Tandem Cycling - tandem with children
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07-14-07, 06:05 AM
We are looking to purchace a tandem for my 5 year old to be stoker on and also acommodate a baby seat at the rear or behind the pilot. There are a couple around Fuji Absolute 4.2 , Trek T900. I am a mum whose husband uses the car mid week and we are environmentally commited to only having one car. I am using a trailor at the moment but 5yo is getting tall! Any experience wth the 2 bikes mentioned or if others know about other bikes available would be great(second hand is good too) is the frame fairly stiff ,reliable components , etc. we are based in melbourne Australia.Thanks fellow bikers.
07-14-07, 01:23 PM
Trek T900 he will be able to pedal on if you swap the seat post with an non suspension one and maybe use a seat with out springs it will go down far enough that he can pedal. Most other frames he will most likely need a kids stoker kit or crank sortners.
Mounting and dismounting will defiantly be easer on the Trek with it low frame
07-14-07, 08:22 PM
I have a T900 with my son as stroker, he turns 5 this month. I have a rear rack on the tandem that fits my child carrier so I attached it - here is what it looks like:
I guess your stroker would have a backrest, but I think it would make the rear very unstable - make sure you can support the weight. Also notice the baby seat isn't quite level. You may have to manufacture something to attach the front of the rack to the bike - there isn't much room. I am planning to put my younger kids in my trailer, I don't think I would use the baby seat unless it was an emergency. It might not be good if the kids started fighting!
I had to attach a 2x4 to the pedals for my son (3'6") to reach comfortably. I will be adding a heel strap to better keep his feet on the pedals. The crank shortners where $50 off eBay. I was told that you cannot use a child stoker kit on this bike when I bought it.
As a side note my stoker just loves the bike, I got him some biking gloves, a bottle cage and a bell. I have a handlebar mirror that also allows me to see him behind me, which is nice.
07-14-07, 08:26 PM
Another thought, how about a baby seat that mounts in front of the pilot?
07-14-07, 10:53 PM
Just a thought: why don't you continue to use your child trailer behind the tandem?
look on the precision tandems website. They have a lot of experience putting kids on tandems. When I last looked the left sidebar of their homepage showed their evolution from babyseats to stokid to stoker.
07-19-07, 01:13 PM
Here is my T900 with two 5-year-olds, one as stoker, one on a trailer-bike.
When they were 1-4 years old my twins rode in a conventional trailer (with helmets). Now, when we need cargo space when we are biking, I connect the trailer behind the trailer-bike, making a really long peddling caravan. So I'm wondering, why do you need space for a child seat on the bike (although it looks like you can do it, as above)? Why not just put the next younger child in the trailer now that the 5-yo is going to be stoker?
I love our tandem for family biking!
07-31-07, 12:46 AM
Hey thanks every body for all the info and experiences and photos. We have looked at the fuji and a Shwinn sierra and the Raleigh companion , the Trek has been harder to try so far. I will probably us the trailor behind it in the end. Thanks Renate+2
09-09-07, 11:21 AM
i'd appreciate any comments suggestion for the following:
i am almost ready to purchase a ralegih coupe 2005 (20/18 size for $799 plus tax: great deal!?) to be used with my son (height 52.5 in and 22.5 in inseam). I am 5' 10''. he does not fit quite well yet. (his chest position is too horizontal and stretched) even when We tested ride using regular seat post, but he was not in a comfortable position, for which i am looking for an extension for his handlebar so he could be more upright. I asked the guy from LBS, but he was not very useful.
any suggestions: where could i find such extension or something that may work similarly? or different bike option?
thank you very much
09-09-07, 12:37 PM
we are based in melbourne Australia.Thanks fellow bikers.
Our tandem is from the Land Down Under! ;)
The kids just LOVE IT! :D
09-09-07, 05:06 PM
T-900 + trailer is a better/safer idea than utilizing baby seat.
(his chest position is too horizontal and stretched) even when We tested ride using regular seat post, but he was not in a comfortable position, for which i am looking for an extension for his handlebar so he could be more upright. I asked the guy from LBS, but he was not very useful.
What sort of stem did the bike use? If it wasn't long enough, the dealer should swap it for you. If it's still not long enough, an adjustable stoker stem may be the solution. See pictures of the 'dimension adjustable stoker stem' and 'dimension stoker stem with insert' here: http://www.tandemseast.com/parts/stems.html.
Also have a look at what Precision tandems did for their kids - For extra security they built a square around the stokid using lengths of broomstick plus a second set of handlebars. You will have to read through to find the picture.
If the dealer isn't useful, I would advise printing this picture and talking to his boss along the lines 'If you cannot get the tandem to fit my son properly I will not buy it'. If they're still not interested, time to get another dealer as their lack of interest in the 5-minute job of swapping a stem suggests either lack of basic competence or laziness. Either way dealing with any more serious issues later will not be a pleasure. The two shops mentioned here will do more than take your money.
09-14-07, 06:40 AM
hello pedal people. We bought a Schwinn Sierra tandem and its great fun. our baby seat works well on the back and my 5yo stoker has some power in those little legs! I built up bothsides of the pedals about 1cm and she no longer complains about tender bits. We will have to get a different attachment for the trailor because the schwinn has disc breaks and my old trailor has a rather chunchy attachment style. we have the Beto baby seat disk compatible rack which is great once the seat is on but it does take abit of practice . Thank you every one for the info. I will put a pic on when I learn how to get pictures from the camera into the computer.!
09-14-07, 06:50 AM
Our tandem is from the Land Down Under! ;)
The kids just LOVE IT! :D
That looks like a Greenspeed they are made in FerntreeGully where we live. I have done test rides on them . They are very awesome machines and in my dreambike file! It was above my current affordability range. Renate+2
09-15-07, 09:43 AM
We have a small Co-Motion Speedster. I was able to put my 6 yo daughter on the back with a straight seat post and the longer CoMo stoker stem with the handle bars rotated with the drops pointed up.
I also put on a set of crank arm shorteners like these:
We rode over 400 miles this summer with some 20+ mile rides. One of these days, I'll post some photos :D
09-18-07, 05:06 AM
My GF and I have ridden regular tandems, but settled on a semi-recumbent tandem since March this year.
I'm 5'10" and she's 4'11", on this tandem we could swap between captn and stoker. Stoker sits in front of tandem, could be as short as 4'5"
The overall length of the semi-recumbent tandem is shortter than a regular tandem, since the stoker's boomtube bottom bracket is adjustable, so is the overall length of the tandem itself.
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