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Tandeming trial/Value of Trek T200

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Tandeming trial/Value of Trek T200

Old 05-16-09, 07:54 PM
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Old Farmer
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Tandeming trial/Value of Trek T200

My wife wants us to buy a tandem. We test rode a Santana Arriva and I really disliked the feel of our test. I found a Trek T200 that a couple had been riding for five years until they spent about $5000 on a new Santana a few weeks ago. The Trek appears to have been well cared for. I am considering buying it to get enough riding in to see if I can learn to like the tandem experience. I don't want to put a lot of money in a seventh bike only to find I would rather be on a single and my wife would rather be on a Bent. Will this Trek perform well enough to give tandeming a fair trial and what should the market value be? Will I be able to resell it if we like tandeming and upgrade (or if I hate it and want to be rid of the bike)? The Trek has bar end shifters, triple with 8 cog rear and drum brake. The owners bought it used and are unsure of its age. Any suggestions may be helpful for our harmony on and off the bike. Thanks.
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Old 05-16-09, 11:43 PM
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If you are unsure of tandeming at this point, buying an inexpensive used one would be the way to get started and see how it works out. As for resale value, the great thing about buying used is if you can find a tandem at a decent price, you can often resell it for what you paid.

As for market value of a T200, check ebay closed auctions and search craigslist, realizing craigslist sellers may not always get full asking price.
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Old 05-17-09, 03:23 PM
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For what it's worth,we bought a new Trek T100 in 1992 for just under $2000 Canadian. Traded it in 2002 with a dealer and got $1000 for it. For the ten years, it was a good investment, a good entry level tandem. We are now riding a Rans Screamer and love it. Mike
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Old 05-17-09, 05:59 PM
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Thanks for the replies

Completed listings on ebay show only one T2000 sold for $1276. Not much on Craigs list either.

Canadians must have better balance than I do. Short wheelbase Bent tanden riding would be too unstable for me. Minor stroke makes my left side weaker, so I won't even ride my wife's V-Rex or Volae.
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Old 05-17-09, 09:29 PM
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Most tandem bents have a l-o-ng wheelbase.
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Old 05-17-09, 10:23 PM
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A used tandem is a good idea for couples who are not sure if they want to stick with it. Better yet, if you could borrow a tandem and put in a couple of long rides, it would give you a good idea of whats it's all about. I purchased a used Cannodale RT 1000 in 2005. Paid 800 bucks. It was also eight speed with sagino triple cranks and Cantilever brakes. Our first ride seemed like a disaster, everything seemed so hard, starting out, getting clipped in, reaching for bottles, standing on climbs and sprinting. These things take experiance and time. After a few rides we were having a blast, each ride got better. You must have patience with your stoker and give it some time. We upgraded our tandem with 10 speed Ultegra groupo and carbon cranks and a good wheel set. Now I look forward to each ride... Good Luck
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Old 05-18-09, 06:28 AM
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Dear zonatandem,

Poor choice of words on my part. I'm just use to generally calling crank forward Bents as short-wheel based. I have no idea how a longer crank forward tandem Bent would ride.

John. Thanks for the reply. My first ride felt like a train wreck. My wife/stoker seemed to really over balance. I want to try it as the stoker. I could see over her and would hopefully remain more balance neutral giving the captain more control than I felt like I had on our first ride. It felt like she leaned the wrong way on every move and turn. Maybe she just needs more experience having no vision of what is ahead and of not being in control.
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Old 05-18-09, 06:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Old Farmer View Post
My wife wants us to buy a tandem. We test rode a Santana Arriva and I really disliked the feel of our test. I don't want to put a lot of money in a seventh bike only to find I would rather be on a single and my wife would rather be on a Bent.
This sounds like a good candidate for the semi-recumbent - stoker forward in recumbent position, captain back in traditional road bike position. Don't know where you'd get the chance to try one out though.

Pictures and more description at http://www.bilenky.com/viewpoint_main_page.html
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Old 05-18-09, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Old Farmer View Post
I found a Trek T200 that a couple had been riding for five years ... The owners bought it used and are unsure of its age
You can probably come really close on the age by searching the Vintage Trek site.

1995 brochure -- for instance -- last page has the data on the tandems from 1995. Other links there can be searched for brochures from earlier years.

But, simpler still (and will get you within a year or two), what color is the bike? With that knowledge, look at Trek models and colors and scroll down near the bottom to find the T200. As I understand, Trek built a lot of tandem frames (same frame for the T100 as the T200), hung them in the rafters, and then painted a batch each year, until they needed to braze some more. Between the color names and photos which may appear in the brochures, you can possibly decide what is "lunar" and what is "Saturn Silver".

