Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 62
  1. #1
    Banned. galen_52657's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Towson, MD
    My Bikes
    2001 Look KG 241, 1989 Specialized Stump Jumper Comp, 1986 Gatane Performanc
    Posts
    4,020
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Feedback from tandem teams......who have owned less expensive tandems

    Dear Forum readers,

    As you can tell, I am a newbie to this site. I want to be a newbie to tandeming, but have yet to plunk down my cash. I have done a lot of research, read a lot of sales materials, test-riden several bikes and talked to a buch of riders, most of whom own high-end tandems.

    However, I am not a newbie to the sport of cycling, being a licensed USCF rider since 1988 and twice a medalist in the Maryland/Del./DC district back in the '90s. Competing is not that important to me at this point in my life, but lets just say I know how to ride a bike.

    Now, I have nothing against high-end bicycles. I am just wondering if some of these tandem manufacturers are just charging large markups and selling to the BWM/Mercedes demographic (you know who you are!).

    Not having any wish to be a bike snob, (I let my legs do the talking, not my wallet), I am asking for feedback from anyone who has owned KHS, Raliegh or any other less-than-$2,000 tandems.

    Anybody out there???

    Galen

  2. #2
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    My Bikes
    MTB, Road, Recumbent, Tandem
    Posts
    22
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Hi Galen,
    Read my post "Finally a good setup". This should tell you a bit more about low cost tandem. I am very satisfied with our setup. I also have expensive single bike. I am riding bike since I was 5 years old. I am now 45. I am commuting to work everyday form april to december on a $800. no suspension MTB. This bike is equipped with the cheapest high end Shimano parts. (Deore, Altus, Alivio) It ride in all kind of difficult conditions and still work perfectly after 15,000km. My high end road bike ($3,000) have Campy expensive stuff. Run very well but I cannot say that the difference in price is really worthed. So, when we bought the tandem it was out of question to go with an expensive tandem. I understand that tandem parts are more stressed because of the total power and weight of the 2 riders. But this has nothing to do with derailler/ shifter. After reading many post over here, I have realized that high end tandem are stuck with the same kind of problem I had with mine. Whatever solution works for them was good for me too. The idea is to get a frame that won't flex like a wet noodle and equipped with decent parts and good wheels/tires. Be sure to get something that you will not have to add money right out from the store and you should be happy. Many people believe it is worthed to spend more money to save weight. I don't think so. When you drag a bike uphill, it is the total weight that count( Riders + bike + water bottle + whatever). So saving a few pounds on a bike for $2,000 more is just a loss of money. So the same persons on 15 lbs road bikes cannot understand how I can pass them on my 30 lbs MTB with 2 rear bags acting like a parachute while pushing my pedal with my hairy legs...

    Good shopping,
    Michel

  3. #3
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    7,151
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by galen_52657
    Now, I have nothing against high-end bicycles. I am just wondering if some of these tandem manufacturers are just charging large markups and selling to the BWM/Mercedes demographic (you know who you are!).
    So, do you regularly ride a KHS, Raliegh or any other less-than-$800 bike as your primary road bike? If not, what brand and model of personal bike do you ride and why did you select it and the components that it has?

    The reason I ask gets back to the basic questions that anyone needs to answer for themselves when shopping for anything:

    1. What are you buying?
    2. Why are you buying it?
    3. What's your budget?
    4. What else could you do with the money you're considering to use for the purchase?

    If all you want is a tandem for leisurely rides and what not and your budget is under $2000 there are many models to choose from. The frames used by Burley on it's entry level model tandems are the same frames used on it's intermediate models. They are made here it the US and they are less expensive than the intermediate and high-end models because less expensive components are fitted to them.

    Cannondale and Trek both offer value-packed tandems because of the economies of scale involved. They tell tens of thousands of bicycles each year and offer tandems because they want to offer their brand-loyal buyers a tandem model and they can do it for far less than than speciality tandem builders who produce something close to 1k tandems per year and, thus, who don't have the economies of scale when it comes to components, etc...

    KHS, Raliegh, Roland, and now Schwinn are marketing/distribution firms, not bicycle manufacturers in the traditional sense, who provide entry level bicycles to consumers via mass retailers and a few bicycle shops. The frames are mass produced in Asia and sold under various different brand names, e.g., a Kent tandem frame sold by Walmart is the same as a DiamondBack/Raleigh frame sold elsewhere. They have different paint and components, but are otherwise the same chomo steel frames. I'm not sure who Roland is, but I would be interested to do a frame comparison with the KHS tandems as I suspect there may be a connection.

