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Diamondback Apex vs Cannondale Badboy

Old 01-22-20, 07:12 PM
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joejohnstun
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Diamondback Apex vs Cannondale Badboy

Hi! Just found this forum, it's amazing, I've learned so much stalking the threads over the last few weeks.

I wanted to get some opinions from you experts.

I'm planning on going on a 2-week bicycle tour with friends somewhere in the US this spring. I'm looking at 2 bikes:

1987 Diamondback Apex - $100
or
2005 Cannondale Badboy - $450

The Apex needs a bit of work, but seems to be structurally sound (replace chain, maybe wheels, definitely tires, maybe drop bars). The Badboy is basically perfect already, just needs luggage racks. Both come with the original components.

Do you think it would be a better idea to buy the cheaper bike & spend money restoring it, or go with the newer one?

Thanks so much. I hope the pictures attach correctly.


Joe.
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Old 01-22-20, 07:36 PM
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Old 01-22-20, 10:05 PM
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I probably wouldn't really go either personally but if I had to choose DB Apex. At least the Apex is decent tubing (Tange Double Butted if not mistaken) and some decent enough parts of the era. The bad boy looks like a cheap hybrid that someone is trying to get their money back from. If the bikes were both at the same price of $100 I might say Cannondale simply for newer parts which are cheap and not all that great but could possibly be in slightly better shape and good disc brakes are nice (so this would give you some upgrade opportunities).

Obviously this is all assuming the bikes fit and are comfortable. If they don't then none of this matters and you should get a bike that fits.

In searching the Apex I came across this which I like:
https://www.pedalroom.com/bike/1987-...ack-apex-29602

Any bike you come up with even some new bikes some things to upgrade that don't cost a lot but make a world of difference would be:
Brake pads and shoes. Make sure they are removable so all you need to do is just get pads they will be stiffer and offer better braking performance and save you in the long run. SwissStop is my main go to but for some bikes Kool Stop has what I need (especially older nutted pads)

Cables and housing. If you want to add some bling the Jagwire Elite Link Housing is excellent, it cuts weight and the beads are reusable with the new inner lining costing $5-10 or so and they come in different colors and with really smooth slick cables. If not those anything with a good slick stainless steel cables (no galvanized ever for any reason) and decent housing will work. My top choice if not Elite would be Jagwire Pro or even the sport and those you can get in different colors as well.

Tires. I lke a good supple tire personally but for touring something with a bit more protection is helpful. Look for folding beads as those are usually lighter and certainly pick a tire based on your terrain. If road touring find something slicker if off road then get a decent gravel tire or XC oriented mountain tire. Continental and Schwalbe make some good touring tires but I do really like the Graphene that Vittoria is using.

Grips. I want something that I won't slip on easily and that doesn't wear out or get gummy quickly but most important is comfort. Ergon, Ergon and Ergon are the choices for really comfortable durable grips for all of my flat/alt bar bikes. The flat palm section offers better blood flow and the Biokork looks nice and is potentially slightly greener.

Pedals. Life is too short to ride cheap pedals. A good pedal should use sealed bearings (or a mix of sealed bearings and bushings) and good grip (replaceable pins are great) and ideally not plastic. If I am going Clipless for touring the T8000 pedals are the way to go, XT SPD on one side and a nice grippy MTB flat pedal on the other. For flat pedals Crank Bros is a good choice as on all levels of their pedals they are using sealed bearings and high quality bushings however I do like my MKS Lambda/Grip King pedals (though wish they had pins)

Certainly other upgrades like saddle are important as that is another touch point but those will cost a bit more and are well worth the extra cost. Chain, cassette, chainrings aren't really super important to upgrade but make sure they aren't worn out and are clean and properly lubricated though you can lose some weight and in some cases get a little better shifting performance out new stuff. If you decide to go 1x then a good narrow wide chainring will be helpful (Race face isn't super expensive and works well).

Wheels are another big upgrade but can be well worth it. A good set of handbuilt wheels by someone who knows what they are doing with high quality parts can last a lifetime. I prefer sealed bearing hubs so I don't need to mess with them often and for a touring bike I would look for hubs that are 32 or 36 hole and a good stout rim designed for touring. My favored spokes and nipples for this application are Sapim Strong and Secure Lock BRASS nipples but the Alpine III spokes from DT Swiss are also good as are the corresponding locking BRASS nipples. If it were me I would probably go with something like a White Industries Hub (MI5 for rim and XMR or CLD for disc) and Velocity Dyad or Atlas Rim so I can support U.S. manufacturing and quality products but you can find some cheaper stuff depending on what you need. For ultimate versatility you might consider going with a disc brake hub and a rim brake compatible wheel and you just don't use what you don't need and if you upgrade to a different bike those wheels could possibly follow.
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Old 01-22-20, 10:14 PM
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Wow, thanks so much.

