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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am considering purchasing a Trek T900 (price and stoker size) for my 8 year old son and I. I plan to upgrade the components for mountain use however I dont want to spend a small fortune if he does not enjoy it. I'm looking for input on mountain tandems with child stokers. Is the T900 with upgrades reasonable for single track for my son and I or am I just wasting my money? Any comments would be appreciated.
 

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Set a budget and stick to it.

That model is not affordable just to get people into tandems. I worked at a shop that rented them. They were fine for around the town outings. I don't know how well they would hold up on the trail. Other then the obvious for components ours had really soft breaks. It is not a bad bike, but you get what you pay for.

You may have luck finding a used tandem that would serve you better.
 

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MTB Tandem Nut
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You'll have two issues with the Trek, one solveable and one not:
1. Components will be fine for easy rides around town or the occsional rail-trail, but if you venture off-road, you'll find the limits very quickly. You'll also find durability limits very quickly if you ride it much. As you already know, this is curable by spending $ on components. However, at some point, you exceed the practical value of the bike that way.
2. Geometry will not be suitable for off-road. And you can't fix this issue practically.
So if you solve # 1, # 2 still remains. Lipstick on a pig, if you will.
As bush_belay said, you'd be better served looking for a used tandem somewhere. Not sure where you're located, but let us know and we'll keep an eye out.
How much is the T900?
Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
child stoker

Thank's to both for the replies. The Trek is $1,100.00 however I would have spent another $500.00 in upgrades which puts me in the Cannondale Street Tandem price range. It looks like the C'dale street tandem is very similiar to the Euro spec mountain tandem. The problem is rear top tube standover height for my just turned eight year old. I've read the stoker really doesn't need to be able to straddle the top tube on a road tandem site however were likely to stop alot more on singletrack, is that right? Were in Providence.
I have been checking Craigs list for 6 months with no luck, just missed a T900 for $650.00 Thanks
 

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MTB Tandem Nut
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I doubt you're going to get any realistic standover for a child stoker on any viable off-road tandem. While standover is always important, for a child stoker, it's kind of moot; they won't need to straddle the tandem at a stop, since the captain holds the bike up, and the stoker can bail to either side if things get a little iffy. For most situations, the stoker stays clipped in anyway, unless dismounting.
So I wouldn't sweat the stoker standover thing at all. Buy a tandem based on geometry and components.
We've ridden with the kids on back for years, they had no standover, and it wasn't an issue.
Just be a good captain and show them lots of cool trails, mud holes, and other sorts of stuff that kids like. Take breaks to look at cool stuff like bugs and creeks, and see the whole experience from the kid's eyes. BTW, there's nothing as cool as hearing the "roller coaster scream" from the back seat of the tandem as you're rockin' & rollin' through the woods!
Also, expand your search for a tandem. It's possible, but not likely, that you'll find one locally, but your experience has already shown that to be iffy. Instead, check here:
http://www.tandemmag.com/classified/,
or use CraigPal to search other areas. Also, check fleabay, even though most of the stuff on there is cheap junk nowadays.
Finally, post what size you need here, and maybe folks on this forum know of something.
And yes, there are others that read and post here as well; not that you'd know from the last post identifier on the main forum page...
 

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To second what was said, I have been riding our C'Dale tandem for a year with the child stoker kit on for my son (5 y.o. when we started riding it, he is now, obviously 6). We ride technical singletrack on it, and he just bops along on the back. He loves going down rocky technical stuff and being able to tell his mom that he is a more brave, better mountain biker than her! And, his is about 2' away from being able to touch the ground. Don't sweat it. Get 'em out and have fun with them on a tandem!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
child stoker

Thanks for the informative replies. I found a $625 Burley on Craigs List New York and was ready to make the 12 hour round trip to buy it. The seller of the 2 year old Trek T900, $650 and ten minutes from my house called me. He was nearly victim of a scam and offered it to me instead of the original buyer.
I know its not the ideal off roader but for $650 its in new condition and the fits my 8 year old without modifications. My winter project will be some component upgrades to make it as trail worthy as it can be. We don't plan to do La Ruta or Trans Rockies.
If he likes it I'll buy a "real" tandem mountain bike in a few years. At least were in the club, now I have to find room in the garage for another bike!
 

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You may have already bought the Trek, but I just listed a nice Cannondale MT2000 WITH a child stoker kit for $999. LINK HERE with photos & details.

Just another option. I'm in West Michigan, BTW, and have been around the MTBR/tandem scene (Double Forte) going way back (just lurking in recent years).

Craig

 

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more photos

1x1_Speed_Craig said:
You may have already bought the Trek, but I just listed a nice Cannondale MT2000 WITH a child stoker kit for $999.
1x1_Speed_Craig, I would have been interested in your tandem but I live in Australia and I fear that the shipment would kill the project...
Instead and since I already own a tandem, I would be interested in more photos of your child stoker seat.
My daughter is only 2.5 year and she would not be strong enough to keep her lateral balance so I was thinking of adapting a childseat on a regular seat post. I would still like her to start pedaling. It seems to be the asaptation you have made and i would be thankful to see it better.
Eric
 
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