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  1. #1
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    Side-by-side tandem trike -- can it be driven by one person?

    i've seen 2 person side by side recumbent trikes on the net but the key question is, can 1 person ride them easily?

    I still am searching for a recumbent solution that's easy for one person to ride, but also can take a passenger, and yet not be too long and unwieldy for one driver like most tandems are. That is the kind of versatility that would make trikes more popular.

    Side by side seems like it could work but most of the ones I've seen on the net, I can't figure out whether one person could drive it alone, or whether it requires the passenger. Also can't figure out...which one of them does the steering?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Leigh_caines's Avatar
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    yes
    there are a few diferant types but I don't know of any that can't be riden one up

  3. #3
    Recumbent Trike countersTrike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by beelz View Post
    i've seen 2 person side by side recumbent trikes on the net but the key question is, can 1 person ride them easily?
    I rode the old PPV side by side alone in the '70s- VERY slow, then about '92 I rode a smaller Worksman side by side to get parts. Slow and heavy, and not too easy, but the fun factor was there!
    countersTrike

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by beelz View Post
    i've seen 2 person side by side recumbent trikes on the net but the key question is, can 1 person ride them easily?
    Some of the rental-style ones can be used by one or two people. The seat is a simple bench style, and the steering is a tiller handle in the center of the seat. When one person rides they can straddle the steering tiller, and when two people ride one of them just steers one handed.

    I don't know of any said to handle well with only one person. Even if you could sit in the center when alone, it would be a lot wider and heavier than a single-person trike. And the rental ones in particular tend to be built really heavy, in the interest of durability.

    -------

    In case you didn't know, side-by-side bicycles are also called "sociables", such as sociable bicycle or sociable tricycle. The term "tandem" usually refers to one-behind-the-other seating for two people.
    ~

  5. #5
    Senior Member Leigh_caines's Avatar
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    sorry...
    I thought beelz was talking about something classy like this...
    not some rental like one...


  6. #6
    lowracer ninja master lowracer1's Avatar
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    sounds neat
    chris@promocycle.net

  7. #7
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    well...i want the recumbent to be everyday transportation, not just recreation, so you gotta have the ability to take a passenger and/or cargo. How ya gonna pick up your girl on a single bent?

    I want it to be like a small car, and ya can drive it alone, steering from the left or right hand side, or pick up a passenger and let her pedal as well, while only one of you steers.

    Is that asking too much?

  8. #8
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    What you're looking for is a Rhodes Car.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
    What you're looking for is a Rhodes Car.
    Okay, I'll check this out. I do want the thing to be fast and efficient, though, not heavy and hard to drive

  10. #10
    cyclopath vik's Avatar
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    If you want a side by side bent for your self - go for it. If you are hoping to solve some global transportation problem forget about it. People all over the world are riding DF bikes for a reason - they are widely available, cheap and deal with poor roads/obstacles well. In SE Asia bikes get used as taxis, to haul cargo and yes to pick up your girl for a date. They've already got human powered solutions to all these problems.

    Surly Big Dummy. They've basically built a frame that incorporates an Xtracycle frame and accepts Xtracycle accessories.



    For us wealthy North Americans we have stuff like the Xtracycle and Surly's Big Dummy very practical and reasonably price [for us].





    You can run a suspension fork up front if you'd like.
    safe riding - Vik
    VikApproved

  11. #11
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by beelz View Post
    Okay, I'll check this out. I do want the thing to be fast and efficient, though, not heavy and hard to drive
    You want fast and efficient for one person to ride/drive, but with the capacity for a second person? Good luck. Maybe you want one of those setups that link one delta trike to the back of another delta trike. That way, when you're not hauling a passenger you can take it off. Do EZ-3s have that option? (EZ-3 is still pretty heavy.)

