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Vintage Cannondale

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Vintage Cannondale

Old 11-21-19, 07:40 PM
  #1  
kayakindude
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Vintage Cannondale

After a few near misses we picked up our 1st road tandem through the local craigslist. It was a pretty beat up 1991 model, but the bones looked solid. Already have two older Cannondales and love the light oversized aluminum.



Wish I had the before pics, but for short change on Amazon I upgraded the pedals, seats, added drops to the rear and new tape to the bars. Ton of scrapes and paint missing but the beauty of gloss black is you can do easy repairs with primer and spray paint.





This thing is a tank, 48 spoke bombproof rims with Phil Woods hubs. 6 speed freewheel and bar shifters that I am still getting used to. I'm a folder rider and this gearing makes climbing hills a breeze.

Enjoying some adjustment rides with the wife and excited to have another tool for the road.
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Old 11-21-19, 08:54 PM
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I think you may have a USA made frame which is really nice. It looks like a great find!

You can easily convert it to seven speed by changing the freehup to a 7 speed and just squeexing it into the existing frame. Do not try to cold set it by trying to bend it wider permanently, just ease the larger cassette in. You can run 8-speed Claris STI sifters too and just have one click unised because the space between gears on 7 and 8 speed is the same. You will appreciate the extra gear for finer steps between gears. The wheels will last forever as is with 48 spokes, though a new wheelset of modern wheels would make it much lighter and snappy.

Last edited by dwmckee; 11-21-19 at 08:57 PM.
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Old 11-21-19, 09:44 PM
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kayakindude
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Originally Posted by dwmckee View Post
I think you may have a USA made frame which is really nice. It looks like a great find!

You can easily convert it to seven speed by changing the freehup to a 7 speed and just squeexing it into the existing frame. Do not try to cold set it by trying to bend it wider permanently, just ease the larger cassette in. You can run 8-speed Claris STI sifters too and just have one click unised because the space between gears on 7 and 8 speed is the same. You will appreciate the extra gear for finer steps between gears. The wheels will last forever as is with 48 spokes, though a new wheelset of modern wheels would make it much lighter and snappy.
I was wondering about the freewheel. I have a 7 speed freewheel with maybe 50 miles on it from my Dahon Vybe before I went with an 11t. So I could just swap them out and it will work with those bar end shifters? The triple front derailleur gives me a lot of range.
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Old 11-22-19, 09:35 AM
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You can move spacers on the axle to make room for the larger freewheel. Wheel will need a bit of re-dishing. I've just done the exact same thing on a tandem build and it worked out very well. The nice thing about some 7 spd freewheels is that there are models with shifting ramps.
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Old 11-24-19, 04:37 PM
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That's a nice frame. Actually, before I "met" the frame for our titane lady I was sometimes thinking about this Canondale frame as a good and solid base to build up a tandem bike for us. Optically, it always looked like a 'standard' for a reliable bike waiting for many more miles. Plus, I always liked the diagonal extra tube that's often omitted in modern tandem frames. Okay, I should probably say "replaced by other technical measures" like even bigger tube diameters, what's surely working well in most cases. Just liked it personally...
I would even think about stripping/repainting.

Looking at the rims, I have two thoughts. They might be bullet proof, but the rusty eyelets would get a little on my nerves. On the other hand, I do not see an economically acceptable way to improve that. And what makes me thinking even more is the wear of the flanges of the rims. When I interpret the pictures right, the flanges show remarkable traces of grinding by hard/abrasive brake pads. Are there any wear indicators to check whether there is still enough "meat" for another good period of usage? If not, I would think about new rims. Since I've seen the 'exploded' rims of a friend of mine, this impressive picture stays with me... Don't want to experience that on a tandem...
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Old 11-27-19, 06:51 AM
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Originally Posted by lichtgrau View Post
Looking at the rims, I have two thoughts. They might be bullet proof, but the rusty eyelets would get a little on my nerves. On the other hand, I do not see an economically acceptable way to improve that. And what makes me thinking even more is the wear of the flanges of the rims. When I interpret the pictures right, the flanges show remarkable traces of grinding by hard/abrasive brake pads. Are there any wear indicators to check whether there is still enough "meat" for another good period of usage? If not, I would think about new rims. Since I've seen the 'exploded' rims of a friend of mine, this impressive picture stays with me... Don't want to experience that on a tandem...
I gave the rims a good examination. The surface has some markings but nothing compromising. I also noticed that the eyelet rust is concentrated in one segment of the rim, so I am thinking that they were outside for a bit. We will be using this in coastal New England so hills are minor (rarely more than 500 feet), there is a thread for a drum brake but based on the few descents so far it would be overkill.

Really liking the pacing. She is usually 14mph solo, I'm 18, we have a solid 16mph baseline on the tandem, and that's in winter gear and temperatures. I just have to get her to stop jumping off the bike when I stop at an intersection. She says I'm leaning when I unclip.
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Old 11-27-19, 08:58 AM
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I would replace those rims

Originally Posted by kayakindude View Post
I gave the rims a good examination. The surface has some markings but nothing compromising. I also noticed that the eyelet rust is concentrated in one segment of the rim, so I am thinking that they were outside for a bit. We will be using this in coastal New England so hills are minor (rarely more than 500 feet), there is a thread for a drum brake but based on the few descents so far it would be overkill.

Really liking the pacing. She is usually 14mph solo, I'm 18, we have a solid 16mph baseline on the tandem, and that's in winter gear and temperatures. I just have to get her to stop jumping off the bike when I stop at an intersection. She says I'm leaning when I unclip.
We rode low profile rims like those for many years. All tandem riders did until deeper rims became available. Once we switched to deeper rims we stopped breaking spokes.
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Old 11-27-19, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by kayakindude View Post
She says I'm leaning when I unclip.
I had a similar experience as a stoker recently (though when starting, not stopping). It is really hard to not act on leaning in a weight-supporting way (we probably did a fairly strong lean, ~10-15 degrees?)
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Old 12-03-19, 02:04 PM
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Definitely a US-made frame.

All their frames were made in the US until 2009. This tandem predates this by well over a decade. BTW, Cannondale serial numbers usually have the date code within them, so you can probably determine actual production date.

The biggest challenge you'll encounter is removal of the existing freewheel. They get incredibly tight on tandems. And if not properly lubricated when installed, it will be a bear! I wouldn't be surprised that you'll break freewheel tools, and have to disassemble it down to just the bare body to clamp it in a vise for removal - or worse, cut it off with a Dremel. But one recommendation is to apply quick high-torque forces during freewheel removal, not just more and more force applied to the tool. This saves freewheel tools, especially Suntour type.
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