Thinking about buying my first tandem to get out and hopefully have my wife and daughter get out with me. There's a Burley Zydeco available locally for a reasonable price. It's older but in good shape, with flat bars, Gripshift, V-brakes and 26" wheels.
I hope to hit the local roads and some fire roads perhaps, very light off-road duty. I'm concerned that I might not be satisfied with the flat bar/26" wheel setup and might want drops and 700c wheels. Then again, I don't need to achieve breakneck speeds as this is chiefly to get my wife to enjoy riding with me. FYI I ride about 50/50 road/mountain, about 150 miles per week. The terrain here in Southern NH is moderately hilly.
So, with those purposes in mind, what do you all think of this bike for me? I've also got my eye out for a more road style bike with drops that maybe I could throw cross tires on for very light (crushed stone road and rail trail) non-road use.
One of the best things about a used tandem is that they hold their value. If you buy it and like riding tandems a lot and upgrade to a new bike you will be able to sell this one without a loss-perhaps even make a bit more.
I think this one will be good enough for you and your wife to learn if tandeming is something you will enjoy.
Have ridden the Zydeco . . . it's a basic introductory tandem from Burley and sold for about a 1000 bucks when new; good as a first tandem and riding dirt/paved road. If it fits and price is right you could do a lot worse!
Learn how to ride tandem on Zydeco and next year, pick up something better/newer if you want. You'll' have gained loads of expereince by then and be more informed as to what you like/don't like in tandems.
Just our opinion/experience.
Pedal on TWOgether!
Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
Our first Tandem was a 1999 Burley Zydeco (The Open Frame Model). It was perfect for us as starters. Over time with the intention of going faster and doing longer distances it has gone through a few transformation pahses and is now equipped with Drop Bars, STI Shifters and 700c Wheels.
Those upgrades did cost us but I love working on my bikes so it was worth the effort and I did not have to dump a whole lot of cash at one go. We are now looking into a stiffer frame designed for road use as we have outgrown the Burley. That is my experience on the Zydeco. Hope this helps.
'10 C'Dale Tandem RT2. '07 Trek Tandem T2000, '10 Epic Marathon MTB, '12 Rocky Mountain Element 950 MTB, '95 C'dale R900, "04 Giant DS 2 '07 Kona Jake the Snake, '95 Nishiki Backroads
I agree with everyone else, for the purposes you have stated, (intro to tandem riding for wife and daughter... and for riding on roads and rail-trails), this bike will work well and should have like value at resale time. Good luck and have fun.