Tandem Cycling - Had a Tandem for 25 Years-Shopping for a new bike
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06-24-06, 04:07 PM
I tour (totally unsupported), my wife and I hop on our 3-speed CCM tandem three or four times a season for a ride. We will be retiring soon, and were thinking of replacing our old bike as she has been really wanting to (credit card) tour with me .
Here are the issues:
Intially we will be touring locally (Southern Ontario) and need something we can haul on the back of a sub-compact. The grand plan is to get a bike we can take to Europe on the plane. Our current steel frame bike is simply too heavy for me to lift. Imagine if it had panniers! What are the issues around taking tandems on a plane?
How different will it be touring with a tandem?
Am I crazy to agree to this? We are both professionals and have lead very different lives for the last quarter decade. Has anyone done this; and if so, has touring made any changes (positive or negative) to your relationship?
My wife and I found ourselves in a similar position when we retired. We had a heavy, 14 year old tandem which we used regurly, moreso as retirement gave us more time to ride. Neck pain, lower back issues (herniated discs) and crotch numbness (me) led us to consider an upgrade. This included better DF tandems, but also recumbents. We settled on a Rans Screamer after just one good test ride. Why we waited so long to go recumbent, I simply don't know. We have toured extensively, some self-supported pulling a B.O.B. trailer, throughout Ontario, some of Quebec and Nova Scotia and all of P.E.I. We are very happy with the present situation and are riding 5000+km each year (6 month cycling season) and we are riding pain free. We use a Draftmaster rack on the back of our little Subaru with no problems.
Our tandem has S&S couplings as an extra option, so it is no problem to box it up for airline travel.
For further info, you might wish to check out MBS Tandems at:
These folks specialize in tandems and are wonderful to deal with, eagerly providing test rides on a variety of models. If you're ever in our neck of the woods, you're welcome to try ours.
Happy hunting, Mike
06-24-06, 04:52 PM
Boy are you in for a surprise!
A CCM 3-speed to a modern touring tandem!?
Lighter weight comes at a price ($$) and if interested in ultimate travel tandem, look for one with S&S fittings (comes apart into pieces and fits into 2 suitcases) to schlep around airports, etc.
A less expensive option is tandems by Bike Friday, with 20-inch wheels, some that come apart/fold from 1,200 for a basic one to 7,000 dollars (US $).
S&S fitted tandems have full size 700c wheels or 26" wheels and are built by several US manufacturers, including: ariZona Tandems (carbon fiber), Calfee (carbon fiber), Co-Motion, daVinci, Santana.
There are also recumbent tandems with S&S fittings: Greenspeed (3 wheeled recumbent) and Rans.
Also several custom builders will build you a tandem with S&S fitting
A consideration for hauling all that gear could be a one or a 2-wheeled trailer to haul behind that new 2-seater.
Be ready for some sticker shock! But hey, it's your retirement . . .you worked for it, now enjoy it!
Pedal on TWOgether!
Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
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