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Thread: Used or new?

  1. #1
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    Used or new?

    My wife and I bought a used Cannondale tandem mountain bike as our first tandem last year. We enjoy the tandem experience and would now like to move on to a tandem road bike.

    We can't quite decide whether it makes more sense to buy a new Trek T1000 ($2419 msrp) or Cannondale ($2700 msrp), or whether to buy a used 1998 Santana Sovereign for $2000 or used 2003 Santana Arriva with couplers for $3500 (both are advertised in our local classifieds). I am inclined to go for the 2k Santana but it is almost 10 yrs old... Do the prices seem right for the used bikes?

    Any advice for a relative newbie to the sport to help me know what I should be looking for? Or what I should look out for or would raise flags?

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    I would say off the bat, fit and preferred ride handling would trump most other things given the somewhat narrow price range.

    Couplers are nice if you plan to air travel or want to be able to fit inside a vehicle taking up minimum space. Other than that, couplers would not be worth the premium.

    The '98 could be a good deal but check the components. Would you be satisfied with the 7 or 8 speed it probably has? It will cost you a pretty penny to upgrade that later.

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    The '98 has Shimano 600 shifters, XT "V" Brakes, XTR derailiers, Shimano pedals, Selle Italia Gel saddles, Michelin Axial Pro tires.

    Not sure if it has 7/8 speed or whether I would be satisfied with it - I don't have a base for comparison and probably won't know what I'm missing. What do the newer bikes come out with, 10 speed?

  4. #4
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    If you are interested in a bike with couplers keep in mind that you also need the cases which will run you another $700. In a used bike the cases often come with the bike without a significant premium, yet they add big value for you.

    Couplers are only useful if you plan to take multiple airplane trips with the bike, decide that first and if the answer is yes don't pass up a used oportunity if it fits your size, specs and budget, there aren't that many bikes with couplers out there.

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    Thanks for notifying me about cost of travelling cases! I'll find out whether they come with the bike, if not, it would be too expensive for us.

    I can't see us going on many plane rides with the bike.

  6. #6
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    There have been many changes in the past 10 years, and updating components is very pricey.
    Either the C'dale or Trek would be a better investment in our estimation than either Santana, unless you really want/need couplers.
    If you can wait about 6 more months, the '08 tandems will be available and you could get a better deal on a close-out '07 model.

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    Thanks Zona. Where would be the best place to look for a close-out deals on the '07 models? Are there specific shops that I can try that you know of that stock tandems? Bike shops that I know of in my area (Los Angeles) do not seem to stock tandems and instead order them per request.

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    Senior Member BLIZZ's Avatar
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    We found a used Cannondale tandem{8 years old ?** The seller wanted $1200.00 and I figured it would take about $250.00 to get it ready to ride. Checking on Cannondales website we found could by brand new same model {ready to go** for $1700.00. I asked the seller if he would take $1000.00, but he said no. When we went to the local bike store to order new, they had on the floor a beautiful silver Cannondale road bike. Avid disk brakes, Utegra shifters and front derailer, rear XT. suspension seat post.
    Two or three weeks to order in our original choice or take this bike home and go ride now.
    We left paying $2599.00 for a first tandem.... How did that happen?
    Ohh.. we also left with some free bike goodies and a smile on our face that got even wider after our first ride.
    I am an experienced rider and like quality, but was unsure of what bike to get first and my wife is a new rider, but I think it is going to work out just fine.
    So to answere the question, I think used is good if good quality and a resonable price, but can cost as much as new if wrong price. Just don't get suckered in by the shine of an upgrade like I did.
    I'm not totally useless....I can be used as a BAD example.

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    We ended up getting a very good deal on a used DaVinvi In-2-ition with S&S couplers and travelling case. We are converting it to a road bike by getting drop down handlebars with Campy Chorus Ergo shifters. I spoke with Todd at DaVinci (who was very friendly and patient with all my questions) and ordered a Sram rear derailleur from him to complete the conversion. Also got 26 x 1.1 tires.

    The bike came with aerospokes, thudbuster seatpost and a rear 3rd disc brake. It is in good shape apart from a little rust on some of the extra hardwear, ie: disc brake.

    I should receive the parts in a week or so and will probably take it to LBS to install as I do not have much technical knowledge. Anyone out in Los Angeles/Santa Monica area that can recommend a good LBS to do the work?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Faddy View Post
    I should receive the parts in a week or so and will probably take it to LBS to install as I do not have much technical knowledge. Anyone out in Los Angeles/Santa Monica area that can recommend a good LBS to do the work?
    I recently was looking for a good LA bike shop to do a shipment for me. Pickings seemed unusually slim. I found one shop that seemed good but did not end up needing it. Unfortunately I do not recall it's name.

    On the other hand, what you are looking to do is not complicated (RD, brifter and bar). Almost any shop could do it. A good sign would be if you found a shop that actually stocked some campy parts. I have found in this area that if they do, they generally know their bikes. That does not preclude shops without Campy from being great shops, just one potential mark to get you to a great shop.

    Which tires did you get?

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    We've ordered the Schwalbe stelvio kevlar 26 x 1.1, from DaVinci at $30 per tire per their website. I did not see many 26 x narrow tire options on nashbar, performance or LBS.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Faddy View Post
    We've ordered the Schwalbe stelvio kevlar 26 x 1.1, from DaVinci at $30 per tire per their website. I did not see many 26 x narrow tire options on nashbar, performance or LBS.
    Definitely not nearly the selection as there are with narrow 700c tires. We currently use Soma's. They have performed well. They are 1.25's and I believe 80psi.

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