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Cannondale H300 Project

Old 01-13-21, 10:21 AM
  #1  
oldtimeyirv
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Cannondale H300 Project

Crowd sourcing ideas for this funky 90s hybrid. I picked it up off the Fbook market bc it just reached out to me, probably the Cannondale name and oddball frame. It was only available on the 16" size.

Wanting to give it new life as an adventure bike for my wife. Anyone have a similar bike? I know 20 year old "hybrids" are much different than today. There isn't much info on the interwebs about them.


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Old 01-13-21, 11:41 AM
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Not sure what you mean by "adventure" bike. But it looks to be in decent shape. I'd start by cleaning out old grease, gunk, whatever is old and "built up". then regrease and relube all that needs it. Put on some decent brake pads (guessing those may be old and "dry"). Those had a reputation for being a nice riding bike. No firsthand experience, but remember liking that the frame looked out of the ordinary when they first came out. Best o'luck with the project!
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Old 01-13-21, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by freeranger View Post
Not sure what you mean by "adventure" bike. But it looks to be in decent shape. I'd start by cleaning out old grease, gunk, whatever is old and "built up". then regrease and relube all that needs it. Put on some decent brake pads (guessing those may be old and "dry"). Those had a reputation for being a nice riding bike. No firsthand experience, but remember liking that the frame looked out of the ordinary when they first came out. Best o'luck with the project!
Thanks! I just meant something a little more robust than her 80s road bike. Fatter tires and such; it really needs a good bath and grease job like you said. Should be a fun project!
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Old 01-13-21, 12:00 PM
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Tear it down, clean and re-lube everything. New chain, cables and housing. I'd also make sure that stem isn't extended too far. The way it's setup now would put your wife in a incredibly upright riding position. Get some new (wider) tires on it and start riding. I wouldn't be throwing any money at it in order to upgrade anything.
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Old 01-13-21, 12:40 PM
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@oldtimeyirv go to vintageconnadale.com and you will find more information about this rather different Cannondale. You will be able to find out the year and other tidbits about it.

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Old 01-13-21, 01:32 PM
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My kid has one. It's been in several incarnations. Crashed it, busted the canti boss, which of course meant new forks. He bent those so, new forks, again.

I found it was actually quite the handful to ride, so on the third forks I made sure they had a bunch more trail. That dampened things down a lot.

For a few years he rode it with out crashing, so we powdercoated it Prismatic Powders Lipstick pink, loaded it up with Jim Blackburn front low-rider rack & a milk crate on a Blackpurn rear rack. He used it as a commuter for a big portion of his college experience

When the Zac19 rear gave up the ghost, we had a Nuvinci N380 laced up & installed a 1x on a CS-M785 crank. The Nuvinci is sort of: "meh." But, he rode it anyways.

IIRC:
The bottom bracket is a standard road British BSA68,
The rear drop out spacing is 135mm quick release.
The headset is a standard 1 inch threaded.
700x35 was the biggest tire we could get to fit.
It's not a particularly light frameset at around 6 pounds.

Attaching a rear fender & a rack posed a challenge for us because there was only 1 set of M5 bolt holes at the rear drop outs. This bike is clearly designed to have a rack but no fenders. In the end, a rubber cushioned P-clamp to the chainstay brace, a mid-fender P-clamp to the underside of the rack, & 2 p-clamps attaching the fenderstays to the rack support legs got the job done.

Vintagecannondale has the cable guides.

The bike is hanging in my garage right now with a Innicycle threadless conversion headset installed, drop bars & 2x10 groupset. The hold up is finding a road wheelset with the 135mm rear axle spacing that isn't disc. (Of course, I could just leave the disc not installed.)

Good luck.
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Old 01-13-21, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by fasthair View Post
@oldtimeyirv go to vintageconnadale.com and you will find more information about this rather different Cannondale. You will be able to find out the year and other tidbits about it.

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I found it in an old catalog online before I bought it. Just couldn't remember the year. "Rather different" is an accurate description!
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Old 01-13-21, 01:55 PM
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90s Cannondale was an entirely different company than the modern one; based in CT, handmade in PA. These were decent frames, handmade in USA with unique smooth welds. High end Cannondales were among the lightest at the time; while this one is low end, C's low end frames were still very high quality.The fork and components were what were sacrificed. The Killer V frame came from their MTB line, it was an effort to incresase standover height, in a visually unique way. CAD1 was billed as "lighter than chromoly," and the hightest end CAD3 was "lighter than Ti."

