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.
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  1. #1
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    Newbie: Cannondale

    Looking to buy a used Cannondale Killer V900 from around 1996/97. I am looking for some advice on this. I have researched to find that it was a pretty desireable bike back in the day and fairly a top level bike. It has been well cared for and updated with some nice components.

    Cannondale KV900 with the following upgrades >>> Chris King headset....Rock Shox shock....XTR deraileurs, cables and brakes with machine tech levers($$$$)....Syncros carbon crank....rare Kooka stem.....Anno. Control Tech bar ends.....Syncros bar....American Classic seatpost with Avocet Ti. saddle.....Shimano pedals....Mavic wheels with rear XT hub and front White Industries!

    What sort of price would this go for condisering the upgrades and age of the bike.
    Any and all help is greatly appreciated.
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  2. #2
    sushi lover
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    in what condition is the frame, especially the chainstays and welds? it is an aluminum frame that is 9-10 years old...

  3. #3
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    Aluminum frame appears to be in good shape. This bike was never ridden real hard, mostly around town and some light trail ridding. Seller has had it stored for the past 2 years and only ridden a couple times. Everything works well, shifts properly, brakes are also good.

    From my research it looks like these were new for $800-$1000 depending on suspension set up. Many of the KillerV had the head set shock but this one did not, and he added the front fork shock set. The brushed aluminum is the original color with some minor dings for a 10yr old frame.

  4. #4
    Domestic Fowl
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    Things to consider...

    Many(if not most) bikes of that era used a 1" steering tube. If that is true of this bike, you'll probably never be able to change/upgrade to a modern fork since virtually all modern forks have 1-1/8" or other modern steering tube sizes. Also, that fork probably has ~64mm of travel, around which the frame was designed. Even if the frame has a 1-1/8" head tube, most modern forks are 80-150mm of travel. Putting one of these forks on that frame may well render it unridable because it will jack up the front end too high.

    Unless it has been upgraded, it likely has 8 speeds in the back. Newer bikes are usually 9-speed. 8-speed parts are getting harder to find, though they are still available.

    You'll never be able to put disc brakes on this bike because it doesn't have mounts for disc brakes. If you do find a newer fork that will work on it, you could put a disc on the front, but not the back.


    If you can pick it up for a song and don't really plan on "modernizing" it, it would probably be a decent bike, but you're probably looking at some serious heartache if you're looking to get this and bring it up to date. The bike was probably the shizzle-dizzle back in 1997.

    Just some things to think about.


    FRC

  5. #5
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    Many thanks! Mostly looking to daily ride with occasional trail use. I may modernize somewhat, but since this isn't going to be the last bike I buy the headaches shouldn't be too bad.

    I may want to update the front suspension, I have a closer pic of the front... so does it look to be 1" or 1 1/8"? If I do modernize the front, then I would go to a disc brake. Most likely not going to 9 speed

    Thank you for the input!!
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  6. #6
    Domestic Fowl
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    Quote Originally Posted by 0nesh0t
    I may want to update the front suspension, I have a closer pic of the front... so does it look to be 1" or 1 1/8"? If I do modernize the front, then I would go to a disc brake...
    Looks like it is a 1" steering tube, though can't be 100% sure from a pic. The age of the bike+fork a pretty sure give away, though. A bike shop would be able to tell you immediately if you can take it in.

    The 1" steering tube and the fact that the frame was designed around what is probably a ~64mm travel fork will severely limit any options you have for upgrading the fork.

    (read that statement again and understand it)

    Also note that IF you find a fork that fits and it has a disk brake mount you will need a front wheel with a disc hub. That means buying a new wheel or having a disc hub laced to your rim.

    Not trying to dissuade you. Just trying to make you aware of possible gotchas.

    FRC
    Last edited by FreeRangeChicken; 05-18-2006 at 02:14 PM.

  7. #7
    All 26.5" all the time!
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    It's most certainly NOT 1". I can't quite understand why so many people think MTBs made in the '90s had 1" steerer tubes. 1 1/8" was introduced in 1990, and quickly became the standard by 1994. Sure there were a few exceptions -- but not many.

    But back to the Cannondale-- take a look at the handlebar where the stem clamps to it. This diameter is one inch, or 25.4mm. Now look at the head tube in comparison. IT'S FREAKING HUGE! Looks like 1 1/4" to me..... not suprising, since Cannondale was well known for using that size. The only way to know for sure is to remove the stem and measure the steerer tube.

    The parts spec looks good, but very dated. The fork is an Indy C -- the lowest fork in the Rock Shox lineup in 1997 -- not known as a good performer.

    Edit: The stem, cranks and brake levers are becoming very sought after by vintage collectors. You may be able to finance any upgrades by selling those items on ebay.
    Last edited by Zanetti; 05-18-2006 at 03:50 PM.

  8. #8
    Domestic Fowl
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zanetti
    I can't quite understand why so many people think MTBs made in the '90s had 1" steerer tubes.....

    Ummm... emperical data(experience) maybe?

    Not all, but many in the late 90's still had 1" steering tubes.


