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Please help me determine if this is a good deal

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Please help me determine if this is a good deal

Old 09-07-11, 04:39 PM
  #1  
AtariBaby
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Please help me determine if this is a good deal

Dear pros,

Long time lurker here. Please advise me!

My wife and I were planning to start riding our tandem bike for charity rides this weekend, and a clever con artist just swiped it out from under our noses. While looking for a replacement I can afford, I came across this:

"One custom-made tandem bicycle built by Bill Goldfoos out of Southern California.
Originally made for a 5'8" captain and a 5'3" stoker. Seats can be adjusted higher or lower. Comes with a really nice classic, lightweight brakeset and beautiful shifters. Lightweight seat/seat posts. The wheel set is for sew-ups so you will need a new set of rims. It's been in my garage ever since the divorce and now I'm moving and it can't come along to the new house.

"It's a beautiful bike and a blast to ride!

"When new, the bike and equipment priced at over $5000. Must sell ASAP!"


She's willing to sell me this bike for next to nothing. The only caveat is I have to rent a pickup and drive 5 hours each way to pick it up. I want to make sure it's not something that's going to cost way more than to make the expense of picking it up worthwhile.

I got more details out of her on the phone but they were sketchy:

Bike was supposedly worth over $5K ten years ago. Been hanging in her garage since her divorce 8 years ago.

DuraAce parts, Flanged aluminimum body. Has sew-up rims (I confess I'm not sure what that is). She said some other things I don't understand

Pic:

https://i52.tinypic.com/eb5su1.jpg

Another way to look at this is, it will cost me a $400 or so to to rent a pickup, drive there, spend the night, and drive back. Add a pittance for the price of the actual bike. Worth it?

We love tandem cycling, we just are on a shoestring budget right now. Otherwise I'd be buying one of these $3-4K tandems from a bikeforum.net regular!

Please advise.
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Old 09-07-11, 08:05 PM
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Sew ups are also called tubulars. The tire is glued to the rim and do not use a tube. I would not want to use them for tandem riding. What I can see of the rim, I wonder if it is a sew up. The frame looks good in the picture although it is difficult to see much. The tandem could require a new drive train, new wheels, and other repairs costing a few hundred dollars or it could not need much work.
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Old 09-07-11, 08:16 PM
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contact the builder?

Here's a thought - why not contact that tandems builder? I scroogled up his linkedin profile as top hit here and reckon he'll tell you a fair bit about the thing - personally I think I would go for it, but hey what do I know?

Really sorry to hear about the loss of your tandem - that may be another story, but should we be warned about this "con"? However one thing - I think you should consider the tandem you were used to - you will want a close match in terms of quality maybe? Or do you want an upgrade? then see how this one compares? Of course if budget is king then the only risk you are taking here is the one you already worked out for yourself....

A close up picture of the chain set would enable evaluation of the need for a new transmission.... And surely she knows how many miles on it? If you can trust her on that it is the most valuable info...
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Old 09-07-11, 11:54 PM
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I searched a bit on-line and could not find much information. When was the bike built and what is the frame size?
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Old 09-08-11, 12:49 AM
  #5  
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As far as picking it up, my XL/M Cannondale fits in the back of my 2009 ford taurus (wheels off, back seats folded down). Im sure other cars SUV's would work so so you might not need a pickup.
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Old 09-08-11, 07:20 AM
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Looks pretty nice and not too much to go wrong with a steel frame and fork. Worst thing is you can't really test ride with the wheels in that state. I definitely would change out the tubbies to clinchers, but it's kind of a good sign that the original owner wanted fast stuff - should mean decent components all round. You could start with pretty much any wheel on the front (or rebuild with a clincher rim) and rebuild the rear, which looks to have a decent spoke count. Pobably around $200-300 to get the wheels in shape.

If you can borrow a rear rack, you could bring that back on pretty much any car - just remove both wheels and tie everything down well. If you have a hitch, a trailer rental may be a lot cheaper than a pick-up.
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Old 09-08-11, 09:49 AM
  #7  
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If the bike is in otherwise good shape, you'll have to replace the rims & tires. This would cost $200 minimum. I too would not ride a tandem on the road with sew-up tires.

