What Tandem, Then?

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by -Lsqnot Respond, Jan 26, 2003.

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  1. My offspring are at the stage where they are too big for bike seats or the trailer but not really to
    be trusted to ride their own bikes on the road. In order that the now traditional summer family
    rides can be maintained, I am thinking of getting a child-back sized tandem.

    Is Thorn the only way to go or are there other options? Anyone have any experience of the
    Thorn range?

    NR.
     
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  2. Tony Raven

    Tony Raven Guest

    [Not Responding] <[email protected]> wrote:
    > My offspring are at the stage where they are too big for bike seats or the trailer but not really
    > to be trusted to ride their own bikes on the road. In order that the now traditional summer family
    > rides can be maintained, I am thinking of getting a child-back sized tandem.
    >
    > Is Thorn the only way to go or are there other options? Anyone have any experience of the
    > Thorn range?
    >

    You may want to consider modifying a normal tandem rather than using a kiddyback. Ours started on a
    modified normal tandem when they were five and we've been able to keep the same tandem as they've
    moved to teenagerdom. Depending on child size/parent size you may need kiddycranks and swept back
    stoker bars but otherwise start with crank shorteners and a low profile saddle in its lowest
    position. Then as they get older you can move to crankshorteners to normal tandem. The kiddycranks
    if you need them are a bit expensive but much cheaper than having to sell a kiddyback tandem to get
    the next size up. If you need crankshorteners I've got a couple of sets surplus to requirement now
    sitting in the garage.

    For tandems also have a look at the KHS range (excellent value and come in 20 x 16 which is ideal
    for adapting for kids) and Dawes

    Tony

    http://www.raven-family.com

    "The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place" George
    Bernard Shaw.
     
  3. John B

    John B Guest

    "[Not Responding]" wrote:

    > My offspring are at the stage where they are too big for bike seats or the trailer but not really
    > to be trusted to ride their own bikes on the road. In order that the now traditional summer family
    > rides can be maintained, I am thinking of getting a child-back sized tandem.

    We have brought up our children through the trailer/tandem/solo route and it has proved perfect. but
    I wouldn't go for a kiddie back tandem.

    An alternative is to fit kiddie cranks, together with a rear stem extension and perhaps upright
    bars, to a normal tandem.

    Our children have all ridden this way from about 3 and a half years old and the cranks can be
    adjusted downwards as the child grows, whereas a kiddie back tandem just becomes too small without
    introducing enormous seatposts etc.

    The kiddie-back designs we have occasonally tried also all seem to have a lot more whip in
    the frames.

    Be careful though, as choice of frame is important for kiddie cranks. Some tandems have an awkward
    diagonal tube intersecting the seat tube which can either prevent fitting, or reduce the possible
    future adjusment.

    >
    > Is Thorn the only way to go or are there other options?

    Contact the Tandem Club. There are usually tandems for sale, sometimes with fittings already
    attached. There is also a useful spares service. http://www.tandem-club.org.uk/

    > Anyone have any experience of the Thorn range?

    No first hand experience, but I've been put off by various reports.

    John Buckley
     
  4. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    On Sun, 26 Jan 2003 11:01:21 +0000, "[Not Responding]" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >My offspring are at the stage where they are too big for bike seats or the trailer but not really
    >to be trusted to ride their own bikes on the road. In order that the now traditional summer family
    >rides can be maintained, I am thinking of getting a child-back sized tandem. Is Thorn the only way
    >to go or are there other options? Anyone have any experience of the Thorn range?

    Not the only ones by a long way - we're also checking out Orbit, Dawes, Bike Friday (in case we win
    the lottery), KHS and anything else which the tandem list mentions in passing. If you like I could
    get the wife to email you the list she's been building.

    But the Thorn does look quite well sorted (as does the Dawes, of course - you can't go wrong with
    Dawes is my motto). Try before you buy I guess - that's what we're doing this year anyway :) The
    Bike Friday is better than good. Really brilliant bike, but two grand is a lot of money (said the
    man who paid that much for a recumbent).

    All should have a healthy resale potential.

    Guy
    ===
    ** WARNING ** This posting may contain traces of irony. http://www.chapmancentral.com (BT ADSL and
    dynamic DNS permitting)
    NOTE: BT Openworld have now blocked port 25 (without notice), so old mail addresses may no longer
    work. Apologies.
     
  5. Sandy Morton

    Sandy Morton Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, [Not Responding]
    <[email protected]> wrote:
    > In order that the now traditional summer family rides can be maintained, I am thinking of getting
    > a child-back sized tandem.

