Not Another Kent Dual Drive Tandem Review
Ok, maybe one more. I ordered mine from Amazon and it arrived one day later. This same model appears to be running on 6 years. Anyway, like others, my box came damaged. The bike had a few scratches on it but nothing serious, and no parts were missing or bent. Some basic repair skills are necessary to get it into optimal shape, or take it to a bike store for final assembly and tuning.
The wheels are single wall aluminum, hubs are cup and cone. The front uses a 13 mm cone and the rear a 15 mm cone. The lock nut is 17 mm front and rear. I opened the hubs based on reviews that the bearings were dry, but I found them to be well greased.
I removed the tires and inspected the spoke nipples, as other reviews claimed of flat tires. Some nipples were sharp, so to avoid future problems, I put down a layer of gorilla tape over the nipples and then put the factory rubber rim strip on top, and the wheels have held 75 psi for 36 hours. I replaced the stock tires with Performance Bike Fortť Slick City ST MTB (on sale for $10) to reduce rolling friction.
The wheels were essentially true. I put them on my truing attachment on my PRS-15 and they were good enough for government work. I was able to properly adjust the spacing on the brakes without the wheels rubbing on one side or the other.
The bottom brackets are cup and cone as well, with a traditional 3 notch lock ring and an adjustable cup with 6 holes for a pin spanner. Given the hubs were properly greased, and I could see grease on the spindles, and that the cranks turned freely, I decided to hold off on opening or fine tuning the bottom brackets until a later date.
The derailleurs are Shimano, which is a plus, as some big box bikes come with no name derailleurs. The rear was essentially adjusted, although I adjusted the B-tension to better clear the 34 tooth mega range gear. The front was not adjusted, but was relatively easy to get working. I can now shift easily into all gears.
I took it for a test ride and it runs fine. I will take it for a longer ride this weekend. For comparison purposes, my road bike is a 2004 Giant OCR Elite with 9 speed Ultegra, so I know what a decent bike rides like. The Kent is not a serious training or racing bike. It is a bike for leisurely rides, and should suit such a purpose just fine. As with all bikes, this bike will need periodic tuning depending upon riding frequency and conditions.
I would in no way call this bike a piece of junk. Although the hubs and bottom brackets are cup and cone, that technology has been around for a long time, is still in use, has a long service life, and can easily be properly adjusted. The derailleurs are Shimano and can be properly adjusted. The brakes are liner pull ProMax and can easily be adjusted to work fine. Even though the parts used on this bike are cheap, they all represent technology that has been proven to work. No, itís not light, and itís not race or serious training worthy, but for your typical weekend rider, there is no reason this bike cannot provide many years of service if properly adjusted. Just my two cents, I am sure I will get some opposing opinions. Thanks and happy riding.
I came very close to buying one of those - they were well under $300 new. I think they are good looking bikes too!
Your review is really well done, hopefully it will encourage some new riders who can't afford a more expensive bike to jump in and try it!
Sounds like you have just what you need. Enjoy the heck out of it!
Good review . . .
Do another review after you get 2,000 miles on that Kent tandem.
Our current tandem has 33,000+ miles on it. No, it's not a Kent.
Quality pay$ off in the long run . . .
Pedal on TWOgether!
Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
I agree with quality if the use is there to justify it. With an owner that can work on his own bike it might do well but I would watch the wheels which seem like a possible weak point.
Originally Posted by zonatandem
The Kent looks like a bike for the casual rider. Ride say 20 miles a week and 2,000 miles is 100 weeks unless you live where there is a winter then maybe 3+ years. If still riding and mileage goes up then time for an upgrade.
S60: I agree with Zona. A very well done review. I especially like your photographic documentation of the bike as it arrived. Your post should especially prove useful to those contemplating a Kent purchase...definitely not for those without a bit of mechanical aptitude.
I was not very clear. I agree with Zona as well.
Originally Posted by DASTandem
Unfortunately, this bike may never see 2,000 miles. Between kid's sports practices and the weather, I will be lucky to get in on average two rids a month at 10-20 miles each (need to leave time to stop at the playground!). So at that rate, I will hit 2,000 miles over 5 years from now. I wish I would hit 2,000 miles a lot sooner, but it's not in the cards. Thanks.
Originally Posted by zonatandem