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Should I buy a new tandem or this used one?

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Should I buy a new tandem or this used one?

Old 04-29-21, 01:59 PM
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htown_rider
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Should I buy a new tandem or this used one?

My wife and I recently got into riding a tandem bike (we borrowed one from a friend and thoroughly enjoyed it). We are looking for a tandem bike that we can keep for a long time and have been trying to decide whether we should get a new or used one. The co-motion primera seems like a solid choice, but we have also found a 2009 co-motion periscope torpedo in basically mint condition with a few upgrades (Rolf Prima Tandem Wheels, Gates Carbon Drive, and a co-motion carbon fork). The 2009 co-motion is $700 less than a new primera. My question is which one really is the better choice? Thanks for your input!
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Old 04-29-21, 05:57 PM
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Co-mo makes great bikes (we own 2 and are very happy with both). Without any specifics I would take a $700 price difference between a new and 12 year old bike means the 2009 bike is likely way over priced. The periscope is intended to match an adult captain with a small stoker and to support growth of the stoker over the years. Nothing wrong with that and a good solution for many, but if not needed, there might be some geometry and stiffness compromises (I say that with no knowledge if true or not but only from the perspective that if there were no compromises then all bikes would be built like the periscope.)

I would compare both bikes from the perspectives of the components vintages, replacement options, and upgrade options. Also make sure the bike you get fits you both well. A compromise there is un-fixable (or a great excuse to get a new bike)
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Old 04-30-21, 05:12 AM
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I'm a big proponent of buying used, but if those are your only two choices, spend the extra cash for the newer bike.
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Old 04-30-21, 06:36 AM
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Thank you for your input!
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Old 04-30-21, 10:38 AM
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In your opinion, how much do you think this bike would be worth? Thanks!

~austin.craigslist.org/bik/d/austin-co-motion-periscope-torpedo/7306946519.html~
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Old 04-30-21, 04:04 PM
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Well, a used bike is worth what somebody will pay for it, which kind of leads into how closely this bike matches what you really want and how much you value new vs. used.

A new Periscope Torpedo is $4k. The used bike is $3.3k, but adds the Rolf wheels and the Gates belt. The Co-Mo website doesn't have an easy cost for upgrade, but judging from the Precision Tandems site, that's about $600 worth of upgrades. The suspension post is another $125 or so. The saddles are nicer, but that's hard to price since, if you end up not liking them, it doesn't matter how theoretically good they are. Other significant differences are 3x10 Ultegra vs. 2x11sp 105 shifting and the newer bike has a larger diameter headtube. Neither of these seem like massive differences to me. So brand new the bike with the upgrades is, say $4.7k. It's a 30% discount for a 10 year old bike, but one that does appear in excellent condition. Not a horrible price, assuming that the upgrades are something you really want, but not a screaming deal to my mind.

Personally, if I were selling the bike, I'd probably price it another $250 to $500 less, but as a seller, it also may come around to how long they want to wait to sell it as well.

We have had a half dozen different Co-Mo's, including a Periscope triplet, and I doubt you'll be disappointed with either choice. FYI, you can get a "standard" seatpost clamp from Co-Mo that would replace the periscoping tube and save some weight and mechanical complexity if you didn't need that feature on the used bike.
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Old 04-30-21, 04:35 PM
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Zeroth law: Does it fit? 1st tandem corollary to zeroth law: Does she like it?

It's kind of a family bike and tough to figure out why the owner plowed so much racy upgrade money into it.

other brands for good used tandems you could consider are Burley and Santana but I'd stay away from the really old ones from the 1980's with 27" wheels and Suntour parts. Everything Shimano from the 1990's on can still be maintained albeit not with premium parts. Trek, KHS, and Cannondale are bike shop brands that have made good tandems, though the more recent Trek T900 and Electra tandems are more cruiser like than the old "double track" ones

In the three-four grand range I'd start looking for a new bike. A Fandango or Jefe for me, though that's just my preference for mountain bikes and loyalty to local brands talking.
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Old 04-30-21, 05:35 PM
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Originally Posted by htown_rider View Post
In your opinion, how much do you think this bike would be worth? Thanks!

