It probably comes as no surprise to any of our regular readers that I will occasionally check out the used tandem market via the usual internet outlets like Ebay and Craigslist as well as the somewhat more specialized ones like the always reliable, long-lived tandemmag.com/classified site that enthusiasts like your truly continue to hold in high esteem because it IS targeted to tandem enthusiasts. But, wait a minute — you say quietly to yourself — what about TCA’s classifieds? Yes, what about TCA’s on-line classifieds? Five bikes when I last checked, although a couple of them are pretty interesting.
Anyway, I also learn about and occasionally share information about enthusiast’s personal tandems when I can fit in a plug to something I’d already planned to write about. In fact, that’s exactly how we ultimately ended up with our Dennis Bushnell-built, Precision triplet this past spring after making a long-overdue mention of its availability in a March blog entry. The story behind the triplet was recounted in a subsequent blog entry that I penned on April 28th after acquiring the bike from Roger D. and the rest, as they say, is history. Thankfully, while a lot of the tandems that I’ve learned about from friends and acquaintance whom we know from the tandem community are pretty nice, we’re pretty well covered up with bikes and tandems so it’s been a bit easier to “push back from the table” as these bikes have come to my attention. So, without further adieu….
2008 Calfee Dragonfly, size Small located in Golden, Colorado
This one belongs to our friends Dan & Bevin. As noted in a posting to the Tandem@Hobbes community, their Dragonfly is in excellent condition and outfitted with a nice Campy/Shimano build kit and all of the other better / lighter-weight components that you get without doing a second mortgage on your home. In terms of value, the entire tandem as it sits is being offered for just a few more bucks than a new, bare Dragonfly tandem frameset. You can find more photos on Dan’s picasa site by clicking here. You can shoot Dan an Email by clicking here.
2002 Co-Motion Primera, size Small located in Tallahassee, Florida
A couple had “hoped” that this Co-Motion Primera would somehow fit and gave it a go, but it was just too small for them. Their loss is your gain as the sellers have this listed at the Panther’s Tandem Club site for $1,200, and I believe that may be a bit negotiable and even at $1,200 that’s a bargain. Again, reading from the ad, this tandem has seen very little use and features a very-cool, very unusual for a Co-Motion shape shifter Green/Plum metallic paint job. While the finish has a few blems, the mechanical condition aside from a rusty sync chain was characterized as “pristine” by our friend Rick.., who I consider to be pretty particular when it comes to bikes and their condition. The original specs can be found on-line at Precision’s Website and anyone who is interested in this beautiful tandem should contact our friend Rick via Email. Detailed photos can be found on-line here.
Fleabay Offerings of Note…
Litespeed Taliani Custom Triplet in Madison, Wisconsin
As for what’s on Ebay these days, I do find it somewhat entertaining to see that the same Litespeed Titanium triplet that we first saw back in March of 2010 is still “on the market”. Of course, being on the market usually implies someone is interested in finding a buyer for something, but in this case I’m not sure what they’re marketing, as the bike is extremely over-priced… assuming we’re still talking $25k USD and not 25k COP (Columbian Pesos) which would be more reasonable. I must assume that there is some level of “traffic” that the shop gets from hits on Ebay that send shoppers to their Website / Ebay store. Who knows, I just feel for the poor guy who has to answer Email inquiries on the bike.
Early 1980’s Kent Rogers Tandem Tricycle in Madison, Wisconsin
This is just cool. It’s a vintage Ken Rogers tandem trike fabricated out of Reynolds 531 tandem tubing. How it got from Roger’s shop in Hounslow England to Madison, Wisconsin isn’t clear, but it would be a great addition to our stable if we had: (a) a place to put the darn thing as it looks like it will eat up a lot of floor space, and (b) could find a place to ride it, noting the very wide wheelbase would certainly freak-out motorists as well as MUP cyclists, runners, bladders, dog-walkers and pedestrians. Again, this just warrants a look-see by any hardcore enthusiasts who haven’t checked out a tandem like this. As for the price, it looks a bit steep. Sure, this is a novel machine… but it’s hardly all that collectible. Then again, it is being offered by the same shop that’s been listing the Litespeed triplet (above) for the past two years.
Case in point, now we’re talking…. A 1932/35 James Superlux vintage tandem tricycle. I can’t do it justice by paraphrasing the Ebay ad: just go and check it out! I’d consider making room for this beauty and it’s actually a REAL auction: no minimum/reserve; highest bid wins. Frankly, I think our friends Bob & Jan T. NEED this for when they head down to the square for dinner and concerts in The Villages on Saturday evenings now that their little red car is in storage.
