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Starter tandem: 2010 Cannondale or 2013 KHS?

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Starter tandem: 2010 Cannondale or 2013 KHS?

Old 05-02-17, 06:02 PM
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Starter tandem: 2010 Cannondale or 2013 KHS?

Hi, All,

A couple of interesting tandems are for sale in my area. I'm looking to spend <$1K for a tandem which will be initially for my 13-yr old daughter and me to tour on, with a target of riding RAGBRAI in 2018. I've seen lots of 90's Santana's and such, but a couple of mid-level newer bikes have shown up:

- 2010 Cannondale Street Tandem w/aftermarket stoker seat suspension, aftermarket rear stoker-controlled drum brake, street & off road tires, back rack, gear bags ($850, MSRP ~$1900)

- 2013 KHS Tandemania Cross w/front disc brake and rear v-brake ($899, MSRP ~$1800)

[Apologies, I don't yet have enough posts to put photos or link to specs, but both bikes are easily found on BikePedia.]

I note that both of these have flat handlebars. I'm only used to riding drops on my road bike, and would probably prefer them - is there anything which precludes changing the captain bars to drops on either of these? I presume it would be relatively expensive given the need for brifters, but I don't want to use bar-end shifters as found on most of the older drop bar tandems.

Thanks for any input!

- Bill
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Old 05-02-17, 09:53 PM
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Presuming you are looking at these:
https://sfbay.craigslist.org/nby/bik/6113378639.html
https://sfbay.craigslist.org/scz/bik/6112759234.html
I would take the US made Cannondale over the KHS any day.
The Cannondale looks to be a jumbo/medium from the awful picture though so I would make certain your 13 yr old fit (you may need to jettison the thudbuster to get the seat low enough for her) Also, the 2010 frame which this does appear to be , had no provision for a drum brake in the rear (disc and v brake only) so I would carefully check how they managed to mount it.
The KHS cross can be had new for $1300 so if you go that direction I would likely offer less.
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Old 05-03-17, 07:36 AM
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I believe KHS tandems in general offer a great value for the money, but I'd probably choose the Cannondale too (if it fits).

I've converted a flat-bar tandem to drop bar. My wife prefers drop bars, so when I found a deal on an old Raleigh tandem for her to pilot I converted it. For most bikes that's going to involve converting the brakes. Road brakes and MTB brakes have different cable pull ratios, so you need to either install new brakes that are compatible with road brake levers, or use something like the Problem Solvers Travel Agent (which is what I did). This is why some disc brakes, such as the Avid BB7 come in separate road and MTB versions. The shifters can be expensive, it's true, but it's less expensive if you're dealing with an older 8 or 9 speed system. I spent somewhere around $300 modifying that particular tandem (more than I paid for the tandem), but some of it was not related to the drop bar conversion (tires, saddles).
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