    So, in the end, you buy to meet your needs or -- perhaps in the case of high-end sporting goods and bicycles -- your desires. Tandem "enthusiasts" are just that, enthusiasts. They don't just happen to own a tandem and, instead, in many cases ride it exclusively to the tune of 5k - 10k miles per year. Thus, they -- myself included -- appreciate the subtle differences that differentiate the high-end from the various different levels of tandem offerings and don't mind paying for it. In our case, our tandems are our RVs; we don't have boats, vacation homes, motor homes, or ATVs that compete for our recreational time.

    So, by all means, buy within your budget and to meet your needs. But, don't kid yourself into thinking that there's no difference between a $1600 KHS and a $5400 high-end aluminum racing tandem. You may not appreciate the differences or place a value on them, but the differences are the same as you'll find between an $1k entry level racing bike and a $2,600 model.

  4. #4
    Banned. galen_52657's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Towson, MD
    My Bikes
    2001 Look KG 241, 1989 Specialized Stump Jumper Comp, 1986 Gatane Performanc
    Posts
    4,020
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Mark,

    My current road bike is a 2001 Look KG 241 frame with a mix of Campy Centaur and Record components and a brand spankin new set of Mavic Ksyrum Elite wheels. But, for years I rode Bianchi and Gatane steel frames. I still have my first racing bike, a 1986 Gatane that I paid $450 for. I raced on an used Bianchi frame I paid $200 for and rode it untill I cracked the bottom bracket shell in 2 places. I actually came in 4th in the eastern masters sectional race riding that cracked frame in 1993. In fact, I went strait from 7 speed downtube shifting to 10 speed ergo. But here is the best part! I paid $376 for the Look frame and fork, brand new, delivered to my door from and Ebay seller in England. If it was not so cheap, I never would have purchased it.

    The fact is, with bikes or any other product there is a point of deminishing returns, where one pays more but receives less in terms of performance increase for the money spent. A $500 road bike from a bike shop may be twice as good as a $250 bike from a toy store. But, a $1,000 bike is not twice as good as a $500 bike. I can assure you a $2000 bike is not twice as good as a $1,000 bike. Does a set of Campy Record ergo shifters perform better than a set of Volice? Are they twice as good? They cost twice as much so they should work twice as good...guess what, they both work the same. The Record has an insignifacant weight savings. The market responds to what people will buy. If people stopped buying Record, Campy would stop making it. If nobody would pay $5,000 for a tandem, Santana would make $2,000 tandems if they wanted to stay in business. People buy Hummers for God's sakes so that prooves that money and sense do not go hand-in-hand.

    When I buy a tandem, I would hope to do 2 rides a week, totaling 100-150 miles. I now ride 4-5 days a week totaling 200-250 miles. I rode 90 miles Saturday with my fastest bud and averaged 19.8 MPH I rode 85 very hilly miles Sunday with the Co-Ed club and averaged about 16 MPH.

    I put a premium on reliablity. I don't really care who makes what and my politics are such that I don't feel I have to support US made products just because they are US made (people in other countrys have to eat too). Considering the components on your tandem were made in Japan, I don't see how you can have and issue with the frame being from Asia. We live in a market economy. If KHS, Raleigh or whoever can slap their name on a product and undersell the competition, good for them.

    I will buy to meet my needs. But, the fact is nobody 'needs' a $5,000 tandem anymore than the local racers 'need' a set of $3,000 wheels. They buy them because they want them, and they can (maybe) afford them....does not make them any faster...

    The fact is, when it comes to bikes, as always, the performace is in the rider, not the bike. We all have our snobbyness. You sound like a tandem snob. I am a Campy snob. I look down on Shimano. Why? who knows! Most likely because it looks like ****. Lance won on Shimano...if he was riding Campy, he still would have won. Back when I was rumaging through bike shop dumpsters for tires to race on, I did not care who's components I used. Now that I have a little disposable income... I am a snob!!!

    Funny how money corrupts...



    Quote Originally Posted by livngood
    So, do you regularly ride a KHS, Raliegh or any other less-than-$800 bike as your primary road bike? If not, what brand and model of personal bike do you ride and why did you select it and the components that it has?

    The reason I ask gets back to the basic questions that anyone needs to answer for themselves when shopping for anything:

    1. What are you buying?
    2. Why are you buying it?
    3. What's your budget?
    4. What else could you do with the money you're considering to use for the purchase?

