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Super Vee 600

I've had my Super Vee 600 since 1998 and think it's one of the best bikes I have ever owned. Super stiff, flex-free Headshock, low maintainance yet very efficient rear end and stunning looks. Upgraded over the years to XTR it has never let me down - until a couple of weeks ago - it was leaning against my gate post, ready for a ride when I clipped it with the car and reversed over it!!! One snapped rear triangle later.....!! I'm in the process of getting one, my LBS doing a great job in tracking one down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
fatboyslimfast said:
I've had my Super Vee 600 since 1998 and think it's one of the best bikes I have ever owned. Super stiff, flex-free Headshock, low maintainance yet very efficient rear end and stunning looks. Upgraded over the years to XTR it has never let me down - until a couple of weeks ago - it was leaning against my gate post, ready for a ride when I clipped it with the car and reversed over it!!! One snapped rear triangle later.....!! I'm in the process of getting one, my LBS doing a great job in tracking one down.
I'm glad they are getting one for you. What about Cannondale? Don't they keep any around for warranty issues? After all, the V's were one of their more popular bikes.
 

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Swingarm removal

Gungadin said:
I'm glad they are getting one for you. What about Cannondale? Don't they keep any around for warranty issues? After all, the V's were one of their more popular bikes.
I could do with finding out how you remove the swingarm. Any idea's??
 

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My '98

After getting a new bike last year, I put my Super V in the basement and considered it retired, after several years of good service. Last week I broke some suspension linkage on my new bike, and took the Ol' Super V out of semi-retirement for a spin. It actually felt pretty good, but after riding a Marz Z1 Freeride for a year and a 1/2 I found the Headshock twitchy, oversensitive and loud. Maybe it needs an overhaul, but at any rate it was making a loud banging metal on metal sound on the bigger hits. I guess I just forgot how the Super V climbs, but I liked that part of the ride.
Two questions though -
1 - Does anybody have a sore back after riding a Super V? I didn't remember that part of the bike until the end of the ride when I noticed a subtle ache in my lower back, maybe from leaning over too much? Not sure, just wondering if it's just me and a bad riding position/ frame geometry match.
2 - To those who do not ride with the Headshock - What did you throw in there for a fork, was it tough to do and how do you like it? I have the air/oil cartridge in there now but it just doesn't seem to work very well. I don't remember what the travel is on those things, but it felt like I wanted more. I would love to hear from those of you that have differing opinions or anything else to add. Thanks -
 

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02Slayer said:
After getting a new bike last year, I put my Super V in the basement and considered it retired, after several years of good service. Last week I broke some suspension linkage on my new bike, and took the Ol' Super V out of semi-retirement for a spin. It actually felt pretty good, but after riding a Marz Z1 Freeride for a year and a 1/2 I found the Headshock twitchy, oversensitive and loud. Maybe it needs an overhaul, but at any rate it was making a loud banging metal on metal sound on the bigger hits. I guess I just forgot how the Super V climbs, but I liked that part of the ride.

2 - To those who do not ride with the Headshock - What did you throw in there for a fork, was it tough to do and how do you like it? I have the air/oil cartridge in there now but it just doesn't seem to work very well. I don't remember what the travel is on those things, but it felt like I wanted more. I would love to hear from those of you that have differing opinions or anything else to add. Thanks -
I have a 99 Super V 900. It was originally outfitted with the ‘D’ cartridge (lockout, air spring), but when I had a warranty issue with it, I asked the dealer what I had to do to upgrade it to an SL cartridge (adjustable, air spring). I got the fork back with the SL cartridge installed with no upcharge. :D

I have always liked the precise tracking of the Headshock, but with 120mm travel in the rear and only 80mm up front, the front suspension seemed to be the limiting factor in how rough I could get. Fork technology and the upgrade bug both got the better of me last year and I decided to try to do a complete makeover rather than go full tilt on a new bike. The biggest difference coming when I replaced the fork with a Minute One and the rear Vanilla coil shock with a Manitou Swinger 4-Way Air.

Between the front and rear suspension upgrades it feels like a new bike. I’m not going to lie to you and say that the Minute One tracks as precisely as the Headshock because it is simply not true. I can visibly see the front wheel deflect at times, BUT in spite of seeing this, the bike is far faster and more controllable with the new fork.

If I were racing, the Headshock would be a great choice with it’s lightweight, precise steering and just enough shock absorption. But I’m a trailrider and getting five inches of travel up front to match the 4.75” of travel in the rear is a marked inprovement. At the 130mm setting, it does change the geometry a little, but at 100mm, the axle to crown distance is the same as it was on the Headshock with 80mm of travel.

