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Are there any reasonably priced tandem frames?

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Are there any reasonably priced tandem frames?

Old 01-05-20, 12:25 AM
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Russ Roth
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Are there any reasonably priced tandem frames?

I've been trying to find a reasonably priced tandem here in the US but such a thing doesn't seem to exist in any form unless complete junk is wanted. Basically I'm looking for the equivalent of the Dolan frame
https://www.dolan-bikes.com/tandem/d...-frameset.html
Which is quite reasonably priced, and I tried to buy, but they don't ship it to the US. Anything like this available?
Also considering a raleigh Coupe from ebay which is 180 shipped and is new old stock but the seller does state that he's tested it to fit a 700c and it won't, not a deal breaker and might be a better choice since it has disc tabs but I have 700c wheels to build up with, would have to buy/build 26", maybe 650b to fit the raleigh.
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Old 01-05-20, 07:21 AM
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My recommendation is craigslist. We've gone that route for a number of tandems priced between $500-$1500.

https://longisland.craigslist.org/bi...048616370.html

The winter doesn't really seem like the time most people are looking to sell their used tandem though.
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Old 01-05-20, 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by act0fgod View Post
My recommendation is craigslist. We've gone that route for a number of tandems priced between $500-$1500.

https://longisland.craigslist.org/bi...048616370.html

The winter doesn't really seem like the time most people are looking to sell their used tandem though.
Actually the LI/NYC Craigslist is pretty abysmal year round. 30-40 year old C-dales for what they cost new or dilapidated old Schwinn style junk. I've posted up the Burley that's on there. Suspect nothing is ever listed because no one uses Craigslist around here. I've posted new thru-axle cross wheels for 75 and after 3 months didn't have a single response.
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Old 01-05-20, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Russ Roth View Post
Actually the LI/NYC Craigslist is pretty abysmal year round. 30-40 year old C-dales for what they cost new or dilapidated old Schwinn style junk. I've posted up the Burley that's on there. Suspect nothing is ever listed because no one uses Craigslist around here. I've posted new thru-axle cross wheels for 75 and after 3 months didn't have a single response.
I am greatly interested in your Burley Tandem. Can you kindly ship it to me in Hawaii? I send you check for $1000 USD extra. Pay for shipping and generally return any excess to me with the Burley Tandem. Thanking you for your business.
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Old 01-05-20, 07:44 PM
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Originally Posted by 72andsunny View Post
I am greatly interested in your Burley Tandem. Can you kindly ship it to me in Hawaii? I send you check for $1000 USD extra. Pay for shipping and generally return any excess to me with the Burley Tandem. Thanking you for your business.
This time the effort was to steal my email but sending a code to verify I was a real person. The code of course came from Google and is the code they send if you forgot your password. Admittedly I initially fell for it, realized immediately my mistake, opened my email, logged out all users and changed the password. Couldn't believe I was dumb enough to fall for it but I've never forgotten my password and didn't realize the code's real purpose at first.
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Old 01-05-20, 07:54 PM
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Got a local rider selling his Co-Motion tandem. I have posted the Facebook listing details. Bike is in Eastern Iowa. Might be of interest to you?

For Sale: Co-Motion Primera. Large/Medium. Bronze Color. 1400 well cared for miles. 203mm rotors, BB7 calipers, Shimano 105 shifters/derrailluers. 52/39/30 crankset. 11-32 cassette, Velocity Dyad 700c wheels. Does not include the pictured saddles, pedals. Includes Selle X1 saddles and stem can be changed out with any number of oters I have in the parts box.

Bike has a few flaws that I have tried my best to picture. Rear tire is starting to square off pretty good but still rideable, won't replace before selling so new owner can put on their preference. Captain's bar could use new tape, same as the tires, will leave it for the new owners preference.

Only selling to make room in the stable for a new bike. Just don't have room for 2 tandems and a triple.

Any questions or specific pictures feel free to ask.

Asking $1800 OBO
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Old 01-07-20, 07:24 PM
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Define reasonable.

Is this your first tandem for you and your riding partner? If so, I'd heartily recommend a used tandem for your first bike just to make sure that tandem riding is an activity you both enjoy. If you don't both enjoy tandem cycling, then disposing of the bike won't be so financially painful.

