Jamie's Forever 1988 Cannondale ST400

2 comments by Igor Shteynbuk

I'm happy to share the rebuild of my "forever bike" with you. This Cannondale was the first bike I ever bought with my first paycheck (from a long shuttered Chicago bagel shop) way back in 1994.

Back then it seemed like everyone was riding mountain bikes — even in Chicago where there are no usable trails for that stuff haha. My bagel shop co-worker needed some quick cash and I bought this bike off of him. It was totally stock with a Vetta seat, Nitto stem, Suntour 7-speed drivetrain with Sugino 2x cranks.

I rode the bike all over Chicago as my main transportation for many years.10 years ago I converted it to a 1x crank with 6-speed cassette. I continued to ride it all over the city with my first born in a kids seat attached to the back. As our family grew I got a trailer for the back to ride them around in. We rode bikes all over Michigan and Wisconsin.

A few months ago I started thinking about getting a new bike. I was looking at Cervélo, Ridley, Canyon, etc. It wasn't just the prices that put me off though, I couldn't see any soul in any of these bikes. They just looked... boring and basic.

It was around this time that I finally started to research the model Cannondale I had. It never occurred to me to use the Internet to look up information about my bicycle. Thanks to https://vintagecannondale.com/ I found out my bike was a 1988 ST400. There were different levels offered in the Sport Touring (ST) line. Mine was the lowest-end model. However, at the time all the levels in the ST line had the same exact frames. The only difference was components. My bike had Suntour stuff while the top end would have Shimano Dura-Ace, for instance.

I examined my frame further and saw that it was in really good shape (kept in our basement all the time). It had the right frame and fork attachments. It had good bones. I decided to pour my energy and resources into giving my "forever bike" a new life.

The final result is better than I could have imagined. I spent a bit more than I had intended (doesn't it always go this way?). But it is my "forever bike" and I'll keep riding it forever.

I had a lot of help from 2 local Chicago bike shops:
1. Blue City Cycles (https://www.bluecitycycles.com/) who stripped and
powder-coated the frame. 2. Tailwind Cycles
(http://tailwindchicago.com/) who helped me with the build and
introduced me to Velo Orange.

Here's what I used from Velo Orange:
- Gran Compe 202 Non Aero Brake Levers, Drilled,

- Dia-Compe ENE 11s Road and 10s Dynasys Downtube Shifters,

- Velo Orange Enterprise Rim - 700, Disc, Silver, 32H, Clincher,

- Velo Orange Front Hub - QR x 100mm, Rim Brake, Silver, 32H, Silver,

- Velo Orange Rear Hub - QR x 130/135mm, Rim Brake, HG 11 Road,
Silver, 32H, Silver.

Non Velo Orange Stuff:
- New old stock Shimano 105 39/52 Crankset (FC-5600)
- New old stock Shimano 105 Front Derailleur (FD-5600)
- Slightly used Shimano DURA-ACE Rear Derailleur, Short Cage, 10-Speed (RD-7800)
- SRAM PG1170 11-28 11-Speed Cassette
- Tektro R539 Road Caliper Set Front & Rear Silver 47-57mm QR
- Honjo Fender 700c 43mm Hammered
- Nitto MT Campee R20 Rear Rack 870-255-11
- Nitto M18 Front Rack 870-782
- Red brake hoods from eBay (to match original build)


  • Nicolas

    Beautiful bike, definitely a “forever” kind of ride since you could turn that bike into almost anything!

    Shout out to Blue City Cycles too! Owen has done work on almost all my vintage steel frames and it was an amazing neighborhood shop for me for years.

  • WeeVi

    Great build!

    The restored looks way cooler than the original form 😎

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