Originally Posted by Little-Acorn
As a slight aside, what would be an example of a "solid used" tandem in the $500-range, that would be good for longer rides, i.e. centuries, half-centuries, long cruises with hills, etc.?
I take it my Schwinn Twinn Sport 10sp probably wouldn't qualify.
Would a 70s or 80s Schwinn Paramount tandem do? Or what other brands/years?
I was in the EXACT same situation as OP: I wanted to spend $500, and couldn't find a good used one in that range. I then decided to spend $1K and went to a local dealer to buy a new Trek T900. He had sold it. In frustration, I almost pulled the trigger on the Lambo after exchanging some emails with a poster who had one (do a search).
I lucked out and found a local used (barely) T900 for $500. I have made some mods (new tires, new front seat and handlebars), but it's a good solid, basic bike that will be fine for any use short of serious racing, I believe.
I believe that any "name brand" bike that sells for about $1,000 new will be a good, servicable bike for beginners. Like a $500 mountain or hybrid bike: not racy at all, but functionally just fine.