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Help- New Wheelset for ST Cannondale

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Help- New Wheelset for ST Cannondale

Old 03-01-20, 03:32 PM
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Celeste Mike
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Help- New Wheelset for ST Cannondale




Here is my '88 Cannondale ST400. It was all original when I got it last summer, including Blackburn racks and bottle cages. I gave it tires, tubes, rim tape, pedals, and updated the cockpit to my liking. (Since this photo it's gotten a Selle Anatomica X2 saddle.) So far I've enjoyed taking it on long rides outside the city, and on some weekend bike camping trips. I aspire to do some fully loaded multi-day touring this year, and have in mind some upgrades that I think would make it a more capable bike. I've learned a lot about bikes over the past couple years, but I still don't know anything about wheels as far as what to get or how to shop for them. I understand the value in hand built wheels, but I don't know how to choose rims, hubs, spokes, that sorta thing. And I'm also curious to hear from someone who has experience with converting an ST Cannondale from 27" wheels to 700C or 650B. The reasons I want to do this are:
1) increase my available tire clearance between those fat aluminum stays
2) upgrade from freewheel to modern freehub and cassette
I can also take the opportunity to switch from 6 speed to 7 or 8 speed. And it would be rad to get a dynamo hub on the front as well if I can afford it.

When I bought the bike I put 27x1.25" tires on it, which initially appeared to fit, but soon the rear tire was rubbing the chainstay. (Actual inflated width was 32mm.) I got the wheel trued/redished at my LBS but they still recommended sizing down to a 1 1/8" tire. I've test fit a 700x32c wheel on it to see if it would fit (actual width inflated: 30.5mm), and again it appears to fit, and maybe with just enough room for fenders this time. (9.8mm between tire and brake caliper.) But I wonder if rubbing issues would happen again. There's only like 2mm of clearance on either side of the tire. I would love to confidently get 32's and fenders on this bike but can it be done or is this just not the bike for it in the first place?

So then I wonder about 650b. I have no experience with 650b, is this too much of a jump? Would it bring the bottom bracket too low?

I plan to upgrade the brakes anyway to dual pivot calipers. I have read about the Tektro r539's elsewhere on this forum. I'd also like to get comfier brake levers, and I've got Deore LX/DX derailleurs to replace the Suntour Alpha 3000's. I plan to keep shifting on the downtube.

So yeah, that's my bike, and what I would like to do with it. Commence with the schooling and recommendations. And thanks so much for all the great people and knowledge on this forum, it's really helped me to learn a lot.

And now paging ST Cannondale enthusiasts/experts:
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Old 03-01-20, 09:00 PM
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Nice bike.
Tektro 539's will get you to 700c wheels, but no larger than 30mm tires as mounted...without fenders.
For 650b, you'll need Tektro 559's, and likely better brake levers. Limit there is likely 42's. Again, no fenders.
Either way you'll get into HG freehubs, which is good. And brake pad holders that can accept upscale pads, also good.

I like the sweet spot of 700 X 28, maybe Conti GP's. Match the 539's with some Tektro levers. Good ride, durable, flat resistant, fast...and you can run fenders with them.
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Old 03-01-20, 10:31 PM
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Originally Posted by rccardr View Post
Nice bike.
Tektro 539's will get you to 700c wheels, but no larger than 30mm tires as mounted...without fenders.
For 650b, you'll need Tektro 559's, and likely better brake levers. Limit there is likely 42's. Again, no fenders.
Either way you'll get into HG freehubs, which is good. And brake pad holders that can accept upscale pads, also good.

I like the sweet spot of 700 X 28, maybe Conti GP's. Match the 539's with some Tektro levers. Good ride, durable, flat resistant, fast...and you can run fenders with them.
Thanks!
Does it stand to reason I could fit fenders with 650B x thirty something? I'd like to make the bike a little more versatile off pavement if I can.
Any recommendations for rims I should consider?
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Old 03-02-20, 12:10 AM
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I would say 700x32 is possible with fenders. It's the tire to brake bridge clearance that is key. If 27" x 1.125" (28mm) + fenders was standard fare on these, then 700x32mm is nominally the same outer diameter. These pre-canti or non-canti (depending on year and place in the hierarchy) ST's were tighter in their clearances than the canti-equipped one. I've owned a 1985 ST400 as well as a 1990 ST400. Love these bikes and want an ST800 / 1000 (anthracite color, plus canti brakes) some day.
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Old 03-02-20, 05:57 AM
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I used Paul Components Racer centerpull calipers on my '88 ST when I went to mid 90's 700c Shimano 105 wheelset. I paired them with basic Tectro levers and absolutely love the way they work. They can handle a wide tire and fenders. While an expensive brake, I believe they are well worth the cost.

