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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 07-17-04, 09:56 AM   #1
jrisles
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Hi There

I am looking at purchasing a second hand tandem for my wife and myself and apart from the various differences of componentry and gruppo's etc that exists between one Cannondale model and another. Is there actually any difference between the actual construction of these tandems. For example does say a Cannondale RT2000 frame (built in 2000 & no longer available from Cannondale) differ from say the latest Cannondale Road Tandem Rt1000 (built 2004)?

And is say last years Cannondale RT3000 better than this years Cannondale RT1000? Is it only the components that seperates one Cannondale bike from another .. or are there real differences in the frames?

Look forward to reading your replies.

regards
Jeff
Brisbane, Australia
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Old 07-17-04, 08:05 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by jrisles
...does say a Cannondale RT2000 frame (built in 2000 & no longer available from Cannondale) differ from say the latest Cannondale Road Tandem Rt1000 (built 2004)? And is say last years Cannondale RT3000 better than this years Cannondale RT1000?
Cannondale's road tandem (RT) frames have remained unchanged since 1999, which is when they applied their CAAD technology to a complete redesign.
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Old 07-18-04, 11:10 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by livngood
Cannondale's road tandem (RT) frames have remained unchanged since 1999, which is when they applied their CAAD technology to a complete redesign.
True, but the fork has recently changed to enable a disc up front. I am sure this is obvious to you Jeff.

Thanks Mark for your knowedge and imput as always.
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Old 07-18-04, 12:13 PM   #4
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True, but the fork has recently changed to enable a disc up front. I am sure this is obvious to you Jeff.
Well yes, there is that to consider... Good catch.
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Old 07-18-04, 06:00 PM   #5
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So with disc brakes attached this tandem is it possible to still attach a drum brake?? And if you have disc brakes would you require a drum brake if you are carrying a heavy load for touring?? Which brings me to my next quesion. I have heard somewhere along the internet grape vine that C'Dale tandems are not pre-drilled to take front panniers?? Is this correct?

So as far as frames goes the 2000 RT2000 road tandem is exactly the same as today's RT1000 model (excluding the forks of course).

Thanks for the replies.

Jeff
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Old 07-18-04, 08:32 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by jrisles
So with disc brakes attached this tandem is it possible to still attach a drum brake??
Yes and no.

First, the NO answer. If you're talking about the rear wheel, disc and drum brakes are mutually exclusive; it's one or the other. And, to complicate matters, Cannondale's RT tandems have been fitted with disc-brake compatible rear hubs since '01 (perhaps even '00) so fitting a drum "could" require a new rear wheel if a drum WAS a requirement. On the bright side, last time I checked Cannondale still includes a "pac-man" fitting on the left chainstay for use with the Arai drum brakes so at least the frame is good-to-go even if the hubs aren't. Of course, people change wheels so if you're buying a second hand Cannondale you'll just need to check and see what type of hub it is fitted with.

Here's the YES answer. You could conceivably run a disc brake on the front wheel with a rim brake and/or an Arai drum brake in the rear. In some respects, this wouldn't be a bad set-up for some teams. Again, as noted above, you'll need to figure out what hubset is on any used C'dale you are considering to determine if they are Arai drum or disc rotor compatible.


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Originally Posted by jrisles
And if you have disc brakes would you require a drum brake if you are carrying a heavy load for touring??

This is like an economics question in that the answer is, "it depends": How heavy is the team, what kind of terrain are you planning to tackle with full panniers, and how fast (or slow) do you like to go on descents? It's a stretch to say that dual disc brakes are a proven system for road tandems, let alone loaded touring on road tandems.

There are only a few custom builders who have been fitting them to tandems for about 2 or 3 years now and, for the most part, the bikes were built with an eye towards fully supported touring in the Alps and other European mountains where about the only luggage on the tandems are trunk and/or handlebar packs. In these applications, even teams weighing into the high 300's have reported very good results with the dual disc set-ups. However, most of the teams are fond of aggressive descents and are not bothered by the requirement for lots of hand-action on the brake levers as they modulate braking between the front & rear to spread the "work" on the steep switchbacks.

If you are an above average size team and/or will be touring fully loaded and encounter steep descents, the installation of a rear drum drag brake IS the smart choice. While not sexy, the Arai drum brake has proven to be a no-brainer for touring tandems. Not only is the Arai a time-proven, reliable brake that can take lots of abuse, it is still the only true "set and forget" drag-brake that can be safely operated via a friction shifter on either the captain or stoker's handlebar end or tops. We happen to have a couple of older Hope mechanical disc drag brakes on our road tandems and, as good as they are for our needs (which aren't great -- 275lb team who does not ride with panniers), they would be a poor choice for loaded touring compared to the Arai.

Again, the catch with a Cannondale RT Model is finding out what type of rear hub is fitted to the tandem. While there are thread-on disc adapters that allow an Arai drum compatible hub to be used with a disc rotor, it doesn't work the other way around.


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Originally Posted by jrisles
I have heard somewhere along the internet grape vine that C'Dale tandems are not pre-drilled to take front panniers?? Is this correct?
That may have been an issue with the very early Cannondale tandems, but I'm fairly confident all of the post '99 models have the necessary braze-ons (drop-out & mid-fork leg) for a front pannier rack, e.g., Tubus, etc... On the off-chance that I'm dreaming, the forks are chomo and having braze-ons added is an easy and inexpensive thing for any frame-shop to address. I even seem to recall that when C'dale was using it's Aluminum "Pepperoni" forks that they too had braze-ons but those forks pre-date the model year C'dales you have been looking at / referencing.



Quote:
Originally Posted by jrisles
So as far as frames goes the 2000 RT2000 road tandem is exactly the same as today's RT1000 model (excluding the forks of course).
Yes. The colors change every year, but the frames remain the same. You will find some variation in frame design between different size road tandems in that I believe the Medium/Small road frames have a drop-down top tube for the captain, similar to their post '99 mountain bikes to provide for additional standover clearance. The larger road frames have a conventional top tube.

Last edited by livngood; 07-18-04 at 08:38 PM.
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