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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 05-02-08, 11:54 AM   #1
zurich04
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Looking to get our first tandem

Hi all,

First post here in this forum. My wife and I are looking to get our first tandem. I'm thinking we'll go the used route to give it a try. If we don't like it, we'll hopefully be able to sell the bike without much of a loss.

I've found a 2004 Trek T2000 that's a little over an hour's drive away. The owner is not certain of the size but believes it is a medium. I'm 6'-1" and ride a 57cm 2004 Lemond Zurich. My wife is 5'-7" and rides a 49cm 2002 Lemond Tourmalet. I can't find the geometry of the 2004 model listed on Trek's website, but if it is similar to the 2008, then I'm worried that this particular bike might be too small for us (if indeed it is a medium). Any thoughts? Given our heights, should we generally be looking at the larger sizes among bike brands?

As for the price, the seller is asking $2400. If the bike is in excellent condition, it seems reasonable IMO given that a new one would run close to $4K OTD. Thoughts on this as well?

TIA,

Mike
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Old 05-02-08, 12:28 PM   #2
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You can find the geometry data on this Web page:
http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes.../tandem/t2000/

Right-hand column, just below the specifications "View Geometry"

On the price, the asking is near the 'high' end so you might want to nibble at that if the bike would fit. Frankly, I'm thinking you'd need a Large model... but you never know.
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Old 05-02-08, 12:46 PM   #3
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Thanks. I saw that geometry table already. Just didn't know if the 2008 bikes had the same geometry as the 2004 bikes. It would be a drag to drive all the way out there and then learn that it doesn't fit.

I've also found a 1992 Santana Arriva in a M-L size. Owner says that he and his wife are similar in size to us. This one is closer to us and the asking price is considerably less at $1050, but it's also 12 years older. I think I'll try and get over to see it this weekend. What should I look out for given the vintage of the bike?

Any comments as to the key differences between the two bikes in question?

Thanks.
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Old 05-02-08, 01:40 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by zurich04 View Post
Any comments as to the key differences between the two bikes in question?
Trek made some changes to it's 2nd generation of tandems a couple years back to better accommodate a rear disc, calipers vs. V-brakes and some other things, but the sizing remained the same. The '04 would be a 1st Generation TX000.

Some general things to consider when shopping for a used tandem can be found in the narrative portions of my unofficial used tandem pricing guide: http://www.thetandemlink.com/tandems.html

As for the differences between the '92 Santana & '04 Trek T2000, there are a bunch: frame material, wheel weight (BIG difference there), 8 speed bar-end shifting with early 90's vintage MTB components vs STI 9 speed Ultegra with ramped/pinned 130mm road bike crank/rings, etc.... Of course, there are also a bunch of differences between a 2004 Santana and a 2004 Trek T2000 too. However, perhaps the biggest difference will be the extra 1" or so of room for the stoker in the back of the Trek.

The Santana seems to be priced about right... too, but a full servicing would be prudent. Once both tandems were tuned up, either would be more than adequate in terms of giving you a good taste of what tandeming is all about. However, unless the '92 has been updated you might find yourself at odds with the bar-end shifting for a while if you've been using STI or Ergo.
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Old 05-02-08, 03:16 PM   #5
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Of those two bikes I would normally recommend the Trek BUT the Trek medium will be much to small for you..and at that price you should expect near perfection in fit and condition on that year Trek.
If the Santana fits reasonably well, the components function well and you can live with the barends I don't see how you can go wrong for the money. It certainly will give you a good base to enjoy just how much fun a tandem can be. Good luck with your decision.
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Old 05-03-08, 05:53 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by zurich04 View Post
Hi all,

I've found a 2004 Trek T2000 .... the seller is asking $2400. If the bike is in excellent condition, it seems reasonable IMO given that a new one would run close to $4K OTD. Thoughts on this as well?
Mike
Mike, here's a link to the 2004's:
http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes/2004/archive/t2000

But basically, the bike is too small and the price is too big! You can't compare the 2004's against the current day model. There have been many changes made as TG said, including a carbon/aluminum fork on the newer bikes. The `04 was a steel fork model and originally sold for more like $3000 - $3200. I know Tandemgeek put a lot of time and effort into creating his pricing guide, and if I was arguing value with my insurance company, I'd damn sure refer to it because it starts with "replacement cost"! But for me personally, I'm going to start with the lowest sale price for that model year, and depreciate from there.

