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Thread: Hello,

  1. #1
    MTK
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    Hello,

    I have some questions for all of you. First some history of me. I have been riding
    since 1984? Gary Fisher Montara. Still have it. I have 4 bikes now. An Intense
    Hardtail{ Jump/Park bike},a Santa Cruz Super 8,a DerKerf Implant,and a Draco
    German made Steel Hardtail given to me from a friend who was paralized in a
    Bike accident. He was so greatful for all of my work to help him,he gave me
    every bike part he had,including his helment. I built up that Bike and have it
    hanging in my garage. I just rode it the other day for the first time in years.
    Just on the street. I have had some bad luck in my life, and have not rode in
    over 3 years. I still come here and read,dream,and try to kick myself in the
    ass to get out there. I have a Ful Bike shop{10 by 14 shed in the back yard}.
    Now there is only cobwebs everywhere with blankets over my bikes. Tires
    never go flat. I have always wanted to get a tandem to ride with my Wife.
    I am now 43 years of age,and would consider myself above average rider.
    Very agressive,I can drop{or used too} 9 feet to flat on my DerKef,ride tall
    skiny walls and bunny hop like a mug. My Wife is rookie in every sense of
    the word. I have tobe careful so she can enjoy the ride. I come here in Tandem
    and read and read. I then go to Craiglist and look for Bikes. Only,I dont know
    what to look for? I just dont know enough about Tandems to make my own
    call? What do I want? A full Squish,but that is a dream due to money. Mabye this
    post is a waste of time,it seems hopeless.

    Question: I am 6'4 and my wife is 5'9. What should I try to find in a Tandem?

    I was thinking of buying a cheap one to see if we like it?
    How much do think I should spend on the first bike?


    I have alot of bike parts,forks,tires,wheels,shifters,brakes,etc.

    Thank You for your time,and forgive my gramical errors.

    MTK

  2. #2
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    Hello MTK. There are a few threads already running on similar topics such as your "what do I buy" question.

    Here's one current one:
    "Mountain-able" or not, that is the question

    The same advice in that thread would be applicable to you. You mention the size difference between you and your stoker, but what also matters in your inseam length. There is also a thread here somewhere that discusses sizing for the various Cannondale frames. It should be possible to get close with your fit.

    That said, Ventana has five or so standard frame sizes, and can and will make virtually any changes to the geometry you would want. Much more expensive than a used Cannondale, but...

    Read through the thread linked above and reply if you have other questions.

  3. #3
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    Another thread on intro to tandeming:
    MTB Tandem Biking for Dumbies?

  4. #4
    MTK
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    Thank You,

    I'll keep reading.

    MTK

  5. #5
    ALM
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    Hi MTK,

    My wife would love to be 5'9". I am 6' and she is 4' 10".

    We just purchased a used Cdale and have still not gotten to ride it yet but hoping to have it by Tue or Wed? We have been riding a road tandem for years. You will find out really quick if you will work as a tandem couple. Sounds like you can do anything on the bike but I would suggest doing nothing and let your wife/stoker gain confidence in you and the bike. My wife is already a little nervous about what off road tandeming will bring but we are just going to take baby steps and learn our capabilities together.

    I found my C'dale for $650 but adding some upgrades and will be 1000 or so into it. From all I read (and I read a lot) on the forum trying to educate myself, the Cdale was a great starting tandem. We will see if off road is for us or not.

    Get that tandem start riding. Share the sport it seems you loved again but this time with your wife. It will be double the fun.

  6. #6
    ALM
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    I just looked and you live in the Bay Area. Man, you have got to get a tandem and get out there! We just returned from a 2 week vacation in San Fran and fell in love with the area AND the temps!! It is so freaking hot here in Texas!

    You have so many great places to ride. I would have loved to have our tandem and ride around Sausalito and the Marin countryside. It was beautiful. The area is already so bicycle friendly.

    The other thread "mountain-able" has some C'dales listed in Cali. on craigslist. You know bikes and components. I am no expert but your sizing may take a Large'Med. for a C'dale. Somebody else here will chime in if I am correct or not. We got the Large/Small and our Trek road tandem is a Medium.

    I believe there is a thread with all the tandems that hookup in Cali. to ride together.

  7. #7
    MTK
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    I came back to do some

    reading and saw the last two post's. Yeah,I'm scared to buy the bike and not
    have things work out. However,I'll never know unless I try. I was thinking of buying a Bucket at first,to ride street. But I can find a nice groomed dirt trail all day long.
    So I would prefer a Dirt Tadem. We dont have the money,I should not be doing
    this. I was thinking with All the parts I have,mabye,just mabye I could buy the
    frame and slowly build her. I have a 6" and a 4" Zokie DC Forks. I have nice
    Ringle Wheels,I have the shifters,cassett,brakes,tires,grips,bars. I need to read
    up on the chain setup. I dont understand the chain setup. I did read here that
    tandems mash the rear cassett. Peace.

    MTK

  8. #8
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    The one good thing about buying an older used tandem is that if it doesn't work for you, you can probably sell it for close to what you paid (you may even make a profit).

