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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 02-03-12, 06:05 AM   #1
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Used Cannondale sizing

My wife and I are both 5' 9" and ride a 56cm road bike, we are wanting to get a used tandem and found a few Cannondales that are in our price range. One is a 23"/21" Do you guys know if this will be a good fit? Or should I be looking at a different size?

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Old 02-03-12, 10:33 AM   #2
Tom Spohn
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56 cm works out to 22 inches. The 23/21 should be OK....BUT.....don't buy anything untill you try it out.
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Old 02-03-12, 10:56 AM   #3
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I'm 5'10" with a 30 inch inseam. My first gen C'dale was a 21/18 and it fit well although I did play with stem lengths over the years. I would not have wanted a larger frame.
We now have a 2010 C'dale RT2 and it is a M/S and I would not want a larger frame on it either. My single road bikes are 54's and my mountain bike is an 18". What works for you may have no correlation to what works for me so you really need to get on it and find out. All things being equal, I would rather have a tandem just a little too small rather than a little too large, but that is just me, Good luck.
Bill J.
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Old 02-03-12, 01:15 PM   #4
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Congrats on wanting to get a tandem! Buying a used tandem is a great way to get started.

Since bike geometry can be so different, it is really hard to tell what you are in for. 56 cm and 23 in really doesn't tell you a whole lot. For the captain, what you really want to know for both bikes is stack and reach.

There is a good explanation of why this is important here. It is pretty easy to get these measurements with just a tape measure, a plumb bob (or any piece of string with a heavy object on it), and a little basic math. Make sure you have the bike on a level surface. It is easier to get accurate measurements with two people. Once you have those measurements for the two bikes, you can see if you can get the same fit on the tandem as on your single by changing stem length and height.

My wife is 5'-8 1/2" and likes to ride pretty stretched out. She finds our Cannondale's stoker compartment too short. That doesn't prevent her from enjoying the ride, but it does limit the amount of time she can ride for. Thus why we just ordered a custom tandem with a 31" stoker compartment vs 28.5" on the Cannondale. We also know teams with stokers that are taller and perfectly comfortable with the same length stoker compartment.

Good luck on your tandeming journey!
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