I am considering buying a tandem to ride together with my wife. We have been biking together recreationally on 2 bikes for a while but have a problem with having a big difference in pace. We are hoping that a tandem is a good solution. Our typical ride is no more than 10-20 miles on a bike path or a road, although we might go further if the pace issue is resolved. It is also worth mentioning that we would need to attach a trailer with a child.
I don't have a particular budget but obviously less expensive is better. I also do not want to overpay for something that would be an overkill for us. On the other hand, I want something reliable, that shifts well and is pleasant to ride.
That said we started looking at tandem bikes. I found 2 that seem to be direct competitors:
2010 Schwinn Voyageur
Schwinn Voyageur is new for 2010. It used to be called Sierra and had 26in wheels and a fork with suspension. For 2010 they changed the name, went with 700cc wheels and put in a simple chromoly fork.
On paper Schwinn looks better than Trek (disk breaks, thumb shifters, 700cc wheels, I like the looks better) but a few forum posts about its predecessor (Sierra - http://www.schwinnbike.com/usa/eng/P...-Sierra-Tandem) suggested that it is mainly for show and that T900 is overall a better bike. I could not find a single review for the Voyager, so I am relying on reviews of its predecessor which is probably not 100% fair. MSRP for both bikes is the same ($1100) but at a LBS I can get Schwinn for $850 vs. $900 for Trek.
What do you think are the pros and cons of each? Any help is appreciated including suggestions for other tandems. Keep in mind that I am not very knowledgeable bike mechanic which probably makes buying a used one too much of a risk.