The wheels on the Apex have a bit of wobble, so I would probably have to replace them. Along with, yep, probably most of those other things. Might still be a good deal.

Going to go look at some more models in my size tomorrow.
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Old 01-23-20, 01:42 AM
  #5  
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The Apex was sold with Deore DX components, including hubs, but this bike looks to have a replacement rear wheel. DX was right under XT. If you get this bike, service the bearings, tune up the bike and it will treat you well. I'd replace the shifters with thumbies, add bar ends and use better brake pads, like koolstop eagle claw.

It should have fork mounts, and the levers (if original) do not have the correct pull for that front v brake.

Last edited by katsup; 01-23-20 at 01:45 AM.
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Old 01-23-20, 06:30 AM
  #6  
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I realize that you are keen and excited about trying out bike touring, and that's great, but do realize that these are used bikes and seeing a photo from I presume are Craig's list ads are only that--- photos.
impossible to tell the actual condition of these bikes and what repairs costs are awaiting.

the newer bike is a much nicer bike, but you need someone knowledgeable to go with you to check it out and other used bikes.
It could be in great shape, or not, and given you probably don't do bicycle repairs yourself, store repairs cost money.

wish we could give a proper assessment, but it's not realistic and I hope you understand why.
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Old 01-23-20, 07:42 AM
  #7  
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Originally Posted by joejohnstun View Post
Hi! Just found this forum, it's amazing, I've learned so much stalking the threads over the last few weeks.

I wanted to get some opinions from you experts.

I'm planning on going on a 2-week bicycle tour with friends somewhere in the US this spring. I'm looking at 2 bikes:

1987 Diamondback Apex - $100
or
2005 Cannondale Badboy - $450

The Apex needs a bit of work, but seems to be structurally sound (replace chain, maybe wheels, definitely tires, maybe drop bars). The Badboy is basically perfect already, just needs luggage racks. Both come with the original components.

Do you think it would be a better idea to buy the cheaper bike & spend money restoring it, or go with the newer one?

Thanks so much. I hope the pictures attach correctly.


Joe.
$100.00 isn't a bad price for the Apex. However, bear in mind that if you change to a drop handlebar that you'll also need to replace the shifters and the brake levers. A bicycle co-op if there's one near you or a bike shop that'll sell you used parts can keep your replacement costs down.

I'd price out the parts that you are thinking about replacing and add those to the price of the bike. You might be better off getting a different bike more suited to touring.

I've converted many similar bikes to dropbar and people love them for the versatility. With wide knobby tires you can tour fire/logging/mining roads and with narrow 1.5" or 1.25" slick tires they're great as a dedicated road touring bike.

Good luck and cheers.
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Old 01-23-20, 07:49 AM
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For someone who is not mechanically inclined and doesn't own tools, it's pretty much a no brainer to find a reasonably priced used newer hybrid that someone hardly used.

putting money into an old bike can mount very quickly, especially if a store is doing it.

every case is different. But you still need someone who knows bikes properly to assess a used bike.
good luck
and have fun with your mates if you do go
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Old 01-23-20, 08:10 AM
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It is not difficult to "fix up" an old bike and end up with the cost the same as a new one, so you really need to focus on this point.

Between the two I lean towards the Cdale because it will be much easier to retrofit a touring capable fork since it is 1.125" threadless steerer compatible. If you have no intention to use front panniers then get the DB, it's plenty capable for a person who packs light with rear panniers only for a 2 week tour. If you are not mechanically motivated take it to the LBS and have them assess condition for intended usage. It will likely need brake pads, cables and housing, cassette, middle chainring and cables and housing, perhaps a new bottom bracket and headset clean and lube. Also wheel bearings clean and lube and spoke tensioning/wheel trueing. Fit wise you may need a shorter, steeper stem. All these parts and labor really add up, and LBS shops are not what they used to be WRT to renovating old bikes economically, they really try to move you to a new bike. Most don't fix wheels anymore, but they'll order you a new set.


WRT to DB/Deore DX, this group was really decent in it's time, but the cantilever brakes have a plastic housing for the return springs that is prone to failure (polymers from the 80s/90s were not the greatest) and it will be impossible to replace that part, so new cantilever brakesets may be necessary - at which point you might want to consider V brakes and long pull levers, which may necessitate new shifters too since my recollection is they were the integrated mount type. Which again raises the renovation cost versus new bike cost ...
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Old 01-24-20, 07:44 AM
  #10  
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That Diamondback already has a mix of linear pull and cantilever brakes. There's no way to know from the picture provided if the brake levers themselves are long- or short-pull levers, but the braking system may already be mis-matched to some degree. You can get Tektro "Mini-V" brakes which are more compatible with traditional short-pull levers than normal linear pull brakes. The Apex's frame already has a rear cable stop along the top tube, so you could easily put a linear pull brake on the back to the match the one on the front. Or...move it back to cantilevers front and rear.
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Old 01-24-20, 12:33 PM
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Well, I overlooked the picture yesterday, but at least I provided the probable explanation for the mismatched brakes
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Old 01-24-20, 02:38 PM
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Instead of putting a dropbar on the Apex consider putting a butterfly bar on it.

