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KHS Milano, Burley Rumba, or ????

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KHS Milano, Burley Rumba, or ????

Old 04-26-07, 06:18 PM
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Ginny
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KHS Milano, Burley Rumba, or ????

Okay, I think I've narrowed it down a bit.
I decided that I'm not gonna go extra cheap, just kinda cheap.
I can gather around $2000 TOTAL for a new tandem (new means warranty, free adjustments, etc)
and have been looking at the KHS Milano and the Burley Rumba.
We like road bikes, not fat tired MTN styles. 700 wheels, etc. At least that's what HE likes
and if I'm gonna do this I can go with what he is most comfy with. I prefer the road tires and
9sp cassette, too, who am I kidding.
We'll be touring and doing full weekend, Out-Sat-Back-Sun trips (if we can get a whole two days off at once) so the bike has to be able to take the weight of rear panniers and 350#.

These two are in my range with a little left over for a rack and maybe even a child stocker kit so the 6 and 7 year olds can take rides with dad (I won't be responsible for that).

Are there any bikes out there close in comparison to these that I should also be looking at?
I cannot bring myself to buy a bike without riding it first so my choices are limited to KHS, Burley, Co-Motion, and Calfee. We do have DaVinci here but they are custom and expensive. We also have a chain store that carries Trek, but at this time they have no tandems in stock and won't bring one here without a promise to buy it. Won't let us ride and try before we decide to by so they are out.

Thanks for all the help and encouragment.
Ginny
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Old 04-26-07, 07:20 PM
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Yes, I believe the Cannondale Road Tandem is just a tad bit more than the range in price you mention and a very nice ride. I have one and it is my first, and only, tandem and am very happy with it. There are 4 others exactly like the one I have in our local wheelmen club and everyone seems happy.
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Old 04-27-07, 04:17 AM
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Ginny, your plan sounds good. All the bikes you've mentioned are good, serviceable bikes that others here have enjoyed owning. The Cannondale is also worth considering, and in many people's view has a better frame and the advantage of disc brakes over the others, and thus is as good a bike as anyone 'needs'. The other alternative is to buy the cheapest bike of the ones you suggested and thinking about upgrading it in a year or two after using it for a few tours.

As you suggested, a test ride before buying is a good idea. My only tip here is to buy the tandem that fits you best, after spending some time with the shop and working with them to set up saddles, saddle heights, stem lengths that you prefer. Otheriwse you'll more be testing that the tandem fits you in its standard state, rather than whether you prefer that model when correctly set up for you.

As it's your first tandem I wouldn't blow the budget on a Calfee - do perhaps test ride it, but save buying it for next time round unless the money really isn't an issue.
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Old 04-27-07, 04:19 AM
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P.S. If you don't have them already, don't forget to budget for helmets and padded cycling shorts from the get-go. Cycling shoes and clipless pedals are also worthwhile. Maybe ask the shop to throw some of these in rather than bargaining on price as margins on accessories are always larger than on bikes.
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Old 04-27-07, 07:32 AM
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Thanks mrfish and all.
Tom and I do bike now and we're fulling fitted out with clothes and clipless Shimano SPDs.
I ride a Specialized Sirrus Comp and Tom Rides a Jamis Nova cyclocross bike. Finding the Specialized was like finding the right guy. It was a perfect fit and feels like it was built with me in mind.
I'm hoping to find a tandem that fits us like that.

And though I'm not ruling out the C'dale, there are no LBSs around that carry it in a tandem and none will order one for us to just try. So unless one comes up on Craigslist that is the right size, I'll probably have to go with either the Burley or KHS, whichever fits us best.
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Old 04-27-07, 07:47 AM
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My previous shop used to sell the KHS and Burley tandems. For the most part they worked very well, but the Burley's seemed to have a slight quality edge to them. To be sure, you could almost make your Burley slightly Custom if you wanted to wait a bit for it. We had a number of customers that wanted different colors and if memory serves me, it was a slight upgrade when ordering to switch colors. I am not sure if they do that today.

If there is any way for you to ride a Trek or a Cannondale you may want to look into it.

The Ride of the two bikes you mention could be world's apart. I see that the Milano has the Aluminum Frame which is a nice frame and the Rumba has the Tru-Temper steel frame. The feel of the two bikes could be very different, so take your time and ride both as much as the shop will allow.

The new shop I am starting at on Saturday has one of last years Treks hanging up. From what I see of that bike, it looks fast just sitting there. I would Love a new tandem, but other things need to come first.

Good Luck in your search!

