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Tandem Cycling A bicycle built for two. Want to find out more about this wonderful world of tandems? Check out this forum to talk with other tandem enthusiasts. Captains and stokers welcome!

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Old 01-11-16, 03:23 PM   #1
LongAndShort
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Tall and Short Riders on same bike

My wife and I are interested in trying tandem cycling, but are faced with our extreme measurements. I am 6'6" and she is 5'1". Any advice on what we should be looking for? Or are we simply not "built" for a tandem?
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Old 01-11-16, 04:37 PM   #2
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Check out the Co-Motion Periscope offerings. With a fully adjustable seatpost-within-a-seatpost you may just fit as pilot and her as stoker.
Pilot may need adjustable stem (available at x-tra cost) for good reach/fit.
If that does not work out then youi'll need to go custom and yes, Co-Mo does that too.
Pedal on!
Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
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Old 01-12-16, 03:09 AM   #3
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The periscope is a great stock solution. The design is so flexible in regards to fit. I have ridden mine with my son who was 6 at the time as well as my 48 year old brother in law as the stoker.

You can also go custom, but that is much more dedication and $$$.
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Old 01-12-16, 05:59 AM   #4
Tony Marley
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I agree ref the Co-Motion periscope recommendations. They will easily accommodate your different heights.
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Old 01-12-16, 07:13 AM   #5
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Thank you! I will investigate.

Tim
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Old 01-12-16, 08:09 AM   #6
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Tim, if you were to decide to go custom R&E Cycles builds a lot of tandems and has done some pretty interesting things for people like your team. Here is a pretty cool bike they built for at team with a very tall captain and shorter stoker. Custom bicycles and custom tandem bikes hand-built by Rodriguez and Erickson in Seattle

They have good pricing and might be a good solution for you.
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Old 01-12-16, 09:44 AM   #7
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This is a common situation so there are easy fixes.

Competitive Cyclist has a good online fit calculator that will translate your body measurements (eg. inseam, arm length) into recommended frame geometry. You can then use these guidelines (eg. seat tube length) to identify suitable tandem models. The Periscope is certainly work but a more "conventional" design may also fit.

Keep in mind that a LBS or bike fitter can refine your stack and reach when they see you on the tandem.
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Old 01-12-16, 11:05 AM   #8
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Don't fear. You should be able to find something that will work fine.
I am 6'4" and my wife is 5'3". Not quite as extreme difference as your situation but certainly a big difference in height and we ride an off the shelf frame.
Just look around and try some bikes.
Good luck.
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Old 01-12-16, 05:18 PM   #9
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I would look at the measurements of the XL/S that Cannondale makes. I think a 5'1" stoker would fit with no problems, the question is whether the front end would be long enough for 6'6" captain.
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Old 01-12-16, 11:18 PM   #10
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This is our 4th custom tandem since 1975. Pilot is 5'7", stoker measures 4' 8-1/2".
She has covered 45,000+ miles on this particular tandem.
Now at ages 83/80 we considerour tandems an investment in our good health!
Pedal on!
Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
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Old 01-13-16, 03:08 PM   #11
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My wife is 5' and I am 6' - our 1999 Co-Motion Speedster is a stock Medium.


I would recommend going to a *good* tandem dealer and working through this sizing issue.
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Old 01-14-16, 10:13 PM   #12
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Keep Bike Friday in mind for a possible solution if you need another price level.
www.bikefriday.com
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Old 01-15-16, 11:41 AM   #13
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If you want to go off-the-shelf without a big investment, MTB type tandems seem to offer the most flexibility in adapting to different size riders. My wife and I are 5'1 and 6'2" and a MTB tandem is what worked for us ( 21 years on Yokota Twin Peaks)

Additionally if you work with a tandem specific shop ( Tandems East in NJ and Tandems LTD in AL are ones we are familiar with), they usually have the experience and parts on hand to work out the fitting.
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Old 01-23-16, 12:02 AM   #14
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Check with Mel Kornbluh at TandemsEast (TandemsEast@gmail.com) He sells a Hokitika road tandem for $3,600 + custom sizing for an additional $350. Tell him that Rudy in Tucson says "hi".
Pedal on!
Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
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Old 01-27-16, 09:11 PM   #15
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Minor point: if you are both cyclists now and avid enough to consider a tandem AND might consider a later upgrade, then the Periscope is a very good idea as its
resale will not be limited to couples near your sizes. As noted Periscopes are easily adaptable for younger children. They are also relatively inexpensive for a quality tandem.
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Old 01-31-16, 11:08 AM   #16
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Another Option

I started tandem riding a couple of years ago. I'm 6' 3" and my wife is 5' 4". We ended up buying a used Trek T900 that we are very happy with. The bike is very adjustable and you ride in an upright position (which at my age I prefer). We are not racers. Are typical ride is about 30 miles. We don't do great going up hills.

Speaking of that, does anyone have a recommendation on an upgrade? I hear a lot of people rave about the Co-Motion Periscope, but then I hear others complain about steel frames (though I did love my old Puch w/ a Reynolds 531 frame). Would a Periscope climb hills better than my Trek or it more a team problem?
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Old 02-02-16, 08:00 PM   #17
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I am 6' and wife is 4'10". We started on a Trek T1000 Med/small frame so it can be done. One thing that did help....we had House of Tandems drill another hole in the stoker crank to raise her pedals. If you enlarge the pic, you can see the second hole a couple inches higher on stoker crank by my right leg.

We now ride a Co-Motion Supremo and a Fandango DC 9 Mtb Tandem
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File Type: jpg 401.jpg (103.7 KB, 30 views)

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Old 02-02-16, 08:16 PM   #18
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LOL, we went from T1000 to our Como Supremo just a few months ago. We cannot climb and we are not fast! It is the motors, not the tandems! We ride because we love to share the experience.

Our steel Como ride butta smooth!
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Old 02-10-16, 04:17 PM   #19
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I'm 6'3" and my Stoker varies from 3' (Granddaughter to 6'2 (Her Dad). I took the cheap way out. I bought a used Santana that is a little short and added a longer seat post and stem for me, and kiddie cranks and crank shorteners for the Stoker
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