    If all you want is a tandem for leisurely rides and what not and your budget is under $2000 there are many models to choose from. The frames used by Burley on it's entry level model tandems are the same frames used on it's intermediate models. They are made here it the US and they are less expensive than the intermediate and high-end models because less expensive components are fitted to them.

    Cannondale and Trek both offer value-packed tandems because of the economies of scale involved. They tell tens of thousands of bicycles each year and offer tandems because they want to offer their brand-loyal buyers a tandem model and they can do it for far less than than speciality tandem builders who produce something close to 1k tandems per year and, thus, who don't have the economies of scale when it comes to components, etc...

    KHS, Raliegh, Roland, and now Schwinn are marketing/distribution firms, not bicycle manufacturers in the traditional sense, who provide entry level bicycles to consumers via mass retailers and a few bicycle shops. The frames are mass produced in Asia and sold under various different brand names, e.g., a Kent tandem frame sold by Walmart is the same as a DiamondBack/Raleigh frame sold elsewhere. They have different paint and components, but are otherwise the same chomo steel frames. I'm not sure who Roland is, but I would be interested to do a frame comparison with the KHS tandems as I suspect there may be a connection.

    So, in the end, you buy to meet your needs or -- perhaps in the case of high-end sporting goods and bicycles -- your desires. Tandem "enthusiasts" are just that, enthusiasts. They don't just happen to own a tandem and, instead, in many cases ride it exclusively to the tune of 5k - 10k miles per year. Thus, they -- myself included -- appreciate the subtle differences that differentiate the high-end from the various different levels of tandem offerings and don't mind paying for it. In our case, our tandems are our RVs; we don't have boats, vacation homes, motor homes, or ATVs that compete for our recreational time.

    So, by all means, buy within your budget and to meet your needs. But, don't kid yourself into thinking that there's no difference between a $1600 KHS and a $5400 high-end aluminum racing tandem. You may not appreciate the differences or place a value on them, but the differences are the same as you'll find between an $1k entry level racing bike and a $2,600 model.

  5. #5
    Senior Member markm109's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    SE Michigan
    My Bikes
    '01 Gary Fisher Tassajara; '03 Litespeed Blue Ridge; '04 Cannondale Road Tandem; '93 Schwinn Traveler
    Posts
    285
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Galen,

    Check out the Trek / Cannondale tandems as was suggested. My wife and I test road the Trek T-2000 and the '04 Cannondale Road Tandem (they only make one model this year). We bought the Cannondale because it was stronger tubing and $1,000 less ($2,250 retail) and had good components including disc brakes. I have a Litespeed road bike and am a snob as you put it, but didn't see the need to buy a $5k Santana or Co-Motion. The Cannondale's ride is very nice and we love riding on it.

    It is the time spent together, not the method that counts. She didn't care what tandem we got as long as she was comfortable. She doesn't know the difference in component levels, just as long as it rides nice and smooth.

    Mark

  6. #6
    Mad Town Biker Murrays's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    974
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by galen_52657
    But, the fact is nobody 'needs' a $5,000 tandem anymore than the local racers 'need' a set of $3,000 wheels. They buy them because they want them, and they can (maybe) afford them....does not make them any faster...
    While I agree with your premise, I prefer to pay extra to get quality in stuff I plan to be using 10 years from now. I have no problem with my wife’s $3.5k custom fit Waterford that fits her like a glove, but I’m annoyed that she bought a $350 mountain bike that has never been ridden. Her Waterford did in fact make her faster and allow her to ride on multiday tours where the previous bike caused injuries. Yeah, she could have spent less, but it gives her plenty of joy to justify the cost IMHO.

    Quote Originally Posted by galen_52657
    They cost twice as much so they should work twice as good...guess what, they both work the same.
    Not always. More than a dozen years ago, I recall replacing the bottom bracket on my old Cannondale touring bike. The axle was cast steel with no special treatment on the races. It took several attempts to get the cups right so it wasn’t loose or binding.

    I later upgraded to a 600/Ultegra BB with a hardened shaft and machined races. Dialing in the cups took one try. While Dura Ace may not have offered much additional benefit, I was convinced that there is more difference to component groups than “insignificant weight savings”.

    My approach is buying the right tandem to fit our riding style the first time. As much as I like a bargain, I hate second guessing spending too little on a purchase and regretting it a year or two later.

