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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 08-19-04, 09:00 AM   #1
galen_52657
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Tandem time....!!!

Well folks,

The time has finally come…. The deadbeat has gotten off his wallet. And the new tandem is…waiting.

Purists may be aghast… but I purchased the KHS Milano steel framed tandem in the large size from Mt. Airy Bikes (a huge tandem dealer). Larry was kind enough to match the price of an internet tandem dealer.

Unfortunately, the wheels that came with the Milano were lost or sold so I have the choice to pay $150 to upgrade the wheels to Santana stock wheels and take the bike now or wait until Monday for the KHS wheels to arrive. I am still mulling that one over…..might be worth the outlay.

And…just to relate to another thread, I will be on the road for a fraction of the cost noted by ‘others’, My cost breakdown includes all the upgrades, such as the cost of my favorite saddle, a set of 180 tandem cranks I got off Ebay (for me of course), a bike carrier and swapping out the stock captain’s stem for a Look Ergo adjustable stem (fits 1” and 1/18” steering tubes – I have had this stem for several years and used it to set up my single). The Look stem is useful for bikes that have more than one rider and dialing in the position of any bike. I will most likely ditch both seat posts in favor of carbon posts in the near future, to shave a little weight without any loss of comfort. The bike weighs 42.8 lbs stock. Not too shabby when compared to the 39 lb Cannondale that costs more than twice as much. The bike comes with a suspension stoker’s post. However, the test bike at Mt. Airy had a ridged rear post and I heard no complaint from my stoker. This bike does not ride harshly.

Cost breakdown:

KHS Milano road tandem large $945.00
TA Specialties tandem crankset 180 mm $120.00
Look Ergo adjustable stem $150.00
ATOC Bike Topper tandem bike carrier $210.00
Sella San Marco Rolls saddle for my bum… $70.00

On the road and out the door including tax and shipping… $1,495.00

So, my two-seated internet friends, I hope to see you on the road….

I already have volunteer stokers…!!!
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Old 08-19-04, 07:12 PM   #2
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Our new Cannondale MT800 just arrived from Tandems East. It was very difficult to find a bike small enough for my 4' 10" wife, but they had one at a price I was willing to pay. I'm glad we spent a little more and got the Cannondale as the quality-price ratio is quite high. Mel was great to deal with.

I'm taking a break from assembly to rest and warn you to expect us out and about in the very near future.

DocF
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Old 08-20-04, 12:29 AM   #3
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If the KHS's are 36-spoke wheels (as a lot of cheapo tandems tend to have), and the Santana wheels are 40- or 48-spokers, then it may well be worth the $150. Though that seems a bit steep for an upgrade. Does that include any credit for not getting the KHS wheels?
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Old 08-20-04, 04:48 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madpogue
If the KHS's are 36-spoke wheels (as a lot of cheapo tandems tend to have), and the Santana wheels are 40- or 48-spokers, then it may well be worth the $150. Though that seems a bit steep for an upgrade. Does that include any credit for not getting the KHS wheels?

The stock KHS wheels are 40 spoke front and back. I thought the upgrade quote was high also.

Here is a link to the web page that has another link to the bike’s specs and geometry if anyone is interested.

http://www.khsbicycles.com/page314.html

When I first started cycling in 1986, after riding a used piece-of-crap bike for a few months, my first new racing bike was a bottom-of-the-line Gitane. I won the first race I ever entered on that bike. I got a lot of use out of that bike and it is still my backup road bike to this day.

I am taking the same approach with a tandem. I test-rode the KHS and several other tandems by Cannondale, Trek and Santana. They were all nice bikes but not noticeably more comfortable, stiffer, better handling, lighter or faster than the KHS. I did not get into the upper end models. Recently, a used KHS Milano sold on Ebay for $1,300. So, if I want to sell it in the future to upgrade to a more expensive tandem, I think I won’t have any problem recouping some or all of my investment.

