Tandem Cycling - Noob looking to buy a tandem, help!
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I've been road cycling for about 5 years, and about a year ago I got my wife into the sport, though she's a little more recreational than me. She enjoys it, and I enjoy spending the time with her -we've done a couple charity rides, one was a century. Recently she said she might enjoy a tandem, and gave me the go-ahead to start shopping.
But I know squat about tandems. Like really, nothing other than that it's a bike for two riders.
Can you give me the run-down on basics that I need to know for my first tandem purchase?
Her idea of a budget was $1000. After looking around for not very long, I'm thinking that's going to be hard to do.
I've read a few threads in this forum, one thing I noticed (and was very curious about) was several people mentioned "old" tandem design, or "new" tandem design when talking about their bike. Has there been some recent change in tandem design/building that has had a significant impact?
05-26-11, 12:41 PM
Good used CoMotion or Santana can be had for $1500-$2,000 if your look carefully. I just sold a nice clean 2006 CoMotion Speedster with some upgrades for $2,400. This bike was in great shape and not a budget tandem when new so you could go cheaper.
Good luck - Wayne
I would strongly recommend renting for a day, maybe even a few times, before you start shopping. Some couples love tandems and some hate them. I don't think you would be happy with a $1000 tandem, even used.
05-27-11, 10:06 AM
$1000- you are looking at used for a high quality tandem. Take a look at Craig's List and eBay.
We recently purchased a '94 Trek T50 tandem. All of the first generation Trek Tandems (through early 2000s) had the same frame: Chrome-Moly, made in the USA, and are very stiff, though a bit heavy (~40lbs). They are easy to customize, and have more stoker length than some of the other tandems. The current Trek tandem (IMHO) is not worth it.
We also considered a new Mongoose AL Wanderer (do a search on this forum for more information), but when we added up what we would change, versus the overall cost of the used T50, we went with the T50. I also prefer the Chrome-Moly to Aluminum; but you may be the opposite.
Now is a good time to purchase used, with the economy still down. If you choose to purchase used, leave some of your budget for changes/upgrades.
Critical on a tandem is the rigidity of the connection between the two bottom brackets. Look for a very large oval tube or two large tubes connecting them.
06-10-11, 05:31 PM
We bought a new KHS Milano tandem on sale for $1695 from Crank2 Performance.
I didn't want to spend $1000/1500 to buy used and have to make repairs or upgrades on maybe a 10 yr old bike. The large oval tube aluminum frame is very rigid compared to a Trek we borrowed for a while and weighs 42lbs with spd pedals, dual 203mm discs and wedge bag. This bike comes with a front disk compatible hub and fork and a rear wheel that will take a screw on spacer block for a rear disc. The frame also has the boss for the rear caliper to mount to.
And the admittedly lower end Shimano Tiagra shifters have a cool feature for tandems having shift position indicators on the tops showing what gear your in. All in all we are quite happy with the KHS as a first tandem and it's been trouble free for over a year. I reccomend you look into the KHS Milano before you go used.
This link has the specs.
Would be happy to sell you our starter tandem - an 11-year old KHS Tandemania Comp - for $500. But, I get the feeling you're not looking for a do-everything, flat bar, 26 in. wheeled, 45 pound bike. In it's favor, the 4130 frame is robust and the handling at speed is rock steady.
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