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  1. #1
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    Tandem recumbent for a smaller captain?

    DH is 6 ft tall, I am 5 ft 2 in. We currently have a tandem KHS. DH is blind, so I captain while he stokes. Our problem is this: the KHS ( as well as other tandems we demo rode) is too big for me to captain very well. I can't reach the ground when I sit on the seat, I can't stop and start without DH's help, I have to have my left pedal at the top of the stroke when we start so when he pushes us off I can push down hard to get some speed, the handle bars are too far away for me to ride comfortably with. We recently made a modification to them by having a larger handlebar installed, but it still isn't very comfortable, and the handle bar now hits my leg when I turn corners. We are casual weekend riders, nothing heavy duty. Someone recently suggested a tandem recumbent trike to us. Would a tandem recumbent solve the problems we are dealing with? We were shocked at the price of them. We paid $800.00 for our KHS in 2001, and thought that was expensive. I think we would ride more often if I were more comfortable and felt more in control of the bike. Another issue with a recumbent trike would be transport. We can barely squeeze our tandem into our vehicle when we take the front wheel off and put the seat almost all the way forward. (poor Dh ride with his knees against the dash board..so we don't take our bike with us when we are camping more than 2 hours away.) Our bike rack will not work on our camping trailer, since there is nowhere to mount it. We both want to keep life as simple as possible, no roof racks for us please. (imagine trying to put a bike into something on top of the car when you can't see and the person helping you is only 5ft 2. ) Is there such a thing as a folding recumbent tandem? (that won't require us to mortgage our home to buy it?) Is it possible to "couple" to recumbents to make a tandem trike? Sometimes I feel like a little kid that can only ride her older sisters bike, which is much to big for her, but we still enjoy going. I want to feel like we are safe when we bike and I want others on the trail to be safe to. So far we have only had 2 or 3 wipeouts, all of them involving only us. Any input is appreciated.
    Thanks,
    TP

  2. #2
    brad3104
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    I dont know much about tandem bents...and im new to bents in general, but they are very expensive. I cant imagine what a tandem bent would cost. I have only seens pics of a few...and i only remember one of them which was a higher end one. The couple paid something like $8k for it which is insane. And they had to have a trailer type thing to towe it....However, i think the tandem bent would solve size problem lol. Once you get feedback here u can try "that other site" to see if u can pick up one used which might be in ur price range.

  3. #3
    Recumbent Ninja
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    I'd say that many bent tandems, especially the bent trikes, will work fine for you, but they will cost an arm and a leg for sure. Rans Screamer would be one you could find used if you keep a lookout. They run about 5000 new but you can find a used one for 3 or less. The trikes are even more expensive, getting up to 8k new and 5k used.

  4. #4
    Senior Member gcottay's Avatar
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    Hello, TP.

    It is possible, even common, to couple two delta trikes.

    BentRider Online has many tandem riders and even a recumbent tandem forum.
    George
    Laissez les bon temps rouler

  5. #5
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    You can do it!

    Coupling 2 delta style trikes (2 wheels in back) is a fairly easy way to go. I have seen a hitch that works on the Sun trikes which can be found cheaply used. Sometimes the Wizwheelz tandem trikes go fairly cheap used ($2000 or so). There is a small company in Florida called Organic Engines that makes a reasonably priced model as well. You would end the balance issues and it wouldn't particularly matter with the smaller partner on front. Most 2 wheel tandem recumbents are fairly tall. You will have a hard time reaching the ground and balancing the bike. The Screamer, Columbia, and even the Sun, are all on the tall side.

  6. #6
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    I would look for a used Wizwheels recumbent tandem trike. It would solve all of your issues, and used, you may find one in a reasonable price range. I would agree that the Rans Screamer, Columbia and Sun would be too tall. The trike makes starting and stopping a breeze. Mike

