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  1. #1
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    Tandem Bicycle on Ebay called "Caddie Up"

    Has anyone heard of CaddieUp® brand bicycles. I came across a distributor of these tandem bikes on ebay. They sell Brand New 18 Speed Two Seat Tandem Bicycles. After checking the completed auctions, dozens have sold for approximately $200 plus $99 shipping/handling. The price is hard to ignore and the feedback on the seller is 100%. I've never owned a tandem and am ready to go for it because it could be at my front door within a week! I know I could hunt around for a used tandem that probably would outlast this one but it's very tempting. Someone please give me a reason not to do it!


    SPECIAL FEATURES


    * FRAME: 26" Tandem Hi-Ten Steel
    * SIZE: 19"16
    * FORK: Hi-Ten Steel
    * DERAILLEUR: Shimano
    * CRANKSET: Alloy 28/38/48T
    * BRAKES: Alloy V-Brake
    * SHIFTERS: Shimano Grip Shift Index
    *HANDLE BAR: Alloy
    *STEM: Alloy
    *SEAT POST: Alloy
    * HUBS: Alloy 36H
    *RIMS: Alloy 26" x 1.75"
    *TIRES: 26" x 2.10" Black

  2. #2
    Pepperoni Power ROJA's Avatar
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    I don't know this particular bike, but I would be extremely skeptical of any bike (much less a tandem) for $200. If you want to try a tandem, find a local place that rents one or test ride at local shops. I suspect that this bike will ride poorly, will not shift or brake well, will be very heavy and uncomfortable, and will not make you or your partner a fan of tandems in general. It is not just a matter of it lasting; I think that this bike would not even give one satisfying ride. Is the bike even assembled? Cheap no-name components will be very hard to get set up properly and will make for scary riding. Maybe you could get a few short enjoyable rides out of it, but I doubt it. Seems like an exercise in frustration that will turn you guys off from tandems forever.

  3. #3
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Let's see.... there are so many.

    Here's one: Because there are several other high-tensile steel tandems for sale on Ebay for even less?

    And a Bonus one: You can run down to Walmart and get a Kent tandem that might actually be a little bit better for a little less money that you can see before you buy. If you're still inclined to buy it after inspecting it (perhaps even taking a test ride??) only to have problems once you get it home, it's an easy trip to take it back with no return shipping costs/hassle.
    Last edited by TandemGeek; 10-04-05 at 08:00 PM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Save your $$ . . . if it sounds too good to be trtue, it is!

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    Thanks to you all...I think I'll avoid the temptation and keep looking.



    Quote Originally Posted by zonatandem
    Save your $$ . . . if it sounds too good to be trtue, it is!

  6. #6
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    I just bought a Kent tandem two weeks ago and I agree. It is if not a better bike than the Caddie no worse and at least it will be assembled albeit possibly by conscripted bike mechanics (mine had the cranks out of phase 45 degrees!). The Kent has a 7 speed 14-34 Mega-range freewheel to go with the 28/38/48 chainwheels which I think is a big plus on a bike that heavy. You may actually use that 28/34 combination a time or few. There is a tandem called a Mantis that is sold mailorder for $353.00 and if you know where to shop you can get it with free shipping and a rebate good for a pair of helmets, if you can get past the garish paint scheme I think it is a nicely equipped entry level tandem. We will have to buy new saddles, seatposts, pedals and maybe handlebars but that would possibly have been neccessary no matter what price range of tandem we bought. Considering the bi-monthly and seasonal nature of what our tandemriding is likely to be we just could not justify a greater outlay of cash for our introduction to the pastime. The early trials have not been disappointing.

    H

  7. #7
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    Mark,

    I bought one of the CaddieUp Tandem bikes off of eBay. For the money it isn't a bad deal at all. However be prepared to dump some money into it on better components. I replaced all the cranks, stem, front handlebars, pedals, seats, and tires. I wanted to make the bike rideable for my wife and myself so Nashbar got a lot of business along with eBay. Here is why I did what I did.

