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Inexpensive - not cheap - tandem

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Inexpensive - not cheap - tandem

Old 04-03-19, 10:15 AM
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Chukbacca
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Inexpensive - not cheap - tandem

Good morning friends!

I have a Motive Duet tandem that I purchased for $40 about three years ago (it was a mess, after a little work it rides just fine). I wanted to see if my girls and I would enjoy the tandem experience...and we do. So much so that for quite awhile I pulled two Trek Mountain Trains behind me. I don't mind doing my own maintenance, but I think that the amount of components that probably ought to be replaced exceed what I could likely just buy another cleaner bike for. My riding consists entirely of paths, but having the low gearing is especially helpful as I'm often towing at least one trailer behind me (a pedal trailer or cargo trailer for groceries). I've had no issue with the ride of my current tandem, but she's definitely not a beauty queen. Would you all mind giving me your thoughts on a few bikes I've found locally-ish?


This one strikes me as being very similar to my current tandem, and I've had good times with standard Univegas in the past...

https://offerup.com/item/detail/6070...16242585544062


I saw this one on the market a year ago, and it's still around. I keep hearing how good the Santana brand is, and there's new components and such. While I doubt I could convince my wife to let me pay that much, I feel like there must be something off putting about this if it's been on the market this long. Price? bad model?

https://orangecounty.craigslist.org/...828484017.html


Here's another one I was toying with:

https://offerup.co/uNxvtXYBAV


In this moment I'm not too concerned with size, I'd rather learn about the pros/cons of what I'm looking at as I'm trying to understand the differences in quality; I'm 6'5" and 2 of my 3 stokers are just along for the ride


Thanks so much for your time!

Chuck
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Old 04-03-19, 10:54 AM
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the yellow Santana looks good if the fit is right for both of you. It probably needs some TLC but that's ok :-)
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Old 04-03-19, 02:06 PM
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For somebody 6'5" I would expect the Santana to fit you the best. However the stoker sizing is also huge. How tall is your stoker?


The KHS is the newest of the three bikes. It would also allow more stoker options. And would be an upgrade over both your Motiv and the Univega.


Not clear on how it would fit your 6'5" body though.


If you are already towing people behind your tandem, maybe look into this instead?


https://bakersfield.craigslist.org/b...832076377.html
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Old 04-03-19, 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by unikid View Post
For somebody 6'5" I would expect the Santana to fit you the best. However the stoker sizing is also huge. How tall is your stoker?
The KHS is the newest of the three bikes. It would also allow more stoker options. And would be an upgrade over both your Motiv and the Univega.
Not clear on how it would fit your 6'5" body though.
If you are already towing people behind your tandem, maybe look into this instead?
https://bakersfield.craigslist.org/b...832076377.html
Thanks for the feedback! I suspect in about 2-3 years my tandem will see less use as the girls feel the freedom of their own bikes (the tallest is around 48" tall, and is on her own bike most of the time now); If I buy a tandem with them in mind my wife will never join me - but like I said, they seem to enjoy just sitting back there and enjoying the ride. That being said, my wife is 5'-11"

I thought seriously about buying a triplet a couple years ago...

Would you guess that the Santana is a slow mover due to it's size? I'm struggling to understand why it would be on the market so long (the price has progressively dropped). There's something about the Univega that gives me hesitation, maybe I'll go look at it and put my concerns to rest. I do like the KHS, I guess I wasn't sure that there was the extra $100 (or $250) worth of value ($100 for the univega, $200 for the KHS, $350 for the Santana, etc) given the easy riding I do.

Thanks again!
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Old 04-03-19, 03:21 PM
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That Santana is a well made and maintained bike but it is BIG and ancient. It has orphan Suntour components including downtube shifters and cantilever brakes. Lots of the things "classic and vintage" aficionados prefer are especially tedious on a tandem.

The Univega is maybe a little newer but just not as premium.

The KHS is ~ten years newer, from the V-brake and trigger shifter era (c.Y2K) and it's the one I'd go for out of the three. It can be serviced with parts available at retail today. It also looks smallest in the back.

Fitting little kids can be hard. Before you put your money down you need to see if your stoker can reach the pedals with the seat slammed. Take off the bag and reflector and consider a less poofy seat. Crank shorteners help but they are astonishingly expensive for two little pieces of aluminum.
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Old 04-03-19, 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
That Santana is a well made and maintained bike but it is BIG and ancient. It has orphan Suntour components including downtube shifters and cantilever brakes. Lots of the things "classic and vintage" aficionados prefer are especially tedious on a tandem.
.
THIS is likely the reason the bike hasn't been moving. BIG and ancient. Nothing more - nothing less.

