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  1. #1
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    About to purchase first tandem

    Hi, new here, about to purchase our first tandem.

    I have many years of experience pulling a trail-a-bike and also an Adam's Ultimate Tandem (trail-a-bike that fits 2 children) and now I am ready to purchase my first real tandem.
    This is primarily for my daughter and I to do rides of 1-4 hours, similar to what we have done on the trail-a-bike. My wife has bad alergies unfortunately so she isn't in to cycling.

    http://sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/bik/1881598864.html
    is a 2002 KHS Tandeamia Comp with very low miles for $600. Looking at Bikepedia it looks like it is probably a 2000 or 2001 based on color.
    Using the used tandem price guide at thetandemlink.com it looks like $460-560 is a reasonable price range. It seems like this would be a good 'first tandem' for us at a price we can afford. Realistically I can't get in to the $700 and up range right now. here in the San Francisco bay area it seems like tandems are pretty popular on CraigsList so this seems like a good bike for the price. Thoughts? Comments?

    Thanks in advance,
    David

  2. #2
    Senior Member WebsterBikeMan's Avatar
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    For the sort of riding you want to do, the KHS stands a very good chance of giving you what you want. I haven't seen a lot of them (but then where we ride, I haven't seen a lot of ANY kind of tandem), but the folks that have them love them.

    You seem to have done your homework. Go for it. Depending on the size of your daughter, you may need a stokid kit and/or crank shorteners.

  3. #3
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    Thanks. She is almost 9 and average/tall height. I'm hoping that since the previous owner got the shorter seat post for his 6 & 8 year olds, it will be a good fit for my 8 year old.

  4. #4
    Senior Member WebsterBikeMan's Avatar
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    The crank shorteners aren't just a matter of height. Legs of her length are generally better off with shorter than standard (165-175mm) cranks. If the saddle is at the right height, as measured with one leg extended and that pedal in the down position, the other leg will be rather high. If it is lower, she won't be reaching when it reaches its lowest position.

    You could also get a pair of shorter cranks. The ones on the bike look long for a small rider.

  5. #5
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    If it fits and is in good condition . . . go for it!

  6. #6
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    Picked it up today at 11, before we got in the car to drive home we decided to ride around the subdivision. So much fun. An hour passed and it seemed like nothing. So much more stable than a trail-a-bike. Wonderful.

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    That is great!! Congratulations and welcome to the tandem forum!!

  8. #8
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    Our 'starter' tandem is a 2000 Tandemania Comp that we've ridden since new. Very good value in a cromo 26" wheel flat bar tandem. Very good handling.
    We're just now considering replacing it with a RANS recumbent tandem.

    Have fun!
    RANS V3 (steel), RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer

  9. #9
    Older newbie finned's Avatar
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    Hello:

    My wife and I are in our early sixties and about to buy our first tandem. We're still close-to-beginner cyclists, pretty much, but intent on riding for pleasure and moderate fitness. Looking forward to exploring tandem section of BikeForums. Would love to connect with SF Bay Area tandemers, especially those who are of a certain age!

  10. #10
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    Welcome! You didn't indicate what sort of tandem you are looking for. How do you define what a long ride is? How much do you plan to spend?

  11. #11
    Senior Member rdtompki's Avatar
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    finned,
    My wife and I have been tandem owners for about 15 months and are of like age. You will have a blast I'm sure. We really do need a good way for tandems in the Bay area to connect. Used to be a tandem club, but it disappeared some time ago, although I spotted someone with a club jersey at the Northwest Tandem Rally several weeks back.
    Rick T
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  12. #12
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by finned View Post
    Hello:

    My wife and I are in our early sixties and about to buy our first tandem. We're still close-to-beginner cyclists, pretty much, but intent on riding for pleasure and moderate fitness. Looking forward to exploring tandem section of BikeForums. Would love to connect with SF Bay Area tandemers, especially those who are of a certain age!
    Feel free to visit the Fifty + forum elsewhere on BF. You qualify.
    RANS V3 (steel), RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer

  13. #13
    Older newbie finned's Avatar
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    About to purchase first tandem; advice welcome

    Quote Originally Posted by oregontrail View Post
    Welcome! You didn't indicate what sort of tandem you are looking for. How do you define what a long ride is? How much do you plan to spend?
    Number one issue for us is Christine's confidence on mounting and riding. She's fallen off her solo a number of times, and we haven't been back on the solo bikes in three years. So this past weekend we rented a Co-Motion Periscope (because that's the line we have our sights set on) for a day ride, and it accomplished our goal spectacularly: Christine overcame all her residual fears about falling off her solo bike and is now jazzed about La Vita Tandem! This coming Sunday we'll rent the riser-bar and 26" wheel model to compare it to the drop-bar and 700c model of last weekend.

