Touring - Tandem touring???!!!
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09-22-03, 09:10 AM
Myself and my girlfriend are in the very early stages of planning a trans continental cycle. Neither of us heve ever done anything remotely like this so we haven't a clue what to expect. Anyway the project is still a long way down the road but we need to sort out one question.
Should we go tandeming or singles?
We've never rode tandems before! It just appeals to us and I'm a stronger rider than my girlfriend so we think maybe it's an idea to keep us on the road together. When we ride together I always seem to be a little up ahead. We're both about 6' so I don't know idf this is good fo tandeming or not. Anyway all replies and any advice welcome. Thanks! :)
09-22-03, 09:37 AM
before going on such an expedition I would HIGHLY recommend doing smaller trips with a tandem first. We have a tandem and love it - personally, as we do tour riding, we always use our tandem. (still doing smaller tours - weekend stuff).
Keep in mind, it really does take at least 150 miles of tandem riding to get comfortable with the experience for both of you (and that is without bags/trailer) - there are certain habits both of you will have to break and become adjusted to (see the tandem board for those discusssions). We have more than 1000 miles now and we are hooked :p
On "half" bikes we ride at different speeds, so it is not as fun (and imho boring to only have yourself to talk to) - I assume that you are choosing to do this as an adventure together .
One of the obvious drawbacks is pannier space. There are tandem panniers (by Arkel see www.panniers.com) or a trailer might be more practicle.
We have a Santana Sovereign with S+S couplers (allows us to pack it into a case for shipping - eg touring the Bodensee & Austria is one of our dreams) and touring wheels.
Tandems definitely solve the different speeds issue. They also are great for pushing into a head wind and for pulling a heavy load. I would say that the only real drawback is that they just are not as comfortable for a long day's ride. You can't figit around as much and you have to maintain a cadance that works for both of you. If you are well matched cyclist, take numerous breaks, or can ride comfortably without a lot of shifting around the comfort issue goes away. Beg. borrow, or steal a tandem and try it for a while!
09-25-03, 09:18 PM
I agree with those who say you need to try tandeming a lot first. My husband and I were married 25 years and riding partners for 26 before we got our tandem and had a hard time adjusting to the tandem. Once we adjusted to it we loved it, but there are a fair number of married couples who ride tandem, but not together.
Tandems are great equalizers when strength and ability are an issue, but remember you will be together 24/7 . You have to be really compatible for this type of tour as well as a tandem.
Go to Amazon there are a lot of books on this.
09-28-03, 04:55 AM
Thanks for the replies and the good advice. We will definitly do a lot of smaller rides before we undertake any grand tour. It's something that's not going to happen for a while what with work. planning it etc.
Regarding a suitable tandem, any recommendations? I'm about 6' and will be captain. My girlfriend is about 5' 11" so maybe this makes tandeming awkward? We want something first of all to get used to tandeming so a bike that's not too expensive is important. Maybe I'll put a post on the tandeming forum too:D
09-28-03, 11:44 AM
We have had a KHS Tandemania for 3 years and love it for several reasons. 1. We looked for over 10 years before we got it, and even though it is about the most inexpensive one on the market, we purchased it for its stability. We are both over 200# as well as between 5&6 " apart in height, either of us can captain or stoke, the reasoning for this is on long rides, it helps to relieve the pressure points and knee stress. It is harder for me to be the captain, but I can do it nicely, especially when the tush is tender or the pressure points on the hands are going numb. 2. I Frequently ride stoker less to my husbands office and he rides back with me, which is excellent training, because I require about twice the time in the saddle my husband does for the same results. All we have to do is use the Allen wrench to adjust the saddle for the return trip. 3. A fair amount of time we pull our 2 year old granddaughter in the trailer behind the tandem and the bike still responds beautifully. 4. Our local bike shop does excellent support on the bike, although it hasn't even been in for it's check up . 5. Saddles on a tandem will be different than on separate bikes.
Even if you have to go out of your area to try the Tandemania, it might be worth your time .
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