Oct 31, 2018 by Evan Bailey
I recently bought a used 24” Cannondale Street for my son with hopes to turn it into a cheap Cannondale Cujo. The Cujo would have been nice to just buy new for him (and much easier) but it was out of my price range and I want my kids to feel the joys of riding a used bike :-) Since he is the oldest, 2 out of his last 3 bikes have been brand new so he needs to experience a project bike!
I started to look at what I needed right away for the bike and then some things that maybe could wait. The cheap Shimano TX-35 derailleur was the first to go since it was bent and not worth salvaging. Then I started looking for some good off road tires. It wasn’t easy! I finally found some Bell Kevlar tires that someone on ebay was selling for like $30 for the pair with free shipping.
I then decided that the 3 ring crankset had to go. Unfortunately the 3-rings on the crank were riveted together (grrrr) and so of course it wouldn’t be a simple 1x conversion. I never liked front derailleurs anyways so this whole 1x movement that has been going on is a welcome sight. For someone starting out with mountain biking, I didn’t want him to have to worry about shifting 2 derailleurs since his last bike was just a single speed. That started the process of trying to remove the crank and that is where things got interesting…
I’ve removed a number of cranks over the years so I had the tools but not sure what happened but I can guess it was either the cheap threads inside the crank or I just cross threaded it and stripped the thing. Either way the crank pull method failed miserably and I was left with a stripped out crankset that I couldn’t get off.
I tried banging it off which of course didn’t work and then I finally asked my Dad if he had a puller I could borrow. A 3 prong would have been better but at least he had a 2 prong puller. I couldn’t grip onto the crank arm itself so I thought I’d just use the rings. Well, that proved to be the wrong choice as all it did was bend the rings and the arm was still solid on the bottom bracket. Great.
Well after hours of pounding, pulling, sweating, mosquitos, and more frustrations, I finally got the thing off! That was a welcomed sight!
I then pulled the trigger and ordered a new Shimano Alivio rear derailleur which they say is compatible with 7,8, and 9 speed rear cassettes. I found it on Jensonsusa for $30 on sale. The Alivio seemed like a good option, it is kind of a lower mid-range derailleur from Shimano. I also bought a 7 speed rapid fire shifter since I decided to ditch the grip shifters (I’ve never liked them and these were very stiff and well used). The shifter was $10. I then ordered some needed lube to complete my $50 order and get free shipping :-)
While I waited for those items to arrive I started shopping for a new crankset since I destroyed the riveted 3-ring crankset. Not a whole lot of options out there in the short crank arm variety I discovered. I found that most 24” kid bikes used a 130mm or 152mm crank arm. Since the bike came with 152mm cranks I decided to stick with that length. And It seems as though the manufacturers have a lockdown on the short crank arms since it is tough to find any good aftermarket options. I finally found that Suntour makes the XCT 152mm 3-ring crankset WITH removable rings so I could theoretically convert it to a 1x setup! I found a new one on ebay for $27. I then ordered a 32T Narrow wide chainring for $12 from ebay that will bolt onto the new crankset
That is the update for now. I know I will need more things and the parts do add up fast! I will update again once I get everything in and start the rebuild.
Project Cannondale 24 Costs:
Total Upgrades: $108
Total Costs: $228