I'm running 28mm wide tires with fenders, so I'm in agreement with rccardr that this is a nice sweet spot for tire width with fenders. I believe I could go wider, but it would depend on the tire. I do ride mine on NH's dirt roads and our 50+ mile long packed fine gravel rail trail and have had no issues. Considering I've done this when I've weighed nearly 300 lbs., is like other riders going out on a tour fully loaded plus another 50+ pounds (I need to mention I'm a more reasonable 210 at the moment and have kept it that way for about 2 years).
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Old 03-02-20, 07:03 AM
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Are the chainstays dimpled on your ST? I'm not sure of the year when that change was made - I believe it was 1988 or 89. My 1989 ST has dimpled chainstays with caliper brakes not cantis. I switched to 700c wheels mainly for the availability of better tire choices than 27" wheels allowed. I'm running Compass Bon Jon Pass 700x35 tires front and back with plenty of clearance. I also switched to dual pivot Tektro R539 nutted calipers and TRP RRL levers and the braking is very good.

After last year's Hilly Hundred, I decided that I needed a rain bike, so I went with the Selle Anatomica R2 saddle and I'm planning to add fenders. They will likely be a tight fit with the 35mm tires but I'm keeping the tires even if that means no fenders - those tires are that good. I have several bikes with the SA saddles and they are very comfortable for me on long rides. Your butt mileage may vary.
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Old 03-02-20, 07:46 AM
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Let's all remember that mounted size and indicated size on the sidewall are often not the same thing. There is some variation from frame to frame on these (they're individually hand built, after all) but I've never owned one that can take a tire wider than 30mm as mounted and have enough clearance to make me comfortable. When I did the GAP Trail/C&O trip in 2014, used an '88 ST with dimpled stays & Vittoria 32 Rando's (the old model). They mounted up at just a smidge under 30mm and honestly there's no way more tire could have fit in there.

Couple years ago did that Eastern Washington State gravel ride on my current '88 ST with Conti 28's and aside from Gugie floating past me on wider 650B's on the deeper stuff, was a nice combination of ride quality and off road capability. So, there's that.

I think bottom line here is you can't really go wrong. Great bikes no matter how you set them up.
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Old 03-02-20, 07:56 AM
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Rccardr is absolutely correct. They are great bikes. I’ve got an 87 ST400, I run 700 x 32 panaracer paselas with fenders. There is enough room. A couple more mm’s would be nice, but I’ve been commuting on it for years and have never had an issue. Brakes are tektro r539. I’ve wondered about converting to 650b, but when I really think about it, I’m satisfied with the 700. I can’t justify the expense. I’ll try to get a picture of clearance for you.

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Old 03-02-20, 08:35 AM
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I have an '85 ST 400. I'm currently running tires that are nominally 700 x 35c but measure out to 32c. There's no problem with clearance. I think I could mount fenders there but I'm not going to. Personally I like a bit more clearance but I think I could do it.

You may not need to change the brakes. I'm running the original shimano 600 brakes and they work with 700c rims with the brake shoes adjusted all the way down.

I do like changing out the brake levers to aero ones for two reasons: (1) more leverage and (2) a quick release on the brake lever. With a quick release on the brake lever and the caliper, I can get a wheel with a 32c tire on and off without deflation.

I'm with the OP. I prefer 32c over 28c tires for long distance rides and tours.

If I were going to buy new 700c wheels, it would be tough to beat these wheels from velo mine:
https://www.velomine.com/index.php?m...9mj8oatlvgm0t4

Sun CR 18 rims 36 hole laced to sealed bearing hubs.

What's the point of a BF thread without pics, right?


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Old 03-04-20, 12:36 AM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
You may not need to change the brakes. I'm running the original shimano 600 brakes and they work with 700c rims with the brake shoes adjusted all the way down.

