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  1. #1
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    Buying a road tandem in Australia

    Hi everyone,
    I live in Sydney, Australia. Does anyone know if there are any good Australian-made road tandems? I wonder how much it would cost to bring in a tandem from the US? Would I have to pay a special import duty? It seems very few bike shops sell tandems in Sydney and their range is very limited. Thanks for your help.
    Cheers.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Give UNcle Mel at Tandems East an email. He ships all over the world.

  3. #3
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    I'm not sure where you would buy one, but we have an Apollo branded tandem (KHS really, but with Apollo stickers) bought in NZ. A quick look at www.apollobikes.com shows that they still have two tandems on their website.

    Alternatively, Thorn will export - for a price I guess. See http://www.sjscycles.co.uk/

    Ian

  4. #4
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Do you have any frame builders in Sydney? That might be less expensive than paying import duties.

  5. #5
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    Right, I guess I should stop lurking and say something on this one... I live on the mid-north coast of NSW and if you think it's hard finding a decent tandem in Sydney....
    I have 3 tandems at the moment. 2 flat-bar, 26" wheel ones that I bought in Australia on eBay. I must say I was lucky though, decent tandems don't come up often, probably because there actually aren't many - and I look all the time. I think those who go to the effort of getting one in from overseas are not going to sell very often.
    My other tandem is a Santana road tandem which I bought on eBay from the US. It cost quite a lot to import - the actually shipping across the ocean part wasn't too bad - but all the added charges at both ends add up. There was road freight, paperwork and handling, transfer to sea freight and all sorts of charges at this end. Despite all that that I'm very happy with it. There was no duty payable on the import of it but there is GST payable at importation!
    My family (of 5) went on the NSW Big Ride in March on the 2 flat bar tandems + tag along. There were about 6 or 7 "full size" tandems there. 1 Trek, 1 Cannondale, 1 Co-Motion (drool) and some other lesser brands. There were about 3 or so bike friday tandems too. You can order a Trek or a Cannondale at a LBS dealer I think and it will get delivered eventually. KHS are around and I think you can order them in.
    My conclusion is if you want a "real" road tandem though, you have to find a way to get one from the US. Next holiday? Or get it shipped ($$$).
    I hope this doesnt put you off. A nice tandem is worth it and we need more of them out here!

  6. #6
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    I know what you mean aus tandem. Finding a tandem on sale here is difficult; finding a good tandem is even harder. Having had our Apollo for 5 years now and with a second child on the way, we will have to consider what to do later.

    I would have thought there would be Trek or Cannondale dealers relatively nearby - Sydney at least. However, Zonatandems idea on a framebuilder may be better (Hillbrick is the only one that springs to mind in NSW). There's one framebuilder in NZ (the only one that I can find) and I think that's what I would consider when we buy another tandem.

    Good luck with the search.

  7. #7
    adm
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    Yet another one who's stopped lurking...

    I also don't live in Sydney, but in the New England region. The only tandems I could get through the LBS are the two Apollo's (actually at what seems to be a reasonable price), or road-wise, the Trek T2000 at $5000.

    I recall reading somewhere that Clarence Street Cyclerly have the import licence from Trek, and whether its true or not, they do stock the Trek.

    In terms of buying online, ACS have a page about buying online and importing http://www.customs.gov.au/site/page.cfm?u=5549.

    Cheers

    ADM

  8. #8
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Greenspeed in Australia builds 3 wheeled recumbent tandems. Have seen several of them in the USA . . . long, bit pricey (yeah, we know: import $$!) and beautiful with up to (gasp!) 72 gears!
    Pedal on TWOgether!
    Rudy and Kay/zonatandem

  9. #9
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    Bought an Apollo Elite!

    Hi,
    Thanks for that. We checked out the Apollo website and found the Apollo tandems are good value. We're now waiting to pick up our Apollo Elite tandem next weekend. It cost less than $1700 (Australian dollars) but the frame and components seem quite fine to me - proof is in the pudding I guess.
    Cheers.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Brian's Avatar
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    Hadley's, in Newcastle can order the Cannondale tandems. But at $5k, it's truly cheaper to fly to LA, buy one, and bring it back with you. And you get to have real Mexican food too. If you have way too much cash to spend, try Thylacine cycles.

    As far as rarity, I don't think we saw more than 3-4 other tandems in Newcastle. Make sure you get your dealer to stock some extra brake and shifter cables too.

  11. #11
    Dr.Deltron
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    Quote Originally Posted by zonatandem
    Greenspeed in Australia builds 3 wheeled recumbent tandems. Have seen several of them in the USA . . . long, bit pricey (yeah, we know: import $$!) and beautiful with up to (gasp!) 72 gears!
    Pedal on TWOgether!
    Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
    +1!
    We love ours! But it lives here in California, USA! Had to pay the "duty" to get it OUT of Australia!
    And it only takes a $50 folding rack to get it where we want to ride.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  12. #12
    pel
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    If you are planning on flying around the world any time soon - stop in LA. The way to go. It worked for us on our recent European tour.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Brian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pel
    If you are planning on flying around the world any time soon - stop in LA. The way to go. It worked for us on our recent European tour.
    Um, where are the photos?

  14. #14
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    Hi TomR

    A couple of years ago i was in the same situation as you. (Do a search on my username & you will see some of the frustrations i experienced as well as the tandem i ended up acquiring). I eventually found a tandem on the U.S ebay and bought it on ebay unseen. I emailed the seller a number of times who was very helpful & genuine. At the time i had a friend who worked in the States (in fact she is still there) & got the tandem sent to her & when she came back to Australia (which she does at least once a month) she brought it back in as hand luggage. No customs duties .. no taxes ... it was great .. needless to say i bought her a very nice bottle of champagne for her efforts. I met her at Brisbane Airport and hired a Maxi-Taxi which brought me & the tandem back home. All in all it cost me $AU2400.00 for a mid-90's Cannondale Tandem with the Reynolds Carbon Tandem Forks, Topline Titanium crankset, Mix of Dura-Ace & Campag running gear, White Industry Hubs (if you do a search on my username you will find the link in this forum that has some accompanying pictures). Needless to say I am very happy with the purchase and also very grateful with all the assistance i recieved from members of this forum. My wife & i have had many good rides together. Not so many nowadays as she is 6mths pregnant .. but we will certainly do some more riding together after the baby is born as well as get something attached to the tandem to carry the baby as soon as he is old enough to be placed in a trailer.

    All the best
    Jeff

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