As noted in a thread from a few weeks ago I had mentioned that I was going to change a few things on our 2005 Cannondale Road Tandem. I go a lot of helpful, and some not so, suggestions from the good folks here. I have since started on the upgrade process and I am happy to report that so far things are going well.
First thing changed were the Avid BB-7 Disc Brakes w/ 203mm rotors. In went Avid Single Digit 7 Linear Pull brakes. Amazingly this swap removed 1.3 pounds of weight off the bike. On our Sunday ride the brakes worked well, but now I also understand why CDale is equipping their new bikes with Travel Agents. The SD-7 need a lot of cable pull, almost too much for the STI levers, but since I usually adjust brake pads very close to the rim I had enough cable pull to lock up the brakes. We only experienced pad rub on one small section of uphill when we decided we wanted to stay up with the hammerheads on the ride. Still being anal, I will be equipping the brakes with Travel Agents, so that I can back off the pads just a bit. The other thing was the rear brake noodle was noticed by Bittersweet (my stoker/daughter) as it slightly brushed the back of her leg on every pedal stoke. Didn't effect braking but it annoyed her just the same, and as every tandem couple knows the Stoker is always right!
Next up was the fork. Out came the Cannondale Tandem Specific Fatty, all 1009 grams of it. In went a Nashbar/Winwood Carbon Cross fork. The Fork came in at just under 700 grams. An added bonus, is that I knew it would change the handling, I just didn't expect it to make such a big difference. At any speed over about 10 mph the Dale just got more stable, the faster we went the less jittery the front end was. I don't understand why Cannondale specifies this tandem with so little trail. Of course the carbon fork also smoothed out some of the road buzz. So far so good on the frame upgrades.
I have a narrower handlebar that will go on to replace the 46cm bars currently on it. Not on yet. Will be building some new wheels also. I decided to go clincher, even though I believe tubulars would be a great option. Problem was, even though I found a lot of 25-28mm wide tubulars, they were almost exclusively knobby cross tires. I will update with more miles and once the wheels are built.