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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife and I are contemplating a cycling tour in Europe next spring or summer and we figure a tandem tour is the way to go. So, to make sure we are tandem compatible, I picked up a low end model for us to practice on. This baby was under $250 delivered, so for the price it is great but you get what you pay for. Pics of the build below - it was mostly assembled but I had to install a few things. It was really odd bringing out a crescent wrench to work on a bike. I haven't done that since I was a kid.

Review of the Kent tandem bike

Pros
Cheap! 1/10 the price of a "real" tandem. Heck, it would have cost about as much as the whole bike to rent a tandem for a couple weekends. It even came with platform pedals and bottle cages.

Gets us started tandeming, which is really what we need it for.

Cons
Everything else. This bike is a beast at about 60 pounds. Low end components work ok but I am still trying to dial in the shifting (good luck with that). The tensioner pulley is noisy no matter how I adjust it. I'd replace if it I thought it worth the money.

The welds are definitely not top notch. Not worryingly so, but this is not a bike for those who admire master craftsmanship. The stoker bottle cage braze-ons are canted a few degrees off center so the bottle is leaning to the left instead of centered under the frame. I don't think that was intentional.

Probably the worst part, though, is the tires. They are only rated to 45psi which seems really low for a bike built for two. They also do not stay seated on the rims. I'll need to replace them with some decent commuter tires.

Ok, enough talk - on with the pics.

//note - seat heights not adjusted in these pics.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Test ride

I was nervous the first time we got on and my wife flicked up the kickstand. (Darn right it has a kickstand - and it's very convenient!) I wasn't so much worried about us ending up on the ground and I was worried about this event being the downfall of our marriage. We wobbled down the driveway, somehow managed to get seated and start pedaling, and giggled like kids as we turned on to the street and started cruising. We circled the neighborhood a few times, chatting with each other and waving to people we passed. As we pulled back up to the house I put my hand back and got 5 from my stoker wife.

Tandems are awesome.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
First real ride

Today we took the bike down to the local MUT for a cruise around White Rock Lake in Dallas, TX and packed a picnic to celebrate afterward. No pics of us on the bike, but I managed to get a few shots. The first one is my attempt to get a shot of my wife while we are riding. It almost worked.

Overall it was a good ride. Great weather, easy terrain, and fine company. We still have lots of practicing to do to synchronize our movements and smooth out our turns, but we were able to negotiate the joggers, strollers, dogs, and other normal trail hazards without incident. When we got back to the truck I noticed that the bead of the front tire had separated from the rim, but thankfully it held up. I'm not sure if it's the cheap tire or the cheap rim causing the problem but I'll put a better tire on and see if that helps.

Can't wait for more rides, and I wish we had done this sooner.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
MB1 said:
Actually that bike doesn't look to bad and it is hard to beat $250.

BTW tandeming in Europe is the way to go!

I figure if we ride this one enough to break it then we'll shell out for a nice Santana or other high end version. That's an expense I hope to have one day :D
 

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MB1 said:
Actually that bike doesn't look to bad and it is hard to beat $250.

BTW tandeming in Europe is the way to go!
That's what I thought, too. For $250 I think you stole it.
 
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