I just wanted to introduce myself and solicit opinions on our upcoming purchase of a tandem.
My wife and I have been married for over 20 years, and are looking for an acitivity that we can share. She rides horses (dressage); I ride adventure motorcycles and do some enduro racing. No overlap there - it ain't gonna happen! Obviously there lots of things we could do together, but we both enjoy biking and so we've been thinking for some time about getting a tandem.
We've tried out a loaner and actually had time for two rides. Loved it, both of us. We anticipated the coordination and communcation problems so that was not an issue. I was amazed at how much easier it was to keep up our speed. That was very cool.
The issue now is deciding what type of bike to buy and this is where I'm looking for some feedback. I'm not sure how much my wife will warm to the idea of road rides - she much prefers the relative safety of bike trails. We're working through that but it's probably going to take some time. While I, on the other hand, dream of long, even multi-day tours.
I'd love to support my local dealer, and/or get something higher-end (that's what I generally do) but mainly due to the uncertainty about how and how much we'd use the bike I don't want to put too much money into it. At least, not until we've clarified our interests. So my strategy would be to keep the price relatively low and get something that's fun and rewarding to ride locally on the quiet roads around our rural location. And hopefully do some club rides if things work out.
I've identified a few used bikes out on the market, and for one reason or another feel drawn to the Trek T2000 and the Cannondale RT3000. Both seem like reasonably responsive bikes with a good set of components, and with used prices within budget (say $1500).
However, as I anticipate possibly taking the next step, ie. outfitting for touring, I wonder if either bike would be the right platform for that, and I'm looking for comfirmation that, beyond lightweight credit-card touring, we'd be looking at a different bike at some point. That's doable, if it's justified... By the way, we both like speed, and I'm not sure whether it's better to start with a racier bike and beef it up as necessary, or start with a more robust bike to begin with.
Back to the Trek and Cdales: I also have much more confidence in disk brakes - coming from higher-end mountain bikes which is where I've done most of my cycling over the past 5 years, I'm sold on their benefits in all conditions. And with my wife's safety very much in mind, I feel a lot better about the stopping power of disks. So with either the Trek or the older Cdale, I think I want to add disk up front at least. Does this make any sense?
I also wonder how important a drum brake would be, and whether I should hold out for a drum-compatible bike. We're in a hilly area (Ozarks) and while it's not Colorado and we don't have immediate plans to load the bike up, it doesn't seem like a terrible idea to have the drum. We're 320 lbs together and should drop another 10 or 15 before long.
Interested in hearing everyone's thoughts.