  12. #12
    Recumbent Trike countersTrike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
    You want fast and efficient for one person to ride/drive, but with the capacity for a second person? Good luck. Maybe you want one of those setups that link one delta trike to the back of another delta trike. That way, when you're not hauling a passenger you can take it off. Do EZ-3s have that option? (EZ-3 is still pretty heavy.)
    EZ-3 deltas and Tads are very heavy, but I am considering a p-a delta just for the possibility of linking it like a coupled train for passengers (I am pleased with my overbuilt Tad). I might attach a trailer hitch on my EZ Tad, but that is not the same- probably no passenger help; too much relying on the p-a.

    countersTrike

  13. #13
    Recumbent Trike countersTrike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by beelz View Post
    iSide by side seems like it could work but most of the ones I've seen on the net, I can't figure out whether one person could drive it alone, or whether it requires the passenger. Also can't figure out...which one of them does the steering?
    Like the one with treads? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z4T_XcvR89o


    countersTrike

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leigh_caines View Post
    sorry...
    I thought beelz was talking about something classy like this...
    not some rental like one...

    I saw one on ebay called Rickshaw tandem...some guys have told me it is junk. So now I'd like to know what is the name of the classy tandem in the picture?
    Last edited by HASH; 12-30-07 at 04:06 AM.

  15. #15
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    So the main reason you can't ride one person on a Sociable is that it unbalances the bike? Okay, I can understand that.

    Doug, I'm not sure what you mean by a "rental" sociable and have not seen one. But if you can have one bench seat instead of two individual seats that opens up some possibilities. When two people are riding, they can sit on both ends. But for the times when you are riding solo, maybe you can have a third set of pedals mounted for a person sitting solo in the middle of the bench. So, three sets of pedals, the two on the ends for 2 drivers, and the one in the middle for a solo driver. This way, the solo driver would not unbalance the bike, and you can always have the option of taking a passenger.

    Alternatively, can a person sitting in the middle of the bench seat turn the right pedal of the left set of pedals with his left foot, and the left pedal of the right set of pedals with his right foot? Would that stress the pedals? Is that just not an efficient way to pedal? Would that splay the legs too far apart for comfort? (If so, can pedals be designed where either the pedal itself or the shaft it is attached to can telescope outward to a longer length for this purpose?)

    I apologize if these questions seem naive. I am not mechanically inclined, know very little about bicycle mechanics and am just trying to make suggestions so you can shoot them down. Then to arrive at the best solution for creating the most versatile bent trike in the most compact space. And I'm really just trying to invent the bent that I need, and if the world then wants to adopt it, they can.

  16. #16
    Captain - 2nd in Command djsincla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by beelz View Post
    I apologize if these questions seem naive. I am not mechanically inclined, know very little about bicycle mechanics and am just trying to make suggestions so you can shoot them down. Then to arrive at the best solution for creating the most versatile bent trike in the most compact space. And I'm really just trying to invent the bent that I need, and if the world then wants to adopt it, they can.
    I'm not sure where you live but side by side bikes are not practical due to the amount of room they take up. Down in Newport beach, they have a bunch of family side by side bikes - They are big, slow and a pain to move around on the beach paths. There are plenty of nice Tandems in both upright and recumbent versions -
    Santana/CoMotion/Zona/KHS Diamond Frame Tandems, Triplets, Quads
    Wizwheels, Greenspeed recumbent Tandems.... Long!
    Hase Pino, Hase Kettweisel x 2

    Any of the above Tandems can be ridden without a passenger which is what your original question was related to.

    Check out the Hase Pino...


    Bike paths and bicycle lanes are not well suited to side by side riding.
    Last edited by djsincla; 12-30-07 at 10:14 AM.

  17. #17
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    Well, djsincla, for me, I think a sociable is more suitable, although I admit I've never driven one (I've also never driven any recumbent except a recumbent exercise bike, which I loved). Those long tandems where one person rides behind the other are, to me, very awkward for a single person to ride. Also, I am trying to imagine a bike that will do whatever I need it to do...go to the market for groceries, pick up a girl...not just exercise.

    Where I live, there are no bike paths. I am presently living in Vietnam. It's not like China, they don't have bike lanes here. The roads here are so crowded, I can understand why a single wheel bike or motorbike is the standard transportation. There isn't enough room on the roads for a lot of wide trikes, at least in the biggest cities. However, the situation is different in the smaller towns. There, there is plenty of room for a wide bike. And a sociable isn't any wider than a car, is it? Somehow, cars exist here too, even in the crowded cities.

