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"Upgrading" to a 90s tandem?

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"Upgrading" to a 90s tandem?

Old 06-04-20, 08:43 PM
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morganmarie19
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"Upgrading" to a 90s tandem?

Hi all. My partner and I currently ride a 1970s Follis tandem and are looking to upgrade to a "new" used tandem. Our budget is quite low at around $500, so it seems like the best we're going to get in our area is a tandem from the mid-90s. I wanted to get your opinion on how easy mid-90s tandems are to maintain with newer components. Our Follis tandem is French and vintage, so trying to replace components that break has been a huge hassle and can get quite expensive. Will upgrading to a mid-90s tandem eliminate these types of hassles or would we still run into some compatibility issues with new components? Thanks!
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Old 06-09-20, 05:41 PM
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kayakindude
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We have an early 90s Cannondale...that we are riding about 100 miles a week on. Not much in upgrades as of yet but haven't run into any compatibility issues. It is a blast to ride and was within your price range. Keep an eye out on craigslist.
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Old 06-09-20, 06:22 PM
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The watershed points are 1-1/8” threadless headset and 145 OLD for the rear hub. If you get both of those things, you can put any modern stem on it and you can upgrade the drivetrain to anything you want. Without them, a tandem is still plenty usable, but you need to have a plan for how to deal with the limitations.
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Old 06-10-20, 04:11 PM
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You don't even need the threadless headset. You can buy an adapter (cheap) and be able to use modern stems. I believe 1997 was the first year for Shimano 9-speed Ultegra. We're running a bike with that in the rear, converted to 10-speed in front to get new chainrings. 8-speed started in 1992. I don't know how available 8-speed parts are, but 8, 9, and 10-speed cassettes work on an 8-speed hub. Can always use bar-ends instead of brifters to fix compatibility problems. IOW, you should be fine with a 145 rear hub.
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Old 06-10-20, 08:11 PM
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Freerojo
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Originally Posted by morganmarie19 View Post
Hi all. My partner and I currently ride a 1970s Follis tandem and are looking to upgrade to a "new" used tandem. Our budget is quite low at around $500, so it seems like the best we're going to get in our area is a tandem from the mid-90s. I wanted to get your opinion on how easy mid-90s tandems are to maintain with newer components. Our Follis tandem is French and vintage, so trying to replace components that break has been a huge hassle and can get quite expensive. Will upgrading to a mid-90s tandem eliminate these types of hassles or would we still run into some compatibility issues with new components? Thanks!
Funny, just 3 weeks ago I just finished a rehab project on a 96 Cannondale RT 2000 you can read here 96 Cannondale RT2000 Rehab project #1 and
here 96 Cannondale RT2000 Rehab complete
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Old 06-12-20, 08:13 AM
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We started tandem riding about 6 years ago. Thought we'd like it, but didn't want to go crazy on spending until we knew for sure. Tandeming has worked great for us. We're still using the Timberlin Millenium we bought for $400. Some teeth rings had gotten worn, so we replaced them. But had to have a new crank with the teeth rings because of compatibility or something. But nothing super expensive. Mid-90s aren't too hard to mesh with newer components if needed..
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Old 06-12-20, 04:41 PM
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They look and ride great too. No flex on the early Cannondale frame. Most singles say neat bike when they encounter us, today we had a weird guy passing and yelling "And I only have half the bike!" I looked at my gps watch and we were smooth at 19mph. Watched with amusement as he kept jumping from his seat on and off for several miles trying to pull away from us. 2 is better than 1 😁
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Old 06-15-20, 08:36 AM
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morganmarie19
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Thank you for all of the information, it's been really helpful (especially about the threadless headset and 145mm hubs). We're starting to learn more towards early/mid-2000s tandems in our price range, currently looking at a 2006 KHS Milano, so that we won't have to deal with as many compatibility issues. I know the KHS tandems are slightly lower end than the early-1990s Treks, Cannondales etc we were looking at, but we'd probably be happier without any potential upgrading headaches.
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Old 06-16-20, 10:11 AM
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Burley. Period. End of story. We bought a '94 Burley Samba that sadly was stolen before we got it on the road. I had been working on it, however, I had gone through every inch of it. It was not a threadless headset but the drivetrain was upgradable. Solid bike. Amazingly light for a steel frame bike with an Arai drum. My Stoker is blind and on the only test ride we had she said "Wow, we are fast on this thing!" I like Cannondale tandems but have no experience with them, but I was very impressed by the Burley. I see them for $550 all the time. New they were in the $2K arena. Burley had other models at different price points. Check them out.
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Old 06-20-20, 01:31 PM
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morganmarie19
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Thanks for the advice everyone! We managed to find a 2005 Co-Motion Periscope for $750. A 31 year upgrade from our first tandem!


Last edited by morganmarie19; 06-26-20 at 09:56 AM.
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Old 06-25-20, 10:02 PM
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That's a sweet tandem for sure. Congrats!
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Old 06-27-20, 04:19 PM
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Wow!

Great find! THAT'S how you shop for used tandems right there. Absolutely nailed it. What a beautiful bike. Great color. And totally awesome. I can't imagine you'd outgrow that. And for $750. That's seriously envy-inducing. Good job and may you enjoy thousands of happy miles together!
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Old 06-28-20, 07:13 AM
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That just might be the buy of the year!!
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