    OTOH, you certainly know what you want and what you don’t need; I’m not trying to change your mind, just offering another point of view. Who knows, you may end up being happier with your $2k tandem than we are spending twice as much

    Good Luck!
    -murray
    "I feel more now like I did than when I first got here"

  7. #7
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    7,151
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by galen_52657
    If it was not so cheap, I never would have purchased it....with bikes or any other product there is a point of deminishing returns...People buy Hummers for God's sakes so that prooves that money and sense do not go hand-in-hand.
    OK, so all of that said, you understand economics and have a some issues with regard to the inequities of life.


    Quote Originally Posted by galen_52657
    Considering the components on your tandem were made in Japan, I don't see how you can have and issue with the frame being from Asia.
    Why do you assume I have any issue with Asian-made bicycle compoments. I stated simple facts regarding sourcing and pricing that has a bearing on the cost of production without any implications on quality. Give your politics a rest... I don't believe I've suggested at any point in this thread what my particular preferences may be.

    As for Asian-sources components, you got me there... the cassette (Shimano), drive chain (Shimano), seat posts (Easton carbon), and inner tubes (generic) come from Asia. My Campy shifters, derailleurs and brakes, are still made in Italy, my daVinci cranks are made in Colorado, my Specialties TA rings are made in France, my White Industry, Phil Wood, & Chris King hubs are made in California, my RaceFace, Erickson & Phil Wood BB's are made in North America, the Velocity Rims are made in Australia, the DT spokes are made in Switzerland, the tires come from Denmark, the handlebars are Italian as are the seats.


    Quote Originally Posted by galen_52657
    They buy them because they want them, and they can (maybe) afford them....does not make them any faster...
    Well, duh, which is why I wrote: "So, in the end, you buy to meet your needs or -- perhaps in the case of high-end sporting goods and bicycles -- your desires."


    Quote Originally Posted by galen_52657
    The fact is, when it comes to bikes, as always, the performace is in the rider, not the bike.
    Well double duh.


    Quote Originally Posted by galen_52657
    You sound like a tandem snob.
    Really? How so? Have I ridiculed anyone for what they ride or suggested that it isn't a "real tandem"? Have I tried to make a case for one brand over another based on the less expensive model being inferior? Have I suggested that you have to spend a lot of money to extract enjoyment or performance from a tandem? If I have, it must have been subconscious because I don't ever recall talking down to value-conscious buyers or otherwise providing anything other than data that I am aware of or have access to. Or, are you simply stereotyping me as a snob because I happen to be a high-end tandem owner -- who enjoys sharing information regarding the activity with others in the hope that they too will become enthusiast.

    Bottom Line: If you want to buy a value-based tandem and have found one that meets your "needs" then go ahead and do it. At this point, and based on your threads, it would appear you are merely looking for reinforcement of your decision -- despite the fact that you've already made up your mind.

    BTW, if you look hard enough you'll find a killer deal on a NOS or barely used high-end tandem every now and again. However, since there is only 1 tandem built for every 100,000 regular bikes, it's a pretty small pool to swim in.
    Last edited by livngood; 06-21-04 at 05:13 PM.

  8. #8
    Cycling Anarchist Trsnrtr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Central Illinois
    Posts
    3,013
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Re: Tandem Snobbery

    My wife and I are on our 5th tandem. We started in 1983 on a Motebecane, then a Schwinn Paramount (1979) in 1988, a 1991 Rodriquez, a 1991 Santana Noventa and lastly a 2002 Santana Sovereign.

    Cycling is what we do. We don't fish, ski, garden, etc., just bike. It's our lifestyle.

    Given all that, we want/need/desire/require a reliable top-end tandem. We need a machine capable of 100 mile rides, multi-day rides, fast rides, and one with the ability to fly up hills when required. I want the tandem to go a couple thousand miles between maintenance check-ups and last 25,000 miles or 10 years before replacement. And I want it to do all those things safely, even on 50+ mph downhills.

    If spending $4-5K on a machine to fulfill those needs, real or imagined, makes us snobs, so be it. It would be the only thing we own that qualifies us for snob-dom.

  9. #9
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    My Bikes
    ariZona carbon fiber tandem & single
    Posts
    9,943
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The biggest bang for the buck for a $2,000 NEW tandem is the Burley.
    The Rumba Cromoly retails for $1700; the aluminum Tamburello goes for $2,000. Both have 700c wheels and decent componentry. The bike is made in Eugene, OR with American made tubing, componentry comes from off-shore, and is real good quality.
    Keep in mind a good used tandem can cost about the same or a bit less.
    Again you get what your pay for. Walmart will sell you a Kent for about $300. Is there any difference?
    Test ride both and you will answer that question.
    Have been riding 'in tandem' for over 29 years and have tested/ridden over 30 brands/models. In that time we've pedaled over 200,000 miles as a duo. No, we do not call ourselves 'experts', but experienced tandemists.
    Good luck!
    Pedal on TWOgether!
    Rudy & Kay/Zonatandem