    1. I replaced the chain tensioner wheel bolt with a stainless steel bolt and nuts from the local hardware store. The other would bend and not stay on well. This turned out to work well.

    2. The cranks that came with the bike were absolute junk. I just bought standard non tandem cranks off of eBay and put them on. The timing side uses a single 44 tooth wheel. Because three of the cranks will be threaded incorrectly you will need to get some red loctite to keep them from unscrewing. Even with the standard equipment cranks you will need to do this. I have not had a problem with the loctite...it works great keeping the pedals on.

    3. The stem was junk and was bent. I wanted more rise so I put on a Kalloy adjustable stem.

    4. I didn't like the handlebars that came with it so I replaced them with a cheap $10 bar from Nashbar. There was nothing wrong with the bar...just a personal choice.

    5. The pedals that came with the bike are plastic junk. I bought some clip pedals from the front cranks and reversed the clips so they would work going on backwards (see about on the thread problems). My wife on the back likes standard BMX platform pedals. I had to purchase two sets of those because one thread is backwards, and one is correct. So I ended up using the right pedals from two sets.

    6. I found the seats uncomfortable. They might be fine for you. I bought two matching seats off of Nashbar.

    7. The tires are fine that come up with it. I purchased some cheap wide Bell slicks from WalMart at $10 a piece. I just wanted a smooth wide road type tire to cut down rolling resistance.

    8. I peeled all the CaddieUp stickers off the bike. The stickers make it look like junk. It looks a lot more custom now.

    Results: It was a pretty nice bike for the money. I have less then $400 in the bike and it can go pretty well. I have taken it out and can get it going pretty fast. The bike is not light, however it is pretty strong. I am around 300lbs, and my wife is 150lbs. It seems to handle our weight just fine. I say go for it as long as you understand that what you get won't be totally what you want...and your willing to invest a bit to get it the way you want it.

    Cliff

  8. #8
    Dirt-riding heretic DrPete's Avatar
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    So as long as you replace everything on the bike, make multiple trips to the hardware store, and strip the frame of any identifying marks, you can be the proud owner of a tandem that might last a few months.

    I'd agree that spending a little more cash up front will get you a nice used tandem that you can feel good about owning and that will keep you riding comfortably and safely without many stops at the hardware store.

    DrPete

  9. #9
    Senior Member Brian's Avatar
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    $400 to see if you and your partner are going to enjoy pedalling twogether (Thanks Rudy) seems like a fair investment. If it gets ridden into the ground, there shouldn't be any problem justifying a better one next time around. If it turns out that a tandem is not right for you guys, you can probably get back 1/2 your money. Good on ya for having a go!

  10. #10
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    Please do not help bring more junk into this world. It would be much better to buy a quality tandem from/through your LBS or at a garage sale, and then sell it if need be. If the bike depreciates any in value, you can consider this a minimal cost of introduction to the activity, and feel good knowing that you helped bring a quality bicycle into the world that will be enjoyed by many people over many years.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Brian's Avatar
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    Not everyone has the money to spend on a "Quality" tandem. And they've already bought it, they're not giving birth to it.

  12. #12
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by awagner
    Please do not help bring more junk into this world. It would be much better to buy a quality tandem from/through your LBS or at a garage sale, and then sell it if need be.
    If I might ask, what type of tandem do you and your partner ride?

  13. #13
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    I've never heard of caddie up. better yet i would never buy a bike off of ebay. I would recommend saving for a brand that you cant trust like cannanondale or Trek you know something like that.

  14. #14
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    For the money the frame on the CaddieUp was worth it. We have put about 1200 miles on the bike and it works just fine. No breakdowns, and no issues. FYI, I made ONE trip to the hardware store at the beginning, ONE.

    Nice, way to go on the attack DrPete. Your sarcasm really shows me the type of individual you are. It sounds like you need to justify why you spent so much on your Tandem.

