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Tandem Cycling A bicycle built for two. Want to find out more about this wonderful world of tandems? Check out this forum to talk with other tandem enthusiasts. Captains and stokers welcome!

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Old 03-17-14, 01:10 PM   #1
AmandaMike
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Used Bikes, Opinions?

I'll add some bikes for sale we are trying out. Tell me what you think? Condition? Price? Whatever comes to mind that a beginner might not pick up on! Thanks!!

To re-cap (Short Captain, Tall Stoker)
I'm 5'3" and he's 6'2"
We need a bike that fits me first, but can be adjusted to fit him.
Shorter top tube length up front; longer in the back.
My inseam is 29 inches, stand over height accordingly.
Bike has to accomodate a telescope seat for him in the back, so the seat pole can't be too short in the rear or the proportions will get down right comical.
We would both prefer a mouintain or combo bike, but we'll make a road bike work and stick to the pavement if we must.

Handlebars, seats, pedals - all things we can change later are not a HUGE concern with any bike in it's current condition.

Bike Number 1: 8 year old Cannondale Mountain Bike. $1200. A little high?
medium/small model
27.5 inch top tube step over height for the captain and 26 inch top tube height for the stoker
The top tube length is 19 inches for the captain and 26 inches for the stoker with an 8 inch tube holding the handle bars for the stoker.
Model/catalog number we have is N233781.
The weight is about 35 pounds, lightweight stiff aluminum
26" wheels
Cannondale tandem bike

Second one, I don't have any other details because I haven't heard back yet.
Cannondale - $1000
Cannondale Tandem

Have to skip over a lot of the bikes on CL because the captain is way too tall or the stoker is way to short. I'll add more as I find them.

Last edited by AmandaMike; 03-17-14 at 02:43 PM.
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Old 03-17-14, 02:44 PM   #2
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I didn't think that Suntour was still around. But then I guess I am wrong. I will assume that the first tandem is gone since the link doesn't work. I bought a C'dale mountain tandem 2 years ago for $1100.Seller said it was 8 years old, but bike LBS says, uh no closer to 12. It is flawless though. I probably overpaid, but I did get it well under what he was asking for it. 2 months ago, I came across the identical tandem in Florida, and my parents bought it at my suggestion. It was at a bike shop for $800, parents got it for $700, with new front and rear derailleurs and new tires. However they were not the XT grade that originally came with the bike they were changed out to LX. They will work just fine though. Their tandem is 8 years old. I'd say they paid a good and fair price for the bike. And at 73, I'm happy to see them back on a tandem! Good luck in your search, and happiness 2gether!
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Old 03-17-14, 03:03 PM   #3
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First bike does appear to be gone. But they go fast in the SF Bar area. Lots of cyclists. Thanks for feedback. I'll continue to keep an eye out for a mountain cannondale, amoung other choices!
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Old 03-17-14, 03:05 PM   #4
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Tandem Bicycle

I don't know anything else yet. Emailing now.
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Old 03-17-14, 06:21 PM   #5
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Tandem Bicycle

I don't know anything else yet. Emailing now.
Looking at the picture, too tall for you.

Also, IMHO the watershed points in a used tandem are 145mm spacing in the rear and a 1-1/8" threadless stem. A bike with 145mm spacing can be upgraded all the way to 10 speed gearing if you want, using modern, readily available components. Threadless stems make it much easier to swap stems, while the 1-1/8" (28.6mm) steerer tube and headset are much stiffer than the old 1" threaded stuff. 1-1/4" threaded or threadless are oddball sizes that will limit your selection of stems, headsets, and forks if you want to change them. Just my $0.02.
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Old 03-17-14, 09:57 PM   #6
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Hi;

Here are some for you to check out - I have no stake in any of them.
Ibis Cousin It Tandem-beautiful
Trek Tandem - if you come to look at this one, let me know, we live a few miles west of it, and you can check out our T50 (not for sale ) nfmisso@gmail.com
Burley Tandem. Ride together by staying together! Funner that way! - though the claims in the ad of this one are outlandish.

I disagree with WheelsNT about the need for 145mm spacing. It is easy to find hubs that will work with 140mm spacing and go up to ten speed if you want. I converted our T50 to 9 speed; it has 140mm spacing. 9 is enough for us; the cost is not too high, unlike 10 and 11 speed.
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Old 03-17-14, 10:30 PM   #7
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Hi;

Here are some for you to check out - I have no stake in any of them.
Ibis Cousin It Tandem-beautiful
Trek Tandem - if you come to look at this one, let me know, we live a few miles west of it, and you can check out our T50 (not for sale ) nfmisso@gmail.com
Burley Tandem. Ride together by staying together! Funner that way! - though the claims in the ad of this one are outlandish.

I disagree with WheelsNT about the need for 145mm spacing. It is easy to find hubs that will work with 140mm spacing and go up to ten speed if you want. I converted our T50 to 9 speed; it has 140mm spacing. 9 is enough for us; the cost is not too high, unlike 10 and 11 speed.
Links much appreciated! I'll give more attention tomorrow. The Ibis might be out of my budget, the Trek might be too tall (30 inch stand over, my inseam is 28-29 with shoes). Burley doesn't give heights but doesn't look too tall in the pictures so I'll email.

