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  1. #1
    Radfahrer Rincewind8's Avatar
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    Raleigh KHS Trek Fuji Tandem

    Hi Everyone!

    We are planning to buy a tandem bicycle. After some internet research we came up with some models in our price range. Does anyone of you have experience with the Raleigh Coupe, Trek T900, KHS Comp, or Fuji Absolute tandem?

    Any information or insight is appreciated!

    Laura & Christoph

  2. #2
    Junior Member tandemcrusers's Avatar
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    Test Ride first

    For the investment, a test ride will really help you with the purchase. Each manufacture has their unique sizing and fit is the key to enjoying your bike. Then there is "you get what you paid for." A new Raleigh pursuit for us was our first pick and we did a 33-mile test drive and after a few minor adjustments it started to work for us, but we backed off because we found a better deal with a used tandem (Cannondale road) that was already broken-in (if you will) and the cost was about the same. The components were high-end. We did the test ride and there was a major change in feel. I told my friend to write you because he loves his Raleigh. He did make some upgrades, but we all do. See you on the road.
    SN
    Last edited by tandemcrusers; 03-20-04 at 06:01 AM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rincewind8
    Hi Everyone!

    We are planning to buy a tandem bicycle. After some internet research we came up with some models in our price range. Does anyone of you have experience with the Raleigh Coupe, Trek T900, KHS Comp, or Fuji Absolute tandem?

    Any information or insight is appreciated!

    Laura & Christoph
    I don't know the specifics of any of those bikes, but my advice is to stay away from anything that has Nexave components. I just converted a customer's KHS from Nexave to a Deore rear derailleur. The improvement in shifting crispness was enormous.

  4. #4
    World Relay Tour Member TwinTraveller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rincewind8
    Hi Everyone!

    We are planning to buy a tandem bicycle. After some internet research we came up with some models in our price range. Does anyone of you have experience with the Raleigh Coupe, Trek T900, KHS Comp, or Fuji Absolute tandem?

    Any information or insight is appreciated!

    Laura & Christoph
    I've had a quick look at all the bikes. Although I can't really tell which one to go for, I would NOT go for the Trek. The frame simply does not seem rigid enough for a tandem. If you compare it to the other frames, it really seems to be "missing" a crossbar. This may make it easier for the stoker to get on the bike, but it may very well go at the cost of stability.

    What will you be using this tandem for? This can vary from an occasional ride on a sunny afternoon, to a multiweek tour.

    Cheers,
    TT

  5. #5
    Just Say No to 26" Wheels
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    We own a Raleigh Coupe...

    Quote Originally Posted by Rincewind8
    We are planning to buy a tandem bicycle. After some internet research we came up with some models in our price range. Does anyone of you have experience with the Raleigh Coupe, Trek T900, KHS Comp, or Fuji Absolute tandem?

    Laura & Christoph
    Hi Laura & Christoph.

    We own a 2003 Raleigh Coupe (in the smaller size) which my wife and one of the kids uses. It is what it is. A $1000 or a little under $1000 depending on the price you pay, recreational tandem that can be used on and off road for easier terrain (no front suspension).

    If you are looking at that level but are also a little more flexible $$$ wise, consider the Burley Samba, the Burley Rock 'N Roll and the Cannondale lower end Mountain Tandem as well. The Trek 900 looks to be more in the line of the Burley Zydeco Mixte whereas the stoker is set up for kids with a step through frame. Unless your wife is going to be riding around in 19th century skirts - no need for that type of frame.

    Primary purchase of the Raleigh Couple for us was to have a solution for longer family rides with the kids for a period of 4 or 5 years (RAGBRAI and weekend 25+ milers). So far as we come upon the end of year one, it's been serving them well and I have even jacked the seatpost way high a few times to captain it for rides every now and then myself. It will make another trip this summer on RAGBRAI - only with a few upgrades. I swapped out the Shimano LX rear derailleur for a SRAM X.9 and ditched the Shimano Deore Shifter/Brake Levers for SRAM X.9 Triggers and Avid Ti Levers along with Avid Ti brakes. I used the spare components on a bike build for my daughter's first solo mountain bike. I also swapped the tires for something with more suspension and am looking to swap the seats for something more oriented for long distance grinds on a tandem. Seats are fine for shorter durations, but I already have an entirely different thread on that issue here.