    Sorry, but I don't have $1-3k to drop on a bike right now. Sorry you think it won't last. It is in perfect shape after 1200 miles. Yes, I did visit the local bike shop and test drove the better tandems...and they are not four to five times better then mine (as their pricetag would indicate).

    I listed my modifications on the bike for others to consider. I now have a decent rideable Tandem for under $400 with VERY LITTLE work and energy put in. I think the cheap tandems do have a place in the market and I have enjoyed mine quite a bit.

    Cliff
    Last edited by chorvath; 10-21-05 at 02:00 PM.

  15. #15
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    You'll get no argument from me about spending $1k-$3k on a tandem but lets not kid ourselves, a Hi-Ten steel frame is not going to give the kind of ride that better steel or even aluminum can provide. The reason I bought the Kent was that for $200.00 the componentry was actually quite serviceable. If I had had to replace the cranks, stem and tires it would not have made sense at all. In fact I have about a $200.00 order in to Nashbar to go with my purchase of the Kent at Wal-Mart and it is all for things to enhance our experience of the tandem, not make it over: pump, rack/bag, f/r/ strobes, headlight, tights, spare tubes, etc. These are things you will also need in addition to what you have spent on basic running gear for the bicycle. We do plan to change the pedals, not because they don't work but because they won't take toe clips, the saddles are also on the list of things to upgrade but the basic running gear of the Kent tandem is very sound and should be on any bicycle that one wants to consider a 'good purchase'. In the end I don't blame you for wanting to point out your experience vs the multi-thousand dollar extremes I've done as much in other posts but you give those of us that have bought ultra-cheap tandems a bad name when you try to say with a straight face that you put VERY LITTLE work into making it pleasant to live with after mentioning that you actually had to loctite cranksets made for 1/2 bikes into your tandem to make it work for you. Some folks like to wrench on their cars on the weekend and some like to wrench on their bikes, I'm not putting that down but you have to look at it from where we do. It doesn't really seem like you came out as well as you think you did.

    H

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by TandemGeek
    If I might ask, what type of tandem do you and your partner ride?
    We ride my parents' Burley when visiting family in Chicago, and I rent a Schwinn tandem for us from our university. It's humourously heavy, but it only costs like 20 bucks for a month and is always available since apparently I'm the only guy on campus who likes to ride a cruiser tandem around in the corn with his girlfriend. The front brake works even if you stoker is pedaling, and the coaster brake works in the rain We are both poor college students, but I'm saving up to buy a used steel Trek tandem. There is a guy in state with a T1000 that I might be able to get cheap and convert to drop bars using parts salvaged from another family bike.

    Sorry if I stepped on anyone's toes by speaking against disposable bicycles On our campus, the bike racks are choked with department store bicycles, and half of them are obviously abandoned. Students think they are getting a good deal with department/grocery store bikes, but they typically last less than a year and are dangerous for half that time.
    Last edited by awagner; 10-21-05 at 08:47 PM.

  17. #17
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    Well here is how I see everything.

    1. Learning about how to maintain your bikes is a good skill to have. I have learned so many different things working on my tandem that I consider valuable that I have lost count.

    2. No matter what bike you purchase it will not last if you fail to take care of it. If your bike is wiped down after each ride, not left out in the rain, and has everything looked after and replaced then it will last. From cheap department store bikes to the high end. Leave it out in the elements and it will take it toll. 90% of the reason those college bikes last only a year and are dangerous.

    3. Customizing a bike is fun stuff, even with a cheap bike.

    4. There are a lot of different price points for Tandems. As you spend more you get better frames, better made components, etc. It is not possible to duplicate a 2k bike on a $400 budget. It is possible to build a low end rideable bike on a $400 budget however.

    5. Riding a tandem, yes even a properly fitted cheap tandem, is a lot of fun.

    6. Riding a tandem with your wife is a good team building experience. You learn how to communicate, listen better, and build a better relationship because of it.

    7. Loctite is really easy to use. Just put it on and screw the pedal in, then wait for a day.

    So has it been worth my $400 investment?
    Last edited by chorvath; 10-21-05 at 05:17 PM.