If I were going to buy new 700c wheels, it would be tough to beat these wheels from velo mine:
https://www.velomine.com/index.php?m...9mj8oatlvgm0t4

Sun CR 18 rims 36 hole laced to sealed bearing hubs.
Thanks for the tips, nice bike!
Regarding the brakes, I may not need to change them for 700c, but I would like to move to dual pivot from single pivot caliper though.
I've read those CR18's are decent. The wheels you've linked to though still have the threaded hub and I would like to switch to freehub if I'm buying a new wheelset.

Originally Posted by speedevil View Post
Are the chainstays dimpled on your ST? I'm not sure of the year when that change was made - I believe it was 1988 or 89.

I have several bikes with the SA saddles and they are very comfortable for me on long rides. Your butt mileage may vary.
Sadly, my chainstays are not dimpled on the insides. I think without the dimples even 700x30c is cuttin it close. I should take a photo of the clearance with the 700c wheel/tire I put in it. It's a Panaracer RiBMo 32 that actually measures 30.5.

I am loving my Selle Anatomica X2 so far.

Originally Posted by rccardr View Post
When I did the GAP Trail/C&O trip in 2014, used an '88 ST with dimpled stays & Vittoria 32 Rando's (the old model). They mounted up at just a smidge under 30mm and honestly there's no way more tire could have fit in there.
The GAP Trail interests me. I've been told that tires in the 32-40 range suit it best though.

Originally Posted by Wharf Rat View Post
Rccardr is absolutely correct. They are great bikes. Iíve got an 87 ST400, I run 700 x 32 panaracer paselas with fenders. There is enough room. A couple more mmís would be nice, but Iíve been commuting on it for years and have never had an issue. Brakes are tektro r539. Iíve wondered about converting to 650b, but when I really think about it, Iím satisfied with the 700. I canít justify the expense. Iíll try to get a picture of clearance for you.
I'm envious that 32's and fenders will fit on your '87 ST400, there's no way they would fit on my '88. I'll have to get photos of the clearance on mine.
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Old 03-04-20, 06:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Celeste Mike View Post
Thanks for the tips, nice bike!
Regarding the brakes, I may not need to change them for 700c, but I would like to move to dual pivot from single pivot caliper though.
I've read those CR18's are decent. The wheels you've linked to though still have the threaded hub and I would like to switch to freehub if I'm buying a new wheelset.

snip . . .
The CR18s are very good. Personally I'd stick with 126 OLD and a freewheel on a 'Dale. I know others disagree and they're comfortable pushing apart the chainstays to make this work. But I wouldn't do it.
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Old 03-04-20, 07:57 AM
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Another +1 to the CR18. There's a reason they've been around as long as they have.

WRT the 126mm / 130mm OLD debate, It might not be as much as you think. Cannondale was known to use the same frame on multiple different models, just in different levels of spec.
There were a lot of mid-range bikes built in the 6/7/8 transitional period that had 128mm dropout spacing, so they'd work with both. 126mm FW hubs for the lower model and 130mm casette hubs for the uppper-spec models.

As rccardr mentioned, the hand-built nature of early (pre-CAAD) Cannondales, and the ST's in particular mean there's no hard-and-fast rules about frame specs.
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Old 03-04-20, 08:19 AM
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For a data point, my 1989 ST 600 had a rear dropout width of 128mm, so it would work for both 126 and 130 OLD hubs.
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Old 03-30-20, 10:40 AM
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So I should have measured this sooner, but my bike's rear dropout width is 126mm, and not 128mm.

126 OLD 36h 7spd Hyperglide freehubs are rare and expensive I'm finding.
What's my best option here?
A) Buy a 126 OLD 36h Uniglide freehub and swap out the freehub body for Hyperglide?
B) Buy a 130 OLD 36h Hyperglide freehub and shorten it to 126? (Or even just 128?) Is that possible?
C) Spend more on a nice Tricolor 6401 hub that checks all the boxes?
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Old 04-06-20, 02:45 PM
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Wheels for 88 ST

Originally Posted by Celeste Mike View Post
So I should have measured this sooner, but my bike's rear dropout width is 126mm, and not 128mm.

