Cannondale R900

The one and only road bike is a Cannondale R900 and has been around since 1995. I think it’s a 1994 model and, like the Zaskar, has people asking whether it’s ‘chromed’ Polished raw aluminium reflects light like a mirror and the frame can be blinding in bright sunlight. It takes a full 2 – 3 hours of buffing if I’m in the mood to ride a mirror. Happens once a year or so when the metal starts looking dull. (I  had a classic late 80’s SLX’ed De Rosa which was looking worn, but if I had knew then, what I do now, selling off a De Rosa is like shooting one self in the foot, twice. I might have a photo of it somewhere.)

What 3 hours of polishing will do.......

The R900 was another of those too good to miss deals. It’s also a bike with one unique big flaw. The threadless headset, fork and stem diameters are 1 1/4 inch, just like Cannondale’s other mountain bikes. Zero availability of spares. Ah well, the head tubes girth does match nicely with the rest of the fat tubed bike. The frame is just 2.8 lbs and that was featherlight in 1995. RRP was about SG$3200 but I was arm twisted by a good friend who was willing to sell it for $1200, much less than half he paid. The fact that I still ride it now and have to fend off offers to sell it back to him says it all.

The stock bike came with Shimano 600 Ultegra components of which the hubs, BB, FD, crankset and caliper brakes remain. I had a 9 speed set up when I used this bike a lot for commuting no less, but decided to go really far back in time when the brifters died, twice. My friend threw in a pricey Ringle stem when I got the bike and it’s now adorning the tikit with a shim to bring the size down from 1 1/4 to 1 1/8 inches.

Other quirks. The replaceble RD dropout has been replaced twice and that was a $45 setback each time. I trashed the stock Mavic wheels going over a steel pipe on the road at 1.30 am. I was dating my wife then so that was worth it. Got some new flashy red Italian Ambrosio rims that have lasted 10 years. After wearing out many many pairs of pricey tyres, and 2 sets of Ultegra brfiters 8 and 9 spd ones, I went cheap and slapped on a pair late 80’s down tube shifters and have never looked back since.

No more $300 replacements. The rear end has space for 700 x 28 C, fat 28 C rubber, so that’ll last even longer and I can ride rough roads. Unfortunately the front fork can only accomodate a 25 C max, so now it looks like a dragster. It’s still a lightweight weighing in at about 18 lbs be it 1995 or 2010. If ever there is a need for another road bike, it’ll have to be an early 90’s Italian steel and lugged one. Where are you my Columbus SLX’ed De Rosa ?

Cinelli tri bars and a battered Ultegra brifter

Left chainstay was crimpled by the factory for crankarm and heel clearance


Flipped over Control Tech road stem 1 1/4 inch + spacers

2010. Fat rear tyre, 8 spd Ultegra down tube shifters, Dura Ace brakes and yes mirror and mudguard ! They all work nicely.

New hoods for 2011. Well NOS / new old stock 1992 Ultegra brake hoods and levers in gorgeous gun metal grey, in mint condition. Those, plus a roll of plush Cinelli Gel cork tape makes gloveless cycling so much fun.

  1. Matt says:

    Hi, I found your page researching my old Control Tech stem and wanted to give you a heads up. It seems yours might be the subject of a recall:

    We have become aware of a potential safety hazard with Control Tech Road Stems and
    Control Tech A-Head Road Stems that could cause catastrophic failure and serious
    injury. Out of the approximately 28,000 Road stems shipped from 1992-1994,
    six road stems have been returned to Control Tech with the handle bar clamp
    detached from the remainder of the stem at the weld. Additionally, Control Tech has
    received two stems in which the bike owner has observed a crack in the weld at the
    handle bar clamp. Therefore, effectivelye immediately, we are conducting a
    voluntary recall of all Control Tech Road and A-Head Road stems

    Safe riding! Peace


    • ChrisW says:

      Thanks Matt ! Really appreciate your input. I haven’t been on my road bike that much but will certainly look in to the recall. I wonder if they still have 18 yr old 1 1/4 inch ahead stems left in their inventory. Thanks again !


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