KHS tandem?
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Thread: KHS tandem?

  1. #1
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    KHS tandem?

    I'm looking for a tandem to ride with my 9 year old. We would like to do some organized gravel road rides/road citizen type rides. We have done 50-60 miles on tandems before, so I am comfortable with the purchase (as far as him liking it).

    I had my eye on this Cannondale, but the $3xxx price tage was scaring me off. I saw this KHS The price is right, but obviously they are quite different in quality/specs.

    The lack of disc brakes worries me. I am okay with Tiagra.

    Any thoughts? Usuallly I am an Ultegra/105 type of guy. Any thing wlse I should be looking at?

    My lbs is a Trek/Cannondale dealer, so that is a plus.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    I found a nearly new (less than 300 miles on it) 2002 Cannondale RT3000 on Craigslist 2 summers ago, and got it with a brand-new-in-box Thule tandem carrier for under $1000. There are deals to be had out there. I would definitely keep an eye out, especially now that winter is coming.

    That being said, my Cannondale is from the year before they changed over to disc brakes. The frame is disc ready but I have to say the v-brakes that are on it stop great. No issues whatsoever.
    '02 Cannondale R700 USA Edition
    '02 Cannondale RT3000 Tandem
    '05 Cannondale Prophet 600
    '92 Trek 920 Singletrak (Rigged for commuting.)

  3. #3
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    Thanks!! I will keep my eye out, but also keep the KHS in mind.

  4. #4
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    I have a tandem with v-brakes one with cantilevers and one with disks. If set up correctly with good pads they all stop good. The disks will handle more heat and work better in the rain. Given the choice I would take disks but would not let the lack of them stop me from buying a bike I liked.

  5. #5
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    I was just looking the the 2012 KHS Tandemania Milano online. Not sure exactly which model you were looking at, but, that one has a disc compatible front fork. I can't see the left chainstay from their photo to know if the frame is disc compatible.

    What I'm getting too is that you might be able to upgrade to disc brakes down the road, should you decide you really need them. Of couse at the very least this will require upgrading the wheel hubs too to disc compatible units, but it could be done.

    Once you get some miles on it, you could implement an upgrade plan and gradually upgrade all of the components.

    I have heard great thinks about the KHS Tandems (excellent value, nice ride) and nearly pulled the trigger on one myself except I could not find a local dealer where I could see one.
    '02 Cannondale R700 USA Edition
    '02 Cannondale RT3000 Tandem
    '05 Cannondale Prophet 600
    '92 Trek 920 Singletrak (Rigged for commuting.)

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the note. I like to tinker with bikes and I could always pick up some discs.

  7. #7
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    I was looking at the same KHS for myself and my wife. I looked a Trek which I thought were just plain ugly, the Co-Motion's and the Surlys, but the KHS was the cheaper of the last 2 and seemed to be quite nice for the price. So I'm leaning in that direction myself.

  8. #8
    your text here
    Reputation: weltyed's Avatar
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    another vote for check craigslist. after periodically checkin i got a cannondale mtb tandem with less than 75 miles for $600. people love the idea of the tandem, but many dont like actually riding tandems.
    I don't normally "do people." - Dr. Roebuck

  9. #9
    this should be witty
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    I (we) has a KHS Milano...

    And are very happy with it. We are right around 350 pounds. Biggest complaint is that after 2500 miles we started breaking spokes on the back wheel. Talked to some tandem specific shops, and they all said that the rim that comes with the bike just wasn't built for such a heavy team. Have replaced with a 48 spoke beauty with Peter White hub ($$$$) and haven't had a problem since.

    Ours came with both rear rim brakes and disc brakes, as well as front rim brakes. I don't know why KHS does not publicize this. We set it up so that the stoker runs the rear disc with a bar end shifter as a drag brake for long, steep descents. I tell her how many clicks to apply. Works great for us. The front fork also has a disc mount. Last winter I added an Avid BB-7 with 160 mm rotor. I'm very happy with it, but would like to try the bigger rotor someday.

    All in all, it was a great purchase for a team that had never ridden a tandem before. Now we know we are hooked and wish we would have went right to a da Vinci, but hindsight is 20/20.

  10. #10
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    350 pounds total? Total is not all that much weight per person, I would think that KHS would have had wheels on it that could handle that easily, especially since they made the bike to handle touring loads which could easily add at least 70 pounds of gear to the rider weight.

    At least you made us aware of the problem, I'll probably try to negotiate at point of sale for trade in allowance for a different set of wheels and see what they say. The Peter White wheels are probably the best wheels you could buy for your purpose, but I know LBS's don't handle his stuff which is fine as long as the LBS can get me better wheels.

  11. #11
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    We also total around 350 lbs. along with 50 or so in bike and gear and have had a problem with snapping rear spokes nearly every ride. (Genereic hub laced to midgrade 40 spoke rims). I took the the wheel into the local bike shop and had it inspected - at their recommendation we had them replace the spokes with a good grade of DTSwiss and have had no issues the last 1500 miles or so. For the quite resonable sum of $80 materials and labor. I would recommend this before spending $$$$. Unless you are suffering from upgraditis, of course!


    I would like to know what tandem shop thinks 350 lbs is a heavy team? I don't want to give them my business. Some of the guys i ride with push that solo.

    Fox

  12. #12
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    If you guys are really that heavy, it's good you're getting out to bike

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Albatrosspro View Post
    If you guys are really that heavy, it's good you're getting out to bike
    350 pounds divided by 2 is a 175 pound average rider for people 6 foot and over is not all that bad, in fact using the BMI scale it's considered normal weight down to real close to 5' 10" and the BMI doesn't take bone size into consideration nor muscle mass. So now think about it this way, you have a 6' 4" male and a 5' 10" female and you have a team of riders that are in physically great shape at 350 pounds total. If you think 175 is overweight then your probably underweight or a under 5' 10", personally I think your underage.

  14. #14
    No Crybabies
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    I've had a KHS Sport tandem since 2000. Fantastic value. A bit heavy, but perfectly functional. Last weekend I did a 70 mile ride on it with my 8 year old. Have been looking at the Milano, more road oriented, as an upgrade replacement.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

    When my fist clenches, crack it open
    Before I use it and lose my cool
    When I smile, tell me some bad news
    Before I laugh and act like a fool

  15. #15
    T.R., conservationist
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    About your KHS comment, butlerrider...
    'All in all, it was a great purchase for a team that had never ridden a tandem before. Now we know we are hooked and wish we would have went right to a da Vinci, but hindsight is 20/20. '

    I ended up with a '92 or '93 Trek T-200 that after all said and done was ~$1400 to $1500. Wish I would have done research and KHS would be no-brainer. However, the reason I got it was the beautiful red paint; the painting now doesn't seem to come out like the old way of painting turned out.
    So, I found a stoker.. hope I enjoy tandeming as much as you butlerrider, but if so a Co-motion may be in my future... we'll see, looking at bikes is too fun.

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