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  1. #1
    Member ImaGoTourNow's Avatar
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    Good Touring Tandem... I'm stumped!

    I've been googling and browsing tandem brand names for a couple of hours now, and I keep running into dead ends.. so I'm finally going to just post and ask for some advice...

    I want a touring tandem, but I don't want to buy a $4000 Co-Motion, and I'm kind of wary of the $500 Lamborghini... (Should I be wary of it?)

    I can't seem to find any brands that sell for around $1000-2000 and are made to handle front and rear touring gear... Can you offer me any leads on brands that I can go research?



    Thanks for your time ^_^

    Imagotournow

  2. #2
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    The 2009 Cannondale Road 3 retails for about $1,900.

  3. #3
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    We tour with a Burley rumba. I purchased it nearly new for less than 2k. Aside from new wheels (which were a desire- not a need) it is stock. It has carried us (a not so slight 400 lbs - unfortunately), and our gear (on a bob and front and rear racks). This train has rolled over many road touring miles, and some off road, including the Denali highway in Alaska, without issue.

    I'm sure you will find many opinions here and on the touring forum that all basically support the same idea: any bike will work depending on where you go and how much you want to carry. Folks certainly have opinions about what works best for them, but as the old saying goes - your mileage may vary. The touring forum has lots of discussions regarding steel vs aluminum, brifters versus bar ends, etc which can give you a feel for what might be "better" or what to avoid.

    For me - the only thing I would change (if I had the money) might be couplers. Having to create a bike box to get the beast on the plane and paying the oversize charge is sometimes a hassle. On the other hand, not enough of a hassle to have mine retrofitted or to upgrade to a new ride.

    good luck.
    Last edited by fvalenti; 01-06-09 at 02:18 PM.

  4. #4
    I'm in shape! A round one spacerconrad's Avatar
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    We got our Santana Arriva used for $900, and love it.
    The bike took a price hit (at the time, they're probably starting to get trendy with some crowds now)
    due to the bar-end shifters when everyone was drooling over STI, but we haven't missed the new
    tech at all. Easier to repair these in the field anyway.

    It's been a great bike.
    "I drank WHAT???" -- Socrates

  5. #5
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    Besides the Cannondale and looking for used tandems, check out the KHS Milano. It's a decent affordable bike. Probably most road tandems come with rack braze-ons on the seatstays & dropouts. If you want to mount a front rack, most tandem forks probably don't come with low-rider rack braze-ons. There are racks that attach to steel or aluminum forks using u-bolts or other hardware (don't try this with a carbon fork).

  6. #6
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Depending how/where and how extensively/loaded you want to tour, the above suggestions make good and reasonably priced tandems that you can tour with.
    Look for a used tandem from major manufacturers.
    If you plan to do back country stuff with dirt roads/trails get a 26" wheeled (wider tires) or for on-road 700c or the old 27" wheels are great.
    Make sure the bike you get has braze-ons for rear and/or front rack. Some more expensive tandems have the braze-on on the fork blades for low-rider racks/bags; or you have the option of utilizing a one- or 2-wheeled trailer to haul gear.
    Better off with a good used tandem in your price range than that Lambo. . .
    Pedal on TWOgether!
    Rudy and Kay/zonatandem

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Before you go on a tandem tour, take a good look at what wheels you will ride, they are by far the weakest links on a touring tandem. Spoke and rim failure stories on tandem touring logs are abundant. A trailer will take some of the weight off your wheels. I think I would tour with a trailer and front panniers only to distribute some of the weight.

    If you plan to tour outside of the developed world stick to 26" wheels for tire availability.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]www.tangotandem.org

  8. #8
    Senior Member antiquepedaler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ImaGoTourNow View Post
    I've been googling and browsing tandem brand names for a couple of hours now, and I keep running into dead ends.. so I'm finally going to just post and ask for some advice...

    I want a touring tandem, but I don't want to buy a $4000 Co-Motion, and I'm kind of wary of the $500 Lamborghini... (Should I be wary of it?)

    I can't seem to find any brands that sell for around $1000-2000 and are made to handle front and rear touring gear... Can you offer me any leads on brands that I can go research?