I upgraded an old DB and it's bombproof, but heavy. It had a 5speed freewheel. I spread the rear triangle to 135mm and put on an 8sp cassette. I prefer friction thumbshifters and linear pull brakes. It wouldn't be too hard to convert the Apex to touring, but none of this matters if the frame doesn't fit you.

Last edited by mtnbud; 01-24-20 at 06:47 PM.
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Old 01-24-20, 05:07 PM
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The Apex is a solid frame, however if you can get it for 50 bucks and are willing to run friction shifting with Suntour Barcons, the conversion to drop bar won't cost you and arm and a leg.
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Old 01-24-20, 06:21 PM
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I have a Diamondback Ascent of the same vintage. Its set up as semi upright single speed beater/ studded tire winter bike. One wrinkle is the 1 1/8th threaded fork the tales a 1" true quill stem. They are little harder to come by. I use a 2 bolt 80mm "dirt drop" riser stem that cost about $20. I cant tell from the pictures if your option is the same stem set up. I think I paid $25 for a bike shaped pile and spent at least $200 in total and I counted scrounged parts off of 12 different bikes when it was all said and done. I've got a lot of miles out of this bike but I've seen scores much better bikes on craigslist and such since I built it up. So I would suggest waiting till a touring bike with racks and bags shows up for $2-300 and be prepared to put another $100 into it. And find the nearest bike co-op and go check out the bikes, parts and shop time.
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Old 01-25-20, 08:48 PM
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$450 seems a rather high price for a 15-year old bike. For that price I think one could find a decent used drop-bar touring bike that would have have rack & fender mounts.
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Old 01-26-20, 09:30 AM
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My Dianmondback Apex cost me $40.00 Canadian. Plus it was in great condition just needing a bit of a cleanup.




Cheers
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Old 01-27-20, 01:44 PM
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Taking all your advice to heart, thank you so much.

I live in Mexico, so it's not as easy to find bikes down here. I found another one available in my city that I wanted to run by you guys.

It's a Jamis Aurora, for about $300. Cromolio frame, Shimano Tiagra, rear derailleur Shimano Deore 9x3, Alex rims, Bontrager seatpost.

This is probably a much better option than the other two... no?


Last edited by joejohnstun; 01-27-20 at 01:48 PM.
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Old 01-27-20, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by joejohnstun View Post
Taking all your advice to heart, thank you so much.

I live in Mexico, so it's not as easy to find bikes down here. I found another one available in my city that I wanted to run by you guys.

It's a Jamis Aurora, for about $300. Cromolio frame, Shimano Tiagra, rear derailleur Shimano Deore 9x3, Alex rims, Bontrager seatpost.

This is probably a much better option than the other two... no?
The Jamis Aurora is marketed as a touring bike, this would be a better option than the other two, especially since you were going to add drops to the Apex anyway.
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Old 01-27-20, 08:27 PM
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Yes, I would prefer that Jamis Aurora. Nice color too.
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Old 01-27-20, 09:14 PM
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I went & saw it today. The rear wheel has 36 spokes & rotates smoothly. The front wheel has 32 spokes & gets slightly closer & farther to the brake pads when I spin it. Other than that, I couldn't find anything wrong. Each of the spoke holes on both wheels has a little reinforced steel ring, which I really like. I can still dig my fingernail into the brake pads.

Is that front wheel gonna be a problem?
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Old 01-27-20, 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by joejohnstun View Post
I went & saw it today. The rear wheel has 36 spokes & rotates smoothly. The front wheel has 32 spokes & gets slightly closer & farther to the brake pads when I spin it. Other than that, I couldn't find anything wrong. Each of the spoke holes on both wheels has a little reinforced steel ring, which I really like. I can still dig my fingernail into the brake pads.

Is that front wheel gonna be a problem?
maje, it looks like a nice bike, but you really must understand that to assess a used bike, one has to see and fiddle and touch it in person.
You don't happen to be in Leon are you? That's the only place that I personally know of a bike shop to recommend you to go to.

so yes, it's a nice bike, and if the shifters work properly, any competent bike shop mechanic can retrue the front wheel and check spokes, and regrease hubs and whatnot.
be sure it is the right size for you, si no, no vale la pena joven.
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Old 01-30-20, 07:30 AM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
I probably wouldn't really go either personally but if I had to choose DB Apex. At least the Apex is decent tubing (Tange Double Butted if not mistaken) and some decent enough parts of the era. The bad boy looks like a cheap hybrid that someone is trying to get their money back from. If the bikes were both at the same price of $100 I might say Cannondale simply for newer parts which are cheap and not all that great but could possibly be in slightly better shape and good disc brakes are nice (so this would give you some upgrade opportunities).

