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Tandem Cycling A bicycle built for two. Want to find out more about this wonderful world of tandems? Check out this forum to talk with other tandem enthusiasts. Captains and stokers welcome!

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Old 08-14-09, 02:38 PM   #1
bikerosity57
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Kent tandems

Although I know they aren't the most top-notch bikes, I ordered a Kent "international" tandem from a local shop because it was A, inexpensive, and B, it seems to be designed rather well for an inexpensive mount. Does anyone have any history with these?
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Old 08-14-09, 07:36 PM   #2
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Did you buy it at Walmart? For $269.00it's definitely cheap, it costs less than my shoes! It looks very similar to the Lamborghini! that someone wrote about earlier. Check out bobthib's review. I think you'll find it similar to what you ordered.
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Old 08-14-09, 08:25 PM   #3
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The specifications are very similar to the Lamborghini except for the "twist shifters":

The 700c Tandem Road Bike from Kent International features a road-bike look complete with traditional drop-style handlebars and a strong, lightweight aluminum frame with a lifetime warranty.
Kent International 700c Tandem Road Bike:
Shimano 21-speed drive train
Twist shifters
14-28t freewheel
Rear derailleur
Linear-pull brakes
Vibrant red color
700x38c tires
Padded seats
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Old 08-14-09, 09:35 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by bikerosity57 View Post
Although I know they aren't the most top-notch bikes, I ordered a Kent "international" tandem from a local shop because it was A, inexpensive, and B, it seems to be designed rather well for an inexpensive mount. Does anyone have any history with these?
You might want to defer bombing down hills at 40+mph until you get things sorted out.
Of course, that's true with any tandem.
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Old 08-14-09, 10:37 PM   #5
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At WalMart you can return it and get your money back . . .
You get what you pay for.
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Old 08-15-09, 05:36 AM   #6
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At WalMart you can return it and get your money back . . .
You get what you pay for.

Yes, it's waaaay too cheap to work properly as a tandem. Is the OP sure that it comes with handlebars, seats, pedals and wheels?






.
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Old 08-15-09, 10:00 AM   #7
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FYI: the Lambo is mfg'd by Kent for Tanino Lamborghini. I suspect they use the same frame jigs.

Note that indeed this is SIMILAR to the Lamborghini, but different in many important ways. Most importantly the frame is Steel (according to one reviewer,) not aluminum, hence much heavier I suspect. Also, it has twist shifters and bottom of the line Shimano 7x3 gearing. The Lambo has an aluminum frame, and an 8x3 Microshift brifters. The rear work very well, the front, meh.

I'm certain that the brakes on the Walmart bike are no better than the Lambo, and they are really bad. Dangerous, actually. Changed mine to Avid 7s with Koolstop pads and now we stop on a dime! Wheels need to be trued, bearings repacked and adjusted (mine were way too tight), and the crap rim tapes should be dumped. The tires are also crap, but if you don't have a spare set about, ride'm till they wear out. Won't take long.

Despite the aluminum frame, the lambo is very smooth riding, even with the 700x25 Specialized Armadillos. From what I understand that is characteristic of tandems due to their long wheelbase.

For someone on a real tight budget, that Walmart bike could be a great entry level tandem, but like the lambo, it will need a lot of work and $ to bring it up to snuff. Never the less, it could be worth it. Spend $150 -$250 for brakes, tires (28 - 32mm), and a good tune-up, it will be a good bike for tooling about town. The seats aren't very good by road standards, but then seats are a very personal thing.

Don't think I want to do a cross county trip or even a century on this bike, or the Lambo for that matter.

Here is some reviews from the walmart site: http://www.walmart.com/catalog/produ...ct_id=10370935

Last edited by bobthib; 08-15-09 at 10:14 AM.
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Old 08-15-09, 02:31 PM   #8
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I was taking a look at the photo, and realized that I couldn't see any shifters. I can see derailleurs and the shifter cables seem to run up to the bars, but then I'm not sure what they are connected to. Can anyone enlighten me? Are they trigger shifters located right next to the stem, or something else?

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Old 08-15-09, 07:59 PM   #9
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Maybe they are Campy Record brifters and that is why you cannot see the cables. Wait a minute...... those cost more than the bike, never mind.
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Old 08-15-09, 09:18 PM   #10
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According to the walmart website they are "Twist shifters" which I assume are similar to what I have on my Diamondback Hybrid. Great for hybrid/comfort/mtb but not so well suited for a real road bike. But honestly, this is not meant to be a real road bike.

