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Tandem Cycling A bicycle built for two. Want to find out more about this wonderful world of tandems? Check out this forum to talk with other tandem enthusiasts. Captains and stokers welcome!

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Old 02-15-09, 09:03 AM   #1
scouse
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Cannondale tandem help

Hi All

I am about to buy a Cannondale tandem. I am drawn to this brand because the sizes seem reasonable for my captain/stoker combo and because I like the value for money aspect.

However, I can't decide on whether to go for the "Street" model or the "R3".

I think I prefer the R3 but I do quite a bit of city riding (lots of potholes and uneven roads) and will want to do some rails to trails.

So.....does anybody know what would be the largest tire width I can put on the stock R3 tandem???

Any other comments about the merits of these two bikes would be good too. I should add that I will get either a 2008 Street X/M or a 2009 R3 J/M which have different frame geo's.

Thanks
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Old 02-16-09, 07:43 AM   #2
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My wife and I have a Street Tandem. It is by no means a fast bike, but it is versatile and can be taken off the pavement. The seating positions are very mountain bike-ish. Its good for cruising and heavy touring. If you are looking to race, its the wrong bike. Ours is a 2007 L/M with disk brakes added.

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Old 02-16-09, 08:04 AM   #3
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I had an 07 or 08 road tandem and it would accept up to about a 700x40 tire in the rear, and maybe bigger in the front. I tend to think of the cannondale road tandems as cyclocross tandems.
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Old 02-16-09, 08:17 AM   #4
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I don't have either one, and have not spent time on either.

While we do have an older Cannondale MTB tandem, I will say it is a good performer.

While shopping for a road tandem, I did a bit of homework, both on older bikes and newer ones.

You will find if you look at the specs, that for 2008 and prior street tandems they were based off the mountain frame.

For 2009 Cannondale retired the older Road Tandem and Street Tandem frame design, plus they currently do not offer a US mountain tandem.

What they did appear to do though is utilize the basic 2009 Road Tandem design and geometry for all the bikes. The difference being the 2009 Street Tandem sports 26" wheels with 2.1" tires. I'm sure they needed to widen the seatstays slightly on the Street Tandem to fit the 2.1 tire, but other than that the frames sure appear very close to the same.

Honestly to answer your asking about the largest tire in an RT3 frame, I don't know.

Obviously these 2.1" multi purpose tires could be refitted with small profile 26" slicks if needed. Also if you needed to run 700c wheels, these would probably fit but would require converting to discs as I doubt the V brakes would line up.

If you opt away from the 2009 RT3, you might do better with the 2009 Street Tandem.

If you need a real off road bike, you might need two like some of have had to do.

Hope it helped.

PK
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Old 02-16-09, 02:43 PM   #5
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"What they did appear to do though is utilize the basic 2009 Road Tandem design and geometry for all the bikes. The difference being the 2009 Street Tandem sports 26" wheels with 2.1" tires. I'm sure they needed to widen the seatstays slightly on the Street Tandem to fit the 2.1 tire, but other than that the frames sure appear very close to the same."

While the dimensions appear to be the same, the head angle for the road 700c frames is 73*, and the street/26 inch frame has a 71* head angle. I would expect the handling to be quite different.
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Old 02-16-09, 03:55 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by dfcas View Post
"What they did appear to do though is utilize the basic 2009 Road Tandem design and geometry for all the bikes. The difference being the 2009 Street Tandem sports 26" wheels with 2.1" tires. I'm sure they needed to widen the seatstays slightly on the Street Tandem to fit the 2.1 tire, but other than that the frames sure appear very close to the same."

While the dimensions appear to be the same, the head angle for the road 700c frames is 73*, and the street/26 inch frame has a 71* head angle. I would expect the handling to be quite different.
My apologies on that, my small brain thought it was figured out and missed one detail. My main focus was that the 2008 street tandem and 2009 street tandem use what seems to be entirely different bases. 2008 is MTB based where the 2009 is more road based.

Now I really question some of this as when I place the 2009 Street Tandem and Road Tandem geometry charts side by side, all numbers are identical except headtube angle.

How can it be possible to have two different head angles, while having identical fork rake, trail and wheelbase?

Something is crazy somewhere, maybe it's me.

PK
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Old 02-16-09, 04:17 PM   #7
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I have nothing better than a guess as to the largest tires that the R3 will take. However, I would note that it comes spec'd with 28c, which should be sufficient for riding rough streets, and hard packed dirt.

My bet is it will take at least a 32c (otherwise they might has well spec'd it with caliper brakes).

For me the question would depend on how I was going to use it. Relatively long rides on road, and rides with groups, I'd want the R3. Lots of off road, riding gnarlier than a smooth packed trail, I might ocnsider the Street.
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Old 02-16-09, 06:52 PM   #8
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Thanks.....trigger pulled

Thanks folks. As ever I am amazed and impressed by how much info one can get on this forum. Many thanks for the response.

Well...after lots of research (much of it on this site) I have pulled the trigger and bought a 2008 street tandem. My first tandem!

My son will be my stoker and since most of our riding is quite utilitarian (commuting and recreation) and often on trails I decided the Street version was just more practical and straight forward.

Hopefully as the learning curve develops I can actually contribute to this forum rather than just ask for advice and help.

Again....many thanks!!!

Ride on

Dave
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Old 02-16-09, 06:58 PM   #9
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To paraphrase ZonaTandem

Enjoy Twogether.
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Old 02-17-09, 07:36 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by PMK View Post
My apologies on that, my small brain thought it was figured out and missed one detail. My main focus was that the 2008 street tandem and 2009 street tandem use what seems to be entirely different bases. 2008 is MTB based where the 2009 is more road based.

Now I really question some of this as when I place the 2009 Street Tandem and Road Tandem geometry charts side by side, all numbers are identical except headtube angle.

How can it be possible to have two different head angles, while having identical fork rake, trail and wheelbase?

Something is crazy somewhere, maybe it's me.

PK

I suspect the charts are wrong, which is not unusual in my experience. I suspect the street would have a longer front center, longer wheelbase, and different trail. Not that it matters, but the brake mounts would be located in a different place, so the forks may also be different in height or rake.
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Old 02-17-09, 12:28 PM   #11
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This forum is a good place to get tandem info/opinions.
Either street/R3 tandem by C'dale is a fine choice as their bikes are quite adapatable.
Pedal on TWOgether!
Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
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