To the OP, most tandem-riding enthusiasts who have an interest in direct-drive tandems:
1. Use a second rear wheel with a White Industries Eno hub or similar type of modified cassette configuration for off-season. on their current road tandem with vertical dropouts. This is the least expensive / most effective route since it keeps them on a frame that fits and handles well.
2. Find an older, used tandem with vertical drop-outs to add a second tandem to the stable for dedicated use that's been modified as above. Reasonably affordable way of getting a high-quality tandem with most of the parts needed to make it work as a S/S or fixed-gear.
3. For strong track rats, real track tandems are like some of the rare time-trial tandems... they have their way of moving from one team to another. However, a couple hundred bucks will get the rear drop-outs on a used tandem changed to track fork ends and a new fork with the proper rake for use on the track.
4. The creme-de-la-creme is a custom-made to order frame by someone who knows how to build a track tandem.
That said, if they're cheap enough I'm sure you'll find enough takers to get a gonzo deal on a batch buy.
Originally Posted by zonatandem
Otherwise be prepared to lay out some heavy $$$$!
Not usually they way many of these group buys seem to work. Instead of going to someone like Co-Motion or a custom builder like Walker, invariably someone hooks up with an off-shore manufacturer's rep and works out a batch order of frames made in Asia that end up costing the broker / wholesaler less than the cost of a descent paint job by a frame shop here in the states. Even at 100% mark-up and with the USD in the toilet one of these frames could be retailed at less than the cost of a basic set of wheels. .
Last edited by TandemGeek; 03-22-08 at 07:08 AM.