Tandem Cycling - I am serious about this tandem. What do you think??
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07-30-04, 06:59 AM
My wife and i are looking at purchasing our first tandem and I am wanting your opinion of my impending purchase of this tandem that is for sale on ebay.
Cannondale Tandem RT3000 2002 Model (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=58091&item=3691017355&rd=1#ebayphotohosting)
This is listed as a L/S (20"/17") frame which according to Cannondale has the following frame geometry;
Cannondale RT3000 Tandem Frame Geometry 2002 Model (http://www.cannondale.com/bikes/02/geo-13.html)
Captain: 50.8cm (20") centre to top seat tube
Stoker: 43.2cm (17") centre to top seat tube
Captain: 56.1cm (22.1") Top Tube length centre to centre
Stoker: 68.8 (27.1") Top Tube length centre to centre (although this is somewhat irrelevant when compared to my wife's single frame)
Our respective single frames are;
Mine - 59cm (23") Seat Tube with a 59cm (23") Top Tube.
Hers - 49cm (19") Seat Tube with a 53cm (21") Top Tube.
Do you think that this bicycle is too small for us?? I really dig these colours and for what you get i think it is good value also. Who knows by the time i get all the information i need someone may have beaten me too it!!! I really would like this bike to fit us!!
Your comments would be greatly appreciated. For what it is worth my mountain bike has similar frame measurements to this tandem for me. Can you actually purhase a bicycle with 700c wheels that is the same dimensions as your mountain bike?? I mean by having a smaller frame i see many more benefits. It would be stiffer (more compact frame, not as much lateral flex - not that this would be a major concern with big beefy C'Dale tubes) and by having frame on the smallish side it would also weigh less.
So should i take the plunge or not?? I really would like too.
cheers guys and as always your thoughts and opinions are always appreciated.
07-30-04, 08:01 AM
You would appear to be in the middle of the L/ and the XL/ sizing spec. with a slight bias towards XL. However, my "guess" without seeing the set-up on your personal bike (reach/handlebar position relative to seat & seat height/set back) is that you could make due with this size tandem as a first tandem. You would most likely need to get a longer stem with the appropriate rise to correct the handlebar position relative to your seat height and you may need a longer than stock seat post to make up for the 3" difference in seat tube length.
Again, this is just chin scratching based on the numbers. You'd really need to check the net seat height between your current rig and the dimensions on the C'dale to assess how much seat post mast will be exposed as well as the reach from your saddle nose to the handlebars to assess the probable stem length. If you find that you'd have an inordinate amount of seat post mast exposed or that you needed an exceptionally long stem to correct your reach then you'd probably need the next size up.
No guarantee or warranty of this information is implied, but I did sleep at a Holiday Inn Express last night....
07-30-04, 08:23 AM
Looking at the photos of the tandem you are referrring to, here are a couple questions you'd want to ask the seller:
1. What is the distance between the pedal axle in its lowest position and the top of the saddle?
2. What is the distance between the nose of the saddle and the handlebars?
3. What size cassette will come on the bike?
You'll obviously want to compare the numbers you get back with your own road bike. The stem that's on the tandem is pretty long with a good deal of rise so it's about maxed-out in that regard. The seat height is about even with the bars so there may be some additional rise buried in there if needed, depending on if you ride with your seat equal to or above the tops of your handlebars. Finally, the cassette on the tandem looks to be no more than a 12x27. These things came with 11x34. This may or may not be a big deal, but don't let it be a surprise.
Also, while the RT3000 was $3300 (USD) in '03, the '04 RT is now $2,250 (USD) and includes Avid disc brakes front & rear. Yes, the Ultegra cranks are nice, but the Truvativ cranks are quite nice too. Just something to keep in mind in that C'dale really did a dis-service to the resale value of it's prior year tandems when it drastically lowered the price on its two '04 tandem offerings. Also bear in mind, you will not have any warranty coverage as the second owner of the used tandem. All that said, his asking price is probably about right, but at the high end of the scale. Therefore, you'll want to be sure your costs for shipping and any applicable duty are factored into your decision since that would put your acquisition cost a few notches up. You'd need to look at that vs. the cost of a new Cannondale as I believe you can buy them down under.
Just some food for thought.
07-30-04, 08:35 AM
Thanks for the replies LG. The tandem in question is actually a 2002 model. I just think the seller purchased it in 2003. If you check out the Cannondale website and take a look at their '02 models and '03 models you see that this tandem is a '02 model NOT a '03 model as indicated. I have already pointed this out to the seller.
