My new Cannondale SS- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    My new Cannondale SS

    Hi guys & girls. I posted this yesterday to Singlespeed section but figured if you guys don't visit there I might as well post it here also.

    I just got my first SS bike. Before I started buying parts from eBay I spent months here reading this forum so I want to thank you all for providing good tips and hints Like I said I collected most of the parts from eBay and let my LBS Pyörähuolto here in Helsinki, Finland put it together. I used to have Cannondale F900sx almost ten years ago and I loved it, so Cannondale CAAD4 mtb frame was the obvious choise for this project. The frame I bought was blue but I got it powder painted to matte black. Decals are from Cannondale retailer.

    I use this bike for my daily commute (downtown Helsinki) and chose to go with larger/narrow wheels than it came with. I didn't convert Lefty fork to 80mm (a lot of people told me that I can't leave it to 100mm if I use 29er wheels but I can assure that with these 700x23c tires I dont have any problems.

    I know the brakes are a little overkill but my brother used to have Shimano XT BR-M755 four piston hydraulic disc brakes with 203mm rotor and I remembered how good they felt so I had to get them too. Brooks B17 saddle is pretty much the same story as brakes. I'll admit that I got half-link chain based on the looks.

    Gear ratio is 44-16 and it fits perfectly to Helsinki streets. Cannondale Octopus pedals are nice looking and don't ruin the wooden outsole of my leather shoes.

    Any and all comments are appreciated.

    Frame: Cannondale F700 '02
    Fork: Lefty DLR 100mm
    Wheels: Alexrims XD-Lite (29'er / 700c)
    Tires: Specialized All Condition Armadillo 700x23c
    Brakes: Shimano XT BR-M755 w/ 203mm rotors
    Saddle: Brooks B17
    Handlebar: Ritchey Comp
    Chain: Half-link Mask Chain MK 900

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  2. #2
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    Cool. Odd. Weird. ...Why? I must confess, I've never quite understood SS. I love my gears and don't know why anyone would give them up. Your bike looks cool, but what an odd mix of retro/tech. Leather seat with a lefty on a rim/tire combo that will snakebite before the suspension would ever be used up and brakes that will over power the tires all the time. ...and you don't even have clipless pedals? I admire anyone that takes the time to cook up their own creation like this and goes to the effort to make it look good. I'd love to take it for a spin, just to see what it is like. But, I don't get it.

    Happy riding, none the less.

  3. #3
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    Cool. A real work of art. A bike that really stands out. I like it.
    Handle every stressful situation like a dog. If you can't eat it or play with it… Pee on it and walk away

  4. #4
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    Not every bike needs gears... my Capo does just fine with it's standard gearing setup. I think that bike is awesome. It's his own take on the Bad Boy.

  5. #5
    How do I do that?
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    I like it a lot, it's a very sharp bike Congrats on finishing it and enjoy that beauty!

  6. #6
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    Are your rotors on backwards? I always figured the "tooth" should be going the opposite direction.*

    *I have no experience w/ the "toothed" rotors. My intuition tells me that they should go the other way.

  7. #7
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    Very nice. Sweet looking bike!
    Remember, "We're not here for a long time, we're here for a good time".-D.Ritchie

  8. #8
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    Not sure about the tooth, but I would want those little tiny bars under tension, NOT compression when I am braking. Even if your skinny tires are going to let go right away. <grin> Just a V-brake owners $0.02CDN.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by cannonbear
    Not sure about the tooth, but I would want those little tiny bars under tension, NOT compression when I am braking. Even if your skinny tires are going to let go right away. <grin> Just a V-brake owners $0.02CDN.
    The avid 7s on my Scalpel and F29er recommend the bars being in compression when braking (as far as rotation). I just swapped rotors over to my other wheelset today and based on the rotation marks shown on the rotor, they should be in compression. I just looked at photos of my Scalpel the day I took delivery. Same deal.

    I think that that general shape (thin, narrow, long) deforms less on the same load when in compression than tension. The outer ring that makes up the braking surface will keep the rotor's shape to prevent buckling.

