It's great to have a Lamborghini in my stable! On: 2010-08-05
Summary: Youll need to do a few upgrades, but for the price, its fantastic.
Rides reasonably well
Always gets positive comments from other cyclists and passerby
Needs immediate upgrades (brakes!, seats)
Non standard components and sizes
Wheels use nuts and bolts, not quick release
Prone to flats
In addition to this bike I have a Cannondale racing bike, a Specialized mountain bike, and a Trek hybrid. The Lamborghini (made by Kent bikes) is less than half the price of the least expensive of the others, so I wasnt expecting perfection when I bought it.
I agree with a lot of the other reviews on Amazon for this bike and will just highlight a few major points in my review.
The bike is packed well and assembles easily - anyone with a wrench, a set of allen keys, and a rudimentary knowledge of bikes can put it together. That being said, from a safety perspective I would suggest having your local bike store (LBS) give it a quick once-over.
Out of the box, the wheels needed to be trued, but other than that it was ready to ride - albeit slowly. Once the upgrades are made, it becomes a long distance cruising machine.
I immediately replaced the BRAKES that came with the bike and would recommend this to everyone. I live in San Francisco, and given the hills we have, I couldnt rely on the factory brakes that came with the bike (mass times velocity gets into some big numbers on tandems). Youll need a Travel Agent brake pulley for both the front and rear brakes. I installed Avid Single Digit 7 V-brakes which are great value for the money. (roughly $110 installed by my LBS)
I also immediately replaced the SEATS on the bike. I didnt even bother getting on the factory seats - some things are too precious to risk! (roughly $50 total for take-off seats at my LBS)
I replaced the pedals with Shimano MTB pedals front and rear. ($40 total on ebay)
I replaced the captains seatpost and the stem. Note that both of these items are non-standard on the bike - the seatpost is a non-standard size that requires a shim (provided), and the stem is a 1-1/4" quill stem that hasnt been used on bikes for years. Fortunately, I was able to find the stem used at a LBS. (total $15 for the stem, seatpost came with one of the seats above)
The shifters are not Shimano as advertised, but Microshift (an upstart Taiwanese brand). After a bit of adjustment they work fine, and probably are of the same caliber as Shimano in the same price range. The chain is a bit noisy, but is quickly drowned out by the wind as you gain speed.
After the improvements, the bike rides great. Dont get me wrong, I wouldnt use it for racing, but Ive regularly taken it on 40+ mile rides with different stokers and its been a champ. Its perfectly capable of being a casual cruiser, or screaming down the bike path.
Interestingly, I have had an unusual number of flats on this bike. The tires are 700x38 with Schrader valves, which is not a tube size found everywhere. The bigger issue is that the wheels are not quick release, so you have to carry a wrench in your tool kit. Ive installed spoke guards which seem to have resolved the issue.
Bottom line - if you want a reasonable, roadworthy tandem for under $800, get this bike, do the upgrades, and enjoy.
If you have specific questions, drop me an email at kinichahau1 at gmail.
Lamborghini was more than I expected On: 2009-09-01
All bikes have to be packed in a box and if handled enough, they will all have some sort of damage. I had the broken spoke on the front like others where it was tied to the crank. No big deal and fixed it easily and quickly. I knew the bike had lower end components and planned to upgrade as needed. First was the brakes. I took one other reviews advice and got two travel agents ($18 ea) and the brakes were fine after that. Google STI shifters/v-brakes/cable travel to see what I mean. The cassette freewheel was loud/grinding and did not disassemble so I got a better one for ($27). A 13 tooth is the smallest in an 8 speed screw on. I then put on a regular nylon pulley (Walmart-Lowes-Home Depot $10) on a shoulder bolt in place of the derailluer pulley in between the bottom brackets for a tensioner which made it much quieter when pedaling. A derailluer pulley is made for the chain to wrap around so by having it just touch, that is why it is too loud. Last was the tires. After some flats, I swapped to Continental 700x28 Gatorskins and have had no problems there. After that, I put on my wife and my road saddles, our pedals and we were good to go. The components work great and for $600, we have a very fast, reliable tandem. I was more than pleased and was surprised by the quality of the components. We trained for 1 month for the Hotter n Hell Hundred. Did it saturday in 5 hours 9 minutes and averaged 19.7 mph.
wa lao eh, backside damn pain On: 2009-08-21
took a 3 hour ride as the pillion rider. it really takes some effort to get used to it.
the seat was really hard and i had a sore butt :(
i gave it 4 stars for the fun
Not Bad but certainly not Great On: 2009-08-20
There is not much to add to what others have already said about this bike; so Ill just reaffirm what has been said:
The brakes are terrible to the point that you cant stop the bike unless youre going really slow. You will need some kind of brake adjuster (QBP Travel Agent brake adapter)or purchase a different style of brake.