  10. #10
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    My Bikes
    MTB, Road, Recumbent, Tandem
    Posts
    22
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    This a well animated discussion. I think everyone have a point over here. The main point here is the comparaison of a $2000 VS a $5000 tandem. The Walmart model at $300 has nothing to do in this discussion. The idea was to clarify the big difference in price ($3000) and if it is really worthed. The problem is what is a must for someone may not be a requirement for the others. As an exemple, on my custom made high tech steel road bike (I do prefer steel over aluminium) I installed a set of Campy Neutron wheels. Why??? Because I like the look of them That's it. Do they make me go faster. I am not sure? Do I climb faster? Maybe, by .2 km/h. But this is not really important because I like the look of my bike with those wheel on. Is it a good investment? My heart say yes but my brain say no. As I mentionned above this bike is equipped with high end Campy stuff. Partially Chorus and partially Record. When I bought this bike, it was important to me. Now, I think I over did it. I have realised that when you reach a certain quality of components anything else is weight saving and a better finnish. My friend bought his bike with me 2 years ago. He equipped his with Mirage\veloce components. After 10,000 km We can't tell any difference between mine and his regarding the functionning of the components. In our group of rider many ride with Shimano. Again, peoples equipped with 105, ultegra or Dura-ace are all satisfied. MTB friends ride with Deore, LX, XT and XTR. Actually, the deore is the most prefered because it is cheaper to replace when broken by a fall. The things is all those components have nothing to compare with the low end components that you find on Walmart bikes. Most of the time Record parts will become the Chorus part a year after. Because of that we ended up with high end components that have reach a very good level of quality.

    Frames are a different story. Exotic tubing made by Columbus, Dedacia or Reynolds are very expensive. The most exotic aluminium one require heat treament to relieve welding stress and prevent prematurate frame failure. All these operation and the high cost of the material add up on the final price. One have to decide if a high cost frame is really worthed for him. The major points here are rigidity and weight. A tank is very rigid but very heavy. The most exotic material can bring the weight down and still offer very good rigidity. One point to remember is that light tubing are thin, very thin. While offering a very high tensile strenght, they are quite easy to dent. A high priced Aluminium frame will offer you rigidity and lightness but it may suffer more in case of a fall. While most steel frame can have a tube replace in case of a major crash it is rarely the case for aluminium. Anyway, the point here is to decide what kind of frame is really worthed for your need.

    Tandem wheelset are always a good point for discussion. When I upgrade my Roland. I was looking to build the best wheelset I could. The point here is the rear wheel. I looked at all the expensive hub. Hugi, Chrisking, Philwood but I ended up with Shimano LX with a longer axle. Why that? Easy answer. Most of freeride and downhill riders run on LX hub because it is very strong. They cost about $35 and I can get parts in any LBS right away in case of a failure. There is nothing wrong with the high price Philwood, Hugi etc... except their price. I made the choice of riding with the LX hub to find out how long they are going to last. If they fail too soon, I will go with the expensive model because I will have realized that it is a requirement. In that case I will have lose $35. plus my time to build a rear wheel. Are the expensive one better. I believe so. They have bigger axle, larger bearing and a stronger ratchet(Freehub) system. Are they really required? I don't know, but I will soon find it out.

    To end up, I update my tandem with components that, in my opinion, are sufficient for my needs while giving me reliability and a good price/quality ratio. Except for the rear wheel, I don't think that any better component will give me more satisfaction. For me anything more will be purely burning money. I have overequipped one bike in my life and it is enough. Please understand this is not a bad comment about peoples that like Record or Dura-Ace components or high tech frame. It is just about me realizing that the extra $2000-$3000 just make subtle differences.

    Have a nice day,
    Michel

  11. #11
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    St Peters, Missouri
    My Bikes
    Rans Enduro Sport, Hase Kettweisel Tandem, Merin Bear Valley beater bike
    Posts
    23,616
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Back when I owned my own shop, I used to keep three tandems in stock: An entry level (Raleigh, Univega or KHS), a Burley, and a Santana. It was kind of interesting to ride one after the other. The biggest difference to me was the perceived rigidity of the frames. As you moved up the food chain, the frames definitely felt more solid. The entry level bikes actually felt a little scary, like they were bending in the middle, if you tried to ride one immediately after getting off of the Santana.