If a bike is in perfect condition and 5 years old or less, I personally would only be willing to pay 2/3 of lowest original selling price max, so I'll start bargaining at a few hundred below that. For comparison, we only paid $2000 for our 2005 T2000 in January of 2006, but we did travel across the state to buy it. And that's not an "abberation", as we only paid $700 for our 2003 Santana Rio in early 2007, and that one was right up the street. Both bikes were in perfect condition.

So there are deals out there if you're willing to be patient and perhaps travel a bit to buy one. A $500 savings will buy a lot of gas, even at $4 a gallon! But as others have alluded to, NO bike is a bargain if it doesn't fit!
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Old 05-03-08, 09:50 AM   #7
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But for me personally, I'm going to start with the lowest sale price for that model year, and depreciate from there.... If a bike is in perfect condition and 5 years old or less, I personally would only be willing to pay 2/3 of lowest original selling price max, so I'll start bargaining at a few hundred below that.
I don't take issue with anything you've said; however, there's more to the 'tool' than the table and without first reading the supporting narrative it's value is greatly diminished. In fact, this note appears right under the table to drive home that point:
ATTENTION:
Before using this tool you must first read the Estimating Tool Instructions & Pricing Considerations.
Case in point, the 2004 Trek T2000 with it's $3,299 MSRP

Your suggested fair market formula is 2/3'ds of MSRP, or $2,177 and to get there you suggest making an offer of $1,977. Not a bad strategy.

The 'tool' spits out a set of three different values for this tandem based on it's current replacement value.
High: $2,447
Med: $2,135
Low: $1,764
Based on the narrative, a 2004 Trek T2000 that had not been upgraded would fall into the Medium Range because of the technology jump that's already been noted. For example, here is the description of how the three ranges should be applied and that would logically take you to the medium range.

B. USING THE HIGH, MID, AND LOW RANGE: A tandem's fair market value is greatly affected by its present condition. To use this tool a subjective assessment of the tandem must be categorized using one of the three ranges provided. The ranges are not absolute price points, so the final agreed upon sales price could easily fall within or even outside the suggested ranges when special circumstances apply. Please note, tandems and bicycles take a huge reduction on their fair market value at the time of re-sale since manufacturer's warranties are only valid for the original purchaser/owner. This reduction is reflected in the first depreciation figure shown for the current year and all subsequent years since the warrantee expires whenever the tandem is re-sold by the original owner.

The following describe the three ranges:

a). HIGH RANGE: High range implies the tandems are exceptional examples of a builder's work that have been properly maintained, kept current with regard to components and both the frame and components are cosmetically in "good" to "excellent" condition. There should be no mechanical flaws or performance issues with the tandem and the tires should be in good repair. In summary, this would be an exceptional tandem that has been meticulously maintained, has low mileage and is fitted with current components (See 2C, below, regarding Technology Jumps).

b). MID RANGE: Mid range assumes the tandem is a good example of a builders standard product offering for that particular model year that has received proper maintenance and has either the original components or perhaps some upgrades. The frame and components should be in cosmetically good condition for the amount of mileage accumulated on the frame. Mileage should not be excessive. Minor blemishes are to be expected. There should be no mechanical flaws or performance issues and the tires should be in good repair.

c). LOW RANGE: The low-range should also be used for any tandem that has seen extremely high mileage or infrequent maintenance and could be categorized as "well used" but still in good condition. The frame and components should be in cosmetically fair to good condition for the amount of mileage accumulated on the frame. Blemishes and perhaps a minor ding or two are to be expected in non-critical, low stress areas. There should be no mechanical flaws or performance issues and the tires should be in good repair.

-----------

2. OTHER CONSIDERATIONS THAT AFFECT PRICE:

C. TECHNOLOGY JUMPS: Every couple of years new technology will work its way into the mainstream tandem market that makes previous models "old" even if they are just last year's product. Key events that come to mind include the introduction of linear pull brakes, 9 speed gearing, integrated brake & shift levers (i.e., STI & Ergo), 1 1/8" headsets, disc brakes, carbon forks, 145mm and 160mm rear spacing, and other less dramatic changes. To infer the price of an "old" tandem drops dramatically assumes all buyers will find the technology or changes attractive. In many cases, this may be true. However, quite a few seasoned tandemists still prefer bar-end shifters to STI or Ergo, and have yet to see the need for 9 speed shifting. Therefore, when establishing the fair market value of the tandem these factors can be looked at in one of two ways. The "new-is-better" model would suggest an "old" tandem should be priced more along the low range to reflect its lack of current bicycle technology. The "don't change what isn't broken" model would suggest the same tandem be priced somewhere closer to the mid range since not everyone sees technology advancements as improvements.


