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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 09-25-09, 09:55 AM   #1
wobblyoldgeezer
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Cannondale rt 2

I just posted this in the 50+ forum where there are many tandem riders, but I'm grateful for all advice

So, again

Good evening all

Any of you keen tandem riders got an opinion about the bike cited in the thread title above, for long distance rides?

Spouse'o mine and I took a trial ride on one a few weeks ago. We both were very impressed - compared to our 20 year old Santana, it seemed extremely zippy - and the shifting and the braking were a whole generation better than ours. Made us feel like athletes, much faster for same output.

But, I'm wondering - it felt pretty responsive, but maybe a bit 'twangy' if that expresses anything. Not arsh, but a bit less absorbent of road buzz. Which is only what I might expect from a tandem half the weight of the one I have.

I'm asking, because for our 25th anniversary I'm tinkering about buying one and joining an outfitted tour from Calais to the Mediterrean. Could do it on singles, andthat'd begood, but to stay happy on a quick tandem would be ever better.

All advice and views thankfully received
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Old 09-25-09, 11:28 AM   #2
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We rode or 2005 Cannondale on Bike Virginia for 300 miles in 5 days and the bike did great. We did not carry any gear, just the trunk pack with snacks, tools and rain gear.
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Old 09-25-09, 11:31 AM   #3
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Lighter means faster with less effort and the aluminum frame is going to give a more stiff feel for the road than than a steel frame. For an outfitted tour, it should make it both easier and more fun and enjoyable!


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Old 09-25-09, 10:21 PM   #4
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Our C'dale tandem rides like a dream. We're not exactly a lightweight team. It flexes just a tad but always provides a reassuring feel. When we had it heavily weighted down during our tour last summer it was predictable and confidence-inspiring.

We love it. However, I can't compare to other tandems as this is the first we've owned.

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Old 09-26-09, 08:46 AM   #5
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Can't comment on Cannondale, but if traveling to Europe, I'd give long and serious consideration to a coupled tandem. It varies by airline, but at least some are charging hundreds of dollars each way. We don't pay anything extra, since ours fits into regulation suitcases.
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Old 09-26-09, 10:33 AM   #6
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Can't comment on Cannondale, but if traveling to Europe, I'd give long and serious consideration to a coupled tandem. It varies by airline, but at least some are charging hundreds of dollars each way. We don't pay anything extra, since ours fits into regulation suitcases.
Thanks all for your comments - very encouraging

About the couplers - I'm a Brit, living in Bahrain (Middle East) and test rode the Cannondale in UK during a recent vacation, and I think it's only right to buy the bike from the shop that let me test it - so I'd buy it there, do the French tour, and swallow the excess baggage charge to bring it back to Bahrain, which would be less than the shipping cost anyway!
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Old 09-27-09, 03:40 PM   #7
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We have a "07 C'dale and it has been great. Together we are under 300lbs so the light weight and stiffness works well for us. We do a lot of riding with singles lately and the riding works out very well. On the flat to slightly dwn hill we approach 30mph and the singles like riding in the slip-stream foa as long as they can. It is our first tandem, looking at price and the overall usefullness it is a great ride. We did the ETR this year and had a ball. We live in NH so this bike does make riding hills fun and chading down singles and more fun! Not bad for a couple 50's!
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Old 10-01-09, 03:08 PM   #8
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We retired last year at age 65 and bought our first tandem. We were lucky enough to find a brand new 2004 Cannondale Road with disk brakes in large/medium. We are very happy riders. I'm 6'3" and 235 lbs, my wife is 5' 4-1/2" at 115. The longest 1 day ride so far was the 53 mile medium ride at the Midwest Tandem Ralley last month. Top speed on the big downhill was 36 mph. So far we have enjoyed over 1600 miles of trouble free riding. Great handling, shifting, and braking. Hope you enjoy your Cannondale as much as we have enjoyed ours.
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Old 10-16-09, 08:19 AM   #9
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Can anyone tell me how much this C'dale T2 weighs? Thanks
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Old 10-16-09, 08:33 AM   #10
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Can anyone tell me how much this C'dale T2 weighs? Thanks
Just venturing a guess it feels like the low to mid 30 range. My single is a 17 lb C'dale and there does not feel like a major difference. Compared to some of the other bikes I hve lifted this one feels light.
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Old 10-16-09, 08:50 AM   #11
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I would suspect if the Dale is in the 30 pound weight range it is at the highest levels. Our '02 Dale road tandem was 34+ pounds after we stripped it down and installed lighter wheels and fork.

