Ok, I'm a moderate rider, 50 mi/week. Wife isn't. So, a while back she brought up the subject of a tandem. We've rented the Kent for a bit and so far it's nothing but fun
. After of course reading post upon post upon post on how to get along, many thanks to the forum. We've been able to mount the bike, start, stop, coast, shift, slow and speed up together pretty well. GREAT advice to be found here. Of course I yell out BUMP just a bit too late and she enjoys the excuse to whack me one.
I'm 5'9" and fit a 52cm (21") road bike and an 18" mountain bike pretty well. Wife is short at 5'2" and my youngest wants to ride too, she's just shy of 5'. I see this as two completely different styles of cycling, tandem will be more for fun and fitness vs my go out and get a good sweaty workout rides. I'll be switching between my road bike and the tandem quite a bit.
I've been looking and have it down to a couple of candidates.
Used Raleigh, 2004/2005ish.
Here's my pro/con on the two.
Gearing: T900 has more bailout with a 28/32 combo vs 30/27 low on the Raleigh. There are plenty of hills in the area that are just no fun. 28/32 is tempting. Of course a 9 speed 12/32 cassette can widen the range of the Raleigh quite a bit too.
Bars: T900 has much more adjustment, but I see no reason the Raleigh can't be made to fit us. Perhaps using extenders/adjustable stem for captain who really doesn't like a way down posture. Use an adjustable stem for the stoker so it can fit wife / kid as need be.
Tires: T900 has fatter tires. We live in a rural area, ride mtn bikes on back roads that are oil dirt, loose gravel, some washboard. We also ride the local roads / state highways. Raleigh has 700s. I like 700s. But I'm afraid that the 700/25 will be ill suited for the back roads. Maybe suggestions for 700s better suited for both types of running?
Overall quality: Tend to believe the Raleigh is the better bike from the get go.
Goodies: T900 has a suspension seat post for the stoker. Not sure if that stock one is any good or if maybe a thudbuster is a better choice?
Price: About $200 more for the T900, not including taxes etc.
Thanks for looking.