It's not perfect by any stretch and is only intended to get folks "in the ball park". And, as you note, if you're lucky, diligent and patient some killer deals can often times be had. Ultimately, it all comes down to the premise that a tandem is actually worth what someone is willing to sell it for, or what someone else is willing to pay.

Last edited by TandemGeek; 05-03-08 at 10:00 AM.
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Old 05-03-08, 02:13 PM   #8
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Fit is more important than price.

Cheers!
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Old 05-03-08, 07:03 PM   #9
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Hi all,

...owner believes it is a medium. I'm 6'-1" and ride a 57cm 2004 Lemond Zurich. My wife is 5'-7" and rides a 49cm 2002 Lemond Tourmalet. I can't find the geometry of the 2004 model listed on Trek's website, but if it is similar to the 2008, then I'm worried that this particular bike might be too small for us (if indeed it is a medium). Any thoughts? Given our heights, should we generally be looking at the larger sizes among bike brands?
Mike, I just realized I really didn't give you much to go on other than "it's too small", and even that may not be right. With the super long seatposts, super long stems, and sloping top tubes of today, you can "fit" a lot more people on a given frame that in the old days. Actually, in those days there's no way you would have been able to ride anything less than a 60cm, and would probably have been more comfortable on a 62cm. But I digress.

I don't know how you ride, or how you intend to ride your new tandem, but let me say this ... without some heavy duty rise on a very long stem, you would definitely be in a "racing configuration" on a medium, if you could ride it at all. I used to ride that way, (and still do to the degree I am able!), but just for comparison, I'm 6' and my wife is 5'4", and we ride the large T2000 (58/46). If I chose to flip my stem over, I'm quite sure I could get my back fairly flat to the wind on it. But considering what my stoker and I like to do with the tandem, it's set up a little more upright.

You really need to get this guy to take a tape measure to the bike and tell you what size it is, and make your decision from there. For a couple thousand dollars, he ought to be willing to walk out in the garage with a tape measure!
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Old 05-03-08, 07:35 PM   #10
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High: $2,447
Med: $2,135
Low: $1,764
TandemGeek, what number did you use as the replacement value to get these? I come close, but ..... Or better yet, I'll tell you what I'm doing, and you can tell me what I'm doing wrong!

I'm ASSuming, (how'm I doin' so far??!!), that the years in the bottom part of the table really aren't applicable since the latest one is 2005, and that what they really represent is a 1 year old model, a 2 y/o, a 3 y/o, etc.

So I used the link you offered for getting the msrp of the 2004 bike, and looked up the 2008, which was $3629, and plugged that in. Then I looked 4 years back, (which would actually be 2002 on this sheet), and what I come up with is:
$2,481
$2,212
$1,912
Even when I adjust the msrp downward to get your top number of $2447, the other two don't line up. So help me get on the same page with you, and we can go from there.

And to anyone else who may still be reading this other than TandemGeek and I, the few scheckels difference noted above do amount to splitting hairs, but TG's tool is valuable enough that I want to make sure I understand how to use it correctly.
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Old 05-03-08, 08:16 PM   #11
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TandemGeek, what number did you use as the replacement value to get these?
To get those numbers, I used what Trek currently lists as the MSRP for the T2000: $3,849.99

Looking at the first image below, that number gets plugged into the RED box and you simply go to the 2004 column.

Bikepedia lists a lower MSRP of $3,629.99 for the '08 T2000, which I went ahead and plugged into the spreadsheet. The results are shown in the second image, below. Same story: go to the model year 2004 and read down.
Attached Images
File Type: png Picture 2.png (42.5 KB, 12 views)
File Type: png Picture 3.png (43.6 KB, 9 views)
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Old 05-03-08, 10:23 PM   #12
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I would consider... used tandem shopping....

HI

My wife and I have been riding a tandem of one type or another for more than seven years. We were offered a ride on a friends tandem first and thought...we'd try this for the right price! I ride about 5,000-7,000 miles a year on a single and so we wanted something decent....