Also, weighing a tandem without pedals seems disingenuous somehow as a bike without pedals is not roadworthy.
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Old 10-16-09, 09:17 AM   #12
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Just venturing a guess it feels like the low to mid 30 range. My single is a 17 lb C'dale and there does not feel like a major difference. Compared to some of the other bikes I hve lifted this one feels light.
You can easily evaluate how gross weight changes in a tandem will 'feel' by adding or removing dead weight from the frame, e.g., add or remove water bottles filled with... water, pennies whatever you need to achieve the weight difference you're looking for. It's not exact since the weight distribution is focused, but it's close enough to approximate what you'll experience in terms of the influence on acceleration, climbing or lifting the thing over your head to put it on top of a car. Just be sure that your water bottle cages are either strong enough to hold anything other than water and/or are temporarily secured with some Duck/Duct tape or a bungee cord.

If you a place to carry water for a long ride test, use a camelbak. Now, before you say that carrying water on a camelbak won't make the bike any lighter go take your clothes off and look in a mirror and then ask yourself, "Just how much added-value is there to be had in trimming weight off the bike?"

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Old 10-16-09, 10:37 AM   #13
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If you a place to carry water for a long ride test, use a camelbak. Now, before you say that carrying water on a camelbak won't make the bike any lighter go take your clothes off and look in a mirror and then ask yourself, "Just how much added-value is there to be had in trimming weight off the bike?"

I hate being fat and slow, but it seems to help going down hills...your post about the mirror must be Halloween induced, it's just scary

PK

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Old 10-16-09, 11:19 AM   #14
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You can easily evaluate how gross weight changes in a tandem will 'feel' by adding or removing dead weight from If you a place to carry water for a long ride test, use a camelbak.

Hate to say it but camelbacks on a Tandem are the best thing you can do. We found early on that any movement by the stoker will affect the handling- and I don't fancy the pilot riding one handed while he has a drink.

We use the camelbacks on every ride but still carry bottles for emergency's- OR topping up the canelbacks.
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Old 10-16-09, 11:26 AM   #15
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You can easily evaluate how gross weight changes in a tandem will 'feel' by adding or removing dead weight from the frame, e.g., add or remove water bottles filled with... water, pennies whatever you need to achieve the weight difference you're looking for.
... and if I want to know what taking off 5 lb from a bike without water bottles would be ... water bottles filled with ... helium?
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Old 10-16-09, 11:29 AM   #16
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... water bottles filled with ... helium?
Or nothing...

But, nice try...
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Old 10-16-09, 02:02 PM   #17
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There was a comment posted here http://http://www.bikeforums.net/sho...d.php?t=594883 which suggeted replacing the C'dale aluminum fork with a carbon one to reduce weight; might be a way to lessen the twang you felt.
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Old 10-16-09, 02:54 PM   #18
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There was a comment posted here http://http://www.bikeforums.net/sho...d.php?t=594883 which suggeted replacing the C'dale aluminum fork with a carbon one to reduce weight; might be a way to lessen the twang you felt.
Your link is broken,

The thread you are referring to is still near the top of the page, but others have also made that switch before. If I recall our Cannondale Fatty Tandem fork was nearly 1kg (2+ pounds), the Winwood Muddy Cross was just over 500 grams, a significant weight savings but also a much better ride with the less stiff and more forgiving carbon fork.
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Old 10-16-09, 06:44 PM   #19
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I think an aluminum tandem is great for entry level, but I would have reservations about the material on a second tandem, one that you're apt to use for many more years. Aluminum is a disposable metal; anytime it flexes, it is "work-hardening," forming microscopic cracks, becoming more brittle, until it reaches the point where it breaks. Aluminum frames are harsh-riding because they are designed not to flex - their longevity depends on not flexing. Lack of flex is great for track frames, or even for road racing frames for pros who will throw away the frame after one season or less. Anytime you flex an aluminum frame, you are shortening its life, unlike steel or carbon fiber, which are designed to flex up to a point before damage starts happening, and that point is certainly greater than for aluminum, which has no threshold for flex.

So, from a cost and durability standpoint, I would favor a steel tandem, preferably with couplers (what's the point of having a tandem unless you can fly to different places with it?).

