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 Post subject: Tandem
PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2013 4:58 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Sun Mar 17, 2013 10:25 pm
Posts: 1262
I have a hankering for a tandem

Don't know anything about them so what do I need to know and what do you have for sale?


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 Post subject: Re: Tandem
PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2013 10:18 am 
Old School Grand Master

Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2007 1:55 pm
Posts: 8204
Location: New Forest, UK
Firstly, old tandems are cheap but have significant problems:
1 Frames are flexible and handling is poor.
2 Brakes often unsuitable and weak
3 Drivetrain parts can be a nightmare to source.

Buy a later (post-1990 ish) one and they are a joy. Dawes made excellent machines which go well and are solidly built.

It's said that tandems make or break a relationship. Rent one before you buy.
If you buy, go for an MTB type one first: the handling is a bit less frisky and you can get used to riding it. The steering takes a lot of muscling about compared to a solo.


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 Post subject: Re: Tandem
PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2013 10:22 am 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Sun Mar 17, 2013 10:25 pm
Posts: 1262
Thanks for the reply hamster, not bothering about making or breaking the relationship as it's for me and my daughter, we do a lot of cycling together and would like to give a tandem a go. Not sure if there is anywhere up here hires them out, I need to look into that.


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 Post subject: Re: Tandem
PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2013 2:29 pm 
Old School Grand Master

Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2007 1:55 pm
Posts: 8204
Location: New Forest, UK
If you are even in the New Forest, give me a buzz and you can borrow ours for a spin. Just back from a tandem camping tour in France on ours (Dawes Kickback Two).

Typically they go for the £250-300 mark on ebay.


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 Post subject: Re: Tandem
PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2013 5:54 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Sun Mar 17, 2013 10:25 pm
Posts: 1262
Thanks for the kind offer hamster, sadly I'm in Central Scotland and not likely to be near the New Forrest in the foreseeable


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 Post subject: Re: Tandem
PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 12:12 pm 
rBoTM Winner
rBoTM Winner

Joined: Thu Aug 07, 2008 11:54 am
Posts: 1059
Location: Derby
Back up everything already said.

Look for a machine with a stiff frame{ Better power transfer and a firm ride} ie Thorn do some well made ,priced machines.
Test ride any before buying. You both need to be obviously present as the frame sizing it vital.
If second hand remember drive systems and wheels get a lot of hammer. Check rim wear!!


Missus and I tried various before settling on which to buy.As with everything else you get what you pay for.
Great fun down hill ,hence top quality brakes are a must.50 mph is easy.......and when loaded very easy.
Our machine has hydraulic rim brakes and they work well.However watch for over heating on long descents.Alternate braking help avoid this . With discs you need strong front forks...Some makers avoid fitting discs due stress issues.


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 Post subject: Re: Tandem
PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 2:10 pm 
Old School Grand Master

Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2007 1:55 pm
Posts: 8204
Location: New Forest, UK
A stiff frame stops the thing getting squirmy. A flexy frame has the tendency to head towards the ditch or oncoming traffic whenever the stoker scratches his leg.
Agreed on the brakes - I run Magura HS rim brakes and they work brilliantly - you also need chunky rims to soak up the heat. Discs are not really well suited to tandems - they need to be big and heavy and are just not up to it as standard. A drag brake is a good choice, which is one you switch on at the top of hills to keep speeds controllable - typically it's a rear drum.


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