This is my first post to this (Tandem) forum because we just got one! I had been toying with the idea for myself and the missus for some time, but she was dragging her feet, so I let it lie. Then I started thinking again, and I wondered if it wouldn't be useful for helping my oldest son learn to ride. He's 11 years old, over 5 feet tall, but has some developmental issues related to balance and visual tracking, so the whole biking thing has eluded him up 'till now. But with me up front and him in back, slow and easy on the MUP, I figured it would work. The missus agreed, so I started looking around again. We found several on CL, but out of our budget. Finally I saw a new posting, one for only $200. That seemed like a good entry price, so we went to check it out, and came home with this:
It's a Sekai "Cape Cod", and I could not find a thing about it online. It seems to be a decent piece of work, though. Steel frame, alloy cranks, 1.75 alloy rims. Brakes are cheap-looking; sticker says "Made in Taiwan". Shimano "tourney" rear derailleur, 6-speed. I'm thinking mid-to-late '80's. I have more pics if you want them.
It needs a couple hours of TLC, and I'm not sure about the seats and handlebars, but the missus likes the look of it, so...she and I took it down the street after supper tonight. She was a little freaked out as stoker ("control issues"), but wants to try again on the MUP. I'm thrilled. I want all five of us on bikes this summer, and If I have to share a bike to do it, that's fine! So I'll be hanging around with all sorts of dumb newbie questions-you have been warned!
BTW, the rear-axle kickstand was my addition.
My oldest has a friend, 10, with developmental issues. He too had not yet started riding. I took him out a few times on the tandem. He really enjoyed the spins around the block. It sparked him to try riding on his own.
My son's excited about going. I was hoping he wouldn't hold out for a classic Schwinn, as he has some rather particular tastes, but he assured me he'll be fine with the classic '80's style of the Sekai.
Another welcome to tandem cycling ... Relax and enjoy the experience! As for the bike ... remember Lance Armstrong's book .... "It's not about the bike". In this case, it's about the fun you have on the bike.