Tandem Cycling - Why not a semi-recumbent tandem?
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07-17-11, 05:17 PM
I have been cycling for years and my husband doesn't have as much speed or interest that I do. This is a reverse from the norm, but the idea is the same: maybe a tandem can help us share the sport. I am 8 inches shorter and 70 pounds lighter. Trying it, I trusted his piloting. But I did not enjoy looking forward at his broad back. From what little I have read about semi-recumbent tandems, there wasn't anything bad written in the forums. But yet it seems to be a scarce bird on the road or in print. Does anyone have knowledge as to why it has not gotten popular or why not to buy one (if one can be found)?
07-17-11, 05:24 PM
07-17-11, 05:49 PM
As been discussed several times, there is the Bilenky (US) and Hase (Germany) semi/bent tandems, both a bit pricey when-new + knock-offs built off-shore; but yes they are a bit rare especially in the used market.
Have ridden in both stoker and then the pilot position about 20 years ago. A very clever and do-able design but not our cup-a-tea.
It would assure you, as stoker, of an uninterupted forward view in the semi-reclined position and as a bonus, your husband/pilot in the rear could whisper sweet nothings in your ear!
The tandem market is a bit of niche market (1 to 2%) as it is, and semi/bent tandem is a very tiny sub-catogory of that tandem market.
Hope you find what you're looking for!
Pedal on TWOgether!
Rudy anbd Kay/zonatandem
07-18-11, 12:40 AM
We seriously considered buying a Hase Pino semi-recumbent tandem when getting our tandem a few years ago. The thing that really bothered me was how upright the rear position was. We're both used to riding standard road bikes, and just couldn't imagine one of us sitting that upright for very long - it would probably lead to more butt pain on longer rides even though it would be comfortable for short jaunts. I'm not sure if the Bilenky version is very different in this respect.
We also ride over a lot of mountain passes (the Swiss and French Alps are on our doorstep), and I know climbing is not something that standard recumbents do very well, possibly due to not being able to put body weight into the pedal stroke very easily, although I don't really know. I assumed that the same would be the case for the recumbent position on the tandem, but I'd be happy for someone with more info to correct me on this.
We ended up going with a traditional style tandem (Co-Motion Speedster) and have not once regretted our decision. We got it with couplers so that it can go inside airline-sized suitcases, and have used this feature several times already. I know the Hase Pino only splits in the middle, so does not become very small, again I'm not sure if this is different with the Bilenky, and it may not be an important factor for you.
We're similar heights and sizes, so stoker vision was not a big factor for us, but I can see that in your situation a semi-recumbent might make a lot of sense.
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