After some study we found a Santana that had to be over ten years old for $1,200 that was in Phoenix and we were in the Central Coast of California. We got lots of pictures...then found a tandem shop in Phoenix and asked the folks there to bring the bike into that shop for an inspection...we had previously asked the shop to do this for about fifty or a hundred bucks... since we thought the tandem was waaaaay cheap...New Santana's of that type were then going for over $5,000

shop inspected, approved, and for a fee, shipped. We got the tandem, pedals, two pairs of shoes, two helmets, lots of spare parts, a bunch of water bottles, etc....in other words...the folks who sold this bike had probably had it sitting in the garage for most of the ten or so years and hated it...and were unloading shoes, helmets, pedals etc... kind of a nice deal...

We rode that bike for three years including a lovely tour of Vermont in October...great fall colors...but unfortunately found that an uncoupled tandem shipped from CA to VT costs $400 round trip on motor freight. About that time we decided to find a coupled tandem and sold our Santana... Got more than we paid for it and so we were happy.

Some searching and waiting and searching some more let us find our current tandem... a comotion copilot that we found for under $3,000... a great deal! It is a fab bike...and so far we have shipped it to WA for the STP and to New Zealand for a ten day bike ride...

I guess my advice is to shop all the tandem sites...find them on google....and look and search roadbikereview.com etc... you will be amazed at the $7,000 to $10,000 tandems you can find for less than half that amount and generally in great condition. Be sure to either personally inspect the bike or have a shop you have found, hired and talked to ... inspect the bike. Preferably, if you find one too far away to look at, you arrange with the bike shop to handle your sending the check to them, their packing the bike and shipping it to you, and them then handing over the check to the seller...

Anyway, definitely look for a coupled tandem if you have any intention of travelling....our trip to NZ cost us $0 to send the bike instead of 300-500 for an uncoupled tandem.

good luck
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Old 05-04-08, 06:35 AM   #13
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To get those numbers, I used what Trek currently lists as the MSRP for the T2000: $3,849.99

Looking at the first image below, that number gets plugged into the RED box and you simply go to the 2004 column.
Okaaayyy .... you've modified the chart. I was using the chart I downloaded from your site in 2006, so the first column was "2005", not "2008" like on the new one. Are you manually updating the years and/or adjusting formulas, so one needs to download a new copy each time he/she wants to use it, or is it supposed to automatically update for the next year and my 2006 chart get broken somehow?

Now that I've downloaded a new copy, I'm seeing what you're seeing. I guess the only place I strongly disagree with the chart is in the first few years. As you've shown, by the time you're four years back it works out to be roughly the same, so "how you got there" is pretty much irrelevant.

But from being in the business for 15 years, I've seen at least one broken frame from virtually every manufacturer out there at that time. So for me, the lack of a transferrable warranty, (as you also mention as figuring into the equation), is much more heavily weighted than perhaps it might be to the average individual, (which is who the chart was written to assist)! So I'm still only going to be willing to pay 2/3 of original selling price for even a 1 year old pristene machine.

So if many sellers know of your tool, I guess I won't be buying any of their 1 to 3 year old machines! Great job on putting this thing together, incidently. You ARE either very efficient or have way too much time on your hands!
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Old 05-04-08, 06:41 AM   #14
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.....a 1 year old "pristene" machine.
Hooo boy! See what I get for typing before I finish my morning coffee? Even a spell checker would've caught that one! I'm gonna go ride my tandem!
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BICYCLE - [bahy-si-kuhl] - Noun :> A medical device used to correct the common geriatric condition of OFS, (Old, Fat & Slow), in a manner that does not induce brain-decaying boredom like walking or running.

2005 Trek T2000 Tandem, 2003 Burley Tosa Tandem, Pacific Dualie beater tandem, and 6 singles including 2 fixies.

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Old 05-04-08, 08:29 AM   #15
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Okaaayyy .... you've modified the chart. I was using the chart I downloaded from your site in 2006, so the first column was "2005", not "2008" like on the new one.
No. I just went and downloaded the current file and plugged in the numbers.

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I was using the chart I downloaded from your site in 2006, so the first column was "2005", not "2008" like on the new one. Are you manually updating the years and/or adjusting formulas, so one needs to download a new copy each time he/she wants to use it, or is it supposed to automatically update for the next year and my 2006 chart get broken somehow?
The current year and replacement value fields are the only two editable cells on the form: anyone can punch in any year they'd like once they have the file downloaded to their desktop, e.g., so, I wonder how good of a deal I got on that 1975 Follis back when I bought it in 1980?

