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Cannondale ST500 Chainstay Issue

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Cannondale ST500 Chainstay Issue

Old 01-08-20, 07:50 PM
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jrg1244
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Cannondale ST500 Chainstay Issue

Ugh... I finally found and recently bought a 27" 1986 Cannondale ST500 frame on fleabay and received it just today. When I unwrapped the frame, which was packed quite well, I noticed what looks like tire rub on the inside of the DS chainstay. The issue is that it looks like some serious aluminum is missing, I don't even understand how a rubber tire could have caused this. I tried to take a picture at an angle where the missing metal could be seen. The rest of the frame is in decent condition and I was planning to media blast/powdercoat it anyways. I guess my question is this... Is this frame toast? Would you guys ride it like this? The damage wasn't disclosed in the auction, so I may have some recourse with the seller or paypal, we'll see.





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Old 01-08-20, 08:31 PM
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The early ST frames did not have dimpled chainstays are as a result cannot handle as large a tire as the later models.

It's not so much the rubber wearing away the alloy, it's the grit on the tires from riding on the road that does the damage. If it were me, I'd probably ride it. But since you do have recourse and are concerned about it, the best long term solution is to return it and find an undamaged frame.
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Old 01-08-20, 08:47 PM
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I don't know if I'd even ride it.

What is that darker spot in the middle of the rub-mark? Possibly a place where it's worn so paper thin that it is bending and near-through?

This just happened on my friend's Cannondale, which he now calls the Crack 'n Fail (rhymes with Cannondale)
See how the darker spots in the center of the wear are paper-thin aluminum, just about to wear completely through? And note the crack starting at the holes and spreading. It was nearly halfway around when he stopped riding it.



He rode it with a broken axle and a few broken spokes for some time. Now he has a Litespeed (and a new wheel).
You can't weld these, says my welder friend. He has the impression that they were welded in the beginning, and then the whole frame was heat-treated. Welding on them removes the heat treatment from one spot, which seems like a bad thing to do.
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Old 01-09-20, 06:40 AM
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Whether paper thin or not, the thin spot is a stress concentration and guaranteed site for crack initiation.
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Old 01-09-20, 06:56 AM
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Don't make compromises based upon the rarity of finding a 27" frame and the pia factor of sending it back. Life's too short to be worried about every creak and bump ..... and you probably will.
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Old 01-09-20, 07:05 AM
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Not far away from you in Bellows Falls, VT is frame builder and an extraordinary craftsman, Frank the Welder. My recommendation is to contact him and send your pictures and ask if this could be repaired. Finding a 27" Cannondale frame (I'm assuming you don't mean wheel or tire size) is not and easy task. Maybe the ebay seller would refund part of your purchase in order to offset the cost of repair.
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Old 01-09-20, 07:13 AM
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That's a significant amount of material missing. I'd send it right back.
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Old 01-09-20, 08:28 AM
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Originally Posted by scarlson View Post
I don't know if I'd even ride it.

What is that darker spot in the middle of the rub-mark? Possibly a place where it's worn so paper thin that it is bending and near-through?
Yup. Upon much closer inspection, it appears that the darker spot in the middle is literally paper thin and looking closer at a more head on angle, a tiny hole that goes clear through the tube can be seen. I think I have an answer. This frame isn't worth building up. Back to searching for my 27" ST!

Thanks for the thoughts and guidance in this.

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Old 01-09-20, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by scarlson View Post
This just happened on my friend's Cannondale, which he now calls the Crack 'n Fail (rhymes with Cannondale)
Not to poo poo on your friend but he didn't make that nickname up
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Old 01-09-20, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by jrg1244 View Post
Yup. Upon much closer inspection, it appears that the darker spot in the middle is literally paper thin and looking closer at a more head on angle, a tiny hole that goes clear through the tube can be seen. I think I have an answer. This frame isn't worth building up. Back to searching for my 27" ST!

Thanks for the thoughts and guidance in this.

This looks like a 27 https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Cannondale-Sport-Touring-Bicycle-Barn-Find/283734554116?hash=item420fe5b604:g:hMcAAOSwMAxd3JNv

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Cannondale-Sport-Touring-Bicycle-Barn-Find/283734554116?hash=item420fe5b604:g:hMcAAOSwMAxd3JNv

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Old 01-09-20, 03:11 PM
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By George, I think you're right! Thanks for the head's up. My search didn't turn that one up. Wish me luck!
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Old 01-09-20, 05:14 PM
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while it would bother me, it would not be the end of that frame for me. i'd have that spot tig welded, then file/sand the repair, then paint it.
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Old 01-09-20, 06:38 PM
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Originally Posted by jrg1244 View Post
By George, I think you're right! Thanks for the head's up. My search didn't turn that one up. Wish me luck!
If it is indeed a 1983, and the RD and other components say as much, they didn't offer a 27" (68cm) frame yet. That would come a few years later. A 1983 frame is pretty special, IMO, but it appears to be a 25" (which is my size, haha)

@hazetguy posits a solid option. Cannondale aluminum is pretty thick, but that is a lot of wear to have happened. Really sorry to hear/see it as 27" frames [not 27" tires, for the rest of you reading] are really hard to come by. Great bikes--I want another after selling my '90 ST.
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Old 01-09-20, 07:36 PM
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Cdales are heat treated after welding. Weld that hole with a reinforcing sleeve, maybe. Good question for Frank the Welder.
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Old 01-10-20, 07:51 AM
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I wouldn't feel bad about passing on it. 27" ST Cannondale frames are rare, but not impossible to find - I bought two last summer within a few weeks of each other, but ended up selling both late last year. Winter may not be the best time to be searching for them. I know @ronno6 has several that he may be willing to part with if you're serious.

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Old 01-10-20, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Chuckk View Post
Those REALLY BIG Cannondale frames make the proportions of the large frame tubes and tires seem like a normal sized sports bike!

My 23" 1990 Cannondale T700 - the tubes look really big
In 1990, they increased the size of the downtube significantly.
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