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  1. #1
    Senior Member SabreMan's Avatar
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    Recommendations for tandem trike?

    My wife and I have the chance of purchasing a tandem trike and need suggestions/opinions.

    We will be using it mainly for area pedestrian/bike trails in and around Omaha, Nebraska.

    I have had a 'bent (Burley Koosah) only since July and it is the first "real" bike I have owned -- everything else was a K-Mart special! So I don't really know much about bike components. I do know that the general rule applies: You get what you pay for.

    Our minimum requirements are for independent pedalling and S&S couplings (or something similar).
    So... I am looking at the TerraTrike tandem from Wizwheels and the Troika from Organic Engines. (Does the Troika have independent pedalling as a possiblility?) Also I know of a custom bike maker (Tom Teesdale in Iowa) who builds a Greenspeed look-a-like.

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks
    Glenn in Omaha

  2. #2
    Senior Member Shaman's Avatar
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    Wizwheels wouldn't be my first choice but it is probably the cheapest. You might keep your eyes peeled for a used low milage greenspeed or ICE. If Delta's are of interest, you can couple several HASE delta trikes together and they fold as well.


    Today is a great day to ride!

  3. #3
    Senior Member bentbaggerlen's Avatar
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    Independent pedaling is not offered on any tandem trike that I know of as standard. Wiz wheels offers it as option ($499) And I Know Dan at Organic Engines will also build a bike with it. If your looking at used trikes it can be added after market by changing out the crank set. Vision ATP was the first company to offer it. Take a look at http://www.hostelshoppe.com/atp_arch...structions.pdf for an idea how it works. It is now offered by Sun Bicycles and sells for about $350 http://www.hostelshoppe.com/cgi-bin/...ory=1098307215

    Another independent pedaling system is available from Da Vinci Designs it offers a wider gear range and much improved shifting, but it can not be easily retro fitted to a frame as it requires a third bottom bracket for the jack shaft. More info at http://www.davincitandems.com/dv2.html

    When the wife and I were looking for a tandem trike we ended up getting a Organic Engines Troika. It was half the price of most trikes and offered adjustable seats, for both recline angle and X-seam. Ant the Take apart frame option.

    We passed over the Wiz-Wheels because they were not willing to add braze ons for a drum brake or S&S couplers at the time. In fact they were unwilling to build anything but a stock frame.
    Last edited by bentbaggerlen; 12-16-06 at 07:37 PM.
    Bentbaggerlen
    "When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking." - Arthur Conan Doyle

  4. #4
    Dr.Deltron
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    Quote Originally Posted by bentbaggerlen
    Independent pedaling is not offered on any tandem trike that I know of as standard.
    One reason possibly being that most tandem drivelines are on the left from Captain to Stoker, and on the right from Stoker to rear wheel. IPS is ALL on the right, so you lose a chainring in the process. So if I installed IPS on my Greenspeed I would have 48 speeds instead of 72. Or I could possibly use a quad crankset for the Stoker to maintain the 72 speeds. Or, opt for a Schlumph crankset (about a $500 option).

    As a note, the Greenspeed has the Stokers triple crankset shifter located on the Stokers handlebar. That way the Stoker has some control over gear choice.

    And tandeming is all about communication. The Captain and Stoker must let each other know what they need to make the experience fun for both. Kinda like se*!

  5. #5
    Senior Member Shaman's Avatar
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    I still like that back-2-back Trice... Sweet machine!
    Today is a great day to ride!

