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  1. #1
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    Cannondale 2010 Eccentric BB crap?

    Recently I bought a new 2010 Cannondale Road Tandem 3. I was told by a store that sells only tandems that the eccentric bottom bracket on Cannondales is crap and will fall out on the road after 2-5 adjustments. He suggested a Bushnell ebb for $160 plus labor. Any comments? Other alternatives?

  2. #2
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Yes. Contact Mel at Tandems East for a fix to the one small part of the stock Cannondale EBB that solves the problem. In fact, Mel's using a Cannondale EBB with this mod on his personal Calfee. A lot cheaper than an Bushnell EBB.

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    I talked to Mel about his $40 fix. Does it really work?

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    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    If Mel came up with a modification to the OEM EBB, then I've got to think it will be a good fix. His machinist does first rate work and the mod sounds rather straight forward.

    I would note, we've used Bushnell EBBs on six of the seven tandems we've owned and I'm generally pleased as punch with the Bushnell EBBs, so at the moment the modified Cannondale EBB wasn't of interest to me for our Calfee. However, had Mel offered this alternative EBB several years back it could have very-well ended up on our Calfee instead of the Bushnell if I didn't just happen to have a pre-production, current generation Bushnell EBB sitting around.
    Last edited by TandemGeek; 08-09-10 at 06:17 AM.

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    Our Cannondale EBB failed on the second adjustment (not on the road). The lip that holds the little steel extracting ring cracked, forcing me to whack the EBB out with a hammer. We replaced it with a Bushnell, a much nicer piece of kit for sure.
    chief internet detective

  6. #6
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Somebody is always trying to build something cheaper . . . C'dale succumbed to that idea.

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    We're considering a Cannondale - I'm curious to hear exactly what the problem and fix are, if you have details.

    Wonder if they'll fix it on the upcoming 2011 model.

  8. #8
    Senior Member hockey's Avatar
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    I just replaced the Cannondale eccentric with a Bushnell yesterday. The Cannondale was stuck, the pins broken and totally worthless and non adjustable. Bushnell fit perfectly and seems a much more robust design capable of adjustment on the road. Purchased online, no problem, no hassle.

  9. #9
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    zona, any idea when C'dale started using cheaper parts like the eccentric apparently is?

  10. #10
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    C'dale's ownership/management changed a couple years ago; probably an economy move from the new owners.
    Worked with C'dale before they got officially into the tandem field. Test rode their prototype for 3 months; that was a couple years before they actually became available to the public.
    They built a heck of a nice tandem at a good price for a long time.
    C'dale made a couple dicey moves . . . took lots of $$ that they pumped into motorcycles/research (most folks don't remember that one). And of course no longer had a monopoly on heat treated alu frames and more folks got into the tandem biz.
    Like Schwinn and others, C'dale is now foreign owned.
    Their eccentrics were a bit on the weird side and a PIA to adjust.
    Just our opinion and recollection.
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  11. #11
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andydreisch View Post
    ...any idea when C'dale started using cheaper parts like the eccentric apparently is?
    I'm not Zona, but I'll take a shot at answering your question.

    When did it change? I can confirm if needed, but I'd guess it was over the past year. They re-vamped the geometry and made some other major frame changes for the 2009 model year, but I didn't hear of any eccentric troubles at that time. So that makes me think it could have been adopted during the 2010 model year. And, so long as we're making WAGs here, my guess is that this new eccentric was designed for their single speed frames and was phased-in for tandems after all of the previous eccentric design inventory was consumed.

    Is it a cheaper part? Probably not and it may even be more costly to produce. Just looking at the newer design compared to the previous model (see attached), it just looks like it was a poorly-executed redesign that was intended to make the eccentric lighter by removing material from the mid-section of the eccentric and implementing a different engagement/release mechanism. Again, my guess is that this eccentric redesign was driven by a weight reduction goal for Cannondale's single-speed frames that also use an eccentric bottom bracket. Unfortunately, a key component isn't as beefy as it needs to be and that's the weak link. As mentioned, Mel Kornbluh at Tandems East immediately recognized this problem and has come up with a more robust replacement part that eliminates the problem with the Cannondale design. With that fixed, you end up with a very lightweight eccentric (puportedly even a bit lighter than the current Bushell EBB) that works just fine.

    Other Commentary: Everything else on the Cannonale Street Tandem (a steal at its current price) and both the RT3 (another excellent value ) and RT2 (Santana's AL frame/fork is about the same price as a ready-to-ride RT2) is still first rate and at last check the frames are still being produced in the US. However, be forewarned there may be a lot of changes coming in 2011 with the model line up. If you're considering either of the lower-cost Street Tandem or RT3 models, you might do well to acquire them sooner rather than later.
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    Last edited by TandemGeek; 08-13-10 at 08:38 AM.

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    I'm not sure if the old design was that great either. That snap ring lasts about two adjustments. Then, you need a hammer to adjust it. Guess you could just keep a supply of snap rings and a tool to replace them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TandemGeek View Post
    However, be forewarned there may be a lot of changes coming in 2011 with the model line up. If you're considering either of the lower-cost Street Tandem or RT3 models, you might do well to acquire them sooner rather than later.
    Anything more you can share? The RT3 is quite the value (even if you have to replace the eccentric) and I want to pick one up for my daughter and I to replace the Raleigh SC we ride now but I was planning on waiting until next year when I was done with school and (hopefully) employed. But I may have to figure out how to swing it now....

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by zonatandem View Post
    Their eccentrics were a bit on the weird side and a PIA to adjust.
    A weird eccentric? Isn't that redundant?
    I don't even use the offensive term "Fred." -- Sheldon "All Cyclists Are My Friends" Brown (1944-2008)

  15. #15
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roland Owens View Post
    Anything more you can share? The RT3 is quite the value (even if you have to replace the eccentric) and I want to pick one up for my daughter and I to replace the Raleigh SC we ride now but I was planning on waiting until next year when I was done with school and (hopefully) employed. But I may have to figure out how to swing it now....
    Not that I'm comfortable sharing.

    Your best bet is to stay in touch with your dealer of choice and check on availability from time-to-time. So long as they have inventory in the pipeline in your size, you'll be fine. Moreover, some of the larger-volume C'dale tandem dealers will likely have their own inventory to work from even if C'dale's warehouse runs dry.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by TandemGeek View Post
    Your best bet is to stay in touch with your dealer...
    Thanks, that's gives what I need to know. Time to find some money...anyone want to buy a boat?

  17. #17
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    Thanks, zonatandem and TandemGeek, for the good info.

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    I tried to buy a Cannondale frameset about a month ago, and my dealer told me that they were getting ready to do a final USA production run before moving production to Asia. So I assume that is over, and what they have is the end of USA frames. They would not sell me a frameset. Complete bikes only.

    The BB issues go back at least to 2008, and maybe 2007. The cap head on the bolt was rounded, and the circlip would expand and walk right over it. They changed the bolt head to a more square design, but it was still too feeble of a system. A friend has one that was modified, but I cant remember what they did. I'll ask and report back.
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  19. #19
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    Having the same ebb probs on our 07 RT 2 c'dale ,
    bought 24 circlips and as many new washers ,
    only to have the groove wash-out after a few adjustments.

    contacted Mel at TandemsEast , ordered mod. ebb .
    problems solved .

    Thanks Mel K

  20. #20
    Senior Member mkane77g's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dfcas View Post
    getting ready to do a final USA production run before moving production to Asia.
    Whats new!

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