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Recumbent What IS that thing?! Recumbents may be odd looking, but they have many advantages over a "wedgie" bicycle. Discuss the in's and out's recumbent lifestyle in the recumbent forum.

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Old 06-14-09, 10:56 PM   #1
killam
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touring on a recumbent tandem

Gentle people,
We are about to set out on a longish (for us) tour of Europe this fall. We have an old linear tandem and plan on being on the road for about two months. We are also old fat and lazy so there will be a lot of stops at pubs and winerys.
Does anyone have any experience with a trailer behind a bent tandem?
Given that we are not worried about speed records is a fairing a worthwhile investment?
Has anyone used a sock on a tandem? Are they worth considering for the inevitable riding in the rain?
Any other thoughts gratefully appreciated.
sk
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Old 06-15-09, 06:05 AM   #2
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No personal experience with trailers, but it shouldn't be a problem to pull one. Except for getting a mount that works with a Linear chainstay. Fairings would be a waste unless you spend significant time about about 18 mph. Likewise, socks are mostly for making already-speedy riders even more so. Socks don't really help in rain; they are not waterproof.

If it were me, I'd consider getting a sturdier bike than a Linear tandem.
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Old 06-15-09, 09:07 AM   #3
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Wow! Tandem Linear with a trailer. Just how long would that make the bike? My old 1997 Linear measured 7' long from tip to tail. It was far easier to pick the bike up and swivel it 180 degrees than to do a U-turn in the normal way. I didn't find my solo LWB Linear to be very fragile. It gave me lots of miles with very few repairs.
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Old 06-15-09, 10:04 AM   #4
killam
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long long longest

Our linear tandem is about 9 feet long. When we did our supported ride in Europe 3 years ago that allowed about 3 inches on each end when we took it on the train. Fortunately it is sufficiently wierd that people were amused rather than pissed off with us. We were taking people for rides on the platform while waiting for the train. With a trailer it would be about the same length as the train. I am however worried about the weight of two of us and all the gear on two tires. Also being able to lock the trailer to a tree and go exploring around an area has a great deal of appeal.

As far as the toughness of the linear, it has taken an enormous amount of abuse in our hands with no problems what so ever. We will probably replace the sprockets for this trip but that is about it. United airlines managed to bend a sprocket a few years ago but a hammer and big screwdriver solved the problems well enough that we never did replace it. It does have the terrific advantage in that it comes apart very easily such that we normally ship it in a large suitcase and a ski bag. With the airlines charging a 100 bucks to ship a bike that is a significant advantage.

I am thinking of a trailer that is hardshell and the size of the largest suitcase that you can take on an airline. Take the wheels off, push in the arm and poof suitcase. Do they exist? If not the first person to build one can sell it to me.

One of the places advertising socks claims that they are waterproof and great for riding in the rain. That was actually my big interest in the fairing/sock concept so I will have to rethink that idea.

thanks y'all sk
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Old 06-15-09, 05:33 PM   #5
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My wife and I have travelled considerably, fully supported, on our Rans Screamer pulling a BOB trailer. No problem. We use two Arkel GT panniers (54 litre) and the BOB bag that fits snuggly in the trailer, adds another 90 litres. The bag is waterproof; no need for a sock. We also have an Arkel "Tail Pack" on the top of the rack for smaller items. It has its own "raincoat". All clothing, extra shoes, toiletries, tent, sleeping mats, sleeping bags, everything except cooking gear, fits in the panniers and the BOB bag nicely. For touring, a fairing is a waste of time and money as you will not be moving fast enough to gain any advantage. In fact, it's just added weight. Mike
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Old 06-16-09, 08:05 AM   #6
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Have fun...
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Old 06-16-09, 01:24 PM   #7
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mchell...got a picture of your Screamer/BOB?
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Old 06-16-09, 07:04 PM   #8
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Here is a link to a couple touring on a Screamer with a bob trailer
http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?...c_id=4923&v=MM
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Old 06-17-09, 03:23 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krispysteve View Post
mchell...got a picture of your Screamer/BOB?
http://www.bikeforums.net/attachment...1&d=1245273559

Our first multiple day trip, fully supported, with the Screamer/BOB combo.
Photo taken on Le Veloroute des Bluets, around Lac Saint Jean, near Roberval, Quebec.

Mike
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Old 06-17-09, 07:59 PM   #10
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Hello Killam,
The wife (and X-wifes, a whole nother story) and I have done many, many miles of completly self supported touring on recubent tandems. We have used both panniers and trailers. The first bent tandem was a Rans Screamer, with over 40,000 miles of loaded touring it's a well worn work horse of a bike. Then for a short time we tried a Organic Engines tandem trike, but it was too slow and very hard to stelth camp with. The latest bike is a Longbikes Gulfsteam (Makes your Linear look short) It has about 10,000 miles of touring history, including a four month cross country trip.


As others have said forget the fairing and body sock, at the speeds your going to travel they won't be of much help, unless you plan on selling ad space on the sock to help pay for the trip.... In fact the only time you will be going "fast" is when your pointed down hill, and then you should be thinking "How will I stop this beast!?!" And nothing is water proof on tour, if it rains your gona get wet. One thing that will help is fenders, you still get wet but you don"t get covered with road grime and worm guts.

Unless you have a very high end wheel set (Phill Wood, 48 spoke, three cross, doubble wall eyeleted rim) You will want to go the trailer route to help keep some of the weight off the bike. A BOB works well and should be no problem to make work with your bike. Take a look at this web sight
http://129.79.22.9/linear/index.html
A two wheel trailer works well but watch that you don't get one that is too wide to fit though a standard doorway. One way to keep a stoker happy is to check into a hotel every now and then. I don't know why but a hot shower every now and then really makes my wife happy (Maybe because shes riding behind me?)

Most of the time on tour we use just panniers, a pair of Arkel TT87's on the rear rack, GT35's on the front rack and a custom under seat rack for sleep pads and tent. But with the Liner I would go with a trailer, the set up used by Mchell will work well. We used it on a few week long tours with the Screamer.

Unless you have a very strong wheel set, you should go the trailer route. Our bike when loaded is about between 550 and 600 pounds. So its really hard on the equipment.
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Old 09-10-09, 03:21 PM   #11
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European tandem

Hi,
We have taken two trips to France with our tandems - one a Ryan and one a LongBikes. We used Arkel bags with rain covers, which we really needed in Alsace. We camped some of the time in Alsace. The second trip was in April and we didn't have as much time, so we stayed in B&Bs in France, which I highly recommend.
Last month though I had a bad accident running the Gulfstream myself - I fell at low speed turning fairly sharp and going downhill. The front bar broke both bones in my left shin. Careful about low-speed turns.
Have a great time!
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Old 09-13-09, 02:02 PM   #12
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That was really interesting. Great pictures, and some wonderful humor.

Here is a link to a couple touring on a Screamer with a bob trailer
http://energycorridor.org/west-houston-trails/map.aspx
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