Tandem Cycling - Wannabe tandem owner
Bikeforums.net is a forum about nothing but bikes. Our community can help you find information about hard-to-find and localized information like bicycle tours, specialties like where in your area to have your recumbent bike serviced, or what are the best bicycle tires and seats for the activities you use your bike for.
04-18-06, 10:34 PM
First off I didn't use the search function because the computer is slow and I couldn't get it to work. My main question is about buying a tandem. My friend from school wants to get into riding but it sucks because even when I ride slow she manages to ride even slower, plus I only have one good road bike, 3 fixed gear and a campus junker, she always gets the junker. I have always wanted to try a tandem but the prices seem to high for me to go out and buy one without a steady partner. So I google tandem and the first thing that I see is a bike for sale from wal-mart. I know I will get what I paid for, but is there an outside chance that anyone has ever seen one or ridden one? They are like $300 which seems like a good price just to have something to ride around with her on, but I just don't want anyone to get killed in the process. And even when she inevitably gets tired of me always riding my bike and leaves for a frat boy, I will still have something to screw around with in my spare time. Any other suggestions for low price tandems?
04-18-06, 11:41 PM
I was there seven months ago. Don't expect anyone to actually 'encourage' you to get a Wal-Mart tandem. We did, however. We paid $200 for ours last September. Heavy. Very heavy. But other than that it does what a tandem is supposed to do: connect two riders so the one in the rear goes where the one in front goes. We now have a new much better quality tandem but are we getting rid of the Wally? No way. We used it tonight to get the groceries. Check out a bike (and the price) called the Diamondback Wildwood then compare it to the Wal-Mart bike. Make your own decision.
04-19-06, 05:36 AM
Maybe you could find an old used "classic" for slightly more cash that would be waaaay better...
Chicks dig shiny new bikes. And remember, students are usually on a budget. As long as the buyer has really low expectations, and a bit of mechanical skill, a cheap tandem may be ok.
04-20-06, 10:04 PM
I am on a fixed budget this year but told my wife that I didn't want to miss this summer without riding a tandem. I'm always checking out Craig list and a couple of weeks ago found one for $80. It's 20 years old, heavy and hardly a looker, but I tell ya it's the best $80 I've spent in a while. Next year we will be budgeting for a $2000 tandem.
04-20-06, 10:35 PM
To put $$ in perspective, a set of very mediocre tandem wheels will cost more than the whole WallyWorld tandem.
You get what you pay for . . . and we hear WallyWorld still has a great return policy . . . could play them for the sucker and try to return it after a few months riding?
04-22-06, 02:15 PM
Our first tandem was a 15 year old khs sport that we paid $200 for. It looks brand new although we did have to replace the rear freewheel and replaced one of the cables. We've rode it on 50+mile rides and have had it up over 40 mph & it handled great. It has been a nice little tandem and we still ride it on paths & mixed surfaces. If you have the time to look - there are a lot of older nice bikes out there to be had.
We are friends with a couple who are going to ride accross the U.S. this summer on their older Dawes tandem. It's at least 20 years old. They did a lot of up-grade work on it this year (new paint, replaced the 27 in. for 700c, etc) Still uses barend shifters. It's a really lovely bike. This is at least the guy's 4th cross-country trip. Sorry to go on and on, I guess I just love older bikes!
I don't really have much experience with dept. store bikes. I've heard stories of nice ones that held up well, and others that fell apart from the start. It sounds like it's rather hit or miss as to which one you might end up with. I would just check it (or have it checked out) to make sure everything is in good running order.
Best of luck in your search - tandems are a great way to ride!
04-23-06, 07:44 PM
Let me put in my two cents and our decision.
* There are a few low priced tandems available. They do have to make some compromises (spelling?) to get to their price points (the Walmart example is perfect).
Raleigh, Trek, and others do have low(er) priced tandems that do use decent tandem equipment.
There are used tandems available for great prices.
Now, the big difference from our perspective. You can go into a store and order (or even pick it up the same day) one of the new tandems.
You may be able to find a used tandem that you can afford in a week, but it may be 1000 miles away so add $$$ for shipping. Or you may be able to find one across town, in 8 months.
That is the dilema, get it now and pay a bit more, or take your chances on finding one that is a combination of affordable, close, and available. At least that is how we looked at it when we chose to buy our Trek T900.
I would have to say try renting a tandem once or twice to see if it really would be what you want. (Or borrow one if you can.) If it actually does do for you and the two of you click on it together then take the plunge. Just remember, if it is mostly enjoyable, in a couple of rides it will likely be a bit unsteady and uneasy, but if you mostly like it, we believe there is a good chance you will be good as tandemists.
This is our opinion, can't blame it on anyone else.
I know when we looked around we saw some bikes for less, but the Diamondback Wildwood we bought was about as low as I was willing to after comparing other bikes in our pricerange (<$800).
To the OP, possibly there is a used bike somewhere around you might look at.
Id prefer buying a nicely refurbished used bike as opposed to a cheap one any day.
I rented a Raleigh tandem in Spain a few weeks ago. It did the job, but I'm spoiled. Made My Cddale seem good and my CO MO seem great. Still want a new frame. Spoiled... Look bro, I couldn't even afford one bike when I was in college. Be glad you can even consider the WalMart special. You'll get yer money's worth. Heh, heh...
Powered by vBulletin® Version 4.1.12 Copyright © 2013 vBulletin Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.