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Cannondale Silk Tour 800 in sorry shape...

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Cannondale Silk Tour 800 in sorry shape...

Old 04-10-21, 12:37 PM
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masi61
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Cannondale Silk Tour 800 in sorry shape...

So I have had this Cannondale Silk Tour 800 out in the garage awaiting a refurbish for going on 2 years now. It popped up on Craig’s list before COVID-19 and I talked the seller down to $175 I believe. I set it out on my receiver hitch rack today and the shifters are shot, the rear tire is shot, the front derailleur has all kinds of slop. I will post some photos momentarily.

The Headshok seems to still work. The frame is a “large” and I measure the top tube length at 58 cm - 3 cm too long. Currently it has a 13 cm stem that takes a 26.0 bar. I have acquired several 1.56” “Headshok” stems in 3 different lengths (80, 90 & 100 mm I believe and 2 use 31.8 bars, one uses 25.4 bars). I plan to start with the 80 mm one and see if I can replicate my road bike positioning. The Shimano 3x9 integrated shifters are toast. Whoever had this bike treated it rather poorly I think.

With gravel bikes being the new fad, I think this cantilever braked, front suspension oversized aluminum bike that can accommodate wide tires is an intriguing re-build prospect.

I plan to tear it down completely so I can weigh the frame and fork, then clean and wax the paint.

I don’t have any questions other than just wanting to talk out loud about and welcome conversation about the obvious gravel possibilities for modernizing this obsolete touring Cannondale model from - 1999 maybe?
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Old 04-10-21, 12:58 PM
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As configured here, the sizing is in line with someone more like 6’3”, I am 5’11-1/2”

The Tiagra FD has a broken spring. The shifters both front and rear are non-functional...

Rebuilding this bike with new touring shifters and getting it configured to tour or commute or just to show for that matter should be a fun project.

I may do a frameset weight comparison between the Cannondale Silk Tour 800 and the Trek Multitrack steel frameset (which I had powder coated) to make a determination of which one is more worthy of some hand built 135mm rear, standard QR front WTB Momentum Grease Guard flat black ano hubs that I laced to HED Belgium + tubeless ready rims. I currently have the economy Challenge Paris Roubaix 28 mm open tubulars mounted on these rims but since the frame (either frame) has the clearance - once I get the bike to the road test stage I’ll be looking to run Challenge Strada Biancha Pro open tubular or “TLR” tubeless version. These are listed as being >36 mm wide.
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Old 04-10-21, 03:48 PM
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The aluminum bike = the bike that could be put away wet because.... well ....it won't rust.
I think I remember earlier Cannondales having relatively long top tubes on road bikes.

General comments -
1. invest in a can of WD-40 thru the mechanisms of the shifters. I have brought back two ShimaNo shifters that way. An RSX and 105.
2. planned gravel conversion sounds great. Check w/ Cannondale to see if Headshok has replacement parts.
3. IMO -for sure shorten up the reach as undue weight on an old Headshok may not deliver the suspension expected. Maybe a shorter and angled stem makes up for long top tube + short headtube.
4. Lots of people on BF have lauded their touring 'Dales.

Good luck with rebuild. That red paint may absolutely POP when cleaned & waxed

Last edited by Wildwood; 04-10-21 at 03:51 PM.
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Old 04-10-21, 06:23 PM
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That is a great looking bike. Good luck with it.
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Old 04-10-21, 06:41 PM
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I echo the sentiments offered earlier. Those shifters almost always are fixable. Once the hardened gummy grease is removed and the ratchets are free to move everything works like new. Alternatively send me those useless levers to dispose of for you.😁
Looks like a terrific project though. I've found cantis work best on a fat tube aluminum bike. (Less flex on the seat stays) I'm returning a ST to fighting trim and shinning up a set of center pulls since it has no bosses.
Maybe it's just me but I've always thought aluminum bikes dampen road vibrations. I know common though is that they are stiff and therefore are harsh riders. Maybe there's a high frequency elasticity inherent in aluminum or maybe I just see what I want to see.🤓
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Old 04-10-21, 08:18 PM
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As for the WD40 flush on the ShimaNo stuff = mine were not like new after cleaning, but worked.

I had to sell a 90's Cannondale that would only take 23/24mm tires. Lived in an area with narrow, mountainous, earthquaked roads. Talk about beat-up. But with larger volume tires, Al frames are fine.



Makes me want to get hot on a project to convert the rigid G. Fisher SuperCaliber to a drop bar gravel bike w/ 26" fat tires.
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Old 04-10-21, 11:48 PM
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I know many folks differ with relative leg/torso lengths, and this frame is particularly hard for me to eyeball sizewise, with the head tube looking short but then all that suspension stuff below. I know that for an average near-6' rider that stem on a 58cm top tube is too long, but is the saddle height really that far off for that same theoretical average-proportion near-6' rider. Just wonderin'...

I've had a pair of Strada Bianca/36 on HED C2/i19 rims, and they measured around 36.5mm at 70psi. On HED+/i21 rims, that 2mm extra width oughta let those tires plump out even a little more.