    I plan to eventually move to a small town, and so I think a sociable can work for me, if I can work out the right design and get somebody here to build it for me (which I think i can).

    Another problem with the long tandems with one person behind the other, is that, if you're driving solo and using the rear seat to hold groceries or other cargo, passing motorbikers could easily steal your stuff. Thieves here operate from motorbikes, and it is a real problem here. If you carried the cargo on the passenger seat of the Sociable, however, it's easy to keep an eye on it. And, if you've got a passenger, you can converse with her, which is much preferable to the lack of communication on those long long tandems.

    So I hope you can see where I'm coming from. I want a bent that's comfortable, not too big, safe (very important to me) and versatile enough to drive either solo or with a hot date...and can carry my groceries (and I buy a ton of heavy stuff like papayas and other vegs, so I'm always carrying stuff.)

    I hope someone can comment on the technical aspects of what I just proposed with the bench seat idea.

    Also, that Hase Pino is all wrong for me. It's not a trike, and one of the seats is a damn wedgie, which I don't want to ride anymore.

    Another thing people don't think about when talking about wedgies vs. recumbents is the fact that, for oriental people, wedgies are not nearly as uncomfortable as they are for us westerners, because they have tiny butts and weigh much less than we do. Still, you see some people here improvising a semi-recumbent from their standard bicycles by sitting on the passenger pad instead of the seat, and pedaling from there. So they don't love wedgies either.

    Another interesting thing I've observed about Vietnamese is that they love to ride two motorbikes or bicycles side by side while talking and joking. This is very dangerous, but is one reason why I think they would really dig a sociable, if some nutty westerner would be willing to introduce the idea to them by making a total spectacle of himself driving one.

  18. #18
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    How about this?

  19. #19
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    Of course, I'm assuming that a sociable can be built with lots of speeds, just like a regular one person bent. It should be able to go as fast as a single bent with two people pedaling, or a little slower with one person pedaling. I don't know if the commercially available ones have speeds, but I don't see why a sociable could not have them. And also, only one person, the pilot, has to do the braking and steering and speed changing, I would think, for it to be safe.

  20. #20
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    When you get that thing designed and built, post a pic! I'm not aware of any existing animal with all of those attributes.

  21. #21
    Captain - 2nd in Command djsincla's Avatar
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    I have a bike for you.... I just saw it today on Ebay:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/RECUMBENT-TRIKE-...QQcmdZViewItem


  22. #22
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    VERY interesting, thanks disincia. It says one person can drive it but I don't think they mean the way I was thinking...with the one person sitting in the middle of the bench seat. Would that work? Could you turn the pedals the way I proposed earlier...with your left foot turning one set of pedals and your right foot turning the other set? Any opinions on whether that would work?

    Of course, you could also just use the electric backup to propel a solo driver sitting in the middle not pedaling at all...but that's not very good exercise.

  23. #23
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vik View Post

    For us wealthy North Americans we have stuff like the Xtracycle and Surly's Big Dummy very practical and reasonably price [for us].



    You can run a suspension fork up front if you'd like.
    Although most law enforcement doesn't know any better, putting passengers on that would be illegal in most if not all of the US. It wouldn't meet the standards of being 'designed' to carry people - i.e. no foot pegs or handlebars.

  24. #24
    cyclopath vik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
    Although most law enforcement doesn't know any better, putting passengers on that would be illegal in most if not all of the US. It wouldn't meet the standards of being 'designed' to carry people - i.e. no foot pegs or handlebars.
    I'd take my chances, but then I'm a rebel...
    safe riding - Vik
    VikApproved

  25. #25
    Captain - 2nd in Command djsincla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by beelz View Post
    VERY interesting, thanks disincia. It says one person can drive it but I don't think they mean the way I was thinking...with the one person sitting in the middle of the bench seat. Would that work? Could you turn the pedals the way I proposed earlier...with your left foot turning one set of pedals and your right foot turning the other set? Any opinions on whether that would work?
    What I saw on the video would indicate you would sit on one side or the other, but not in the middle.
    Last edited by djsincla; 01-10-08 at 01:59 PM.

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