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Old 10-19-2012, 04:22 PM   #1
The Cyclops OP
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Tandem bike thoughts

I enjoy riding my 29'er and my wife says she would love to be able to do it, but she never has time to really get into it, so I was thinking about a tandem. My 21 year old daughter and 17 year old son cringed to no end when I told them, but if she would stick with it I can see it being good couple time. We have a great place to ride around here plus often in The Smokes and could do Cades Cove or Damascus and do Creeper. Thoughts on a tandem anyone? It would be a used Raleigh SC (I think I have already bought it, lol).
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Old 10-19-2012, 05:02 PM   #2
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I recall the SC being a middlin' level tandem with okay components. I remember the wheels looking a bit weak for tandem duty, so it's prolly appropriate for lighter pairs only. It also had a sprung front fork that looked all but useless once it was rolled off the show floor. I'd rate it above Kent and the other bottom end stuff, but it wouldn't compare to an older Trek, Fisher, Santana or Cannondale - all of which are far better bikes and can be had a pretty good prices these days.

Generally speaking, tandems tend to be well cared for by their owners, making an older unit a pretty safe bet on the used market.

I'd be hard pressed to pay more than $325 for the Raleigh, and it would have to be in darn good shape. By comparison, I paid $500 for a like-new Fisher Gemini, and it came with some nice accessories and a complete Thule tandem rooftop rack.

Good luck and happy tandeming!

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Cyclops View Post
I enjoy riding my 29'er and my wife says she would love to be able to do it, but she never has time to really get into it, so I was thinking about a tandem. My 21 year old daughter and 17 year old son cringed to no end when I told them, but if she would stick with it I can see it being good couple time. We have a great place to ride around here plus often in The Smokes and could do Cades Cove or Damascus and do Creeper. Thoughts on a tandem anyone? It would be a used Raleigh SC (I think I have already bought it, lol).
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Old 10-19-2012, 06:35 PM   #3
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We had a Fisher Gemini and we loved it. We saw a Cannondale at a good price and it was much lighter than the Gemini, but in hindsight we should have stuck with the Fisher. After the Cannondale we went to recumbents, first a Double Vision, then a Rans Screamer, which we like much better than the Double Vision.
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Old 10-19-2012, 08:00 PM   #4
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tandems are great! I have had 3 of them, but now i have none. it can make a relationship stronger or it can end it, I have seen both! good luck!
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Old 10-20-2012, 07:50 AM   #5
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Word.


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it can make a relationship stronger or it can end it
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Old 10-20-2012, 08:47 AM   #6
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I've heard that wherever your relationship is going, it'll get there faster on a tandem.
That said
My wife and I love ours, we have two. It takes some time to get in sinc, peddling (finding a gear you both like), leaning and stopping. Communications is the key.

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Old 10-20-2012, 09:05 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GS Dave View Post
tandems are great! I have had 3 of them, but now i have none. it can make a relationship stronger or it can end it, I have seen both! good luck!
...sometimes in the same ride!

Get something decent. That doesn't mean an old Schwinn with rickety parts and flexy flyer tubing. Get a Co-Motion, Santana, Burley, C-dale or other 'name brand' tandem. With as much weight as a tandem has to carry something that actually rides in a straight line is a good thing.

Next tip: a suspension seatpost for the stoker is NOT an option, its a necessity.

Last one: communication is key. The stoker can't see the bumps, etc coming. Ya gotta call em out. DAMHIK what happens if you don't.

There's a few tandem-specific things you'll need to learn: how to set tension on the captain to stoker chain, how to work on the thing, and most of all how to carry the darn thing to get where you're going.

Best part about a tandem: you can't drop the person you're riding with. Worst part about a tandem: you can't drop the person you're riding with.

M
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Old 10-20-2012, 09:57 AM   #8
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tandems are great! I have had 3 of them, but now i have none. it can make a relationship stronger or it can end it, I have seen both! good luck!
So true. My wife and I had one for about two seasons before we realized that while riding was fun, riding the same bike was definitely NOT! Getting hit by a car didn't help either.

My advice from the Been-There-Done-That perspective:

Rent or borrow for awhile first. These things are not cheap, unless you are buying a low-end model to see if it's for you. You don't want to spend $$$$ to find out that you're happier on individual bikes.

Find some other tandem riders and hang out with them to get advice

Deal with a shop that knows tandems. This may involve traveling a bit but it's worth it in the long run to deal with a shop that has tandem customers and not just sell you something from a catalog.

Fit is key. You'll be spending time on the bike, so you don't want one part of the team comfy at the expense of the other.I'm 6ft2 and my wife just about 5ft. That meant custom for us. The bike fit us both like a glove which made it all the more difficult to admit tandeming wasn't for us.

Go slow at first. I thought we'd be riding centuries and events. My expectations were waaaay out of line. Be realistic about what you want to accomplish.

When it's not fun, get off and have lunch.

Cannondale, Santana and Co Motion make excellent tandems though I suspect you'll have to hunt around a bit to see all three brands.
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Old 10-20-2012, 11:31 AM   #9
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I bet that there are a lot used tandems on the market from folks who buy them thinking they will great.

While I'd like to enjoy cycling with my wife. After trying a tandem kayak we learned quickly that while they work for some family's they aren't a choice for ours.

I suggest renting one for a weekend.
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Old 10-20-2012, 01:20 PM   #10
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We have two tandems at the moment..

A 26" IBIS now modified for "Road" use with a 700c front wheel and drop bars.


And a GT fully build for dirt and also capable of carrying out little Daugher.



The two of them are super fun and needless to say I recommend you guys get one..
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Old 10-21-2012, 05:48 PM   #11
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Thanks for the replies. I have not seen my bike yet, my son is picked it up in another town and bringing back for me. Like I said, its a supposedly barely used Raleigh SC which seems to be a fair entry level machine. I know all about how cheap bikes are not worth taking home. To be honest I really doubt my wife will take to it, but I have to try, and buying it used on the cheap ($150) I can't loose too much. Even if we just take it on vacation once a year it will be worth that. My hope is it will give her confidence and get her much more interested in riding her bike more.
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Old 10-22-2012, 08:12 PM   #12
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I owned a Trek T100 that I used to ride with my daughter when she was in high school. Aside from being lotsa' fun it was great for re-habbing my knee after I blew out an ACL on a skiing trip.

They say that which-ever direction your relationship with your cycling partner is going a tandem will get you there quicker.
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Old 10-22-2012, 08:24 PM   #13
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It takes faith in each other and communication. "Ready? Set? ok, let's go" and other verbal communications like that. It can be awkward when one stops pedaling and you get your feet bucked off. Stuff like that. My girlfriend and I love riding our Motobecane tandem. My parents do ok with theirs. They have a pact to hug and kiss after they ride.

But it's a great time. I hope you and your wife like it!
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Old 10-22-2012, 08:38 PM   #14
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They say that which-ever direction your relationship with your cycling partner is going a tandem will get you there quicker.



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Old 10-22-2012, 09:13 PM   #15
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My wife and I bought one this last winter. As you can see, we don't get a lot of time on it. I do LOVE it though, as do my daughters!

Have fun!

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