Tandem Cycling - Proud newbie with a question
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05-29-09, 12:09 AM
I just realized a long held dream by purchasing a beautiful tandem off of craigslist; a 2003 Santana Sovereign SE, hardly used and in pristine condition from a very lovely young couple. Having small children has kept them from using it and they sold it to me (including the rooftop tray) for a great price.
I and my stoker (she is short at 5 feet) are brand new to tandem riding, and I anticipate that she might have issues with arm/wrist/hand comfort, as she has had carpal tunnel surgery. Can anyone advise a setup that will allow for maximum flexibility to change the rear handlebars and accommodate her hand issues? Has anyone else had to deal with anything similar?
Congratulations on your tandem acquisition!
There are available for purchase adjustable stoker bar extensions that can bring the handlebars higher up and closer to the stoker or a more inexpensive alternative for child/shorter stokers is to simply replace the stoker bar with a high riser handlebar that can be tilt adjusted to suit comfort.
05-29-09, 05:55 AM
There's not much you can't do with regard to stoker bar configurations, to include using the full range of handlebars, e.g., mountain bike riser bars or bars off of comfort bikes. Just evaluate your desired end configuration and apply some farm-boy engineering to configure the correct set-up. However, be mindful that the more upright riding position can yield other issues, e.g., sore posterior.
Some of the various stem extension options can be found here.
Lastly, I will offer that we have ridden with two teams where the stoker had CTS and instead of going upright they opted to go with wide spaced aero bar arm rests such that when relief was needed the stoker went into an aero position and rested their forearms on the aero bar pads and had their hands unsupported sitting up along side the captain's hips. In both cases the riders were are all pretty fit so there weren't issues with achieving an aero position or getting the stokers hands out and around the captain's hips.
I have two stems: short and adjustable
and four different bars; drops, bullhorns, mt.bike w/bar-ends, and sweep-back cruiser bars.
My stoker's range from my 8 year old daughter who likes to sit bolt upright to my 6'2" 220lb father-in-law who has been riding road bikes for 30+ years. I am blessed with LBS staff that ride and understand tandems. If you have someone at the LBS willing to swap out different bar stem combos on the spot I'm sure you will be able to find a set-up that works for your wife.
Congrats on finding a good deal! I keep looking!
05-29-09, 05:16 PM
Congrats on your new Santana. I would wait a little time before making any changes. My stoker had surgery on both elbows and wrists for CTS in early 2003. By May we did the Santana Kentucky rally. We've riden over 20,000 miles on our Santana since then, as well as many miles on our single bikes. We made no changes to account for her surgery and she's had no re-occurance of CTS.
We'd love to see some pictures of your new tandem. The only warning I'll give is to be prepared to spend most of your time on the tandem, leaving those single bikes home.:D
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