I installed the fork myself using an integrated headset/converter made by Cane Creek. It was difficult to do if you have done fork installations before and know how to be careful when dealing with the sensitive parts involved.

I've posted this picture on the forum before and it doesn't reflect my latest version with the 203mm Avid mechanical disc brakes front and rear, but here it is until I get a more recent picture:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
jeffj said:
I have a 99 Super V 900. It was originally outfitted with the ‘D’ cartridge (lockout, air spring), but when I had a warranty issue with it, I asked the dealer what I had to do to upgrade it to an SL cartridge (adjustable, air spring). I got the fork back with the SL cartridge installed with no upcharge. :D

I have always liked the precise tracking of the Headshock, but with 120mm travel in the rear and only 80mm up front, the front suspension seemed to be the limiting factor in how rough I could get. Fork technology and the upgrade bug both got the better of me last year and I decided to try to do a complete makeover rather than go full tilt on a new bike. The biggest difference coming when I replaced the fork with a Minute One and the rear Vanilla coil shock with a Manitou Swinger 4-Way Air.

Between the front and rear suspension upgrades it feels like a new bike. I’m not going to lie to you and say that the Minute One tracks as precisely as the Headshock because it is simply not true. I can visibly see the front wheel deflect at times, BUT in spite of seeing this, the bike is far faster and more controllable with the new fork.

If I were racing, the Headshock would be a great choice with it’s lightweight, precise steering and just enough shock absorption. But I’m a trailrider and getting five inches of travel up front to match the 4.75” of travel in the rear is a marked inprovement. At the 130mm setting, it does change the geometry a little, but at 100mm, the axle to crown distance is the same as it was on the Headshock with 80mm of travel.

I installed the fork myself using an integrated headset/converter made by Cane Creek. It was difficult to do if you have done fork installations before and know how to be careful when dealing with the sensitive parts involved.

I've posted this picture on the forum before and it doesn't reflect my latest version with the 203mm Avid mechanical disc brakes front and rear, but here it is until I get a more recent picture:
Right On! I started this thread because I ran into a guy who was riding a Cannondale that I didn't recognize. He had his 97 or 98 V powder coated and the bike looked sharp. He had me fooled for some time- believing that it was a 2005 demo (I am usually not that gullible, but the bike had new XTR componennts and had a great paint job).

Thanks for posting the picture.
 

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C'Dale fan!

Gungadin said:
If so, are you still liking them?
I actually sold mine to my brother last year and he likes it as much as I did...the bike is a 2000 and I put all shimmy xt stuff on it as well as a better headshok and a new fox air shock...I have a riding bud who has (I think) an original super-v 1000 and he's had little trouble with it...the only problem I had was that I cracked the original swingarm (badly designed pressed version!) that came on mine...to make matters worse I was about 6 miles from home in brand new nike cairns :( but they took care of me and put her back together again, no charge!

now riding a C'Dale CAAD 3 F6 w/discs...cross country rocket power!
 

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Thank you for that picture, I have been trying to envision my bike set up with a standard shock, and oddly enough went into a shop last night that sells Cdale just to ask a few questions about cost, parts, build, etc and they had a fork on the wall that I took a look at - A Minute One. Coincidence? Fate? How much did you pay for it, if you don't mind telling? A friend suggested throwing on a really inexpensive shock up front, like a Psylo or Pilot even, but I'm not sure they would be much of an improvement, as I don't know a lot about them. I also am just trying to get into doing big mechanical projects like this, so it sounds from your post that it might be a little too much for me maybe. And the rear shock - is there that much difference in your opinion?
Another question - Does everyone else live around rabid Santa Cruz fans that snub anything else? I know their bikes are popular, but has anyone here compared their Super V to a Heckler or Bullit firsthand on the trail? I wish I could, because I'm very curious about how much is hype and how much is deserved praise.
 

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I have an old Super V as well. I think its a 95 model (but I have been told it could be earlier than that). Its red with yellow lettering, and its a 700 model. On the carbon fiber swingarm is HCV440... It seems like it only has maybe 80mm of travel in the rear.

Anyone seen one like this? Most Super V's I've seen have aluminum tubular style swingarms.

I found this one on ebay that looks like it, but this guy claims it is a 1997 model.
 

