Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Bikes: Trek T2000, Specialized Roubaix Pro, Specialized Ruby Elite
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Well, you do get what you pay for....
Question is what they want to get out of it
If he and his potential stoker are regular recreational cyclists, then my advice would be to look out for a good second hand tandem (unfortunalty this will generally still be quite a bit more than $300).
If they are reasonably new to cycling, want to try out tandeming without too much of an investment, then a $300 tandem might be a good start. If they enjoy it, I suspect a much better bike will be on the cards in short time.
To me, the $300 tandems I have seen are good for relaxed cycling on a "flat" stretch for maybe 10-15 miles at a time. Don't expect any kind of long term reliability if they are going to be clocking up 80+ miles a weekend. Kind of reminds me of the "mountain bikes" with the warning labels that say "not to be used off road".
The way I see it - if they have good single bikes, a $300 tandem will be a turnoff (handling, weight, performance etc.), however if they are new to cycling, they won't know any different and a low end tandem might be a start to a wonderful experience.