Sunday, January 22, 2012

1994 Cannondale M300

1994 Cannondale M300 we refurbished here at Bike Boom. If your'e not familiar, Bike Boom is a used bike shop in Davis square, on the border of Cambridge and Somerville , near Boston MA. where we specialize in restoring and refurbishing used and vintage bikes and offer professional bicycle repair services.
This is one of my favorite refurbs we did this year. Throughout the Ninties,  mountain bikes based on this frame brought cannondale it's fame among mountain bike riders and later to the road bikes scene. Admitedly, cannondale started i'ts bicycle business with road bikes (they made trailers and riding gear at first) but were a very small bicycle company before the mountain bike boom of the 90's. More on cannondale's history from MOMBAT.  Cannondale has a huge following and a is great website with old brochures and serial numbers info, a must for every vintage cannondale fan.
This M300 was cannondale's entry level mountain bike and when we received it, we were not surprised to observe that most of the original, low end parts have been replaced over the years with mid end ones. The famous fat tube frame though was in perfect shape, with just a few marks. We ended up replacing the cockpit (stem and handlebar) to a more upright riding position and replaced the rear wheel with a brand new one and a newer matching front wheel. Finally , new 1.5" semi slick tires were installed, which resulted in a fast, light and upright, effortless riding position. A great bike for a short (2-5 miles on average) daily commute, campus ride or "ride to the subway station and park" kind of bike. Most of our customers commute fits this description, and being our most affordable bikes makes them very popular around here. Modern mountain bikes are considered slow for road riding since they are heavy due to the thick tires and suspension but also because they are equipped with a small front chain rings (crank). In the late 80's and early Nineties  they lacked suspension forks and came equipped with a relatively large crankset (48, 46  or 44 teeth count on the large chain ring)  compared to modern mountain bikes from the late 90's and on with only 42 teeth on the large chain ring. this means these bikes, though not racers can actually achieve relatively high speeds. 
Today, a proper mountain bike must have at least 3" of front suspension , so the new version of these rigid mountain bikes converted to city bikes are called by the leading bicycle companies, "city commuters" or "comfort bikes", which are basically a hybrids with round profiled mountain bike wheels (26", instead of 700c) What can I say, Marketing can perform miracles.


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