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Mystery MTB, Says Cannondale..but..

Old 12-11-21, 01:59 PM
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fishboat
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Mystery MTB, Says Cannondale..but..

Just picked this up. It sort of fell into my lap for small money.. given the setup it was an easy decision. Haven't cleaned it up.

Anyone know what this thing is?

I have a hard time believing it's a Cannondale for two reasons: 1) I can't find it in the catalogs. The shifter vintage(XTR, M951) looks to be 1998-ish. 2) The welds look sloppy to me, given the typical Cannondale finish standards(usually more a carbon frame look with smooth joints)

Decals are vinyl and not clear-coated. Paint looks original and pretty decent. Shifters, FD, & RD are XTR. XT crank. Brake levers SRAM 9.0. Hubs are LX (8 speed). Bontrager Maverick rims, 26". Haven't weighed the bike, but it's pretty light..I'd guess ~25#. 17 inch frame C-C.

Any idea on what it's worth? Not looking to flip it..more of a winter project to do something with.






Last edited by fishboat; 12-12-21 at 09:24 AM.
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Old 12-11-21, 02:02 PM
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Old 12-11-21, 02:49 PM
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It's not a Cannondale but it's interesting enough I don't know why prior owner would put a Cannondale decal on it. Maybe original make was too obscure to flip. This frame style is older and usually steel.

It kind of resembles the Hawk MA750 in this post but it's got a bigger steerer
https://www.bikeforums.net/20858391-post6370.html
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Old 12-11-21, 08:52 PM
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Cannondale has made some weird stuff over the years but I’d agree this is not a Cannondale.
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Old 12-12-21, 11:00 AM
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At first I thought maybe a Nishiki Alien that had been upgraded. But the bottom rear seats are different and they didn't have the underneath bottle cage. So not much clue other than it was likely built in the early to mid 90's and had some if not most of the components upgraded at some point and may have been powder coated at that point.. Nice interesting find though if you got it at a good price you did great it has at least $200-300 in nice components hung on it whatever it is.
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Old 12-13-21, 07:40 AM
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I've seen lots of elevated chainstays models with that basic, straight tube frame design, including several in aluminum, but don't recall any with tubes that oversize, which was typically the domain of Cannondale and Klein. However, it does not appear to be either. It looks like this frame was designed for a top pull front derailleur (i.e. I don't see a cable redirecting pulley or associated boss below the front derailleur), which Shimano introduced for the 1992 model year, so it should be no older than that. The threadless headset would place it slightly newer but it could be a replacement. Looking at the serial number(s), it's tempting to say 1995 but my recollection is that the elevated chainstay era was passé by then. The complex serial number system is reminiscent of Cannondale but doesn't match. However, for that reason, it does strike me as a possible USA product and/or someting from a larger company.
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Old 12-13-21, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
I've seen lots of elevated chainstays models with that basic, straight tube frame design, including several in aluminum, but don't recall any with tubes that oversize, which was typically the domain of Cannondale and Klein. However, it does not appear to be either. It looks like this frame was designed for a top pull front derailleur (i.e. I don't see a cable redirecting pulley or associated boss below the front derailleur), which Shimano introduced for the 1992 model year, so it should be no older than that. The threadless headset would place it slightly newer but it could be a replacement. Looking at the serial number(s), it's tempting to say 1995 but my recollection is that the elevated chainstay era was passé by then. The complex serial number system is reminiscent of Cannondale but doesn't match. However, for that reason, it does strike me as a possible USA product and/or someting from a larger company.
Thanks for chiming in T-Mar. There's lots of unknown frankenbikes out there, but it's odd to have one fitted out with XTR & XT components. I'm not a fan of buying original, well-appointed, bikes and stripping them for parts, but I figured going in on this one that it wasn't a Cannondale. The PO did acknowledge he wasn't sure what it was. He bought it used 10+ years ago and didn't know how it got to where it is. It sat in his basement for the last 8 years unused. I didn't consider Klein, though the oversize tubes does suggest that(good catch).

I'll strip the decals off of it. I've been thinking of building a dirt-drop type bike using a higher-end mtb frame (I ride a 20ish inch frame typically). This bike will supply many of the components. Thx for your help.
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Old 12-15-21, 11:41 AM
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Very similar to RM Cirrus with the SN stamped into the dropout, but the seatpost binder is different.
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Old 12-16-21, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by VtwinVince View Post
Very similar to RM Cirrus with the SN stamped into the dropout, but the seatpost binder is different.
Thx.. very close to the Rocky Mountain Cirrus, but, as you suggest, there are still significant differences. From what I can tell, they only made the Cirrus from 1990-1992. It was fitted out with XT components. The XTR bits(FD, RD, shifters) on mine date from 1998-1999. The XT crank is in the same timeframe. I'm going to contact RM and see if they made my bike(frame). I suspect not, but it's worth a try.





From 1990 Rocky Mountain catalog
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Old 12-16-21, 09:36 AM
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Rocky mountian bikes of the era had some very distinctive characteristics that the OP bike does not share. The most glaring is the seat cluster - RMs of the era had the top tube join the seat tube noticeably below where the seat stays connect. Another difference between the OP bike and the RM posted by fishboat is that the seat stays on the RM terminate in a unicrown configuration, while the OP bike has two seatstays right up to the seat tube.