Originally Posted by masi61 View Post
[snips]
As configured here, the sizing is in line with someone more like 6’3”, I am 5’11-1/2”



...which one is more worthy of some hand built 135mm rear, standard QR front WTB Momentum Grease Guard flat black ano hubs that I laced to HED Belgium + tubeless ready rims. I currently have the economy Challenge Paris Roubaix 28 mm open tubulars mounted on these rims but since the frame (either frame) has the clearance - once I get the bike to the road test stage I’ll be looking to run Challenge Strada Biancha Pro open tubular or “TLR” tubeless version. These are listed as being >36 mm wide.
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Old 09-23-22, 05:17 AM
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I know this is a year old thread. Any progress on this? I'm thinking of picking up a C'dale silk tour 800 locally but I'm not sure I want to deal with the headshok. Neat idea in some ways but no longer made obviously.
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Old 09-23-22, 07:22 AM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
I know this is a year old thread. Any progress on this? I'm thinking of picking up a C'dale silk tour 800 locally but I'm not sure I want to deal with the headshok. Neat idea in some ways but no longer made obviously.
My $0.02. I spent time working in the shop of a longtime C-dale dealer this century where the head mechanic told me in no uncertain words to stay away from Headshocks. Unless you're keeping it "pro mechanic" clean, the seals fail and the needle bearings get gummy, shim stacks wear, and it generally becomes a waste of time. He wouldn't allow us to take on any fork maintenance on them, only Rockshox and Fox forks.
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Old 09-23-22, 07:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Dylansbob View Post
My $0.02. I spent time working in the shop of a longtime C-dale dealer this century where the head mechanic told me in no uncertain words to stay away from Headshocks. Unless you're keeping it "pro mechanic" clean, the seals fail and the needle bearings get gummy, shim stacks wear, and it generally becomes a waste of time. He wouldn't allow us to take on any fork maintenance on them, only Rockshox and Fox forks.
You answered my question. Thanks! I generally stay away from odd ball parts but I like C’dales which is why I asked.
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Old 09-23-22, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
I know this is a year old thread. Any progress on this? I'm thinking of picking up a C'dale silk tour 800 locally but I'm not sure I want to deal with the headshok. Neat idea in some ways but no longer made obviously.

It is still in the planning stages unfortunately. My hope is that the Headshok will be OK. The fork does seem to have the correct amount of travel that I read it should have ( ~3/4") but I must admit it does feel a bit "sticky". The lockout knob works and worst case scenario I would think I could just keep it on lock out. But that would be a bit of a disappointment.

There was an eBay seller called Bikewagon that used to stock all these different sizes of headshock linear bearing races and I would have purchased some for a rainy day if I only knew the original part number from Cannondale. They listed like 6 different ones by their serial numbers but never said which model they are designed to work with. I like the Headshok beefy fork and would hate to lose it. My LBS mechanic said he would not touch it if the bearings go bad and all they would do is to convert the steerer to 1-1/8". I would rather keep it stock if at all possible.

Last edited by masi61; 09-23-22 at 04:59 PM.
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Old 09-23-22, 05:41 PM
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I have a Silk Road SR 500 that I like a lot. Caliper brakes, SOME 28mm tires fit. Not going to have a second career as a gravel bike.

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Old 09-24-22, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by top506 View Post
I have a Silk Road SR 500 that I like a lot. Caliper brakes, SOME 28mm tires fit. Not going to have a second career as a gravel bike.

Top
Yep, it got tricky real quick, figuring out which bikes with a Headshok took wider tires. I had a Silk Road, which as you say, only takes thinner road tires, and later, a Silk Path, which took 700x35s, with room to spare. I've never even seen a Silk Tour yet, but it seems like it would be closer to the Silk Path. 🤔

So that's 3 models, that we know of, that took 700c tires. We won't even think about all the 26" wheeled bikes, that had Headshoks, too many to count maybe. 😉

I really liked that Silk Path, but someone had already rebuilt the Headshok before I got it, and it was missing the top lockout cap, so it just wasn't real confidence-inspiring. 😟
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Old 09-25-22, 10:06 AM
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agree with advice to pass on a Cannondale with a Headshok

for many reasons

however - given this - I've been casually interested in this design since I saw an early Action Tec fork (similar design that predated the Headshok) - and I searched for a Cannondale hybrid with a Headshok ... with the hope the short travel / low-tech version of the Headshok used on the hybrid (elastomer/spring(?) - no air) would be less trouble

I really like it - for the application ... works well and provides a smooth ride over the irregular surfaces

the resulting odd raised front due to the Headshok results in a higher handlebar which for many is a plus on a hybrid

there is at least one shop that currently specializes in Headshok service

:https://www.mendoncyclesmith.com

.

Last edited by t2p; 09-25-22 at 10:10 AM.
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Old 09-25-22, 12:44 PM
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t2p - thanks for the contact for a place that services Headshok. I’m gonna need them most likely….
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Old 09-25-22, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by masi61 View Post
t2p - thanks for the contact for a place that services Headshok. I’m gonna need them most likely….
I'm curious but can the headshok be replaced with a conventional headset? That might be an alternative but it sounds like you want the headshok for this project.
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Old 09-25-22, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
I'm curious but can the headshok be replaced with a conventional headset? That might be an alternative but it sounds like you want the headshok for this project.
My LBS (Cannondale dealer) is only willing to put a 1-1/8” reducer in there should the bearings go bad. I think the fork is functional but I need to finish the bike and test ride it to see for sure.
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