red/white 1992 Cannondale R500 3.0

1992 Cannondale 3.0

I can’t say enough about Canny, the 1992 Cannondale 3.0 that I purchased new on September 16, 1993. My all-time favorite bicycle, she’s been reliable, economical, exhilarating, not to mention super-stiff, very light (for her vintage), very fast, and downright gorgeous. As of the end of 2014 we have traveled 34,000 miles together, including Paris-Brest-Paris and several dozen other ultra-marathon bike rides. She also got triathlon duty from 2003-2006.

Despite the advances in bicycle technology over the last decades, Canny remains a viable, raceable machine. Case in point: her 53-cm frame weighs 3.1 lbs., which is reasonable for a frame even today. The Cannondale 3.0 was the stiffest frame tested on Bicycling Magazine’s Tarantula test fixture in the early 1990s, and since then Cannondale designed more flex into their frames for a more comfortable ride. Yet as I can attest from the several dozens of double centuries I have done, Canny does not “beat me up”. The tires, saddle, and handlebar padding contribute much more to ride comfort than frame flex or material.

See my 10-year photo tribute to Canny here for years 1993-2003, and a 20-year tribute written in 2013.


For my 53cm bike:

  • Seat tube: 51 cm center-to-center; 52.5 cm center-to-top
  • Top tube: 53.5 cm
  • Chainstays: 40.6 cm (16.0 in.)
  • Seat tube angle: 73? degrees
  • Head tube angle: 73? degrees

OEM Components

Cost for complete bike, brand new, from Noe Valley Cyclery in San Francisco on September 16, 1993: $599 + tax = $648.42. Adjusting for inflation, this is $916 + tax = $991.73 in 2010 dollars.

The component gruppo was mainly Shimano RX100—which was essentially the same as Shimano 105 at the time except that its parts had a nice clear-coated finish over bare aluminum instead of grey paint like 105—and had a front triple crankset (kind of a rarity at the time), 7-speed rear cluster, downtube indexed shifters and toe clips and straps.

This photo, taken in Spring 1996, is the best one I have my Cannondale R500 in stock condition except for the tires, rear Vistalight (but original silver reflector bracket), white Blackburn alloy water bottle cages and red Bushwacker seatbag:

In addition to shuttling me from class-to-class, she was my training bike, race bike, and commuter.  Here she is in Spring 1996 on a run to Walmart (a store I have long stopped patronizing!)
In addition to shuttling me from class-to-class, she was my training bike, race bike, and commuter. Here she is in Spring 1996 on a run to Walmart (a store I have long stopped patronizing!)
Item Component Weight, pounds (grams) Comments
Frame Cannondale 3.0 (R500, year 1992), 53cm 3.1 (1406)*
Fork Cannondale Alloy 1.1 (499)*
Rims Mavic MA2 Like the Mavic MA40 but without anodization. Front one cracked after a couple years near the spoke holes.
Front hub Shimano RX100 .47 (212)*
Rear hub Shimano RX100 .90 (410)*
Spokes DT 14-gauge?, 32 spokes per wheel, 3-cross 1.1 (484)* Fairly sure, but not positive, of the spoke brand and gauge
Spoke nipples DT brass? .13 (60)*
Tires Michelin (Select???) 700x23c. They retailed for $7 at the time; had a steel wire bead, yellow/tan “white walls” as was typical of the times and low thread count; rode poorly and did not last long.
Crank Shimano RX100 Triple 52-42-32
Bottom Bracket Shimano?
Chain Shimano 7-speed
Rear Cogs Shimano 7-speed Believe the gear range was 13×23
Front Derailleur Suntour Blaze? Definitely was a Suntour stainless-steel derailleur.
Rear Derailleur Shimano RX100
Shifters Shimano RX100 downtube
Handlebars Modolo E-2091 38cm-width 26.0mm-diameter .82 (370)
Stem forged aluminum quill, negative rise, 11cm? Black color with no logos.
Headset Suntour Black cups. Became notchy after 4-5 years.
Front Brake Shimano RX100 .44 (200)
Rear Brake Shimano RX100 .41 (185)
Brake Levers Shimano RX100 White hoods
Seat Post Kalloy? .60 (270) after cutting off several inches
Saddle Vetta turbo-style saddle, black Tore quite easily
Pedals Shimano RX100 with toe-clips and straps; made for cleats
TOTAL ~21.5 (9750)*

*estimated weight from literature. No asterisk = measured weight.

Component changes

From 1994-1997 I used Sampson Stratics clipless pedals before going to Speedplay. In 1997 I upgraded the wheelset to heavy-but-aerodynamic 30mm-deep Mavic CXP-30s and the rear shifter to Shimano 105 STI 8-speed (I kept the left downtube lever). A Campagnolo Racing T crankset went on in March 1999.

See the post, “Canny goes on a diet” for her components from June 1999 onward.

Below is a photo of how she looks in November 2015.

red 1992 Cannondale 3.0, R500, peach garage door
I rode a bike for the very first time since June 30, 2015, which is when I finished the Trans Am Bike Race. Unfortunately, biking just 10 miles brought a lot of neck soreness and memories of Shermer's Neck.
red/white 1992 Cannondale R500 3.0
Felix Wong's red 1992 Cannondale R500 3.0 with white fork at the 1996 Hekaton Classic Century.