That's not the original fork, the color is off and the stack of spacers show the different steerer lengths. Since the original fork was not something unique enough to remove, I wonder if there was any crash damage. The front wheel looks original so its kinda odd.
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Old 01-13-21, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by base2 View Post
My kid has one. It's been in several incarnations. Crashed it, busted the canti boss, which of course meant new forks. He bent those so, new forks, again.

I found it was actually quite the handful to ride, so on the third forks I made sure they had a bunch more trail. That dampened things down a lot.

For a few years he rode it with out crashing, so we powdercoated it Prismatic Powders Lipstick pink, loaded it up with Jim Blackburn front low-rider rack & a milk crate on a Blackpurn rear rack. He used it as a commuter for a big portion of his college experience

When the Zac19 rear gave up the ghost, we had a Nuvinci N380 laced up & installed a 1x on a CS-M785 crank. The Nuvinci is sort of: "meh." But, he rode it anyways.

IIRC:
The bottom bracket is a standard road British BSA68,
The rear drop out spacing is 135mm quick release.
The headset is a standard 1 inch threaded.
700x35 was the biggest tire we could get to fit.
It's not a particularly light frameset at around 6 pounds.

Attaching a rear fender & a rack posed a challenge for us because there was only 1 set of M5 bolt holes at the rear drop outs. This bike is clearly designed to have a rack but no fenders. In the end, a rubber cushioned P-clamp to the chainstay brace, a mid-fender P-clamp to the underside of the rack, & 2 p-clamps attaching the fenderstays to the rack support legs got the job done.

Vintagecannondale has the cable guides.

The bike is hanging in my garage right now with a Innicycle threadless conversion headset installed, drop bars & 2x10 groupset. The hold up is finding a road wheelset with the 135mm rear axle spacing that isn't disc. (Of course, I could just leave the disc not installed.)

Good luck.
How do the drop bars work with it? Do you remember what made it such a handful to ride? Was it just the lively, fat mid-90s aluminum? Light trails are all it would see... My wife's middle name is Careful, so the likelihood of bent forks and wheels is lower than low!
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Old 01-13-21, 01:57 PM
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That fork is almost certainly not original due to the spacer used under the headset threaded cap. So if it rides "weird", it may not have the right offset. New forks are certainly not hard to come by. Those tires are probably 28s and...if they are, it looks like you could fit at least 35-38s on it...it looks like the chain stay clearance will be the tightest of the three critical areas (seat stay, chain stay, and fork). Those definitely are interesting bikes -- enjoy the ride!
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Old 01-13-21, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by DorkDisk View Post
90s Cannondale was an entirely different company than the modern one; based in CT, handmade in PA. These were decent frames, handmade in USA with unique smooth welds. High end Cannondales were among the lightest at the time; while this one is low end, C's low end frames were still very high quality.The fork and components were what were sacrificed. The Killer V frame came from their MTB line, it was an effort to incresase standover height, in a visually unique way. CAD1 was billed as "lighter than chromoly," and the hightest end CAD3 was "lighter than Ti."

That's not the original fork, the color is off and the stack of spacers show the different steerer lengths. Since the original fork was not something unique enough to remove, I wonder if there was any crash damage. The front wheel looks original so its kinda odd.
I wondered about the fork. The front brake is a replacement also. Wheels are matching but unsure how original. They are Sun Rims AT18. Do/did they make 1" threaded suspension forks?

Also, I'm aware of the Cannondale move to Taiwan. Worked at a bike shop in Chicago during that time. Have a CAAD 9 that I bought. Robot bikes don't have the same character!
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Old 01-13-21, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by hokiefyd View Post
That fork is almost certainly not original due to the spacer used under the headset threaded cap. So if it rides "weird", it may not have the right offset. New forks are certainly not hard to come by. Those tires are probably 28s and...if they are, it looks like you could fit at least 35-38s on it...it looks like the chain stay clearance will be the tightest of the three critical areas (seat stay, chain stay, and fork). Those definitely are interesting bikes -- enjoy the ride!
What do you mean by "right offset"? I assumed the spacers were some crazy way to raise the bars.
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Old 01-13-21, 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by oldtimeyirv View Post
I wondered about the fork. The front brake is a replacement also. Wheels are matching but unsure how original. They are Sun Rims AT18. Do/did they make 1" threaded suspension forks?

Also, I'm aware of the Cannondale move to Taiwan. Worked at a bike shop in Chicago during that time. Have a CAAD 9 that I bought. Robot bikes don't have the same character!
Now that I remember, I did once bend a fork with no damage to the wheel in 94. Crashing into a mailbox, IIRC.

