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  1. #1
    Junior Member teachndad's Avatar
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    newbie with frame design question on cheap model

    Hi,

    I am looking for an inexpensive tandem for just doing short rides and including one kid with a trailabike. In an internet search, I found Target of all places was selling one. The frame design was what I would call different. http://www.target.com/Pacific-Dualie...i_detailbutton My question is, does the design seem like a strong design. Would I be concerned about any sway? My oldest son is 15 and cannot ride a bicycle due to balance issues, but a tandem works fine. He's basically an adult in size. Just wondering if I would get some wierd sway in the back. Just a hunch.

    But, maybe it doesn't matter with the type of riding we would be doing.

    Thanks

    Rod

  2. #2
    MB1
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    It is a very common frame design and should be fine for your use.

    But...........the bike is more of a casual cruiser than anything else so if you intend to go hard or fast you might not be satisfied.

  3. #3
    Pants are for suckaz HandsomeRyan's Avatar
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    I wouldn't worry about the frame being strong/stiff enough, in fact quite the opposite- It is probably quite strong (and heavy). That bike should be fine if you are just riding at a casual pace in your neighborhood or on a greenway. This bike isn't very suitable to longer/faster rides but it sounds like you have reasonable expectations and aren't planning on using it for time trials or century rides.

    In addition to that model at Target, Walmart also sells a few low-end tandems. With their "site-to-store" you can get free shipping to your local store.

    http://www.walmart.com/Kent-Dualdriv...cle/ip/3663045


    http://www.walmart.com/catalog/produ...ndingMethod=rr


    There are several threads about these bikes if you do a search. The general consensus here seems to be that they are heavy and suitable only for people who are mechanically proficient as they often need some work straight out of the box (new brake pads, threads and bearings lubed, shifters adjusted, wheels trued, etc.). I'm no expert as I just picked up a tandem on CL.org but I can say that it is a lot of fun!

  4. #4
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HandsomeRyan View Post
    I wouldn't worry about the frame being strong/stiff enough,
    Strong enough, meaning it won't break in two, will probably be fine.

    Stiff enough is another matter. I think that the greatest difference between low end tandems and quality tandems is the stiffness of the frame. Cheaper tandems tend to "wag-their-tail". I find them disconcerting to ride immediately after getting off of a quality tandem.

    Assuming you have budget restrictions I say "Go for it!" Get on the road and start having fun with the best tandem bicycle that you can afford today. That bike is tons better than the first tandem that Mrs. Grouch and I rode.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Stray8's Avatar
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    Hi. I actually have this Pacific Dualie tandem bought from Amazon.com (offers free shipping!).

    http://www.amazon.com/Pacific-Dualie...0728161&sr=1-3

    It has a thick, stiff oval steel frame and it doesn't have any noticeable flex (that noodlely feeling you can get on old rental tandems) but it is heavy if you're used to racing single road bikes. I find it ideal for neighborhood tooling around with the wife or kids.
    Last edited by Stray8; 12-13-09 at 11:36 AM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Frame design is fine.
    Quality of tubing/components/welding is another issue.
    Anybody can make something cheaper . . . so they did.
    Might be better off buying a used tandem.
    Good luck in your search!

  7. #7
    Senior Member Stray8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zonatandem View Post
    Anybody can make something cheaper . . . so they did.
    Corollary: Anybody can make something more expensive, but if you can't afford to buy it, then it's pretty much irrelevant to your particular set of circumstances.


    .

  8. #8
    Bikaholic blamp28's Avatar
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    Price is not equal to cost. That is the point made. These low priced tandems can be approproiate for casual users IF they come out of the package without the need for much if any attention. If they are lacking, and they sometimes are, the actual cost to a novice who may need to make a trip or two to a bike shop to get it running right ends up being much closer to or exceeding the actual cost of a decent used tandem.

    Sticker shock is common for novices as they explore the tandem world for the first time and it really comes down to the right tool for the job. If you are a casual rider and just want to check it out, these can be an inexpensive way to accomplish that as long as your expectations are realistic. Some riders expect that these bikes are essentially the same as a Cannondale, Burley, Trek, Santana etc other than a few lower cost components. The accumulation of potential reliability issues stemming from using a "Chevy Aveo" to do the job of a "Chevy Impala" can leave potential future enthusiasts with a bad taste in their mouths. It's just good to set expectations at realistic levels.
    Trek Fuel XC MTB, Giant OCR Road Bike, Rans Screamer - Tandem

  9. #9
    Senior Member Stray8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blamp28 View Post
    If you are a casual rider and just want to check it out, these can be an inexpensive way to accomplish that as long as your expectations are realistic.
    Correct! Who is really implying that the OP has unrealistic expectations here?

    Some riders expect that these bikes are essentially the same as a Cannondale, Burley, Trek, Santana etc other than a few lower cost components.
    Most people who ride bicycles already know about the cost vs. componetry curve.

    Those who would expect the same componentry or build quality as Cannondale, Burley, Trek, Santana or Calfee would be the same kind of people who would expect a Chevy Aveo to be the same as a Lexus or Mercedes Benz: few or deluded.

    The tandem segment who have defined a budgetary constraint have to work with their available resources and with the type of riding that they will use a tandem for. They still need helpful assistance.

    In this case, to help out the OP's query in his circumstances it is appropriate to make him aware of all possibilities to resolve his problem but "helpful" reminders of the cost vs componentry are largely irrelevant.

    .
    Last edited by Stray8; 12-14-09 at 02:47 PM.

  10. #10
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Different tandems for different folks; different prices/expectations too.
    We have all lived under budget constraints at sometime. Buy the best you can afford for your purpose.
    Teachndad, we wish you many happy miles with your family!
    Pedal on!
    Rudy and Kay/zonatandem

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