If you can rent a small wagon & fold down the rear seat, you could remove the wheels and get it back in that. Or as someone else said, barrow a regular bike rack, remove the wheels and bring it home that way.
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Old 09-08-11, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Mainframeguy View Post
Here's a thought - why not contact that tandems builder? I scroogled up his linkedin profile as top hit here and reckon he'll tell you a fair bit about the thing - personally I think I would go for it, but hey what do I know?
I had the same idea! Sent him a linkedin invite with detailed questions but no reply yet. I also tracked him down to a bike house in merced called 'tandem bike house' which has apparently gone out of business, unfortunately.

Really sorry to hear about the loss of your tandem - that may be another story, but should we be warned about this "con"?
Well, unfortunately, the only warning I have is never let your guard down. We were at Burning Man and one person appeared very interested in my wife's art, and while our backs were turned his partner snuck our bike out from under our noses. Then he excused himself and about 5 minutes later we realized they had distracted us and took the bike.

However one thing - I think you should consider the tandem you were used to - you will want a close match in terms of quality maybe? Or do you want an upgrade? then see how this one compares? Of course if budget is king then the only risk you are taking here is the one you already worked out for yourself....
Budget is important, sadly. We bought the Trek to dip our toes into the tandem waters and loved it. My wife loves to take photos while I steer and pedal. And we look forward to going on charity rides this way. So I'd like to get the nicest bike I can, but we're so broke right now even a $1K bike is going to put a serious strain on us. Bad timing for a stolen bike.

A close up picture of the chain set would enable evaluation of the need for a new transmission.... And surely she knows how many miles on it? If you can trust her on that it is the most valuable info...
I will ask. Thank you.
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Old 09-08-11, 05:19 PM
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While I'm waiting for a reply from the woman, let me ask you this: If you were in my shoes and had any of these local options, which would you lean toward buying?

https://sfbay.craigslist.org/search/b...k=&maxAsk=1251

Or would you grab the mystery bike for next to nothing in another state?

Last edited by AtariBaby; 09-08-11 at 05:32 PM.
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Old 09-08-11, 06:14 PM
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The cannondale looks pretty good... if it fits you... That is the way I would go.
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Old 09-08-11, 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by cornucopia72 View Post
The cannondale looks pretty good... if it fits you... That is the way I would go.
Yeah, we all love seeing people on here with a chance to get some good deal, but this doesn't actually look like a good deal for you, between the distance and the wheels. It's a shame home-owner's or apartment-insurance wouldn't help you for the stolen bike. (?)

However, this doesn't seem like the bike for you. Just get a used KHS or something to enjoy until the right used tandem comes along that's closer to home and wouldn't need so much work.

We discovered we liked tandems, and just occasionally rented or enjoyed our singles for TWO YEARS until the right deal came around. Sometimes you have to let yourself enjoy the search!
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Old 09-08-11, 11:44 PM
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I'm pretty sure I asked about the same bike, and was told that someone was picking it up on Friday. I figured that was the OP AtariBaby. Maybe not, or it's a different bike.

AB, sorry about your loss. I had a pocketbook swiped off the back of my chair in college by a team who practiced the same kind of distraction.

Let us know what you decide.
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Old 09-09-11, 07:18 AM
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Alternatively, if you got the bike, found some sew-up tires and were comfortable installing them, you might be able to try it out for a while and then switch to regular tires if you like the bike.
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Old 09-09-11, 08:02 AM
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I used sew ups, tubular tires on a tandem for years wit absolutely no problem. One of many advantages of tubulars is that if you have a flat the tire usually stays on the rim and you can safely come to a stop. We have ridden home on a flat when we had two flats and only one spare.
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Old 09-09-11, 01:17 PM
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skibum4ever contact her again! I didn't want to waste her time and so I told her I wouldn't be coming to get the bike. You'll get first dibs.

I would have PM'd you but I don't have enough posts yet.
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Old 09-09-11, 01:18 PM
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So my plan now is to pursue that Cannondale recommended by cornucopia, unless someone here thinks I should go a different way:

https://sfbay.craigslist.org/search/b...00&maxAsk=1251

I'd love to be buying one of the high end tandems for sale by bikeforums members but the distance from SF and price make it impossible at this time.
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Old 09-09-11, 02:16 PM
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AB, that Cannondale is pretty nice looking machine, good luck on getting it, ENJOY!
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Old 09-09-11, 10:04 PM
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AB, enjoy the Cannondale. That is one of the bikes we've been looking at.

I did contact her and am awaiting standover measurements. If it is not a fit, I'll ask her permission to post them here and maybe find some other interest.
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Old 09-09-11, 10:15 PM
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That's great, please let me know how it's going.