  7. #7
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    Thanks for your input. We were in Grand Rapids Mi today to visit some one in the hospital, so stopped by Wiz Wheelz and had a demo ride on a Terra Trike. Wow, what a ride. It worked really suited our size difference well, and was so easy and stable to handle. We were happy to learn that they are made here in MI. (our economy needs all the help it can get right now.) it was hard to drag our elated bodies off of it, we could have ridden for hours. We were also pleased that the trike breaks down pretty easily for transport. However, we were in for sticker shock when we asked the price. $4999.00. Ouch! We would have to save a long to afford that. I would imagine they would be hard to come by used. (Who would want to sell it once they owned one?) However, I did post on our local Craigslist that we were looking for used tandem trike.
    On our way back home (a 90 minute drive) we talked about it. DH said he would have bought it right then and there if he had the $$. We decided that although it sounds like a tremendous amount of money to spend for a bike, it all depends on where ones priorities are. Kind of like a choice to spend 5K on a boat, a golf cart, a quad or whatever. Where we each spend our $$ depends on what we enjoy doing. We are going to try hard to save up and get one. We also vowed to NEVER tell anyone (especially our married children,) what the Terra trike cost. Guess we are kind of embarrassed that we would even think of spending that kind of money on something we can't even use all year. Especially since our kids are at that stage in their lives that they are struggling to make it. (both son -in-in laws have gone back to college in addition to working and raising a family.) It would be difficult to save that much over the winter, but we are going to try. We can ride it more when we retire in 5 or 6 years and spend part of the winter in a warm climate, and we should get many years of use out of it. It looks like it is well made. Hmmm...sounds like my logic is trying to convince the part of us that wants to get on it and keep on riding for miles.
    Anyway, it is a great tandem trike. Hoping we will one day own one. (the sooner the better, we'll probably dream of riding it tonight.) Man, we've got it bad!

  8. #8
    Recumbent Ninja
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    There is no price on health, state of mind, and quality time spent with your mate. I don't have much money, and I've spent a ridiculous amount on bikes, and I'll never regret a penny - not even when I'm living in a substandard old folks home with a poopy diaper.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Onus's Avatar
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    Absolutely, aikigreg. I didn't anticipate buying a pair of Catrikes (one for me, due to my balance, but something more conventional for my wife), but after some test rides that she also enjoyed, and knowing it was something we would share, it was actually a pretty easy decision even though it wiped out that year's extortion refund and then some.

  10. #10
    Bent builder purplepeople's Avatar
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    A back to back recumbent tandem can be adjusted for any combo, including switching sides.

    :)ensen.
    Those who claim to be making history are usually just repeating it.

    My tilting trike: Video and Images

  11. #11
    Senior Member gcottay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tandempair View Post
    . . . We also vowed to NEVER tell anyone (especially our married children,) what the Terra trike cost . . .
    A small fraction of the costs of a either a cardiac event or of raising children.

    When we were young and struggling both my wife and and I were delighted that our parents had the extra cash to enjoy life. Though not universal, I think that attitude is pretty common.
    George
    Laissez les bon temps rouler

  12. #12
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    I just look around - especially the classified section at Bentrideronline.com - My wife and I bought a used WizWheelz Tandem for $3700.00 last month so it pays to look around. Spring is usually a good time find one... Good Luck.

  13. #13
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    I vote for a Bike E2 tandem. They are out of biz so you would have to find one used. I see them come up for sale a lot here in the NW for $300 to $800.
    Here is a good place to start looking.
    http://www.rtrmag.com/classifieds.htm
    Life is good O^o

  14. #14
    Bikaholic blamp28's Avatar
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    Great to hear that you will be joining the ranks of tandem bent owners. If you have an interest in looking at a Rans Screamer and trying one out, I have one and live close to Grand Rapids. That way, you can get a feel for that bike as well if you like. I certainly don't want to talk you out of the WW tandem but give you an alternative if you are interested. You can find them used as we did this one. We have enjoyed it imensly this year and are planning on riding the DELMAC next year. PM me if you are interested.
    Trek Fuel XC MTB, Giant OCR Road Bike, Rans Screamer - Tandem

  15. #15
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    A tandem trike sounds like a great way to go. Considering the size difference between you and DH, controlling a 2-wheeler might be hard for you even if you could find one with a low enough captain's seat. A trike does away with that concern.

  16. #16
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Have you thought about contacting the manufacturers?

    Your story is unique enough that they might be interested in helping you out with a custom bike at mass produced prices.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  17. #17
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    Thanks to all who replied. We found a used Terra Trike about a month ago and bought it. We have been enjoying it, trying to get out for a ride 2 or 3 times a week, depending on the weather. (we'll ride in a drizzle, and take our chances on getting soaked, but prefer not to ride on a day that it is raining hard or a steady soaking rain.) Trying to get as many miles in as we can before the snow flies. Our longest ride so far was 14 miles, found out the next day that we weren't quite ready for that. Now we can do between 8 and 12 with no extreme soreness the next day. We hope to get a used recumbent exercise bike so we can keep building up our conditioning for spring.
    TP

  18. #18
    Bikaholic blamp28's Avatar
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    If you have the space, you might consider putting the tandem on a trainer inside. For about the same price as an excersize bike, you get a tandem recumbent exercize bike. Just a thought.
    Trek Fuel XC MTB, Giant OCR Road Bike, Rans Screamer - Tandem

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