I just got a bargain on a stripped Cannondale road bike frame, and plan to make it simply awesome. (As far as I can tell, it's a 1997 Cannondale R500 or R1000). So far, I've only powder coated the frame to give it a shiny new paint job.

I'd interested in opinions here - Should I restore it as faithfully as possible to the original condition? Or should I improve on it, upgraded gearing, disc brakes, etc.

Which would version would have the higher value, in your opinion?

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    Opinion based questions and valuations are explicitly off-topic on this site. – Argenti Apparatus Aug 25 '20 at 17:53
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    It's your bike, do what you want with it. It's not worth much, especially since the original paint job is gone. – Andrew Henle Aug 25 '20 at 19:16
  • If it was from 1950, definitely restore. 1997? It's not old enough is it? – thosphor Aug 26 '20 at 7:26

First of all, welcome! This has been a great place for me to get information I wouldn't find any other way, and I hope it's the same for you.

In keeping with Argenti Apparatus' observation about opinions, I'll try to stick to facts-based considerations. First, you've already powder-coated the frame. While that doesn't mean that any vintage value is destroyed, it certainly is diminished. Second, a quick check showed a few of these for sale, although I'm not sure they're the same year. Finally, you always have the option to revert to its original state in the future. So, my suggestions:

  1. Keep any original parts you have.
  2. Build it up with whatever upgrades or customizations you may like.
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    Thanks, Andrew. My plan at this point actually matches your advice - I've saved some of the original parts, but the gearing and braking will be an upgrade. I haven't decided yet whether to build and sell, or build and ride. Probably a bit of riding, then sell. – LarryG99 Aug 26 '20 at 12:09

Its totally up to you.

What can you afford to do? Buying original parts is going to be expensive. Buying new parts is too. Use what you have now.

How long do you have? Do you have months/years to futz around or do you need to ride to work on Monday ?

A 23 year old cannoodle isn't exactly a premium bike, so whatever value it has is in utility as transport.

That said I have an old cannondale from the early 90s, with a 3x10 105 groupset and its quite pleasant to ride. Since you're starting from a stripped frame, the choice is open and up to you/your needs.

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