If you don't need a tandem to fit your daughters, and you don't care about upgrading, then this might be a great bike. However I suggest carefully test-riding the bike before buying. If the stoker doesn't like the bike, then there is no point in buying it.

Do you want a 26" bike? Or a 700c bike? Your Duet is 26'' and likely more cushy. The Santana is 700c and will be more harsh but likely faster/more efficient. A suspension seatpost could always be added to keep the stoker happy: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Diamondback...UAAOSwFzNcnmKh
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Old 04-04-19, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
That Santana is a well made and maintained bike but it is BIG and ancient. It has orphan Suntour components including downtube shifters and cantilever brakes. Lots of the things "classic and vintage" aficionados prefer are especially tedious on a tandem.

The Univega is maybe a little newer but just not as premium.

The KHS is ~ten years newer, from the V-brake and trigger shifter era (c.Y2K) and it's the one I'd go for out of the three. It can be serviced with parts available at retail today. It also looks smallest in the back.
Originally Posted by unikid View Post
THIS is likely the reason the bike hasn't been moving. BIG and ancient. Nothing more - nothing less.

Do you want a 26" bike? Or a 700c bike? Your Duet is 26'' and likely more cushy. The Santana is 700c and will be more harsh but likely faster/more efficient.
This was precisely the feedback I was seeking. Thank you!
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Old 04-04-19, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Chukbacca View Post
Thanks for the feedback! I suspect in about 2-3 years my tandem will see less use as the girls feel the freedom of their own bikes (the tallest is around 48" tall, and is on her own bike most of the time now); If I buy a tandem with them in mind my wife will never join me - but like I said, they seem to enjoy just sitting back there and enjoying the ride. That being said, my wife is 5'-11"

I thought seriously about buying a triplet a couple years ago...

Would you guess that the Santana is a slow mover due to it's size? I'm struggling to understand why it would be on the market so long (the price has progressively dropped). There's something about the Univega that gives me hesitation, maybe I'll go look at it and put my concerns to rest. I do like the KHS, I guess I wasn't sure that there was the extra $100 (or $250) worth of value ($100 for the univega, $200 for the KHS, $350 for the Santana, etc) given the easy riding I do.

Thanks again!
A local bike co-op has had a Santana like that hanging in their window for years. People want ready to go tandems they can buy on a whim, and more and more want to ride with their kids, not their spouses or significant others. I'm sure Co-Motion hit on a goldmine when they introduced the Periscope with it offering such flexible sizing options for the Stoker compartment. All the couples we ride with are getting out of tandeming for one reason or another, some after many years, some after just a few. Some Captains will continue with their kids as Stoker but most will not. Some will try to sell their tandems but most wont. Even when they cost thousands new, and all were bought new. Often custom. Me and mine are committed to the tandem concept because she is a blind Stoker. We belong to one of the larger tandem clubs (over 50 teams) and still we are the only team with a blind Stoker. My spouse has had three ex's buy tandems that saw a few rides and then were never touched again. The cheapest of them was many, many, many times the price of your Motiv. It's hard for you to understand just how little wide appeal tandems have out in the world but I'm not surprised that so many of them languish on Craigslist or in co-op windows. The Univega looks 'rode hard and put away wet'. Put away for a long time at that. You've been down that road already. Is there a good reason to wanting to do it again?

At 6'5" you have to know you are on the outside of 'off the shelf' bike sizing. Back in the day any old Peugot or Schwinn could be bought at the local shop with a 27" frame but those days are long gone. So even single bikes must be hard to find in your size. Personally I would say forget trying to find, or even thinking about the prospect of (another) tandem for you and the young ones. That ship has sailed, well, lets say its under way. By your own admission. The best thing you could do for them is get them excellent singles in their size and go out as a gaggle on weekends. If you and the Mrs. want to get that Santana sorted out you would be getting one at a steal of a price. It sounds perfect for the both of you. You could always continue pulling the Mountain Trains with it for as long as that continues to be fun. That must be quite a sight. I doubt you'd be much faster on a tandem with the Mrs. pulling two kidbacks than with the two of you on a tandem and the kids on their own singles. But once every now and then (or more often than that) you two should try to get in rides with just the two of you. FWIW.
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Old 04-04-19, 05:47 PM
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If you don't mind driving a bit, here might be an even better bike for less: https://visalia.craigslist.org/bik/d...856808565.html
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Old 04-05-19, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
It's hard for you to understand just how little wide appeal tandems have out in the world but I'm not surprised that so many of them languish on Craigslist or in co-op windows. The Univega looks 'rode hard and put away wet'. Put away for a long time at that. You've been down that road already. Is there a good reason to wanting to do it again?