    Try Mission at www.missioncycles.co.uk. I have 5 which I bought for hiring about this time last year
    - probably the best hiring tandems which I have ever had. Expect to pay about £600-00 for a new one.
    If you require any further info. send me an email.

    --
    A T (Sandy) Morton on the Bicycle Island In the Global Village
     
  6. Sandy Morton

    Sandy Morton Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, "Just zis Guy, you know?"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    > Not the only ones by a long way - we're also checking out Orbit,

    The Orbit is vastly superior to the Orbita - IMVHO

    --
    A T (Sandy) Morton on the Bicycle Island In the Global Village
     
  7. On Sun, 26 Jan 2003 07:08:36 -0500, John B wrote:

    > "[Not Responding]" wrote:
    >
    >> My offspring are at the stage where they are too big for bike seats or the trailer but not really
    >> to be trusted to ride their own bikes on the road. In order that the now traditional summer
    >> family rides can be maintained, I am thinking of getting a child-back sized tandem.
    >
    > We have brought up our children through the trailer/tandem/solo route and it has proved perfect.
    > but I wouldn't go for a kiddie back tandem.
    >
    > An alternative is to fit kiddie cranks, together with a rear stem extension and perhaps upright
    > bars, to a normal tandem.

    Don't they sell "child adapters" in the UK? These consist of a bottom bracket shell, bottom bracket
    and small size crankset, made to bolt onto the seat tube of a tandem at a convenient height for a
    child. The one I used back in the mid 1970s was custom made for me by the folks at Bud's Bike Shop
    in Claremont CA - I bought the bike from a young fellow named Bill McCready, who later went on to
    found Santana Cycles. Mine bolted onto the rear seat tube with muffler clamps, but the latest ones
    are very well made, are easy to fit and remove, and do not damage the bike.

    > Our children have all ridden this way from about 3 and a half years old and the cranks can be
    > adjusted downwards as the child grows, whereas a kiddie back tandem just becomes too small without
    > introducing enormous seatposts etc.

    Yes, you can adjust the kidback adapter downward, until at some point you can simply remove it. You
    can also switch back and forth between a child stoker and a full sized one with the latest adapters.
    With mine, it was a permanent commitment.

    > Be careful though, as choice of frame is important for kiddie cranks. Some tandems have an awkward
    > diagonal tube intersecting the seat tube which can either prevent fitting, or reduce the possible
    > future adjusment.

    The "marathon" design is seldom encountered any more. It was much more expensive to make and harsher
    on the stoker than the direct lateral design, which seems to be about the only type found on newer
    tandems. With the direct lateral, the diagonal tube joins the back of the bike at the stoker's
    bottom bracket -- perfect for kidback adapter use.
     
  8. W K

    W K Guest

    "Sandy Morton" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > In article <p8q73v06phm499uvnsijhs031g885vu3p0[email protected]>, "Just zis Guy, you know?"
    > <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > > Not the only ones by a long way - we're also checking out Orbit,
    >
    > The Orbit is vastly superior to the Orbita - IMVHO

    Well yes.... cheapest orbit 600+ but they have cut corners on some components (esp wheels). They do
    some gooduns.

    The orbita should be available at 400 quid. Its got SIS and stuff and seems to be similar quality to
    a cheapo mtb. Having said that some of the bargain ones might be OK for a bit of family cycling.
     
  9. John B

    John B Guest

    Steve Palincsar wrote:

    > On Sun, 26 Jan 2003 07:08:36 -0500, John B wrote:
    >
    > > "[Not Responding]" wrote:
    > >
    > >> My offspring are at the stage where they are too big for bike seats or the trailer but not
    > >> really to be trusted to ride their own bikes on the road. In order that the now traditional
    > >> summer family rides can be maintained, I am thinking of getting a child-back sized tandem.
    > >
    > > We have brought up our children through the trailer/tandem/solo route and it has proved perfect.
    > > but I wouldn't go for a kiddie back tandem.
    > >
    > > An alternative is to fit kiddie cranks, together with a rear stem extension and perhaps upright
    > > bars, to a normal tandem.
    >
    > Don't they sell "child adapters" in the UK? These consist of a bottom bracket shell, bottom
    > bracket and small size crankset, made to bolt onto the seat tube of a tandem at a convenient
    > height for a child.

    This is *exactly* what I am recommending. In the UK they are known as 'Kiddie-cranks'.

    A case of different terminology across the Atlantic.