  18. #18
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by awagner
    Sorry if I stepped on anyone's toes by speaking against disposable bicycles.
    There's no need for anyone to apologize for speaking their mind; however, at the same time it's fair to expect that there may be dissenting opinions or ensuing discussions. In regard to my question to which you kindly responded, I tend to search for context when I don't have any to go on... and your response was quite interesting in that, while you have access to a premium grade tandem -- the Burley -- you also find yourself on a Schwinn cruiser. So, let me ask you this: even though the Schwinn is hardly a premium grade machine, do you enjoy riding it? Yes, it's a rhetorical question because obviously you do otherwise you'd put the $20/mo to use in some other way.

    So, this brings up back to this particular thread which really deals with the economics of a luxury item and both its intrinsic and non-intrinsic value... after all, if you don't "need" a bike for transportation or rely on it for livelihood it's a luxury item. While I too wince when people speak of department store bicycles, I try to put myself in their shoes by asking questions to fill in any gaps that help me to understand their budget, goals, and expectations for the purchase they are contemplating (mark 317) or, in Cliff's case (chorvath), had already made. Mark317 clearly understood what he was looking at and didn't have any unrealistic expectations but merely wanted to know if he should pass on it and why. I think the follow ups were all fairly objective, to the point, and Mark317 was ultimately appreciative of the feedback.

    Cliff, on the other hand, was in a different boat along with "H" (Leisesturm), as they were kind enough to offer first hand experience with the purchases that they had already made. Within both of their posts it was clear that they too knew what they were getting into when they purchased these bikes and, at the same time, it was also clear they were both satisfied with what they had acquired. Therefore, we must assume that for them the amount of money they paid for their respective bikes was equal to or greater than the non-intrinsic value and pleasure they were deriving from it. Will this condition change over time, e.g., if and when spokes break or bearings need attention? Perhaps. Will either of these two gentlemen be surprised if and when that happens? Based on what they shared in their posts, probably not. However, as a tandem enthusiast and advocate I firmly believe that they have at least been able to find out if tandeming was something they would enjoy NOW rather than procrastinating and perhaps never acting on.... and the cost associated with that certainly appears to have been comfortable with respect to their individual economic situations. Which, with respect to your $20/month Schwinn, sounds quite familiar.

    On a final note, and to add context, if you search the archives or find yourself in the company of other tandemists in the future you will find that there are many tandem buyers who parallel the buying pattern of Cliff and H but who found that $1,800 or perhaps $2,500 was an easy pill to swallow for their view of an "entry level tandem" (remembering that economics are what they are) and within their first year of ownership opted to "upgrade" the mediocre wheelset that came on the bike with a "better" set of wheels for $500 or decided to add that $395 carbon fork... making the point that it's all relative.

    Just some food for thought.

    Edit: This was composed off-line and, in the interim, Cliff has reaffirmed the thought I was trying to express.
    Last edited by TandemGeek; 10-21-05 at 02:45 PM.

  19. #19
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Better to ride a cheap tandem than to never ride a tandem at all . . .
    Lots of expen$ive tandems are gathering dust in a shed or garage; it's not what you've got that counts, but do you enjoy being TWOgether?
    We all have our priorities; no, we don't have, or need, a second car. No we don't have golf clubs that cost $300 each; no we don't have a fancy 'watercraft' or or off-road 4-wheeler, no we . . . well you get the picture!
    But we do have a pretty nice tandem that we ride and enjoy.
    So go out there and pedal . . .

    Pedal on TWOgether!
    Rudy and Kay/zonatandem

  20. #20
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    My solution to this particular issue was to buy a 8 yr old Trek T100 for about $500. I think this will be enough of a tandem to give my wife and I the idea of whether or not this is something we want to put more money into later. If we do, the chances are good that this tandem will be going back on sale for someone else to give it a try for a bit cheaper than we did.