    Here's the picture of the model we bought:

    http://www.raleighusa.com/items.asp?deptid=10&itemid=35

    Not much else to say, but for the price and the component package it was not too bad of a purchase for our needs.

    To be honest, I will include things that bugged me with the Raleigh Coupe:

    -- Avenir "comfort" grips would not stay put and were yanked off and replaced by some nice WTB's in the first week (they have stayed put so far and are very comfortable)

    -- Nice Jaguar cable housing was on the bike, but it was not installed too well on one of the brakes which required me to shorten the housing, recut it and use some pop ends for best performance. No biggie, but I thought I would just mention it.

    -- pedals with toe straps that came with the bike were yanked immediately and replaced with clipless pedals

    -- I didn't like the small 28T chainring up front for serious hill climbing, so I swapped it out for a chainring with fewer teeth (22 or 24T - I forget which) to give a better granny gear for climbing tough hills with a child stoker. This won't be a problem for you if you are riding with your wife, but I think the gearing would work better for an adult/child tandem pair who do a lot of hills with a rear cog of 11/34 and a front chainring set of 22/34/44 or 22/32/42.

    Best of luck in reviewing all of your options. I'm sure you will land something worthwhile.

    BB

  6. #6
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Go used?

    Instead of the 2-seaters you mentioned, be on the lookout for a used tandem, there's lots of them around from folks who bought and now don't ride for one reason or the other.
    Used Burleys, Co-Motions, C'dale (alum. is quite stiff and unforgiving) would be a good choice and plentiful. Lots of other good used tandems around that would be bigger bang for the $$ than what you mentioned.
    Been tandeming for 3 decades and have ridden over 30 brands/models of twicers. Take your time, test ride and talk with other tandem riders to get their input and then decide.
    Good luck!

  7. #7
    SDS
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    Not all aluminum tandems are quite stiff and unforgiving for all riders. It's true that the old aluminum Cannondales, with their straight-gauge and relatively thick-walled 6061-T6 tubes, have a fairly harsh ride in comparison with (probably) all other tandems, including all other aluminum tandems. But other aluminum tandems, made from the thinner 7000-series aluminum, often butted and with ovalized bottom tubes, have a much smoother ride. The "ZR-9000" aluminum tubes used by Trek and Burley weigh scarcely more than the 7000-series tubes, which suggests they also would have a smooth ride.

    Conclusions about the ride qualities of tandems can be dependent upon the physical characteristics of the riders. A very small and light team will find the ride of a tandem to be much stiffer than a stronger and larger team on the very same bike.

    Further, production tandems and the tubesets from which they are made are designed to compete in the marketplace and are intended to make a particular weight and perform best for the average buyer. This requirement imposes some disadvantages for some teams.

    1) Making the tandem smaller (shorter lengthwise) allows the tandem to make a commercially competitive weight with components of moderate cost, but also ensures that good fit cannot be had for stokers any taller than 5'2" on production tandems, and even they will appreciate a little more space, which is only available by paying the premium for a custom tandem.

    2) Steel is a relatively dense material, and the smaller-diameter tubes (compared with aluminum) of commercial tubesets are not well suited to large, powerful teams unless additional tubes are used, which runs the weight up. The tandems built from steel may have excessive flexibility for large teams, which can lead to poor handling and poor power transmission for the tandem captain. If the bottom tube does not have sufficient lateral rigidity, which can be the case with the smaller tubes of a steel tubeset, then some of the power of the captain will be wasted.

    Absolute statements about materials often are not correct.

  8. #8
    Radfahrer Rincewind8's Avatar
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    Thank you everyone for your input!

    We are planning to use the tandem for afternoon, maybe day-long rides, but probably no multi-day rides. Those rides are most probably going to be on paved paths/roads with occasional gravel sections, but no off-road.

    We have been and will be looking out for a reasonable priced second hand tandem, but if we don't find one we will buy one of the above mentioned.

    Thank you again!

    L&C

  9. #9
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    my wife and i purchased a khs comp a few months ago. we really enjoy riding it. it has grip shift w/deore rear der. and sora front. it is steel and is very comfortable.

    steve

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rincewind8
    Thank you everyone for your input!

    We are planning to use the tandem for afternoon, maybe day-long rides, but probably no multi-day rides. Those rides are most probably going to be on paved paths/roads with occasional gravel sections, but no off-road.