    I'm going to cast another positive vote for Burley. Tandems are a core part of their business rather than just a sideline. As a result, I think that they produce some moderately priced offerings that are rigid enough to satisfy riders who have extensive bicycling experience. As a bonus, I think that the people at Burley are among the fairest and finest of anyone in the bike business. They are great people to deal with.

  12. #12
    Senior Member wsurfn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    79
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Galen:

    I am going to throw in my 2 cents from my lawn chair.

    Mark L. is as great of an amssador to this (tandem) sport as we could hope for. I question whether he is online 24/7 because he responds so quick and complete. I feel his opinion is very balanced and fair, and frankly, that is what most of us are looking for... experienced opinions (not wish wash).

    At the end of the year I was in your boat, my perspective was much like yours. I was content with my 1991 Carbon Allez road bike, but not my 90's mountainbike. I now have a 2003 Santa Cruz Blur that makes me wonder why I was so cheap. I had no idea what I was missing compared with a quality value hardtail until I splurged.

    So, I was thinking used unsure if my wife would like it, but I ended up buying new. I thought 2K would be my limit, but I ended up going to 2.5K so I could get the components I wanted.

    I agree, you chould be looking at Cannondale, Trek, and Burley.

    I think Co-Motion and Santana are excellent choices for the 3K plus crowd.

    I found a tandem shop that I trusted, and let them help.

    I decided to go with a Burley Tosa. No regrets so far. I feel I got a very good performance tandem for a very good value. I am so happy, I might just garnish it with a carbon fork (wife loves it), even though I know that it is just fine with its cro-mo fork. I feel I probably would be as happy with the Trek or Cannondale had I chosen one of them.

    If I can help, let me know.

    Mark

  13. #13
    Banned. galen_52657's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Towson, MD
    My Bikes
    2001 Look KG 241, 1989 Specialized Stump Jumper Comp, 1986 Gatane Performanc
    Posts
    4,020
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Opps... hit the wrong button!

    So... I should turn my 1986 Specialized Stumpjumper Comp into a town bike and buy a new mountain bike instead of a tandem???

    Quote Originally Posted by wsurfn
    Galen:

    I am going to throw in my 2 cents from my lawn chair.

    Mark L. is as great of an amssador to this (tandem) sport as we could hope for. I question whether he is online 24/7 because he responds so quick and complete. I feel his opinion is very balanced and fair, and frankly, that is what most of us are looking for... experienced opinions (not wish wash).

    At the end of the year I was in your boat, my perspective was much like yours. I was content with my 1991 Carbon Allez road bike, but not my 90's mountainbike. I now have a 2003 Santa Cruz Blur that makes me wonder why I was so cheap. I had no idea what I was missing compared with a quality value hardtail until I splurged.

    So, I was thinking used unsure if my wife would like it, but I ended up buying new. I thought 2K would be my limit, but I ended up going to 2.5K so I could get the components I wanted.

    I agree, you chould be looking at Cannondale, Trek, and Burley.

    I think Co-Motion and Santana are excellent choices for the 3K plus crowd.

    I found a tandem shop that I trusted, and let them help.

    I decided to go with a Burley Tosa. No regrets so far. I feel I got a very good performance tandem for a very good value. I am so happy, I might just garnish it with a carbon fork (wife loves it), even though I know that it is just fine with its cro-mo fork. I feel I probably would be as happy with the Trek or Cannondale had I chosen one of them.

    If I can help, let me know.

    Mark

  14. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    143
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'm not sure whether to jump into the fray...my wife and I bought a Raleigh Companion tandem as a way to get back to cycling together. I'm not sure if it was the right choice, but it's been an okay start. I could see getting into a quicker bike if the tandem thing sticks with us. Our longest ride so far is 22 miles of hills and I'd have to say that I'd like to be more comfortable (both butt and hands were numb by the end) and have the work be a little easier (we barely made some hills in our lowest gear). But I don't know how much of that is the bike and how much is me (or my wife as stoker!).

