I'm a bit overwhelmed by rack/pannier options out there so thought I would ask for help. Our temporary solution of having the stoker wear a messenger bag is getting old, so I think it's time to invest in a rack. We have a 2008 Cannondale Road Tandem 3 (so no disc brakes). What do I need to know in shopping for a rack and panniers, and does anyone have suggestions? I can't actually find what the spacing on the rear dropouts is from the Cannondale website, but I'm not sure if that matters?
We are not planning on carrying anything too big or heavy: just a lock, maybe a couple of bottles of wine that we pick up on rides, lunch, layers that we strip off. We only do one day rides, so no need for any overnight touring gear.
For loads that light, a clamp-to-the-seatpost rack with expandable trunkbag can do the trick instead of panniers (unless stoker uses a suspension seatpost, which is quite likely on an alu tandem).
Otherwise any rear rack will do; you may have to spread out the rack legs a bit to fit the eyelets on rear of tandem.
If you are not into carrying mega-loads or planning hefty touring we'd skip actual panniers.
We pretty well keep our expanable trunk bag on the twicer year round, as we do stop by for groceries or a couple loaves of bread at our favorite store.
Comes in handy in cooler weather to store those jackets/arm warmers as the temps climb up a bit.
Just our experience/input.
Pedal on TWOgether!
Rudy and Kay/zonatandem