1992 Cannondale Tandem
I've been bitten by the bug and have been perusing the forums for several weeks now. I just found a 92 CD Tandem, family owned since new. They had the original 92 catalog, and it's basically stock, so canti's, 700x35 tires, mtn bars w/thumb shifters suntour derailleurs. 7 speed w/12-30 rear cluster. It's a 23/19, and at 1st blush should fit fine. I'll be taking the GF over tomorrow for a test ride and to see. The bike looks like it has been well cared for, and i think ridden most the 1st 2 or 3 years, now it gets ridden once a year or so. I'm not ready to buy at this moment, but I'm seeking experiences from others with this vintage of Cannondale. Since I'm new to tandem (ing) any thoughts would be appreciated. I may be apprehensive about the eccentric, as I have no idea how to ck it or what to ck, the rest of the mechanicals I think I can deal with.
Riding Heaven's Highwayson the grand tour
First off a disclaimer, I love C'dale tandem frames from the very early 90's...We still have our original '90 ( as well as a' 91) that we like as well as, or better than, our "07 Trek T2000 and 2010 C'dale Road Tandem. Our '90 has been extensively (some would say excessively) upgraded over the years and it is a great tandem that we still ride thousands of miles a year.
Given my clear bias... here are a few thoughts. I assume the price is in the range you want, so first and foremost be sure it fits you 'as is' with minimum expense on your part. Clearly it is an older tandem with older components, so for this to be a value, be sure you can live with the bars, gears, brakes etc, that are on it now. Also be sure all those components are in good operating order. If they are, that tandem, as is, can give you many years of great riding for little expense.
If you are worried about the eccentric, have the current owner break it loose and show you how it is done and how to set the timing chain tension. FWIW, I still have the original eccentric and bolt in our '90 C'dale and have probably loosened/tightened it a hundred times and it is just fine.
Now, on the down side....if you are looking at it thinking " I hate the 7spd...I hate the components...I'm going to upgrade this and upgrade that etc..etc. Then I would say pass on this Tandem and look at something else that is set up closer to what you really want. Generally buying a used tanden that needs a lot of upgrades to make you happy is simply not worth the money.
Great that you scheduled a visit!
I don't know anything about the bike, but in general I think you should ask the seller if you can ride it for several miles on decent roads. Maybe he'll ride with you and show you a nice loop. Maybe he'll ask for a deposit in case you scratch a lever or something, but you need more than a ride around the block. Take your shoes, bike shorts, gloves, pedals if necessary. Have your gf do the same. Take some tools also to adjust the seats or install your pedals without having to borrow his. Take water bottles also if you'll need them. Check tire pressure before your ride. He may be too busy to agree to all this, but then again, maybe not.