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Thread: tandem sizing

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    tandem sizing

    Am looking for a tandem, but have questions regarding sizing. I'm a experienced rider age 50+, 5'-11" tall. My wife, stoker, not serious cylist is 5'-6". Any recommendations, what to look for in frame size, standover etc. Also wife would like help in finding that "perfect' saddle. Come to think of it, I'd like to find her that perfect saddle too. Thx
    Last edited by todman007; 08-27-10 at 12:31 PM. Reason: old post

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    Quote Originally Posted by todman007
    Am looking for a tandem, but have questions regarding sizing. I'm a experienced rider age 50+, 5'-11" tall. My wife, stoker, not serious cylist is 5'-6". Any recommendations, what to look for in frame size, standover etc. Also wife would like help in finding that "perfect' saddle. Come to think of it, I'd like to find her that perfect saddle too. Thx

    Various manufacturers will have different sizings on their bike. A large cannondale will not be the same as a large anything else. My pilot is 6'3" and inseam of 34" I am 5'6" and inseam of 30" We ride a Cannondale L/M. Both of us have a good amount of seat post showing so perhaps we should have gone up a Frame size- but the top bar length is ideal for both of us. That gives you an idea on Cannondales - if you want the same reach as us, but we are all different.

    On the Female seat- Terrys make a woman specific saddle that is highly rated. In fact they make a lot of different saddles that are woman specific. I actually ride with a Selle Italia Trans Am womans saddle, and I am a male. I find it comfortable and So does anyone else that sits on it. Only tip is to remember that you sit on saddles a bit more on a Tandem as opposed to a solo. That saddle has to be right for both of you.
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    Well...

    I know the Trek T900 is an 18.5 and 14 (I believe). The captain (me) is 6'4" with an inseam of 34". A whole bunch of seat post is showing. My stoker is 5' 8" inseam not sure, but quite a bit of seatpost is showing. Could we use a better fitting tandem? Probably. Are we having a bunch of fun riding our tandem, you betcha.

    My suggestion if possible is to find a LBS which can help size you and your tandem. In that respect a lot of the question is not quite complete.

    What type of riding?
    What price range?
    Do you have a LBS close that could service your needs on a specific brand?
    What brands "move" you emotionally? (as a serious cyclist, you may have opinions in this area)

    However the best for you may not be achieved with your first tandem. Though not an expert (neither of us was or are "serious" cyclists) from what I've been reading, the exact fit that works on a single may or may not work for you on a tandem. Different riding styles (if your stoker is not a serious cyclist you probably will not be pounding out the same miles in the same ways you do on your single) may use a different riding position.

    OK, too much rambling again. I guess I should stop talking. So ignore what I have said if you want, but if you think it has any merit, I hope it helps.

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    In comparison, I'm 6'6" and my stoker is about 5'8". I have a Cannodale road tandem in Jumbo/Large. It's pretty good for me and she can fit on the rear, but she can't use a suspension seatpost. At your size, I would think an XL/M would fit both of you great. BUT, it all depends on inseam, arm length, yada yada.. Go to your LBS and try a few on, then take one for a spin. The captain should be set up as close as possible to your current bike and the same for the Stoker. Some might suggest the XL/S to give your stoker a little more standover to make it easier to get on/off. Just make sure it fits right when she's riding and has room enough for a good suspension seatpost. (there are other forums that will explain why this is important) One caveat on a smaller frame; it can make retrieving water bottles difficult for the stoker. Maybe not a big deal, but I've caught it for that before Make sure you ride the bike solo a bit before you put her on it, nothing will sour the deal like a crash on the first test ride!

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    I'll leave the sizing question to more experienced tandemistas, but as for the saddle, my sweetie swears by her WTB SpeedShe. And Specialized has recently come out with a way to measure your sitbones and then sell you the appropriate sized saddle. From what I hear they've got a pretty high success rate as far as rider satisfaction goes so its definitely worth considering as well.

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    Hmmm, I'd have to be pretty friendly with my LBS to let them measure MY sitbones.

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    I'm 6' 2" and my stoker is 4' 11 1/2" (that 1/2" is important to her) and we ride a medium Burley Tosa and neither of us have any complaints. Whatever brand you decide to buy, talk to your dealer and have them suggest the size even going so far as to phone the company to ask their recommendations for fit. I'm told it's more important to fit the bike to the smaller person as allowances can be made for the larger person (longer stem, etc). As for the saddle, our dealer allowed us to pick and choose whether we wished to keep the original saddles or change them for something else. Stoker chose to change hers from the start and has been happy with the trade. I'm on saddle number 2 and may not be finished yet, but at least I'm not paying full price and ending up with an extra saddle taking up space in the garage. As with the bike, choose your dealer wisely.

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