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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 05-12-08, 09:55 AM   #1
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Tandem questions - Newb!

Hi all,

Thiking about getting a tandem, I don't want anything too expensive, just something I can ride with my daughter or girlfriend. I'm about 6'3", my girlfriend is 5'6" and my daughter is just over 4'6" How does sizing for a tandem work?

What should I be looking to pay for a good quality used tandem? Not looking for something in a cruiser style with balloon tires but not a performance machine either.

I've been keeping my eyes open of craigslist and kijiji but haven't found anything affordable that isn't probably junk. This is the best thing I've found so far, but I'm concerned about the quality:

Any suggestions would be appreciated.
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Old 05-12-08, 10:19 AM   #2
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Congratulations on your thinking about riding tandem. This forum is a wonderful resource for information. You should start by reading TheTandemLink site under the Learning tab . What you find there will be useful and mostly validated by folks here.

IMHO the bike in the ad is not likely to give you the experiences that will lead to a long and happy career as a tandem captain. Zonatandem has pointed to lots of good used tandems in a thread titled "Trying to get a road tandem..."

Best of luck with your quest for tandem...

2008 Red Co-Motion Speedster Co-pilot (Redster)
2009 Surly LHT (captain's commuter)
2009 Surly Crosscheck (stoker's road bike)
2007 Giant FCR2W (stoker's commuter)
1980's NOS Legnano (stoker's toy)
1970's Stella rebuilt as fixed-gear (captain's toy)
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Old 05-12-08, 11:59 AM   #3
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I'm starting out on tandems too, and just picked up a 1979 Schwinn Twinn Sport 10-speed tandem, found on Craig's List here in San Diego. It's not the lowest-end tandem Schwinn made, but it's certainly not a superbike by any means. My bathroom scale says it weighs 52 pounds, which seems to agree with Schwinn literature of the period. Better tandems weigh in the 40s or 30s, and I've heard of a few supertandems that weigh in the upper 20s. Prices vary accordingly, of course.

The older one-speed and five-speed Schwinn Twinns weighed 64 pounds, I believe, had 26" wheels, "up" handlebars, and had step-thru frames ("mixte") for front and back both. The Twinn Sport I got, is step-thru only in the rear, has 27" wheels, "down" ("drop") handlebars on the front with "up" on the rear, and weighs 52 pounds.

Schwinns are heavy, of course (except for Paramount tandems maybe). If you intend to do long hillclimbs, racing, or other such "serious" riding, a Schwinn like the one I got is probably not a good choice for you. But if you are just doing what I'm doing - riding around the park with wife or kid, mostly level, mostly paved, then I highly recommend the Schwinn Twinn Sport 10-speed. Schwinns are very consistent, and they don't break. And the Twinn Sport is pretty versatile with its somewhat-lighter frame, 27" wheels and changeable rear cluster. I paid $275 for mine, in nice shape but needing grease & oil etc. I'm going to be putting alloy wheels on it, and possibly a 13-34 freewheel, possibly 6 or 7 speeds to make it a 12- or 14-speed bike.

There's a ton of knowledge on this forum. The people here have already helped me quite a lot. Most of them are far more "serious" bikers than I am. Ask and ye shall receive.

Last edited by Little-Acorn; 05-12-08 at 12:23 PM.
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Old 05-12-08, 12:13 PM   #4
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Bike Friday, or a Co-Motion Periscope will work well to accomodate the height difference between your GF and daughter
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