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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 01-15-07, 08:07 AM   #1
playfish
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Finding the right size tandem.

Dh and I used to ride recreationally about 45 miles a week in the early 90's. After dd was born we stopped, but now would like to start riding again working up to 2 day tours on the weekends. How do we go about finding the right type and right size tandem? Dh is 6'1, I am 4'11, and dd is 44.5 inches. We would like something to fit dh and dd with the option of just making minor adjustments when just dh and myself ride. We visited a local bike shop over the weekend and we felt that they would just sell us a bike and not actually "fit" us. How do we make sure that we are getting the right bike?

TIA!!
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Old 01-15-07, 08:51 AM   #2
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Call a couple different tandem specialty dealers (hopefully one or two are in your region) and talk with them at length regarding your requirements and budget. The bolded entries represent the dealers who I would definitely move to the top of your contact list as I know they have extensive first hand experience with "family tandeming".

Tandems Limited (Jack & Susan Goertz) Birmingham, AL
Gold Country Cyclery, (Rick & Ann Steele) Cameron Park, CA {E-mail**
The Bicycle Outfitter (????????) Los Altos, CA
Tandem Cycle Works (Lynn Dexter & Patrick Gibbons) Denver, CO
The Bike Rack (Hal Honeyman), St. Charles, IL
Village Cycle Sport Elk Grove Village, IL
Precision Tandems, (Mark & Susan Johnson) Shawnee, KS
Belmont Wheelworks, Belmont, MA
Velocipedia Bike Works/Trek Stop Bicycles, (Mark & Diane Shelley), Shrewsbury, MA
Harris Cyclery, (Sheldon Brown) West Newton, MA
Tandem Matchmakers (Larry Black; aka. Mt. Airy Bicycles) Mt. Airy, MD
Superior Tandems / Ph. 906.932.9852 (Arlyn & Sandy Aronson) Ironwood, MI {E-mail**
All-Star Bike Shop, (Jeff Hutchinson), Raleigh, NC
Tandems East (Mel and Barbara Kornbluh) Pittsgrove, NJ
Gear-to-Go Tandems (Rich Shapiro) Elmira, NY
HubBub Custom Bicycles (Brian Jenks), Cleveland Heights, OH
Gateway Bicycles Portland, OR
Jay's Pedal Power, Phila., PA
Tandems. Touring & Recumbents, (Scott McCrary ) Greenville, SC
Chain Reaction Cycles, Ph 865-681-4183. (Tim P.) Marysville, TN
B and J Bicycle, San Antonio, TX
R&E Cycles (Dan Towle), Seattle, WA
Elliott Bay Bicycles/Davidson Cycles, (Bob Freeman) Seattle, WA

You'll find links to most of these businesses at this Web page link:
http://www.thetandemlink.com/tandems.html#anchor1145193

Last edited by TandemGeek; 01-15-07 at 09:41 AM.
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Old 01-15-07, 09:20 AM   #3
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You mentioned being able to change things around fairly quickly, depending on sokers....
Here's one option you might consider. I (6'1") ride a triplet with my wife (5'7"), and daughter (just turned 5). The little rides in the middle. More than half the time the rear stoker does not ride. This means that the little one and I ride with an empty seat in the bake. My wife and I have also ridden by ourselves just a couply times. Bottom line, while the bike certainly weighs more than a 2 seat tandem, the triplet is easily rideable regardless of stokers.

Other options would include a tandem with trail-a-bike or a convertible tandem/triplet. I'm sure there are a number of models that would work but the first that comes to my mind is the co-motion trident. The bike we ride was bought used from precisiontandems.com The frame came from chucksbikes.com.

Good luck with everything, riding together has been fantastic for us. In our first year, we did a 2 day bike/camping trip, a 7 day supported tour across Kansas, the local MS 150, 2 Christmas light rides, and many other weekly rides. Have fun!

Edit:
Oops? I just reread your message and noticed that it sounds like there will only ever be 2 riders at a time either Dd and dh or you and dh. If this is the case, then there are also tandem options to choose from, again maybe a periscope. There might be a problem here with crank length. I'm not sure if dd would be tall enough to ride without a child-stoker kit. If so, then you could use crank shorteners. Then when switching stokers, you would take off the crank shorteners, re-install pedals, and adjust seat/hbar height. There may be other options...
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Last edited by djembob02; 01-15-07 at 09:30 AM.
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Old 01-15-07, 10:26 AM   #4
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Bike Friday, or a Co Motion Persicope would both fit the bill.
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