    Dan

  15. #15
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    My Bikes
    ariZona carbon fiber tandem & single
    Posts
    9,943
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Seeing that Co-Motion was tossed in this discussion we would like add in our nickel's worth (inflation got rid of the 2 cents worth).
    Retired our custom Co-Motion last year after 10 years and 57,000 miles of riding. Did we get our money's worth? Yep!!!
    Why a custom tandem? Proper fit. Pilot is average 5'7" but stoker is a tiny 4'10 3/4" and tandeming is our main sport/exercise.
    Have been riding as a duo since 1975 and owned the following twicers: Follis (French), Assenmacher, Colian, Co-Motion and ariZona carbon fiber tandem. All but the Follis were custom.
    A proper fitting tandem is a must if you do some serious riding. Since 1975 we have covered over 200,000 miles as a tandem team.
    Our suggestion is that for your first tandem buy what you can easily afford. If you and partner like it, then you can always upgrade. If it's a no go, then you can resell that 2-seater without much loss.
    Have seen folks on a Nashbar tandem beat a titanium tandem up a hill. Remember, you as a duo are the motor and what you ride is not nearly as important as how much fun you are having!

    Pedal on TWOgether!
    Rudy & Kay/Zonatandem

  16. #16
    Senior Member wsurfn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    79
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by galen_52657
    Opps... hit the wrong button!

    So... I should turn my 1986 Specialized Stumpjumper Comp into a town bike and buy a new mountain bike instead of a tandem???
    Err...umm...yes? Well, I have to tell you in my rocky neck of the woods, I really enjoy tearing it up on a non-bobbing FS bike verses a hardtail. YMMV.

    All good advice from the posters. Mark L. is usually right on.

  17. #17
    Banned. galen_52657's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Towson, MD
    My Bikes
    2001 Look KG 241, 1989 Specialized Stump Jumper Comp, 1986 Gatane Performanc
    Posts
    4,020
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Did you get still photos or film of the Nashbar trashing the titanium?

    I am going to go with something low-end to start off with, maybe used. I don't have a set stoker at this point in time so no sense ording custom. Every tandem I tried could be made to fit with stem/seatpost fiddling.

    Galen


    Quote Originally Posted by zonatandem
    Seeing that Co-Motion was tossed in this discussion we would like add in our nickel's worth (inflation got rid of the 2 cents worth).
    Retired our custom Co-Motion last year after 10 years and 57,000 miles of riding. Did we get our money's worth? Yep!!!
    Why a custom tandem? Proper fit. Pilot is average 5'7" but stoker is a tiny 4'10 3/4" and tandeming is our main sport/exercise.
    Have been riding as a duo since 1975 and owned the following twicers: Follis (French), Assenmacher, Colian, Co-Motion and ariZona carbon fiber tandem. All but the Follis were custom.
    A proper fitting tandem is a must if you do some serious riding. Since 1975 we have covered over 200,000 miles as a tandem team.
    Our suggestion is that for your first tandem buy what you can easily afford. If you and partner like it, then you can always upgrade. If it's a no go, then you can resell that 2-seater without much loss.
    Have seen folks on a Nashbar tandem beat a titanium tandem up a hill. Remember, you as a duo are the motor and what you ride is not nearly as important as how much fun you are having!

    Pedal on TWOgether!
    Rudy & Kay/Zonatandem

  18. #18
    Senior Member johno's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    KY
    My Bikes
    Trek Y-Foil, Falcon San Remo 76
    Posts
    116
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Another entry in the budget tandem story...

    The wife and I wanted to ride together. Didn't want a cheapo, because they will fall apart quickly, but didn't have $3k to spend, either.

    We ended up shelling out $1k for a clean early 90's Cannondale. Rides great - not at all flexy, but not harsh riding, either. We got ours from a couple who bought it, used it for a couple of years, and then parked it away, so frame and components (mostly suntour) were in good shape.

    I'd like to upgrade this bike to 9 spd STI, so I can put on a flightdeck and see what gear I'm in, but otherwise, there is no reason to buy anything better. The 'Dale is light, responsive, and comfy - plenty of room in the back. My wife just loves it - we cruise at 20mph all day.

  19. #19
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    My Bikes
    ariZona carbon fiber tandem & single
    Posts
    9,943
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Galen:

    Nope, did not get any photos of Nashbar tandem beating a ti Santana on that hill! We were too busy shifting and a-pushing!
    Good idea to look for something used; let the first owner take the depreciation for you.
    Caution: Your statement that your bike could fit any riding partner may be incorrect; do not pick a too tall/short honey!
    Good luck!
    Pedal on TWOgether!
    Rudy & Kay/Zona tandem

  20. #20
    Banned. galen_52657's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Towson, MD
    My Bikes
    2001 Look KG 241, 1989 Specialized Stump Jumper Comp, 1986 Gatane Performanc
    Posts
    4,020
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    My preference in stokers would be about 5'9", 135 lbs +/-, 35-45 years of age, not too buxum, blond/blue or red/green.... brown/brown is OK...but I just got rid of one...

