Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Visual Progress


Now with the wheels installed (all be it, temporarily on the front) it's starting to look pretty neat.

What's installed now:
  • Cannondale Killer V800 Frame
  • Cannondale Lefty DLR Front fork
  • Atomic Lab seat post
  • Coda Expert crankset
  • Shimano DX pedals
  • Halo Excite-D 26" 32h wheels set
    Cannodale Lefty front, Shimano XT rear hubs
  • Schwalbe Nobby Nic tyres
  • Front Avid Juicy Three brake
    Hope 183mm front, 160mm rear disc saw rotors
  • Deity 31.8 handlebars
  • THE lock grips (black/grey)
  • Comfy cheap-ass seat I had lying around
Parts I still have to install:
  • Rear Avid Juicy Three brake
    (Can't install it until the Brake Therapy adapter arrives)
  • Shimano XT rear cassette
  • Shimano XT front and rear derailleur (3x9 Speed)
  • Shimano XT shifters
Parts I'm still waiting on:
  • New decal set, for black head tube and seat tube decals
  • Cannondale Headshock stem
  • Brake Therapy rear disc adapter
  • Avid Juicy bleed kit
And finally... Parts I'm going to remove:
  • The existing stem whenever the new one arrives
  • The water bottle and cage
    (I think it looks better without it)

Wheel building

Having receive the "lost" package, I finally got the new wheels (ok one full wheel and a rim). I was going to have the front wheel built locally with an old Lefty hub I have. So I figured why not attempt to build the wheel myself and worst case I just have to leave it in to get built anyway. So the first thing was to build a make-shift truing stand to align the wheel. Which simply involve the bike upside down and a chair with a metal ruler on it. I thought the metal ruler might scratch the rim so I attached a plastic drinking straw to it!

So after alot of adjustment and re-adjustment (and re-re-adjustment) it finally looked pretty good.

The only problem... I laced the wheel with old spokes and nipples. The new spokes on the rear wheel are thicker 0.5mm thicker.


I'll order up some 2mm spokes for the wheel and just let a wheel builder do the job.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Better news

I contacted Chain Reaction Cycles last night and they said they would look in to the problem with the delivery. Rather than risk the package being returned to them I contacted the courier directly to see if I could sort it out myself.

Thankfully the package was still in a Stockholm warehouse, so I was able to arrange with them for me to go pick it up myself today after work.


Monday, July 28, 2008

Front end

Well tonight I install the Lefty front fork and the new Avid Juicy Three front brake.

The Lefty was pretty simple to install as usual, but I think it might me in need of a service, so I'll have to leave it in to my LBS once the build is completed.

The brake set came with a 6-bolt 160mm front rotor, but I'm going to use an old Coda Lefty front hub which is an old 4-bolt pattern. So I decided to upgrade the front disk to 185mm since I need a new rotor anyway.

The wheel in the photo is an old wheel, but the hub will be the one I'll use to build up with the Halo Excite-D rim (whenever it actually arrives).

Anyway, it's really starting to look like a bike. There are a few things I'm still unsure of, such as too much rise on the front handle bars, but the new stem will improve that alot.

Oh and I installed the additional Cannondale decal on the top tube...

Good news... bad news

Well some of the parts have started to arrive, such as the new disk brakes. I made two separate orders from Chain Reaction Cycles in the UK, one for the brakes, the other for the wheels.

For some reason the brakes arrived and the wheels are floating around in some courier warehouse, apparently with insufficent/incomplete address.


New Stem

I spied a nice looking stem for the killer V on ebay yesterday so I place a bid on it. With a maximum bid of $50. Probably more than it is worth but with the good exchange rate on the dollar it's still cheaper than anything I could source locally.

Unfortunately I lost, I was out bid and the stem went for $51.

Bizarrely enough though, the same seller (who I've used in the past) Relisted additional stems with a Buy-it-now price of $39.

For once I'm glad to have lost an auction!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

A2Z rear disc adapter

One of the reason why I ordered the Brake Therapy disc adapter for this bike was because the cheaper alternative, the A2Z disk adapter didn't fit. The A2z adapter clamps to the rear drop out but unfortunately due to the style of the drop out the adapter just wouldn't fit.

Here's a few photos outlining the problem. The photos are flipped since the adapter wouldn't even sit on the frame unless it was upside down.

The rebuild begins...

Got the frame polished up and already applied the first decals.

I'll change out the head tube and seat tube decals with plain black ones as the white ones get lost on the polished frame. Head cups, seat clamp and rear hanger clean and reinstalled.

