Hi everyone, this is my first real post. I've already gleaned lots of helpful info reading this site, so I'm hoping you can help me out.
I just picked up a Cannondale Killer V 500 off of craigslist for $200. Not sure what year, but it has the pepperoni fork, 3x7 gears, twist shifters, and the large frame (which seems to fit me well at 6'0") is green. All original components, as the guy I bought it from didn't ride it much--everything seems to be in great shape except the rims show some signs of wear from braking and the brakes themselves are not working very well. It could be the old pads or just my lack of adjustment skills. Part of the reason I want to build up a bike is to learn to do my own maintenance work as I go.
I want to upgrade everything to make a nice rigid mountain bike (not interested in suspension right now), maybe even add drop bars with a riser stem to make it an odd 26" monster cross type eventually when I get to the groupset. Coming from road riding, I feel most secure in the drops and stay there almost always--I like the multiple hand positions for longer rides, too. Bar ends just aren't the same.
The first upgrade I have planned is to buy a Crossland wheelset off CL for $150 tomorrow. Is this a good idea? I figure that running tubeless at low pressure will give me at least a little better grip and less bone-shaking (two issues I've quickly noted with the bike...). I like the rigid fork, though -- it climbs better than a 29er rockhopper I tried out on the trails earlier, I like to think about my line, and I'm not inclined to go that fast when descending anyway. I will probably be sticking to mountainous gravel roads and easy/intermediate singletrack, mostly in Dupont, Bent Creek and Pisgah I imagine. I weigh 190 lbs, btw.
Given the new wheelset, I'll need some UST tires too, correct? Which ones should I get for a "sweet spot" of value and the this type of riding?
Also, going back to the brakes? What's the best way to upgrade them? Since I don't see myself doing anything too crazy or blasting through tons of mud or creeks, I doubt disc brakes are necessary. But I want rim brakes that work better than what I've currently got.
BTW, I'm open to buying new/used parts from any user here who can convince me it would make sense to do so. :-) Or from local shops, ebay, craigslist, etc. I have no preference for buying locally or globally, but have a strong preference to make every dollar spent count. I know finding some local guys who will swap parts or something like that may help, though. How would *you* upgrade this Killer V 500 if it were yours? What route would you take to avoid spending tons of money but still get quality components? I'm probably willing to put $500 into it right away, maybe another $500 or so later on.
Thanks in advance for any guidance you may offer! I'll try to post some pics later and give updates on my progress. Jim
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