I've decided to purchase a tandem... I'm excited. The two bikes I'm considering are a mid 90s Santana and a mid-late 90s KHS Milan. Would appreciate your thoughts and suggestions as to what I should keep in mind. I'm new to tandems but have been riding mid quality bikes (road, mountain & touring $1000 and up) since '96.
Mid 90s Santana ?????:
Priced < $600
Drivetrain: 3x7 w/ downtube shifters
Wheels: 700x38 tires
Mechanical: Seller says it needs an overhaul.
Frame Condition: Steel. Reportedly good structurally but with many scratches and cosmetic issues
Brazeons: Not sure about the front end, rear has seat stay brazeons for a rack but I only see unthreaded holes in the frame by the hub. What are these for? Could mounting fenders and rack on this bike be a challenge?
Priced < $800
Drivetrain: 3x8 w/ downtube shifters
Wheels: 700x43 tires
Mechanical: Seller says it's ready to ride
Frame: Steel. Looks clean
Brazeons: Rear rack mounted in photo. Owner thinks there's plenty of room for fenders but hasn't confirmed or denied presence of brazeons for them.
I'm an avid cyclist and Father of 3 kiddos ages 13-7. My most frequent stoker will likely be my now 10yr old and occasionally my wife. I'll usually be pulling a trail-a-bike and occasionally a burly for errands and the occasional tour. I expect it to be able to handle gravel, and will ride it year round so fenders are a requirement.
Finally, I do expect this to be a first tandem only. My preference for riding gravel roads, a hope for doing loaded tours either as a family or a couple, and a desire for the quietest paths (natural surface) says I'll ultimately want a bike that will handle 2" or larger tires. Most of our rides will be on paved city trails/streets and the occasional excursion into gravel, rolling country roads. Unfortunately, the only option in near by markets is way out of my initial price range. I have a 90minute drive to test ride so I'll only have a brief time to consider and purchase after looking them over.
Questions in my head...
* Are these prices reasonable?
* Will either be easier to sell in a couple years?
* Should I hold out for a mountain based tandem even if that means weeks/months of missed family rides?
* Would I be happy with a 3x7 drivetrain, even as a temporary solution?
* Would the cantilever brakes provide enough stopping power when loaded with 2 kids, trailers & gear?
Thanks for your thoughts.