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waynesulak 03-14-14 07:40 AM

How to buy a good cheap tandem - an example
From time to time thread appears requesting opinions on how to get a starter tandem at a reasonable price. The tandem market is so small that finding a used bike can be a frustrating and time consuming process.

Below is an example of a nice looking bike on the Craig's list in Dallas. This is a major brand tandem at what appears to be a good price. An out of town buyer could request the seller to deliver the bike to one of two good tandem shops located in the Dallas area and arrange with the shop to pay to have packed and shipped in one of the shop's surplus boxes. I have no connection to the bike or seller and the link is provided for example purposes only. Obviously there is some risk involved with with this approach so as always let the buyer beware.

mje 03-14-14 12:32 PM

The linked Comotion does look like a good choice. Unfortunately, many of those posts looking for a starter tandem state an upper price limit of something like $400, not $2000.

Paul J 03-14-14 01:46 PM

That is a great looking bike and probably good for the fully committed team wanting a bike to start out with. The team just starting to dabble, though they probably should get this level bike might be afraid at that price.

KonAaron Snake 03-14-14 02:55 PM

There are ALWAYS tandems at the swap meets and they rarely sell fast. You can usually get a solid price. I live in a good bike/CL area - we do get tandems for sale on CL now and again.

waynesulak 03-14-14 04:05 PM

My target market for the original post was a team with at least one avid cyclist and therefore used to spending $2,000+ (and sometimes much more) for a single bike(s).

Typical posts that I have seen go something like this:


I ride a lot, have X number of road bikes and would like to get my wife involved. I don't want a Walmart level bike and would like a competent road bike with index shifting. How can I get for less than the price of a new bike? I hear that used tandems are much cheaper but there have been none in my area for Y weeks (or months)!

Leisesturm 03-16-14 01:39 AM

Just saying. A new Raleigh Coupe or Fuji Absolute ... the Burley's (do they still make them) would be at the Shimano 105 component level. Our Coupe was $1500 but we got it for $1000. New! Even after upgrading to drop bars we haven't cracked $1200. Our first tandem cost $200. New. After a year we got the Coupe. We hit a rough patch and didn't ride the Coupe for two years. Didn't ride anything together actually as we were in separate countries, sorting our feelings out. A starter tandem should not IMO cost $2K. Too much investment, and not everyone can sell a bike... ... case in point above. I couldn't sell my own either. Gave away the cheap one, and had the Raleigh in storage. Good thing, she came back, and ... 8 years now. Got another cheapie, identical to the one we had, to be car free with. The Raleigh only comes out in the summer or the odd nice day in the off season. The Co-motion's and the Santana's are the tandems our friends ride, after years and years of marriage. The Burley's and the Cannondales are the bikes that people start on... used. It is absolutely true that, in the main, tandem people spend a lot to obtain and ride their bikes. It doesn't mean that that is the right thing to do. A lot of tandems are out their not being ridden because the people who bought them are no longer together or one is ill or any of a dozen different reasons. They won't sell them because they won't get nearly what they paid for them and that is a huge psychological hurdle to overcome. So, yes, the above is an example of a good, cheap tandem but it is by no means the example of a good cheap tandem.


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