Originally posted by 1oldRoadie
We have had one for about 5 years and the only complaint that we have is a little frame flex.
Hmmm. That would be a Trek T100 or T200 of steel construction. Trek took a hiatus from tandem manufacturing for several years and reintroduced an aluminum tandem frameset in 2002 made out of Gary Klein's ZR9000 alloy. The "touring" model is the T1000 (three zeros) and the performance model is the T2000, complete with Bontrager Race Lite Tandem Wheels and other nice features.
Here is something I wrote for another cyclist who had just purchased a T2000 and who was looking for some reaffirmation that his choice was a good one....
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Congrats on the new tandem. By way of .bcc to this reply, I've passed your note on to five teams who own and ride T2000's so that they might be able to tell you what to expect as well as any tips. Although I don't own one, if I were in the market for a new tandem and could comfortably fit on a small-sized production model** the Trek would certainly be on my short list. (**Note: I need a very short top-tube so there aren't any production tandems that fit my riding position; therefore, we have ended up riding custom-sized tandems.)
Anyway, here's what I can say about the T2000. In addition to their exceptional quality and customer service, Trek has consistently been able to develop new materials and products that become benchmarks and the T2000 certainly embodies that commitment to technical innovation. The Z9000 alloy used on the T2000 was developed by Gary Klein who is reknown for his ability to bring the best out of aluminum -- which is why Trek gave up trying on its own, bought the Klein brand and kept Gary on the payroll. The Klein & Trek bikes being built out of the ZR9000 alloy have been receiving excellent reviews and if you're really interested in knowing more about it I've attached a technical discussion by Gary Klein on the ZR9000 development program. It's probably more information than most folks would be interested in. However, given all the junk science that tandem buyers have to endure it is refreshing to read something as informative and interesting as Gary's article.
As for the frame design, the geometry is what I'd call user friendly. The proportions are well thought-out and the steering geometry is conservative without being boring. It's set at 2" for the small (72.5 degree head tube angle) and 1.9" for the med & large (73 degree head tube angle) which is just a little bit more sporty than Santana (~1.8") but not nearly as aggressive as Co-Motion (~2.2"). Therefore, the T2000 should feel solid, predictable, and responsive throughout the normal speed range.
The component package is great. While not necessarily predisposed to be a big fan of low-spoke integreated wheel systems for everyday tandem use, we have friends who have the Bontrager wheels and they are an excellent product. Similar to it's acquisition of Klein, Trek also realized that it was fighting and expensive uphill battle in trying to develop an organic, in-house brand of components (similar to Cannondale's Coda line) and acquired Keith Bontrager's company and put him on the payroll. Out of that came the Bontrager Race-Lite wheelset and, without any fanfare or advanced warning, the Race-Lite Tandem wheelset. Time will tell, but thus far all reports on the wheels are excellent. The rest of the package is solid as well. The only things that could be upgraded to please my tastes would be the addition of a carbon fork and swapping out the Avid cantilever brakes for a nice set of dual-pivot calipers.
Bottom Line: At it's price point, it's an incredible value and a great package. There are a few things that could be upgraded to suit personal tastes or perhaps enhance the quality of the captain's ride (carbon fork) and shave another pound off the bike's weight. I'd actully expected to see a carbon fork appear as an option along with dual-pivot Ultegra calipers as part of Project One... But, other than that, it's hard to find much to criticize at the price point.
Hope this helps and I'm sure you'll hear from some of the owners who I've .bcc'd.