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  1. #1
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    1985 Moseman Tandem - Opinions Please

    I'm considering buying this tandem - I just saw the ad today. The owner is asking $2,100.

    I am really new to this - we are signed up for a century ride in May. I'm 6'6" with a 36" inseam. My stoker is 5'4". We are just starting to look for tandems - I've read lots of advice online and it does make sense to me to start with a used bike to see if we even like it. So, I need help translating the technical jargon below - what does it mean? Would this be a good first tandem? What should I look out for? Would this bike fit us? Can I just put a longer seat stem and raise the handlebars to get a little more height if I need it? How about the price - is it reasonable?

    FOR SALE: 1985 Moseman Club Racing Tandem - Custom built, 22.5 x 21.25” metallic black, w/oval top, middle and bottom tubes. “Marathon” style mid-stay. Aerospoke wheels, shod with Continental Duraskin 700 x 28c tires. Campy Ergo-8 Shifters, Sugino black ano crankset w/ nearly new triple black ano chainrings spinning on Phil BB’s. Scott-Petersen cantilever SE-self energizing brakes, black & Phil Wood disc brake. Campy Record Derailleurs f & r. Campy 8-sp 13/28 cassette. TTT handlebars w/Profile clip-onsStem: Cinelli, black anodized. Sprung rear stem plus original fixed rear stem. Campy black anodized seatposts, Chris King H/S, Vetta & Terry Saddles. May other accessories. A classic machine, finished black on black. Fast. Well used and excellently maintained by the builder.

  2. #2
    Co-Mo mojo
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    Moseman vs Co-Motion Periscope

    I'm posting this reply here rather than in the Periscope thread, although you would probably get better responses if you deleted one of the posts and combined them.

    You should check out the sizing recommendations on the Co-Motion web site, although the large size sounds like the proper size for your team. I recall that Periscopes come in only two sizes. You should also check to see if the Moseman frame fits. Buying a tandem is similar to buying a horse -- the best one is the one that fits you (assuming tandems do not come trained to behave or do tricks). Also as with horses, the best color for a used tandem is the one that fits.

    Several factors to consider (and expect others to chime in on this as well):

    1. How much experience do you have on a tandem? If the answer is close to zero, start off by renting one first to see if it works for your team. If it turns out not to be a good fit for your team, you will save $$$.

    2. Looks like both tandems some with indexed shifting -- a good thing. that means the Moseman has been substantially upgraded since being born in 1985. But older bikes may not take advantage of all the improvements in technology. Buying the Moseman could be an adventure -- good or less good. Need to go into this with eyes wide open as much as possible, and hopefully you will get responses from people familiar with this bike and/or the list of components. Personally I am unfamiliar with the brakes on the Moseman.

    3. Do you prefer 700c wheels/tires or 26 inch wheels/tires? If your team rides fairly new single road bikes you might -- or might not -- find the 26 inch setup less desirable from a performance standpoint. On the other hand, you might find the 26 inch setup more comfy.

    More things to consider, but these are good ones to get the vital juices going. Good luck!
    Last edited by DBC Steve; 12-29-06 at 10:32 AM.

  3. #3
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    dude, you're way too big for that bike. I'm 6' tall and ride a 22.5. As well, I don't think your wife will get over the bar on a 21.25".

    For less money than that you can buy a brand new Cannondale tandem in the perfect size. And it's new: new running gear, new tires, warranty, etc....

    Real bad idea.

  4. #4
    Veni, Vidi, Vomiti SteveE's Avatar
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    I agree. It's probably too small for you.

    I think I may have seen this tandem back in '85! We were at GEAR in Shippensburg, PA around that time. I remember coming out of a restaurant and seeing a 99.5% black Moseman racing tandem and thinking what a great looking tandem! About a year later my wife and I picked up our own custom-built Moseman tandem which I'm still riding mostly with my 19-year old daughter.

    - SteveE
    "Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ...'holy *****...what a ride!'"

  5. #5
    Dr.Deltron
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    Quote Originally Posted by SouthJBiker
    I'm considering buying this tandem - I just saw the ad today. The owner is asking $2,100.
    From the description, I can see why you didn't add a link to the "ad"!!

    Sounds like a sweeeet deal. Post pics when you get it...pleeease!

  6. #6
    SDS
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    In my opinion, it is likely that that tandem is not a good fit and not a good deal.

    The reasons:

    1. The price is in the range of a slightly used (new?) Trek or Cannondale, and this time of year you might find one. The two largest sizes of Cannondales are well-suited to taller stokers because of their long front horizontal top tube lengths (23.8" and 24.6").

    2. In that time period, it is likely to have 140mm rear dropout spacing, not compatible with the current standard of either 145mm (most everybody) or 160mm (Santana). Admittedly, with a steel frame you can probably easily squeeze in a 145mm wheel.

    3. The bicycle tubing available at the time was not very good. It's likely that that tandem is heavy or flexible or of short length, in comparison to a modern tandem.

    4. During that time period, stoker compartments could be very short, even as short as 23 to 25 inches of horizontal bottom bracket spacing (I just sold a 1983 Peugeot with 23" spacing, and I still have a large Osell from the same period with 25" spacing). It's easy to get a modern tandem in the range of 28" (Santana) or longer. Of course, it could be that the Moseman was built longer. It's easy to measure between the bottom bracket shell centers if the BB heights are equal. Thirty inches or longer and it's nice, but still too small for you. You might have to pay $4000-plus to get a custom that long.