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The rear shock attachment to frame is so much different than whats on my 97` superV500 that originally came with the active 80 rear suspension.
I also have a 98` superV400.
I have installed Jekyl rear swingarms on both of these with Cane Creek air shocks that have cut down the weight and are more adjustable and the ride is so much smoother. The Jekyl swingarm increases the rear travel because it requires an inch longer shock to make the upgrade posible.
I am going to keep my 98`superV400 that I like so much. Especially when it is under 24lbs but I plan to part out my 97` if anyone is interested in a Jekyl rear swingarm & Cane Creek Cloud 9 rear shock 6.5" eye to eye .

racerX
 

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I wonder if the Jekyll swingarm will bolt up to my Super V frame. My bike is a 'non-active' suspension model. I would like to put an air shock on mine, but the mounting angle is much different. I wonder if its just the swingarm that puts the shock at the different angle, or if the frame is different in that location.

The Vanilla coil over shock on my bike is puny!

I finally looked at the other picture.... yeah, they're VERY different!

racerX said:
The rear shock attachment to frame is so much different than whats on my 97` superV500 that originally came with the active 80 rear suspension.
I also have a 98` superV400.
I have installed Jekyl rear swingarms on both of these with Cane Creek air shocks that have cut down the weight and are more adjustable and the ride is so much smoother. The Jekyl swingarm increases the rear travel because it requires an inch longer shock to make the upgrade posible.
I am going to keep my 98`superV400 that I like so much. Especially when it is under 24lbs but I plan to part out my 97` if anyone is interested in a Jekyl rear swingarm & Cane Creek Cloud 9 rear shock 6.5" eye to eye .

racerX
 

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02Slayer said:
Thank you for that picture, I have been trying to envision my bike set up with a standard shock, and oddly enough went into a shop last night that sells Cdale just to ask a few questions about cost, parts, build, etc and they had a fork on the wall that I took a look at - A Minute One. Coincidence? Fate? How much did you pay for it, if you don't mind telling? A friend suggested throwing on a really inexpensive shock up front, like a Psylo or Pilot even, but I'm not sure they would be much of an improvement, as I don't know a lot about them. I also am just trying to get into doing big mechanical projects like this, so it sounds from your post that it might be a little too much for me maybe. And the rear shock - is there that much difference in your opinion?
Another question - Does everyone else live around rabid Santa Cruz fans that snub anything else? I know their bikes are popular, but has anyone here compared their Super V to a Heckler or Bullit firsthand on the trail? I wish I could, because I'm very curious about how much is hype and how much is deserved praise.
I paid list price for my Minute One fork.

The Minute One fork made the most difference in the ride, but the rear shock also made a difference. The bobbing has been all but eliminated and since I can set the sag at 25% and still get full travel without noticeable bottoming out, it has given me more effective travel than I had before with the Vanilla with a #1050 spring that still only allowed for 35% to 40% sag at best.

I can’t comment on what any other conventional fork would feel like, but I would definitely recommend the Minute One for my particular model since I have 120mm travel in the rear. My son has a RS Pilot C on his Iguana. While it is a decent fork for an Iguana, it’s not comparable to the Minute. As for the Psylo, I have not spent any time on one, but FWIW, the Giant VT1 & Vt2 from 2003 came with them and switched to the Minute One for 2004. Any reviews I’ve seen felt this was a significant improvement and just what the VT needed to move up to the next level. I was able to get my hands on a 2004 VT1 for a week last year and this is what convinced me to get the Minute One for my bike. As I’ve said before, it’s like riding a new bike.
 

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2 - To those who do not ride with the Headshock - What did you throw in there for a fork, was it tough to do and how do you like it? I have the air/oil cartridge in there now but it just doesn't seem to work very well. I don't remember what the travel is on those things, but it felt like I wanted more. I would love to hear from those of you that have differing opinions or anything else to add. Thanks -[/QUOTE] oh man, you have the solution: just switch your headshock to the Z1fr you own. I've made this set-up. I was running a lefty dlr front, but was a little too short and steepened too much the head angle on hard braking; more, the lefty does not support very well a eight inches rotor. I've mounted a '03 marzocchi Z1 fr and all my problems disappeared; It's such a great bike, a mix of strenght and reasonnable weight. I've also mounted a coil-over vanilla rc on rear, which has been specifically tuned for my weight and riding style by tim flooks at tf tuned - uk. This good old super v, once suspensions et and geometry properly and precisely tuned, is better than ever and I don't see another bike I would buy.
;)
 

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Cannondale used to have a conversion piece for using 1-1/8 forks in their Headshock/Lefty headtube. Cane Creek makes a conversion headset, and I think FSA does too.

