Randomly, an old high school friend messaged me on Facebook letting me know he was relocating to Houston for work. More importantly, though, he told me to find him a bike. After seeing several of my posts on Facebook about weekend rides and rebuilding bikes in my garage, he was determined to join. And for sure there is nothing more exciting when someone says “Find me a bike; here’s $2,000. I trust you.”
So, like a kid in a candy store, off I went to the various online outlets to find my friend a bike. One that was budget friendly, and would leave enough money left over for some updates/upgrades. It also had to be a kick ass bike, because what kind of bike friend would I be if I picked out garbage? After all, I wanted him to keep riding with us for a long time!
Thankfully, it didn’t take long. I stumbled across a guy selling a 2001 Cannondale R1000 for $400. This bike was the exact model & colorway I had been looking for for myself over the last 2 years; and here it was all of a sudden – only in a size 58 instead of a 50/52 for me. But, my buddy is tall, so, I told him I found the bike. We went to check it out, give it a brief test ride to make sure it wasn’t too big for him (58cm is still a large frame), and chat with the guy about the history of the bike. After some light-hearterd chit-chat about the bike, we forked over the cash, tossed the bike in the trunk, and headed home. We were excited.
We decided since it was going to be really hard to source parts because of pandemic supply chain & inflation issues that we’d keep most of the bike as is, and just update certain parts to better fit him. I figured the quickest & easiest solution for a good fit would be a new stem & new bars. Of course I;’d replace all the cables & housing as well – especially since by now you know I can’t leave things plain boring black – but also because it’s just prudent to replace 20+ year old cables & housing. I told my buddy he needed to get himself a new saddle that fit him, so I left that in his hands. And with that, tear-down commenced.
Since we were keeping most of the components, this time around the discard pile was pretty light; a rusty chain, old cables, yucky bar tape. The stem & the handlebar went out as well. After that I laid everything out that was left and started cleaning things up. The bike had been in storage (or a garage?) for a number of years so it wasn’t too bad, but it still had 20 year old ride gunk all over the place.
My buddy and I were unable to get the crank off, though. Try as we might, even with the both of us using as much leverage as we dare on my set of Park Tool hex wrenches, the crank bolts wouldn’t budge. So, I wasn’t able to clean and grease the bottom bracket – but just the same, it’s all sealed anyway so probably not a big loss.
Since this project wasn’t a complete tear down and rebuild, most of the original components were just getting a spit-shine, and then a few new parts put on. Peep the slideshow below to see what we were working with:
The R1000 was Cannondale’s high-end consumer level bike, so it was outfitted with some pretty great stuff. The rim brake calipers are Shimano 105, as is the front derailleur. The crank, rear derailleur, cassette, and shifters are all Shimano Ultegra. So it’s no slouch, for sure. The biggest surprise was an aftermarket upgrade by the previous owner: a set of Shimano Dura Ace WH-7700 wheels. Combined, they only weighed 1.9 kilograms. However, they were very hard to mount new tires on, and would be hard to service out in the wild so in the end we decided to sell them and opt for a more modern, mid-range wheelset that could be serviced more easily. We settled on a set of Mavic CXP Elites.
Other new parts we decided to update for a better fit were the stem and the bars, and I went right back to my good old solid choices of a Ritchey C220 70mm 6 degree stem, and a Whiskey No.7 bar with a 44cm width. Of course I also picked out new cables, housing, bottle cages, bar tape, & brake pads to complete the updates. If you’ve seen any of my previous build posts, you know that colors and color-matching is important to me because style & aesthetics are a huge part of bikes for me. I decided to go with a red splash theme to match the little bits of red on the frame. This way it wouldn’t be overbearing.
For new tires I ordered a set of 700×25 Panaracer Pasaleas (my go-to tire). I originally wanted to run 28s but something I was not expecting was the rear brake bridge not having enough clearance for tires of that volume. This was a very big disappointment because 28s are my go-to size for road bikes. 25s are a little narrower and hard rolling than I prefer these days. Granted, this is a frame issue that stems from the time it was build: 20 years ago most road bikes came with skinny 700×23 tires and larger tires were reserved for silly cruiser bikes and mountain bikes. We would keep the original seatpost for now as it was an unnecessary expense, especially since he had to go get a new saddle and they’ve jumped about 20% in costs since Covid started. I picked up a saddle bag for him, and showed him what tools he’d need to fill it so he ordered those.