  6. #6
    Approaching Nirvana megaman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SabreMan
    Also I know of a custom bike maker (Tom Teesdale in Iowa) who builds a Greenspeed look-a-like.
    I've seen one of Teesdale's tandem trikes. It looked awesome. The guy who owned it just loved the thing. But then I've seen few trike owners that didn't love their ride.
    "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits."
    -- Albert Einstein

  7. #7
    Senior Member SabreMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bentbaggerlen
    Independent pedaling is not offered on any tandem trike that I know of as standard. Wiz wheels offers it as option ($499) And I Know Dan at Organic Engines will also build a bike with it. If your looking at used trikes it can be added after market by changing out the crank set. Vision ATP was the first company to offer it. Take a look at http://www.hostelshoppe.com/atp_arch...structions.pdf for an idea how it works. It is now offered by Sun Bicycles and sells for about $350 http://www.hostelshoppe.com/cgi-bin/...ory=1098307215

    Another independent pedaling system is available from Da Vinci Designs it offers a wider gear range and much improved shifting, but it can not be easily retro fitted to a frame as it requires a third bottom bracket for the jack shaft. More info at http://www.davincitandems.com/dv2.html

    When the wife and I were looking for a tandem trike we ended up getting a Organic Engines Troika. It was half the price of most trikes and offered adjustable seats, for both recline angle and X-seam. Ant the Take apart frame option.

    We passed over the Wiz-Wheels because they were not willing to add braze ons for a drum brake or S&S couplers at the time. In fact they were unwilling to build anything but a stock frame.
    Since I am a newbie, I would just as soon get the independent pedaling system up front, instead of as an add-on.

    I have emailed Organic Engines to get the price with the options I want, but no response yet.

    I think I remember reading an earlier post from you about the drum brake -- you prefer it for slowing down a steep hill. We have hills in Omaha, but not so steep that we need to worry about disk brakes failing. If necessary, I can always drag my feet on the ground! (BTW, what are "braze ons"?)

    Thanks
    Glenn

  8. #8
    Senior Member SabreMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by megaman
    I've seen one of Teesdale's tandem trikes. It looked awesome. The guy who owned it just loved the thing. But then I've seen few trike owners that didn't love their ride.
    There is a couple in town (Omaha) that has one of his tandem trikes and they seem happy with it too. I am waiting for a response to my email to Teesdale to see how much it costs.

    I have a quote of $5000 for a Wizwheel with IPS. Since I am new to this, I cannot see spending much more than this without a strongly compelling reason.

    Thanks
    Glenn

  9. #9
    Senior Member SabreMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr.Deltron
    One reason possibly being that most tandem drivelines are on the left from Captain to Stoker, and on the right from Stoker to rear wheel. IPS is ALL on the right, so you lose a chainring in the process. So if I installed IPS on my Greenspeed I would have 48 speeds instead of 72. Or I could possibly use a quad crankset for the Stoker to maintain the 72 speeds. Or, opt for a Schlumph crankset (about a $500 option).

    As a note, the Greenspeed has the Stokers triple crankset shifter located on the Stokers handlebar. That way the Stoker has some control over gear choice.

    And tandeming is all about communication. The Captain and Stoker must let each other know what they need to make the experience fun for both. Kinda like se*!
    Losing a chainring means what??? I guess I don't know what a chainring is.

    On a related note, is there a good primer on bike mechanics online? I am trying to get up to speed -- no pun intended--, but I've got a long way to go.

    Thanks.
    Glenn

  10. #10
    Dr.Deltron
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    Quote Originally Posted by SabreMan
    Losing a chainring means what??? I guess I don't know what a chainring is.
    Oops, sorry, my bad!
    A chainring is one of the sprockets on the crankset. (where the pedals are)
    A cog is a sprocket on the rear wheel.

    "Losing one" is because on an IPS tandem, the chain from the front to back rider is going to be using it.
    So if I had 3 chainrings on a standard tandem set-up, I would now only have 2.

    Hmmm. That still seems unclear huh? OK, on a standard tandem, the chain from the front rider to the rear rider is usually on the LEFT side of the bike. Then the chain from the back rider to the back wheel is in the RIGHT side of the bike. For independent pedaling, the chains are BOTH on the RIGHT side of the bike. Now the chain from the front rider to the rear rider is going to have to be on one of the chainrings (usually the smallest one) of the rear riders crankset.

    Is that any better?

    Anywhooo, I'm sure you're going to love having a tandem trike! Be prepared to make new friends every time you ride it!