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Old 10-16-09, 09:32 PM   #20
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Aluminum is a disposable metal; anytime it flexes, it is "work-hardening," forming microscopic cracks, becoming more brittle, until it reaches the point where it breaks. Aluminum frames are harsh-riding because they are designed not to flex - their longevity depends on not flexing. Lack of flex is great for track frames, or even for road racing frames for pros who will throw away the frame after one season or less. Anytime you flex an aluminum frame, you are shortening its life, unlike steel or carbon fiber, which are designed to flex up to a point before damage starts happening, and that point is certainly greater than for aluminum, which has no threshold for flex.

Luis

While aluminum is known to be stiff, and there is plenty of reading about modulus of elasticity, in regards to aluminum, titanium and steel, anything can fail.

Carbon or graphite fibres obtain elasticity in conjunction with a proper matrix.

The statement about micro cracks is misleading. This becomes a concern under high cyclic stress, which if a structure is properly designed should be so low to not be a concern. If the component can induce these cracks easily, it is either not meeting material spec, poorly designed, or designed for a limited life.

In regards to carbon being absent from these stress cracks, earlier this week I had a discussion with a pre-preg supplier about carbon laminates developing micro stress cracks in the matrix on flight critical parts. This is making some of the aerospace guys rethink and heading back towards aluminum for some components. A large area of concern should focus on inter-laminate shearing. With thin cross section laminates of proper rigidity, this again should be of little concern.

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Old 10-16-09, 10:51 PM   #21
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I'm asking, because for our 25th anniversary I'm tinkering about buying one and joining an outfitted tour from Calais to the Mediterrean. Could do it on singles, andthat'd begood, but to stay happy on a quick tandem would be ever better.

All advice and views thankfully received
You could see about this used Calfee Tetra on the London Craiglist.

CALFEE TETRA -TETRA TANDEM BICYCLE CARBON - 1300



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Headset Chris King Black
Shifters 105 9 spd
Brakes Ultegra
Pedals none
Seatposts Easton EC 70 Coda suspension stoker
Saddles Flite captian , womens Fizik stoker
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Crankset Zipp Carbon 175mm captian 170mm stoker 53- 42 -30 39T timing Rings Convertable

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Interesting crankset, apparently a Zipp 300 using an ISIS BB, but this has never been in a tandem version has it, or even a triple?
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Old 10-17-09, 09:11 PM   #22
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let's see, according to a currency converter, that would be about $2117. A round trip ticket to London costs ? and the surcharge to bring a bike back?
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Old 10-17-09, 09:50 PM   #23
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I'm interested in your comment on road buzz. One of the reasons I bought a steel Santana was the curious lack of road buzz. In general, my wife and I found it to be very comfortable. It may not be as fast as some other bikes, but it handles quite well and we can go long distances (granted, we've done half centuries, not REAL centuries) without feeling beat up at the end of the day. Unless your frame is just shot, why don't you consider updating the bike you've got with 10 speed brifters, new upscale wheels, and good brakes?
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Old 10-18-09, 04:15 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by lhbernhardt View Post
I think an aluminum tandem is great for entry level, but I would have reservations about the material on a second tandem, one that you're apt to use for many more years. Aluminum is a disposable metal; anytime it flexes, it is "work-hardening," forming microscopic cracks, becoming more brittle, until it reaches the point where it breaks. Aluminum frames are harsh-riding because they are designed not to flex - their longevity depends on not flexing. Lack of flex is great for track frames, or even for road racing frames for pros who will throw away the frame after one season or less. Anytime you flex an aluminum frame, you are shortening its life, unlike steel or carbon fiber, which are designed to flex up to a point before damage starts happening, and that point is certainly greater than for aluminum, which has no threshold for flex.

So, from a cost and durability standpoint, I would favor a steel tandem, preferably with couplers (what's the point of having a tandem unless you can fly to different places with it?).

Luis
Nonsense.

Aluminum does have some issues with fatigue, but the cycles are completely different. Aluminum does fatigue, but since the Cannondale tandem is so stiff (compared to a wriggly inefficient flexy steel tandem) that it isn't really cycled as much.

I'm 375lbs nowadays and have nothing anymore but Cannondales. Two Cannondale Tandems a 1992 and 1996, a 1989 Cannondale 3.0 road bike, a 1986 ST800 Cannondale touring bike, etc. If someone was going to see one of these bikes fail it would be me. We have almost 600lbs on our tandem it holds up fine.