2009 Landshark Composite Tandem, size Small located in Ashland, Oregon
I’d heard that John Slawta was making composite frames and had even made a couple for Levi Leipheimer, but had not seen a composite tandem until this one popped-up on Ebay. Again, very cool and I’d love to take it for a spin to see how it compares to our Calfee. The asking price seems very reasonable for a lightly used composite bike, although the wheels and rear-spacing may leave something to be desired for all but the most lightweight or “clean riding” sport/recreational teams. The specs on the ads both on Ebay and Siskiyou Velo suggest that it has 130mm or perhaps 135mm rear spacing as it’s using Shimano Ksyrium wheels and it’s not clear if they were given a wider axle or if the frame was designed around a narrow (for tandems) rear triangle.
Ref. 130mm spacing on tandems, some useful insight from a friend and racer who pilots tandems at national championship level paralympic events:
Greg M: None of the tandems I’ve raced against on the high end, at either Para Nats, International races, or Masters nats, had rear spacing greater than standard 130. The UCI rulebook even mentions that those racing in UCI Para events are strongly urged to ride 130 spaced wheels so they can use neutral support. Of course, I race on the cheap, on a 90s vintage Marinoni steel bike with 145 spacing; this cost us a silver at last year’s Para nats when we flatted in the RR and had to change the innertube because we could not take a neutral wheel.
1990’s Ibis (Cousin It?) Tandem, size Medium/Small located in Dayton, Ohio
Although the seller doesn’t share any year or model information, I’d guess that this is a 1996ish Ibis Cousin It with 26″ wheels. The lister goes on to note that the tandem has low mileage, having been used mainly for special events like tours of the Canadian Rockies and Yellowstone. It has a very nice collection of components. Worth taking a look, but wish there were more photos. While not the most iconic or rare models of Ibis, it’s one of the ones that begs to be ridden just about anywhere. No reserve, so this one’s also a real auction!!!
1990’s Ibis Touche, size small located in Great Barrington, Massachusetts
Yet another highly sought-after Ibis, but this one is a 700c model with the truly iconic with its “Toe Jam” frame pump peg, “Hand Job” rear brake cable hanger, and of course the ‘MORON” tubing. While this one is not in pristine condition, you really don’t want an Ibis to be pristine. You expect that it was purchased to be ridden by someone who was a cycling and tandem enthusiast and who appreciated what made Ibis bikes just a bit different from the others. The seller has this one up on ebay as well as Craigslist and also has lots of photos. Worth taking a look.
1950’s Cycles Devos, size Medium located in Hillsboro, Oregon
And just a sampling of some of the classic tandems that are up for auction at Ebay, here is probably one of the nicer ones that you’ll find. Again, as noted by the seller, this is a hand-built high-end tandem from Brussels, Belgium manufactured approx. in late 40’s to 50’s by Cycles Devos. This bike has gone through a restoration/preservation by the owner — trained professional bicycle mechanic and vintage bicycle collector — approx. twenty years ago and has been stored in their home on display since then. Once again, even if you’re not in the market this one’s worth a look-see. Once again, this is a true auction. There are a lot of other Schwinn tandems and the like from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s out there as well.
Late 90’s / Early ’00 Bruni Tandem, perhaps Medium size located near Baltimore, Maryland
A sentimental example, this is a Tom Bruni creation from what I’d guess is the late 90’s early ’00. We lost Tom a few years back in an unfortunate cycling accident, but his unique tandems are still out there and are always a great source of interest. This one appears to be a 26″ wheeled model with the open frame that Tom favored well before other builders re-discovered that tandems didn’t always need an internal tube when the right combination of tubing is used. The seller’s sound like classic tandem folks too: “We hope to sell it to a good home, so it can live through many more trips across country roads or through busy streets.” Their pricing is also quite reasonable and negotiable.
2008 Paketa V2 Tandem, size Medium located near Fairway, Kansas
Great example of the detail I like to see in a classified ad: 2008 Paketa tandem-size medium frame. Bike was sold new by Precision Tandems of Kansas City. Blue frame is constructed of magnesium, which is as light as aluminum but has the vibration-dampening qualities of carbon. Campagnolo chorus shift levers. Alpha X2 carbon fork. FSA headset. Carbon seatposts. Four profile design carbon cages. 60-tooth Vuelta large chain-ring. 10-speed 11-28 rear cassette. Rear hub accepts a disc brake. “Thudbuster” rear seat post. White Industries hubs. 36-spoke wheels hand-built by Precision Tandems. For local sale only. I will entertain any serious offers.