    I recently started going through a somewhat similar situation as you. I've been cycling/mountain biking for 20 years and wanted to try a tandem to get my inexperienced GF to be able to ride with me. It took me a while to find a suitable bike, but I finally found one a couple of months ago. It's a fully rigid 90s era steel mountain tandem. I paid $500 for it, and put another $100 - $200 into it getting it set up right for us.

    I'm still working towards getting us on a singletrack ride, but we've done quite a few roads/gravel/paths rides where I've purposely sought out some urban "features" to get a feel for how it handles under different situations. It's waaaaaay different than riding a single. For people that have ridden a single for many years, you are so used to being able to finesse your way through trail features by gently moving the bike underneath you. When you try to do this with someone else's weight on the bike, it's a whole different situation. My first scare was on a short but steep eroded little hill in a nearby park that I ride all the time (I even ride in on my road bike). I pointed us downhill thinking it would be a piece of cake, and quickly found how difficult it was to make slight line adjustments (it was really sketchy). So don't go into it thinking your awesome skills on a single will translate into being awesome on a tandem. Theres a bit of relearning necessary, and some very real limitations.

    The good news is we've done pretty good going uphill (though steering is still challenging on the steeper stuff), and our speed riding on the road and bike paths is actually pretty good. I expected it to be halfway between my typical speed and her typical speed, but it's actually much closer to mine. Riding singles I would have to constantly look back to see if she was still there.

    I've been working out some routes through my local trails that should be doable on the tandem and expect to get us out there soon. I've pretty much figured out there are some technical features I ride regularly on my singles that we will never ride on the tandem. But that still leaves a lot of rideable trail with some occasional walking.

    I'm doubting I will every be able to justify a nice full squish tandem, they are just way too pricey and I doubt she will ever be into it enough for us to get enough use out of it. They do look like a lot of fun though.
    Warning: may contain sarcasm and/or crap made up in an attempt to feel important.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by trailville View Post
    My first scare was on a short but steep eroded little hill in a nearby park that I ride all the time (I even ride in on my road bike). I pointed us downhill thinking it would be a piece of cake, and quickly found how difficult it was to make slight line adjustments (it was really sketchy).
    Tire size? The 2.1s (really more like 1.9" if you actually measured) on our old KHS would take to grooves and bounce off rocks quite easily. The 2.5s on our Ventana? Like a monster truck - they roll over all sorts of things.

    Speed's also going to be an issue. Bit higher speed, let the momentum of the bike work for you. As you mentioned, it's a lot different from single bike riding, and slow-speed work on the tandem will take much longer for you to master on the trail.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Okayfine View Post
    Tire size? The 2.1s (really more like 1.9" if you actually measured) on our old KHS would take to grooves and bounce off rocks quite easily. The 2.5s on our Ventana? Like a monster truck - they roll over all sorts of things.
    .
    No skinny tires for me. The first thing I did when I got the bike was put some 2.3 k-rads on it (it had some nasty 1.95 semislicks on it that the previous owner thought were the cat's meow, it's a shame how many mountain bikes never see dirt). It won't fit much bigger than 2.3. The K-rads are actually very nice on the tandem for riding around town, gravel, and light dirt, but I plan on putting something more aggressive up front before seriously hitting any singletrack. I'm thinking about trying a Rampage.
    Warning: may contain sarcasm and/or crap made up in an attempt to feel important.

  11. #11
    MTK
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    trail,

    thank you for the post. It was very helpful. On that topic. I wanted to put a steeror
    dampner on her,the Hopey? Cant think of the name. A steel Frame is what I have
    been looking at. Although I have not done any homework on it lately,I would put
    a nice squish seatpost on it for her. So already,we have the Hopey and the Seatpost
    as a, "not need'ed expense". Peace.

    MTK{still looking for a frame that can take a DC Fork}

  12. #12
    MTK
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    The more I look people,

    it seems I should just go to garage sales and find a clunker to ride the street?
    I cant find anything I like out there. Tandem is much harder than bike huting.
    Peace.


    MTK

  13. #13
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    A clunker probably isn't going to go over well with your stoker. Sure, for street and smooth dirt roads you don't need a full-suspension bike. What's your budget? As mentioned here and elsewhere, the Cannondale is the bike to look for. At ~$1000, it may sound expensive. The thing is, if you need/want to sell it, you won't lose much money on the deal. You could also probably find a barely-used KHS for $600 or so, and while the straight math says that'll be cheaper, if you had to sell the KHS you'd lose more money on it than the C'dale.

    If you're trying to look south of that, then you get into the no-name stuff. That might do for what you want it for at the moment, but if you end up liking the tandem thing and want to get more adventurous, those sorts of bikes (and their components) will then be serious limitations (with very little resale value).

  14. #14
    "the big red train"
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    There is one thing that you should address. Does your wife ride now? Does she enjoy riding? If she does ride and she's with you on the idea of a tandem then go for it. If, however she doesn't ride or rides but doesn't really enjoy it, or if she's not on board with the idea of getting a tandem then don't spend the money. It would only be worth it if both of you want a tandem and plan on riding it. Sorry if I smashed any dreams but what ends up happening is the husband buys a tandem to get the wife involved in riding, but she doesn't like riding and rides it once or twice then the bike sits collects dust and cobwebs then gets sold....again!
    FWIW I'm 6'3" and my wife is 5'8" and we ride a 19"/16" Ventana ECDM.

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