The Dolan frame from the UK starts at about $800 US. From what I could find online, it appears that Dolan sources their frames in Taiwan or elsewhere in Asia. That being the case, if you want a new frame from a dealer who cannot support you in the USA, you can look to importing from a Asian manufacturer. Performer bicycles of Taiwan is primarily known for recumbent bicycles here in the USA and there have been companies importing them in the past. They also do direct sales so you can self-import. They do make several models of upright tandems at reasonable prices. Their website lists complete bikes but perhaps they will sell you a tandem frame alone. https://www.performercycles.com

Our first tandem was a Nashbar rig purchased new in the late 90s for about $1k. At the time it was the most I'd ever spent on any bicycle. Unfortunately, that relationship didn't last (not because of the tandem) but I kept the bike and found a new riding partner. We enjoyed cycling on single bikes and the Nashbar tandem but we discovered the Hase Pino tandem and haven't looked back. We log very few single bike miles anymore. The Pino is expensive but we've really enjoyed it over the last 6 years and I'd do it all over again. I'm not suggesting that the Pino is the right bike for you, rather I'm trying to make the point that finding and buying a tandem that really works for you and your riding partner can be cost effective even if the amount spent seems high as long as the expenditure doesn't keep you from paying for important things like housing and feeding your family,

Good luck!

.
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Old 01-08-20, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by honcho View Post
Define reasonable..
Exactly. The o.p. is not IMO being reasonable. They want a high performance Cannondale like road tandem at (or below) the price of an entry level cruiser type tandem. Not going to happen.
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Old 01-08-20, 10:41 AM
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In 2005 a Raleigh Coupe looked like this. It didn't just have disc tabs, it had Avid BB7 disc brakes and those are 700C wheels, with Alex rims. We bought ours for $1000 new in 2006. As far as I know 2004 and 2005 were the only years the Coupe was a 700C flatbar road tandem. I wouldn't touch one from any other year(s). We converted ours to drop bar after two seasons as a flatbar. More for the bragging rights than any real need for that. We would put our Coupe up against any similarly configured Cannondale or Burley retailing for more than 2x the price! But the saying "if it sounds too good to be true ... ...". I cannot imagine what $180 shipped gets someone buying a tandem but it won't be this bike.
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Old 01-08-20, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
Exactly. The o.p. is not IMO being reasonable. They want a high performance Cannondale like road tandem at (or below) the price of an entry level cruiser type tandem. Not going to happen.
I think the Dolan gives an idea of what I find reasonable. its about an 800.00 US frameset. The one thing I have found about tandems is that the prices really aren't reasonable for what you get. It seems to me to be a supply/demand issue where there isn't enough demand so they upcharge for items but the upcharge means they've priced things high enough that they're reducing demand. I don't want a high performance c-dale for the price of a cruiser though I do think that the cannondale tandems are a great example of just too much money for not enough bike.
Tandemseast lists the t2 as 3600 for a bike whose components would appear on a 1500.00 bike, add in an extra bar, stem, seat, chain, and crank and that means that a massed produced aluminum frame from Asia is about 2000; that to me is ridiculous. So yes, if I could find a reasonably priced frameset I could build a nicer bike for less, as it is I don't need one that nice but I do need something decent.
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Old 01-08-20, 03:11 PM
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I know nothing about tandems, but I know how to search Craigslist. There are literally hundreds of tandems listed, depending on how far you want to drive:

18"/16" Cannondale Tandem - $550 (Newtown, CT)

https://newyork.craigslist.org/fct/b...047772839.html

Santana Arriva Tandem Bicycle/ Bike - $650 (Lynn Beach)

https://boston.craigslist.org/nos/bi...045296858.html

Santana Tandem Bike Frame - $250 (Mission Hill)

https://boston.craigslist.org/gbs/bi...048790813.html

KHS Cross Tandem Medium - $1200 (Arlington)

https://boston.craigslist.org/gbs/bi...047803439.html

Cannondale Tandem Bicycle Road Bike USA Bicycle Red - $1995 (FLUSHING)

https://newyork.craigslist.org/que/b...049858575.html

Raleigh Coupe Tandem - $650 (Torrington)

https://hartford.craigslist.org/bik/...020249651.html

Burley Samba Tandem - $800 (Old Lyme)

https://newlondon.craigslist.org/bik...046356195.html

Santana Solana Vintage Tandem Hybrid Road Bike - $495 (Ogdensburg NJ)

https://newjersey.craigslist.org/bik...042876752.html

Raleigh Tandem - $450 (Lawrence Twp.)

https://cnj.craigslist.org/bik/d/law...043441556.html

Cannondale Tandem - $1000 (Lawrence Twp.)

https://cnj.craigslist.org/bik/d/law...043439213.html

2016 Cannondale Tandem - $2200 (Millstone Township)

https://cnj.craigslist.org/bik/d/per...042371400.html

Cannondale Mountain Tandem 29er - $2000 (Layton NJ)

https://newjersey.craigslist.org/bik...016987467.html

Raleigh Tandem Bicycle - $500 (Charleroi)

https://pittsburgh.craigslist.org/bi...049273442.html

VINTAGE TREK DOUBLE CROSS STEEL TANDEM BICYCLE FOR TWO XT GROUP CANTI - $775 (Lower Burrell PA)

https://pittsburgh.craigslist.org/bi...031644695.html

VINTAGE SANTANA ELAN STEEL TANDEM BICYCLE FOR TWO - M/L - $1475 (Lower Burrell)

https://pittsburgh.craigslist.org/bi...031644493.html

Nashbar Touring Tandem Road Bike Needs Some Work! - $350 (Chesapeake Great bridge)

https://norfolk.craigslist.org/bik/d...035583172.html

Santana Visa Tandem Bicycle - $500 (Waynesboro)

https://charlottesville.craigslist.o...040005504.html
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Old 01-08-20, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Russ Roth View Post
I think the Dolan gives an idea of what I find reasonable. its about an 800.00 US frameset. The one thing I have found about tandems is that the prices really aren't reasonable for what you get. It seems to me to be a supply/demand issue where there isn't enough demand so they upcharge for items but the upcharge means they've priced things high enough that they're reducing demand. I don't want a high performance c-dale for the price of a cruiser though I do think that the cannondale tandems are a great example of just too much money for not enough bike.
Tandemseast lists the t2 as 3600 for a bike whose components would appear on a 1500.00 bike, add in an extra bar, stem, seat, chain, and crank and that means that a massed produced aluminum frame from Asia is about 2000; that to me is ridiculous. So yes, if I could find a reasonably priced frameset I could build a nicer bike for less, as it is I don't need one that nice but I do need something decent.
Tandems have always cost more than two equivalent single bikes. It is in fact, unreasonable, to question that fact. Because that is the way it is. You are not going to build out that Dolan frameset for as little as you think. If you do it right you will spend close to a grand on drivetrain alone! You will need wheels and running gear. Unless you use absolute trash to do it with you aren't going to save any money. I just don't believe that C'dale's can't be bought used for what they are worth used. I haven't looked but I just don't believe that there are none available at a fair price. The Dolan frameset is a nice looking piece of work but there used to be a US based concern that had framesets just as nice. I forget what they were called. In any case what you might save over a used bike you would spend in labor. Either way you are going to get more or less what you pay for.
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Old 01-08-20, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by honcho View Post
Define reasonable.

Is this your first tandem for you and your riding partner? If so, I'd heartily recommend a used tandem for your first bike just to make sure that tandem riding is an activity you both enjoy. If you don't both enjoy tandem cycling, then disposing of the bike won't be so financially painful.

The Dolan frame from the UK starts at about $800 US. From what I could find online, it appears that Dolan sources their frames in Taiwan or elsewhere in Asia. That being the case, if you want a new frame from a dealer who cannot support you in the USA, you can look to importing from a Asian manufacturer. Performer bicycles of Taiwan is primarily known for recumbent bicycles here in the USA and there have been companies importing them in the past. They also do direct sales so you can self-import. They do make several models of upright tandems at reasonable prices. Their website lists complete bikes but perhaps they will sell you a tandem frame alone. https://www.performercycles.com

Our first tandem was a Nashbar rig purchased new in the late 90s for about $1k. At the time it was the most I'd ever spent on any bicycle. Unfortunately, that relationship didn't last (not because of the tandem) but I kept the bike and found a new riding partner. We enjoyed cycling on single bikes and the Nashbar tandem but we discovered the Hase Pino tandem and haven't looked back. We log very few single bike miles anymore. The Pino is expensive but we've really enjoyed it over the last 6 years and I'd do it all over again. I'm not suggesting that the Pino is the right bike for you, rather I'm trying to make the point that finding and buying a tandem that really works for you and your riding partner can be cost effective even if the amount spent seems high as long as the expenditure doesn't keep you from paying for important things like housing and feeding your family,

Good luck!

.
We have 2 tandems currently.


This one I'm quite happy with. I have to make a set of crank shorteners to see if my son will be able to fit it. It has the same seattube length as our other tandem which my daughter can ride with the shorteners but my older son can't properly reach yet. This does have 5mm shorter cranks so maybe and maybe by summer when we want to take our bike tour. 27speeds running friction with simplex derailleurs. BB in the back is a phil wood while the eccentric has a replacement aluminum insert that allowed the bb that came with the cranks to work. Brakes are v-brake meant to work with the levers. Wheels are prebuilt velocity which are decent. I do wish I could find a threadless fork so I can put a King headset on there.