Really grateful for the links. I can only skim so many ads before I'm mixing them all up and discouraged by not finding what I want lol

Also - the Nashbar is too tall, WheelsNT. Good call.

We rent a Cannondale when the funds allow and I LOVE the bike. But it's a large/small and I can barely stand with my toes on the ground so it's a big lesson on what NOT to get.
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Old 03-18-14, 11:39 AM   #8
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Tandem Bike-Diamondback

On the Diamondback - I'm not finding it at over $1200 new as the ad states. Here's Bikepedia. Looks like the same bike to me?
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Old 03-18-14, 12:05 PM   #9
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Tandem Bike-Diamondback

On the Diamondback - I'm not finding it at over $1200 new as the ad states. Here's Bikepedia. Looks like the same bike to me?
The frame looks identical to our Raleigh from 2002. Raleigh still sells tandems with roughly the same frame design. We paid only $200, but it has a (very heavy) steel frame and needed some work, while this bike is in great shape, has a lighter aluminum frame, and the front shock. I'd still try and get them down a bit on the price. I think something in the $400-500 range is more reasonable.

My 2005 Fuji road bike retailed for over $1200 brand new and I'm pretty sure I wouldn't get $600 for it now.

Last edited by qspencer; 03-18-14 at 12:24 PM.
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Old 03-18-14, 12:29 PM   #10
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The owner turned out to be less than cool. When I asked for more info I got "It's in storage, just come see it." (200 miles away, a drive I will make for the right bike, but not until I'm pretty sure). When I asked for at least a year he said call Diamondback and they can tell me. Doesn't seem willing to move on the price either. Whatcha gunna do.

On another note, the owner of the Burley seemed really cool, knowledgeable, had tips for adjusting to our heights. Go figure. He suggested ram handlebars turned forward, the captain seat adjusted forward (they will allow it on that bike) and the taller stoker seat. Also some ideas about wheel and tire size if needed, but the stand over is okay for me on this bike.

How does everyone feel about $1300 for a used Burley? They don't make them any more so I can't find much info on pricing!
http://sacramento.craigslist.org/bik/4379899205.html

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Old 03-18-14, 02:15 PM   #11
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On another note, the owner of the Burley seemed really cool, knowledgeable, had tips for adjusting to our heights. Go figure. He suggested ram handlebars turned forward, the captain seat adjusted forward (they will allow it on that bike) and the taller stoker seat. Also some ideas about wheel and tire size if needed, but the stand over is okay for me on this bike.

How does everyone feel about $1300 for a used Burley? They don't make them any more so I can't find much info on pricing!
Burley Tandem. Ride together by staying together! Funner that way![/QUOTE]

Paid $1600 for my "late" model Burley, and while many may say that was too much, I wanted it and that was what I was willing to pay. I did find a 400mm (>15") seatpost for some of my really tall pilots. Consider swapping the seat clamps front to rear as the pilot's clamp is more supportive for long seatposts than the rear clamp (assuming they are the same as mine are, recognizable by a 2-bolt design in the front and a single-bolt in the rear). For everyone's opinion, has anyone ever mounted a laid-back seatpost backwards (laid forward)? I'm 5'9" and the 400mm post in the stoker position with 12" of post showing puts the seatnear my diaphragm.

Really sounds like the Burley owner would be the preferable one to deal with, more willing to be in tune with your team's needs.
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Old 03-18-14, 02:56 PM   #12
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...On another note, the owner of the Burley seemed really cool, knowledgeable, had tips for adjusting to our heights. Go figure. He suggested ram handlebars turned forward, the captain seat adjusted forward (they will allow it on that bike) and the taller stoker seat. Also some ideas about wheel and tire size if needed, but the stand over is okay for me on this bike.

How does everyone feel about $1300 for a used Burley? They don't make them any more so I can't find much info on pricing!
Burley Tandem. Ride together by staying together! Funner that way!
That bike looks pretty darn clean to me in the pictures. Looks like he took good care of it. Appears to be a good starting point if it meets your needs. Will not be the lightest nor the fastest. The mountain rims/tires and upright seating position should give you a nice soft ride. The adjustable front handlebar stem may be nice to tailor things if needed. Twist grip shifters are not my favorite but can be swapped pretty cheaply if they bother you (BTDT on a half bike).

With respect to price... my opinion is that quality equipment is going to command a higher price and be worth it in the end. There are a few items here that look similar to a 10 year old Trek half bike I have so I see a quality bike rather than a cheap Wal-Mart bike. From what I have seen the under $1k price range is usually a combination of lower quality, older, less loved bikes than this one. So it really comes down to your budget and if it is worth it to you?

Big question is if you and stoker can make it fit.
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Old 03-18-14, 10:30 PM   #13
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How about this one: KHS tandem 26"

It looks like it needs work like tires, timing chain out of sync, and there is some driving, but $300. bucks may work. It's down in Southern Cali.

Mike
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Old 03-19-14, 09:08 AM   #14
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The KHS is a bit of a drive. But seems like a good enough deal. Dang.

Trying to reach these guys Cannondale Tandem after Nigel brought it back to my attention. No luck yet, though.
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