  10. #10
    I'd Rather Be Sailing
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quentin
    Are your rotors on backwards? I always figured the "tooth" should be going the opposite direction.*

    *I have no experience w/ the "toothed" rotors. My intuition tells me that they should go the other way.
    Hi Quentin, rotors are not backwards There are arrows showing right spinning direction. Rotors are A2Z. When bike was build up, I didn't have Shimano 203mm rotors so I end up with these. Now I have new Shimanos and I'm planning to put them on (looks better than "mean" A2Z I think).

  11. #11
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    Love Brooks saddles!

    They get so comfy over time , I wouldn't change mine for anything , even if it weight as much as 2-3 saddles! (500g)
    "There is a big difference between kneeling down and bending over" -FZ

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by fokof
    Love Brooks saddles!

    They get so comfy over time , I wouldn't change mine for anything , even if it weight as much as 2-3 saddles! (500g)
    Do you use your Brooks saddle for mountain biking? I recently bought a barely used Brooks Swift Titanium, but when I got it and was oogling over it's beauty, I suddenly got really paranoid that it'd get ruined in rain or mud. So I put it back on eBay, where it currently is lol.

    But if you guys have experience with getting the saddles wet or muddy and them being ok, maybe I will keep it

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by XJaredX
    Do you use your Brooks saddle for mountain biking? I recently bought a barely used Brooks Swift Titanium, but when I got it and was oogling over it's beauty, I suddenly got really paranoid that it'd get ruined in rain or mud. So I put it back on eBay, where it currently is lol.

    But if you guys have experience with getting the saddles wet or muddy and them being ok, maybe I will keep it
    My Brooks saddle doesn't mind getting wet or muddy. I'll just wipe it off and it's good as new Never had any kind of problems with this saddle. Oh, by the way, how much you are asking for your Swift Ti?

  14. #14
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    I bought it last week for USD $210 on eBay, so I'd like to simply break even on eBay. I was very happy with that price because brand new they go for $350-400, and this is easily as new as can be without being "brand new". One of the old "I bought this saddle and didn't try breaking it in but decided I hate it" stories.

    But if people ride in the mud and rain with these saddles, maybe I will keep it. I see so many stories on the internet about Brooks saddles getting ruined in the rain, yet I see others saying it's not an issue. I don't know who to believe haha

  15. #15
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    Sweet bike!! So it's a 650b? (I'm new to all the different wheel sizes)

    I've been eyeing the 29-er 3, which is an SS w/Lefty. Have a second set of rims fitted with street tires. But looking at your 700cx23, is giving me some ideas. The 23 is a bit narrow, but I can definitely see a 28 working very nicely for me.

    My other thought was a 700x28, with a 1x9 drivetrain. I live on a plateau and work in the valley. So unless I really need the work out, thought some gears are in order. We'll see how the riding goes this summer...

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by traffic002
    Sweet bike!! So it's a 650b? (I'm new to all the different wheel sizes)
    Hi Traffic002,
    nope it's not 650b. Mine is 700c. Here is what I have learned:
    700c = 622mm
    650b = 584mm
    I got my information from http://www.sheldonbrown.com/tire_sizing.html
    I know, sizing is still kind of a wild sea.

    I can only say good things about my 700x23c. Just give them a shot

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by XJaredX
    Do you use your Brooks saddle for mountain biking?
    Yep!

    I have a Swift Ti since 2004 on my MTB. Just have to treat it with the Brooks cream once a year and that's it. It's my rear suspention.......
    "There is a big difference between kneeling down and bending over" -FZ

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by XJaredX
    I see so many stories on the internet about Brooks saddles getting ruined in the rain, yet I see others saying it's not an issue. I don't know who to believe haha
    Hi XJaredX, Brooks saddle stays clean and sharp as long as you take care of it. Don't use any kind of oil...just Brooks cream. Use it one to two times a year. If saddle gets wet, just air dry it.

    Here is good instructions for Brooks owners: http://www.esande.net/features/newbrooks.html

  19. #19
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    Wow, good information. An SS might be too hardcore for me. But I see something in a 1x9 to try out.

