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HandsomeRyan 12-06-09 07:35 AM

Is this Cignal Melbourne Express worth $190?
I'm sure this forum gets lots of "What is this tandem worth?" posts so I apologize for being a part of that but I have really no basis of knowledge to pull from when assigning a value to something like this.

I found the following tandem, a Cignal Melbourne Express 21 speed on Craigslist for $190. From what I can gather from online research, this tandem would date to the mid-90's and would have had an MSRP of about $600 new. It has low-end shimano drivetrain components and Tektro brakes. I know it is nothing fancy but I'm looking for something inexpensive and entry-level to see if riding tandems is a viable recreational activity for my wife and I. Based on the pictures it looks to be in okay shape (not rusted out or smashed up)

I know no one can assign an exact value to the bike without seeing it in real life but based on the pictures do you think $190 is way out of line for a tandem like this?

Thanks in advance.

specbill 12-06-09 08:15 AM

I don't know this brand bike but if it can be adjusted to fit you and your stoker, and if everything functions well I don't see any downside risk. It looks clean and should be re-saleable for like money when you are ready to sell it. I don't know of anything at that price that I would recommend you hold out for. Good luck

JanMM 12-06-09 08:42 AM

Sure, absolutely looks worth $190. As long as it more-or-less fits you.
Should serve to let you find out whether or not you want to continue down the tandem trail.
The kickstand would cost around $20, new.

PMK 12-06-09 02:02 PM

You realize it's not a high end or exotic machine, and per your post you want something inexpensive and entry level, this would most times meet the requirements. You didn't mention your intended use, but if as you describe viable recreational activity is riding the neighborhood streets or a local park at a leisurely pace, or maybe pick up a rack to hit the 7-11 for small supplies it should be fine.

If recreational activity is a group ride at moderate pace with other cyclists, it may not be the most confidence inspiring machine for that type of ride.

If it's nearby, go check it out, heck it's craigslist...try it and show the seller what you want to pay. $190 is the asking price. A motivated seller will have there head nod yes and lips squirm the words OK at the sight of green paper.


zonatandem 12-06-09 11:29 PM

Would offer $150 . . . if it fits and meets your requirements/needs. Have seen the Cignal and even saw one on the El Tour de Tucson 35 mile event a couple years ago.

It could cost you that much to rent a tandem for a couple weekends. It would be an inexpensive way to find out if tandeming is to your liking.
And. you can always resell it!
Pedal on TWOfether!
Rudy and Kay/zonatandem

Onegun 12-07-09 08:44 AM

Well, OK. You can't get a department store tandem for that, and at least this one has an eccentric bottom bracket so you don't have to have an idler wheel to tension the transfer chain, (which appears to be loose, incidently).

It appears to have a quick release front wheel but a standard nutted real axle, which only means you have to carry a wrench with you to take the wheel off to get it in your CUV, or even to fix a flat.

Other than that, all the other comments are spot on. And when you have one this cheap, don't even sell it when you upgrade! You have little enough in it that you can keep it for a backup/foul weather/loaner tandem.

cornucopia72 12-07-09 11:01 AM

+ 1 to all of the above

Just make sure it fits youa and especially your stoker/s. It has spring saddles and what apperas to be suspension seat posts.

$190 seems to me a fair price.

HandsomeRyan 12-08-09 10:33 AM

Unless something happens between now and then, I'm meeting the seller of this bike on Saturday to pick it up. I'm feeling okay about my ability to transport it in my wife's hatchback but I'm still evaluating where I'm going to store it in my [tiny] apartment. Oh well- buy the bike now, worry about storage later!

Thanks for all the advice about this and my other 'transportation' thread.

I've been reading through many of the older posts here and I'm excited about joining 'the lifestyle'. My wife isn't quite as enthusiastic about it as I am but I think she'll come around once we get a few rides under our belts.

specbill 12-08-09 01:06 PM

Congrats on your decision....
Now for the important stuff....once you bring it home here is something to consider. Since your wife doesn't quite share your level of enthusiasim yet, invest some time and thought into deciding how you can insure that your wife's first ride or two are really really fun and enjoyable. Spend a little time with the tandem mechanically to insure that you will have command of its operation and have no mechanical glitches to scare or distract her. Make sure it will shift when you want it to, that the seats and bars are tight, tires have enough air etc..etc..
Then think about where and how the first rides will transpire.....make the rides shorter rather than longer, stay off of busy streets with cars going by at 50 mph or busy MUP's with kids and dogs running a muck in front of you. Make it fun, ride to coffee or to get a munch...leave her feeling like it was pretty cool and let's do it again.. soon.
Good it right and you will have more years of special times than you can imagine.

Bill J.

HandsomeRyan 12-08-09 02:25 PM


Originally Posted by specbill (Post 10121552)
Congrats on your decision....

...Good it right and you will have more years of special times than you can imagine.

Thanks Bill. Those are all good things to consider. I think this bike will see primarily greenway/MUP action since those tend to be flatter and offer a more controlled environment without vehicle traffic to worry about. I just need to weld up a cow-catcher for the front so I can plow through those zombie ipod joggers.[kidding. well.. only sort of kidding] There is a grocery store that is only about 1/2 a mile away via cutting through our neighborhood. I'm thinking it could be fun to hook up my cargo trailer and pedal to the store sometimes for grocerie runs too.

Onegun 12-08-09 02:46 PM


Originally Posted by HandsomeRyan (Post 10121908)
I just need to weld up a cow-catcher for the front so I can plow through those zombie ipod joggers.

It's not the UNdead ipod people ... but the BRAINdead dog walkers with their Viet-cong trip-wire dog leashes that I fear most! You know the hazard .... human on one side of the trail, animal on the other, and while you're keeping a wary eye on each of these, it's almost impossible to notice the razor-thin, nearly invisible leash connecting them!

HandsomeRyan 12-12-09 03:05 PM

Well, I did pick up this bike today! So far Mrs. HandsomeRyan and I only took a quick cruise around the block but I've already gotten $190 worth of fun out of it just from that one ride so every ride from here on out is just icinjg on the cake! The bike is very stable due to extremely wide handlebars and it fits the Mrs. and I quite well. It's very cold out and it's getting dark so we didn't have time to put it entirely thought it's paces yet but I think it is going to be awesome! The only defects I noticed were the front tire's valve stem is way crooked sticking out of the rim (a failure waiting to happen) and the "suspended seatposts" are just seatposts that are 2 inches lower when we sit on them (gotta tighten up the preload screws in the bottom of both posts) otherwise the brakes and shifters are in pretty good shape.

For anyone who might read this who was "on the fence" about getting a cheap craigslist tandem to play on- Do it!

zonatandem 12-12-09 08:37 PM

Bundle up and enjoy the ride TWOgether!
Pedal on!
Rudy and Kay/zonatandem

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