My wife (5'4") and I (5'11") are looing for a nicer/cheeper used tandem. Both of us have nice road bikes that we like to ride on the weekends. I also bike commute to work. So were resonably skilled cyclists with some miles under our belts.
Below is a Craig's List add for one that may fit the bill. Is this bike too big for us? Is it worth 800 bucks?
TREK TANDEM T100 Double Cross (56-59 CM Frame Size 27in)
Shimano 600 Deore DX Componets
Mavic Wheels (700x26C)
New Tires (125 psi)
Equipped with four water bottle holders
Lot's of fun and great exercise. Excellent for work commute.
Garage kept, well maintained. Orignally purchased at Dud Thanes Bike Shop in Tampa. Original price was $1700.
Univega Via Montega, Nashbar Aluminum frame/105 roadbike
Assuming the bike's in good shape, and needs nothing replaced I'd say yeah, it's probably worth that. A good once over would be important. Bearings (wheels, headset, cranks), chains, chainrings, cassette, should be checked out. These parts add up in price if they need to be replaced, especially any tandem specific items. Look over the frame carefully for any damage or possible rust issues.
As for sizing, 59 might be pushing a touch large for you (I'm assuming you'll captain), though it depends on your proportions. Extra long arms and torso will generally get you fitting on a slightly larger bike than if you're all leg.
That being said, having sufficient standover clearance is critical when captaining a tandem, you've got to be able to straddle the top tube comfortably and hold the bike stable when you come to stop.
For your stoker, 56 is definitely on the big side for someone 5'4", but the rear on tandems can have a much larger range of adjustability. With telescoping stoker stems, so long as you can get the seat height right for her, it may not be quite as critical that she have the same kind of standover clearance as on a single, as you'll be balancing the bike for starts/stops.
You know what? Looking at those sizing numbers, they seem strange. I can't find a list of the sizes the T100 came in, maybe someone can pipe in? Usually the stoker seat tube is a lot shorter than the captain's... I'd get the seller to measure the captain and stoker seat tubes, centre to centre.
My wife and I bought a used Trek-50 last year. It is the flat bar hybrid model. It is a well maintained '93, and we got it for $550. We upgraded saddles, tires, adjustable stoker stem, and stoker suspension seatpost, and a drag brake.(replaced brake levers, pedals, and captain stem from spare parts). We probably have about $850 invested. I didn't start upgrading until I knew we were going to ride it alot. We rode it about 1200 miles, many of them in the mountains of NC, VT, and NH. What a hoot! We are planning on riding it one more season and then upgrading to a new bike.
Thanks for the responses so far. I was just looking for sizing information on line and found someone selling a similar bike in California for 350 bucks. It looks like there is a brooks saddle on it too.