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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 08-31-06, 10:48 AM   #1
29nov03
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new to the tandem world

hi, my wife and i bought our first tandem yesterday, a used c-dale mt800 in mint condition.

the seller was kind enough to throw in a new Manitou SXR 2000 (i think) suspension fork. any opinions on whether we should add this to our tandem?

we are looking at getting a rack for the bike. any preferences between the thule/yakima/rockymounts/draftmaster? the rocky mount is most affordable and seems solid although it only comes with 1 yr warranty, has anyone had any issues with it? we have a jeep liberty with spare tire on swing tailgate.

any comments or advice would be much appreciated. we are both very excited to start riding!
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Old 08-31-06, 02:00 PM   #2
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Manitou SRX 2000

I scanned through previous threads and saw that the questions about a rack has been discussed previously. No need to answer those.

Would like some feedback on the suspension fork if anyone has experience with them. At the moment the bike has the Fatty R fork and although we will mostly do road and light trial/gravel rides, I am tempted to add the suspension fork. Will it add any comfort or value for our purpose?

Is it a difficult thing to do myself (do not have a lot of mechanical bike experience) or would it make sense to ask LBS? What is a fair price for them to charge?

Thanks!
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Old 08-31-06, 03:55 PM   #3
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The suspension fork will add quite a bit of weight to the C'dale. Suggest your ride it 'as is'; if you need more comfort for pilot, then have LBS do the fork switch.
Very few tandems 'need' a suspension forks unless you do mostly off-road/single track riding.
A standard single bike rack can be used (and will cut $$); just remember, the tandem wheels will stick out beyond your Jeepie's width. Another option is to remove the front wheel only which will reduce width of tandem on single bike rack.
We carry our road tandem inside a Honda Accord station wagon . . . remove one wheel and shut the rear hatch.
Hope this helps . . .
. . . and welcome to the world of tandeming!

Pedal on TWOgether!
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Old 08-31-06, 08:39 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 29nov03
Will it add any comfort or value for our purpose?
No...

Front suspension in general: Unless you're riding extensively off-road, a suspension fork is not something you will need or want on your tandem. Even the most lightweight tandem-rated models are 3x - 4x heavier than a standard steel fork, they alter the steering goemetry (not optimum for paved road conditions) and often times raise the front end of the tandem which can reduce standover height, unless they have a lock-out you'll experience a pogo-stick effect if you try to stand and climb or sprint out of the saddle, and they require periodic maintenance.

Manitou SXR 2000: These forks were even marginal for 150lb - 180lb single bike riders with the stock springs. Stiffer springs could be fitted but, even still, this fork was never intended to be used by a very heavy rider.
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Old 08-31-06, 10:37 PM   #5
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I carry our tandem on a Jeep Liberty. I have a spare tire bike mount. I turn the front wheel 90degrees forward. The left handlebar w/mirror and the rear tire only stick out as far as the front door car mirrors.
works great.
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Old 09-01-06, 12:20 AM   #6
29nov03
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Thanks for the input! We will not add the fork and will rather try to sell it.

We are tempted with loading the bike on a regular hitch rack but, living in Los Angeles, traffic is crazy (where we live there are narrow roads with cars parked on both sides) and apparently it is CA law that a bike on a hitch may not extend past the side mirrors. For us not to go past the mirrors we will need to remove both wheels and that will give us a 1 inch (in total) wiggle room. Our C'dale XL/M frame is bloody long!

I called draftmaster and they are too expensive (around $600). So it's down to roofrack or taking chance on hitch rack...
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Old 09-01-06, 04:43 AM   #7
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Get used to the ride/handling of the stock fork first, then add the suspension fork later. Have fun.
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Old 09-02-06, 04:18 AM   #8
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Big problem with a suspension fork is finding one that is heavy duty enough for a Tandem. Heavy weight springs may be available to bring this fork up to scratch but Even the heaviest weight spring on a Solo fork is not generally enough. I can assure you that it is no fun riding a pogo stick on the road,. Slightest input of power and up you go- and down- then up again etc. For road and gentle trail riding there is no problem in a rigid fork so don't worry. Sell the Manitou and get a GOOD stokers suspension seat post. That will save you going deaf from all the yelling from a stoker in pain.

On the roof rack- I still use a conventional car roof rack and lay the bike down on it. Make certain it is well strapped on. And I take the wheels off to make it a bit lighter to lift. I also Tape the Bars to the one side so that they do not swing at a critical moment and scratch the car roof.
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