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Tandem Bike Purchase Considerations
Old 05-13-2008, 12:05 PM   #1
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Tandem Bike Purchase Considerations

Been a while since I road a bike - DW has virtually never ridden one but now suggests we should get a Tandem one for exercise (wonder whose) and maybe store visits. I am thinking since usually walk 4 to 8 miles a day it may work as we do have lots of good bike paths around here. Thinking also about just a plain no-gear bike since all areas we would be riding in a re flat with virtually no hills or curbs. Any one (do) done this recently and any bike suggestions. Don't plan to spend a lot of money on it (think Wal-Mart price range). BTW we are relatively healthy but are 68 & 71 years old. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
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Old 05-13-2008, 12:33 PM   #2
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Kent DualDrive 21 Speed Comfort Cruiser Tandem Bicycle

This one is pretty cheap at $250.

The problem with cheaper bikes is cheaper components so you might end up spending more in the long run fixing it.
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Old 05-13-2008, 12:34 PM   #3
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I have heard from a coworker that they are actually harder to operate than one would think and I don't want you two risking a fall or injury!

If there is somewhere you can rent one - I would try that first before purchasing to ensure you will use it often!

If you do - get matching helmets and post the pics!
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Old 05-13-2008, 01:02 PM   #4
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How about just two basic bikes ? They can usually be had at Target or Walmart for under $100.
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Old 05-13-2008, 02:09 PM   #5
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Thanks for the quick responses. When my kids were younger we actually had a tandem that my daughter and I used to ride it all the time (of course that was about 35 years ago). DW will only consider a tandem - I think she envisions just looking around while I work myself to death.
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Old 05-13-2008, 03:58 PM   #6
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Good tandems are really expensive - think few thousand dollars.
But for few miles ride cheapest ones like Martha suggested Kent Walmart.com : Kent DualDrive Tandem Bicycle : Bikes, Scooters & Skates or Kuala Lua Walmart.com : 26" Kulana Lua Tandem Bike : Bikes, Scooters & Skates should do fine.
I know that you asked for single speed, but you might find geared one more to your liking.
Another option is to look on craigslist for a used tandem, but even there they seem to be pricey.
If you know how tall & heavy are both of you and your inseam measurements I can help you better with bike fit (you can PM me if you don't want to post this info in public)
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Tandem Bike
Old 05-13-2008, 04:30 PM   #7
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Tandem Bike

I'm an avid biker. Riding on the back of a tandem sucks, and trying to keep pace with each other is distracting to say the least. Plenty of good regular all purpose bikes in classifieds everywhere.

I personally like the riding position of a mountain bike. I use less aggressive tires and keep them fully inflated to reduce friction. Line them with anti flat plastic. I've never had a flat. I put paniers on the back and use it as my local form of transport.

Best of luck, ride safe
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Old 05-13-2008, 04:44 PM   #8
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If you are on a limited budget, I'd suggest looking for a used bike or bikes if you go the single bike way. You can find a better bike for the same money. If you check out bikeforums.net, most folks there have a very low opinion of the 'Xmart' bikes.
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Old 05-13-2008, 05:01 PM   #9
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I'd try to wear down DW a little as to trying some regular bikes first. How often do you see people riding to the store on a tandem?
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Old 05-13-2008, 05:46 PM   #10
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We bought two of these for $350 each last Sunday. Found them on Craigslist, a guy bought them for his sailboat used them about one hour and then hung them in the garage for two years. That's more than you want to spend, but I got them for the same reason you are, to get DW out more for exercise. We don't need the "folding-up" feature, but I couldn't resist having a bicycle with an engine on it for when hills are daunting. Always wanted one when I was a kid.

My point is that there are a LOT of good used bikes up for sale now on craigslist, I've noticed the increase in just the last couple of weeks. Like treadmills, people buy good-quality bikes with the best of intentions, use them a couple of times, and lose interest. Aside from outgrown kid's bikes, most seem to be kept in basements/garages and are perhaps dusty, but well-preserved.

And yes, the oxymoron of buying a bicycle with an engine on it for exercise did not escape me.
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Old 05-13-2008, 06:50 PM   #11
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DW and I have been doing a lot of biking for the past couple of years. If you want to learn about tandems -- or anything else about biking try bikeforums.net. There are a bunch of bike related forums there, all quite active. If you are ERd and "of a certain age" follow the 50+ forum - great group.
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Old 05-13-2008, 07:19 PM   #12
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DW has virtually never ridden one but now suggests we should get a Tandem one for exercise (wonder whose) and maybe store visits.
A lot of good stuff about bicycles here, but I'm not sure that's the entire story. If I had to hazard a guess I'd say DW wants to spend a little more time with you. Or, she'd like to bike but is a little unsure of herself.

I've suggested a tandem to DP myself -- he's got glaucoma and with the reduction in his peripheral vision, doesn't feel comfortable piloting a bike in traffic by himself.
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Old 05-14-2008, 10:15 AM   #13
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If I had to hazard a guess I'd say DW wants to spend a little more time with you.
Maybe she wants to spend more time looking at your butt. Or, if she's in front, she wants you to spend more time looking at her butt.
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Old 05-14-2008, 03:08 PM   #14
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We've been avid cyclists for years and bought a tandem (fancy recumbent one) awhile ago. Unless you're avid cyclists already with truly great communication skills and similar levels of fitness, tandems are a recipe for marital discord. As another poster mentioned, the stoker (person in back) gets a great view of the butt of the captain and not much else, has to pedal but has no control of speed or direction, yet must communicate constantly with said captain about pace, upcoming turns and stops, etc.

Two inexpensive single bikes from Craigslist (or two pairs of running shoes, skates, swim wear....you get the idea) would be my recommendation.
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