Chris
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Old 04-27-07, 09:03 AM
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I have the large size Milano but it is an older model with steel frame. There are still a few of these kicking around new and available from Ebay sellers and/or shops. I paid around $1k for mine new. I have not ridden the aluminum framed model. The KHS is about the least expensive tandem you can get with 700c road wheels and reliable components. My bike is completely reliable, though not the lightest or the stiffest. I have B & B weekend-toured with mine utilizing a rear rack and panniers. A drag brake would not be a bad upgrade if you plan on going down any steep hills and seeing as you are from Denver......
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Old 04-27-07, 09:37 AM
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Originally Posted by ang1sgt
To be sure, you could almost make your Burley slightly Custom if you wanted to wait a bit for it. We had a number of customers that wanted different colors and if memory serves me, it was a slight upgrade when ordering to switch colors. I am not sure if they do that today.
Just to bring you up to date, Burley exited the bicycle market -- including tandems -- last fall and, at present, are only producing trailers. They had gotten out of the custom order and speciality model business a few years earlier. Darn shame to see them go.

To the OP's quandry, if the Burley is a newer model without the proprietary bottom bracket parts, it would be a good choice if it fit as the frames they used were excellent. Good components as well, but assuming the bike fits the frame is clearly a major discriminator between the two different models.
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Old 04-27-07, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by TandemGeek
Just to bring you up to date, Burley exited the bicycle market -- including tandems -- last fall and, at present, are only producing trailers. They had gotten out of the custom order and speciality model business a few years earlier. Darn shame to see them go.
Yep, That is something I did not know and that is a shame. They made some fine tandems in their time. I wonder if the move to add recumbents, just over stretch their capabilities?

Considered that logged into the memory banks!

Chris
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Old 04-27-07, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by ang1sgt
Yep, That is something I did not know and that is a shame. They made some fine tandems in their time. I wonder if the move to add recumbents, just over stretch their capabilities?
From the archives: https://www.bikeforums.net/tandem-cycling/226778-burley-inc-sold-new-owner.html

Some other interesting, insider info: https://search.bikelist.org/?SearchSt...pe=tandem&pg=2
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Old 04-27-07, 12:04 PM
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Ginny,

Good luck in your search, remeber to have fun while your shopping since, as you know, we don't get to buy new bikes every day.

We purchased ours last July. It's was a left over 2005 Co-Motion Premira. We paid $2500, which is a little more than your budget, but maybe you could hold off on the rack and panniers awhile. I've been very happy with this bike, but understand it's our first, so I can't truethfully compare it with other brands. That said, I like to think we did good. Makes me feel better that way.



Good luck
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Old 04-27-07, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Shayne
Yikes

I know I sound like a broken record and I also know that most folks who clamp their tandem's top tube attempt to do so carefully. For example, putting a shop cloth between the frame and clamp to protect the paint seems like a really good idea; however, it only serves to increase the clamp pressure on the very thin tubing.

Therefore, let me once again urge folks to clamp their tandems by the stoker's seat post with their front tire resting on the ground. In some cases, this may require loosening the stoker's seat post clamp and extending the post. Alternatively, clamping at the stoker's seat tube near the top tube where the stoker's seat post extends down into the seat tube is also a low-risk proposition since the seat post is reinforcing the seat tube.

There is more in the archives on this topic. Just search on workstand clamp and either type in my user name 'TandemGeek' or limit your search to Tandems to find the various threads, e.g., https://www.bikeforums.net/showpost.p...94&postcount=9

Last edited by TandemGeek; 04-27-07 at 12:41 PM.
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Old 04-27-07, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by TandemGeek
Yikes

I know I sound like a broken record and I also know that most folks who clamp their tandem's top tube attempt to do so carefully. For example, putting a shop cloth between the frame and clamp to protect the paint seems like a really good idea; however, it only serves to increase the clamp pressure on the very thin tubing.

Therefore, let me once again urge folks to clamp their tandems by the stoker's seat post with their front tire resting on the ground. In some cases, this may require loosening the stoker's seat post clamp and extending the post. Alternatively, clamping at the stoker's seat tube near the top tube where the stoker's seat post extends down into the seat tube is also a low-risk proposition since the seat post is reinforcing the seat tube.

There is more in the archives on this topic. Just search on workstand clamp and either type in my user name 'TandemGeek' or limit your search to Tandems to find the various threads, e.g., https://www.bikeforums.net/showpost.p...94&postcount=9
Thanks for setting me straight on this. So far that day was the only time I've had it in the stand, I was putting on a coat of wax. Most of the time the tandem hangs on a pair of thoughs wall racks you can buy at Lowes. The only maintenence that I've had to do so far is keep the chains lubed and I can do that with it hanging on the wall.

Thanks agian for the warning, I've a learned a lot about tandems and I'm sure I've more yet to learn.

Shayne
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Old 04-27-07, 02:55 PM
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I can't even begin to tell you how sad I am!
I can't find my Burley anywhere close and the only shops I can
find one in are on the east coast won't ship!
My local tandem shop has the KHS in the Cross and Alite but we
like 700c wheels and drops. They will order a milano if we want.
They do have Co Motions but I don't want to ride a bike that I can't afford.
If I really like it but end up with something else that isn't as good, I'll constantly
feel like I'm on the wrong bike.