Hopefully, it’s a good starting point that will serve me well for a few years.
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Old 08-20-04, 05:02 AM   #5
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Congrats on the new ride.

As far as tandems I've found any difference in the cost of the bikes pales in comparison to the cost of maintenance (of the wife) so I don't worry about it too much. I've also noticed that differences in weight of the bikes pales in comparison to the weight of...
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Old 08-20-04, 06:01 AM   #6
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Congrats on the new ride.

As far as tandems I've found any difference in the cost of the bikes pales in comparison to the cost of maintenance (of the wife) so I don't worry about it too much. I've also noticed that differences in weight of the bikes pales in comparison to the weight of...


THE WIFE!!!!!!
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Old 08-20-04, 07:28 AM   #7
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congratulations on the new tandem. we got our khs comp a few months ago.
my wife and i both enjoy riding the tandem. if you are on a budget, i don't
think you can beat the khs models ( for a new tandem). i've made a few
upgrades, but still haven't spent more than 150 dollars. enjoy your new
tandem!

steve
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Old 08-20-04, 10:29 AM   #8
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If you really want the bike for the weekend, but don't want to pony up the one-fifty, try this on the LBS: put down a $100 extra deposit, take the bike as is with the Santana wheels. When the KHS wheels come in on Monday, swap 'em back and get your deposit back. Okay, less a ten-spot or so for tire wear.

Or, maybe, for the $150, they'll hand you the Santana wheels, and let you take the KHS wheels when they come in. Then, if you decide to resell and upgrade, you can sell it with the KHS wheels, and you'll have a nice quality set of spare wheels for whatever new ride you get. Or at that point you might be able to get a to-order Santana with no wheels, and ....
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Old 08-21-04, 12:00 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by galen_52657
The deadbeat has gotten off his wallet. And the new tandem is…waiting.

Excellent. Good that you were able to find the deal you were looking for and get into a first tandem that met with your expectations for performance and also fit within your budget.


Quote:
Originally Posted by galen_52657
Purists may be aghast… but I purchased the KHS Milano steel framed tandem in the large size from Mt. Airy Bikes (a huge tandem dealer).

Purists aren't aghast; purists only suggested that you find a tandem that you were comfortable with, that met your needs, and fit within your budget. You are fortunate in that you are the right size to get what I must assume is an adequate fit on one of the two sizes that KHS uses for the Milano and Roma.


Quote:
Originally Posted by galen_52657
And…just to relate to another thread, I will be on the road for a fraction of the cost noted by ‘others’,

Yes, you have done a great job of bringing home a new tandem at far less than what I and many other buyers have. However, if you're already trying to look for ways to reduce the weight of your tandem by adding carbon seatposts and other weight-saving upgrades, you could quickly eat-up the money that you saved.

If you can stand it, I'll offer you my .02 on upgrades to your KHS. Get your riding position and butt happy with it, and be kind to those volunteer stokers so you can ride the heck out of it the way it is for the rest of the season. Take any money that you think you'd like to spend on upgrades to the KHS and sock it away or spend it on your guest stokers. Early next spring go back to Larry's shop and take a Co-Motion Primera or Speedster out for an extended test ride with your current stoker and see how it compares to your KHS. If you still prefer the feel and responsiveness of your KHS, upgrade-away. However, if you find that you like how the Co-Motion handles you can take any residual upgrade funds and put them towards the one thing that really defines how a tandem performs aside from the two motors: a new or used tandem with a stronger, lighter frame, and more aggressive geometry.


Quote:
Originally Posted by galen_52657
So, my two-seated internet friends, I hope to see you on the road….

The world of tandem riders is a very small place and chances are, if you ride long enough and attend enough tandem rallies, our path and the path of many other tandem netizens will cross somewhere.


Quote:
Originally Posted by galen_52657
I already have volunteer stokers…!!!

Best wishes for finding someone who you'll click with... it makes all the difference in the world.

Last edited by livngood; 08-21-04 at 10:14 AM.
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