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!
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:
Here's another perspective:
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.
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).
Originally Posted by shutterbiker
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.