    5. Yes, it's got some nice parts on it, and some goofy parts. The Aerospoke wheels are good but heavy, and discontinued. The Campy Ergo-8 shifters tend to break faster than Shimano equipment (this will start an argument, but I have used both. now I only have Shimano--all the Campys broke). I don't think much of the Sugino tandem crankset, even for the period. It works, but the Sugino rings are likely to be soft. The Scott-Pedersen (with a "D") brakes were the best brakes of the period, exceeded only by the more powerful Suntour SE brake (rear only). These days, double-pivot sidepulls are proven on tandems and have better modulation. It seems to me that I have read several reports over the years of Phil Wood disk brakes having catastrophic disk failures, and Phil Wood discontinued the brake.

    In short, if you want to collect a classic tandem to hang on the wall, the Moseman could be a good deal. A modern tandem that fit and functioned well would be better. You need something bigger.

    I recommend aluminum frames with large tubes for large or powerful teams. Another argument, but manufacturers feel pressed to make weight to be competitive, and built to the same weight, the larger tubes of an aluminum frame are likely to be stiffer.

    Yes, you can get long seatposts, but handlebar stems that are long enough and tall enough to make that bike fit you would be a custom item. You are much better off just looking for a modern tandem that fits well.

    Tandem fit consists of not only the captain fit and the stoker fit, but also the space in between, which is vital for stoker function and comfort and happiness. It's nice, and hard, to get single bike fit on the back, and at least six inches of stoker stem in front of that. More is better.

    A 66cm Cannondale single bike, fitted with 185mm or 190mm crankarms, is one of the best single bikes for persons in your size class. The long and high top tube and the stiff frame and the price together are almost unbeatable.

  7. #7
    Captain - 2nd in Command djsincla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SouthJBiker
    I'm considering buying this tandem - I just saw the ad today. The owner is asking $2,100.
    Personally I would say too much for a bike this old.

    You first need to work out the type of riding you will be doing which will influence Mountain vs Road, 26" vs 700C, Recumbant, Coupled, and then the bike size.

    Find really good bike stores that stock Tandems and test ride as many as you can.

    You never mentioned where you are based - We could provide you some bike store recommendations?

  8. #8
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Fit is the issue on either tandem.
    The Periscope could be made to 'barely' fit by using a new fork with 'uncut' steerer tube and utilizing 'lots' of spacers. Then get an adjustable Pilot stem (Co-Motion makes one for about a hundred bucks)) which will allow you to set up the correct long reach.
    Rodney Moseman is/was a great builder, however that is quite pricey for a tandem that's 21 years old and will not fit.
    As stated before, fit is the issue. Would you buy shoes/shirt/pants that are too small?
    The C'dale sounds like a good alternative for the 2 of you.

  9. #9
    Senior Member teamcompi's Avatar
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    I think you have been given some good advise. For my 2 cents.... if you want to spend that kind of money go to a tandem dealer, ride a few, get the size that fits. I have always liked 700's but IMHO 26 inch is not a bad way to go, they tend to make a stronger wheel, which is a concern especially on a tandem, and currently there are a large number of narrow 26 inch road tires available. In general terms I think that current tandems are stiffer, than those in the past, which is an issue with a large framed tandem. Tandems go through parts faster than a single being newer you will have less issues getting parts in years to come.

    Our stable has three Cannondales all singles, they always seem to be a good value, we have yet to be disappointed with quality. With the size of your wife and yourself a large/small may be something to look at. SIZE MATTERS

  10. #10
    Banned. galen_52657's Avatar
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    Way too expensive for an ancient bike.... 22 years. Was a great bike in it's time. I sometimes ride with a couple who have a Moseman and it looks like a finely constructed custom frame. Size may be less of an issue for captain depending on how frame is measured, so an actual hands-on investigation would be necessary (don't buy sight unseen). Long stem and long seatpost are available.

    For that kind of money you have a lot of choices starting with a Cannondale Jumbo/large or Large/medium.

  11. #11
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    Thanks guys - Purchased Custom Tandem

    Thanks for the feedback everyone - I learned a lot in the past week.

    Saturday we went to a tandem only shop (Tandems East). We rode a Cannondale and a Bushnell. After being measured and properly sized, we decided on a custom frame by Bilenky with components recommended by Mel, the shop owner. I'm really excited - this will be a fun adventure for my wife and me!

    Thanks again,

    Scott
    Last edited by SouthJBiker; 01-01-07 at 11:37 AM.

  12. #12
    On a mission from God svt4cam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SouthJBiker
    I'm considering buying this tandem - I just saw the ad today. The owner is asking $2,100.
    I second the Cannondale idea. I am 6'3' ride a 62/63 road frame and the Cannondale sizing is perfect for me and my 12 year old daughter. Lots of room to stretch out and able to get very aero on it comfortably. Light bike, stiff frame, faultless handling and have not had a lick of trouble with it for approx. 9 years other than some intial drive side spoke breakage although that cleared itself up. I think the older tandem is too expensive. Maybe worth around 1500.00 but I don't think you'll be comfortable on it.

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