Just purchased my First Ever Tandem
Long time No Post. Happy New Year to you all.
Well i have done it .. i have finally "bit the bullet" and purchased my first ever tandem. After searching long and hard in this country of mine (Australia) i was resigned to looking on the American Ebay site.
This tandem i have bought is an older model Cannondale with some very interesting parts assembled on it. Here is the link.
Please take a look and let me know your thoughts and comments. I would be especially be interested to hear if anyone knows what Year it was built and any other suggestions you might have. The seller is the 2nd person to have owned it and he tells me he has had it for 3 years but doesn't know just how long the original owners have had it for. I don't really know if it is a good buy .. but for AU$2000.00 it sure hell beats AU$6000.00 for a brand new Cannondale Tandem here in this country. So i think i have scored well. It may be a little overpriced but i can live with that.
This is the only way that i was ever going to purchase a tandem. We don't have the luxury of going to our local tandem shop for a test ride because there are no such thing as local tandem shops over here. Our LBS's do not stock tandems!! So to test ride one you have to purchase it first. And if you don't like it then too bad .. it is then your responsibility to sell it.
Well good to come back on here again to say G'day to you all. And i will enjoy reading your comments - good or bad.
Where everything is BIG downunder!
Very nice bike. You will fly on that rig. I test-rode almost the exact same bike but in jumbo/large, but a few years newer. I don't think they have changed much over the years. Lots of nice upgrades. The Campy shifters you will love if you don't already have Campy. You can order parts to upgrade the shifters to 9 or 10 speed from Branford Bike if you so desire....
I wish the bike was listed a year ago... I would have bid against you! Delaware is right next to Maryland!
You will love riding that bike....
If you send a note to Cannondale's tech support guys (Email is on their Web site) with the serial number they'll be able to decode it and tell you what year it was made. The head badge would suggest that it's earlier than '98. Off the top of my head, I don't recall when they offered red. Many of the mid-90's seemed to be dark or marine blue, white, and green. Regardless, the C'dale frames are bomb-proof and with all the high-end hardware that's hanging on it, e.g., carbon fork, phil hubs, Campy shifting, and 8 speed rear spacing, it's not a bad deal.
That's a smokin' deal, even with the painful cost of shipping! Our LBS gave us the same crap when we tried to buy a tandem. They would have to order it from the states, and it was $5-6k. I could fly there, buy it and bring it back with me for less. And get some good Mexican food while I was there too. Even though we're more into off-road, if I still lived in the states, I'd have jumped on that and outbid you and Galen. You can spend a heap on upgrades if you want (not that it really needs any), and still come out way ahead.
Some friends of ours had a 1991 or 1992 Cannondale in bright red, so they've offered it quite awhile.
Originally Posted by livngood
As we say here in Arizona : "That's a ganga!" (translation: good deal).
Lots of nice upgrades including the c/f fork, Campi and trouble-free Phil hubs. The Topline crankset dates to about early-mid-90's. Used Topline cranks/Phil hubs on one of our tandems for 57,000 miles . . . nice/light/no problems!
BTW we did test riding for C'dale in early 80s and rode one of their prototype tandems for 3 months; that was 2 years before the tandems became available.
Pedal on TWOgewther!
Rudy and Kay/Zona tandem
Thanks for the comments guys. It gives me a sense of comfort and security knowing that it is a good deal. Especially since it now has to travel from the States to Australia without having seen it.
It appears from the comments that the tandem is probably an early 90's model. When i get it and we have had a few rides i will certainly post a message to let you all know how it rides etc & to let you know how my wife and i ride together. I think (hope) she is going to love it. She is a very fit woman but not bicycle fit if you know what i mean. Each time we ride our singles together she gets very frustrated that she can't keep up with me and i get a little frustrated that i have to wait for her at certain times. But thankfully she loves to ride.
Can anyone tell me if it would be possible to upgrade this to a 9 speed given that it is already an 8 speed??
Certainly. It's only money! I don't recall the spec, but you'll need new shift levers, derailleurs, a chain and cassette. Unless you find something not to your liking, I'd stick with the "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" maxim. Last I checked, dealer cost in the US was about US$1,000 for a complete Campy or Shimano group (It was either Ultegra or Dura-Ace, and for a 200g savings, Dura-Ace didn't seem worth it). To convert to AU$, just double (or triple) that figure to allow for shipping, duties, GST and the various markups along the way. The last time someone requested a quote from me for a complete road group, the best I could offer was about AU$1,800.00, and that was doing them a big favor.
Originally Posted by jrisles
When your tandem arrives, put in a few hundred k's, and if you're still looking to upgrade, I'll get you a quote.
It's not clear to me whether that tandem has a freewheel or a cassette. There were 8-speed freewheels, but I don't remember that you could get an 11T, owing to dimensional restrictions. The photograph looks like a freewheel, in which case you would have to switch to a cassette system before you could upgrade to 9-speed.