    Keith

  21. #21
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    I was looking at the Kent tandems when the shop that I worked at got them in and got to build one, it was extremely cheap and obscenely heavy, however when put together it would hold up ok for awhile, probably as long as it will take to realize the sport isn't right for you or that you like it and need to get something better. I decided to hold off and when a used one showed up I got it for 200.00, since then I replaced the wheels from 27" to 700c using a cyclocross wheel set up, changed the rear der to a LX, tossed on a LX shifter, two flat bars since the wife hates drops, a sram cassette and chain, and a basic set of mtb levers. I actually got the rear der and shifters for free, but even going with deore shifters this leave a fine working 27sp tandem for under an additional 200.00, so 400.00 total. Everything worked fine before abd at 200 was better then the kent with out a doubt, for the additional 200.00 it became a respectable 39lb 27sp tandem. So my recommendation is hold out for someone to sell a used one locally rather then buy a kent or similar off ebay. The final argument for a used is if you decide you don't like it you can probably get most or all of your money back through the local swap sheet which won't be possible with a kent.

  22. #22
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    Mark, I also bought one of the CaddieUp Tandem bikes off of eBay and (chorvath) is correct “For the money it isn't a bad deal at all” and if in Houston, as I am, you can pick the bike up and not pay any shipping. I have not dumped a lot of money into it yet on better components, but I do plan to make some replacements like the seats. For me I am new to the Tandem world and I did not want to dump a lot of money into something that might not use. I have enjoyed the CaddieUp as is and it seems to be worth the money. CHORVATH made some good points that you should be aware of; my investment has been $175 and I plan to make $100 in upgrades.

  23. #23
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    I've some questions for those of you who have bought the Caddie Up tandem;
    Are the wheels holding up OK?
    Is the frame stiff enough for a couple weighing about 180lbs each?
    Freewheel or cassette?

    We're so fussy about seats, bars and tires, that we'd be replacing them on anything we buy. The contents of my basement are such that I'd probably be able to upgrade all the other components without spending a dime. I even have new, crossover drive TA and Sugino tandem cranksets stashed somewhere down there.

    We've a couple of rather nice custom tandems already. One is all Campi and Phil Wood equipped and the other a recumbent. But lately we've been enjoying leisurely rides in the evening, her on a '73 Schwinn Breeze and me on a '73 Raleigh Sport. We'd like a tandem we can just hop on and ride, without putting on funny shoes.


    Quote Originally Posted by fuzzybunnies
    "I was looking at the Kent tandems when the shop that I worked at got them in"
    Is there a Non-Walmart source for the Kent? The Kent looks like it would actually suit us better, but I wouldn't shop at Walmart if they were selling titanium Santanas for $59.95.


    Quote Originally Posted by awagner
    "I rent a Schwinn tandem for us from our university. It's humourously heavy, but it only costs like 20 bucks for a month and is always available since apparently I'm the only guy on campus who likes to ride a cruiser tandem around in the corn with his girlfriend."
    Is that a Schwinn Twinn? I've been told there is a shop in a nearby town with a couple of these frames hanging in the rafters.
    Is there any chance that the frame is stiff enough for a (no longer very strong) couple weighing about 180lbs each?
    Do you know the distance between the BBs?

  24. #24
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    If you've got most of the components sitting around, why not go for a Chuck's Bikes tandem frame & fork?

    http://www.chucksbikes.com/store/fr022a.htm

    -Greg

  25. #25
    Dolce far niente bigbossman's Avatar
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    You might want to cruise Craig's List as well. I see tandems all the time on there. I almost bought a nice 21 speed Schwinn road tandem with barcons for $400, but it was too big. I ended up finding a clean early 90's cromo Univega mtb tandem for $200. I spent $100 customizing it for the wife and daughter (slicks, saddles, brake pads, pedals, grips), and about an hour or two adjusting and tuning.

    They did about 9 centuries on it last year, and have a ball with it.
    "Love is not the dying moan of a distant violin, it’s the triumphant twang of a bedspring."

    S. J. Perelman

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