Unless you have an iron butt youll want to change both seats.
The tires will have to be trued.
It may just be my bike but I believe a crank barring in the front is going bad ( feel and hear a clunking while pedaling)
Im not going to get into the quality of the components because the bike only cost $[...] and you cant expect top shelf stuff for that price, but with the exception of the brakes everything seems to work fine. If I was going to do some long touring with the bike I would then do some of the upgrades recommended by other reviewers but for the short 15 - 20 mile cardio rides I go on, the bike fits the bill well.
In General the bike is good for what it cost. The shifting seems to work well, it looks nice, and you can go pretty fast (as long as you dont have to stop quickly).
This is the 4th tandem Ive owned and it is probably the best one Ive had even though the others were much more costly and well known brand name bikes.
Our New Lambo! On: 2009-08-03
Perhaps the only good thing about getting old is that you often have to opportunity to do or get some of the thing that you always wanted to do or have, but never quite got around to it. Perhaps its a bit of self indulgence, or "scratching an itch" thats been gnawing at you for years.
In any event, Joy and I decided to indulge ourselves on the occasion of our 35th wedding anniversary this month and buy Lamborghini! Its a sexy little white two seater, a Viaggio in fact. We took it for a little spin, and Ill say its fast, fun to drive, corners well, and a little scary at times.
Of course, it is a tandem bike. Not a great one, mind you, but a great start I believe. The bike arrived Sat 8/1, and the carton was undamaged. A good sign. Further inspection proved nothing was damaged indeed. Assembly was simple but not very straight forward. I will admit it. I heard the directions were poor, so I didnt even bother reading them. Amazon has a lot of posts on the product with generally favorable comments (i.e.: value for the money.) This is an upscale "box store" bike, NOT an LBS bike. Dont think that it is. None the less, I think it is an excellent way to try out tandem. For some one that is interested in "serious" involvement in tandems, an alternative method is to rent some "real" bikes to see if you are really interested, and then find a good used one that "fits." Im not interested in that. Just want to be able to ride with the wife, son, and grandson. The bike wont be an exact fit for any of us, none the less; it will adequately fit all of us.
The directions and the brakes are two of the items that get "bad press". I found that to be the case. Other items regarding poor packaging, derailleur alignment, out of true wheels, and a few other complaints were not problems for me. Due to the way the front wheel is packed, many have reported broken spokes, but I did not have that problem.
I have assembled a few other "bikes in a box" and this was typical, except for a few unique factors.
The directions are very generic for "Road Bikes" and cover every possible option except for some of the tandem specific options.
The seat tubes are 27.2mm but the captains seat post is 25.2 and requires a shim. This is not noted anywhere, nor are the seats labeled in any way. For some reason the stokers stem, which attaches to the captains post, it 25.5, hence the requirement for a 25.2 seat post for the capt.
No where is there any mention of the stokers stem, nor is it labeled.
In any event, I unpacked the bike and 2 seats on posts, and 2 boxes. The front wheel was strapped to the frame with the right front crank protruding through the spokes. This was the cause of the broken spokes, but several zip ties held the wheel tight in my case. Too bad, because one owner reported a $100 discount from Amazon for their troubles.
I had the bike stripped of the cardboard tubes that covered every stay and tube, and had the bike "assembled" in about 45 min. I pumped up the tires, but failed to check the that the tires were properly seated, and while putzing around with an add-on speedo, the front tire blew out. It was my own stupid mistake, and after changing my shorts and going to my LBS for some new tubes, the final adjustments continued.
I was pleased to see that the 8 speed 3 range Micro-shift shifters were working perfectly. The specs on Amazon are a bit confusing. It mentions a "24 speed" but the rear freewheel part number is a 7 speed. Also the crank is a 4 bolt internal BB with a 48/38/28 set up. With the 14/28 rear gearing Im afraid that my son and I may run out of gears before we run out of steam. Upgrading to a 53T front or 11 or 12 T rear may not be possible.
