Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Tandem Cycling
Reload this Page >

Looking for Cheap Triplet

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!

Looking for Cheap Triplet

Reply

Old 11-02-17, 01:41 PM
  #1  
bajajoaquin
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: San Diego
Posts: 89
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 19 Post(s)
Looking for Cheap Triplet

Hi all. It's been a while since posting here, but I've been riding the tandem pretty regularly. My use case is different from most of yours in that I use it as a basic cruiser. My wife doesn't really like riding bicycles, and my kids are too small still. So if I'm going to go somewhere on a bike, it's on my tandem.

Which brings me to the query. My older daughter is too big for kid seats and I don't want a trail-a bike. So I want a triplet. But since I don't ride far or fast, I am looking for a cheap one. Before I was ready to buy, I would always see a cheap Micargi for sale every other month or so. But now I haven't seen one for a long time.

Anyone have a line on a cheap triplet? Basically one that you all would scoff at is exactly what I want to buy!
bajajoaquin is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-17, 08:14 AM
  #2  
KonAaron Snake 
Fat Guy on a Little Bike
 
KonAaron Snake's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 16,680

Bikes: Two wheeled ones

Mentioned: 28 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 973 Post(s)
Originally Posted by bajajoaquin View Post
Hi all. It's been a while since posting here, but I've been riding the tandem pretty regularly. My use case is different from most of yours in that I use it as a basic cruiser. My wife doesn't really like riding bicycles, and my kids are too small still. So if I'm going to go somewhere on a bike, it's on my tandem.

Which brings me to the query. My older daughter is too big for kid seats and I don't want a trail-a bike. So I want a triplet. But since I don't ride far or fast, I am looking for a cheap one. Before I was ready to buy, I would always see a cheap Micargi for sale every other month or so. But now I haven't seen one for a long time.

Anyone have a line on a cheap triplet? Basically one that you all would scoff at is exactly what I want to buy!
Define cheap.
KonAaron Snake is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-17, 09:21 AM
  #3  
bajajoaquin
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: San Diego
Posts: 89
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 19 Post(s)
Under $400
bajajoaquin is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-17, 01:26 PM
  #4  
Philly Tandem
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: SE Penna., USA
Posts: 1,076

Bikes: Santana Cabrio triplet, Santana Fusion S&S tandem, Co-Motion Pangea S&S, Co-Motion Nor'wester S&S, Santa Cruz Tallboy, Ellsworth Enlightenment Carbon, Niner EMD9, old-school C'dale F2000

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 62 Post(s)
I'd search for a Chuck's Bikes triplet. They were decent values back in the day and pop up now and again on the used market. The problem is that you really need to find a triplet within driving distance, as otherwise it will be cost-prohibitive to ship and definitely push you way over budget.
Philly Tandem is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-17, 05:50 PM
  #5  
zonatandem
Senior Member
 
zonatandem's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 11,021

Bikes: Custom Zona c/f tandem + Scott Plasma single

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 71 Post(s)
Good luck . . . like lookin' for a needle in a haystack!
zonatandem is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-17, 01:53 PM
  #6  
Dean20
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Ft Wayne, IN
Posts: 31

Bikes: Yeti Arc-X, Co-Motion Speedster Tandem, Bike Friday Triple, Yeti Bigtop 29'r

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'm selling one that's well above your budget but sounds like it would be great for what you need. I'm selling our Bike Friday Triplet, you can ride with a a couple kid stokers, or your wife and one kid. Small 20" wheels and internal hub are great for in town and errands, but it's still a fun bike to take out for a few hours. Can be disassembled and rebuilt as a tandem and I have two hard cases that it came with for shipping. I know it's way above your budget, but if your goals or budget happens to change let me know. I'm asking $2500.
Dean20 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 11-13-17, 08:49 AM
  #7  
Philly Tandem
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: SE Penna., USA
Posts: 1,076

Bikes: Santana Cabrio triplet, Santana Fusion S&S tandem, Co-Motion Pangea S&S, Co-Motion Nor'wester S&S, Santa Cruz Tallboy, Ellsworth Enlightenment Carbon, Niner EMD9, old-school C'dale F2000

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 62 Post(s)
Another thought, if you can swing it, is to buy a nicer, name-brand triplet that will hold its resale value. If you buy used for the right price, you'll probably be able to resell without too much of a loss when you are no longer using it. In the end that would be less out of pocket than buying a low-end ride that you might have a hard time reselling.