At 6'5" you have to know you are on the outside of 'off the shelf' bike sizing. Back in the day any old Peugot or Schwinn could be bought at the local shop with a 27" frame but those days are long gone. So even single bikes must be hard to find in your size. Personally I would say forget trying to find, or even thinking about the prospect of (another) tandem for you and the young ones. That ship has sailed, well, lets say its under way. By your own admission. The best thing you could do for them is get them excellent singles in their size and go out as a gaggle on weekends. If you and the Mrs. want to get that Santana sorted out you would be getting one at a steal of a price. It sounds perfect for the both of you. You could always continue pulling the Mountain Trains with it for as long as that continues to be fun. That must be quite a sight. I doubt you'd be much faster on a tandem with the Mrs. pulling two kidbacks than with the two of you on a tandem and the kids on their own singles. But once every now and then (or more often than that) you two should try to get in rides with just the two of you. FWIW.
Originally Posted by unikid View Post
If you don't mind driving a bit, here might be an even better bike for less: https://visalia.craigslist.org/bik/d...856808565.html
Thanks for your feedback! Perhaps I'll try to nurse the Motiv for a bit longer and see if something better comes along. I really don't want to spend the $350 for the light riding we do, that being said, I'd say we're using it at least 3-4 times per week over the summer (last summer we used it almost daily going to the park, store, etc... but circumstances have changed a bit). For the record, it is a sight...I can't tell you how many looks we get as our train 'o' bikes goes down the road, the kid's love it.

Unikid, thank you! I always appreciate it when folks take the time and effort to find a deal! Unfortunately it is 4 hours away, I don't foresee my wife approving of me driving 8 hours round trip for a bike! It does look awesome though.
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Old 04-05-19, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by unikid View Post
If you don't mind driving a bit, here might be an even better bike for less: https://visalia.craigslist.org/bik/d...856808565.html
That is a good deal of a beautiful bike. Not sure why anyone would want a windshield on a tandem though...
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Old 04-05-19, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by riceowls View Post
That is a good deal of a beautiful bike.
I know - right? That bike has to be the deal of the year. That drag brake in back is likely worth some decent money on its own.

Originally Posted by riceowls View Post
Not sure why anyone would want a windshield on a tandem though...
With that drag brake in back and wind fairing in front I can imagine the current owner zooming down some steep mountain passes on that thing.
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Old 04-06-19, 08:52 AM
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Originally Posted by unikid View Post
I know - right? That bike has to be the deal of the year. That drag brake in back is likely worth some decent money on its own.



With that drag brake in back and wind fairing in front I can imagine the current owner zooming down some steep mountain passes on that thing.
the wheels alone prolly worth the 300. we ride a Schwinn Duosport, but i think this would be a better deal.
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Old 04-13-19, 08:15 AM
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Setting aside condition for now, that Univega would be a step up from your Motiv. It is the same bike as the Raleigh Companion but different branding and color. I have one and I like it.

However, you canít just set aside condition and itís pretty weathered. Answering on my phone, I canít see your original post, but I think you said you are a reasonable bike mechanic? Then you should be able to see what is salvageable with cleaning and service and what would require replacement, putting you in the same situation as youíre in now.

If your budget is $250 or so, you might just keep looking. I see Univega and Raleigh tandems for sale pretty regularly (3-4 per year maybe?) just a short drive south of you. They are typically available in the $200-$350 range. There might be a third brand that uses the same bike, too. Keep an eye out for the lateral/mixte frame layout. Itís lretty distinctive once you know to look for it.

Thereís another Santana for sale now in your neck of the woods that has the desirable Arai drum brake but has been partially disassembled for painting. Itís asking price is more than the yellow Santana you listed, but a bike needing work may have greater room for negotiation.
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Old 04-13-19, 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Chukbacca View Post
......Unfortunately it is 4 hours away, I don't foresee my wife approving of me driving 8 hours round trip for a bike! It does look awesome though.
Didnt see this when I replied. This is an awesome deal.

Does she need to know? I took a vacation day from work to drive and get my triplet. Buyer might be willing to meet you half way as well. You could get lots of pics in advance to mitigate committing to buying sight unseen.
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Old 04-13-19, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by bajajoaquin View Post


Didnt see this when I replied. This is an awesome deal.

Does she need to know? I took a vacation day from work to drive and get my triplet. Buyer might be willing to meet you half way as well. You could get lots of pics in advance to mitigate committing to buying sight unseen.
That's a smokin' deal for that bike!
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Old 04-17-19, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by bajajoaquin View Post


Didnt see this when I replied. This is an awesome deal.

