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Newbie looking for Tandem

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!

Newbie looking for Tandem

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Old 01-05-18, 12:36 PM
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Seevee
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Newbie looking for Tandem

Hi,

New to tandems and new to the forum.

I bike perhaps once a week, usually for a short ride. Occasionally I'll take a 5 or 10 mile ride and that's about it. My bike is used primarily to get from A to B, not for "just biking". My GF rides perhaps only once every other month and she is VERY conservative and only rides around the block, so we never take many trips together..... so I'm thinking of a tandem.

We have rented tandems and worked out quite well. She makes a great stoker and we do pretty well as a team.

My goal is to have the tandem aboard our boat and use it when docked to explore towns, shop, sightsee, etc.

Don't know what to get but looking at a few:

Looking at a 10 yr old Santana Sovereign in very good shape for $1500. The only down side is it has drop handle bars and I want flat, raised or even cruiser bars. Also it has the skinny 28mm tires and the rims will only take up to 32, so limited off road biking but not a huge issue.

Also looking at an older Kuwahara in reasonable shape for $150. My only worry is if the parts are too worn I might spend a ton on upgrading.

And in-between I'm looking at a Trek, Kent, and a few others.

Goal is just for transportation and a bit of sightseeing. Will travel mostly at low speeds and short distances (less than 10 miles). But need somewhat on the light side and able to load it onto my boat which is tight. I like the idea of a used higher quality bike, but wonder if the Santana is just a bit much after changing the bars.

Thoughts?

Seevee
St. Pete, FL
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Old 01-05-18, 02:51 PM
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Paul J
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Here are a couple of places you can watch.

https://tandemclub.org/classifieds/browse-ads/

Tandem Bicycles For Sale, Tandem Bike Components For Sale
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Old 01-05-18, 05:19 PM
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act0fgod
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Call me cheap but I'd say start with the $150 bike and see if it fits your needs. For your described use I can't imagine you would need to upgrade anything.
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Old 01-05-18, 05:36 PM
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zonatandem
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If the Kuwahara FITS get it! If you decide later that you really like tandeming, then upgrade to a newer/nicer 2-seater.
Been riding TWOgether since 1975 and covered over a quarter million miles on our tandems.
Now at ages 85 and 82 we are still out there very regularly.
Good luck!
Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
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Old 01-06-18, 10:39 AM
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OneIsAllYouNeed
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Another vote for the Kuwahara if it fits. Update and upgrade as needed.

What size boat? The size of a non-folding tandem might make it difficult to store aboard. Youíll also want to keep up with chain lube regularly as salt mist can freeze up a chain in just weeks or months (compared to years in a cleaner environment).
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Old 01-06-18, 10:48 AM
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Seevee, this bike should be a good fit for you.
First Tandem - Micargi California
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Old 01-06-18, 12:20 PM
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Seevee
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Originally Posted by OneIsAllYouNeed View Post
Another vote for the Kuwahara if it fits. Update and upgrade as needed.

What size boat? The size of a non-folding tandem might make it difficult to store aboard. Youíll also want to keep up with chain lube regularly as salt mist can freeze up a chain in just weeks or months (compared to years in a cleaner environment).
I'll pursue the Kuwahara....

Boat is a 40ft Mainship, and bike would be stored on the upper aft flybridge area. Not real sure how I'll get it up and down, but I do have stairs and if the bike is in the 40# range I just might lug it up and down. Also have a hoist, but it will be on the side I normally don't dock against.

Yes, it will have to be lubed regularly. And will figure out a covering for it.

Thx for the info.
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Old 01-06-18, 07:50 PM
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here is another option: Tandem Duet 700c Flat Bar
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Old 01-07-18, 09:04 AM
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Another vote for the Kuwahara. Note that at $150, you almost certainly will be paying to do deferred maintenance. If you have a good bike shop around, you can replace parts as necessary without going through the slow drip of an expensive upgrade cycle.

As an example, I just bought an inexpensive used triplet. I took it to my local guy and had him go at it. He replaced the rear wheel axle, stokerís bottom bracket, found a couple of bearing balls missing, a link in the chain about ready to go and lots of other stuff. Bike ride fine before but now it rides a lot nicer.

Figure on another $150-$250. At $150 buy-in, thatís still a really good price.

Oh, should have said right off: put new tires on it. Itís probably got old tires that are at greater risk of flatting. Based on advice Iíve read, I go with the Kenda Qwest tandem tire. Itís the only 1.5Ē tire that is also 100psi.
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Old 01-15-18, 11:41 AM
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Since the bike needs to fit on a boat and you say that you bike less than 10miles and at low speeds, you should consider a used folding tandem with the small wheels.

Consider a used Bike Friday Tandem are something similar.
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Old 01-16-18, 08:27 AM
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https://www.greenzonebikes.com/compact-folding-bikes
$500 folding tandem, new.

There are other options -- as TigerMom suggests, you may wish to find a used small wheel tandem, but those can be $1000 plus for the nice ones like Bike Fridays and such.

A non-folding, but reasonably light (under 50#) bike is this one -- https://www.amazon.com/Schwinn-Twinn...ng+tandem+bike

You don't want a 65 pound monster cheap bike to lift on and off a boat...
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Old 01-16-18, 11:03 AM
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Something that fits well should be a priority, as others have suggested.

I also agree that folding/disassembling tandems could be useful for your application, but as a former owner of a Bike Friday tandem, I'd suggest going through the disassembly process before you buy. I only took mine apart maybe twice, and it was always a bigger project than I expected. Mine was a late 1990s model, and it's possible newer models have better designs that are faster to disassemble.
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Old 01-20-18, 12:53 PM
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Seevee
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All,

I ended up with a Kuwahara, probably 20 years old in reasonably good shape, for $150. I'm happier and a pig in s***.

It's a GREAT bike and a great start with tames. When I test rode it, it too 2 second to want it. It handled just like my Trek, with no one on the back. I could almost turn in the same radius first time and felt like a glove.

I took it home and the GF and I took it around the block a few times and she loved it too.

Can't believe how easy it handles!

Thanks MUCH for all the help, especially Rudy and Kay, spot on!
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