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Tandem Cycling A bicycle built for two. Want to find out more about this wonderful world of tandems? Check out this forum to talk with other tandem enthusiasts. Captains and stokers welcome!

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Old 09-27-12, 09:52 AM   #1
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Any opinions on el-cheapo MTB tandem for riding with kids?

Anybody had a first hand experience with this:

I'm looking for a tandem (or a triple ) which can take a small stoker and potentially drag a TAB (Adams trail-a-bike)
Can't afford Bike Friday or Comotion.
Upgraded Micargi triplet might be in our future (for now it's too tall).
The stokers are 7 & 5 & 3 years old right now and ride 20",16" and 12" kids bikes respectively or a single TAB or a dual TAB.
Dual TAB is no fun, so I need a better solution for occasional dropping/picking up kids from school ( 10-15 miles RT ) and for neighborhood runs.
If the bike is too slow, we could change the tires, as the usage would be almost 100% Road, maybe a gravel road once in a blue moon, but speed is not a priority for us.
I'm 165 lbs, kids are roughly 60/50/40 lbs and growing, but we are light, so no concerns about over-stressing the frame.
In the pics it looks like it has Shimano Megarange derailleur in the back - I put few thousand miles on my previous one, without problems.
I can't tell what bottom bracket it has - so far BBs had been my nemesis, but if it's a sealed cartridge it should be just a swap.

I don't have any experience with tandems (except for the double TAB, but that would be my kids experience and not me), but I do my own bicycle tuning and component replacement.
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Old 09-27-12, 05:04 PM   #2
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Be prepared to do some extensive checking/tuning if you buy a Micargi!
Worked on one a few years ago; brand new: NO grease anywhere to be found!
Components are the cheapest found anywhere; so buyer/user beware.
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Old 09-27-12, 05:06 PM   #3
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That might well work. The cheaper bikes sometimes need a little "touch-up" - things like truing wheels, adjusting gears and brakes, and often a decent set of tires works wonders. If you're comfortable with that sort of things it's a no-brainer. Or your local bike mechanic should be able to do it, altho they might squawk about fixing a bike you bought cheap off ebay.

You might also look at the Walmart website, I recall they have a workable tandem for like $350. I don't know if the frame would fit the lil 'un's. If there's a Walmart near you and they have one that'd sure do the trick. Sounds like fun!
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Old 09-28-12, 05:14 PM   #4
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I suggest that you check out these:
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Old 09-30-12, 06:07 AM   #5
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We bought a Kent tandem from Walmart last year for around $270.00. It sounds like what you are planning to use it is a good fit for that bike. It was our first tandem and was told through reviews of the bike it was great for around town and shorter trips. That is true. We changed wheels and tires and that made huge difference. It sounds like you're experienced with bike maintainence, etc., so it should not be a deal to assemble and adjust brakes, etc. A LBS did all the final assembly and adjustments for us. It is a comfortable bike and we have had no probelms with it.
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Old 10-01-12, 12:18 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by nfmisso View Post
Thanks Nigel - we already checked these two. These are "regular diamond frame" tandems and even my tallest stoker (7 y.o.) can't reach the pedals yet,even if I use crank shorteners (or pedal blocks). The allure of the tandem in the link is that you should be able to lower the stoker seat lower than the top of the rear wheel.
But I don't want to spend $500 just to realize it's still too tall.
OTOH eventually they'll grow into it, so maybe I should talk myself into buying some tandem soon
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