    Galen

  21. #21
    Senior Member markm109's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    SE Michigan
    My Bikes
    '01 Gary Fisher Tassajara; '03 Litespeed Blue Ridge; '04 Cannondale Road Tandem; '93 Schwinn Traveler
    Posts
    285
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by galen_52657
    My preference in stokers would be about 5'9", 135 lbs +/-, 35-45 years of age, not too buxum, blond/blue or red/green.... brown/brown is OK...but I just got rid of one...

    Galen
    Where did you get rid of that one at? I could use one like that!

  22. #22
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    6
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by galen_52657
    Dear Forum readers,

    ....
    Not having any wish to be a bike snob, (I let my legs do the talking, not my wallet), I am asking for feedback from anyone who has owned KHS, Raliegh or any other less-than-$2,000 tandems.

    Anybody out there???

    Galen
    I bought a KHS Tandemania Sport (bottom of the line) about three years ago and recently upgraded to a Cannondale RT1000. The original KHS came with a 7 speed Freewheel... and a crankset with non-replacable chainrings... The bottom brackets turned out to be a non-standard square taper, so even a new Sugino crankest needed a new bottom bracket also... The handlebars and seatposts were steel with the old square bolt with a nut on each end type of seat attachment (think K-Mart) and the stems were also steel.

    But in all fairness it ran well enough, but it was HEAVY! Heavy enough to make a difference. I upgraded so many things that I should have bought the Cannondale in the first place.

    The only good thing is that now the kids ride it with us on the 'dale or with their friends. Judging by your road bike, I really don't think you'd be happy for long with a cheapy... Just my 2 cents, but get something that's at least within 5 lbs of the better Tandems, 10 -15 is hard to live with...


    Good Luck,
    Nick

  23. #23
    Banned. galen_52657's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Towson, MD
    My Bikes
    2001 Look KG 241, 1989 Specialized Stump Jumper Comp, 1986 Gatane Performanc
    Posts
    4,020
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    That one is residing at my old house. The only part of the description she fits is the brown/brown. You better have some strong legs and a low gear if you want her as your stoker....

    Quote Originally Posted by markm109
    Where did you get rid of that one at? I could use one like that!

  24. #24
    Banned. galen_52657's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Towson, MD
    My Bikes
    2001 Look KG 241, 1989 Specialized Stump Jumper Comp, 1986 Gatane Performanc
    Posts
    4,020
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Nick,

    I test rode the KHS Millano road tandem. It has all name-brand components as far as I could tell, including Shimano 105 brake/shift levers (8 speed). I did not dissasemble it so they may have snuck in an off -brand part someplace. I am sure the headset and bottom brakets are not top-drawer. I am going to guess it weighed about 42 lbs for the large size. Seeing as a reader just bought a brand-new jumbo/large Cannondale and it weighed 39 lbs, I think the weight is in the ballpark. The exact same KHS tandem recently sold on Ebay for almost $1,300 used. The dummys did not know one can be had for $999 new! The Roma auminum version sells for $1,400 new and surely weighs a little less and has 9 speed, but I have not test-ridden one, thought the geometry is identical. The Tandemania Sport can be had for $700 - see link.

    All that I can say is after test riding the Millano, it rode just as well as any of the higher-priced tandems.

    Galen

    http://gallery.bcentral.com/Gallery/...=1&sortOrder=0

    Quote Originally Posted by NickK3
    I bought a KHS Tandemania Sport (bottom of the line) about three years ago and recently upgraded to a Cannondale RT1000. The original KHS came with a 7 speed Freewheel... and a crankset with non-replacable chainrings... The bottom brackets turned out to be a non-standard square taper, so even a new Sugino crankest needed a new bottom bracket also... The handlebars and seatposts were steel with the old square bolt with a nut on each end type of seat attachment (think K-Mart) and the stems were also steel.

    But in all fairness it ran well enough, but it was HEAVY! Heavy enough to make a difference. I upgraded so many things that I should have bought the Cannondale in the first place.

    The only good thing is that now the kids ride it with us on the 'dale or with their friends. Judging by your road bike, I really don't think you'd be happy for long with a cheapy... Just my 2 cents, but get something that's at least within 5 lbs of the better Tandems, 10 -15 is hard to live with...


    Good Luck,
    Nick

  25. #25
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Ohio
    My Bikes
    Kent tandem
    Posts
    26
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I bought the kent Wal mart this year and like it a lot alloy wheels shamonio parts gel seats comfortable also I may add but I am not an avid rider like most of you but for the money it dose everything I need it to do.

    Chuck

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •