Saturday, January 05, 2008

Curtis Corlew 1987 Cannondale Black Lightning

I haven't always been the age I am now. Twenty years ago I was about 20 years younger. I'd just purchased my Cannondale Black Lightning and was a might concerned about the new technology... indexed shifting. But I was a modern guy, note the Cateye Solar computer on the bars. so I didn't set the downtude shifters to friction.
It's hard to remember how wild this bike looked at the time. It had fat aluminum tubes in the land of skinny steel tubes. It was a rocket from Mars, even if I was a slug from Walnut Creek.
But I looked pretty cool, huh?


  1. Anonymous9:23 PM

    I purchased a Black Lightning in 1988 (had to pay increments on lay-a-way as it was about $800! It has been in storage for twenty years, but was tuned at Jones Bicycles in Cerritos in 1996 and promptly stored again.
    Last week I finally took it to Orange Cycle to have it professionally gone over and I'll pick it up on 11/20. It probably has less than 400 miles on it since new. I was riding from Newport Beach to a Ralphs market in Huntington Beach (1989)and the Lightning was nearly stolen several times.
    So now it's time to ride, again, on a USA-built superbike!

  2. Hi All - I have just reassembled my Black Lightning and taken it out for a wee spin. I remember thinking it was to fast to get any exercise. I love it. I gave up smoking and am trying to re knit my life. Can hardly believe that I left it sitting alone for so long. I am trying to find out its year, I think it was an '87 and have some belief that some one that actually knows would be able to tell from the components. Sancin hubs with Mafac chrome magnesium rims and stainless steel spokes. Suntour gear changers and cranks.Dura ace brakes and a Cinelli seat. Sound familiar?
    Thanks! Tony Baloney.

  3. Tony, I don't know that they sipped a suntour/dura ace mix. Maybe your bike was blessed with aftermarket upgrades? The 87 had a Suntour Sprint drive train and a Cinelli seat.

  4. It is possible that there were upgrades or alterations but I bought mine new form Pedal Power in Lexington Kentuckily in the late '80,s. There were no other reference examples. I don't think it was in 1987, but remember hearing that the bike they had was a 1987 and that the new components were not as nice as these. Normally I would presume that a bicycle (or any other production article) sold as new would be standard issue if the variance is un noted. I can assure yo that it has a caonnondale nhandcrafted heat tyreated aluminum&cinelli seat with what looks like 888 in the serial number but the bottoms of the figures are missing from the ones that look like eight5

  5. I have an 88 Black Lightning and my brakes say dia that suntour? everything else is suntour.

  6. Anonymous12:32 PM

    the year is in the serial #


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