Another: Thoughts on a first tandem
After lurking on the forums for quite a time I have decided to start searching for a tandem.
The Burley Rumba seemed like a great option with a nice component mix ( i liked the steel frame) for a very tasty price. Sadly Burley is no longer and I can't find any people with the Rumbas still instock. My continued searching has brought in all kinds of other brands with the KHS popping back up again and again (as the milano). Just recently I found the Fandango line of mountain tandems and have been drawn to them by their reasonable price and some of their components are top notch: ie white industry hubs.
The rub: What I plan to do with this tandem is traverse the US and then head down to south america towards tierra del feugo. I plan to ride the tandem alone and pick people up on the way to help. Before anyone jumps on me, this is not a new idea, someone (who's wonderful site gave me the idea) just did a panamerica on a sweet custom thorn. I was originally going to take a lemond poprad and a burley trailer but I like the idea of the tandem. (Plus afterwards as a 23 year old guy I can pick up dates, which will quickly weed out any people who might be turned off by my personality).
To make the situation even more fun; I am in France teaching english until the end of April (sadly currently bikeless but not down hearted). Test rides are the best thing for a new bike but getting my butt over to Georgia for a test ride on a Fandango is not so easy.
Tandem plus old converted burley 2 seat child carrier (with a trombone on it). Fully loaded touring with panniers isnt needed so my options are open. My budget is max of $1800 (since college loans are still biting my butt and a long bike tour doesnt pay very much:-)- recent grad
The Khs milano is still on the list, but some of the specs are not as nice as I would like (even if the price is cheap).
The Fandango has recently gone to the top of the list ,because of Frame ,components and Price. I know their frames were made by kinesis..any comments. The R-9 seems like a good choice due to the linear pull brakes and the chromo fork. I know it is expensive to upgrade a tandem fork to a suspension but with as fast as a tandem eats tires I don't want to be 10,000 miles into a tour and have a fork blowout. As for the linear breaks, I would ask to upgrade those to the avid d7s and stay away from the disks (one more thing to brake and I don't trust their heat dispersment on a heavy rig).
Comments, suggestions all are welcome as this is a new world with an extra seat on it.
P.S I know the milano is a road oriented bike with drops and the r-9 is the opposite. My friends have been asking me to get a mountain bike so i can ride with them (after the managed to crack the rear triangle one mine)!