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Tandem brand recommendations(15 posts)

Tandem brand recommendationsUncleMoe
Oct 10, 2002 1:47 PM
My wife and I went to Vancouver a few weeks ago. I road ride and MTB and have been religiously for a good 12 years. I've tried to get her into it, but she doesn't enjoy the climbs in MTB'ing, and in road rides she feels like she slows me down.

So we rented a tandem in Vancouver and really enjoyed ourselves. Much easier to coordiante than we thought and the three hour ride flew by. We were sad when it was over.

I've done a tiny bit of research and most of the stuff I find reviews on are the exotic brands such as Calfee. I'm thinking I'd like to get a steel frame because I'd like us to go for longer rides on weekend and aluminum might be too harsh. I'm also thinking a MTB frame/tire cause I think my wife will feel more comfortable, I'll just use slicks so the knobbies don't slow us down.

Any brand recommendations for a decent entry level steel MTB tandem? Perhaps in the $2000 - $3000 range?

I was looking at the Cannondale MT800 but I think that is aluminum.
Here's the results of a search of the messageboard.NJRoad
Oct 10, 2002 1:59 PM
http://forums.consumerreview.com/crforum?127@@.ee7b55e
Ignore my previous post...NJRoad
Oct 10, 2002 2:01 PM
just search the message board you'll find lot's of relevant information.
SantanaMXL02
Oct 10, 2002 2:33 PM
they have an entry level steel tandem for about $3000. We just bought the Santana Sovereign and love it.

Others are Co-Motion and Burley. Good luck.
Ditto on the Santana. We love ours. nmMB1
Oct 10, 2002 6:29 PM
Got a tandem for 25th anniversary . . .Look381i
Oct 10, 2002 3:39 PM
for similar reasons. We got an alu Cannondale, which is light and stiff, but I have a several friends on steel Co-Motions who think they are excellent all-round and a good value. I'll say that I sure like riding pacelines with tandems. We can really keep the speed up.

As with singles, making sure it fits is most important.
re: Tandem brand recommendationspinarello
Oct 10, 2002 4:09 PM
Try http://www.chucksbikes.com/ they have mtn. bike tandems with suspensions. They are aluminum but price is right. Catapult
I wouldn't dismiss aluminumMel Erickson
Oct 10, 2002 5:31 PM
The stoker almost always has a suspension seatpost (or even a softride beam) and large MTB tires really soften the ride. We've got a Santana Rio (aluminum) and really love it. It's a MTB tandem which I've recently fitted with 26/1.75 slicks. It's also got a stout suspension fork which was put on by the previous owner. I've been too lazy to take it off but will this winter and replace it with the original rigid fork (we only ride road). As previously mentioned there's Santana, Co-motion, Burly, Cannondale, etc. All make pretty good tandems. Unless you're really going to get into fast recreational riding or racing most brands will be fine for 2-3 hour rides with the wife. I'd be more concerned with price, componentry, style and color.
Check out a custom Curtlomickey-mac
Oct 10, 2002 8:59 PM
Curtlo builds great frames at reasonable prices. With a frame price at $1500, you can probably get a complete bike near your price range. http://www.curtlo.com/currentprices.html
Another option.Spoke Wrench
Oct 11, 2002 5:07 AM
Santana has three basic frame designs (road, enduro and off road) that they produce in various frame materials and price ranges. The enduro bikes use road componentry with 26" wheels.

The thing that attracts me to Santana is that they make only tandems and they are big enough to be able to do quite a bit of research and development to produce better bikes. I think that the difference in tandem ride qualities is significantly greater than single bikes because of the much longer wheelbase. See if you can find a dealer who has a low end bike, maybe a Burley, and a Santana or equivlent to try one after the other. To me, the cheaper bikes feel like the back end is "loose" compared to the Santana.

The biggest piece of advice I can give you is to do everything you can think of to keep mama happy back there. Warn her of every single bump. Tell her when you are planning to stop. You will almost surely want the longer stoker stem option. Follow the maintenance directions that come with your suspension seatpost and match the seat she has on her single bike (assuming she likes it).

If you are travlers, seriously consider the S&S take apart option. I have two sets of friends who own them and who take frequent overseas trips and they love them. The big issue they solve is what to do with your shipping box during the time that you are on vacation. You have one or two manageable size boxes insted of one huge one. (A Santana shipping carton is 4' high, 8' long, and about 8" wide).

In the interest of full disclosure, my wife and I have ridden tandems for more than 25 years. All of our experience on decent quality tandems has been on steel frame Santanas so I don't feel that I can give a good brand to brand comparison. Our current bike is a Nivacrom frame road bike. Our daughter and son-in-law own a Burley Rock-n-Roll with 1 1/2" slick tires that seems to satisfy them just fine. I am probably going to convert the front handlebar to a road style for them sometime this winter.
Hey Spokewrench- thanksMXL02
Oct 11, 2002 6:23 AM
When I asked about Tandems on the board several weeks ago, your advice helped a great deal. My wife and I love our new Sovereign...what a blast to ride! Thanks again for your continued tandem advice on the board.
Well written - follow-up question?UncleMoe
Oct 11, 2002 8:10 AM
I had never heard the term enduro before I started doing research on the tandems. What exactly does that mean. From the specs, it sounds like its not strictly a road frame, but also not a MTB frame either?

I learned quickly (and she told me quickly) in Vancouver to tell her what I was going to do in breaking and turns and stuff. It was fun after the first 15 minutes and we got our communication down.

Also - advice on test rides? I'm in San Diego and I've done some dealer searches on websites to find who sells these things. The ones that come up seem to be shops I've been to before..they don't generally stock tandems. I only see them when they are being picked up from a special order. Any specialtly websites that list shops that deal in larger volumes and would have various models in stock?
Try Santana's website.Spoke Wrench
Oct 11, 2002 3:49 PM
I'd look for a Santana test ride center. There are a relatively few scattered around the country. I think that would be a good place to look because they are supposed to have 5 Santanas of various sizes, styles and materials in stock. I assume that a shop which maintains that much investment in Santanas would probably carry another tandem line or two also and would have a staff that speaks fluent tandemese.
Burley.MrCelloBoy
Oct 11, 2002 7:12 AM
They make a number of great, reasonably priced tandems.
Didn't you have second thoughts about Burley after you upgraded? nmMB1
Oct 11, 2002 7:41 AM