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Advice/Info on used Cannondale Tandem

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Advice/Info on used Cannondale Tandem

Old 11-11-18, 01:40 PM
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blueye583
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Advice/Info on used Cannondale Tandem

We are going to look at a used Cannondale Tandem tomorrow. This will be our first Tandem so we aren't very knowledgeable about them. This is the description from the ad:

" BIKES SITTING ON 700 CARBON FIBER AEROSPOKE RIMS WITH SPANKING BRAND NEW TIRES AND TUBES IT HAS SHIMANO RUNNING GEAR AND SHIMANO CLIPLESS PEDELS - CURVE BRAKES - 3 RING CRANK WITH A 7 SPROCKET REAR - HAS DUAL REAR BRAKE SYSTEM - VERY NICE BIKE

The frame is red, with white lettering. Anyone have any idea around what year this may be from? Also what would be a good price for this bike? Lastly, is there anything in particular we should be looking at when we see the bike? My husband is knowledgeable about regular road bikes, but has no experience with tandems. Any advice and information is appreciated
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Old 11-11-18, 02:10 PM
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Possibly a Cannondale Road Tandem 3 from around 2008?
Thoughts on Cannondale tandems?

Make sure, the fit can be brought to good comfort levels for both of you - don't jump for something that won't be fitting both of you just because tandems are rare.
Other than that, I would apply a standard bike check list to all components and deduct any repair cost from the offered price.
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Old 11-11-18, 02:21 PM
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Were there photos? You can guess vintage by decal style. But Cannondale has been making tandems for 30 years. 21 speed would likely be >20 years old.

There were tandem Aerospoke wheels. They would likely have been aftermarket. But it was also a long time ago.
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Old 11-11-18, 02:38 PM
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blueye583
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There were pictures but I can't get them to post, sorry. Thank you for the info
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Old 11-11-18, 05:19 PM
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8 speed started showing up around 1990, I would think it disappeared even on lower level groups by the late 90s. Aerospoke wheels would have come out around the mid or late 90s, so I'd guess the bike is about 20 years old, maybe 25. We have a Cannondale from about 1999 or so that has been a backup bike at my inlaws and used an early '00s Cannondale as a commute tandem for many years. They are solid bikes. Price would very much depend on condition. Maybe $1000 if it's in really good condition and fits. The wheels were very high zoot wheels when they came out, but are almost more of a liability now compared to a good set of regular wheels. I would not pay more because of them.
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Old 11-12-18, 08:04 AM
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I agree with bwebel regarding the wheels. Concern with carbon wheels are braking heat. If you are not a heavy team and/or do not plan on riding in hilly or mountainous terrain they may be OK. If you do go for it, I would check the wheels carefully for heat damage around the braking interface. On the other hand, if it fits, is in good shape, and you can afford to put some up grades into it should you like it, it may be a good starter bike to jump into the tandem world.
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Old 11-14-18, 01:04 PM
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Aerospoke wheels were reputed to be very rugged but I have seen reports otherwise online and they went out of business in recent years, so no factory support.
But agree that could be good starter tandem depending on price.
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Old 11-14-18, 01:19 PM
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We bought a pair of Aerospoke wheels in 1999. The were rugged but heavy and we felt their weight on hills and with speed. Ours had a slight wobble on downhills and people mentioned their lateral flex when climbing hills. Aerospoke stopped making the 700C tandem wheels in about 2005.
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Old 11-16-18, 07:43 PM
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So is that the bike in Clearwater, Fl, on eBay? Price keeps dropping, so I agree that it might be a great starter tandem. I am local, so PM me if you need local help or local tandem info.
EB
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Old 11-19-18, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by EthanBixby View Post
So is that the bike in Clearwater, Fl, on eBay? Price keeps dropping, so I agree that it might be a great starter tandem. I am local, so PM me if you need local help or local tandem info.
EB
Yes the bike is on craigslist in Clearwater. After seeing it my husband decided to pass on it. He was afraid we would be spending too much money on repairs and upgrades and regretting that we didn't spend more to get a better bike from the start. Ethan, I tried to Pm you but I dont have enough posts to be able to PM, it says I am restricted. We are still looking for our first tandem. It doesn't seem any local shops have tandems in stock. Ethan if you have any local advice to pass on please PM me. Thanks.

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Old 11-19-18, 12:32 PM
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Good deals

Hello. Sounds like passing on the 7-speed tandem may have been the right move, unless it was rediculously cheap.

That said, I tend to see the best deals on Cannondale tandems. But you have to be patient to find them. For example, CraigsList has a large Cannondale mountain tandem for $850 right now. Total steal for a large couple looking for a starter tandem. Cannondales offer probably the best ride of the lower priced tandems. The difference between an old steel and an old Cannondale can be pretty remarkable. The oversized aluminum tubes prevent flex really well. I started on a used Cannondale frame. After several years, rented a steel Santana while on a trip and was astounded at the terrible ride quality due to frame flex.

That said, you will also encounter sellers who don't get it. There's a seller on CL who's been trying to unload an old Cannondale mountain tandem for $2,200. WAY overpriced and it has been reposted on CL like 50 times already. Obviously the seller doesn't understand his tandem's priced about $1,000 over what it's worth.

So if you do some homework and are patient, you'll find something. But stay away from the 7 and 8 speed models, unless you or your partner knows old stuff well enough to not buy a lemon. Something 9 speed or better is more current and will be more compatible with today's replacement components.
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Old 11-19-18, 07:26 PM
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Have you looked at Tandem Bicycles For Sale, Tandem Bike Components For Sale yet? There's a few nice tandems up right now.
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Old 11-27-18, 10:45 AM
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Used Cannondale

Tandems are such weird beasts that those that have been around a while have often been monkeyed with enough that it's hard to tell exactly what they originally were.

'Seven speeds' suggests that this Cannondale is quite dated, maybe over 20 years old. Its hard to believe someone would 'upgrade' to an older set-up.

Other clues would be the headset and stem . If it's 'threaded' that also helps to date it .Older bikes also don't have STI style brake levers. All of these things can be updated, of course .

But the big one for older tandems is the rear dropout spacing. Around about 2001, Cannondale moved up to 145mm spacing, the current tandem 'standard.' Before that their tandems were 140mm. Now, there's nothing wrong with 140mm spacing. We've ridden one for a number of years (320lb team, plus the bike) without a problem. The main problem that I've encountered was finding tandem rated rear hubs which I could build a new wheel on .

Of course, if you don't anticipate getting new wheels, then this problem goes away.

Buying a used tandem is a great way to save thousands. Just keep in mind that the older it is the more you will likely have to do to keep it in good riding condition.

Ruge
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