My wife and I are in the market for our first tandem. We're willing to spend $1000 - $1500 for something decent, but don't want to spend $3000 + for something custom. Maybe we'll splurge for our next tandem if we like it.
For now, we're looking at a used Santana touring tandem from the mid-80s that appears to have low miles. I'm comfortable wrenching on a bike and looking for wear and tear on components, but I was wondering if there are any special considerations when evaluating the condition of a tandem. Any particularly expensive replacement components on a tandem other than the cranks? What about the drum brake?
Also, I'm curious what you'd recommend for captain / stoker assignments for my wife and I. She's taller than I am, but I'm heavier: her - 6'1" ~ 200; me - 5'10" ~ 265. With her height, I was thinking she should be captain (and she would enjoy being in charge) ;-). Any reason to reconsider this arrangement?