Does anyone remember Maxam bikes? they were a Canadian brand that sold their own design and spec of Taiwanese made bikes, primarily through the Cyclepath chain. I think they had an oversized aluminum elevated chainstay bike, but I cannot find any record of such existing.
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Old 12-16-21, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by ClydeClydeson View Post
Rocky mountian bikes of the era had some very distinctive characteristics that the OP bike does not share. The most glaring is the seat cluster - RMs of the era had the top tube join the seat tube noticeably below where the seat stays connect. Another difference between the OP bike and the RM posted by fishboat is that the seat stays on the RM terminate in a unicrown configuration, while the OP bike has two seatstays right up to the seat tube.
I agree..the tubing on mine also looks to have a larger diameter. I sent a note to RM. We'll see what they come back with. If they didn't make it(and I suspect they didn't) they may know who "adopted" their general frame design.

Last edited by fishboat; 12-16-21 at 03:24 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 12-16-21, 11:06 AM
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I admire your choice to remove the decals. I agree that it is likely to not be a Cannondale and therefore should be stripped clean. Hope you do find out its maker.
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Old 12-16-21, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by TugaDude View Post
I admire your choice to remove the decals. I agree that it is likely to not be a Cannondale and therefore should be stripped clean. Hope you do find out its maker.

Candidate for a "Gugification" decal ?
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Old 12-16-21, 09:10 PM
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Originally Posted by DMC707 View Post
Candidate for a "Gugification" decal ?
So long as it is Gugified, sure!
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Old 12-16-21, 10:39 PM
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The triangle is so early 90s and everything else is so late 90s. What a weird bike
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Old 12-17-21, 08:04 AM
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Got an interim reply from RM tech service. It seems their resident "historian" (the 90's requires a historian..yikes) retired earlier this year and, from the sound of the reply, everyone else at RM was rather...young..in the 90's. Time marches on I guess. Tech service said they'd continue to check and get back to me.

While it would be nice to know what the frame is, the components are worth quite a bit more than I paid for the bike so no harm, no foul however it ends. When I scan local bike sales I often see ads (most often FB..which seems appropriate) with titles like "blue bike" and no other info. If/when it comes time to part with this frame I can honestly list it as "red frame."
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Old 12-21-21, 07:27 AM
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Heard back from RM for the final time I think. The TS guy asked around to the resident "vets" and they seem to think it's a Cannondale, based on the tubing size. They said a lot of mfgs had "upside down" frames back then.

Reading between the lines..my takeaway is it isn't a RM frame...and they really don't know what it is. I don't think their staff has anyone old enough to remember specifically what was happening by whom back then. It remains a mystery..no worries. Cannondale decals are off.
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Old 12-21-21, 07:47 AM
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Serial number location on the dropout doesn't conform to any known C-dale:

https://vintagecannondale.com/info/serial_numbers/
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Old 12-21-21, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by fishboat View Post
Cannondale, based on the tubing size. They said a lot of mfgs had "upside down" frames back then.

f.

Cannondale never did have an elevated chainstay bike. They did go off the rails a bit with the "Killer-V" design for hardtails IIRC -- the design made sense for a suspension bike, but the hardtail was a head scratcher

This is an odd conundrum --- Alpinestars made an elevated chainstay bike , the Al mega, as did boutique makers, Mantis and Yeti, but the rack mounts on the seatstay make me think its not from a boutique- y builder
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Old 12-21-21, 04:14 PM
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The hand stamped numbering on the flat of the dropout would seem to indicate a smaller manufacturer. Best I can make of it is likely the date 1995 O6-June 02 25th in the build series 601 and 48 likely mark the tubing and size for the frame parts which were likely stamped before welding assemble. Which would seem to indicate a fairly small operation since most of the smaller start up MTB and BMX builders from the 80's to mid 90's boom failed and there builders are long retired not likely to find much info on this one.
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Old 12-22-21, 12:01 PM
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LOL, I'm not surprised that RM was no help. I once messaged Grayson Bain about questions regarding my RM Titanium, and he didn't seem to know anything about it.
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Old 12-22-21, 12:49 PM
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This mystery has been driving me a bit crazy TBH.

Here is the closest thing I have found so far - a Scott ECS bike:

IMG_20190928_141412.jpg.42dd16d31f604327d6127fa4bb80b7ad.jpg (768×576) (fillaritori.com)
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Old 12-22-21, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by ClydeClydeson View Post
This mystery has been driving me a bit crazy TBH.

Here is the closest thing I have found so far - a Scott ECS bike:

IMG_20190928_141412.jpg.42dd16d31f604327d6127fa4bb80b7ad.jpg (768×576) (fillaritori.com)



I think you've got it ! Little different top tube cable routing plus a cantilever cable stop on the Scott, --- but since the subject bike is a re-paint, the cantilever stop could have been dremel'ed off and smoothed out at some point isuppose. Or it could have originally came with one of the cable stop dongles that hangs off the seatpost QR
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Old 12-22-21, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by DMC707 View Post
I think you've got it ! Little different top tube cable routing plus a cantilever cable stop on the Scott, --- but since the subject bike is a re-paint, the cantilever stop could have been dremel'ed off and smoothed out at some point isuppose. Or it could have originally came with one of the cable stop dongles that hangs off the seatpost QR

Maybe.

Also, I don't know what years they made this bike, but the later (>95) might have lacked the canti cable stop because V brakes came along.
There are a couple other differences - the shape of the weld where the chainstays meet the down tube, lack of upper rack mounts. Otherwise the shapes of the frames are very similar.
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Old 12-22-21, 02:45 PM
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The Scott looks similar, but has a threaded headset, whereas the OP's bike has threadless.

The threadless headset, plus the lack of a canti bridge for the rear brake (not needed for V-brakes), makes me think late 90's. We had V-brakes in the XT and XTR lineups starting in '96 if memory serves.
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