This is the other tandem which is on craigslist for 200. I bought it planning to modernize it but it just isn't worth the effort. The way the cables run won't allow v-brakes, the BB shells won't allow any kind of crank upgrade. So I'd like to replace this with something more modern. I tried to order the Dolan I linked to but they won't ship to the US so now I'm looking at a Raleigh Coupe frameset on ebay but wishing there was something a little better like the Dolan.



Originally Posted by sixer View Post
I know nothing about tandems, but I know how to search Craigslist. There are literally hundreds of tandems listed, depending on how far you want to drive
Not as far as most of those. The joy of living on LI is that it costs 40.00 in tolls plus at least 2 extra hours of driving to find out its worn out, beat up or just not worth it. I also should have been more specific that I'd like something newer that can use modern components, particularly modern brakes that really stop.
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Old 01-08-20, 07:35 PM
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What is your plan for the new frame? Do you have all the parts to build up a new tandem? Or do you plan to scalp most of the parts from your Gitane tandem listed above, over to the new frame?
Without knowing the details, I would tend to agree with many of the comments made by Leisesturm. The costs can start to add up pretty quickly. Hence if you can find something used which is pretty close to what you need, might be better.

Unfortunately with Craigslist many folks are delusional. However if you are patient and willing to spend time searching online (and driving) you can eventually find good deals. I think now may be a good time as people start to clear out their garages, make new years resolutions, etc.

If your goal is to fit multiple sized kids on the back then there are other tandem frames that are more accommodating - for example the Co-motion "periscope" series. These aren't cheap but do hold their value pretty well. And would meet the "modern" requirement you are seeking as well.
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Old 01-08-20, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by unikid View Post
What is your plan for the new frame? Do you have all the parts to build up a new tandem? Or do you plan to scalp most of the parts from your Gitane tandem listed above, over to the new frame?
Without knowing the details, I would tend to agree with many of the comments made by Leisesturm. The costs can start to add up pretty quickly. Hence if you can find something used which is pretty close to what you need, might be better.

Unfortunately with Craigslist many folks are delusional. However if you are patient and willing to spend time searching online (and driving) you can eventually find good deals. I think now may be a good time as people start to clear out their garages, make new years resolutions, etc.

If your goal is to fit multiple sized kids on the back then there are other tandem frames that are more accommodating - for example the Co-motion "periscope" series. These aren't cheap but do hold their value pretty well. And would meet the "modern" requirement you are seeking as well.
Keeping the Gitane, its fun and with the friction bar ends it shifts smoothly and very silently. We're looking at perhaps doing the Erie Canal ride this year from Buffalo to Albany. We'd like two of our kids to switch off every other day from riding the tandem to their own bike while the youngest rides the tandem the whole way. Build plan is for a Tiagra 10 speed shifters, derailleurs, cassette, King wheels and gossamer cranks. Would be looking at about 1800 in parts from pricing things out. Plus a frame of course.
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Old 01-08-20, 09:00 PM
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Here is an example of what occasionally pops up on Craigslist with some patience. A whole bike for less than the frame you were looking at. Unfortunately this is in So-Cal where I am located. Amazed that this hasn't been snatched a lot sooner.

https://orangecounty.craigslist.org/...040637685.html
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Old 01-09-20, 07:59 AM
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This one that Sixer posted looks like it would be a very good bike for what you are looking for. Looks like a good size and a great frame, a complete bike, all for just a little more then you are willing o pay for a frame that you can't get shipped to the States. All with just a little Saturday drive to NJ, I bet you could even talk them down a bit as it has been on the list for over two weeks.
https://cnj.craigslist.org/bik/d/law...043439213.html
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Old 01-09-20, 11:59 AM
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In light of recent posts I would advise the o.p. to find (used, they don't make them anymore) a Trek T900 and call it good. Modern, strong, light enough, and with better seats gives the Periscope a good run for the money. Ours is our daily driver. We also bought a Burley Samba (stolen) and would recommend that bike as well. Ours was 1994 and thus cheaper than the Trek which was new (2016), but it is (was) hands down a much better bike! A true "budget tandem" costs $600 to $1000 in a road ready form. If you really want to spend ~$200, DO NOT look for junk on Craigslist. Buy a new Kent Dual-Drive (or whatever they call it these days) and call it very good. I'm serious.
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Old 01-09-20, 12:40 PM
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If you are in Seattle, Rodriquez & Erickson have 2 or 3 tandems used & on sale on the showroom floor.