Supposing that it is a cassette:
People keep telling me Campagnolo shift levers are superior because you can get the parts to rebuild them, including the indexing drum, and of course the FD shifter has more trim positions. I think Mark Livingood also uses parts from that third-world Southern European country that only recently advanced to the single-pivot slant parallelogram RD, so he might know something about this.
With a triple crankset already on the front, and a derailleur with that enormous jockey pulley cage on the back, my guess is that all you need is the drum and some kind of 9-speed cassette (or you can get a 10-speed drum and a 10-speed cassette). I believe you will need the appropriate width of chain as well, and you will have to check and see if the chainrings can be used with that width of chain. But that's probably it. I suppose there is a slim chance you might need narrower jockey pulleys.
If it is an 8-speed cassette, the spacing should accommodate either a 9 or a 10 speed cassette.
Those sure are a sexy bunch of parts. And 29 pounds. Wow....both of my newest tandems, the pre-'98 (?) Cannondale J/L and the bigger Meridian, both weighed 45 lbs with heavy parts on them the one time I have put them on scales. On the other hand, I don't have to worry about breaking anything if I want to gross at 500 lbs, which I have done.
One note of caution: at least some of the Topline cranks have a strict upper weight limit. And some people have broken them.
The other choice would be to flip to Shimano 9-speed parts, in which case you would need the right lever, FD, RD, cassette, maybe change the freehub body on the hub, and it would be a good idea to replace the chain. A good way to get these parts if the pricing structure in Australia is totally goofy for parts, might be to buy a used 9-speed bike and strip it, put the Campy parts back on and you have a spare or you can sell it.
You'll need to get some info from the seller to figure out exactly what you have in front of you.
Originally Posted by jrisles
Background & More on the Age of Your Tandem: Having spend a few more minutes looking at the Ebay ad I would say this is a 1993 - 1995 model-year Cannondale. What gives it away is the 1.25" headset; a 1" headset was used from 1985 - 1992. Cannondale adopted the 1.125" headset in 1996. Now, to the rear wheel spacing: Cannondale narrowed the rear wheel spacing from 140mm to 135mm in 1993, and then switched it back to 140mm in 1994 - 1998. Thus, if the tandem has 135mm rear spacing, it's a 1993 model. If it has 140mm, it's either a 1994 or 1995 model. Cannondale didn't make the switch to 145mm rear spacing until 1999 when they redesigned the frame using their CAAD design system.
So, back to your question....
The answer is, probably not without great expense.
What seems to throw a monkey wrench in the mix is the reference to Sachs "freewheels". This suggests that the Phil Wood hubs are pre-cassette models that use thread-on freewheels and in looking at the photo that sure looks like a thread-on freewheel and not a cassette. If that is confiirmed to be the case, your conversion to 9 speed would require a 9 speed tandem hub, like another Phil Wood model which aint' cheap; in fact, you're looking at $399 USD. However, at this point you'd need to confirm the rear wheel spacing as 135mm is not a standard tandem hub size these days. You can get them, but you need to work with someone like Phil Wood or White Industries to get the right bits cobbled together for a custom 135mm tandem cassette hub. A 140mm rear cassette hub is a standard tandem-size for Shimano, Phil, White Industries, DT-Hugi & even Edco.
Here's the good news, if you did want to press the issue and change out the rear wheel or hub, it may already have Campy 9 speed shifters and a 9 speed rear derailleur. Again, you would have to ask the owner. Through a freak of engineering coincidence, Campy 9 is a perfect match-up with Shimano 8 speed cassettes. We ran our '98 Erickson with that configuration (Campy Chorus Ergo shifters with a Racing-T 9 speed rear derailleur) for about 4 years, with up to an 11x32t 9 speed XT cassette.
Now, if it would turn out that the tandem has a Campy shifter BUT has a Sachs 8 speed shift-disc in the right hand (rear derailleur) shifter, because it's got Campy shifters you don't need to upgrade anything except for the shifting cog in the right hand shifter. This is something most campy shifters need every 12k - 15k miles or so anyway, along with new springs.
As for the rest of the components, you wouldn't need to change the chainrings for the 8 to 9 speed conversion if you stick with SRAM 9 speed chains, which are a bit wider than the Shimano 9 speed chains. As for the rear derailleur and cassette, you have two or three different choices for 9 speed conversion IF the rear derailleur isn't already a Campy 9 speed compatible model.
1. You can use a Campy long-cage 9/10 speed rear derailleur & Campy Ergos with a Campy cog if you can get by with 13x29 OR...
2. You can use a Campy long-cage 9/10 speed rear derailleur & Campy Ergos with stock Shimano 9 speed Cassettes, to include 11x32t. In fact, I have been running this Campy Ergo 9 with Campy 9/10 speed derailleur set-up for four years on two different tandems as do several of our friends. We've never gone with anything larger than 11x32t XT cassette and usually just run a 12x27t Ultegra. Some who use Campy transmissions have said they were able to use 11x34t as well, but we've never tried it and I've never worked on any tandems with that set-up so I can't offer an opinion. OR...
