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Tandem Cycling A bicycle built for two. Want to find out more about this wonderful world of tandems? Check out this forum to talk with other tandem enthusiasts. Captains and stokers welcome!

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Old 03-29-08, 12:21 PM   #1
alee100
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Fair price for 10+ year old Burley Rock and Roll

My wife and I just test rode a 10 or 11 year old Burley Rock and Roll. It has a Softride on the back, and the current (original) owner has added a rear drum brake. Has smooth road tires. The pedaling action seemed pretty smooth, as did the shifting. There are a few scratches, nothing major. It came with the drop bars. Seemed to work fine, the rear chain dropped off to the inside during the test ride, but I may have over shifted the bar end shifter. To get my wife comfortable on the back we had to move the bracket to the rear of the Softride, and the seat pretty close to the rear on the bracket. Could this cause a problem with the Softride durability since it is already 10 or 11 years old? He is asking $900, but says to make an offer. Does this seem like a fair price? We are new to tandem riding, looking for a bike to give it a try.
Thanks for any advice/opinions.
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Old 03-29-08, 02:09 PM   #2
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I think there's two ways of looking at this:

There is no way you are going to find a new bike anywhere near this nice for less than twice the price. That's the upside.

The downside is that I'm not sure of the availability of replacement parts for the Softride beam. If that beam ever fails, the rest of the bike is useless.

You dropped the chain shifting into granny on the crank - right? Buy a $10.00 chain watcher and eliminate that problem forever.

I think that I'd shoot a $650 to $700 offer at him and try to settle between $750 and $800. Then start looking for a spare beam - just in case.
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Old 03-29-08, 07:47 PM   #3
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If the bike fits I'd go for it. Never heard of a failure on a Softride beam. Anything on any bike can 'fail'.
Unless stoker is quite large, beam should not cause any issues. The underneath or upper part of beam had a notice giving weight limits.
We have put over 64,000 miles on a tandemframe . . . sold it and it is still being ridden.
Make a low ball offer; if he refuses, split the difference. Usually works.
Enjoy the ride TWOgether!
Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
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Old 03-31-08, 01:00 AM   #4
alee100
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Thanks for the replies.
Went ahead and got the bike for $800. Could possibly have saved a few bucks by bargaining harder, but the guy I bought it from had been very helpful when we looked at it, and this seemed a fair price. Picking it up tomorrow but the weather here (Salt Lake City) looks cold and wet for a while so not sure when we will be able to get out on it.
Next question, does anybody have any good hints? I am a very experienced mt. biker, fairly experienced road biker, but new to tandems, and my wife hasn't ridden very much at all. I plan on checking out the Tandem forum stickies, but am looking for some of those, "I wish somebody had told us that when we got our first tandem" type of hints.
Thanks for any replies.
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Old 03-31-08, 09:46 AM   #5
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This is one of the most fun and best pieces of advice I've read...congrats on the Burley and welcome to the very enjoyable world of tandem cycling.
Bill J.


http://www.gtgtandems.com/tech/propmethod.html
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Old 04-01-08, 07:02 AM   #6
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I've got a '94 Burley Rock'n'Roll softride, so a few years older than yours. It rides great, my wife and I love it. I've got the additional worry of replacing the Suntour drivetrain whenever I wear out or break something, but other than that, I'm loving it!
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Old 04-01-08, 07:03 AM   #7
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Oh, incidentally, I put 1.5" slicks on mine, swapped out the softride suspension stem, and put on bar ends to get me a couple more hand positions. It's a blast. Haven't done any super long rides yet (only an hour or two at a time so far), but am hoping to get up to doing a metric century with my wife this year.
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Old 04-01-08, 10:57 AM   #8
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Congratulations on your new to you ride.

Advice:

The Golden Rule of course...

"The stoker is never wrong"
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Old 04-01-08, 10:31 PM   #9
alee100
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Here's a picture

Took it for a ride today, about 12 miles, by myself. I wanted to get used to the bar end shifters and the way it handled before my wife was on it. Really pleased with the shifting and braking.
It came with 1.5" slicks, so it rolled pretty well, better than I expected. We are going to take it out this Friday to a nice flat stretch of road that has almost no traffic to start getting used to it.
The link Specbill put above was great, particularly about how to get clipped in and started. I plan on replacing my pedals with some spare Eggbeaters I have around, and using my mt. bike shoes. I am not sure if my wife will want to stick with what is on there or go clipless.
Jinker, how did you replace the Softride? On my bike there is no Stoker seat tube, just a sloping top tube the Softride is attached to.
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Old 04-02-08, 05:22 PM   #10
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Key word for learning how to ride TWOgether:
"Communicate!"
Person up front has to verbalize all he'll be doing: Shifting, braking, coasting, stopping etc.
Stoker is not a mind reader; she does get the responsibility to do all the signaling when pilot voices: left turn, right turn, stopping, slowing. Yes, she also gets to peel the banana while riding and hand pilot his share!
Enjoy the ride TWOgether!
Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
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Old 04-02-08, 05:28 PM   #11
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Jinker said he replaced the Softride suspension STEM . . . not the beam. Softride did make a stem that had built-in suspension (utilizing elastomers), usuable for pilot or stoker position. Was quite effecive and much cheaper than a suspension fork on a tandem!
Pedal on TWOgether!
Rudfy and Kay/zonatandem
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Old 04-02-08, 09:02 PM   #12
alee100
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I should have caught that it was the stem, particularly since I had one of those on a mt. bike a long time ago.
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Old 04-03-08, 12:19 AM   #13
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The softride stem was a real boat anchor. It seems really well made, but completely unnecessary for the type of riding we're be doing.

As for the beam, my wife still says 'oof' if I fail to warn her of upcoming bumps, but everyone else I've given a ride to has commented on the pillowy soft ride in the back.
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