The rear derailleur worked flawlessly, but the front struggles to get on to the big ring. Time will tell if a better FD is required.
As reported, the brakes suck big time. The bike borders on being "unsafe at any speed" in traffic with the stock brakes. I spent a lot of time trying to get them as close a possible so we got some braking power. They tend to squeal like a stuck pig. I finally got them close enough to do some neighborhood rides. I have Avid 7s and Koolstop pads, a $60 upgrade, on order. Well limit our riding until those upgrades are completed.
I was glad to see the seat tubes are 27.2mm. Ill be able to pull my road bike seat and post and pop in into the stoker position when I ride with my son. The stock seat post will adjust enough to fit me at 6 and my son at 64". The stock quill stem is fine for me, but may be too low for my son. Im checking on a longer quill for him.
The stock wheels are 700 x 35 semi-aero with nuts (not quick release) and extended Schrader valves (hard to find.) The wheel bearing are loose ball and cone Joy techs. Very heavy. So long as they run free and hold true Ill live with them. We dont do a lot of climbs here in So Fla, and I dont expect to do a lot of sprints.
I guess I played around with it for about 2 hrs adjusting, lubing, adding lights, bags, changing the stoker seat so the princess doesnt feel the pea. It was finally ready for a solo shake down ride. A few trips around the block got my seat dialed in, things tightened up, and allowed me to get used to the Microshift brifters. The bike is very heavy compared to my 17 lb carbon road bike, but on par with my Diamond back hybrid. The difference in a solo ride is all that weight "back there." And those lousy brakes.
Shakedown ride done, its now ready for the "maiden voyage" with my (former) maiden, now spouse of 35 yrs. We go over some ground rules, thanks to the BF Tandem forum. The most important is "the stoker is always right" (at least when were on the bike.)
We mount the bike, and were off to a shaky but exciting start. We make several loops around the neighborhood, and much to my pleasure, my wife says "this is fun!" Whew! Handling is very different than a "half-bike" and her every move back there adds a dimension that Im not used to. It very weird having the pedals turn when you are not doing anything. The importance of communication becomes very apparent.
Our second trip was to an neighborhood grocery store. Not very long, but we felt a lot more comfortable even thought we are in some real traffic. Had to plan well in advance for any stops due to the brake situation.
The next challenge will be to swap out the stoker seat and put my son in the captains position and see what this baby will do. Well pick a nice open and safe route since braking is compromised. We can go 28 or so solo, so it will be nice to see what we can do together, top speed and high speed cruising. If we can keep up with the A group in the club on the tandem (which we can do solo for most of the ride) Ill be very happy.
I also want to be able to put my 6 yr old grandson into the stoker position without any major changes or investments. Hes pretty tall for his size, but I dont think hell fit the 16" rear seat yet. Hes pretty "stoked" about riding the new bike (named "Jazz" by him) and worst case is Ill put the removable Kettler child seat on a seat tube.
Thanks for sharing my thoughts and experiences, and if your considering a tandem, I hope this will help you come to a more informed decision. Remember, this is not a top of the line tandem. None the less, it is a great solid (save the brakes) starter tandem. Only one size available, but it can be jury-rigged with seat posts and stems to fit pretty close. If you dont know what "fit" means, this is definatly the bike for you. It you do know what fit means, understand what you are getting.
Finally, someone has said tandems should be sold with divorce papers. It is all too true, but despite the ultimate outcome of the relationship, some relationships can be the source for some very good values in used tandem bikes.
Someone else said a tandem will "make a good marriage better and a bad marriage worse." Remember marriage = relationship for those in alternate life styles. Some of the best advice I have heard is "the stoker (back seat person) is always right." The captain (front seat) is in charge, but regardless of what happens, it is his/her responsibility/fault. Hence, the stoker is never wrong. Dont forget that. Its kinda like the 2 rules of customer service: 1. The customer is always right. 2. If the customer is wrong, refer to rule #1. Just replace stoker with customer. And dont forget it.
Have FUN riding together. And if you are captain, remember the stoker IS pedaling, no matter what you think.Lamborghini Viaggio Tandem Bike
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