There's a nice Co-Motion Periscope Triplet on Ebay right now in South Dakota with a starting price of $2000.
Philly Tandem is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 11-13-17, 01:53 PM
  #8  
bajajoaquin
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: San Diego
Posts: 89
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 19 Post(s)
Thanks for the idea about Chuck's. I'll add that to my regular search. It's a long shot, but I'm maximizing my odds by putting out the word. You don't ask.... you don't get!

Regarding the more expensive options, I hear you. It's just that I'm not really interested in an out-of-pocket expense that large at this time. Bicycles and tandems are not my only (or main) hobby, so I have to be careful applying that logic indiscriminately. That's how I've ended up with multiple motorcycles, forges, cars, trucks, campers.... the list goes on!
bajajoaquin is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-17, 12:58 PM
  #9  
pickettt
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 258

Bikes: DiamondBack Podium 7, Focus Raven 1.0, Ritchey BreakAway Cross, (2) Trek 8500, Paramount PDG 90, Trek T2000, Redline Flight Pro 24

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 104 Post(s)
Originally Posted by bajajoaquin View Post
Under $400
If I find that, I ain't tellin' anyone about it!
pickettt is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-17, 02:47 PM
  #10  
Philly Tandem
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: SE Penna., USA
Posts: 1,076

Bikes: Santana Cabrio triplet, Santana Fusion S&S tandem, Co-Motion Pangea S&S, Co-Motion Nor'wester S&S, Santa Cruz Tallboy, Ellsworth Enlightenment Carbon, Niner EMD9, old-school C'dale F2000

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 62 Post(s)
By the way, the Chuck's triplets were under the brand name "Tsunam" so I'd search on both terms. But I still think you'll be pushing $1000 at least for this setup.

Honestly, if you are on a budget and already have a tandem, your best bet is to find an new or used Burley Piccolo trail-a-bike. Their attachment setup on the special rear rack is light years better than your average trail-a-bike that mounts to the seatpost. We had this setup before we got our triplet and it was very stable. They go for $359 new. Right now REI has a 20% off sale for members so that would get it under $300. Read the reviews and you'll see it's a nice setup. https://www.rei.com/product/843750/b...o-trailer-bike
Philly Tandem is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-17, 10:45 PM
  #11  
bajajoaquin
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: San Diego
Posts: 89
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 19 Post(s)
I donít want to jinx myself but I think I found one. Will post up pics if it works out!
bajajoaquin is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-17, 01:29 AM
  #12  
B. Carfree
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Eugene, Oregon
Posts: 7,024
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 474 Post(s)
Originally Posted by bajajoaquin View Post
I donít want to jinx myself but I think I found one. Will post up pics if it works out!
That's great. If it doesn't, you might look into a fellow named Peter Wagner in Davis, CA. He takes discarded bikes and converts them into whatever tickles his fancy, sometimes triples. They're rarely pretty (just hacked and welded old bikes), but do the trick. I used an old Huffy that he converted into a rear-steer with a child's crank for years when my son was small.

He's on facebook or you can hunt him down on the web using the Whymcycle moniker.
B. Carfree is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-17, 10:35 PM
  #13  
bajajoaquin
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: San Diego
Posts: 89
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 19 Post(s)
I would have loved to find something like Whymcycle's bikes. Bodged, rear-steer would have been awesome. As it turned out, I found a Micargi on Craigslist. It's about what I expected, which means really bad components. I'll probably cannibalize an old bike for some upgraded stuff.

Now on to the next challenge: a used child stoker kit!
bajajoaquin is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-17, 07:57 AM
  #14  
bajajoaquin
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: San Diego
Posts: 89
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 19 Post(s)
I didn't realize I could attach images. I thought it was just linking to a photo site. Since I used Photobucket in the past....

Anyway, here's my Micargi Triplet bought used from Craigslist. It's mostly as expected, but I wasn't really prepared for just how bad the components would be. It's a bit less-well maintained than advertised, but..... these things don't come up very often so it is what it is.

As I mentioned above, I have a dis-used mountain bike with 26" wheels. It's mostly XT with some XTR stuff, so anything that swaps will be upgraded.

First step will be to fab up a mount for a child seat in the middle. My daughter is not quite big enough to move from her strider bike to a pedal bike, and I haven't found a child stoker kit yet. I'll get her on a seat in the middle, then maybe move her to a bike seat with a foot platform then to the stoker kit when I find it.