    Thanks for your time ^_^

    Imagotournow
    I would look into an Ibis road tandem. They're out of the tandem business now but the tandems are great touring bikes. Here's one for sale.

    http://www.bikeirvine.org/forum/view...af186d141740c6
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

    Antique Pedaler

    Couple of Tandems
    Couple of Singles

  9. #9
    Tandem Mountain Climber
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    If you live in Europe, Cannondale sells this model Street (touring) tandem


  10. #10
    AussieTandem
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    We took our Raleigh base model SC Tourer ($1000 AUD) on a fully laden trip through France. 1200 kilometres with 40kg of gear on front and rear panniers and rear rack. We had 3 broken spokes and no flat tyres and couldn't complain about the bike at all. After 10,000 kms of hard riding we have finally retired it and upgraded to a Cannondale. We must say though, at the moment the Cannondale is much less reliable! It's not about the money you spend from our experience. Money relates to brand which relates to advertising!

  11. #11
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    As the co-owner of a Cannondale Street Tandem, I will say its probably a good value for a 26" touring tandem. You pay a price in weight by going 26", but properly sized, its a comfortable and capable ride. My wife/co-owner is not a bike person, but she loves the tandem. I let her set up her cockpit the way she wanted (complete with suspension seat post, suspension seat and seat cover) and she has no problem riding 25+ miles on it. The only other change was the switch to disks which the frame was already configured for. While we don't tour on it, I have no doubt that you could load the thing down for touring and have no problems. Its more pack mule than race horse.
    -Old Army

  12. #12
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    We've been riding our Trek T100 hybrid for about 16 years, about 4,500 km per year - which has included serious grocery shopping to extended touring. During that time, we have had some significant upgrades, and carry panniers on front and rear racks, plus pull a BOB trailer. Summer of 2008 - completed a supported, 7,000 km, camping tour, Victoria to Halifax. Unfortunately, Trek no longer makes this (or its successor, the T1000).

  13. #13
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    My wife and I have a 2000 Burley Rhumba S+S, which was out of your price range new, but I'm sure you could find one in good condition used that is in your price range. We have been very happy with ours. With the couplers, cro-mo frame, 40 spoke wheels and drum brake it's on the heavy side, but it is an excellent touring machine the only problem we've ever had is a sticking front RSX shifter. Doing the solvent rinse thing seemed to do the trick on fixing it. We've done heavily loaded touring on rough roads and even had some snake bite flats from under-inflation, but the rims are still almost perfectly true 9 years later and have never been trued since we purchased.

  14. #14
    rhm
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    multimodal commuter rhm's Avatar
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    Not for everyone, and not easy to find, but the Counterpoint Opus (now Bilenky Viewpoint) was definitely made for touring.

  15. #15
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    If you are trying to choose between flat bars and drops for touring, I'd recommend the drops. I've gone both ways and the drops are a lot more comfortable for logging the long hours on in my opinion...

  16. #16
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    A 9 year old Burley and never trued the wheels . . . but in 9 years how many miles on those wheels?

  17. #17
    PMK
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    Not sure if all the Co-Motion steel forks have rack brazeons, but ours did.

    Another thing I notice comparing the Speedster with rim brakes to the Roadster with discs is you will definitely need the special adapter to clear the caliper.

    As for drops vs flat. I build our bikes with flat bars. As much as I like the drop bar look, my right hand doesn't enjoy brake hood riding. As for comfort, we run flat bars with bar ends. I prefer 3 degree bend, and a comfortable shape the bar end.

    The other nice thing with flat bars for the stoker is added hip clearance for the captain. This may not be needed for everyone. And no I'm not saying fat guys, there are some very large frames offered, so some tall folks must be riding these bikes without custom bars.

    PK

  18. #18
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    9-year old Burley...I don't keep good track of mileage by bicycle, but I'm sure it's safe to say it's been ridden quite a bit less than yours based on your posts. I did have the rear trued this past weekend to help accommodate the V-brakes I've been trying to finesse. I will say that we took it to europe in cases that I built (S+S model) and I'm sure the whole thing exerted some significant lateral force on the spokes, but they handled it just fine.

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