3. You can use a Shimano XT or XTR rear derailleur with a "Shimagnolo" adapter. A "Shimagnolo" modifies the Campy 9 or 10 speed cable pull to work with Shimano 9 speed rear derailleurs and cassettes... OR
4. You can do a full-on Shimano conversion: Shifters, rear derailleur, cassette.
BOTTOM LINE: Given all the extra 8 speed freewheels that came with the tandem, I'm not sure adding the extra cog would be worth what I suspect may not be an easy upgrade UNLESS you can get your hands on relatively inexpensive tandem rear wheel with an 8/9 speed cassette. Personally, I'd ride the heck out of it "as is" and after a year or so figure out if you and your lady are hooked on tandeming enough to justify a newer model. What you've got there is a thoroughbred race bike and like most thoroughbreds, they do what they're designed to do pretty well. However, once you start asking them to change, they tend to bite you.... this one may bite you in the wallet.
Last edited by livngood; 01-16-05 at 07:29 AM.
You know livngood we over here in the antipodean land have a saying (well we have many different sayings) but the one i am about to use is very apt for the information you have just given me and the saying is - "Crikey". You may have heard it made popular by the ubiqutious Steve Irwin (The Crocodile Man who has graced your shores once or twice??
Now after reading your response that is the first word that came to mind - Crikey. Which in essence means thats "bloody incredible".
This is why i have made a financial contribution to this site because it is information like this that only a select few individuals would know - and that has to be worth something right?? So thanks for all the information you have provided. I knew that someone such as yourself could almost pin down the year of the tandem just by looking at a few pictures. I AM impressed as i know many other people on here are as well. I am impressed with just not what you know .. but the level of detail by which you know it. I hope with all the contributing you do to this site .. that you actually get out to ride every now and again??
I think the whole process sounds very costly and your advice will be well heeded. I will just use the existing setup and see how we go. 24 (or 22) gears should be more than enough for our needs at this stage.
PS: Shameless plug - it would be great to see more people become a financial member of this site. You can pay by Credit Card or using Paypal.
Disclaimer: I do not benefit nor do i know any of the people who run this site .. all i know is that it is full of knowledgable people and the site is well maintained and the cost to be a financial member was very little.
Appreciate the kind words; I'm humbled. As for the riding, indeed we do. Even though the daily high temps are hanging in the low 40F to mid-50F's, I was able to coax Debbie out for a short road ride from the house on Friday and yesterday we did Bear Creek with another off-road tandem team and had the chance to break-in a new SRAM X.0 Gripshift-based drivetrain. Sweet stuff. Today we'll hit Blankets Creek for some more technical single and see if the somewhat thinner XT 9 speed cassette complains at all.
Originally Posted by jrisles
So, yes, there is time for everything: grown kids/empty nest helps. Well, that and being a really fast typist.
Howdy Aussie TandeMates!
Lots of ifs, ands or buts . . .
Our suggestion: Ride the tandem! If things work fine, leave it alone. Componentry/frame are all important; however, enjoying what you've got is doubly important! You apparently got a great deal on a very much upgraded used C'dale. There just are not too many sub-30 lbs C'dale's around!
Our policy has been: buy the best you can afford, then go ride. If something does not work properly or eventually wears out, then it is time to replace whatever it is.
Enjoy . . .
Pedal on TWOgether!
Rudy & Kay/Zona tandem/USA
Pictures of the C'Dale
Some other aussie has just emailed me from reading my posts and is going through the same pleasure & pain that i went through to get my tandem over here from the States. I have just clicked on the link & found that the images are no longer available. So i thought i would post them on here for prosperity sake.
Cannondale tandem L/M
8 speed Campagnolo Record Titanium Ergo Shifters
Rare Campagnolo rear derailleur
XT front derailleur
Dura Ace brakes front and rear
Reynolds Carbon Tandem Ouzo Pro fork true tandem fork 1 1/4 headset
Topline Cranks vey light
Titanium Bottom brackets
Control Tech seat posts
Mavic SUP wheels with Phil Wood rear hub
32 spoke front 36 spoke rear
Three additional Sachs freewheels included 11-21 is installed all the way to 12-32 for climbing
weighs 29.4 pounds
Titanium crank bolts, aluminum chain ring bolts, timing chain is special light weight model.
Nice tight fast great climbing tandem
So what it has been about 1.5yrs now since we have had our tandem & we enjoy it immensely. Although my wife is now 3mths pregnant (we are still riding) i think our tandem riding will subside once our first child is born. But i have no intention of selling the tandem. We have had loads of fun & she absolutely loves riding on the tandem much to my delight. My wife tells me she has learned alot about cycling because she was able to ride with me (someone with alot of cycling years under his belt).
Apologies for not being on here as frequent as i use too & hope you are all travelling well.
1.5 years already? Seems like last week you were preparing to take delivery. Oh, with all the server problems, hosted images went to some black hole in cyberspace.
Nice looking tandem.
Sorry your wife has to endure your summer with the pregnancy. About this time next year you'll be thinking of ways to get the little one out with the two of you on the bike.
This time next year it will still be 50 degrees out.