1" suspension did exist, right up to the SID SL

As for builds, I like something like this:


not mine

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Old 01-13-21, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by oldtimeyirv View Post
How do the drop bars work with it? Do you remember what made it such a handful to ride? Was it just the lively, fat mid-90s aluminum? Light trails are all it would see... My wife's middle name is Careful, so the likelihood of bent forks and wheels is lower than low!
The rake/offset is the reason it was such a handful. There just wasn't very much trail with the original forks. So the steering was very light & "twitchy" so it was really easy to overcorrect.

Yours may not have that issue as it has a non-oem fork.

1 inch threaded forks are readily available just about anywhere. Swapping is a simple matter if you decide you'd like to change.

I'm not sure how the drop bars work with it yet. I have high hopes.

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Old 01-13-21, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by oldtimeyirv View Post
What do you mean by "right offset"? I assumed the spacers were some crazy way to raise the bars.
Fork offset is the distance between the steer tube centerline (the steering axis) and the dropouts for the axle. If the fork were perfectly straight, then there'd be no offset. But the fork blades not straight...they can be curved (like yours) or angled forward, which moves the axle forward of the steering axis a little bit. This is offset. Yours probably has about 40mm of offset.

Fork offset, along with the tire diameter and head tube angle, influences the bike's "trail" number, which is the distance between where the steering axis intersects the ground and where the front tire's contact patch is. Generally, the LESS offset a fork has, the MORE trail a bike will have (because the tire's contact patch will be further behind where the steering axis intersects the ground). The MORE offset a fork has, the LESS trail a bike will have (because the tire's contact patch will be closer to the steering axis). Trail is one of the most influential factors behind how a bike "feels" to ride.

It's a fairly complex topic. Wikipedia has a brief write-up on it, but there are hundreds of pages on the internet dedicated to this concept. It's pretty interesting to study and ponder.
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Old 01-13-21, 08:18 PM
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Originally Posted by hokiefyd View Post
Fork offset is the distance between the steer tube centerline (the steering axis) and the dropouts for the axle. If the fork were perfectly straight, then there'd be no offset. But the fork blades not straight...they can be curved (like yours) or angled forward, which moves the axle forward of the steering axis a little bit. This is offset. Yours probably has about 40mm of offset.

Fork offset, along with the tire diameter and head tube angle, influences the bike's "trail" number, which is the distance between where the steering axis intersects the ground and where the front tire's contact patch is. Generally, the LESS offset a fork has, the MORE trail a bike will have (because the tire's contact patch will be further behind where the steering axis intersects the ground). The MORE offset a fork has, the LESS trail a bike will have (because the tire's contact patch will be closer to the steering axis). Trail is one of the most influential factors behind how a bike "feels" to ride.

It's a fairly complex topic. Wikipedia has a brief write-up on it, but there are hundreds of pages on the internet dedicated to this concept. It's pretty interesting to study and ponder.
I am amazed that I went so long on life not knowing about this site. Thanks for all the info. Does anyone have a suggestion for a 1" threaded suspension fork? Or does the gallery suggest rigid?
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Old 01-14-21, 05:21 AM
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Unless you have a specific need for a suspension fork, most will recommend a rigid fork -- especially if the bike was designed for a rigid fork. A suspension fork is physically taller (the fork crown to axle distance is longer) and this will increase the head tube height of the bike, which will change the geometry that we just talked about above. What happens when the head tube is raised? Yes -- the angle also decreases (becomes shallower). If the tire size and offset are similar to before, a shallower head tube angle will generally increase trail and also will increase flop (the tendency for the handlebars to want to fall one way or the other by themselves).

Depending on how you ride, more trail may be desireable or not. I personally prefer bikes with LESS trail because of how and where I ride. I have a '70 Peugeot mixte bike which has only about 45mm of trail. It's a very pleasant bike to ride at slower speeds because there's almost no flop and it tracks very straight. But at higher speeds, it's less stable and much more sensitive to steering input. I once bought a bike that had nearly 100mm of trail and I hated it. It was probably the bees knees bombing down a dirt track at 25-30 mph, but that's not how I ride. The large trail and flop it had in its geometry make it rather laborious to ride at slower speeds (it kept wanting to turn on its own), and felt rather "weird" to ride. I didn't like it and took it back to the shop a few days after I bought it. Some may have liked it -- it's very much personal taste.
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Old 01-14-21, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by oldtimeyirv View Post
I am amazed that I went so long on life not knowing about this site. Thanks for all the info. Does anyone have a suggestion for a 1" threaded suspension fork? Or does the gallery suggest rigid?
I would leave well enough alone as a rigid & see how it rides first. It may very well be just fine as is with the replacement fork that's on it.

