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  1. #1
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    Stoker handlebars

    We have a Trek T100 a hybrid setup with flat handlebars. Though much of our riding is on paved roads, we do some gravel/dirt tracks while touring, so I think I should keep the flat handlebar for the captain. Plus if I went for drop bars I'd have to change the grip shifters. For higher speeds on road I have added aerobars, and the combination seems so far to be a good one. I've been told that I could run into trouble with aerobars, but at higher speeds the whole rig is very stable.

    For the stoker however I could easily change to drop bars or I could add some extentions to allow the stoker to change positions or be more aerodynamic. But as I have never been a stoker I don't know what is comfortable back there. Any sugestions? Stokers care to comment?

  2. #2
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    I am a stoker on a Mountain Tandem. I have spent a bit of time in choosing and setting up the bars for me and they are comfortable. I had thought about bar ends but the pilot does move around a fair bit and they would cause him a bit of pain if he suddenly found them when he moved. So Just a flat bar for me. No problem on changing position as I can move the hands inboard for comfort if necessary.

    If the stoker is happy with the bars- Why change them? But a grumbling stoker can get a bit painfull for the pilot.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


    Spike Milligan

  3. #3
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    My wife/stoker uses the bull-horn handlebars which allow her to move her center of gravity forward while standing... drop bars with fake brake levers would serve the same function. I am 6'4" and she is 5'6", so her producing a lot of draft is not a big issue for us.

  4. #4
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Wide drop bars (to clear the captain's thighs) with stoker handrests give lots of positions for stoker.

  5. #5
    BudLight
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    FWIW, my stoker won't have anything but drop bars with grips. Tandem Rule No. 1: whatever the stoker wants, the stoker gets -- even if it means hosing some time and money to get it right.

  6. #6
    Banned. The Weak Link's Avatar
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    What would be the most comfortable stoker bars you could use? My wife is a beginner stoker and comfort, not efficiency, is the key. URL's?

  7. #7
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Weak Link
    What would be the most comfortable stoker bars you could use? My wife is a beginner stoker and comfort, not efficiency, is the key. URL's?
    Why that's easy: If she's happy now it ain't broke. Leave her half of the bike alone.

  8. #8
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    Thank you all. I have a set of drop bars complete with brake levers, perhaps I can remove the levers but leave the handles, I'll try them out, and YES! I will let the stoker decide.

    My stoker however only lets me know her true desires when things don't work, when they do, it is just natural, as if things work by their essential nature. When they don't it is of course my fault, she is just comming for the ride.

    Good stoker though, no complaints.

  9. #9
    Banned. The Weak Link's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
    Why that's easy: If she's happy now it ain't broke. Leave her half of the bike alone.
    Um, why would you think I would ask in the first place? ::rolls eyes::

    Now then, my stoker uses a straight handlebar with bar ends. Her physical therapist has convinced her that the bar should be two inches shorter, so when she rests her hands on the bar ends it will be a more natural position for her. I'm not convinced. I'm wondering whether the same effect could be accomplished without trying to saw an inch off each end of the stoker bar.

  10. #10
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Weak Link
    Um, why would you think I would ask in the first place? ::rolls eyes::

    Now then, my stoker uses a straight handlebar with bar ends. Her physical therapist has convinced her that the bar should be two inches shorter, so when she rests her hands on the bar ends it will be a more natural position for her. I'm not convinced. I'm wondering whether the same effect could be accomplished without trying to saw an inch off each end of the stoker bar.
    Just move the bar ends inboard untill they feel right- Without the Pilot being able to feel them of course.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


    Spike Milligan

  11. #11
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Weak Link
    my stoker uses a straight handlebar with bar ends. Her physical therapist has convinced her that the bar should be two inches shorter, so when she rests her hands on the bar ends it will be a more natural position for her. I'm not convinced. I'm wondering whether the same effect could be accomplished without trying to saw an inch off each end of the stoker bar.
    An inch off of each end is a lot. The limiting issue is when the captain's legs start to contact the bar ends. Longer bar ends, that extend farther forward, make that problem worse. I wouldn't hesitate to shorten the bars a bit but I agree with Stepfam that it would be prudent to try it out before you cut.

    There is a company called "Ergon" that makes a grip that's supposed to be more ergonomic and is specifically designed for women. It has a small bar end built into it. If you can find a source that might be an interesting possibility.

  12. #12
    n00b no1uno's Avatar
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    My stoker is not otherwise a cyclist, and we're both newish to tandeming, so take this with those grains of salt: she wanted to be more upright (this was the then-current config, http://tinyurl.com/y2p59q), and as you can see we were at the max, stoker-stem-on-seatpost-wise, so I sought a bar that'd go as high as possible, and this is the best I've found, http://tinyurl.com/y5j5fn -- she likes it (well, she did for a few rides and then she broke her foot and now it's cold ... but Spring is nigh...) -- anyone know of a higher one?

    In the stoker-is-always-right vein, I'd note that bars are relatively cheap (obviously there are exceptions...), so trying a few is low on $ outlay and potentially high on the stoker-gratitude scale.
    Monte Fisher & Julie Luke
    2006 Co-Motion Mocha (ours)
    2005 Fuji Cross Pro (his)

  13. #13
    Banned. The Weak Link's Avatar
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    That is one handsome bike you got there!

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