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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 10-05-06, 03:59 PM   #1
FarHorizon
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Want to get Mrs. onto the bike

OK, my wife is nearly legally blind. She isn't comfortable riding a solo bike. I'm thinking of getting a tandem so she can ride with me. The LBS has what looks like an entry-level Trek with 26" wheels, V-brakes, and suspension seatpost for about $900. Is that a good choice or should I spend more? Since I'm not positive that she'll go for this long-term, would I do better to shop for a used Worksman coaster-brake, single-speed tandem?
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Old 10-05-06, 04:20 PM   #2
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Before you buy, how about looking to borrow or rent? Anyway I've been on a tandem ride before only because there's a blind sports association who have funded tandems for blind people, all they need to do is find a partner and set off. YMMV of course.
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Old 10-05-06, 05:55 PM   #3
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Maybe a counterpoint or a recumbent would be better idea. I don't know where you live but there might be tandem club near by to give her and you a couple free rides. If you are in Seattle I have a 700c and 26 inch tandem you could try and I might be able to line up a recumbent
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Old 10-05-06, 07:07 PM   #4
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Speaking as someone who is legally blind, I faced my first tandem ride with a certain amount of trepidation, both in terms of trust, and lack of control. (I am a self-acknowledged control freak).

I enjoyed the experience immensely, and I'm very pleased I took the plunge.

That having been said, I do know some visually impaired people who really don't like riding a tandem, primarily because of the same issues. (Though I think they're a minority).

If you can have a ride or two to try it out, rather than shelling out funds, I'd suggest this is a wise course.

Overall the ability to enjoy an activity where I'm not worried about my spatial perceptions or being attached to a cane is fantastic, and I couldn't recommend it highly enough.

Cheers!

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Old 10-05-06, 07:25 PM   #5
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Have ridden with many folks with some limited abilities, including sight-impaired. I loved it, the rider loved it.
Would suggest contacting some tandem folks in your area, or renting a tandem. If you've never ridden tandem, you are in for a bit of a learning curve, but nothing severe. Communication is the key.
Then you can decide if you want to shell out the $$.
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Old 10-05-06, 07:53 PM   #6
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Sounds like you are referring to the Trek T900. We have one and love it. However I would echo what others have said, you probably want to rent or borrow someones tandem to see if this is something your sight impaired partner truly enjoys. If they do, take the T900 for a spin, then decide if the price is right (we did and are glad we did).
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Old 10-05-06, 09:29 PM   #7
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Thanks for all the helpful advice. To my knowledge, there is no bike rental place anywhere in my State. However, I may be out of State soon on business and if my wife will come, we may be able to find a rental elsewhere. Thanks again!
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Old 10-06-06, 04:10 AM   #8
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I am in Diamondhead, MS a couple of hours from Baton Rouge on I-10. If you get over this way, I would be happy to spend some time showing you the ropes and letting you take our Santana for a spin. I know of a few couples in LA that tandem. If you are really interested I can try to track them down and see where they are. Send me a PM if interested

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Old 10-06-06, 06:16 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FarHorizon
Since I'm not positive that she'll go for this long-term, would I do better to shop for a used Worksman coaster-brake, single-speed tandem?
If your LBS has one of the Trek 900's in stock that is sized well enough to allow you to safely operate the bike and that you can test ride, by all means do so. You'll want to first test ride it with a sales associate from the store and then, after you're comfortable with how the tandem handles, with your wife as stoker. The Trek T900 is an excellent entry level tandem that seems to be very popular in areas that have bike paths, outselling the premium Trek tandems by a very large margins. They're also well-made and have Trek's brand/warranty/dealer network behind them which means a lot in terms of "added value" to you the buyer and at resale time. I'm also liking the Trek retro-cruiser tandem with Nexus hub... Perfect for the bike path and casual riding... Not what I'd choose to ride for more than 5 or 10 miles on anything but relatively flat roads at very casual speeds, but well suited for the target market.

Once you have a test ride under your belts, re-evaluate if there's enough merit to purchasing a tandem. If the extent of your riding will be purely recreational and not "fast recreational/sport riding" the T900 or similar models will be more than adequate.
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Old 10-09-06, 12:59 AM   #10
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FarHorizon, If business ever takes you to Monterey California, I'd be happy to let you try our Greenspeed recumbent tandem TRICYCLE! It's really a blast and EASY to manuever at low speeds. They ARE at the upper end of the price spectrum, but I've never regretted buying it. (4 1/2 yrs ago) And a Burley trailer pops right on for the kids, dog(s), groceries etc.
Good luck in your search. Hope you find something that works for the 2 of you.
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