Tandem Cycling - Bilenky
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08-29-12, 07:26 AM
08-29-12, 12:24 PM
Whoah, that is one great looking machine! It is somewhat reminiscent of a single bike that Bilenky (http://www.flickr.com/photos/26208450@N02/7437409042/) recently built, though the bike I just mentioned also has yellow since it is a Wonder Woman theme. I've got a couple questions about the bike:
- What do you think of the way the bike rides?
- Out of curiosity, I was noticing the bicycle has the lettering "SSAMPLS" on the boom tube. Do you know what that means?
- Have you thought of installing fenders on the bike?
Again, VERY nice bike! :thumb:
08-29-12, 02:18 PM
SSampls is some military group. I believe Army but not 100% certain. Little odd since my husband is also military but not Army, might start a couple conversations along the way! The lettering is under the clearcoat though. I believe it is staying along for the ride. On the other side of the bike is also the previous owners names. Possibly looking for a couple small stickers to place over the names. We really like the paint job and don't want to have it stripped and redone, especially since the paint itself is in very good condition!
Haven't much considered fenders. Typically we are fair weather riders. I believe only once on a charity ride did we get a little wet. A question about the fenders though is if it would throw water behind the bike? I know they are meant to keep the riders dryer but with towing the buggy behind would it drench the kids?
I thought the bike rode wonderfully!! It was very stable even the first time we pushed off. That was probably our biggest challenge, stopping and starting and clicking in our feet all at the same pace. We cruised around a school parking lot for about 1.5 hours, it was a huge area with different levels so we could shift and go threw some turns and of course stop and start about 15 times! The shifting setup is different than the single bikes so it is still taking us a bit to adjust. Physically my husband is finding it more challenging than riding a single however he usually didn't tow the kids. I find it significantly easier towing the kids with the tandem! Of course we are not yet sure of the gearing. We pretty well maxed out our gears on the way home yesterday. That was our longest ride of 28 miles and had 4 good climbs towing the buggy. For us riding from our home the last 5 miles of the return are fairly challenging!
We can't really compare the tandem well since this is our first. I think buying such a nice quality tandem is plus for sure. Only owning the bike a week I must say that so far it is much easier than I originally expected. I thought each step of the way was going to be a huge challenge and it was going to take awhile to get accustomed and comfortable. Again I think much of that credit is to the bike itself, the wide tires probably don't hurt the issue either. I haven't noticed much flexing and I thought I would notice it more since I ride the stoker position and also am used to an aluminum single. I do not notice the roads being as rough and that is a nice change, I think the steel really soaks up some of the vibration.
So far our mileage totals 65 miles ( 21 surprisingly in the parking lot) so some of our opinions with change as we increase our mileage
Truly I have no complaints with this bike and certainly no regrets!!
08-29-12, 05:47 PM
Ah, I was wondering what that was about. I did notice the names of the previous owners. As far as I'm concerned it is all part of the history of the bike and is perfectly OK to keep. That's the C&V in me coming out a bit. ;)
Actually, if you put fenders on the bike, it will considerably reduce the spray that will get on the kids in the trailer since the tire will be throwing its "rooster tail" into the fender instead of upward and rearward. I view fenders as a necessity and only bikes that I'm not finished building get ridden without them.
The coordination needed to ride a tandem does take some work, that is for sure. I know that when I ride my tandem I'll typically burn calories at a rate about 30% higher than when I'm riding my single over the same course, at least according to my heart monitor. My heart rate also is considerably higher when riding the tandem, obviously. You might want to familiarize yourself with TPM with a writeup here (http://www.gtgtandems.com/tech/propmethod.html) and a video here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pm4Hf4izxtw). I believe you'll be happy to learn TPM if you're not already using it.
I have to admit that getting a really nice tandem at the outset is great and puts you and your husband at an advantage to others that start exploring whether they want a tandem and end up getting a bike that is less than adequate for their needs. Having something nice could mean the difference between someone continuing to ride a tandem and giving up on it because the experience was not as expected or because the machine was prone to mechanical issues.
We look forward to you keeping us posted as you do more riding on the bike.
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