Even if it is indeed steel (as one reviewer claimed,) at $269 the frame is a "steal." Spend $500 for real wheels, brakes, and shifters and it will be a very good new entry level tandem at 1/2 the price of a similar "brand name" bike. Not exact, but a very viable alternative.

However, the target market for this bike is the same as the other Walmart bikes. It is for someone who wants to be able to experience tandem riding (with all it's pros and cons, and the cons they don't know about I suspect) at a very, very low price.

I hope they sell a million of them because some very small percent will get "hooked" that otherwise would never have even tried. Once they are "hooked" they will spend real $ to get a real experience. The other large percentage will never try a tandem at $1,500 and up. NEVER!

I just don't think you can knock this bike. No one who is serious about a tandem road bike would even look at this. This is for the person who wants to have fun with their family zooming around the neighborhood. This will never affect the Co-motion, Santana, .... etc market negatively. It will only serve to whet the appetite of an unknown, undiscovered cadre of serious tandem aficionados.

This will never have an adverse affect on the tandem community. I think you (the tandem community and LBSers) should treat it like the drug pusher that offers free samples.

And I am totally against drugs.

Last edited by bobthib; 08-15-09 at 09:24 PM.
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Old 08-16-09, 10:24 AM   #11
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The reasons you give for the entry level stuff, bobthib, is exactly why I am building my own from 2 old Trek 950s (good quality bikes to start with). Ordering the 4130 tube this later this week.Even building one, if we like it, we intend to get a real one. My wife has balance issues and hates to feel out of control. So we'll see how it goes. I bought her an adult trike, but the three speed and 24" wheels won't be fast enough for her before long. Before she developed her health problems, she rode a Scwinn Searcher hybrid and a 98 model Cannondale CADD2...
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Old 08-16-09, 10:56 AM   #12
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The reasons you give for the entry level stuff, bobthib, is exactly why I am building my own from 2 old Trek 950s (good quality bikes to start with). .
Sounds like agreat project. Be sure to post progress pix and commentary so we can all enjoy it! Best of luck>
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Old 08-16-09, 02:35 PM   #13
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Yes it has special twist grip shifters made to workon drop bars. Yes it is very inexpensive, but you have to see it to understand that it sure LOOKS well made and designed. I'm not expecting perfect quality, but I was hoping someone might have actually riden one.
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Old 08-16-09, 05:19 PM   #14
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My wife has balance issues and hates to feel out of control.
Hummm... might want to rent a tandem for a few weekend before you spend too much time and $ on the project. Stokers often feel out of control, and should not try to balance the bike. That's the captains job.
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Old 08-16-09, 05:29 PM   #15
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I was hoping someone might have actually riden one.
The best I can offer is my experience with the very similar Lambo. Stock brakes suck real bad, bike will need a tune up unless the LBS does it. If it is indeed an aluminium frame, you will find it quite stiff, but comfortable.

If it's steel, I think one of the amazon reviewers said it was a bit springy.

Can't speak to the shifters.

My wife and I, and my son and I enjoy riding it very much. My son, 6'4" rides as capt, and is very comfortable. We easily cruise at 19 - 20mph, and sprint to 30. Got him a 400 mm seat post. I'm 6' and I find it comfortable also. When I ride stoker, it's a little cramped, but not bad.

Let us know how it works out.
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Old 08-16-09, 06:53 PM   #16
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Hummm... might want to rent a tandem for a few weekend before you spend too much time and $ on the project. Stokers often feel out of control, and should not try to balance the bike. That's the captains job.
That is something we've discussed at length, the out of control part. I'm not going to have a lot into the project to begin with and can shelve it for later use with our adult kids, or even later, grandkids... Another discussion even involved building the tandem into a multispeed trike. We'll see how it goes, and of course, I will be happy to show progress once I get all the stuff needed together.

If it matters, after 2 1/2 years off her bikes, we bought this Miami Sun Trike. So far, despite being a bit sore, she loves it...

Its the 3 speed coaster brake model. I don't like watching the riding position, but she is riding it and getting better each time she is on it...
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Old 08-16-09, 06:59 PM   #17
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Also, one discussion involved that she would be relieved to not worry about turning , avoiding obstacles, handling all the balance and shifting chores. Though, once she is comfortable on the back, IF she can get comfortable, I MIGHT let her have a brake... But NOT during the learning phase.
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