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Purchasing a used Tandem in France?

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Old 01-26-18, 12:52 AM
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Purchasing a used Tandem in France?

We have family who live in Tours France with young grandchildren who are avid bike riders. But the thought of boxing our tandem, shipping it with our flight, and then getting it from the airport to the train at Charles DeGaul Airport, and knowing it may pose a problem to fit on the train (too long) and then hoping someone has a big enough minivan to get it to our children's home, too much.

So instead discussing this with friends in our bike club an idea, why not buy a used tandem in France and keep it at their home. This way our kids would have a tandem to ride with their children (we rented them a tandem in America and they loved it) and then when we come to visit we have a tandem to ride and use to explore. The stokers are different in height, but that's what adjustable stoker stems and seat posts are about, so it would seem that we should be able to swap a few things and have the tandem work for either stoker, but....

How do you go about finding and purchasing a used tandem in Tours France and what brands are available there that have a good reputation for their materials and construction? Any suggestions, ideas where to look are most welcome.
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Old 01-26-18, 03:41 AM
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Craigslist exists in France, and there is also leboncoin.fr.

Many of the French makers had tandems. You can look for an older Gitane or Motobecane in the low and mid price ranges, or go for a constructeur frame such as one made by Herse. I don’t know if more modern tandems could be available; my personal fascination is with old steel. :-)
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Old 01-26-18, 10:51 AM
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Aubergine, Thanks!

Didn't think of Craigslist. I will have to ask my daughter in Tours about leboncoin.fr, is this a French bike site? I think Herse will be out of our financial reach, though a really cool tandem which was highlighted in the last Bike Quarterly issue. We too love old steel and find the ride of the two steel tandems we have owned great. I will do research on the Gitane and Motobecane tandems, any other makes to consider?

Thanks again.
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Old 01-26-18, 11:05 AM
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1443216.main_image.jpg

1443215.main_image.jpg

Here's a tandem, tricycle, came across in searching the web we'll pass on.

Yes, its a tandem hearse, not the Hearse I was searching for .

Turns out it's up for sale because with the weight of the coffin it is a killer ride, pun intended, for the minister & assistant riding in their suit/street shoes.

The idea came up as you can see from the Motorcycle funerals he is doing, "Suzuki" coffin??? Check the van in the background pulling a camping trailer with the motorcycle in it....? You bury the motorcycle too???
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Old 01-26-18, 01:54 PM
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Check out the tandems offered by online French retailer CR2V. They are surprisingly affordable, which is how I found them when I was looking for inexpensive options two years ago. I bought one of their X-Peria 5200 frames. I think the frame+fork+shipping to the US was maybe 650 EUR, if I recall correctly (the dollar would buy Euro then than it does now). Their site lists several tandem frame and complete bike options. I believe they also offer their frames on eBay as well.
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Old 01-26-18, 04:09 PM
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Thanks gspencer looks like very nice tandems, now will have to translate to English. Some of the tandems they have for sale have the same Shimano shifters we had on our first KHS tandem and they worked very well. Thanks for the suggestion.
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Old 01-26-18, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by since6 View Post
Aubergine, Thanks!

Didn't think of Craigslist. I will have to ask my daughter in Tours about leboncoin.fr, is this a French bike site? I think Herse will be out of our financial reach, though a really cool tandem which was highlighted in the last Bike Quarterly issue. We too love old steel and find the ride of the two steel tandems we have owned great. I will do research on the Gitane and Motobecane tandems, any other makes to consider?

Thanks again.
Leboncoin is sort if a French Version of Craigslist. It is not bike-specific.

As for brands to look for, I wish I could help more, but I have rarely seen a Tandem in use in France. That said, I spend most of my time in cities where the bikes tend to be commuter machines, and tandems would not suit. Good luck on your search!

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Old 01-29-18, 07:38 AM
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Join the Tandem Club of France for 40$ and we will help you locate one...just

As the USA rep for the Tandem Club of France I can help....just message me privately or email me...Stew



Originally Posted by since6 View Post
We have family who live in Tours France with young grandchildren who are avid bike riders. But the thought of boxing our tandem, shipping it with our flight, and then getting it from the airport to the train at Charles DeGaul Airport, and knowing it may pose a problem to fit on the train (too long) and then hoping someone has a big enough minivan to get it to our children's home, too much.

So instead discussing this with friends in our bike club an idea, why not buy a used tandem in France and keep it at their home. This way our kids would have a tandem to ride with their children (we rented them a tandem in America and they loved it) and then when we come to visit we have a tandem to ride and use to explore. The stokers are different in height, but that's what adjustable stoker stems and seat posts are about, so it would seem that we should be able to swap a few things and have the tandem work for either stoker, but....

