Recumbent - Semi Recumbent Tandem
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07-31-08, 11:45 AM
Sincere apologies if this belongs in the tandem forum, or if already discussed, but what is everyone's take on semi-recumbent tandems, such as the Pinot or Bilenky? I am an experience Cat3 roadie, Sport MTB rider and Expert DH rider, so I beleive that I have decent bike handling skills. None the less, the specific concern is that I have a 4 yr old that loves riding with daddy, and a newborn due in a month. The 4yr old got spoiled by riding in a Charriot sidecar attached to Daddy's bike and thus does not like to be behind, looking at my back (such as in tow behind trailers, tag alongs and standard tandems). The Kidztandem looks neat but I in all of the photos I could find, the captain looks cramped (I am 6'2"). Moreso, while for sure I can get use out of the Kidztandem for my my 4yr old and newborn (eventually) for quite a few years, I would think I can get more bang for the buck with a semi-recumbent since the wife could jump in on this one and be a stoker later on when the kids are able to ride thier bikes decent distances at a safe pace. My wife rides on occassion (obviously not everyday), but her complaint is the same as the 4yr old; she wants to have a view and thus I am stuck in the back. Does anyone have any experience of ride quality, particululary is it hard to control these semi-recumbent rigs with all of that weight / center of gravity up there? Any recommendations on brands, must have options? I live in southern california, so no need to worry about harsh weather like is the case in other areas that in turn dicates families choices for "enclosed/covered" type solutions. Last, the bakifiestens are cool, but I would rather get some help in pedaling department every now and then. Thanks for any advice and warnings that you can give.
07-31-08, 12:56 PM
You might find more help on this interesting but specialized question at BentRider Online. (http://www.bentrideronline.com/)
07-31-08, 01:01 PM
I own a semi-recumbent tandem, not a Hase Pino nor a Bilenky, but a Taiwanese copy that cost less than $1800.
My SO is 4'11", we tried regular tandems and even that is sometimes too tall for her to stand over, I'm 5'10" there is no chance that she can see anything with me in front of her on a tandem.
We have ridden approx. 800 miles on on semi-recumbent tandem, it's been a great machine for our purpose.
PM or email me if you are interested in getting one.
07-31-08, 11:28 PM
The current version of the Counterpoint Opus is the Bilenky Viewpoint. There's a few webpages out there by owners, and a review posted on the Bilenky website:
08-01-08, 11:26 AM
Thank you all for the input thus far. Jeff, the hyperlink gave me a lot of info and as such, alot to consider.
I recently picked up a 1984 Counterpoint Opus II and have been riding it with either my daughter (9YO) or son (11YO) or wife. They all like it. My wife was the least enthusiastic about getting on it, but we took an easy 25 mile ride on Sunday and made a convert out of her. She didn't expect to like being a stoker, but very quickly learned to relax and enjoy the view.
When my kids were small, we had a burley trailer. With two kids sitting side by side, they keep one another company very well, unlike being in a baby seat on the back of a regular bike, which gets a little lonesome somehow. They loved it. After they outgrew it, I sold it on ebay for very little loss.
I never had both tandem and trailer, but I think that would have been a good combination. Caadman, I think it will be a while before you can put either of your kids on a semi-recumbent tandem, but regardless, you'd probably get many years use out of one if you can find one.
09-22-08, 08:16 AM
Very good point regarding the "lonely effect". Had not thought of that direclty, but it makes perfect sense. Regardless, my search will continue. Who knows, perhaps I might get lucky and find a good semi like yourself. Again, much thanks!
...Regardless, my search will continue. Who knows...
Well, good luck!
I think no one ever answered your original questions, so....
Does anyone have any experience of ride quality, particululary is it hard to control these semi-recumbent rigs with all of that weight / center of gravity up there?
I do now. Mine is incredibly stable, apparently because of the long wheel base and the sheer weight of the bike plus two riders. I feared the steering might be strange because of the distance between the front wheel and the handlebar, combined with the fact that I can't even see the front wheel; but in fact there is nothing strange about it. Where I live there are a couple of "speed humps" that are quite unpleasant to go over on either bike or car, but there's a six inch gap between the curb and the speed hump. If I can hit that spot, there's no bump at all, which is great. If I hit the curb, however, I go down. On my other bikes I am hesitant to try this, because the gap is so narrow; but on the Opus it's just easy. All in my head? Perhaps; but the bike just feels stable.
Except, I should add, at very low speed. When I first push off, before I start pedaling, it feels a little wobbly. But that's over so fast it's not an issue.
... The Kidztandem looks neat but I in all of the photos I could find, the captain looks cramped (I am 6'2"). I don't know about that. I'm 6' and riding a 21" Opus, with the seat post and stem both at maximum extension. That's not my first choice, but it works fine. I used to believe the mantra that your frame must be the right size for your body, but I no longer buy that. You can change the seat post and the stem in so many ways that, in the end, you can make any bike fit you just fine.
Moreso, while for sure I can get use out of the Kidztandem for my my 4yr old and newborn (eventually) for quite a few years, I would think I can get more bang for the buck with a semi-recumbent since the wife could jump in on this one and be a stoker later on ....
Possibly. As you and your family age, your needs will change; you may end up buying something and selling it after a while. My feeling, however, is that expensive niche items like a semirecumbent tandem or a Kidz tandem will hold their value pretty well over the years, so you don't need to worry about being stuck with a bad decision for the rest of your life.
Last, the bakifiestens are cool, but I would rather get some help in pedaling department every now and then.... Agreed, a bakfiets, no matter how cool, is not what you want, because (a) its utility is limited, and (b) it's just as rare and almost as expensive as a semirecumbent anyway. Besides, the difference between a bakfiets and a semirecumbent tandem is really not that big. The front seat on the tandem mounts at two spots, one up by the headset, the other on the boom. I bet you could have someone build a pretty good child seat that holds both kids up front, either side by side, or one in front of the other, or perhaps even facing one another; and you could switch the seat back to the regular seat with two bolts. If I were you, that's the direction I'd be going.
12-04-08, 11:31 AM
RHM - thanks! Way helpful!!
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