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Cars Are Evil
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1,125 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm shopping for a first tandem for my wife and I. We'd be using it mainly on roads, with many of them being dirt with lots of potholes. I'm 6'4", 225lbs, she's 5'7", 125lbs.

Seems like disc brakes are fairly rare on the less expensive tandems, why is that? They sure work great on our mt bikes!

She works at a bike shop but unfortunately they don't carry any brands that have tandems :mad: So a frame might be a good option as we could then buy parts at wholesale to put on it.

Any suggestions?
 

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MTB Tandem Nut
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727 Posts
Disc brakes and disc hubs cost more, and so don't get spec'd on lower-end tandems. Some of the entry-level tandems use discs, but with 160mm rotors, which is probably a good way to make the brake fail.
Do you have a price range in mind?
 

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Down South Yooper
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1,010 Posts
I'd keep an eye on the used market, you could probably pick up an older tandem for pennies on the dollar. Buying a complete bike is likely to be much cheaper than spec'ing one yourself, and for mostly road use, you'll be able to find a used one that will suffice.

It's a good way to try it out and see if you'll like it. If you get the upgrade bug, you might be able to scavenge the old bike for the new, or make it a dedicated road machine and have a mountain machine to boot..

Plum
 

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Cars Are Evil
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1,125 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Is $1000 realistic?

Even if it didn't actually come with discs it'd be nice if the frame and hubs were compatible so we could add them.
 

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Down South Yooper
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1,010 Posts
Vermont29er said:
Is $1000 realistic?

Even if it didn't actually come with discs it'd be nice if the frame and hubs were compatible so we could add them.
I bought a complete mountain tandem for $300, all it really needed was to be cleaned and have a few things swapped out.

I'm not one to make things easy, so I had the frame modified for disc brakes and am still in the process of rebuilding, but the total cost should be well under $1000, probably closer to $800 or so.

If you were to start with a more modern frame, you'll be way ahead of me. Depending on where you are, I wouldn't think it would take too long to come across a cannondale or similar, disc brake compatible (if not equipped) tandem for $1000 or less.

Plum
 

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Registered
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2,036 Posts
$1000? Between 5-10 years old with front disc or at least fork mounts for disc and rear v-brake is realistic. Add used front disc wheel and you're in business.

Front and rear discs installed for that price .... probably not unless you found a killer deal. Front disc installed with rear tabs available, very slight chance.

Craigslist and ebay are your new best friends. I searched daily for 3 months just to get a feel for prices. I bought the same bike as Plum for $380 but I'm not putting discs on it. My intended use and yours sound similar.
 

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MTB Tandem Nut
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727 Posts
You should be able to score a used Cannondale for that amount, if you look hard enough. I would try that before most of the other entry-level brands as the C'dale frames are (were) US-made and higher quality than the others. Most of the post-2000 models had appropriate disc tabs on frame and fork, so you can upgrade later. If you're just riding forest roads and bike paths, V-brakes are fine. The discs would prove more useful on big descents, singletrack and wet conditions.
There are a lot of used Cannondales out there; use a Craigslist search engine and see what you come up with.
 

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Ole'
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25 Posts
TandemNut said:
... as the C'dale frames are (were) US-made and higher quality than the others.
Still US-made for 2010 model year; not sure when they'll follow-through on moving production off-shore as previously announced.
 
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