How do you go about finding and purchasing a used tandem in Tours France and what brands are available there that have a good reputation for their materials and construction? Any suggestions, ideas where to look are most welcome.
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Old 01-30-18, 10:23 PM
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Originally Posted by since6 View Post
We have family who live in Tours France with young grandchildren who are avid bike riders. But the thought of boxing our tandem, shipping it with our flight, and then getting it from the airport to the train at Charles DeGaul Airport, and knowing it may pose a problem to fit on the train (too long) and then hoping someone has a big enough minivan to get it to our children's home, too much.

So instead discussing this with friends in our bike club an idea, why not buy a used tandem in France and keep it at their home. This way our kids would have a tandem to ride with their children (we rented them a tandem in America and they loved it) and then when we come to visit we have a tandem to ride and use to explore. The stokers are different in height, but that's what adjustable stoker stems and seat posts are about, so it would seem that we should be able to swap a few things and have the tandem work for either stoker, but....

How do you go about finding and purchasing a used tandem in Tours France and what brands are available there that have a good reputation for their materials and construction? Any suggestions, ideas where to look are most welcome.
We did travel with our non coupled tandem to France in 2016. We returned home from Amsterdam. Really no big deal at all. In fact we plan on going again in 2019... We just bought a new tandem.... Carbon, Di2... and... Not coupled.
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Old 01-31-18, 11:59 PM
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Stewclark how do we do join the French Club, and remember we are not fluent in reading/speaking French, we may need to tow a trailer with a borrowed Granddaughter to help, we have three so we can rotate.

As to shipping our tandem to France, as you will see below the cost just doesn't make sense, but therein lies our debate, buy used here and take to France (one time flight cost) or buy in France. I try to lay out the issues hidden in each option.

Always engage your stoker!



And WOW, settled one thing for sure, we won't be shipping our tandem to/from Tours, one way quote, by BikeFlight, was a shipping quote around $1,000.00, and round trip is $2,000.00 (but that means they deliver it to Tours for pick up in city a big plus, plus all air fare is expensive now). So our options are either buy tandem here and bring tandem to France/Europe once, or, buy tandem in France and therein lies the devils.



We are looking at a tandem this weekend that is used, but appears to be in very very good condition and is made by one of the best local tandem builders, but with dated though top of the line components, and of course first the go/no go of does it fit us. So if we get past that it fits do we buy local, with a long range plan that in 2 and a half years when my wife retires we fly with this bike and begin a long tour of France/Europe?



Advantages would be time to truly dial in this tandem so that it is exactly as we want it, ride it a lot before hand (to dial it in) and practice loaded tandem riding, something we have not yet done and arrive with a great deal of confidence in our ability to ride a loaded tandem. But we would eat the one time $1,000.00 cost of shipment to France.



The other alternative saves the $1,000.00 shipment cost to France, and may fund a better newer tandem, but yikes the used tandem we are looking at, is still being made by its tandem shop but now sells new starting at $4,500.00 and options upwards! Also there's the issue of a new bike that we just won't have a lot of/any time on to dial in, let alone practice riding loaded as we dial things in.

So there are our thoughts/concerns, if we are missing something do share your thoughts.
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Old 02-05-18, 09:01 AM
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email me at [email protected] to get info on TCF

TCF may be a helpful source....
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Old 02-05-18, 07:06 PM
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I've taken two tandems to France and brought one back. The first one was about 15 years ago when Air France was still taking bikes for free. I just told them it was a bike, and they didn't charge me. That tandem is still in France (and will be for sale if anybody would be looking for a used Cannondale)

The second time, there and back, was two years ago. It was on Condor Air, which I think is some offshoot of Lufthansa and got me to Toulouse through Frankfurt. I bought business class tix, which was only around $2k, and they again took the tandem free each way.

In both cases, I basically got the big box as light as possible, well under the normal max weight, by packing the wheels and many of the parts in a separate box. I'm probably going to take another one over in the next year or two and will likely follow a similar strategy.
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Old 02-11-18, 11:32 PM
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Thanks bwebel I hope this is still the case, though checking on ticket prices to go see a grandchild to be born this year I wonder if they allow this.

But even if we get the tandem to France we also understand there's a problem with fitting the tandem on the train we would take to where our daughter and son-in-law live in that they don't have bike spaces for tandem bikes and they have to be shipped on a freight train, a total non-starter after such a long flight.

We may investigate some of the take apart, Bike Friday, options, but I think we'll go to our daughters local bike shop when there this fall and talk with them about ideas, solutions. We have time before wife retires and touring begins.
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Old 02-21-18, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by since6 View Post
But even if we get the tandem to France we also understand there's a problem with fitting the tandem on the train we would take to where our daughter and son-in-law live in that they don't have bike spaces for tandem bikes and they have to be shipped on a freight train, a total non-starter after such a long flight.
Tandems are allowed on non-TGV trains when there is space and you will need to make a bike reservation. Bike carriage works best on local trains which we tend to take. Use bahn.de to find trains which can carry bikes. The amount of space will vary greatly so it is best if you can go to the train station the day before to ask the station people.
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