Recycled Cycles also has 2 available as well.

"Reasonable" for a tandem is usually 2x what you think is reasonable. It's a complicated niche market. Figure the possible number of variations of person, then square (for 2 people) or cube (to factor their intended use) the result. Real estate cost of keeping one on the showroom floor until it sells must be a real bear. Something's gotta give.
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Old 01-09-20, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
In light of recent posts I would advise the o.p. to find (used, they don't make them anymore) a Trek T900 and call it good. Modern, strong, light enough, and with better seats gives the Periscope a good run for the money. Ours is our daily driver. We also bought a Burley Samba (stolen) and would recommend that bike as well. Ours was 1994 and thus cheaper than the Trek which was new (2016), but it is (was) hands down a much better bike! A true "budget tandem" costs $600 to $1000 in a road ready form. If you really want to spend ~$200, DO NOT look for junk on Craigslist. Buy a new Kent Dual-Drive (or whatever they call it these days) and call it very good. I'm serious.
I just had to look back at my original post and realized I didn't include a link to the Raleigh nor stipulate that its a NOS frame and fork only for the 200.
I didn't realize that Trek still made the T900 as recently as 2016, haven't seen a new one since I sold one in a shop I worked at around 1999-2000. A recent version of that could be something for me to call around on. Good to know.

Originally Posted by base2 View Post
If you are in Seattle, Rodriquez & Erickson have 2 or 3 tandems used & on sale on the showroom floor.

Recycled Cycles also has 2 available as well.

"Reasonable" for a tandem is usually 2x what you think is reasonable. It's a complicated niche market. Figure the possible number of variations of person, then square (for 2 people) or cube (to factor their intended use) the result. Real estate cost of keeping one on the showroom floor until it sells must be a real bear. Something's gotta give.
I am the extreme opposite of Seattle and wished I could have afforded a Rodriguez. They make nice bikes from what I've seen. Later this spring I'll be in the Adirondacks a couple times and I know there's a used seller up there I can check out then but they're 8hrs away each way so it has to wait till I'm in the area.
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Old 01-09-20, 02:49 PM
  #21  
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Here's a Raleigh Coupe that's been sitting for 2 months - waiting for you to make a steal on if you are willing to make the trip up there. OR maybe get them to meet you halfway: https://hartford.craigslist.org/bik/...020249651.html
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Old 01-09-20, 02:52 PM
  #22  
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Have you checked out Tandems East Closeouts ?
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Old 01-10-20, 09:16 AM
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I didn't post any Treks as it's not a style that appeals to me, but there's one in PA and one in Boston.

This Landshark tandem in Brooklyn is cool but doesn't seem to meet your criteria.
https://newyork.craigslist.org/brk/b...053142516.html
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Old 01-10-20, 02:32 PM
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To the OP - if all the above still doesn't yield what you are looking for - perhaps give OfferUp a try? I tried something like this in my area and found a bunch of other bikes not listed on Craig's that I could recall ever seeing:

https://offerup.com/search/?q=tandem%20bicycle
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Old 01-12-20, 02:33 PM
  #25  
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Scanning through all this-
Do you do your own mechanic work? Or will you hire all that done?
Will you be buying every part new? Or using a bunch of existing parts off of those existing bikes?
If you're buying all new components, and paying somebody to put it all together, two steps are in order. First off, get with your preferred bike shop and price out the components required for the bike in question, plus labor to build up.
Secondly, check on pricing on a new frame. I don't see that, for example, on the CoMotion website, so some inquiries may be in order to get that nailed down. I'd suggest, check on CoMotion, on KHS, possibly on Da Vinci.
In dealing with the bike shop, it'll help if it's a shop where you've spent some money before. Chasing all those widgets down while you decide on them will take some time, and if they don't think you're serious about buying, they may not be too interested in helping out on the project, either.
I would guess that if you're buying everything new and paying to have it assembled, just buying the assembled bike somewhere would be the way to go.
Note that on the CoMotion, you can change a lot of components around (probably more so than what they give you options for) but no guarantees you'll save anything like that, either.
When I bought my CoMotion several years ago, their practice was to assemble bikes as-ordered, so it wasn't like they had a stack of yellow Primeras assembled there waiting for me to order. The point being, the "stock" items are not already on the bike, so you're not stuck with them.
The last I checked, KHS had the lowest prices of any of the major brands, and if those prices aren't low enough, the used market is probably the way to go.
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