Hope this helps.
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Old 05-19-09, 09:10 AM
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We bought a 1998 Trek T100 in 2003 for $ 1100, sold it in 2008 for $700. Really enjoyed the bike, upgraded to a coupled Co-Motion Mocha, which cost us a lot more. Sometimes we regret having sold it, good memories. If the bike fits, its in good shape, and you want to try out tandeming, you wont go wrong.
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Old 05-19-09, 09:52 AM
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I'm riding around on a 1976 LeJeune. It weighs a bit but with the addition of some 700c wheels, a spare 9sp cluster, and some bar con shifters it has proven to be quite enjoyable as a first tandem. I figure the total invested cost is under $400, and things like the wheels can transfer to anther bike later, although I got a great deal on a number of the parts. Given that a lot of people end up deciding tandeming is not for them, buying an expensive first bike is not the way to go. Also, be sure to read Bill McCready's The Proper Method.
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Old 05-20-09, 08:09 AM
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Thanks to all that replied to my post. I purchased a used Santana Arriva (not the SE) for $800. The bike will serve us well if we like the tandem experience and I should be able sell it if we don 't, Thanks again.
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Old 05-21-09, 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Old Farmer View Post
Thanks to all that replied to my post. I purchased a used Santana Arriva (not the SE) for $800. The bike will serve us well if we like the tandem experience and I should be able sell it if we don 't, Thanks again.
Pictures Please!

I'm curious what made you decide to give the Santana another chance, and what made you decide to purchase that, instead of the Trek.
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Old 05-23-09, 08:33 PM
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Sorry I didn't respond to your questions earlier but I have been planting crops and not spending time on the computer.

It wasn't that I disliked the Santana we test rode specifically. I am just really unconfortable with feel of both the Trek or the Arriva. My wife and I rode the Santana this evening at an easy 20mph pace and at a 90's cadence, but our ride was not very smooth and that is frustrating to me. The back of tandems seem to flex a lot. Being the captain of a tandem is less relaxing than riding a single. My wife took a spin up front and said she too didn't feel at ease compaired to being the stoker or on a single. We'll see how it feels after 5 or 6 hundred miles.

The Trek had bar end shifters instead of the STI shifters on the Santana which made shifting easier for me. The wheelset on the Santana was better. I also hoped the Santana would have better resale if we don't like tandeming. The LBS owner ( he stocks about 10 or twelve tandems) thought I made a great buy on the Santana ( an estate purchase) and felt I could sell it easily for a profit.
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Old 05-23-09, 09:32 PM
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re: your comment on a tandem being less relaxing. My wife and I have put a few hundred miles on our new tandem after returning to cycling last August (after 20 years). Once you and your wife get some experience and your wife takes care not to shift her weight I think you'll find the tandem more stable than your road bike (especially at speed). I did find in a fairly big crosswind with a non-existent shoulder I had to pay a lot of attention, but might have been the same on my single. Here's to many wonderful miles on your new ride.
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Old 05-24-09, 05:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Old Farmer View Post
John. Thanks for the reply. My first ride felt like a train wreck. My wife/stoker seemed to really over balance. I want to try it as the stoker. I could see over her and would hopefully remain more balance neutral giving the captain more control than I felt like I had on our first ride. It felt like she leaned the wrong way on every move and turn. Maybe she just needs more experience having no vision of what is ahead and of not being in control.
Couple of suggestions:

1. When you're new to tandems, announce every turn and especially every single little bump. Captain looks straight anead. Stoker's job is to inform the captain when there's interesting scenery on either side.

2. In 33 years on tandems I've never, ever stoked so this is from my wife. She says she tries to keep her torso aligned laterally with mine on the curves.
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Old 05-24-09, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Old Farmer View Post
It wasn't that I disliked the Santana we test rode specifically. I am just really unconfortable with feel of both the Trek or the Arriva. My wife and I rode the Santana this evening at an easy 20mph pace and at a 90's cadence, but our ride was not very smooth and that is frustrating to me. The back of tandems seem to flex a lot. Being the captain of a tandem is less relaxing than riding a single.

The Trek had bar end shifters instead of the STI shifters on the Santana which made shifting easier for me. The wheelset on the Santana was better. I also hoped the Santana would have better resale if we don't like tandeming. The LBS owner ( he stocks about 10 or twelve tandems) thought I made a great buy on the Santana ( an estate purchase) and felt I could sell it easily for a profit.
It definitely takes a while to smooth out the lumps in your pedaling and it depends some on your experience. I ride rollers quite a lot in the winter, so I kind of set a benchmark for my wife to follow.

I think some of what you think is flex might just be normal "stoker steering". If the stoker's weight is not well balanced, she can steer the bike just as easily as you. Remember, the bike steers by leaning, not really by turning the handlebars. As she relaxes more, this happens a lot less.

Lastly, you will get more relaxed with driving, but it should always be less relaxing than a single. It's kind of like being an airline pilot. You are responsible for the passenger and have to stay more intensely alert. But eventually, it will become more natural and fun.
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Old 05-25-09, 07:48 PM
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My girlfriend and I bought what I think is a '95 T200 in March 2008 for $400. It has mostly XT components, but only a 7 speed drivetrain. It was in great shape, so I think this would be on the low end of what you'd expect to pay.
Hope this helps some.

Rory
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Old 05-31-09, 06:48 PM
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For what it's worth, we got our T200 (in pristine condition) about 5 years ago for $700 (they delivered).

Generally considered an undervalued tandem -- a bit heavy, but rock solid.

We never imagined we would love it so much. Our first ride we laughed the whole way
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