Although I've only ridden a tandem a few times, I've wanted one for decades. I finally bought one - a ten year old Nashbar (KHS, I'm told) "Sport Tandem". I paid $450. the seller said it was almost never used and it looks brand new. The only thing that strikes me about it is how low the gears are (26-36-46 chainring and 7-speed 13-28 rear). It weighs in at a total of 45.4 pounds.
I think that selling anyone who isn't a racer wannabe and who lives in a hilly area anything short of a triple with an 11-34 cassette constitutes abuse.) I'm a fairly fit geezer and that's what I use with pleasure and gusto on my regular bike, so the tandem seems absurdly low-geared. What options would be reasonable to consider to get higher gearing on the top end and where can I get them? Can I just replace the chaninrings with ones with more teeth, (Existing is 5 arm Sugino Fiso 62mm bolt center to bolt center), or would I have to get whole new crankset. Would existing front triple derailleur work with most any new triple?
I wouldn't mind more range on the rear as well. Can I just switch to an 8-speed (I think I saw an 11-30 8-speed)? If so, would I need new levers as well (existing Shimano RSX levers)?
Initially I'd like to spend as little as possible to try things out although I wouldn't mind spending more once I have more of a grip on things. I have read that reasonably strong tandem riders appreciate higher gears more than lower (within reason) owing to double strength - right?
Now if only I can get my wife on it with me!