend quite a bit of money.

    Long story short: if you can get your current bike up and running without spending much money (even if you have to go to a rigid fork), then do that and ride the bike until you're ready to buy the bike you really want.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Ninja View Post
    ...
    I'm just hung up because I spent a small fortune on that Cdale frame back in the day, and if its still a worthy frame, I wouldn't mind building it all back up....

    Anyhow... learn me some stuff!

    Thanks in advance!
    I ride a 2003 KHS Alite 4000 frame I built up in 2003 using a nice XT build group. Last year I dusted it off and go to riding again. The only upgrades that bike needed from when I built it was new tires and a new fork. My old Judy SL died after about 9 months and it was not cost effective to replace it. So I picked up a Manitou minute expert fork for $225 on sale have been using that. they key was it still had V-brake mounts.

    If the old bike worked good back then it will still work good now. The only issue will be that some parts may be hard to replace when they wear out due changes in parts standards.
    Joe
    2003 KHS Alite 4000 26" Hardtail - XC, All mountain, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  11. #11
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    Woodman Comp Axis Cannondale Headshok Headset at Tree Fort Bikes

    If you do decide to resurrect it, you'll also need something like this so you can mount a regular 1 1/8" fork.

  12. #12
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    Well, after calculating the cost of getting into a decent fork for the c-dale, headset/adapter for the 1.5" head tube, and the other random things it needed, it was over the cost of the hardrock. So I went and checked out the hardrock and saw that its in pretty good shape, and well maintained to I picked it up. Which let me get a little ride in immediately. I have the ability to do pretty much all the building myself, including wheels and whatnot. I'm thinking of rebuilding the cdale still into a nice lightweight fast light-duty xc bike, or maybe even put a solid fork and more streetable tires on it and use it for blasting around town, since I have time to wait for deals on parts, I hopefully won't be spending a huge chunk of dough to get it riding immediately like I would have. In the meantime I'll be using the hardrock to beat on and ride straight away... and maybe do a little upgrading here and there, worse case I nuke the frame and then can find a burly frame and move all the goodies over to it.

    I appreciate all the advice and ideas though! And if there is more information to be had, I am all ears.

    I really like the idea of a 29er, so if all goes well I will be looking into one of those in a few months.

  13. #13
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    Congrats on the puchase! Go have fun with it. My old dale is a kid chaser/around town rig. Works great for that with some road tires

  14. #14
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    ask you local Cannondale dealer if they can get you a trade-up deal on your old Headshok. Cannondale will sell Headshoks at a discount to some people with old busted ones. I can't guarantee it will work for you, but it's worth checking.

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