Riding Heaven's Highwayson the grand tour
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Tehachapi Mtns, Calif.
Bikes: '10 C'Dale Tandem RT2. '07 Trek Tandem T2000, '10 Epic Marathon MTB, '12 Rocky Mountain Element 950 MTB, '95 C'dale R900, "04 Giant DS 2 '07 Kona Jake the Snake, '95 Nishiki Backroads
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First off a disclaimer, I love C'dale tandem frames from the very early 90's...We still have our original '90 ( as well as a' 91) that we like as well as, or better than, our "07 Trek T2000 and 2010 C'dale Road Tandem. Our '90 has been extensively (some would say excessively) upgraded over the years and it is a great tandem that we still ride thousands of miles a year.
Given my clear bias... here are a few thoughts. I assume the price is in the range you want, so first and foremost be sure it fits you 'as is' with minimum expense on your part. Clearly it is an older tandem with older components, so for this to be a value, be sure you can live with the bars, gears, brakes etc, that are on it now. Also be sure all those components are in good operating order. If they are, that tandem, as is, can give you many years of great riding for little expense.
If you are worried about the eccentric, have the current owner break it loose and show you how it is done and how to set the timing chain tension. FWIW, I still have the original eccentric and bolt in our '90 C'dale and have probably loosened/tightened it a hundred times and it is just fine.
Now, on the down side....if you are looking at it thinking " I hate the 7spd...I hate the components...I'm going to upgrade this and upgrade that etc..etc. Then I would say pass on this Tandem and look at something else that is set up closer to what you really want. Generally buying a used tanden that needs a lot of upgrades to make you happy is simply not worth the money.