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Cannondale road tandem

Old 01-16-19, 01:27 AM
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headasunder
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Cannondale road tandem

Here in the shaky isles the cannondale road tandem 2018 is on sale for a very good price(while stocks last?). At the moment I own an old, made local from imported tubing tandem that is having a few reliability issues so we may have to upgrade sooner than we expected. Question, how robust is the road tandem, is it capable of tackling gravel roads and the odd single track it looks like it has a lot of clearance to take wider tyres. Most of our current riding is road but we have done some light trails etc but dont wish to do mtb hardcore tracks. Also what are the options when touring on these bikes regarding rack mounts etc... as I stated the price is very good but looking for advice from owners on how much of an all rounder or not the bike is.
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Old 01-16-19, 08:48 AM
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alias5000
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I can only speak for my 2011 model which I understand is similar. The fork and wheels seem different now. Our bike is set up for road touring.
The frame is very solid and stiff. Only when we loaded it with the most luggage I could attach to it, I noticed a little frame flex.
Our wheels are strong 48-spoke wheels but I think they are different now. There is plenty of clearance and I think you will find a few threads on this in this forum through a search.
We have front and rear racks and full fenders on the bike. Rear rack is no issue, front rack requires working around the missing mid-eyelets. For the fork we have, there are some good options, but I have no experience with the new style.
Fenders work, though again the fork required a little bit of hacking for us on the fender side.
If you put adequate tires on, I don't think this bike still be an issue in soft off-road conditions. Will the gearing be low enough for what you are looking for? Will the ground clearance be enough?

You can often read on the forum, that the cannibals cannondale rides more like a tank than something very nimble (Calfee?). While I have never ridden much other than the Cannondale, it does ride very stably (tank?). It is fast.
With rack, fenders, and the odd accessories, we are at 20kg.
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Old 01-16-19, 12:48 PM
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My experience with the Cannondale is that it's a solid mid tier tandem and competitive at its price point. I would agree it's a bit of a tank but others would prefer to call it stable. If it fits you and it's in the budget range then it should be a good choice.
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Old 01-16-19, 01:08 PM
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joelcool
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We like ours, but it's kind of old.
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Old 01-17-19, 12:17 AM
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headasunder
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thanks for the replies much appreciated, alias5000 what width tires do you run on your tandem. There are no tandem specific shops her in NZ so its second hand or what ever the big brand stores choose to sell unless you import it. We are not interested in racing more touring and general fitness rides we live on the side of a hill so get plenty of vertical gain every time we go out. With the cannondale fit could be an issue would someone 5foot 5inches fall into the small size parameter for the stoker?
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Old 01-17-19, 08:35 AM
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We have an L/S frame and my SO is 5ft3. There is enough room left to fit a bodyfloat suspension seatpost (something that really made a big difference to our riding together).

I never bothered trying wider tires, that's why I remained vague on that. We are riding 28mm tires (Schwalbe One or Gatorskins). For a long tour we're planning this Spring, I will fit a combination of more solid tires I have at home: gatorskins 28mm, specialized infiniti 32mm and maaaaaaaybe continental touring plus 32mm. There is plenty of clearance left in the frame, but I never pushed the boundaries (never felt I had to for our use).
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Old 01-17-19, 09:48 AM
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The nice thing about fitting a stoker on the back of a tandem is that if it's a bit too big you can put a longer stoker stem on the bike without screwing up handling. As long as she can stand over the bike and you can fit your seatpost I wouldn't worry too much.

As far as tires until you go fat you have no idea what you are missing. We have 30,000 km on 28 mm tires and the Speedster without any real issues but our new tandem will be running 38 mm tires at lower pressure. It will be more comfortable and faster. There is no downside to bigger tires (to a point of course).
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Old 01-17-19, 02:00 PM
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We ride a 2015 road tandem 1 (Gates belt drive and discs) which I find a bit stiff and twitchy, but I have been experimenting quite a bit with the setup and am pretty comfortable on it. We're currently running 35c Gatorskins. Stoker has a Thudbuster and loves it. I wouldn't consider singletrack but it would be fine on gravel. We got ours in 2017 for a clearance price and with the features and the new team aspect to riding, it ended up being a great choice. I have plans for a CF fork and better wheels, brakes, and DI before I even consider replacing it, so I expect to get quite a few more years out of it.
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Old 01-17-19, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Yamato72 View Post
I have plans for a CF fork and better wheels, brakes, and DI before I even consider replacing it, so I expect to get quite a few more years out of it.
What do you think about the 2015 fork:
- clearance for larger wheels
- ability to add a front rack (Axiom frontrunner?)
Are the wheels strong and high-quality?

I agree with the idea of DI2, long tandem cables have an impact on shifting performance. It's too expensive for me, but otherwise I would go that route. Cables work well, too though (to the OP :-) )
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Old 01-29-19, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by alias5000 View Post
What do you think about the 2015 fork:
- clearance for larger wheels
- ability to add a front rack (Axiom frontrunner?)
Are the wheels strong and high-quality?
The 2015 "Fatty" fork is plenty big for wide wheels and tires. It has rack mounts but I have not used a front rack nor have I seen a photo of this bike with a rack installed.

My bike was a cancelled special order that came with Velocity rims so I can't comment on how sturdy the factory wheels would be.

Sorry for the late response
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Old 01-30-19, 12:09 AM
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We have ridden tandems for over 30 years, and had our Cannondale for about 10 years now. It is a bit heavy, but very sturdy and reliable. The Avid Mechanical disc brakes are so much better that the old rim brakes on our Santana, and then Rodriguez Tandems. I use Hutchinson 700 x 28 tires and it rides great. Wish it were lighter, but we're older and slower every year, so maybe its exactly what we need. I would highly recommend it and then not look back!
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