It's starting to look like a bike again!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

First full polish

Well I gave the frame a first full polish mainly to see which areas of the bike need more work.

There are a few areas, such as the rear drop outs and a few minor areas which still have some of the original buff marks. But over all it's pretty good looking and that's just after using a rubbing compound on it and no heavy polishing.

Most of the parts I order are now well on there way and I found a place down town Stockholm that can build up the new rim on my old lefty hub. Not sure of ther turn around time, but as luck has it my vacation is postponed another week anyway.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


I've ordered up a new rear wheel Halo Excite-D with Shimano XT hub, and a new front rim, Halo Excite-D.

I'll get the front wheel built up locally on to my existing Lefty hub.

Only the brakes left to get...

The decals also arrived, but after seeing the white with black outline, I'm not so convinced since there is a narrow white outline after the black outline. Would be fine on a white bike, but not on a silver one...

I'll see what other decals I find later on, I've still way too much polishing to do on the frame.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Disk brake adapter

Well I decided to try the brake disk adapter on the frame.
Not the cheapest of options, but at least the most interesting. According to Brake Therapy it should arrive in 6-10 days, right in the middle of my vacation... Perfect!

Now I need to order a new rear wheel and at the same time look for a new brake set as my old Coda Expert brake are feeling a bit agey...

Friday, July 18, 2008


I order up some cannondale decals today for the frame.

I had originally planned to use yellow decals with a black outline, but decided again that as I don't want to bring in any colours to the bike now. The only colours I'll use are black, white and of course silver. So the decals will be white with a black outline.


Well, I've pretty much managed to remove all the paint, with the exception of the paint inside the cable guides. Not really sure of the best way to attack that.

But the frame looks nice, although the bare aluminium will take a bit of working to make it more finished looking. I've decided to polish it as much as I can and leave it that way, no painting. I know bare aluminium can oxidize if not taken care of, but a good hard wax should protect it for the most part meaning it should only take a light polish now and again. I started with the head tube, since it's the area with a lot of welding. Ok the bottom bracket will probably be the toughest area but I don't want to put myself off polishing straight away.

Once again this will be a slow process to get rid of the heavier buffing marks that were there from factory but I think the effort will be worth it in the long run.

Heck what else am I gonna do for my two weeks vacation starting in a weeks time.

Anyway, here's a little taster of how the frame will look after spending short time polishing the head tube up, a huge difference compared to the raw frame finish.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Nitromors, Nitromors, my Kingdom for some Nitromors

fI know I've said it before, Nitromors is lethal stuff but god I miss it...

That being said I made some good progress today on the frame and at this point it's probably 95% paint free it's that last 5% where Nitromors would really have been useful.

Instead I'll be scrubbing like a §*?#¤%& to get those last bits off.

But damn it's starting to look great!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Thinking ahead...

Most of the parts that were on the bike, were in ok condition, but I'll be exchanging alot of the parts that will go on the bike.

As I said before I'll install a Lefty fork on to the bike, which means installing a hydraulic disk brake on the front. One of the problems with the KillerV frame is that there are no rear disk mounts installed on the frame. So my options are limited with rear brake...

One option it to use the brake set that came with it, which are infact pretty good, Avid Ti. Another option would be to install Hydrualic V brakes on the rear such as Magura HS33.

The other option is the most interesting and by far the most expensive option. That's to go with a Brake Therapy Disk conversion. This bit of kit looks abit of a crude bolt on option, that float on the hub and attaches to the V brake mount.

I talked to Brake Therapy about installing this on the KillerV and they said it would work no problem provided I had a compatible rear hub and 160mm rotor. I had planned to buy a new rear wheel anyway so I'll just make sure I get a hub to suit.


Maybe I should have removed the head cups first.... whoopsie!

When I picked up the bike...

On the way home after picking up the bike last saturday the weather was insane at times. Mostly thunder and lightning and alot of crazy rain, which resulted in a few minor floods.

The one in the picture, if visable, was one of the worst. It pretty much ende up a river of mud and wood, probably 20cm deep (or is that shallow). Anyway it's all pretty uninteresting, as I just wanted to see if it was possible to write to the blog using the built in Blog support in my phone so I can send low quality picture directly from my phone...

Isn't this just so geeky... :-S

Monday, July 14, 2008

Stripping off the paint

Unfortunately it seems like stripping the paint off the bike will be a long process. The main reason for that is that the paint stripper available in Sweden is about as powerful as vinegar.

I tried to convince my parents to post me over some Nitromors, which will pretty much take the skin off your hands in a few minutes if you're unfortunate enough to get some there.