I'll have to put on new captain bars, too, since I can't get my ibert child seat on these. I fabbed up a mount for the ibert which puts it forward a bit and above the bars (factory mount is behind the bars and under them). This gives me room for my hips between the back of the child seat and the nose of the captain's seat so I can stand both feet flat on the ground. I'll make a second one (and maybe a third) so I don't have to swap between tandem, triplet, and Schwinn Cruiser.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
triplet01.jpg (73.5 KB, 158 views)
File Type: jpg
triplet02.jpg (90.2 KB, 160 views)
File Type: jpg
triplet03.jpg (55.1 KB, 156 views)
File Type: jpg
triplet04.jpg (72.3 KB, 161 views)
bajajoaquin is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-18, 11:04 AM
  #15  
bajajoaquin
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: San Diego
Posts: 89
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 19 Post(s)
As I mentioned in another thread, my triplet came back from my local shop. I had dropped it off to have cables lengthened so Nito Bosco bars would fit. I also had him just go through it and tune it up. New tires, replaced chain link, new stoker bottom bracket, a couple bearings were missing. So greased and lubed and the riding position changed.

Looking at the stem more closely, Iím going to have to make a different mount to put my iBert seat on top of these bars. Iíll get to that right after I finish the mount to put the kid seat on the middle seat post. Hopefully have that finished today.
bajajoaquin is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-18, 08:57 AM
  #16  
Philly Tandem
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: SE Penna., USA
Posts: 1,076

Bikes: Santana Cabrio triplet, Santana Fusion S&S tandem, Co-Motion Pangea S&S, Co-Motion Nor'wester S&S, Santa Cruz Tallboy, Ellsworth Enlightenment Carbon, Niner EMD9, old-school C'dale F2000

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 62 Post(s)
Mind sharing how much you paid (approximately)? Just curious how much these go for. Looks perfect for what you want to use it for. Nice find! Enjoy. We have a lot of great memories riding our triplet with out son (and he's still willing to ride it with us, even at 13).
Philly Tandem is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-18, 05:47 PM
  #17  
bajajoaquin
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: San Diego
Posts: 89
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 19 Post(s)
I'm not real happy to share, because I feel like I over-paid. He was asking $400 and wouldn't go below that. I took it, because it was the first one I saw for sale in over a year of looking. If it had been well maintained, it would have been worth while. But bits and pieces were rusty, and as I mentioned above, it had a bent axle, and other evidence of neglect. Still, it's the only triplet under $1000, and any bike I'd have gotten would have likely required some additional money.

I fabbed a quick mount for a child seat in the middle seat, and put on the Wald bars for my wife in the rear spot. My bars have also been changed. I still need to make an mount to put the iBert over the front handlebars, since the one I built for my Schwinn cruiser/Raleigh tandem won't fit on this stem. Once my 5-year-old is big enough to be peadling her own bike (just graduating from strider now), I'll get a child stoker kit for her on the middle seat, and this seat will sit and wait for the little one (now about a1.5 years) to be ready for it.

Oh, yeah: now that I've test mounted, I need to take the seat off and give the mount a quick paint with some rusty-metal primer
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
triplet1.jpg (93.7 KB, 114 views)
File Type: jpg
triplet2.jpg (96.7 KB, 115 views)
File Type: jpg
triplet3.jpg (47.1 KB, 114 views)
bajajoaquin is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-18, 08:28 AM
  #18  
Philly Tandem
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: SE Penna., USA
Posts: 1,076

Bikes: Santana Cabrio triplet, Santana Fusion S&S tandem, Co-Motion Pangea S&S, Co-Motion Nor'wester S&S, Santa Cruz Tallboy, Ellsworth Enlightenment Carbon, Niner EMD9, old-school C'dale F2000

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 62 Post(s)
That's not bad for a triplet, as they are so hard to find. I'd be happy with that price if I were you and don't stress about it! You found exactly what you wanted and at a reasonable price. Nice job!

Do you have a rear freewheel hub, or a cassette hub? If a freewheel (which I'm guessing, based on your bent axle comment), you should consider switching to a cassette freehub, as they are stronger and support the "shoulders" of the axle better. I'm guessing you have a standard 135mm rear spacing?

By the way, one upgrade you might consider is a better set of V-brakes, like a set of Avid SD 7 brakes. Looks like you have low-end Chinese V-brakes that I wouldn't trust on a triplet. Avids can be found reasonably on Ebay.
Philly Tandem is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-18, 06:20 PM
  #19  
bajajoaquin
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: San Diego
Posts: 89
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 19 Post(s)
That's good advice, thanks.