    John Buckley
     
  10. On Sun, 26 Jan 2003 15:08:17 -0500, John B wrote:

    > Steve Palincsar wrote:
    >
    >> On Sun, 26 Jan 2003 07:08:36 -0500, John B wrote:
    >>
    >> > "[Not Responding]" wrote:
    >> >
    >> >> My offspring are at the stage where they are too big for bike seats or the trailer but not
    >> >> really to be trusted to ride their own bikes on the road. In order that the now traditional
    >> >> summer family rides can be maintained, I am thinking of getting a child-back sized tandem.
    >> >
    >> > We have brought up our children through the trailer/tandem/solo route and it has proved
    >> > perfect. but I wouldn't go for a kiddie back tandem.
    >> >
    >> > An alternative is to fit kiddie cranks, together with a rear stem extension and perhaps upright
    >> > bars, to a normal tandem.
    >>
    >> Don't they sell "child adapters" in the UK? These consist of a bottom bracket shell, bottom
    >> bracket and small size crankset, made to bolt onto the seat tube of a tandem at a convenient
    >> height for a child.
    >
    > This is *exactly* what I am recommending. In the UK they are known as 'Kiddie-cranks'.
    >
    > A case of different terminology across the Atlantic.

    Thank you. Bitten again.

    In case there's any doubt about this, let me say riding with a small child on a tandem is the most
    fun you can have on two wheels. It is also very special in that I can think of no other activity a
    parent can do with a child where the child is an equal member of the team.

    It's worth whatever it costs, and then some.
     
  11. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    > In case there's any doubt about this, let me say riding with a small child on a tandem is the most
    > fun you can have on two wheels.

    You've not heard of unicycle shagging, then?

    --
    Guy
    ===
    I wonder if you wouldn't mind piecing out our imperfections with your thoughts; and while you're
    about it perhaps you could think when we talk of bicycles, that you see them printing their proud
    wheels i' the receiving earth; thanks awfully.

    http://www.highwaycode.gov.uk/09.shtml#103 http://www.highwaycode.gov.uk/09.shtml#104
     
  12. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    > In case there's any doubt about this, let me say riding with a small child on a tandem is the most
    > fun you can have on two wheels.

    You've not heard of unicycle shagging, then?

    --
    Guy
    ===
    I wonder if you wouldn't mind piecing out our imperfections with your thoughts; and while you're
    about it perhaps you could think when we talk of bicycles, that you see them printing their proud
    wheels i' the receiving earth; thanks awfully.

    http://www.highwaycode.gov.uk/09.shtml#103 http://www.highwaycode.gov.uk/09.shtml#104
     
  13. Danny Colyer

    Danny Colyer Guest

    Guy responded to:
    >> In case there's any doubt about this, let me say riding with a small child on a tandem is the
    >> most fun you can have on two wheels.

    with:
    > You've not heard of unicycle shagging, then?

    Ahem, let's ignore the bit about small children, but I've never actually worked out a way to do that
    with 2 unicycles (the saddles would get in the way - actually typing this I've just worked out a way
    to do it, but it's way beyond my skills). I'm pretty sure I could manage it with both participants
    on one unicycle, but I've never found a woman willing to try it - and now my wife won't even let me
    try to find one :-(

    BTW, this is commonly referred to on uk.rec.cycling as "level 11", following a thread a few months
    ago about extending the International Unicycling Federation's 10 skill levels:
    http://www.unicycling.org/unicycling/skills/skills.html (FWIW, I'd probably be level 4 if I could be
    bothered to get tested).

    --
    Danny Colyer (remove safety to reply) ( http://www.juggler.net/danny ) Recumbent cycle page:
    http://www.speedy5.freeserve.co.uk/recumbents/ "He who dares not offend cannot be honest." -
    Thomas Paine
     
  14. Tony Raven

    Tony Raven Guest

    Danny Colyer <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > Ahem, let's ignore the bit about small children, but I've never actually worked out a way to do
    > that with 2 unicycles (the saddles would get in the way - actually typing this I've just worked
    > out a way to do it, but it's way beyond my skills). I'm pretty sure I could manage it with both
    > participants on one unicycle, but I've never found a woman willing to try it - and now my wife
    > won't even let me try to find one :-(
    >
    > BTW, this is commonly referred to on uk.rec.cycling as "level 11", following a thread a few months
    > ago about extending the International Unicycling Federation's 10 skill levels:
    > http://www.unicycling.org/unicycling/skills/skills.html (FWIW, I'd probably be level 4 if I could
    > be bothered to get tested).

    Surely dancing to American Beach Music on a Unicycle can't be that difficult ;-)

    Tony

    http://www.raven-family.com

    "The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place" George
    Bernard Shaw.
     
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