Once a year I update the two .xls source files sitting on the server to change the current year (takes about two minutes), whereas the .jpg on the web page is a fixed image.


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But from being in the business for 15 years, I've seen at least one broken frame from virtually every manufacturer out there at that time. So for me, the lack of a transferrable warranty, (as you also mention as figuring into the equation), is much more heavily weighted than perhaps it might be to the average individual...
Co-Motion is somewhat unique in that its frame's limited lifetime warranty are transferrable. Calfee will also transfer the balance of an original warranty for a $250 fee following a frame inspection: probably not a bad idea if you're buying an $8k tandem frame. However, based on paying attention to the tandem market over the past decade or so, tandem frame manufacturing defects happen now and again, but they are far and few between. Moreover, I know of several instances where the major niche market manufacturers have extended warranty coverage to subsequent owners based on good-will / smart business. It's these market trends and the actual pricing observed on used tandem sales that was used to drive the formulas / depreciation rates I plugged into the tool.

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Old 05-04-08, 12:46 PM   #16
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The current year and replacement value fields are the only two editable cells ...

Co-Motion's ... limited lifetime warranty are transferrable. Calfee will also transfer the balance of an original warranty for a $250 fee ....
Ahhhh. Well now, there are TWO things I learned today! I didn't know there was another editable cell besides "replacement value", and I also didn't know about Co-Mo and Calfee's frame warranty transfer!

That makes a substantial difference to me on those two particular brands, so I would have to re-think a "first three years" purchase price on any of those. I still stand by my comments on pricing on any other brand. But again, that's me personally, and I took a pass on Rich Wolfe's beautiful Co-Mo Speedster Co-Pilot with suitcases and all back in `06 because we were $800 apart, IIRC. So I'm the kind who'll walk on something I *really* want if I don't feel the price is right. (Had I known then about Co-Mo's frame warranty policy however, it might have made a difference!)

Anyway, all good info, and hopefully of at least SOME interest to the OP.
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Old 08-28-08, 02:24 PM   #17
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Finally got our tandem!

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Old 08-28-08, 06:26 PM   #18
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Wow $1000!

That is a great deal!

Nice job. You'll love it.

What wheelset? Mavic with Shimano hubs??
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Old 08-28-08, 11:38 PM   #19
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Old 08-29-08, 07:15 AM   #20
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Zurich04 that was a steal.

Don't concern yourself about the WI hub. White Industries is making some of the best hubs on the market. Right now I wouldn't upgrade anything, just go out and enjoy it. I particularly like the way the rear bottle cages are mounted. it seems like a very workable solution.
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Old 08-29-08, 08:25 AM   #21
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Very nice bike! Just the upgraded components are worth more than what you paid for the whole thing.

As you start taking on more challenging climbs and descents, make sure that you feel comfortable with your rims brakes. Watch out for rim overheating in particular.

Cheers,
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Old 08-29-08, 09:38 AM   #22
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My rear wheel is pretty much the same as yours.

I have WI hubs F&R, the DaVinci rims 36h front 40h rear.

We have done most of the local climbs on the tandem.

My favorite close by is OLH, my favorite descent is Kings.

Our favorite semi-frequent "loop" is (from our place in San Mateo):

- Alameda de las Pulgas (steepish rollers)
- Crystal Springs to the reservoir (up)
- 35/92 (up/down/up)
- Canada
- Whiskey Hill/Portola
- OLH (up)
- Skyline
- W84 (down)
- Haskins Hill (up)
- Pescadero Creek (down)
- Lunch in Pescadero
- Stage (3 bumps)
- HWY 1 (down)
- Tunitas Creek (up)
- Kings Mtn (down)
- Back the way I came
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Old 08-29-08, 09:55 AM   #23
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Congrats on a great buy on a very nice tandem. It's all good so just ride and have fun.

Bill J.
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Old 08-29-08, 10:29 AM   #24
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That looks really sharp with the red paint! Good component mix, too. Do you know what the year of it is?

I got a 1997 RT1000 Cannondale from craigslist last year - I had been waiting a while, and when one popped up in the right size, I grabbed it. Good price, too.

I think your frame is a little earlier than mine, because I have separate seat collars, while your are integral.


I have found that tandeming is a lot of fun. Hope you do too!
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Old 08-29-08, 11:42 AM   #25
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