I had always assumed it was a 135mm hub, but just went and put calipers on it and confirmed it. My idea was to go to an IGH so that I could get even spoke tension on both sides and maximize my wheel strength that way. I have a soft spot for Sturmey-Archer hubs (5 speed with hub brakes, please!) but I don't think they're rated for tandems, much less triplets.

I think my guy only charged me a few bucks for the axle, and the labor was included with the rest of his tune-up. So I'll probably just ride it for a while and see. I'll be checking out Avid brakes, though.
bajajoaquin is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-18, 11:48 PM
  #20  
Philly Tandem
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: SE Penna., USA
Posts: 1,076

Bikes: Santana Cabrio triplet, Santana Fusion S&S tandem, Co-Motion Pangea S&S, Co-Motion Nor'wester S&S, Santa Cruz Tallboy, Ellsworth Enlightenment Carbon, Niner EMD9, old-school C'dale F2000

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 62 Post(s)
We have the Avid SD7s on our Santana triplet, and they work well. IMO definitely better than most of the other V-brakes out there, especially the Shimano "Parallel Push" ones that have too many linkages and pivot points.

The problem with freewheel hubs is that the axle is not supported as much as with freehubs, and they are more prone to breaking at the point where they are cantilevered out from the hub and under the freewheel (all else being equal). Is that where your axle broke (drive side)? Good 26" hubs/wheels are pretty cheap nowadays, and can be easily found on CL or Ebay. Look for an XT hub or something similar.
Philly Tandem is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-18, 12:36 AM
  #21  
CliffordK
Senior Member
 
CliffordK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Eugene, Oregon, USA
Posts: 19,546
Mentioned: 119 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6799 Post(s)
Look for what is called a "sto-kid" attachment. Or look at them. I think one would be rather easy to build.

I have heard that one doesn't have to worry about the kid being out of sync. There are some small kid's cranksets that could be used. Perhaps even tearing apart a $5 thrift store special bike or trailer bike.
CliffordK is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-18, 08:13 AM
  #22  
bajajoaquin
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: San Diego
Posts: 89
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 19 Post(s)
Yep. Have looked into those and bid on a few. My older daughter isnít quite ready for it yet, though.

When the time comes, Iím going to buy one new. When you see them used, you only get the add-on bottom bracket and cranks. The full kits have shims and bits and pieces to make them fit a wide range of bikes. Iíll make a mount for a seat because itís not available but sometimes it pays to just spend the money on a fully developed kit that works.
bajajoaquin is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-18, 08:47 PM
  #23  
Philly Tandem
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: SE Penna., USA
Posts: 1,076

Bikes: Santana Cabrio triplet, Santana Fusion S&S tandem, Co-Motion Pangea S&S, Co-Motion Nor'wester S&S, Santa Cruz Tallboy, Ellsworth Enlightenment Carbon, Niner EMD9, old-school C'dale F2000

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 62 Post(s)
Originally Posted by bajajoaquin View Post
Yep. Have looked into those and bid on a few. My older daughter isnít quite ready for it yet, though.

When the time comes, Iím going to buy one new. When you see them used, you only get the add-on bottom bracket and cranks. The full kits have shims and bits and pieces to make them fit a wide range of bikes. Iíll make a mount for a seat because itís not available but sometimes it pays to just spend the money on a fully developed kit that works.
I have two that I've been hanging onto for some reason. I may keep one to sell down the road with my triplet, but I guess it would make sense to sell the second one. Both are Santana kits with the shims, etc. I'll try and find it in the garage in the next day or two. I also have a variety of timing chainrings to get it to match up with your existing rings (hopefully) so everything is in sync.
Philly Tandem is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-18, 12:48 AM
  #24  
bajajoaquin
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: San Diego
Posts: 89
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 19 Post(s)
My first reaction was, that would be awesome. PM if you track it down!

My second reaction was, "oh no! Poor guy is a compulsive hoarder just like me!"
bajajoaquin is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-18, 08:36 PM
  #25  
Philly Tandem
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: SE Penna., USA
Posts: 1,076

Bikes: Santana Cabrio triplet, Santana Fusion S&S tandem, Co-Motion Pangea S&S, Co-Motion Nor'wester S&S, Santa Cruz Tallboy, Ellsworth Enlightenment Carbon, Niner EMD9, old-school C'dale F2000

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 62 Post(s)
Originally Posted by bajajoaquin View Post
My second reaction was, "oh no! Poor guy is a compulsive hoarder just like me!"
You don't even want to know. I think I could probably build up two tandem frames, or more, with the parts I have! :-)
Philly Tandem is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service