It was finally time to lay everything out and get to work…
You’ll notice the fork is out and that’s because I took apart the headset and regreased everything I could. There wasn’t a lot to take photos of during this build because I was mostly just doing bars/stem/cables, so pretty straightforward. Everything else was staying original because it was in great shape – and for cost savings. (Click images for full sizes)
I included a quick pic of ParkTool’s 4th Hand because it’s one of the most simple but incredibly helpful tools I own. If you do your own wrenching (especially cables) and you don’t have one, you’re just making things difficult for yourself. It was seriously life changing. Anyway…the new bar & stem compliment each other nicely and are a good fit for my buddy. The frame is a 58, and I think he should be on a 56 – but when a gem like this comes along you can’t pass it up so we made the bike fit him.
Arundel is one of my favorite bike accessories companies so I often use their bar tape and bags as I did for this. I also kept the old original bar-end plugs since they were nicer than the plastic plugs that came with the tape – and they were screw-in wedge tension ones so they stick better in my opinion. The red shifting cables & the gray/carbon brake cables ending up coming out looking real nice, giving the cockpit a little pizzazz.
One problem I ran into that took not only some Googling, but help from the awesome people over at BikeForums.net, was some shifting issues with the Ultegra Flight Deck STIs – specifically the front (left) mech – there was something fishy going on inside and whatever it was was preventing the ratcheting mechanism from engaging properly.
Turns out the Flight Deck STIs worked in conjunction with a Shimano cycling computer – and there is a ribbon internally that relays information between them. The cable had over time gotten bunched and crunched and was getting caught. You can see it in the images above. Turns out since the computers are long gone, the ribbon is extraneous so I just cut the thing out and then it shifted without a problem.
So, with that fixed, I was done….or so I thought. More on that below the “finished” pics below…
I put his new saddle on and with that he was off and rolling. We did a handful of rides and things seemed to be great. But then his rear shifter started missing shifts. The lever & the internal mechanism was feeling sticky and like it wasn’t fully engaging. Messing with the barrel adjusters didn’t seem to be the solution so my instinct it wasn’t anything with cable tension really, but the mechanism itself. The levers already showed considerable wear & tear, but still had appeared to work OK. Turns out not quite a good as we’d hoped. I had no intention of breaking into the levers and trying to fix/grease/whatever them, so my suggestion was just to replace them with a nice solid set of Microshift R9 levers. For $130, it was a no brainer.
So, off came the bar tape – which ended up being an absolute mess which was surprising for an Arundel product. The sticky backing left behind a strip of foam ripped off the back of the tape. It took about 30 minutes to scrape it all off. What a pain.
I’ve used Microshift’s levers before and they’re great – so I highly recommend them if you are needing a solid Shimano or SRAM replacement – especially with older 8, 9, or 10 speed cassettes.
I put new bar tape on as well – and actually I like the solid shade of red better than the previous tape – it matched the cable housing more closely. See below for the final finished product…for now.
Make & Model: Cannondale R1000
Fork: Cannondale Slice Carbon Fiber
Headset: Cane Creek C2 Aheadset
Handlebar: Whisky Parts Co No.7, 44cm
Stem: Ritchey C220, 70mm, +/- 6 degree, 31.8 threadless
Shift/Brake Levers: Microshift R9; 2×9
Brake calipers: Shimano 105 BR-5500
Front Derailleur: Shimano 105 FD-5500
Rear Derailleur: Shimano Ultegra RD-6500
Crank: Shimano Ultegra FC-6500; 175mm
Bottom Bracket: Shimano BB-5500 Octalink
Shift/Brake cables & housing: Jagwire Sport
Bar Tape: 1st version Arundel Gecko Pave, currently Giant Stratus Lite 3.0
Bottle Cages: Tacx Ciro
Wheels: Mavic CXP Elite, 9/10 speed hub
Tires: Panaracer Pasalea 700×25