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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 06-13-12, 10:30 PM   #1
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Tandem newbie Cannondale help.

Hello everyone!

We just purchased a used Cannondale tandem that I don't yet have in my possession. I have a couple of questions that I'm hoping to get help with.

First, I'm wondering what year and model number our ride is. It's red. Does that help? Just kidding. It is equipped with a drag brake and Suntour bar ends, derailleurs and cantilever brakes. I know Suntour got knocked out by Shimano in maybe the early 90's (?). I know, just check the serial number.

One thing that surprised me was that it is set up with the drag brake being controlled by the left bar end and the front derailleur by a single down tube shifter. Is this common and is there any reason not to switch those?

And finally, any advice on getting a child stoker kit? I haven't figured out if my oldest might be able to make due with a crank shortener or will we need the raised bottom bracket kit. If so, will I need to get longer a BB for the rear. It sure didn't look like there was enough room to fit a second chain ring on the left side though the crank looks like it can accept the second ring.

Thank you, with all of the appropriate apologies for my newbie questions.

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Old 06-14-12, 05:17 AM   #2
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BikePedia may be able to help you find the year and model of the bike.

Have fun!
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Old 06-14-12, 07:58 AM   #3
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Just use the bar-ends for shifters and perhaps have stoker control the drag brake. That seems to be the most common configuration for bar-end shifting bikes.
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Old 06-14-12, 10:19 AM   #4
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A photo sure would help. My WAG is that it is a first generation C'dale Tandem from 1989-90-91. It so, the date of manufacture (month and year). frame size(s), and serial number will be stamped on the underside on the small tube that runs from the top of the stokers seat tube down to the rear of the chain stay.
The down tube shifter and bar end drag brake was one of the common set-ups at the time although many were set-up with bar end shifters or down tube shifters without the drag brakes.
When we had one built in early 1990, Downey Bicycles told us that these early Tandems came from Cannondale to the retailers as just a frame and fork and the retailers built up the tandem to their customer's desires. The shops generally had their own recommended upper end (Shimano XT bits and pieces, Phil hubs etc.) or standard build kits that ultimately shared a lot of commonalities with other retailers at the time. They were a great value at that time, just as their current Road Tandem is today.... imho.
' can't help you on the child stoker kit.
Congrats on your new ride and have fun!
Bill J.
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Old 06-15-12, 02:38 PM   #5
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Welcome to the wonderful world of twogetherness!

Regarding the brake/shifter question: There's no reason not to change them to whatever setup you are most comfortable with.
When we picked up our second tandem last year (Santana, below) the rear caliper and the drag brake were both operated by the same brake lever. I put an old-style friction shifter on the top of the front bars for the seldom-used drag brake. My bride/stoker did NOT want to have any more work to do other than pushing me up the hills.
i hope you enjoy those bar end shifters - I sure do.
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Old 06-15-12, 04:36 PM   #6
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Here it is. So far, "Big Red" seems appropriate.

From what I can tell by the serial number, the frame was built April, 1990.

Definitely will need a child stoker kit.

I hope to do some maintenance stuff over the weekend but generally everything is in great working condition.

Any reason for the "keeper" arm on the drag brake to be only loosely fixed to the frame at the chainstay? Every time I engage it, it clicks against the frame boss. Annoying.
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Old 06-20-12, 05:05 AM   #7
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Tandem newbie Cannondale help.

Our arm is kept loose and not fixed to make it easier to remove the rear wheel. If you don't mind using tools to remove your wheel, it wouldn't hurt anything to attach the arm to the chainstay.
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Old 06-20-12, 06:24 PM   #8
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Congrats Cityhix! Looks like a nice bike you've found. I've always liked Cannondale, and still have 2 mountain bikes from them. There are some people that stop into the site with Cannondale tandems like you have that are also big fans. Enjoy!
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Old 07-01-12, 10:07 PM   #9
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I picked up a Burley child stoker kit on Ebay (ouch$$) but haven't had a chance to get it rigged up yet. Still looking forward to getting out on the road!
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Old 07-02-12, 02:15 AM   #10
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With an aluminum framed bike, be extra careful / concerned with clamping the kid stoker bottom bracket stuff to the seatube. Last thing you want to do is crush the seatube or destroy the frame / fit of a stoker seatpost.

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