    Quote Originally Posted by FreeRangeChicken
    Looks like it is a 1" steering tube, though can't be 100% sure from a pic.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zanetti
    It's most certainly NOT 1"


    0nesh0t,

    Your best bet is to ask a bike shop, rather than a couple of idiots lookings at a picture on a bike forum. What I said about short travel fork still goes, regardless of the steering tube size.

    FRC

  9. #9
    All 26.5" all the time!
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    Quote Originally Posted by FreeRangeChicken
    Ummm... emperical data(experience) maybe?

    Not all, but many in the late 90's still had 1" steering tube.

    FRC
    Can you name one brand that used 1" steerers exclusively throughout the 90s except high end steel from Tom, Keith or Ross?

    I've got plenty of bike shop experience too -- 1989 thru 2001. My first MTB frame with an OS head tube (1 1/8") was a 1990 model. Trek, Schwinn/Paramount, Diamondback, Nishiki and most other major brands switched to OS on their mid level bikes and up as early as 1991. Around 1993, the salesman at our shop noticed it was harder to sell MTBs without OS head tubes, as most knowledgeable consumers thought of it as the new standard.

  10. #10
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    I appreciate all of your help and guidance. I will bring it to a bike shop to reconfirm the tube measurement. I was thinking of a price somewhere in the $200 range... is this a fair price?

  11. #11
    Domestic Fowl
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zanetti
    Can you name one brand that used 1" steerers exclusively throughout the 90s except high end steel from Tom, Keith or Ross?...
    Nope, I can't. I didn't think to write them down at the time. I do have couple of friends, however, that have their old mtb's from that era (one is a merlin, i can't remember the other) that have 1" steerer.

    Zanetti, I'm not trying to be confrontational or get into a pissing contest. My intent was to warn the guy about some possible pitfalls of buying an older bike. From the age of the bike(in my personal experience) and looking at the picture, it seems plausible to me that the bike might(maybe, possibly) have a 1" steerer, and if so, he should be aware ot the implications. I guarantee my statement 100%. It might have a 1" steerer.

    Based on your statement that it's most certainly not 1" would you be willing to refund his money if it does have a 1" steering tube?

    One way to know for sure is to take it to someone who can physically verify that it is or isn't and ask. Wouldn't you agree?


    ...and again, even if it is a 1-1/8" steerign tube, my other warning still stands. It may be difficult to buy a good quality modern fork that will work on the frame since it was likely built for a short travel (~64mm) fork. Short travel forks are tough to find these days. Actually, more accurately, we're talking about the axle-to-crown height of the fork, which is tied somewhat to the amount of travel fork has.



    Quote Originally Posted by 0nesh0t
    I appreciate all of your help and guidance. I will bring it to a bike shop to reconfirm the tube measurement. I was thinking of a price somewhere in the $200 range... is this a fair price?
    From the pics it looks to be in decent shape and seems to have some nice components (for "back in the day"). With the possible caveats I've listed, it's probably worth that if the shock still has some life left in it. If you're going to take it to a shop you might have them check the shock bushings.

    You can do a quick check by holding the front brake and rocking the bike fore and aft. If you feel clunking it could be the shock bushings or the headset may be loose.

    Good luck.

  12. #12
    All 26.5" all the time!
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    Quote Originally Posted by FreeRangeChicken

    Zanetti, I'm not trying to be confrontational or get into a pissing contest. My intent was to warn the guy about some possible pitfalls of buying an older bike. From the age of the bike(in my personal experience) and looking at the picture, it seems plausible to me that the bike might(maybe, possibly) have a 1" steerer, and if so, he should be aware ot the implications. I guarantee my statement 100%. It might have a 1" steerer.

    Based on your statement that it's most certainly not 1" would you be willing to refund his money if it does have a 1" steering tube?
    If we're talking about the Cannondale in the above photos, yes, I'd bet money that it certainly does not have a 1" steerer/headset arrangement. It's over sized for sure, but it may be either 1 1/8" or 1 1/4".

    Fork travel..... yes, in that time frame, most bikes were suspension corrected for somewhere around 63mm. This allowed the standard 71 degree head angle.

    It's generally accepted that when raising the front end with a longer travel fork, one inch longer travel means the head angle is slackened by one degree. Installing an 85mm travel fork on a frame designed for 63mm means the bike will steer with a 70 degree head angle. Take a look at some of the hardtails being offered today... 70 degree head angles are very common.

    An 85mm travel fork on that Cannondale would be no problem whatsoever, but 100mm would be a little too much IMO.

  13. #13
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    i paid only 100 bucks for my used Kona FireMountain, which new is about 600 bucks, i would personally offer 150 for it, it looks like its in nice condition though.

  14. #14
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    It "looks" like a 1 1/8 to me. Personally, I think the slightly slacker angle resulting from an 80-85 mm fork will be an improvement - more confident on the downhills and less skittish in the twisties.

    I'd buy it, just not sure how much $$$ i'd offer (start low). Let us know how it turns out.

    Ant

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