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Tandem Cycling A bicycle built for two. Want to find out more about this wonderful world of tandems? Check out this forum to talk with other tandem enthusiasts. Captains and stokers welcome!

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Old 05-02-11, 02:26 AM   #1
ynda
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Proper price for a 90's Santana Sovereign and a used Santana Arriva

I would like buy a tandem so that my wife and I can bike at the same pace. We aren't serious bikers. I bike to work on a 1976 Varsity and she gets around town on a Marin hybrid - but I'd like to do more and she is warming up to the idea.

I took her to the LBS and while she was uneasy on a $2300 Cannondale (I don't remember the model), she enjoyed the ride on a comfort style Schwinn Voyageur Tandem (L/M). I am trying to follow the advice of what I've seen on this forum by looking at used tandems and I'd like some help on figuring a good offering price. In my area I found:

One seller is asking $1500 for a 90's Santana Sovereign. I was sent pictures - the bike doesn't look to have any updated parts, but the seller is including a Yakima tandem rack, a drum brake, a spare wheel set, and a child stoker conversion kit.

Another seller in my area is asking $1400 for a Santana Arriva. This post has pictures. They also are including a Yakima tandem rack.

A third seller in my area has a Raleigh Pursuit tandem bike and is asking $1200.

The Pursuit seems to be asking 2x too much, but I don't know the exact ages of the two Santana bikes. The 'unofficial used tandem guide' doesn't carry out projections for bikes that are over 10 years old.

I'm going to test ride whichever ones I can, but I'd like advice on what would be an appropriate offer. The asking prices seem high for 15-20 year old bikes.
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Old 05-02-11, 06:35 AM   #2
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You could go to http://www.tandemmag.com/classified/ and see what other people are asking for their tandems.
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Old 05-02-11, 07:12 AM   #3
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The 'unofficial used tandem guide' doesn't carry out projections for bikes that are over 10 years old.
It's a spreadsheet.... you can run the numbers out until the invention of the bicycle in the 1800's.

1. Figure out what replacement value to enter in the spreadsheet and enter it to generate the 10-years worth of values
2. Copy and paste the entire spreadsheet into a new spreadsheet
3. Highlight the last five years of the spreadsheet, and then drag your cursor to the right to populate the cells out to the year you need, e.g., 90, 88, 77...
4. The values will all continue to calculate depreciation in a linear fashion to whatever year you need.

Remember, the "tool" merely provides some data points, not hard and fast "values" like a Kelly Blue Book where actual sales numbers are constantly reported by dealers and wholesalers. At some point you simply need to decide what your budget is or what a bike is worth and make your best offer. Again, the real value of the tool is buried in the narrative that describes what to look for in a second hand tandem. As tandems age beyond 10 years, they simply become very hard to put a value on because of component age, upgrades, etc. But, at the same time, if a millionaire fell in love with a 1989 Santana Team tandem and finds a pristine example, they might decide that it's worth as much or more than it cost when it was new, even factored for inflation. On the other hand, someone who finds a similar bike while cleaning out their parents basement may just put it out at a garage sale for a few hundred bucks. So, that's the potential "range" of actuals for older tandems.
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Old 05-02-11, 08:29 AM   #4
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YNDA, I bought a '93 Santana Visa 1 1/2 years ago for $1100. It was origional 7 speed, but was a good candidate for a component upgrade. I had seen same year Arrivas (worth more-better components and 8 speed) for 30% less, but not my size. I paid a price at the higher end of the scale because I felt that it was the right bike for us-fit is crucial, and it was located where I could pick it up and save a couple of hundred on packing and shipping. Both of the bikes that you show are, in my opinion, unrealistically priced; especially in todays economic climate. The Arriva is really (maybe '70's or very early '80's) old-TA cranks? and 27" wheels. The Sovereign is probably quite old (maybe older than he says) if it has 27" wheels. If you can get the serial number, Santana can provide the age. The seller is shocked to see what a new one costs! It is now a totally different (aluminum) bike and maybe 25+ years later! My advise is to be patient and bargain hard. Based on my fairly recent experience, you should be able to do much better!
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Old 05-02-11, 09:05 AM   #5
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I forgot to mention...the Sovereign has flat bars and grip shifters. Unless the PO has the stuff that came off, it will cost you dearly to convert back to the origional configuration-if that is the way you want it.
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Old 05-02-11, 09:06 AM   #6
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I called Santana after I bought my '91 Sovereign a year ago to ask some questions about it. I was told that they usually go for around $1300, though I found mine at half that price. $1500 may be a bit much, but if you can get them closer to $1000 it would be a good deal IMO.

