Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: London, UK
Bikes: Trek T200 plus enough others to fill a large shed
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+1 on both the above.
Short chainstays and bendy seat tube make very little difference to tandem wheelbase and ride. Wheelbase is mainly driven by stoker compartment length and captain frame size / top tube length and doesn't make much difference to anything unless you're planning to do track sprinting, while comfort is mainly driven by tyres, contact points, seat posts and wheels.
Bendy seat tubes are a marketing gimmick and are generally unnecessary since once chainstays are long enough to allow good shifting across a triple and some heel clearance across 140mm rear spacing, there is also plenty of room behind the seat tube for mudguards etc.
The thinking used to be that shortening the stays and bringing in the rear wheel helped rigidity. However modern tandem designs and oversize tubes now mean that this compromise is no longer needed. On the Peugeot above, the tube size meant it needed all the help it could get as rigidity is a real issue.
So in summary - buy the Peugeot if you want a cheap intro to sedate tandeming that performs like a $250 single bike.
The Peugeot can actually be made to do most things. Friends of ours have toured round Europe on theirs and completed sportif rides more quickly than I can go on my Parlee. They ended up spending a small amount of money to improve its limited braking, gear changing and rear wheel reliability, but then they were really hammering the bike and are used to modern single bikes. After a few years they ended up buying a mid-range modern tandem.
As long as you don't expect it to ride and shift and brake the same way as your $10,000 Pinarello you will be fine. If you do want something that rides like the Pinarello, you need to spend more like $10,000.
Last edited by mrfish; 05-17-10 at 11:47 AM.