    Two sets of wheels, one for mtn, one for road. Awesome! So the road wheels are custome laced with mtn hubs?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by traffic002
    So the road wheels are custome laced with mtn hubs?
    Yes, I have cyclocross rims with mtb hubs. It's good combination...like them a lot.

  21. #21

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    Such a striking bike deserves excellent photos. Great job on both!

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timquila
    Such a striking bike deserves excellent photos. Great job on both!
    Thanks Timquila! I ride better than I take pictures but archipelago just front my crib is good place to take them. Gives good background for my "Darth Vader"

  23. #23
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    did you also get the lefty fork powder coated?

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by crassrock
    did you also get the lefty fork powder coated?
    Nope, just frame. Fork is "original" DLR 100mm (year 2000). I have changed the decals from it.

  25. #25
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    I remember I saw someone having a very thin tires on their Cdale with Lefty. Took me forever to find your thread

    Anyways, now that you have had this bike for a while... what do you think about the wheels. Especially as thin as yours? I'm planning on something similar for my Cdale 29'er.

    Also I have the same Shimano BR-M755 brakes... absolutely love those and the Brooks saddle, can't ride without it.

    Simply gorgeous looking bike you have. Keep us posted how it has treated you.

  26. #26
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    '16 Cannondale Scalpel Carbon 2
    '15 Niner SIR 9 SS
    '14 Cannondale F29 Carbon 3

  27. #27
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    I don't want hijack this thread but yes, I would consider something like that (Alberto's bike under that link). Those tires would be the widest I would get. Anyone know what tires are those?

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by mizzou
    Anyways, now that you have had this bike for a while... what do you think about the wheels. Especially as thin as yours? I'm planning on something similar for my Cdale 29'er.
    Thanks for the compliments.

    Sorry it took me a few days to get back to you. The wheels have been superb. My daily commute to work is so much more enjoyable with this bike than with my last one. Funny thing... some guy saw my bike at street lights and wanted the number of my LBS so he could get something like this (mtb frame, Lefty, disc brakes with 8 inch rotors and road wheels). I told him to go for it but also reminded him that he probably has to do some customizing for the bike that he ends up getting.

    But of course these wheels are not for everyone. I sometimes ride through some cobblestone streets and while these wheels are not ideal for that I haven't had any problems though.

    At the end of the day I'm more than happy with my bike. No problems what so ever. I consider this build a success because it makes me want to ride more. (and I get quite a bit of compliments too

  29. #29
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    Good job!

    Very nice!!!

  30. #30
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    I love it. Good choice on the color. Looks just like a Bad Boy Ultra (which I happen to own). Ride on.

  31. #31
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    nice...



    very nice bike =)

    looks cool

  32. #32
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    I would have to echo others in saying single speed mountain bikes make no sense to me. Each to his own I guess.
    My Bike: '18 Giant Talon 3 29er
    My Blog: http://http://kona0197.wordpress.com/

  33. #33
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    Really late to the game here, but thought I'd say my bit anyhow.

    Beautiful bike, I had an old rigid mtb that I converted over to pure pavement duties and also went single-speed. I also originally went with the thin high psi tires (conti ultragatorskins) but the ride was just too bone jarring and my single-walled cheap stock wheels dont strike me as overly tolerant of punishment, so I flip-flopped in the totally opposite direction and put 26x2.35 big apples on it. Now i love it to death. These balloon tires are fantanstic for the street, they roll really well.

    I had to figure out the sweet spot for gearing and decided I want the ability to climb and deal with the hills more than I desire to go fast. I dont care about speed on this bike anyhow, it's now my city crawler. I dont miss the not having multiple gears at all, just the one is perfect for me and this bikes application so I dig what you've done.

    I dont see anything to handle chain slack/stretch, I put a surly singulator on mine to manage that.

    Again, it's a beaut!

  34. #34
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    What a great bike. Is it possible to convert my Bad Boy 2011 into a single speed bike?

  35. #35
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    seems an odd combination but at the end of the day so long as you enjoy your ride...who cares?

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