    To answer your questions directly: Co-Motion Periscope for the brilliant stoker seat height and straddle design for Christine's 5'2" and short-legged dimensions. Allowing ourselves to consider the performance package (carbon fiber fork and drive belt, Rolf wheels) to get something like optimal pedaling effort for our price range (up to $6,000). Planning to buy from Tandem Cycle Works in Denver. Do you have advice and experience, especially with these options?

    I've never ridden more than thirty-five miles in a day . . . and we're now in our early sixties. I can sorta imagine longer rides than that; let's see what magic rejuvenating powers tandem cycling holds!

    Appreciatively,

    Tom in SF

  14. #14
    Older newbie finned's Avatar
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    Will visit it, JanMM--thank you!

  15. #15
    Older newbie finned's Avatar
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    Thanks, rdtompki, for a motivating message. Once we're out there on the Bay Area roads and paths, we're sure to meet kindred souls. . . .

  16. #16
    Senior Member WebsterBikeMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by finned View Post
    To answer your questions directly: Co-Motion Periscope for the brilliant stoker seat height and straddle design for Christine's 5'2" and short-legged dimensions. Allowing ourselves to consider the performance package (carbon fiber fork and drive belt, Rolf wheels) to get something like optimal pedaling effort for our price range (up to $6,000). Planning to buy from Tandem Cycle Works in Denver. Do you have advice and experience, especially with these options?
    Don't eliminate other models based on her height. First, it isn't actually necessary that she be able to reach the ground when you stop. But it may be important to her. But second, the small size in the rear of most tandems in your price range will be small enough that she should be able to straddle the bar. She isn't really all that much shorter than the average woman (5'4" last I checked).
    Quote Originally Posted by finned View Post
    I've never ridden more than thirty-five miles in a day . . . and we're now in our early sixties. I can sorta imagine longer rides than that; let's see what magic rejuvenating powers tandem cycling holds!
    When we got fitted for our tandem one of the questions was how many miles do we ride in a year, and what constitutes a 'long' ride for us. Happily, we have the responses in writing. The first question was off by a factor of three or so, while the second was off by a factor of two. That is, we're riding at least 2-3 times the miles this year on the tandem that we rode on singles in previous years, and 'long' is about twice what it was. Your mileage may (will) vary.

  17. #17
    Senior Member rdtompki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by finned View Post
    ... This coming Sunday we'll rent the riser-bar and 26" wheel model to compare it to the drop-bar and 700c model of last weekend.

    ... and straddle design for Christine's 5'2" and short-legged dimensions. Allowing ourselves to consider the performance package (carbon fiber fork and drive belt, Rolf wheels) to get something like optimal pedaling effort for our price range (up to $6,000). ...

    Tom in SF
    Tom,
    I think you'll find that tandems with a "small" stoker compartment should work just fine. We have a Large/Small daVinci and my 5/7" wife has a good deal of seat post showing in addition to the Thudbuster. I agonized a bit over 26" vs. 700c, but ultimately decided that absent any desire to do loaded touring 700c would be fine for a 350 lb. team. Our tandem will accept up to 38mm tires so I had plenty of margin to play with. We've had no problem with our 40h, 28mm tire combination and fewer spokes/narrow tires are not uncommon; lot's of good advice here from folks much more knowledgeable than I.

    Finally, yes, you will ride further than 35 miles for sure. Riding a tandem is very addictive and we sometimes punish ourselves doing silly hard climbs just to be able to do some of the organized rides around here. Still, the downhills make it all worth it. I quickly forget the 200 singles that passed us on the climb in favor of savoring the 25 or 30 that I pass on the way down.
    Rick T
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    daVinci Joint Venture

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