Buying my first tandem

Deafie

Veteran
I'm going to have a look at this tomorrow
https://newyork.craigslist.org/fct/bik/d/greenwich-burley-samba-tandem-double/7167889644.html
My cycling buddy and I want to give it a try and I thought this would be a great bike for us to learn on and figure out if it's for us.
The rear wheel looks a little worn and doesn't match the front one so I'm going to be looking for wear and tear on the parts. Is there anything I should know re' tandems before I start negotiations on the price?
 

classic33

Legendary Member
26" tyre availability!
 

Sharky

Guru
Location
Kent
Could be the angle of the photo, but the front/rear cranks don't look parallel. Probably insignificant, but find out how the chain tension is done between the two chainsets. Could be an eccentric BB? A slack chain could be causing the slight non parallel cranks or the front chainset needs to be rotated by one tooth?

But looks like a good tandem.
 
OP
D

Deafie

Veteran
Could be the angle of the photo, but the front/rear cranks don't look parallel. Probably insignificant, but find out how the chain tension is done between the two chainsets. Could be an eccentric BB? A slack chain could be causing the slight non parallel cranks or the front chainset needs to be rotated by one tooth?

But looks like a good tandem.
I hadn't thought about chain tension and I do see the cranks are off a little.
In the photo it does look like an eccentric bb now you mention it
 
I just bought my first tandem a month or so ago, I was a bit picky in that I wanted 700c wheels not 26 inch as I think they roll better/go faster also I did not want canti or v-brakes , I was really lucky that one popped up nearby in the right size with 700c wheels and unusual but effective hydrallic rim brakes.
It was 24 years old but on original unmarked wheels, the owner reckoned it had done a little over 400 miles in that time!
Tandems quite often are hardly used so age can not be of no real significance.
What is important that it fits the both of you!
I just did the normal of check wheel bearings, headset bearings, BB bearings by giving everything a good spin giving special attention to the wheels as Tandem wheels need to be bloody strong and in good nick. I also took some tools and ensured no stuck seatpost and no stuck stem ( 24 year old bike hardly ever used kept in a garage things are likely to sieze) what I did not spot was a cracked crank until i got it home a replacement was about 6 quid just hardish to find. ( tandem right ( non drive side) pilots cranks are special to tandems.
Price negotiation with tandems can be to or against your advantage, I knew the previous owner had try to sell it 3 times on the usual well know auction site with no takers and was about to move house and did not use it so really knocked him down on price.
Little did he know this was the only tandem within 200 miles I had found that fitted me and my missus ( she is tiny) and had 700c wheels and not canti or v brakes. I would have paid his asking price if I had,had to.
If where you are tandems come up fairly regularly and you and your buddy are of average size there may always be another so you can walk away if its not in good nick and is not going to cost you further money. Around here tandems do not come up for sale very often so it can be a waiting game.

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