Also, the sovereign being a steel frame means its pre-1994 model I believe.
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Old 05-02-11, 09:48 AM   #7
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Thank you for your very quick replies. The difficulty with the price guide is that it drops linearly. i.e., after twenty years the buyer should start paying you to take a 'low-range' bike off their hands! (one has to wait 25 years for a high range bike to be so priced!)
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Old 05-02-11, 10:09 AM   #8
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Thank you for your very quick replies. The difficulty with the price guide is that it drops linearly. i.e., after twenty years the buyer should start paying you to take a 'low-range' bike off their hands! (one has to wait 25 years for a high range bike to be so priced!)
Guess that's why it cuts off after 10 years. LIke I said, you "can" run the numbers out.

Free market rules apply once anything drops to a certain point in value, i.e, scrap value or "the sum of its parts".

Any "good tandem" from the pre-Santana era (Schwin Paramounts, Fuji, Peugeot, etc) will eventually get to a point where it's value becomes benchmarked by a new, low-end tandem-shaped object, e.g., about $400 - $600. The "Premium" brand-name tandems (Santana, Co-Motion, Bilenky, certain Cannondales, certain Trek models, etc) seem to plateau around $900, unless it was an entry-level model (Burley, lower-end Cannondales, Treks, Fisher, etc.) which will fall down to the $600 range. Boutique, hand-built tandems and high-end tandems still find their price point one bike at a time.

Last edited by TandemGeek; 05-02-11 at 10:21 AM.
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Old 05-02-11, 01:18 PM   #9
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I think $1400 and $1500 are pretty high for those two examples, especially with 27" wheels instead of 700c. I helped a friend find a nice 21-speed 1990s-era Santana visa for around $1000, for example. I wouldn't spend much more than that for either of the ones you link to. The Sovereign is the nicer frame of the two, as it is fillet brazed, and you could probably sell the stoker kit for $100 or so on Ebay. But $1500 is still too much. As Steve mentioned, too, if you don't want flat bars then switching to drops will cost a bit (although not too much, as you can get the old-style shifters plenty cheap on Ebay). If you want flat bars, then you are in good shape.

You should also find out the components on each, and how many cogs are on the cassette (6 or 7), I'm guessing they are 18-speed bikes.
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Old 05-02-11, 03:23 PM   #10
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Don't underestimate the value of an included Yakima rack. If that tandem rack is the one I'm thinking, it is about $400.00. You should double check. Unless you have some kind of van, it's really nice to have a rack for it so you and the wife can enjoy it more places.

(You'd still need Yakima towers, cross-bars, and pads if you don't have that already.)
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Old 05-02-11, 07:05 PM   #11
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By 1989 (ours), Santanas had 700C wheels. So the Sov could be really old. (Even if you think that "90's" is already pretty old.) While it may be true, as the seller claims, that the cantilever brakes will embrace 700C as well as 27", it's still gotta be older than 1990s if it came with 27" wheels.
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Old 05-02-11, 11:09 PM   #12
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The child stoker kit is probably worth $100-125 as well. Offer him $1000, and sell the rack and kid stoker kit. You'll be getting down to the 5-600 range, which is about what the bike is worth.

Worst he can do is say no, and for what you're looking for, that bike would probably be a good setup.

I helped a friend find an early-mid 90's flat bar (can't recall the model name??) Santana for $650 last year. Lubed everything up and put new tires on it and they're enjoying it in a big way.
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Old 05-03-11, 08:34 PM   #13
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I picked up a pursuit for $800 and had to upgrade wheels straight out, but it is a good ride. Having owned a cannon dale, and a burley it's between the two. Based on your current rides it might be better to go with a less expensive ride if you can find one.
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Old 05-04-11, 08:58 AM   #14
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As others have said, the quoted Santana price seems a little salty.

As a comparison, I bought a new but 'shop-soiled' ' 93 Santana Visa in '96. The dealer found it in an attic with a load of junk on top of it - excellent stock keeping, eh - built it up for me with Shimano XT and sold it unused for UK pounds 1,000, maybe USD 1,600 at the time. New old stock.

And, just asking - your co-rider didn't like a new Cannondale but liked a Shwinn cruiser? Will she like the Arriva? Is her preference about fit, posture and riding position rather than the (arguable) dynamic merits of bikes?

If the goal is riding pleasure, and more pleasure comes from a less 'serious' bike ......
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Old 05-06-11, 02:01 PM   #15
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You guys are good - the bike was pre-1989. Serial number DB238 As for my co-rider, she mainly cares about where her arms are placed (she doesn't want to bend 'too far') and on the suspension.
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