The woman couldn't be nicer. She will take to a local shop and meet you there and everything.
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Old 09-10-11, 04:52 AM
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FWIW, and I'm not sure which Cannondale you are looking into, but the one in that list of Craigslist bikes. If the seattube dimension is listed, and you know the frames vintage, there are resources like Vintage Cannondale that has the old catalogs posted on the internet. The catalogs typically will provide that standover and other dimensions, plus can be handy by using paint color options to pinpoint an exact year.

Based on frame style and color it appears to be a 98 RT3000. Components don't align with the catalog, but going by the hubs they are Phil Woods and the blue color, plus it does not appear to have the disc brake style frame, leans it towards that year.

https://66.147.244.179/~vintagm8/year/1998/1998.pdf

Frame sizes don't match per the add, but guessing it's a 23 /19. If you need more info, the specs are in the aft end of the catalog.

BTW, the pre 99 frames have similar dimensions, earlier years have a 1" steer tube which probably should be avoided if possible or unless the bike is a super deal. The post 99 and after should be disc mount with similar dimensions up to the newer frames currently available and released a few years ago, distinguished by the new style rear dropouts.

The bike seems a fair deal. Thing is newer bikes with better stuff are selling in a similar $1200 price range. Obviously what the market will tolerate is the value, it just seems that at the moment people are buying crap tandems for a lot or getting a rippin deal. The middle ground is not there. Then there are the bikes way overpriced that may never sell. Crazy market, if you don't get this one another will come along soon.

Other deals do come along, this Cannondale just sold local to me. I don't need it and even bid on it, didn't win it, I never hit the reserve price, the winner outbid me until hitting the $500 reserve.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/230666451780...84.m1435.l2649

PK
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Old 09-10-11, 09:28 AM
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PMK thanks for the PM. Wonder if PMK stands for "PM King" hah. Ahh, I see, cast a wider net, huh? I really appreciate that. I wish I could PM you back but nowhere near 50 posts yet. Maybe I should get a membership or something.
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Old 09-10-11, 01:41 PM
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You shouldn't go wrong with that 'dale - our second tandem and current ride is an MT1000 and sixteen years on with a new transmission it remains one sweet ride... we paid out 550 for ours and then another 600 upgrading the transmission and acquiring a thudbuster. It's nice they are throwing in the bag and all, I reckon that one will have an in tact transmission, so making it pretty good value. One thing - ours came with 130mm spaced drop outs, unusually and creating some issues around acquiring wheels given that 145 is the norm these days. I expect yours will be standard though, and even if not it is workable (Our only issue remaining is to accommodate a drum brake which I have my heart set on).
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Old 09-10-11, 02:35 PM
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I got it for 800 though I'm not sure I did right. My wife loves it plus I got $400 off the asking price. But I am very uncomfortable on the front and the gears need serious adjusting. And I need to change the pedals. However, my wife and I rode it home without strangling each other!

I have small hands and I wonder if those gear shifters just aren't for me. Plus I think I need to lower the seat and raise the handlebars a little. I was very uncomfortable-- back, rear, hands, everyone was uncomfortable.

I did take it to a bike shop that confirmed the bike appeared to be in excellent shape with lots of upgraded parts.

I appreciate all the help and advice.
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Old 09-10-11, 05:00 PM
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Looking at the pictures and reading that you are 5'8" i'd agree that you need to review the fit. The bike appears to be set up for a somewhat aggressive position. The stem is long and noticeably lower than the saddle. The saddle also seems to be somewhat nose down. If you "saved" $400 maybe you get your local shop to work with on fit in exchange $$$ or purchases to make the bike comfortable for yourself.
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Old 09-10-11, 10:12 PM
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Thanks yes, we are looking at some repairs and upgrades needed. I did have the front stem raised and my seat lowered slightly, plus put the correct pedals on it that I like, for my shimano shoes and flat on the other side for my street shoes. I've got to order a different big ring-- The current one refuses to work, but the gears are adjusted so I can use the the medium and small rings. When the ring comes in I will put smaller handlebars on it and see about a bike fitting. and then i'll look for something better at our leisure.

Its been so long since i've ridden this style bike, I didn't even realize for hours that I can rest my hands on top of the shifters. I had spent the entire time thinking I could only shift/brake in the complete dropped down position.
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