By the way, a lot of Gemini's are using non-Cannondale forks on them.

Check out ebay, I think Monk-a-moo is selling the Cane Creek one on there.


vinny said:
2 - To those who do not ride with the Headshock - What did you throw in there for a fork, was it tough to do and how do you like it? I have the air/oil cartridge in there now but it just doesn't seem to work very well. I don't remember what the travel is on those things, but it felt like I wanted more. I would love to hear from those of you that have differing opinions or anything else to add. Thanks -
oh man, you have the solution: just switch your headshock to the Z1fr you own. I've made this set-up. I was running a lefty dlr front, but was a little too short and steepened too much the head angle on hard braking; more, the lefty does not support very well a eight inches rotor. I've mounted a '03 marzocchi Z1 fr and all my problems disappeared; It's such a great bike, a mix of strenght and reasonnable weight. I've also mounted a coil-over vanilla rc on rear, which has been specifically tuned for my weight and riding style by tim flooks at tf tuned - uk. This good old super v, once suspensions et and geometry properly and precisely tuned, is better than ever and I don't see another bike I would buy.
;)[/QUOTE]
 

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Gungadin said:
If so, are you still liking them?
oh yes! the super v active 80 was my firstfull suspension bike. I thought the only thing missing was serious travel. So I bought a sv 700 sx with the lefty in 1999. While heavily modified, I'm still riding it, and hope to do so for years to come.
Let's face it: 4.5 inches of good travel are very sufficient for serious trail bike use. I've tried many bikes with up to six inches and I can't say it offers significant performance progress over my own bike. A little better, but not a revolution. Not so significant it would justify the heavy investment in a brand new bike. What is so cool about the super v frame is solidity - much more solid than the jekyl - : you can ride for long years without any problems on it, without even changing the bearings;
That's the beauty of a good old single pivot bike.The other very good thing, at least on the frames with 4.5 inches of travel is a good suspension geometry: straigth rate. Nothing is better than a good straight rate: you can benefit of every milimeter of suspension and the advantage over a rising rate in rocky terrain is real. the downside is a relative lack of cushion on drops, but such a thing is normal: on drops, the main shock absorber lies in your body, arms and legs.
Whatever, I think it's difficult to beat a well tuned super v rear suspension. I've monted a coil over vanilla rc on the rear end - in place of the float, I've always prefered coil versus air - and recently get the shim stack precisely tuned to my weight and riding style by tf tuned in UK. Very sweet and efficient, a magnitude better than a stock shock on a jekyl by example. the straight rate keep the rear end responsive in the rough while the increased shim stack give me exacyly the cushion I needed on drops and a superb control in high speed situations. Plus, the weight is low-centered around the bottom bracket area, what make the bike very "sane", very stable and nimble in all situations and feel lighter than it is. the lack of top tube reinforce this impression.
The only drawback was the fork. While the lefty was well damped, it was too short, straigthening too much the head angle in downhills. Plus it didn't support an eight inches rotor: the clips wich retain the bearing races scratched the stanchions in hard braking situations. I've mounted a 2003 marzocchi Z1fr coil over, a marvelous fork. So no more problems. To further increase durability, I've mounted chris king disc hubs.Very sweet too.
In a word: the super v is a very well balanced design: light enough to obtain a good trail bike, strong enough to be ridden for years and to take ocasionnal abuse: downhilling in the alps, freeridng on moderate drops. A real bike, the best of two worlds. Why would you change your bike? for the fifteen more milimeters of travel you get with a heckler or a mountain cycle fury? for the 3000$ of a brand new prohet? Just ride. this is the idea in the super v: you can concentrate on riding and not on planning to buy brand new parts, bike or other thing. A good old pair of jeans. I've get mine repainted in blue.
 

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I bought a Super V700SX in 2000....

It's my first (and only so far) mountain bike. It rides great. When I shopped around I thought it was an awesome looking bike back then, especially with that lefty front fork/strut. It still rides great. I upgraded the rear rim break to a disk the first season I had it. It was just a bolt on operation as the hub and swing arm are were disk ready. But I had to take the handle bar and the upper pivot arm off the lefty so I could remove the brake lever and install the new one. It didn't fit through between the left and the steering head tube. Of course reassembly didn't need that since the disc caliper could pass through. I didn't want to have to open up the hydraulic lines and then have to bleed them on the rim brake that I removed. Disassembly was much easier. And I added the usual accessories like a cyclo- computer, fanny pack and water bottle cage.
 

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