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Kent Dual Drive

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Old 04-18-15, 05:45 PM
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SJP0tato
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Kent Dual Drive

Oh no, not another one of these threads!

Actually, I've been curious if a tandem would be a good fit for my youngest son (8 years old) and myself for awhile, and maybe even the Mrs (not going to hold my breath on that one). I've been a casual bike rider for 15-odd years now currently with a couple road bikes in the stable. Trouble is when my youngest son wants to go for a bike ride it's a difficult match pace-wise. I wasn't willing to spend much on the tandem experiment and am handy with tools, so the Kent Dual Drive fit the bill!

Some basic notes about the assembly:
The front wheel needs a 13mm cone wrench (and 17mm traditional), and the rear wheel needs a 15mm cone wrench (and 17mm traditional). The freewheel requires the Falcon freewheel tool to remove (Shimano won't fit). Both wheel bearings were adjusted too tightly, and upon inspection the ball bearings had only a very small quantity of grease (one tiny glob covering maybe 1-2 ball bearings). I filled each side of each wheel bearing with Park Tool PolyLube 1000 Grease, and properly adjusted/tensioned them.
The wheels were pretty close to true, only requiring minor tightening of a couple spokes on one wheel. The brakes needed basic setup, ditto derailleurs.
I haven't been into the crankset bearings yet, they feel pretty okay though so I'll probably look into them next weekend.

So far my son and I have put about 8-9 miles on the bike on our maiden voyage, laughing and having fun the whole time. The seats are terrible, but otherwise this is a very decent "kit bike" as someone else put in a review. It's going to need probably another $75-100 worth of parts/upgrades (tires will probably be the earliest, the stock ones must be 20% plastic, and maybe seats/pedals) assuming we keep putting miles on, but I'd recommend the bike with the caveat that you must know basic to mid level bike tuning and knowing what you're getting into.

If we manage to wear this one out in the next year or two, it will have been the perfect stepping stone up to something more substantial and long-lasting.
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Old 04-18-15, 06:04 PM
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Bet that within less than a year you and son will be riding another and better tandem!
The Kents and similar dept. store tandems are notorious for bad assembly of cheap parts; you were lucky to find any grease on the bearings at all.
Having said that it is cheaper than renting a tandem at 50 bucks a day or weekend.
Keep your eyes open for a used tandem that will fit a growing child like Bike Friday tandem, a small framed KHS, Burley or similar.
You can also pick up a used kiddie crank set that allows a growing child to fit properly + an adjustable stoker stem.

You are going about it the right way!
Enjoy the ride TWOgether!
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Old 06-01-15, 05:21 PM
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Wow..this is great timing. I am in the same boat with my daughter. My wife, myself and 12 year old son all have nice road bikes. My 7 year old daughter is very tall and stocky for her age, so too big for a trail a bike and too young to deal with gears. I just purchased the same dual drive bike from amazon and it will be here Wed. I would normally never get a cheaper bike, but it was more of something to get to try out and see if it would work and as a trial for the wife and I to see if we wanted to get a tandem. I will post my impressions as well.
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Old 06-02-15, 12:16 AM
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Welcome to Tandem Forum
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Old 06-03-15, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by zonatandem View Post
Bet that within less than a year you and son will be riding another and better tandem!
The Kents and similar dept. store tandems are notorious for bad assembly of cheap parts; you were lucky to find any grease on the bearings at all.
Having said that it is cheaper than renting a tandem at 50 bucks a day or weekend.
Keep your eyes open for a used tandem that will fit a growing child like Bike Friday tandem, a small framed KHS, Burley or similar.
You can also pick up a used kiddie crank set that allows a growing child to fit properly + an adjustable stoker stem.

You are going about it the right way!
Enjoy the ride TWOgether!
My hope is that the tandem thing catches on and I can buy a better quality rig, somewhere in the $1600-2k range. I could then even give the Kent away to get others interested in cycling. My wife and I have formed a group locally to try to get a bike trail developed. The more cyclists we can get , the better!
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Old 06-03-15, 08:15 PM
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Got the bike in today, put it together and had a lot of fun! The only thing I noticed with the bike was that the front wheel wasn't perfectly true. Very slight wobble. I was impressed that it had a metal guard for the rear derailleur.

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Old 06-18-18, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by SJP0tato View Post
The freewheel requires the Falcon freewheel tool to remove (Shimano won't fit).
They must have changed that; we had one abandoned at the shop, (Policy is 45 days, it's been 8 months of trying to get the customer to pay up and come get it, and we're closing down at the end of the month.) and it was a Shimano tool...though I ruined one trying. Looked like it was crossthreaded, actually, since it wobbles more than precession would account for. A 26" freewheel bolt on with a gritty 7 speed no-name freewheel just isn't worth the hassle when we have an entire shelf of them scavenged from junk bikes in the back that mostly just need truing and hub rebuilds.

So, off to the used 26" wheels pile, and found a set with a freehub on the back. Oh, and the rear shifter was coming apart, and we were out of 7 speed twists at the moment, so it got an 8 speed cassette, all bearings repacked, and new cables. It's still heavy, but rides pretty decent now.
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