Obviously this is all assuming the bikes fit and are comfortable. If they don't then none of this matters and you should get a bike that fits.

In searching the Apex I came across this which I like:
https://www.pedalroom.com/bike/1987-...ack-apex-29602

Any bike you come up with even some new bikes some things to upgrade that don't cost a lot but make a world of difference would be:
Brake pads and shoes. Make sure they are removable so all you need to do is just get pads they will be stiffer and offer better braking performance and save you in the long run. SwissStop is my main go to but for some bikes Kool Stop has what I need (especially older nutted pads)

Cables and housing. If you want to add some bling the Jagwire Elite Link Housing is excellent, it cuts weight and the beads are reusable with the new inner lining costing $5-10 or so and they come in different colors and with really smooth slick cables. If not those anything with a good slick stainless steel cables (no galvanized ever for any reason) and decent housing will work. My top choice if not Elite would be Jagwire Pro or even the sport and those you can get in different colors as well.

Tires. I lke a good supple tire personally but for touring something with a bit more protection is helpful. Look for folding beads as those are usually lighter and certainly pick a tire based on your terrain. If road touring find something slicker if off road then get a decent gravel tire or XC oriented mountain tire. Continental and Schwalbe make some good touring tires but I do really like the Graphene that Vittoria is using.

Grips. I want something that I won't slip on easily and that doesn't wear out or get gummy quickly but most important is comfort. Ergon, Ergon and Ergon are the choices for really comfortable durable grips for all of my flat/alt bar bikes. The flat palm section offers better blood flow and the Biokork looks nice and is potentially slightly greener.

Pedals. Life is too short to ride cheap pedals. A good pedal should use sealed bearings (or a mix of sealed bearings and bushings) and good grip (replaceable pins are great) and ideally not plastic. If I am going Clipless for touring the T8000 pedals are the way to go, XT SPD on one side and a nice grippy MTB flat pedal on the other. For flat pedals Crank Bros is a good choice as on all levels of their pedals they are using sealed bearings and high quality bushings however I do like my MKS Lambda/Grip King pedals (though wish they had pins)

Certainly other upgrades like saddle are important as that is another touch point but those will cost a bit more and are well worth the extra cost. Chain, cassette, chainrings aren't really super important to upgrade but make sure they aren't worn out and are clean and properly lubricated though you can lose some weight and in some cases get a little better shifting performance out new stuff. If you decide to go 1x then a good narrow wide chainring will be helpful (Race face isn't super expensive and works well).

Wheels are another big upgrade but can be well worth it. A good set of handbuilt wheels by someone who knows what they are doing with high quality parts can last a lifetime. I prefer sealed bearing hubs so I don't need to mess with them often and for a touring bike I would look for hubs that are 32 or 36 hole and a good stout rim designed for touring. My favored spokes and nipples for this application are Sapim Strong and Secure Lock BRASS nipples but the Alpine III spokes from DT Swiss are also good as are the corresponding locking BRASS nipples. If it were me I would probably go with something like a White Industries Hub (MI5 for rim and XMR or CLD for disc) and Velocity Dyad or Atlas Rim so I can support U.S. manufacturing and quality products but you can find some cheaper stuff depending on what you need. For ultimate versatility you might consider going with a disc brake hub and a rim brake compatible wheel and you just don't use what you don't need and if you upgrade to a different bike those wheels could possibly follow.
The jamis is a good looking bike from what I can see in the pictures. Take it for a test ride and see if it fits and that everything is working right. I also recommend taking a park chain checker with you. They cost 10-15.00 but will give a good idea of some of the work the bike will need. If the tool doesn't fit in the chain you should have no concerns. If only one side you can ride for a while but need to change the chain and cassette as soon as possible. If both sides of the tool fit bargain, you need to replace both and they will start skipping if they don't already. Replacing the chain may mean replacing a chainring. This simple test will also show how much work it may need. It is a touring bike and so it should take a good general use touring tire and looks like it will fit wider. This is the best of the three so far if in good shape.
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Old 01-30-20, 08:03 PM
  #23  
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djb: I'm in Guadalajara. So close.

Russ Roth: Good advice, thanks. I'll check the chain. It can take up to 35mm tires.
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Old 01-31-20, 07:38 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by joejohnstun View Post
djb: I'm in Guadalajara. So close.
ah, can't help you there. Didnt bike through it. Did Oaxaca to Leon but skirted DF to the east
good luck
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