  11. #11
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by SabreMan
    My wife and I have the chance of purchasing a tandem trike and need suggestions/opinions.....
    Our minimum requirements are for independent pedalling and S&S couplings (or something similar).

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks
    Glenn in Omaha
    They are horribly expensive--but I like the idea of the Kettweisel delta trikes. You remove the front wheel of one and can lock it onto a bracket on the rear of another. They can be linked in a "train" so that the riders each have separate gearing choices, and they can still be used as two independent bikes as well.

    I don't recall any others currently offering this ability.
    If you had some other type of delta trike it might be possible to have some similar attachment built for them. The Sun EZ-3 goes for about $800 each for the lower-end model.

    If you could disconnect the "tandem" into two regular-sized trikes, would you still need the S&S/folding option?
    ~

    [edited]
    As it happens, I see now that Lightfoot also sells a "tandemizer" doohickey for their Road Runner delta trikes.
    The Road Runners are priced at $3000 each. The Kettweisels are quite a bit more than that.
    Last edited by Doug5150; 12-19-06 at 02:42 AM.

  12. #12
    Senior Member bentbaggerlen's Avatar
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    "One reason possibly being that most tandem drivelines are on the left from Captain to Stoker, and on the right from Stoker to rear wheel. IPS is ALL on the right, so you lose a chainring in the process."

    Another reason is that its a answer looking for a problem. Few tandem teams find that its worth the added cost and weight. I've installed IPS on four tandems for customers and ended up taking off all but one. And that bike only gets ridden maybe two times a year. Still if I was going to get a bike with IPS it would be the Da Vinci Designs system.

    "I think I remember reading an earlier post from you about the drum brake -- you prefer it for slowing down a steep hill. We have hills in Omaha, but not so steep that we need to worry about disk brakes failing."
    Yes, the wife and I like to load up our bikes with camping gear for loaded touring. And when fully loaded a tandem trike will be between 500 and 600 pounds. To control your speed on long down hills you need to turn a lot of energy into heat. Disk brakes will fail if used as a drag brake.

    If necessary, I can always drag my feet on the ground!
    NO! Don't try that, if your foot should get caught it will suck your leg back under the trike. Most unplesent...

    (BTW, what are "braze ons"?) The drum brake uses a mounting finger welded to the frame. Eye lets to mount racks and fenders, brake posts and tabs, water bottle mounts, etc. are all braze-ons. Little bits added to the frame to mount equipment.

    Good place to start on bike repairs http://www.parktool.com/repair/
    Bentbaggerlen
    "When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking." - Arthur Conan Doyle

  13. #13
    Senior Member SabreMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bentbaggerlen
    Another reason is that its a answer looking for a problem. Few tandem teams find that its worth the added cost and weight. I've installed IPS on four tandems for customers and ended up taking off all but one. And that bike only gets ridden maybe two times a year. Still if I was going to get a bike with IPS it would be the Da Vinci Designs system.
    What do people dislike about "Independent Pedaling Systems" that would cause them to change back?

    Quote Originally Posted by bentbaggerlen
    If necessary, I can always drag my feet on the ground!
    NO! Don't try that, if your foot should get caught it will suck your leg back under the trike. Most unplesent...
    I wasn't serious.

    Thanks for the link to http://www.parktool.com/repair/.

    Glenn

  14. #14
    Senior Member bentbaggerlen's Avatar
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    Noise from the two added freewheels and weight was the biggest complaint. One set was an early Vision IPS system and both the freewheels failed. First the Captain's failed so the stoker had to do all the work for about 6 miles, and then the stokers freewheel fell apart. But then again they had nothing but bad luck with the bike from the day it was new, frame broke twice once at the captains seat brace and then at the stokers bottom bracket, this was just before Vision went the way of the Dodo. So I ended up repairing the frame for them. And then to top it all off someone stole the bike off the roof of their car.
    Bentbaggerlen
    "When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking." - Arthur Conan Doyle

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