Hey all, a new person here - taking a break from Christmas festivities before cooking the ham. My son and I have enjoyed riding together with a trail-a-bike. We've gotten up to 36 miles on the Silver Comet Trail, but have dropped WAY back.
My son is outgrowing the trail-a-bike, and isn't interested in his own bike just yet (he has one, but prefers riding with feet up, water bottle in hand, watching for snakes, lizards, and other trail life).
Any recommendations for a low-end winter project? I was thinking about looking for a tandem needing TLC in the Georgia/Alabama area - and working on it through the winter. We're not looking for lots of gears, as we do rails-to-trails riding primarily - with the occasional ride to school together or to grocery shopping together. A single speed or 5 speed would be great. (I also have an ancient Schwinn Continental - so old is just fine). Our rides would be the Silver Comet Trail in Georgia and the Chief Ladiga Trail in Alabama.
Any recommendations? I was also thinking of being lazy and buying a new tandem in the low dollar range, but think rebuilding might be more satisfying.
In general, you'll save a few bucks buying a complete and properly functioning used tandem vs. trying to put one together from bits and pieces. They are finicky and most bike shops aren't all that familiar with the variety of different "standards" that are encountered on tandems, e.g., rear wheel hub spacing, eccentrics, odd chain lines, etc... However, that's not to say that you can't build them up from scratch; we've done it with an off-road tandem BEFORE there was such a thing as an off-road tandem speciality dealer.
If you don't see the right size/price tandem, put a "wanted to buy" post that outlines what you're looking for in terms of frame size and the amount of money you're willing to spend.
You might also want to subscribe to Tandem@Hobbes and post a similar "wanted to buy" solicitation. You can learn more about Tandem@Hobbes and find out how to subscribe at the following Web page: http://home.att.net/~thetandemlink/hobbes.html
Lastly, since you live here in the neighborhood (we're in Kennesaw), you might want to subscribe to PEACHES, The Tandem Club of Georgia's mailing list and post a similar "wanted to buy notice" as this will hit the mailboxes of folks who live in the region. You can learn more about PEACHES and subscribe at the following Web page: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ga_peaches/
Thanks for the information, it is very helpful. We went out and hit the western end of the SCT yesterday, and had a great time. My youngest son still does okay on the InStep (trail-a-bike thing). But it is time to move towards a Tandem.
We were thinking lower-end trail cruiser and noticed there's a Diamondback Wildwood for rent at the Silver Comet Depot in Rockmart. Think we'll rent that and see how it fits. I also put in a bid on a Schwinn Twinn Deluxe on E-Bay. I put in a low bid, so would not expect to win it (kind of a half-hearted attempt while figuring it out). Kind of had to, though - it matches the yellow '72 Schwinn Continental my middle son rides.
We'll be visiting your Yahoo group shortly.