The local (3 hours away) bike shop has a 2003 or 2004 Burley Rumba road tandem that they've been using as a rental. It has seen very minimal rental use, so the owner is looking to sell it. It appears to be size L, which by all accounts SHOULD fit my wife and I well.
That being said, is the Rumba a good first tandem, especially being used? The list for a new one is about 1800-1900...looks like we can get this one for a bit less (still waiting on a call back).
I've never bought a used bike (other than a beater). What things specifically should we be looking for with a used tandem? Anything that is prone to breakage, etc? If we buy the bike, it will be covered under the full warranty of a new tandem.
It would be a good first tandem for recreational or family riding. You should be able to get it for quite a bit below the cost of a new model. For a fair market value tool and some other info on used tandems you might want to peruse this Web page: http://www.thetandemlink.com/usedhome.html
If it fits and the price is right (about $400 to $500 discount) it would make a real good first tandem. You certainly could do a lot worse!
If it works out, it'll let you gain experience/confidence and if you want to you can get something better later on.
Pedal on TWOgether!
Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
My wife and I have one. Ours is a 2004 model, now with about 2000 miles on it. It is our first. Ours is stock except for a thudbuster stoker post and pedals.
While it's not the lightest tandem out there, we have done a century on it, and regularly ride 50 miles at a time. We ride both Saturday and Sundays, and at least one time a week. On our 15 mile fitness rides, we average 20+ miles per hour.
All in all, it's an excellent bike for the price. Highly reccomended as a first bike.
We have a '98 Rumba Softride after spending our first year on a Raleigh Companion (a hybrid style). I thought we were just going to do ice cream rides but we soon discovered the fun of riding out in the Iowa countryside (plenty of that!).
Whether a bike is "good" depends on your uses. The Companion was fine for 10 milers, but tiring and slow for rides over 30 miles.
I'd say that the Rumba fits our styles, which is casual pace...we've been averaging around 14 mph...and rides up to 50 miles. I'm sure it can do longer rides at faster speeds just fine, too. The bike is very smooth and stable, handling well at speeds. Its steel frame handles the bumps just fine, and the softride creates the "what bump?" stoker experience.
In sum, I think the Rumba would be a good first tandem, but in our case, it's become a good second tandem.
I just bought a Rhumba from an LBS 5 weeks ago. The wife (stoker) and I love it! Ours is stock except for her saddle. Our longest ride so far was 38 miles but we've been riding every Sat & Sun since we bought it. We paid $1300 for it brand new so you should push for a good deal and make sure you look for worn parts such as tires, brake pads etc.