Does she need to know? I took a vacation day from work to drive and get my triplet. Buyer might be willing to meet you half way as well. You could get lots of pics in advance to mitigate committing to buying sight unseen.
Of course she needs to know. 8 hour round trip, plus time to examine the bike and haggle (not much), grab a bite, sight see ... 12 hours easy. I would need to have the truth on my side to get that kind of away time and my wife is hardly the jealous or unreasonable type. We drove four hours each way to get the cat she found online so I'd be able to call that one in if I saw a smoking bike deal over in the next state. And, o.p. trust me, that is a smoking deal they found for you. I'd be on it if we really needed another tandem. We bought a 1992 Burley Samba (with drag brake) for twice that ask and it was stolen after I had put new saddles ($60 ea), new stem/bars/brake levers, and before we ever got it on the road! The thief ignored the brand new Trek T900 ($1000) we had just purchased for the daily commute and errands, and stole the old (but new to us) Burley we planned to use for longer trips and club rides. That Co-Motion has more DNA in common with the departed Burley than with something like a Motiv or Univega. It's a difference that those of us who know and love bikes can 'see' even through a few pictures. But that's us. But chances are good that if you bought the Co-Motion or the Santana you would never ever need another tandem. If you buy another low tier bike ultra-cheap you will be back here in a few years looking for another one.
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Old 04-23-19, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by riceowls View Post
That is a good deal of a beautiful bike. Not sure why anyone would want a windshield on a tandem though...
California Central Valley bugs can be INSANE! I rode into Sacramento in late April a couple of years ago and we were COVERED by tiny flies or gnats. Covered by them and hundreds stuck to any skin that had sunscreen applied. Sunglasses and a helmet visor made it tenable. Without glasses, that section may have been unridable. Even then, they got in my eyes.The agriculture attracts lots of bugs. And the bugs attract lots of bats - saw an AMAZING sight of THOUSANDS of bats emerging from under the I-80 causeway at the rice fields one evening. It was truly an astounding sight.

So combine high bug potential and fast mountain pass descents, a fairing/windshield might be worthwhile! Probably pulled it off an old motorcycle. I remember back in the day a company that marketed a bicycle fairing... but the memory banks don't recall the brand or name. This was when "tire savers" were popular.
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Old 06-19-19, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Chukbacca View Post
Thanks for your feedback! Perhaps I'll try to nurse the Motiv for a bit longer and see if something better comes along. I really don't want to spend the $350 for the light riding we do, that being said, I'd say we're using it at least 3-4 times per week over the summer (last summer we used it almost daily going to the park, store, etc... but circumstances have changed a bit). For the record, it is a sight...I can't tell you how many looks we get as our train 'o' bikes goes down the road, the kid's love it.


Unikid, thank you! I always appreciate it when folks take the time and effort to find a deal! Unfortunately it is 4 hours away, I don't foresee my wife approving of me driving 8 hours round trip for a bike! It does look awesome though.

Okay so here's something a bit closer drive. For less than the price to fill your gas tank you can have a proper tandem. Might as well offer them $50 and see what they say before even heading down there:

https://inlandempire.craigslist.org/...897701829.html

They clearly have no idea what they own as they have all the details wrong about the bike. Just so you know what this thing is, you can reference here:

https://www.bikepedia.com/QuickBike/...spx?item=90952

You might also want to ask if they have the original Stoker handlebars, Seat and Seatpost as well while you are at it. If you are lucky they might still have those bouncing around somewhere.

If you are really lucky all you might need is new tires and you'll be good to go.

David

PS (note the timing chain setup between captain and stoker is out of phase by a few teeth. You might want to fix that before heading out on your first long ride)
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Old 06-27-19, 08:00 PM
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Thank you again for sharing! I had seen it previously and I did contact the fellow but as I received no reply I suspect it's long gone. Oh well. It looked pretty sweet.
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Originally Posted by unikid View Post
Okay so here's something a bit closer drive. For less than the price to fill your gas tank you can have a proper tandem. Might as well offer them $50 and see what they say before even heading down there:

https://inlandempire.craigslist.org/...897701829.html

They clearly have no idea what they own as they have all the details wrong about the bike. Just so you know what this thing is, you can reference here:

https://www.bikepedia.com/QuickBike/...spx?item=90952

You might also want to ask if they have the original Stoker handlebars, Seat and Seatpost as well while you are at it. If you are lucky they might still have those bouncing around somewhere.

If you are really lucky all you might need is new tires and you'll be good to go.

David

PS (note the timing chain setup between captain and stoker is out of phase by a few teeth. You might want to fix that before heading out on your first long ride)
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