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Old 03-04-08, 09:42 PM   #1
L Dude 7
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triple or tandem+trail-a-bike

What options are out there for transporting two kids that are two big for a trailer, but not quite up to riding the distance solo in a reasonable time?

I've been using the trail-a-bike to take our 6-year old to school. (and 3.5 miles each way). Soon her younger sister will be starting school.

So far the most likely candidate I've seen is the Bike Friday Family triple. It does seem to take a trail-a-bike and a trailer. However, we get a little nervous plunking down that much for something site-unseen. The Co-motion periscope looked like a decent candidate, but when low enough, there was no clearance for a trail-a-bike.

Other tandems with stoker kits may be an option, but again we just have to buy and hope.

Then there are walmart tandems...
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Old 03-05-08, 08:52 AM   #2
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To go the triplet route you will likely spend more money than you would if you went the tandem TAB route. The triplet used market is very small. However, because it is small, chances are good that you will be able to get a decent price for the triplet when you sell it. I think the triplets are about $5k but the Bike Friday may be cheaper. You could get a decent used tandem and TAB for under $2k.

I have not ridden either, but both are good fine bikes. I think the Periscope gets better ride reports but I do not think it was a night and day type difference between the two.

One thing to consider about a triplet, and a tandem to a lesser degree, is how to transport. That may help define whether you need couplers on the triplet or want to do a tandem+TAB.

Take a search through the tandem forum on periscope and Bike Friday. There are a few threads that talk about them.

The XMart tandems can be okay. But there will be a definite difference between them and the above 2. If you will only be doing light riding and are not too concerned about how the riding gets done, the XMart tandems could be a good option.

Good Luck.
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Old 03-05-08, 09:25 AM   #3
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I have a kids seat on the back of my bike and pull a trailer. My kids are 5 & 2. If they both don't want to get in the trailer, I put my 2 year old on the bike seat & just ride with my 5 year old in the trailer.

My trailer is fairly roomy though and can still fit my 5 & 2 year old together.

I don't think that I would invest in an expensive solution that you will only use ~ 1 year.
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Old 03-05-08, 10:39 AM   #4
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my current thought, for when 3 yr old is up to it, is a tandem trail-a-bike:

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Old 03-05-08, 09:02 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by HardyWeinberg View Post
my current thought, for when 3 yr old is up to it, is a tandem trail-a-bike:

Add this to the stoker seat for the three year old:
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Old 03-06-08, 10:08 AM   #6
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I don't know about that tandem trail a bike. It is bad enough control wise having one kid flopping around on a trail-a-bike. I can't imagine 2.
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Old 03-06-08, 11:54 AM   #7
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She (3 yr old) really wants to ride the t-a-b, is happy just sitting on it when parked. That seat might be a good idea to get her going on it...
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Old 03-08-08, 09:34 AM   #8
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We have a tandem, just sent our Burley Piccolo to my brother in Phoenix. You didn't say how strong a rider the 6yo is. If this is on neighborhood streets without hills, could he ride solo? I have never considered a triplet due to cost, transporting etc. The Piccolo is now back in production & mounts to the rear rack instead of the seatpost, so the rear saddle of the tandem won't be a factor.
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Old 03-14-08, 03:35 PM   #9
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I have a Trek T900, which has a low stoker stem. With crank shorteners, my DS was riding it at age 5, with the seat high enough to attach a TAB behind. DD was just enough shorter that she couldn't keep her feet on the peddles without blocks to help her reach. However, without the TAB, with the seat all the way down, she could reach fine.

For the time being, have you considered a tandem for you and the 6-yo, and the conventional trailer for younger DD? That would give the 6-yo time to grow, hopefully enough for the TAB hitch to fit on her stem.

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