Cannondale Restoration

Summer 2003

Back in May, I found a Cannondale 3.0 Series road bicycle at a bike shop in Forty Fort, Pennsylvania. It was, to me, a diamond in the rough. Underneath a clowny-looking, red, white, & blue paint job to which nothing was pre-masked, there was hidden a pristine aluminum frame with cantelevered rear dropouts, Shimano 105 components, Marvic Aero wheels, and set up for triathlon sprints. It was an eyesore at first glance, which was reflected in its price.

Here's what it looked like when I brought it home. Colleen was amused.

With paint carelessly sprayed into every nook, over dirt in every cranny, I slowly disassembled the bike piece by piece, taking note of its condition and what needed to be done. Everything with paint had to be stripped. The wheels and components would be polished afterward. New tires were needed. I would replace the bull-horn, sprint handle bars for conventional drop bars. The stem shifters would be upgraded to Shimano Sora integrated handlebar brake/shifter units. Finally, a new paint job would be required.

I'd always wanted to work with lacquer and candy apple. So I went to Finish Masters in Dover and selected Inca Gold. This would be laid over a custom blended primer base for a fade effect from burnt orange to gold. Think of a vintage 60's Gibson Les Paul guitar in sunburst red ... Well, that was the idea, but that's not how it came out. In hindsight, I see that I spent too much time blending the primer for a smooth transition that I lost the dramatic color change that I was going for. This is my learning curve. Oh well, my next custom motorcycle project will benefit from that experience.

Here's the finished bike.

Thanks for looking!

~ John ~

26 September 2003