I started ten years ago with a used '98 Burley Duet - it is a great bike that is incredibly stable, very heavy, and the price was right. A couple of years ago I upgraded to a Rodriguez ultra-light with a custom frame. I am very glad that I put my money into buying a new bike instead of upgrades to the Burley - for the same amount I got new components, a frame that fits and that feels like it doesn't weigh anything, and a relationship with a bike shop that really pays off. I am 100% of the opinion that a used tandem is the best route for teams to get into the sport, but I would discourage you from "replacing everything on the bike" - you will get better value and you will be much happier if you wait until you know exactly what you want and then buy new. (Probably the bet $400 I ever spent was getting a professional fitting on the Burley. Personally I would invest in saddles and a suspension seat post for the stoker before I started spending money on the drivetrain - if she isn't comfortable you aren't going to get much use out of the bike no matter how good the brake levers are. Another bit of personal opinion - if your set-up doesn't include stoker control over a drag brake, spend the money to give her that - it will take away a lot of the out-of-control experience that gets in the way of enjoyment for your partner.)
I got the Ibis this past thanksgiving so I don't have a lot of experience with it yet. The idea was a second tandem set up for gravel and the Ibis will be perfect for that. Plus it has "iconic" braze-ons...
Last edited by geronimo2000; 02-11-14 at 10:53 AM.