RT3000 Cannondale Tandem - 2002 Model (http://www.cannondale.com/bikes/02/cusa/model-2RT3.html)
RT3000 Cannondale Tandem - 2003 Model (http://www.cannondale.com/bikes/03/cusa/model-3RT3.html)
As for your comments regarding it is possible to purchase these downunder yes it is .. but i know that i can save a fortune by purchasing one over in the States and have it shipped out to me (even with the shipping costs i get it almost $AU1,000.00 less than if i were to purchase it in a shop here.)
I always thought that the '02 & '03 RT3000 models were much better than the '04 RT1000 model??
I need to do some more measurements on my single bike. I also believe that it is better to ride "smaller" on a tandem than you normally would on with your single? But i guess the question here is how small is too small??
07-30-04, 08:40 AM
Actually when you compare the link to the Cannondale website of the '02 model and the one posted on ebay. The ebay looks very stock standard. Therefore according the specs for the '02 model it "should" have 9 speed r.derauilleur with a 11-34 spread as you have rightly suggested.
07-30-04, 09:15 AM
I always thought that the '02 & '03 RT3000 models were much better than the '04 RT1000 model??
If it's an '02, then his asking price is a bit high. As for "much better"... that's tough to quantify:
Different derailleurs: 105 FD vs Ultegra FD (-$10), XT RD vs XTR RD (-$50)
Front derailleurs all work the same, although the XTR is a bit better RD than the XT but even the '03 RT3000 had the XT RD. That said, I think the only place the XTR's better performance shines is in off-road applications.
Different cranks: Truvativ Tandem vs Ultegra Tandem (-$150?)
The Ultegra's look nice and are a few grams lighter, but they work the same.
Different Brakes: Avid Dual Disc vs rim brakes (+$200)
Net difference is ~$50. Everything else is pretty much the same in the big scheme of things; frames haven't changed since '99.
As for sizing, I have never been able to figure out how folks got it into their minds that a road tandem should be fitted any different that a road bike that was ridden under similar conditions. If you road your single bike hard but kicked-back on the tandem for touring, that would justify having a more upright riding position, but that's about it.
07-30-04, 09:29 AM
In our opinion, it is better to err on a wee bit too small than a wee bit to large when getting a tandem.
If you currently ride a mountain bike about that size it could be a decent fit, alhough you may need to fiddle around a bit with seatpost/stem.
Weight/color are not as much of an issue as proper fit. On the other hand, if you buy it and you're not happy with it, the resale in Australia for that bike should not be too bad.
If you need to resell it because of fit or whatever, you'd not loose much or any $$.
Just a thought and good luck!
Pedal on TWOgether!
Rudy and Kay/Zona tandem
I looked at a lg/sm 2003 Cannondale yesterday and the front top tube measured only 55 cm. That is a long way from your single bike top tube.
07-30-04, 09:39 PM
Hi Dzoo .. according to the C'Dale website. The geometry sizing for this model C'dale is 56.1cm for the top tube. This is ONLY 3cm (1") over my ususal geometry. Not a major discrepancy.
My biggest concern is the length of the seat tube. This model C'dale has a seat tube length of 50.8cm (or 20") and this is measured from centre to TOP, not centre to centre. Should the measurement be centre to centre than i would expect it to be perhaps 1-2cm shorter again. Like 49.8 0r 48.8 (about 19"). With these sorts of measurements there is about a 10cm (4") difference with my road bike and this tandem. But as i stated in my earlier posting my mountain bike has seat post length of 50cm (which is 9cm difference) than my current single bike. And i don't mind this size frame for a mountain bike. Sure i have a longer seat post and a longer stem but most bikes do these days.
Look at the new "Compact Frame" geometries. These days when one goes to purchase a compact frame they "appear" to be quite smaller than what they would ride on a traditional geometry frame size. I mean these "compact" frames only come in Lge, Med or Small. There are no centimetre increments with these types of frames. And you know now that i think about it .. i could perhaps regard this as a compact frame?? Due to the fact that C'dale tandems do have sloping top tubes. (Can't you see that i am really trying to justify the purchase of this tandem .. lol .. ;-) ). My heart is telling me to buy it but my head is telling me otherwise. If this tandem was a X/S, instead of a L/S i would have bought it by now.
Thanks again for your reply. It is good to work these things out with like minded people.
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