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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 02-21-10, 12:58 PM   #1
justgetonthebik
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Is my Univega worth upgading?

Need advice on upgading our existing Univega Tour tandem (10 yrs old?) or buying a new bike. We purchased the used bike a couple of years ago to test out the tandem waters. We love to ride on the local roads and paths and are ready for a better fitting and comfortable bike. The bike is too big but could most likely be better adusted by changing some parts. Could this bike be a "decent" machine or should we move on? I feel the frame flexing when we ride, not sure if that's neccessarily a bad thing. Please be gentle as this is my first attempt at posting!
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Old 02-21-10, 05:23 PM   #2
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A first tandem is usually a learning experience!
Proper fit is the first criteria . . . then rider compatability.
Seems like you enjoy being TWOgether; now that you've gained experience in what you like/dislike with the Univega it may be better to upgrade to a machine that fits correctly.
We suggest you go tandem shopping!!!
Pedal on!
Rudy and Kay/zonatandem

P.S. After 35 years of tandeming and now on our 5th tandem, we are still learning . . .
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Old 02-21-10, 06:28 PM   #3
Ritterview
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Is it something like this 1997 Univega Tandem Tour?

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Old 02-21-10, 09:16 PM   #4
justgetonthebik
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Ritterview, This sounds like our bike! pretty impressive huh.
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Old 02-21-10, 10:35 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by justgetonthebik View Post
Ritterview, This sounds like our bike! pretty impressive huh.
Well, a $1000 list from 1997 has got to be a pretty low end bike. My 1991 Burley Rock 'N Roll had a relatively more pricey list of $1400, and I've not the least interest in upgrading it, as that non-butted steel frame limits potential. We are getting a new tandem, but I want to retain a second tandem. I'll probably sell the Burley, and I'll look for a Cannondale to replace it, as these have a well-regarded aluminum frame and are available used for not too much. I'd think a 'dale could be upgraded without compunction.
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Old 02-21-10, 11:32 PM   #6
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Could this bike be a "decent" machine or should we move on?
Upgrading older entry-level tandems is usually not the most cost effective solution for moving up to a more efficient machine. The most cost effective upgrade is typically finding a newer, second-hand premium tandem and selling your entry-level model to help defray the cost of the newer tandem.

Obviously, the first step in the process is establishing your budget so that you can figure out just how much to spend on the newer tandem, less a reasonable return on the sale of your current tandem. We used this approach when we bought our Calfee, securing about 1/2 the cost of the new tandem by selling our 4-year old Erickson... probably for a bit less than we thought it was worth, but that's typical for most tandem sellers. The latter is why you can typically fair better in the second hand market as a buyer as it truly is a buyer's market.

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Old 02-22-10, 02:43 PM   #7
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I agree with TandemGeek. I upgraded from a 20 year old Burley Duet, with 27" wheels and Suntour components. It made no sense to start replacing components. I sold it to a new tandem guy, who was very happy to have a competent entry level tandem for $500. I bought a mid '90's Santana for around twice that number. This is a much higher quality butted frame, that has 700c wheels and lends itself to more modern componentry. I've since upgraded the brakes, wheels, and much more than I origionally intended, but I have something that is essentially 5 or 6 year old technology (9 speed, etc). Most importantly, we have a tandem that fits my wife (stoker) and me perfectly. Our old bike, in order for my wife not to be too crowded, was a bit of a stretch for me up front. If you decide to go this route, be patient and don't settle for a frame that doesn't fit right. Santana is very helpful, in that they keep the dimensions of all of the bikes that they have built, and can share them with you if you provide the serial number. This was comforting, since we were dealing long distance. When comparing frame heights, be carefull that you are on the same page as the seller with regard to where the dimensions are taken (center or top of tubing or seat collar), as this can make a big difference. The older Cannondales, seem to have a greater size disparity from front to back. This kind of ruled one out for us.
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Old 02-22-10, 03:06 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justgetonthebik View Post
Need advice on upgading our existing Univega Tour tandem (10 yrs old?) or buying a new bike. We purchased the used bike a couple of years ago to test out the tandem waters. We love to ride on the local roads and paths and are ready for a better fitting and comfortable bike. The bike is too big but could most likely be better adusted by changing some parts. Could this bike be a "decent" machine or should we move on? I feel the frame flexing when we ride, not sure if that's neccessarily a bad thing. Please be gentle as this is my first attempt at posting!
How is your Univega set up? I have a soft spot for Univega singles, popular bike during college. never saw a tandem.
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Old 02-22-10, 03:57 PM   #9
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Well, first of all, exactly what aspects of your Univega do you wish to upgrade? Secondly, what is your planned budget to effect such a transformation?

