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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 03-06-07, 08:59 PM   #1
Cmwebb
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Shock post vs. a rigid post

Another newbie question I'm afraid. I noticed on another post that it was suggested that a shock post might give too much bounce for comfort sort of speak. We both currently use rigid posts but we were thinking of getting a shock post for the stoker as the roads where we live are pretty bumpy. I'm just curious what other members use and if they have tried both. Basically we are trying to get our bike tuned up before we do a two month tour this summer in Europe. We are only planning on riding 30-40 miles a day and do the big distances by train so perhaps long distance comfort is not a huge issue but...
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Old 03-06-07, 09:43 PM   #2
cornucopia72
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My wife used a non-suspension seat post for about ten years on a chromolly tandem. Then, 2.5 years ago we upgraded to an aluminum tandem that came equiped with a Tamer Pivot seat post. My wife imediatelly loved the suspension seat post. The bouncy ride argument does not apply to the Tamer since it does not actuate until an adjustable threshold force is reached. The only two draw backs that the tamer has are cost and added weight... minor details compared with my stoker's comfort.
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Old 03-06-07, 10:11 PM   #3
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Adjustable threshold and damping is a feature of all shockpost designs even the inexpensive (crude) ones found OEM on entry-level tandems or in the $2?.?? range at paces like Nashbar. Personally I don't think a 'bouncy' ride is reason enough to subject a stoker to a rigid post even if the post lacked damping adjustment

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Old 03-06-07, 10:25 PM   #4
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Stoker Kay has 32+ years of extensive tandeming under the butt and has never used a suspension seatpost on our personal tandems.
We have test ridden many tandems, some with suspension, and her favorite, if she wanted suspension, was the Softride beam equipped tandem . . . (not too easily retrofitted on a standard tandem frame).
A sprung Brooks type saddle is the choice of some stokers.
But agree, stoker's comfort (perceived or real) is a must!
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Old 03-07-07, 12:16 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by zonatandem
stoker's comfort (perceived or real) is a must!
zonotandem is a wise man.... if your stoker is your bud, or a kid heck anything is good but if your stoker is your wife well, I think a post of her choice is the way to go. Our da Vinci came with a thudbuster, my stoker thinks its a fine thing, I agree of course.
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Old 03-07-07, 02:56 AM   #6
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I've used a thudbuster on a (folding solo bike) and found it quite good as long as I concentrated on spinning; if my cadence was faster than I could manage I started to bounce - but this happens with a rigid post as well.

My (cheap, generic) suspension post on my old hybrid was also pretty good).

I've had much more problems with suspension forks with no lockout.

Although I don't have a suspension post now, my wife will definitely have one when (if!) we upgrade the tandem.
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Old 03-07-07, 04:08 AM   #7
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I agree that it's of utmost importance to keep the stoker comfortable and happy. My stoker prefers a suspension post so you'll find one on all our tandems. Her favorite is the carbon Tamer Pivot on our Supremo. Not a cheap item, but my stoker/wife is worth it.
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Old 03-07-07, 06:40 AM   #8
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We also use the carbon Tamer pivot plus seat post. 3 tandems. 1 rigid, 1 dual softride beamed, and 1 with the tamer. Each bike came stock with the above configurations. The dual softride was custom built... so we obviously chose it that way. It is also an offroad bike. We like it, but with what is available today for bikes I would probably not go the same route. Our newest road tandem came with the pivot plus, My stoker seems to really like it. I do like, not have to call out as many bumps. It is a lite weight bike... and the post is not light. We will try the bike this season with a rigid post. [We are not sure how much of my wife's comfort is the frame... and how much is the post] but for any reason my wife wants the tamer... I will HAPPILY put it back on. While I have not done an extensive test of varous posts.. the cheaper telescoping posts we have tried, we have not been as happy with.

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Old 03-07-07, 08:39 AM   #9
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We installed a Tamer pivot plus for Pam about 1/2 way through our first season with the tandem, and have never regretted it. About the same time, I noticed that Pam began suggesting longer rides quite often. Whether that can be attributed to the Tamer, or to just increasing levels of fitness and ability as the summer progressed, I can't say, but I do know that she wouldn't want to lose the suspension post.

As already noted, it does add some additional weight, but we've never focused on that. The suspension also needs frequent lubrication to prevent very annoying squeeking. We learned to carry a small container of lube with us at all times.

The Tamer has an adjuster that lets you dial in the amount of suspension required. It varies based on rider weight, but when properly adjusted, the stoker does not "bounce" until suspension is required.

We also found that the Tamer has just about the shortest minimum extension of any suspension posts on the market. Pam only has about 3 1/4 inches of seatpost showing, and the Tamer was the only product we could find that would allow her to keep the saddle at the correct height.
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Old 03-07-07, 10:04 AM   #10
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Our tandem came equipped with a cheap suspension seat post for the stoker. The suspension of that post was not a good suspension at all. I had to call out every little bump in the road to keep my stoker happy. Then we bought a Thudbuster to replace the stoker seat post. Out of habit I kept calling out bumps, but she told me that it's not necessary any more, since she doesn't feel the bumps any longer. Less work for me and more comfort for her - what else could we want...
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Old 03-07-07, 01:18 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rincewind8
Our tandem came equipped with a cheap suspension seat post for the stoker. The suspension of that post was not a good suspension at all. I had to call out every little bump in the road to keep my stoker happy. Then we bought a Thudbuster to replace the stoker seat post. Out of habit I kept calling out bumps, but she told me that it's not necessary any more, since she doesn't feel the bumps any longer. Less work for me and more comfort for her - what else could we want...
Another Thudbuster user here and who needs Full Suspension Offroad

A suspension post will not aid Butt ache- That is down to the saddle- but for those shocks transmitted through the frame to the Stokers butt- A suspension post is a necessity. I even used a cheap post for several years and due to wear in it- it had to be replaced eventually. For one ride I used a rigid post and did most of it out of the saddle. I had to put the worn suspension post on again. Although I had no major gripes against the cheap post- I can tell you that the thudbuster works and is in a different world on the comfort stakes.
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Old 03-15-07, 08:05 PM   #12
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Thanks for all the advice. I think we're diffinately going for a suspension post.
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Old 03-15-07, 11:44 PM   #13
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one more for the suspension posts.

ive got two rock shox posts for our tandem, one for my wife with her saddle and another for any one else who i can convince to be a stoker, that way we don't mess up her setup.

when my dad got his tandem i told him to get a suspension seatpost as i had a bit of experience stoking on racing tandems, he didn't. then one day we took a little ride with me as the stoker, on the way back i was the captain and he was the stoker. the next day he went out and bought a suspension post
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Old 03-20-07, 06:38 AM   #14
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M uses a thudbuster (3" travel) on our MTB tandem. She loves it and will not go out with it. The polymers are for her weight and the setting is quite firm. We do ride a lot of tar with the tandem. Also wise to get the Crudcatcher neoprene cover for the seatpost.
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