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Tandem Cycling A bicycle built for two. Want to find out more about this wonderful world of tandems? Check out this forum to talk with other tandem enthusiasts. Captains and stokers welcome!

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Old 06-24-06, 08:40 PM   #1
Mark B
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Advise, please, about KHS Tandemania models

My wife and I have been considering an entry level tandem for several years. Similar story to most, don't want to spend too much until we know we love it, but know we can't go too cheap if we want to maintain a decent riding experience.

We have ridden the Trek 900 and did not find it terribly appealing. Recently road a 2004 KHS Tandemania Alite and really liked it. We would buy that bike if we could find one, but we could wait a long time to find one used. Unfortunately, in 2005 KHS changed the Alite pretty dramatically in frame design and componetry. The price dropped by $400 - $500, but I suspect that the quality of the ride has suffered significantly in the process.

Does anyone have any first hand experience of the 2005/06 model Alite, or even better, can anyone comment first hand about the difference in riding experience between the 2004 and 2005 models?

Also interested in any first hand experience with the new KHS Tandemania Cross model. This is the off-road/hybrid version of the Milano. From the pics and specs the 2004 Tandemania Alite we liked so much seems to have more in common with the 2006 Cross than it does with the 2006 Alite. Again any first hand experience or advice would be appreciated.

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Old 06-25-06, 07:40 AM   #2
bridgestone60
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This isn't information specific to the Alite, but I have a Milano road tandem and it's great. It rides very well and with the exception of the saddles and pedals I haven't changed a thing.
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Old 06-25-06, 06:44 PM   #3
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I have a Milano as well. Like the above poster, we also changed out the saddles and pedals. The big thing for me was the brakes. They were awful and had to go
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Old 06-26-06, 08:15 AM   #4
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My wife and I ride a 2000 Tandemania Comp - cromo, 26" wheels, flat bars. Looks like they stopped that model. No experience with the Cross or current models, but the Comp has been great as a first and only tandem for our purposes. Well-built frame, moderately-good-quality parts. (Have switched-out seats, pedals, tires, chainrings, cassette, adjustable stem for the captain). Power Tools V-brakes have been fine. Frameset and slightly fat 1.5 tires really soak up bumps. Used to think it was flexy but then I got a used Rans Tailwind recumbent and suddenly the Comp feels stiff.
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Old 06-26-06, 09:58 AM   #5
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I have a 2002 Milano. It has been a workhorse. I got it new for less than a grand. No bling factor, but a steady and reliable bike. Switched out the saddles as they were junk. 8 speed 105 STI works well. Brakes could be a little more powerful, but I seem to manage. Only really noticed some frame flex when riding with a rear rack and loaded panniers. The cross bike looks to have the same frame as the Milano with just a change of bars so it should do well for more trail/mild off-roading but I would think twice about taking on any serious single-track with the stock 700c wheels.
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Old 09-09-06, 07:41 PM   #6
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Milano Brake replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by NJWheelBuilder
I have a Milano as well. Like the above poster, we also changed out the saddles and pedals. The big thing for me was the brakes. They were awful and had to go
Looks like I'm getting a Milano soon too. What sort of brakes did you put on yours?
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Old 09-09-06, 08:10 PM   #7
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We started out years ago on a KHS Tadamaina Milano road tandem copper in color all 8 speed. It was a great little tandem for the money $1150.00. It got us started and we have advanced since then through a few tandems but I still have a soft spot and some good memories of the KHS. It is a great little tandem over all and it road very well considering all.

Good Luck,
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Old 05-18-10, 06:26 AM   #8
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Just stumbled upon this thread, and thought I'd add my .02.

We bought a Tandemania Comp in 1999 I think, the cromo 26" flat barred version, copper in color.
Having ridden it for 11 years now I must say that it has given us no reason to replace it. I've swapped a few things more to my personal taste: XTR (952) shifters and V-brakes, LX Rapid rise RD, XT (735) crank on the stoker with 24x34x44 rings. XT 11-34 cassette. Also changed the saddles and bars, and added a Chris King headset as the stocker was junk.
As for the frame itself its been great. Plenty stiff, the wheels are plenty strong with those 40 spokes, and I like
the dual eyelets on the rear dropouts and lowriders on the fork. I wish it had more bottle mounts (4 total) and dual eyelets on the fork, but aside from that it is a wonderful frame to build into your perfect mount.

KHS tandems don't seem to get a lot of respect, but for what you pay vs. what you get (value for money), they're hard to beat.

I may be looking into a custom built tandem as my wife is the same size as me (5'10"), and the stoker compartment on ours is a bit cramped for her..... This has not been enough of a problem (yet) to justify spending the big bux on a boutique frame, but I've noticed that Curtlo cycles offers tandem framesets starting at $1500.

Why does everyone seem to think that the stoker will always be shorter than the captain?
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Old 05-18-10, 07:00 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smokinapankake View Post

Why does everyone seem to think that the stoker will always be shorter than the captain?
For the same reason I (at 6'3") don't fit in many airplane seats, or the driver's seat of a fair number of cars: they build to fit "most" of the population, and don't worry about the rest.

As far as your looking for reasonable pricing on a custom fit - you don't have to go all the way to "boutique". Several of the frame makers offer custom at very little mark-up - Hokitika (Tandems East) $300; DaVinci - $300; Rodriguez - free. Co-Motion also offers custom, but doesn't indicate the price. Probably worth asking before you eliminate it.

Last edited by WebsterBikeMan; 05-18-10 at 07:01 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 05-20-10, 09:48 PM   #10
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Now that Burley's are out of the iocture, the KHS has filled that price range void.
Good frames generally and OK compoinents.
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