I can generate considerable wattage (enough to horizontally deflect the bottom bracket on just about anything else I've ever ridden but 'dale) and its the spaghetti like nature of steel frames that caused me to seek out Cannondale way back in the day when I was racing NORBA events and got tired of the steel bikes wasting so much of my pedaling energy.

Cannondale has made millions of bikes. How many frame failures have you ever seen a picture of? Seriously.

We've all seen pictures of Santana fork steerers failing catastrophically, who has ever seen pictures of a Cannondale tandem frame failure? Ever?

There is so much nonsense out there from the 'steel is real' cult regarding Cannondales. The other day I was reading a blog from a guy who was pulling his old Cannondale road bike out of the cobwebs. He wanted a bad weather beater bike to use in the rain and sleet when he didn't want to use his steel bike. He stopped riding it because he thought the ride was harsh. He rode it. This guy hadn't ridden anything but steel in years. He then said he didn't understand why he stopped riding it, as it wasn't harsh riding at all. He was astonished that the bike accelerated so quickly. He used the same language I always use. That Cannondales accelerate like a rocket bike.

There are lighter bikes, but nothing is more efficient than a 'dale. The wattage that goes in, goes out. Say that about your carbon, titanium, steel bike.

The fact of the matter is that a Canondale (tandem, road, touring bike etc.) is an EPIC frame. A Cannonale touring bike with frame size selected like it was a Riv does everything a Rivendell country bike does, but faster, lighter, and better. So it doesn't have lugs. Fine. Throw a Rivendell lugged stem on it. Throw a lugged fork. A Cannondale 3.0 road frame was the lightest frame in the world when it made its debut almost twenty years ago. It was also the stiffest frame ever measured by the Bicycling Magazine 'tarantula' test jig. The funny thing is that those 3.0 frames are still epic. Even in the modern era of high zoot carbon a twenty year old C'dale 3.0 frame more than holds its own. Throw a modern carbon fork on it, with a carbon post and modern kit (the frame spacing on '89 and later bikes were either 128mm to accomodate both 126 & 130, and then just 130mm) and discover how it takes thousands of dollars of frameset to equal the performance of a bike you can find on craigslist for less than $400. As for a Cannondale mountain bike the HeadShok design is still amongst the lightest, stiffest, and best designs ever. There is a reason that Merlin liscensed this for their Titanium bikes. It just made the most sense. In the latest/greatest fad nonsense of mountain biking this design was considered disposable, but a high end Cannondale aluminum mountain bike with a Headshok and non-disc brakes will embarass the boat anchor bikes being sold today. Cannondale tandems are a thing to behold. No they aren't a custom Calfee or a magnesium Paketa, but you can't find a better bike without spending thousands upon thousands of dollars. You can find a used Cannonale tandem for around $1200~2000. It doesn't have the vanity and snob appeal so essential to the other tandems, but its got more bang for the buck. Throw the same high end kit at a Cannondale that gets draped on the other machines and it will more than hold its own. You can't compare a Santana aluminum tandem to a Cannondale, let alone a steel one.

Great bikes. Period.

If Cannondales were Italian, they would be everything people think Colnago is.

Trust me, in about another five years the steel is real crowd will have largely disapated (save the Surly diehards). There will be a renaissance of sorts with vintage Cannondale and Klein frames. Already a German company has figured out how to make the Klein pressed in bottom bracket retrofit to allow those Klein frames to be used today. Not a problem with Cannondales.

Cannondale makes some great stuff.

What it ain't is pretentious. Just rocket fast, lighter than anything not exotic, and amongst the most efficient tandem frame there is. The funny thing is that a Cannondale tandem is exactly what the Santana propaganda espouses (why Santana establishes the standard but fails to live up to its own standards still boggles my mind to this day).

Last edited by mtnbke; 10-18-09 at 04:20 AM.
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Old 10-18-09, 06:49 AM   #25
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...

Trust me, in about another five years the steel is real crowd will have largely disapated (save the Surly diehards). There will be a renaissance of sorts with vintage Cannondale and Klein frames. Already a German company has figured out how to make the Klein pressed in bottom bracket retrofit to allow those Klein frames to be used today. Not a problem with Cannondales.

...
Not intending to take this off topic but, Can you provide a link please, I would love to get my Klein Quantum back on the road again!
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