    We have been and will be looking out for a reasonable priced second hand tandem, but if we don't find one we will buy one of the above mentioned.

    Thank you again!

    L&C
    I wouldn't get a second hand tandem for your first tandem unless you knew the history well. Even a brand new expensive bike can cause serious problems if the frame is even slightly out of alignment. On my first double century with a new riding partner (who had ridden enough with me to know I could ride well) I walked virtually every hill, it is extremely embarassing to have the sweeper sag following you. After 50 miles, we had to quit, it took almost 6 hours do to the frame being improperly aligned at the mfg. I had ridden this bike for almost a month prior to the ride to "get the bugs out" but it was not to be. We have a KHS tandemania and love it after 4 years. It is reliable, sturdy, stable and comfortable. We are now thinking of adding a road tandem to our fleet.

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    We've had a Raleigh Companion for a couple of weeks now...mostly shakedown rides and one ten-miler. It's a fairly basic tandem, but reasonably well designed and comfortable...probably not up to really long rides, but neither are we

  12. #12
    Radfahrer Rincewind8's Avatar
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    Hi!

    We ended up ordering a Fuji Absolute Tandem. We picked it up from our LBS last Saturday and immediately went for a test ride. Except for short test rides this was our first time on a tandem and we love it. The frame of the Absolute is fairly rigid and it handles really good.

    Thanks again for your input!

    L&C

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    We have a Raleigh Companion 06 tandem. We are looking for a kickstand,preferably a two legged one. Please let us know what you are using....thanks ed & patty

  14. #14
    Banned. galen_52657's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluestreak2
    We have a KHS tandemania and love it after 4 years. It is reliable, sturdy, stable and comfortable. We are now thinking of adding a road tandem to our fleet.
    + 1

    We have the KHS tandemania Milano drop-bar tandem. You can ride any tandem on trails/gravel roads with the right tires. KHS now has the same bike with flat bars. This bike is a steel at under a grand new (easily found on Ebay and elsewhere). You can spend a lot more if you want....

  15. #15
    spinner clipin's Avatar
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    Way to go Rincewind8; join the gang on the Absolute. You will find more ideas on this bike on a thread just above this one in the Tandem forum, and also more on the topic of roof racks. Have a ball.

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    We have a Raleigh Companion 06 tandem..We are looking for a suitable kickstand any ideas? thanks ed & patty

  17. #17
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rincewind8

    Hi!

    We ended up ordering a Fuji Absolute Tandem. We picked it up from our LBS last Saturday and immediately went for a test ride. Except for short test rides this was our first time on a tandem and we love it. The frame of the Absolute is fairly rigid and it handles really good.

    Thanks again for your input!

    L&C
    Well done on the choice and do not be put off that this may be one of the lower end tandems about. It is still a tandem, and will still give you the enjoyment that this side of the sport has. A few months ago, I looked into getting a cheaper tandem than my full offroad unit, and the Fuji and Raleigh were both in my choice range. Good bikes for the Money and will not let you down, unless you start hankering for the Full offroad machine or the full racing rig.

    Edit---- Just looked at the original posting date, so how about an update on your learning curve and enjoyment factor on your "Now Old" machine?
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


    Spike Milligan

  18. #18
    Radfahrer Rincewind8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stapfam
    Edit---- Just looked at the original posting date, so how about an update on your learning curve and enjoyment factor on your "Now Old" machine?
    Thanks to lots of good advice found here on the forum and through other sources online, the learning wasn't to difficult. We actually had no problem starting and stopping at all.
    Since then my GF had CTS and hand surgery. She still occasional has pain in her wrists/arms. Therefore she doesn't ride her single bike and the only riding time she gets is on the tandem, where she doesn't have to hold on to the handle bar all the time. We both enjoy riding the tandem. We even finished her first century ride (NYC century) on it. It was also more than twice the longest distance she had ridden before. Just last week she told me she is looking forward to the next century ride (warmer weather than there is right now was a condition ). So for the enjoyment factor I would say 10 out of 10. We both love the tandem.
    TH 1.81 (133kg*62)

  19. #19
    Junior Member 24theroad's Avatar
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    We love our Raleigh sport comfort Tandem, front suspension, stoker suspension seat post.

  20. #20
    Junior Member 24theroad's Avatar
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    I like the upgrade you did to the Raleigh, we was talking this past summer of doing ours and also going with sram chains. we have a Raleigh sport comfort.

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