I broke the bike down tonight and did a little test with some locally available paint stripper. The instructions sound ok, and it says the pain should be removable after about 15 minutes.

15 minutes go by....

Then another...


After an hour some of the top clear coat actually started to blister, but the blue colour underneath remained.


2 hours passed and at last most of the clear coat from the test section was gone.

I applied a second try and left for another hour to see if the blue paint would start to blister.

No such luck... So I took the frame into the shower to remove the residue and gave it a scrubbing with some wire wool. And much to my surprise some aluminium was getting exposed.

Hurrah... 3 hours to remove about a hand sized patch of paint.

This is going to be a slow process...

Which colour?

Although the frame is originally Iris Blue I've decided to remove the paint. However I'm still unsure as to what to do. My original idea was to remove the paint and polish the aluminium with steel wool. But now I'm also thinking about having the frame powder coated.

I spoke to a guy a while back about powder coating the swing arm of my Jekyll, and it's relative cheap to do and very durable. For some reason I have the idea to get it done green or possibly orange. Although I think the raw aluminium look would probably be the most classic way to do it.

Either way I still have to strip the frame down to the aluminium, so I imagine when I see the frame in that state it will be easier to make my mind up then.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

February 1998... or?

Yep the frame is a 1998, specifically the serial number started with a J indicating 1998. The first two digits indicated the Year and Month for frames of this era.

E=1993, F=1994, G=1995, H=1996, I=1997, J=1998, K=1999
A=January, B=Febuary(sic), C=March, D=April, E=May, F=June, G=July, H=August, I=September, J=October, K=November, L=December
The although mine initially looked like _5, after photographing it and running a few filters on the photo, I think it is JB. The vertical part of the J is hard to see, the same with the upper curve of the B.

The photos in a clock-wise direction starting with the top left photo are:

Black and White
No-idea, lots of filter setting applied.

Anyway for now the code looks like JB... making it Febuary 1998... or?

* Serial number information from Vintage Cannondale


Even without checking the serial, a quick look the catalogs on the Vintage Cannondale website reveals that it is a 1998 Killer V. Although the Killer V800 is not listed in the catalog, the V900 and V700 are there with the same style of decals.

The Frame

Today I tried to take a bit of a look at the serial number, just to get see what year it was from. The guy I bought it from bought the bike new in 1999, which probably in effect means that the frame was made 1998. Curiosity got the better of me so I tried to read the serial number, which was a bit hard to read directly since it was covered up with dirt and the plastic gear cable guide.

A bit of dismantling and cleaning soon revealed the Serial Number. Unfortunately the first digit is rather difficult to read and that it the Year digit.

I took a few photos of the serial, so I'll see if I can enhance it in photoshop.

I probably should not post the serial number online... so I'll let my paranoia rule in this case.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Cannondale Killer V

Right or wrong, I've always been a total fan boy of Cannondale mountain bikes, and one frame that always stuck in my head was the Killer V hard tail frame. Cannondale have generally always been a bit different or innovative with various techniques, such as the asymmetrical front "fork" the Lefty.

The Killer V frame is mainly unique in it's day for it's top tube design, where the top tube consists of two separate tubes, one longer top tube extends from the seat tube to the down tube and the shorter top tube connecting the other top tube to the head tube giving a delta shape. Anyway, a picture speaks a 1000 words, or at least better than the 55 I used above
I've been looking out for one of these frames for quite a while now, and I did have a few requirements on the one I wanted. It had to have the 1.5" head tube as I plan to install an old Lefty DLR on to the frame, and additionally I wanted the rear drop outs to be the newer style. The older frames have a long narrow rear drop out.

After many months of searching for a decent frame that wasn't insanely priced or in a sad start of affair, I finally found one. The bike was advertised on an online classifieds web site. The bike looked in pretty good shape based on the photo. But I really needed to see it in person just to be sure. Considering these frames are at best around 10 years old I was naturally expecting some wear and tear showing.

Unfortunately the bike was sitting 500km away from where I live so it was a 5am wakeup call as I arranged with the guy to be at his place around noon. Anyway as soon as I saw the bike I knew it was a well looked after bike. The guy seller could not have been any nicer, another Cannondale fan boy, but selling the bike since it was no longer used. Well he did have two other Cannondales in the shed.

Naturally that meant he knew the value of the Killer V frame, but it was a fair price and I don't think I would have been able to find another frame in such good condition. I had planned to strip the paint off and have the frame in all it's glory with bare aluminium, but it almost feels a shame to do that.

Anyway that decision is for another day...