I've tried Craigs for a tandem and there are a LOT in there, but most are
antique Shwinns or good bike but in size large. Tom and I are both under 5'6
and we need a stand over height of less than 30 inches. Hard to find that,
even on the CoMotion the smallest stand over for capt is 29.5. If he
has to hold me up at stops with the top tube diggin in the nads, he's not going to
be too happy.
The Rumba was just the right bike for us. . .
I'm so bummed.

Ginny
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Old 04-27-07, 02:59 PM
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Can I take a Burley Rock n Roll and swap stuff to make it a road-like bike?
Can it take a 9sp cassette? 700c wheels?
There is one on Craigs near me that is a good price and will fit.
What do ya think TG?
I'm an unhappy biker.
Ginny
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Old 04-27-07, 03:35 PM
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Ginny - have you checked: https://www.tandemmag.com/classified/ ?

We bought our Co-Motion Co-Pilot sight unseen from a couple in Washington. I found it on the Tandemmag website. We have put over 8,000 miles on it & we couldn't be happier. Since it was a coupled bike, they shipped it to us in the travel case.

John Ellis - Lafayette, Colorado.
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Old 04-27-07, 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Ginny
Can I take a Burley Rock n Roll and swap stuff to make it a road-like bike?
Can it take a 9sp cassette? 700c wheels?
A 26" tandem like a Rock 'n Roll, Cannondale MT, Co-Motion Mocha, etc.. can be configured to a road bike configuration with drop-bars and narrow tires/wheels without any problem, but not 700c wheels. The latter is really no big deal... there is no real difference in performance between the two just the perception that 700c is "better" because that's what most everyone expects a road bike to have.

That said, the problem with a flat bar bike to drop bar conversion is the expense associated with changing out the shifters and brake controls + the cost of the different handlebars and captain's stem. As for changing out to a 9 speed cassette, if the bike has an 8 speed cassette it's an easy upgrade but may require a change in rear derailleur along with the aforementioned shifters. However, as you can see, this is not an inexpensive proposition unless you have the right extra bike components sitting all over the workshop or garage as well as the skills and tools needed to make the changes yourself.

You mentioned that y'all have some kids who'll be riding... have you considered a Co-Motion Periscope Scout? It's a little over your target price range ($2,495), but it would be a great first tandem that would allow you to get your feet wet and solve any rider height issues, noting that y'all will be hard pressed to find a really good fit with any stock production tandem given your small stature. Just something to look at. Lynn & Pat should be able to provide you with all the details on how the Periscope models match up. Co-Motion is also pretty good about letting you select road bike vs. flat bar configuration for a nominal (and sometimes no) upcharge. Here's a link to Co-Motion's Web site and the Periscope Scout info: https://www.co-motion.com/periscout.html

Personally, I think the Periscope design is pretty awesome and it solves a bunch of problems for both teams of smaller stature and those with growing families.

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Old 04-27-07, 11:26 PM
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I would echo TandemGeek's sentiments about the viability of converting the Burley, assuming it is a late model, and perhaps priced to reflect the fact that Burley is no longer in production.

We have been riding a 26" wheel tandem for the last couple years. In the course of that time, we have switched from the flat bars/shifters/brakes to drops....and I do find that more comfortable. As we had some of the parts lying about, it wasn't too expensive However, at full price, the change can be fairly costly. If either of you is knowledgeable and comfortable enough to buy parts on Ebay, there seems to be no dearth of late-model, low-mileage parts at a steep discount. If the Rock and Roll is a late model, chances are pretty good that you would not need to change the deraillers to convert to 9 speed.

In terms of performance, the limiting factor when we have ridden has NOT been the 26" wheels (with smooth, fast tires mounted). We have used the bike on parts of a couple RAGBRAI's, and did not have any difficulty keeping up with other tandem teams. (That certainly was not a function of being an extraordinarily fit team) The one notable exception would be that with the smaller wheel diameter, we can run out of high gear a bit sooner on long, gradual downhills.

All other things being equal, the 26" wheels should be as strong or stronger than 700c, and would lend themselves to loaded touring. The smaller wheel size isn't as much in vogue today as it was some years ago, but some remain strong advocates of it. (the Co-Motion Mocha is essentially a 26" wheel road/touring bike; DaVinci and Rodriguez, among others, have continued to produce 26" wheel road bikes) The lower standover hieght of an offroad frame, and smaller wheel size may present some sizing advantages for shorter riders.

If the Burleybike fits, is priced attractively enough to allow the desired upgrades, and is one of their more recent incarnations, I wouldn't let the wheel diameter dissuade you from purchasing it.
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