Wow -- Thanks for all the feedback! I had no idea this topic would have this much response. I think it is a good thing ... so we can all learn from it.
I think those who have mentioned that stoker handlebar/stem is too far back and up are definitely correct in their assessment. I sat on the stoker seat for the first time last night as I was trying to determine what could be done ... and to understand better what my stokers have explained to me. Let me say ... there is NO better way to understand as to actually experience it for yourself. I didn't ride as a stoker, but I sat back there and pedaled backward and understood what they explained.
The stoker's TT length is exactly 27" ... and the specs say 27.1" ... so close enough. And, from what my LBS owner states, this is a pretty standard length ... if not a little longer than others. In fact, he pulled down a Burley tandem that was a larger overall frame than mine and measured it. It had a 26.5" stoker TT. So, that made me feel better.
And, to clarify, according to the Cannondale 2006 specs on the Road tandem ... you have to go with a X/M before you get a longer stoker TT.
Yes, I did add the extension and stem to the stock seat post stoker handlebar insert from Tandem's East ... based upon my original stoker's request to have a more upright position when riding. However, I never really understood how truly upright and compact it was until last night.
Okay ... so I removed the extension and used the stock extension which keeps the handlebars under the seat. But, kept the new stem (attached to the insert). This keeps the handlebars farther UP. Here's the reason for this ... and the reason I think there is still a bit of an issue with tweaking the stoker compartment:
I am only 5' 6.5" tall with a 29" inseam. My saddle heigth only allows SO MUCH seat tube for the stoker's handlebars to be raised. Thus, any stoker over let's say ... taller than 5' 2" or so ... will have handlebars that are a tad too low compared to their own seat heigth ... giving them the experience of leaning over too much or having their hands/arms lower than they would on a single. Does this make sense?
So, I now have the stoker handlebars as far forward and up under my seat as possible. However, the top of the handlebars are lower than the stoker's seat (in 98% of the cases) ... and maybe too low for some stokers who will have a higher seat heigth to be totally comfortable. And, the stoker computer on the handlebar cannot be in it's normal position due to the handlebar being so close to the bottom of the seat. I had to move the computer "out" closer to the normal hand on top of handlebar location. But, even then ... it sticks me in the bottom of my rear end when I'm on the saddle ... so I had to tilt it down so much that I doubt the stoker can actually see it very easily.
Trials and tribulations with tweaking! Are there any other shorter captains out there where due to their low seat heigth, the stoker's handlebars cannot be adjusted/tweaked as needed? If so, how are you handling it?
Also -- can anyone recommend or suggest a seat tube that has more extension on it ... that sets the seat back farther away from the handlebars ... that isn't overly expensive?
I think I will go ahead and get some regular drop handlebars and give that a whirl also.
Another question: Is there any kind of adapter I can use to mount the stoker computer on the stem ... perpendicular to the regular mount so I can move it off the handlebar?
Thanks for any suggestions and comments!