Tandem bikes...

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by TheNiceGuy, Jul 26, 2005.

  1. TheNiceGuy

    TheNiceGuy New Member

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    Hi all!
    I was interested in getting a tandem bike, but wonder if it is right for me. My wife is 5' and not very athletic, while I am 6' and very athletic. I was hoping a tandem bike would allow us to tour together. Perhaps I can carry most of the weight/speed? Is this possible?
     
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  2. daveornee

    daveornee New Member

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    I think it depends on your partners willingness to work as a team member and your willingnesss to learn how to communicate with her. It is working in our marrriage.
    It takes time and patience.
    My wife didn't want to wear any bicycling clothing or shoes.
    It took about a year, but now she wears the jersey, shorts, shoes (with MTB cleats), gloves, CamelBak, and has her own cycling computer mounted on the top tube so she can see it. The biggest obstacle was my attitude in climbing. The biggest reward is another aspect of her sharing in my passion for bicycling. Her attittude is interesting about my solo riding my "1/2" bicycles.
    http://www.thetandemlink.com/hobbes.html
    is a resource that you might like to check out.
    http://sheldonbrown.com/tandem/index.html
    is also a spot to look over.
    With your size differences your choices may be limited to a custom.
     
  3. basso97

    basso97 New Member

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    I purchased a recumbent tandem in April of this year, and asked the same question.

    Here is the link to that thread:
    http://www.cyclingforums.com/t232784-.html

    The LBS loaned me this bike over my vacation. Me and my wife had a long discussion I wanted to return the bike because I did not think it was working out. She like it and we purhcased it. She has not ridden it since and now wants to sell it. I wish she would not have talked me into buying it. Check out the thread.

    Sheldon Brown has several articals on his web site on tandems. Read everything you can first. It will not be easy, and remember the Stoker is always right.

    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/tandem/

    THe problem I have is matching Cadence. I want to spin 90+ she want 60-.

    Good luck
     
  4. wilmar13

    wilmar13 New Member

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    As the other posters have eluded to, you are on pretty sketchy ground and sound like you have a good chance to wind up with a 40lb garage decoration like 90% of tandem purchasers (who are mostly cyclists, who want to get thier spouses more active). My parents fit this description to the t, My dad was so into it and my mom thought it would be neat (she is not active, he was a recreational cyclist). Of course I think the longest ride they ever did together was like 4 miles, probably less than 10 times in 5 years. I did ride it with him several times (a tandem is fast as hell down hill with two 6'4" 200lb+ guys on it), and I ended up putting a couple thousand miles on it with girlfreind when I lived in the area(so I was either the stoker or the captain for 99% of its use, while my mom was only about 1%).

    I bought one with my current girlfreind and it is OK, but she was a cyclist before we started dating. Even though she is a cyclist too, you still have to get used to the control/communication issues. I have to force myself to not get irritated by her lack of technical knowledge of a bicycle for example when she says things like "the speed isn't right, do I need to lower or raise my seat" or similar comments that make no sense to me. But while she is strong and fast for a female rider, she can only follow me on singles on my recovery or easy days so the tandem is a great equalizer. It is a blast to go on group rides and dust singles plus the positive attention you get from motorists, etc.

    I would be VERY cautious before dropping some money on a tandem if your wife doesn't even ride. For sure rent or borrow one and ride it several times for long rides, and don't push her at all to go. Even if she likes it while you borrowed it, you may find that you are the only one motivated to ride and she is just placating you, which will end you up in the situation many tandem buyers find themselves in. If she really really really likes it, then it may be a good purchase. If not, consider just going for walks together or something else you can enjoy together.

    Regarding the size difference, it isn't that much. I know Cannondale makes a couple of sizes that are very different and just off the top of my head the frame in (L/S) should fit both of you with some minor changes in stems, etc. I'm sure other makers do as well. People get too anal about frame sizes anyway. My tandem is a 58cm for the captain and I am 6'4", but with a mountain seatpost and 150mm stem I have no problem even though it is about 4cm smaller than I should be on. If you both compromise fit slightly (i.e. you get long stem, she deals with minimum standing clearance) you should have no problem finding a decent rig.

    Good luck.
     
  5. JohnO

    JohnO New Member

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    My wife and I spend some time on an older Cannondale tandem. You either love them or you hate them. I would strongly recommend you see if you can rent or borrow one for a day first. See how things go. My wife loves the tandem, and hey it gets her out on the road, so I don't mind that much. They are a bit weird to get used to. Handle like a bus.

    If your wife isn't all that athletic, you would be well advised to try before you buy. Tandem bikes are not cheap. We bought our 'dale used for $1k, and that's about as cheap as you can get into a used tandem that isn't falling apart or doesn't weigh a ton. This is a situation where simply spending money will not give you better health. You must have the desire to ride, from both people.

    If you move quickly, there's a Litespeed Ti tandem on ebay right now. A paltry six grand and it's yours...
     
  6. TheNiceGuy

    TheNiceGuy New Member

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    Right on guys! Thanks for the info. I will check those sites out thoroughly. I was also interested in if it is possible for 1 person to provide all the power if necessary. Anyway, very good points about the "psycho-social" aspects of tandem :D
     
  7. domaindomain

    domaindomain New Member

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    Sure a decent lbs will lend you a tandem for a day or two (or maybe hire it to you) and you and she can try it out.

    I borrowed one from a friend - she didn't like being on the back (no control) and she wasn't very good on the front (and I wasn't very good on the back either) so we ditched the idea.

    But, without trying it out, we would never have found out....
     
  8. wilmar13

    wilmar13 New Member

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    Well you can get a stoker crank with a clutch that allows the stoker to coast but I don'/t know much about them or how well they work (but they are like $400 IIRC).

    Not being a smart ass, but why not get just a trailer and pull her around on your single? Much cheaper and you could use the trailer for other things if you wanted...
     
  9. TheNiceGuy

    TheNiceGuy New Member

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    Wilmar-
    Glad I wasn't drinking coffee, cause I would have spewed it all over the laptop. BWAHAHA!
    Images of rickshaws and tuk-tuks come to mind...
     
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