126 OLD 36h 7spd Hyperglide freehubs are rare and expensive I'm finding.
What's my best option here?
A) Buy a 126 OLD 36h Uniglide freehub and swap out the freehub body for Hyperglide?
B) Buy a 130 OLD 36h Hyperglide freehub and shorten it to 126? (Or even just 128?) Is that possible?
C) Spend more on a nice Tricolor 6401 hub that checks all the boxes?

You'd have to pull the old rear wheel out to verify that your rear stays aren't actually 128. I've got 85, 88, and 89 STs, all of them took modern 130 OLD hubs without any special preparation...they just popped right in. Like others mentioned, I had no problem mounting 700 x 32 Pasela's on one. The others are running either Compass 700 x 26 that measure out to 700 x 28, and one gp4000 that measure out to 30...these last two look there is still a ton of room....at the fork. For our ST's the fit portion that would be problematic going larger is the rear stays. They can handle a tire that mounts up "taller," just not a heck of a lot wider. These are the frames that would most closely measure out as a 52, so may be due to their smaller frame size....those rear stays are surely long enough, lol

I started out with Mavic Open Pro rims laced to 105 hubs. It's certainly a decent using wheel, but have a set of Hope Pro hubs waiting to be laced to something....so am thinking of going with DT Swiss TK540 rims. A little sturdier rim, we don't get too crazy about carrying a ton on our tours.
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Old 04-06-20, 10:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Craptacular8 View Post
You'd have to pull the old rear wheel out to verify that your rear stays aren't actually 128. I've got 85, 88, and 89 STs, all of them took modern 130 OLD hubs without any special preparation...they just popped right in. Like others mentioned, I had no problem mounting 700 x 32 Pasela's on one. The others are running either Compass 700 x 26 that measure out to 700 x 28, and one gp4000 that measure out to 30...these last two look there is still a ton of room....at the fork. For our ST's the fit portion that would be problematic going larger is the rear stays. They can handle a tire that mounts up "taller," just not a heck of a lot wider. These are the frames that would most closely measure out as a 52, so may be due to their smaller frame size....those rear stays are surely long enough, lol

I started out with Mavic Open Pro rims laced to 105 hubs. It's certainly a decent using wheel, but have a set of Hope Pro hubs waiting to be laced to something....so am thinking of going with DT Swiss TK540 rims. A little sturdier rim, we don't get too crazy about carrying a ton on our tours.
Thanks, I did remove the wheel and measure with digital calipers and they were 126 on the dot. I think what someone said about the hand-built nature of these frames must be true, because even the 700x32 I test fit was a little too close for comfort between the stays. I could see 700x30 fitting fine.

I'm thinking of getting a 130 OLD freehub and removing 2mm from the spacer and axle on the non-drive side. I'm gonna hold off on buying the rest of the wheels until I get the freehub sorted. And until then I'll have fun swapping out the derailleurs and brake calipers with Deore DX/LX and Tektro R539's.
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Old 05-29-20, 10:11 AM
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This is one of my 88 ST700s. It is running 27 x 1 1/4 Continentals and SKS Longboard fenders and everything fits with no rubbing. It often depends on the width of the tire and it has been mentioned that this varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. I have had good luck with 27 x 1 1/8 Panaracer Paselas as well.
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Old 05-29-20, 10:18 PM
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Originally Posted by trailmix View Post
This is one of my 88 ST700s. It is running 27 x 1 1/4 Continentals and SKS Longboard fenders and everything fits with no rubbing. It often depends on the width of the tire and it has been mentioned that this varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. I have had good luck with 27 x 1 1/8 Panaracer Paselas as well.
Nice! I picked up a Deore FH-MT62 freehub and a Hyperglide 13-30 7spd cassette that fit my bike (without any spreading of the stays). I still need to buy the rest of what will be my new 700c wheelset. I plan to update this thread as my build progresses.
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Old 05-30-20, 04:49 AM
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There are 7 speed free hub bodies available on ebay. If your sticking with vintage 7 speed hubs you might want to stock up. If you had one of those and a set of Wheels Manufacturing cones, you could rebuild a hub and the only original bearing surface would be the non drive side cup.

Shimano Freewheel Body Hub Unit 7-speed
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