As to the suspension fork, I agree with the above poster. You'd really want to have a strong reason & even if you did, finding one that fits & would be worth owning would be neigh impossible.

If it were 1&⅛ it may be worth a discussion from a hypothetical standpoint. But as above the geometry would be radically changed enough towards the opposite side of the rideability curve as to be something you probably wouldn't want to do.
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Old 01-14-21, 04:11 PM
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700c, rim brake, 1" suspension forks are almost impossible to acquire. That frame was never intended to have suspension anyways. I'd keep it rigid.
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Old 01-14-21, 10:02 PM
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This is all helpful info. It's going to get a complete tear down, and updated where it's needed. Will post an update when I get the time/funds to finish it up. Should make an interesting addition to our family fleet!
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Old 01-15-21, 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by base2 View Post
IIRC:
It's not a particularly light frameset at around 6 pounds.
.
That's not terrible for a hybrid; a TIG welded 21" Trek Multitrack 750 frame (True Temper OX), fork, and headset weighs in at an unimpressive 7lbs 2oz. Hybrids had heavy forks, around 900 grams; the high end Cannondales of the era had superlight Al forks that were made in PA by hand. Along with sub 3lb frames, they were very light bicycles for the 90s. At the time, this brand focused on low weight and visual impact.
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Old 01-15-21, 07:58 AM
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Originally Posted by DorkDisk View Post
That's not terrible for a hybrid; a TIG welded 21" Trek Multitrack 750 frame (True Temper OX), fork, and headset weighs in at an unimpressive 7lbs 2oz. Hybrids had heavy forks, around 900 grams; the high end Cannondales of the era had superlight Al forks that were made in PA by hand. Along with sub 3lb frames, they were very light bicycles for the 90s. At the time, this brand focused on low weight and visual impact.
I own a late 80s cannondale road bike that I absolutely love; it is crazy light. I think it's the big fat tubes and unusual angles that do it for me. I was surprised at how heavy this bike was comparably. Granted it has loads of heavy components and is a little more heavy duty 🤷🏼‍♂️.

My wife isn't too worried about weight... When I finished her early 80s Nishiki Mixte for her she picked it up and exclaimed, "it's so light!" It weighs nearly as much as a battleship.

What does the crowd say about shifters on this type of bike? It currently has some horrible grip shifters. Do you prefer shifter and brake lever? Or something integrated into one piece?
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Old 01-15-21, 08:37 AM
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Originally Posted by oldtimeyirv View Post
.

What does the crowd say about shifters on this type of bike? It currently has some horrible grip shifters. Do you prefer shifter and brake lever? Or something integrated into one piece?
I prefer seperate levers and shifters. Thumbies. XT/DX for 7 /8 sp, and Microshift for 9+



XT 7/8sp

Microshift 9sp

Microshift 10sp

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Old 01-30-21, 04:14 PM
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Bikes: 60cm 1992 Paramount, 60cm 1995 Cannondale R900 (son's bike), 1994 Cannondale H300 (mine), 1994 Cannondale H300 Killer V (wife's bike), 60 cm 1989 Eddy Merckx Corsa Extra SLX

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I have 2 of these 1995 Cannondale H300's, I have a large frame size and wife has frame like the OP. We still ride them, right now mine is in the garage on a fluid trainer. I'm new here and can't post pics yet.
Both of ours have mid-90's Softride suspension stems with flat bars which work surprisingly well. Recently upgraded the headset and brakes on wife's bike. Standard Sun rims with Sovos hubs that have been overhauled multiple times over the years.
These bikes are fun and are perfect for leisurely rides around Ashland, VA with a stop for coffee on the way home. They were "Gravel Bikes" before Gravel Bikes were cool.
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Old 05-28-21, 10:34 AM
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Estate
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Originally Posted by Keefusb View Post
I have 2 of these 1995 Cannondale H300's, I have a large frame size and wife has frame like the OP. We still ride them, right now mine is in the garage on a fluid trainer. I'm new here and can't post pics yet.
Both of ours have mid-90's Softride suspension stems with flat bars which work surprisingly well. Recently upgraded the headset and brakes on wife's bike. Standard Sun rims with Sovos hubs that have been overhauled multiple times over the years.
These bikes are fun and are perfect for leisurely rides around Ashland, VA with a stop for coffee on the way home. They were "Gravel Bikes" before Gravel Bikes were cool.
I noticed you mention your Sovos hubs have been overhauled. I also have a H300 (1996 with Sovos hubs) but it has sat for about 25 years and the rear hub is gummed up. Can I ask what tool you used to remove the freewheel? Googling returns advice to use a large hex key but I can't get it to bite so no luck with that. Thx.
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