I know that these "help me choose a bike" threads get tiresome, but any help is appreciated.
My wife and I are considering getting our first tandem. Some of the issues that will effect our selection are, in no particular order:
Captain - 190 lbs, 5'11" - fairly strong solo rider, with fairly aggressive solo bike (BMC SLO1 with about 4.5" saddle to bar drop, standard crank, 12-24 rear) Likes group riding, rides a couple of thousand miles per year, 50 - 100 mile rides most weekends and commute / training / spin rides weather permitting during the week.
Stoke - 125 lbs, 5'2" - more casual rider, with hybrid bike with tall head tube / stem, flat bars, triple crank and ??? in back. Commutes and enjoys a half dozen metric or imperial centuries a season and finished the 200 mile two day STP last year with a smile on her face. She has a couple of fused vertebrae in her neck so is not comfortable with traditional drop bars.
We live in the Pacific Northwest and ride in some pretty hilly terrain. Occasionally, I wish I had a compact chain ring or 28 in the rear. (Just need to HTFU I guess )
Our budget was around $1,500 for a used bike, but you know what happens to budgets... Realizing that we would have to do some work in the rear cockpit to fit the stoker, what does the assembled tandem brain trust think of something along these lines:
This is one of the few bikes we've found close to our budget that has integrated shifters, which I consider a must; I don't think I would be too happy about going back to bar end or down tube shifters. Not knowing much about tandem specific components I could use some guidance for the rest of the drive train items.
Thanks again for any advice!