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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 11-12-03, 09:43 AM   #1
shutterbiker
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roland tandem

my local shop has a used roland tandem. they are asking 450.00, but i can possibly get it for a little less. is this a good first tandem? will i be dissapointed in the quality? i would appreciate any input or suggestions. thanks in advance!

steve
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Old 11-12-03, 12:16 PM   #2
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I've heard of them but have never had an opportunity to inspect or ride one.

However, Mark Johnson at Precision Tandems near Kansas City, KS, has a few of these in stock on close-out for $900 (road, regularly $1,500) and $1000 (off-road, regularly $1,750). I'm sure he would be willing to give you a candid assessment. He is an authorized dealer for most of the other major tandem brands, but isn't prone to brand-name bias; he tells it like it is. His Email is: MarkJ@PrecisionTandems.com

You can also read the comments from two folks who have purchased what I would assume is the same bike:
http://www.roadbikereview.com/Tandem...6_1611crx.aspx

Here's another perspective:
http://www.angelfire.com/ak2/claydon/tandem.html
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Old 11-12-03, 01:50 PM   #3
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livingood,

thanks for the reply. i have four other bikes, but i'm looking for something to ride with my girlfriend. i anticipate leisurely rides (maybe some organized rides), but nothing too serious. my other bikes are fairly expensive, so i just wondered if i would want to upgrade right away. i checked out the links you gave. thanks again.

steve
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Old 11-12-03, 04:01 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shutterbiker
...my other bikes are fairly expensive, so i just wondered if i would want to upgrade right away.
Fairly expensive is somewhat relative; however, in general you can usually get a fairly accurate appreciation of how a given tandem will stack up against single bikes by assuming the tandem is 2 - 2.5 as expensive as a comparable single bike (lower cost tandems seem to be closer to 2.5x whereas the higher end models are in the 1.8 - 2x range).

In other words, if you're riding an $800 road bike that you bought new in 2001, you can expect that a 2001 model year tandem that sold for $1,600 - $1,999 would be comparable and have similar performance characteristics and componentry. However, if you're riding a $3,900 Litespeed, you'd have to establish a budget upwards of $7,500 - $8,000 to get a tandem that exhibited similar characteristics.

The "premium grade" tandems that seem to be most compatible with seasoned cyclist's expections for form, fit and function fall into the $3,200 - $5,400 price range (new MSRP) and include both chromoly steel and aluminum models.

Bottom Line: If you have a clear vision of social riding being your primary pursuit and don't plan to "run with the big dogs" right away, I would suspect this would be a great way to test the waters with a tandem. If the basic concept of tandeming suits (or then again if it doesn't), you can easily re-sell and recoup your investment for use on an upgrade or some other extracurricular activity.
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