~austin.craigslist.org/bik/d/austin-co-motion-periscope-torpedo/7306946519.html~
Bluebook value is under $1K https://www.bicyclebluebook.com/valu...oduct/3034439/
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Old 04-30-21, 07:26 PM
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Thanks for the replies, everyone!
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Old 04-30-21, 11:48 PM
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I'm glad Darth Lefty brought up the possibility that neither bike (it is possible) is the optimal choice for a very new tandeming team. We started our tandem clubbing with a Raleigh Coupe (entry level) 700C road tandem. There was a higher end Burley in our bunch a Cannondale and several Co-Motions and also a few Santana's. A couple on a custom Rodriguez joined the group and it was hard to say, really, which of us had the best tandem. If you just want the bragging rights it is certainly possible to drop a load of cash on one of these things but a higher end Burley, used is one hell of a tandem. Blue Book prices are scarily low. Good thing that relatively few people know that such a thing exists for bicycles.
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Old 05-01-21, 07:20 AM
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If I'm correct, the used looks to be 9 speed with the external shift cable routing. Looks like a nice bike and maybe you could offer less. As others have said, getting to correct fit is very important. If you want to take as little drive I'd encourage you to visit House of Tandems where you would learn all you would need or want to know about tandems and able to try examples and get a good fit to one. https://www.houseoftandems.com/
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Old 05-01-21, 10:00 PM
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People want absurd prices for used bikes, tandem or any other type. That's the price of someone who doesn't really want to sell.
Unless you're desperate to buy something now, or this one perfectly addresses your needs and you really can use all those extras, I'd wait while actively shopping around.
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Old 05-04-21, 02:29 PM
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The '09 is WAY overpriced!

Originally Posted by jwalther View Post
I'm a big proponent of buying used, but if those are your only two choices, spend the extra cash for the newer bike.
I just picked up an '07 Speedster Co-Pilot (coupled) for $2,500. With bags, it retailed for about $7,500. THIS is the kind of pricing you should expect, not $700 below a current model. Plus, right after making my purchase, another almost exact bike was listed on CL for $2,500, which means the actual price you'll have to pay will be closer to $2k. Mine was originally listed at $3,500, then $2,900, and I got it for $2,500, as I said. In hindsight, if I had been willing to wait, I would have probably gotten it for $2k. But I really wanted it and am totally psyched to have gotten a real gem.

Plus, why do you want a Periscope if you don't intend to use it for kids? That's the intended usage... well, that and a smaller adult stoker. No need to over pay for an adjustable, super small rear triangle for a bike that's only $700 below a new one with full frame & parts warranties and follow-up service.

Buy the ideal-fitting new one. Unless you do intend to include kids in the future. Even then, I'd wait until I needed it and pick up a used Periscope. They, too, can be purchased for a song on the used market if you're patient.
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Old 05-04-21, 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by sapporoguy View Post
People want absurd prices for used bikes, tandem or any other type. That's the price of someone who doesn't really want to sell.
Unless you're desperate to buy something now, or this one perfectly addresses your needs and you really can use all those extras, I'd wait while actively shopping around.
Totally! Again, I refer to the Periscope I was considering buying a couple of years ago. The seller admitted they bought it new on close out. So given my industry knowledge, I quickly realized they were selling it ten years later basically for the price they paid. I called them on it, but they wouldn't budge. I took the time to explain why they were insane, but wouldn't listen. Oh well, their loss. I found the bargain I had been looking for and am so happy I didn't waste any more time or money on that used bike.

Used sale price determination: divide MSRP by two, then add or subtract based on age & condition.

An 11 year old bike should be listed well south of half of MSRP.
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Old 05-04-21, 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Hit Factor View Post
Bluebook is useless for specialty bikes like tandems (and honestly most bikes in general, IMO)
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Old 05-13-21, 05:10 AM
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Having sold 2 used Co-Motions recently, I think that price is way high. They may get it, if they find the random buyer willing to pay it, particularly given the thin market for tandems, and the current issues with supply of new bikes. However, no way I’d pay that unless I just had to have a bike now.

On another note, I would view used Rolf wheels as a potential maintenance problem, not an upgrade to pay more for. There are threads on here about those wheels. Some people love them, others have had significant problems. The paired spoke design results in higher spoke tension, which can cause failures both have the rim and the hub. We pulled spokes through multiple rims and one hub. YMMV.
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Old 05-17-21, 02:43 AM
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"Rolf Prima Tandem Wheels, Gates Carbon Drive, and a co-motion carbon fork)" all of these are not worth their money. Second hand tandems are hard to sell, The more expensive the more difficult.
Most expensive tandems are expensive because custom made. But most people not intererested in custom made of someone else.
Second hand 9 speed triple hardtail with taiwan frame with v-brakes can be found for 300. This way u can find out what u really need. The value loss if u sell this bike wil not be a lot.
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Old 05-17-21, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by htown_rider View Post
Thanks for the replies, everyone!
Good afternoon htown rider. Love to hear if you have made any progress on your tandem search?
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