Tandem Cycling - Tandem - Detachable (Second-Person Add-On) vs. "Fixed" Two-Person
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12-25-03, 05:30 AM
Any thoughts about the attachment that makes a single-ride bike become a tandem? The link below contains a picture of the apparatus that I am taking about, and runs $130. Iíve seen them run $250 to $450.
This will be our first tandem experience, and I can not see us spending over $1,000.
We will use the tandem just for exercise purposes (very rigorous for me; moderate for her and to tag along). Each workout will be up to about four hours long. We will not be racing, nor touring and riding all day.
How much danger am I putting my wife (5'2", 110 lbs.) and I (5'7", 150 lbs.) in by going with either (1) this type of attachment that makes a single-ride bike become a tandem, or (2) a low-end (say $600) tandem (non-detachable)? With such a wide range of prices, I am concerned that spending less than $1,000 is dangerous (or may yield a riding experience that is much, much lesser in value).
Thanks in advance for posting.
12-25-03, 07:28 AM
Check all of the tag-along bikes, none of them are ment to be used by adults, your wife is to tall to fit the tag alongs and over the weight limit for them. Even as small as she is. Then stop and think about her comfort on the tag-along, four hours on a bike that is mutch too small for her.
There are three rules to happy tandem riding.
1) The stoker is always right.
2) Keep your stoker happy.
3) See rules 1 & 2.
If your stoker is not happy, your not going to be happy.
You would be mutch better off getting the $600 tandem, but you get what you pay for. Try looking for a used tandem. I have found good used tandems for as little as $100 with a little work it was a good as new. It rare but sometimes you get luckey. Try looking for Burely, Santana, Canondale etc. The older TREK tandems still show up from time to time. Also take a look at the KHS tandems.
I use a tag-a-long for my son, and am looking to work on a tandem for a winter project. The tag-a-long (we used an Instep model) was fine when he was 5 and 6 years old. It might be okay at 7, but he is more interested in being on a tandem.
We did have one problem with the Instep. I did not check the tightness on the handlebars before one of our trips. The handlebars slipped and he fell off. Luckily we pay strict attention to the helmet rule for both of us.
I would not use a tag-a-long for your wife. Are you near a bike shop? Could you rent a Tandem to see if you both like it? That's our plan. Either rent a few and make a purchase decision, or work together on rebuilding one.
12-28-03, 09:50 PM
All these devices are rated for 85 lb max., and for a stoker (rear cyclist) who is at most 50 % of the weight of the captain (front cyclist).
I have cycled with the Addams Trail-a-Bike and a 4-5 year old child; it wiggled a bit and we went through the hitch in about 1500 km. We then went with a Burley Piccolo, and the hitch attached to the special rear rack makes a muchmore stable attachment. Yet, with a fully loaded bike and a 50-lb child, that's about the limit I would see for a full day (or more) of touring. So, in a nutshell, your wife might be safe on such a tag-along (especially the Piccolo), but neither of you would be happy.
There is another attachment, called "Barre-Tandem", which basically ties two bikes together -- and all four wheels remain on the ground. There is no weight limit, but I have seen a few of those and they don't look stable at all.
12-29-03, 03:50 PM
Take a look at the Tandem-Bar web sight http://www.tandembar.com/
The viedo makes it look easy and safe. I had a customer that bought one and found out otherwise. If one of the bikes turns and the other doesn't, both bikes are going down. Realy not well suited for children as they tend to vear from side to side. Watch them on a MUT next time. The Tandem bar flexes a bit from side to side to alow for this, but the bike following must closely follow the lead bike.
The other down side is the cost $198.99
Still, the photo of the record setting road train with 65 bikes linked together is really something.
01-01-04, 07:50 PM
Hey, thanks for the input. Any more would be greatly appreciated. Also, here's another tandem option:
01-01-04, 10:12 PM
Howdy from Tucson!
Tandem or trail-a-bike?
Long time tandem riders, 29 years. Some free advice:
Pro tandem: Find a good USED tandem for around $1000 versus a new tandem at that price. Low quality, some really junk, on the new $1000-under ( example: Micargi, Schwinn, Pasag, Raleigh, Diamondback, Wildwood, Crescent (all made mainland China) versus an older/used Burley, Co-Motion, Canondale, Schwinn Duo Sport, Santana, Trek (usa made).
Tandem: you can take either spouse or kid(s) that fit stoker position.
Avoid department store tandems (as in Wallmart, Costco)!
Trail-a-bikes: Again avoid Dept. store stuff! Best one made but pricier (about $300 . . . look for used one!) Burley Piccolo. It tracks the best behind either single or tandem bike as it attaches to a special rear rack (included in purchase price) that allows precise tracking of the trail-a-bike (NO clipping curbs or dirt shoulder with the Piccolo).
Hope this helps; have fun!
Pedal on TWOgether!
Rudy & Kay/Zona tandem
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