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Old 05-14-13, 10:23 AM   #1
Lieren
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Adams tandem trail a bike experiences?

I've read the threads I could find about the Adams tandem trail a bike, but there's one for sale on Craigslist that is screaming my name and I'm interested in any experiences with these people can share.

My main question is whether I'm crazy to think I can handle this. I'm an experienced cyclist, also experienced with a single tagalong. But my 3.5 y.o and my 6.5 y.o are each 40 pounds and I'm only 110 pounds.

Are there any other small parents hauling their kids around on these? Any strong positive or negative feelings you want to share before I rent a car and drive an hour each way to get one?
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Old 05-14-13, 10:43 AM   #2
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I've read the threads I could find about the Adams tandem trail a bike, but there's one for sale on Craigslist that is screaming my name and I'm interested in any experiences with these people can share.

My main question is whether I'm crazy to think I can handle this. I'm an experienced cyclist, also experienced with a single tagalong. But my 3.5 y.o and my 6.5 y.o are each 40 pounds and I'm only 110 pounds.

Are there any other small parents hauling their kids around on these? Any strong positive or negative feelings you want to share before I rent a car and drive an hour each way to get one?
I've ridden with the tandem trail-a-bike last year my daughter was five, my son was 2 1/2 and was strapped into the bike seat. I weigh twice what you do. Adams recommends the rider weigh at least 200 lbs (if you were close, maybe, but 110 lbs is almost certainly too light).

I was surprised by how much harder it was balancing than with just my daughter on her Trek trail-a-bike. I don't like the Adams hitch as much as the Trek hitch as there is play in the Adams hitch, but none in the Trek hitch. And I have NO *#$*# idea why Adams puts a knobby tire on there as it makes balance problems even worse. I only took it out once, so YMMV (but 110 lbs is almost certainly too small).
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Old 05-14-13, 11:18 PM   #3
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Unless you are a superhero the kids are too heavy for you. I'm about to sell mine, as the kids are grew to 50 and 45 pounds and I'm 165.
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Old 05-20-13, 07:55 AM   #4
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Thanks, folks! I will let the dream die...
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Old 05-21-13, 05:04 PM   #5
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I hadn't heard of this before! Would I be crazy to think we could pull ou 4 year old and 2 year old behind our tandem?
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Old 05-21-13, 06:19 PM   #6
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I hadn't heard of this before! Would I be crazy to think we could pull ou 4 year old and 2 year old behind our tandem?
I don't think that's crazy; I've seen a picture of this exact thing with grandparents on a tandem pulling grand children.

If you and your partner are experienced tandem riders, I believe you might have an easier time with the tandem than with a solo rider as the weight of the adults is significantly bigger than that of the children.

In any case, when starting out, try the two adults with no kids, then two adults, one kid and finally two adults, two kids. For the two year old, you'll want to make sure (s)he is well attached (I've got the infant seat; you'll want the seat back with seat belt at least).

Cheers,
Charles
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Old 05-22-13, 02:59 PM   #7
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I hadn't heard of this before! Would I be crazy to think we could pull our 4 year old and 2 year old behind our tandem?
I would think that at this age they would be better suited for a regular bicycle trailer instead of trail-a-bike. Also much easier logistics, especially with that young kids.
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Old 05-22-13, 09:15 PM   #8
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I would think that at this age they would be better suited for a regular bicycle trailer instead of trail-a-bike. Also much easier logistics, especially with that young kids.
I would agree with that. We have the two girls and my wife is pregnant with twins and i've been wondering if my family biking days are done for a couple years. We have a bike trailer for two. We just found a single tag along used that I rode with my 4 year old today and it was awesome. My two year old was pretty jealous so I hooked the trailer to the tag along and we had a train going. It would be awesome to set up a train with a tandem, a double pull along and trailer. Would it be awesome enough that we would ride it a lot? Would it be safe? I dunno. But awesome? Yes!
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Old 05-23-13, 09:10 AM   #9
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Would it be awesome enough that we would ride it a lot? Would it be safe? I dunno. But awesome? Yes!
Do you have reasons to believe the train would be unsafe?
In my role as train engine (one school year) I found that trailer attached to TAB makes it more stable. Kids loved it.
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Old 08-21-13, 08:30 AM   #10
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I have a tandem trail-a-bike.. the older non-foldable model. I also have the seat-tube mounted child seat. You get used to the play and things got a lot better once I started teaching the kids not to lean.

It's sometimes a PITA when the little one falls asleep in the child seat because then you really can't stop the leaning but at least it's not a sudden lean to one side.

I have been considering how to modify the linkage to remove the play.. like adding bushings or something.. it seems like it should be possible to get the play out of it..
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Old 08-21-13, 10:22 AM   #11
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Thanks, folks! I will let the dream die...
Long tail cargo bikes seem an option for 2 kid seats on the back..

now whether they 'rock the boat' back there, or sit still , is another issue..

Bakfiets , have a lower C of G , load in front of the longer wheelbase,

That would benefit a rider weight imbalance , Vs Load .. by how the mass is carried.

Last edited by fietsbob; 08-21-13 at 10:26 AM.
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Old 08-21-13, 10:25 AM   #12
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Adams tandem trail a bike experiences?

Just got one and dig it but yes, kids shifting their weight at first but they learn their balance that way. It gets better.
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Old 08-21-13, 02:09 PM   #13
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I'm well over double your weight, but I got a trail-a-bike off craigslist last year, and yes, there's a bit of a learning curve to keeping stable, but even with a hyperactive 6-year-old swaying around behind me, I learned quite quickly how to keep balanced. It's just a matter of quick corrections in steering. Maybe ride in a large parking lot or a low-traffic street at first?

The hardest times are getting on and stopping. I make him wait until I'm on my bike (feet on the ground) before he gets on, and then stopping I taught him to put his foot down to help steady when we stop.

I honestly think you can do it. Make sure your bike has lower gearing (I use a mountain bike) because you'll spend a lot more time spinning in low gears than you imagine. It's really like riding up a small hill everywhere you go, except in the rare instances the child pedaling actually is contributing to forward motion.
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Old 09-06-13, 07:43 PM   #14
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I too have a Adams Tandem trail-a-bike, as well as a single folder. I pull our 4.5 year old twins on the tandem. I'm 230# though, and have no problems. I don't think my wife @ 120ish could handle it very well. She does fine with the single with our 6 year old. That said If you ride a lot and are a good bike handler you should not give up the dream, but try it out. You can always sell it if it's not working out. I pull them with my MTB running on 35mm slicks. When the twins decide to help out we can really move it's a lot of fun, and it gets a lot of comments!
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Old 09-09-13, 11:18 PM   #15
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My daughter is about 20kg on the tagalong no problems but I am a lot bigger than you. I heard a recommendation once that you should be twice the weight as your passenger.

My wife thinks it's cute when I indicate to turn and my daughter copies and sticks her arm out too. Don't think it helps with her balance though...
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