If you only want better seats or handlebars naturally that is quite easily done. If you want to reduce frame flex or fit better, higher performance componentry, then perhaps getting a new(er) tandem will give you more return for your money.
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Old 02-22-10, 09:01 PM   #10
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Thanks for the great advice! I think I would be better served by changing bikes. Since the bike is too large for me and has a marginal level of parts, there doesn't sound like much to work with. We'll keep it around awhile to try and get some friends into the sport. I was thinking i could spend $2,500 on a new bike but the more research i do the higher the number is climbing. It seems $4,000 is a more realistic starting point. My hope is I can purchase one bike and keep it! (It's good to have hope). I like the idea of buying a premium used bike. We ride locally but would love to ride some events and centuries together. I really appreciate your help on this. This forum has been a great find.
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Old 02-22-10, 09:09 PM   #11
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Xanti Andia,
It's set up for the street with a flat bar and grip shifters. I've put bar ends on it. I think it was a good purchase to see if my wife and I could ride together without commiting to a serious bike. The biggest draw back is that's its just too big for me and the frame really flexes. We do ride much more often together than when she was on her own bike. I do have to talk more, but everythings a tradeoff!
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Old 02-22-10, 09:20 PM   #12
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If you're really Jonesing for a new tandem and have the resources, go for it. However, there really are some great deals to be had on second-hand tandems if you look around. In addition to several nice ones on tandemmag.com (http://www.tandemmag.com/classified) and a few other on-line sources (http://www.thetandemlink.com/tandems.html#anchor1146367), there are many local tandem club classifieds that get posted this time of year as folks who bought tandems that seldom got used finally decide to clear out the garage. For example, here are two that came across my keyboard this week (I have contact info if anyone needs it):
Up in Maine, Co-Motion Mocha, Offroad tandem cycle, orange. We got this beautiful bike in 2000. It has less than 100 miles on it. We had it regularly maintained. This is a custom made tandem. Front frame is 18", back frame is 15". Wheels are 26". Needs new tires. Avid brakes. Shimano derailleurs. 27gears. Rock Shock rear seat. $2500.
In the Atlanta area: Santana Arriva tandem.....6 years old. EXCELLENT condition, seldom ridden! Captain stand-over: 31.8 inches / Stoker stand-over: 29.0 inches. Never wrecked! Shimano components, including handle bar shifters. Shimano Flight Deck computer showing 785.9 actual miles. Four water bottle cages. Rear luggage rack . Frame mount tire pump included. Asking $1,900.00
Just something to consider if $'s are a bit tight.
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Old 02-22-10, 09:44 PM   #13
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Thanks,
I've been watching ebay and craig's list without success. I'll check out these sites. That first bike is a possibility as I'm vertically challanged with a 30" inseam! This is really helpful stuff.
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Old 02-23-10, 09:57 AM   #14
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I don't know where you are, but Gear to Go has a number of new tandems in small - Santana and Co-Motion, in the $3-4k range. Not to drive you away from the used market, though.

As far as Craigslist is concerned, I found more if I searched a broad geographical area. There are several craigslist aggregators that make that (relatively) easy. One being Crazedlist. I don't recall the other.
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Old 02-23-10, 10:27 AM   #15
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You can use this to get all of the tandem bicycle listings from all of Craiglist servers: site:craigslist.org tandem bicycle

You can get as specific as you'd like just by adding more search criteria: site:craigslist.org cannondale rt3000
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Old 02-23-10, 11:54 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by justgetonthebik View Post
The bike is too big
There's your answer.

I wouldn't put any more money into a bike that didn't fit.
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Old 02-23-10, 03:40 PM   #17
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You also might also check around for shops that have 2009 or 2008 bikes or even demos at discounted prices.
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