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  1. #1
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    New to tandems - help please re: children

    Hello, all. I'm new here, so pardon my likely redundant questions.

    I currently have a trail-a-bike for my 6 year old, but I am interested in picking up a true tandem road bike for the two of us to ride together as he ages. This leads me to several questions:

    1. I'm a short guy - 5'4". I believe my road bike is a 48 or 49cc frame size. I noticed that many of the tandems seem to start with fifty-some cc for the captain. How do these sizes relate to my road bike size?

    2. I've seen in the past some attachments for kids to ride on tandems, including some sort of seat-post pedal set with a chain that drops down to the drive chain. Where do I find these, and how good are they? Anything else I will need for accomodating my 6 year old? I assume a longer stem for the stoker's handlebars?

    3. We're good at 25-40 mile rides. We're really not interested in centuries at this time. But we do like to go fast. We're not "liesurely" riders, per se. I don't like spending money now and then spending more than I would have to upgrade to what I should have bought the first time later. I like the price point of the Trek T2000 but haven't had a chance to sit on one. What else should I be looking at in that price range? Are there used bikes available?

    4. Where do I go to find 6-year old sized bike shoes? Bike clothes?

    Thank you all very much for whatever help you can provide.

    Nika

  2. #2
    Senior Member Jinker's Avatar
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    1) You unfortunately probably have to check the geometry. The unfortunate part of bike sizing is that the seat tube measurement is basically useless as your seatpost is adjustable! (Assuming you have a small enough stand over height that you can comfortably ride the bike.) Witness the 'compact' geometry sizing where they talk about 'virtual seatpost length' etc etc.

    The relationship which is really useful is the distance between the headtube and seattube (toptube length). This will be related to seat tube length in one model of bike, but between models, and especially between brands, the cockpit can be longer or shorter.

    All that to say, you'll probably have to throw a leg over the bike to know for sure if it will fit.

    2) http://www.precisiontandems.com/cata...tm#childstoker This is a pretty inexpensive kit, there are brand specific child stoker kits from various manufacturers which will probably all cost more, but might be better/less finicky to set up. My brother got one of these, and aside from having to shim the seat tube to get it to grip hard enough to not move, it's working a-ok. He's reasonably handy with a wrench though.

    4) Kid's bike clothes are all over the place. Check the usual suspects, REI, Nashbar/Performance etc etc. Pretty much anyone with a wide selection of bike clothes will carry kid appropriate gear.

    Bike shoes? I can't say I've seen shoes for a 6 year old. It seems like a lot of money to be spending for shoes when they'll be outgrown in 6 months. Toe clips and sneakers are probably a more versatile/common solution for kids if you want to keep their feet on the pedals.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Jinker's Avatar
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    Whoops, that's not the link I thought it was... I'll hunt around and see if I can find the link for the one my brother got.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Jinker's Avatar
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    Ah, there we go: http://www.chucksbikes.com/store/cr034.htm

    Yeah, not quite as fancy as the ones at precisiontandems

  5. #5
    Double Secret Probation R900's Avatar
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    We put a Burley Kid-Back on out 1st tandem, so I can ride with our daughter. It works great!



    The Fuji is a great entry level tandem, but doesn't compare to our Trek T2000, that my wife and I ride.

    Also Co-Motion makes an adjustable tandem that might work for you and your son:



    If you want do longer rides and like to go fast a drop bar is the way to go.

    Performance Bike has kids stuff as well as Team Estrogen:

    http://www.teamestrogen.com/categories.asp?catID=85
    Last edited by R900; 05-31-07 at 08:23 PM.
    Time to Ride...

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by R900
    Also Co-Motion makes an adjustable tandem that might work for you and your son:



    If you want do longer rides and like to go fast a drop bar is the way to go.

    Thanks for the tip! I stumbled into this bike this afternoon. Indeed, it does look great for our needs - and the collapsable version of it (the Co-Pilot) that they make would be great for our urban living situation.

    Tell me, though, what's the deal with the advantages of a drop bar? And what are the disadvantages? I hadn't seen one of those before?

    Also, for those who can help, what kind of pricing do you tend to get on tandems? Do you pay retail price or can you expect a discount? How much? Like I said, that Torpedo 700 from Co-Motion looks great, and especially in the Co-Pilot version, but the price is steep ($4295) and I highly doubt I'll stumble into a used one.

    Thanks,
    Nika

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jinker
    Bike shoes? I can't say I've seen shoes for a 6 year old. It seems like a lot of money to be spending for shoes when they'll be outgrown in 6 months. Toe clips and sneakers are probably a more versatile/common solution for kids if you want to keep their feet on the pedals.
    Jinker,

    Thanks. It seems some sort of clip is necessary, no? With tandems not having the ability to free-wheel, if the kid's foot comes of the pedal while the captain is pedaling it can be troublesome for a youngster to get back in sync?

    Nika

  8. #8
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    Hey there - you're going to get a lot of more technical advice from more expert people than me

    But on the freewheeling question

    What every tandem rider knows, is that you have to be considerate to the person (of what ever age) on the back if you want to have a good time

    Calling out "freewheeling now" is a lot cheaper than buying independent coasting systems - and calling it out before it's necessary to you, is a good way to keep the younger generation keen. So is stopping on a climb to make sqwarking noises with blades of grass.

    In my family, my delightful daughter Lucy and I have the family speed (45mph, on a straight downhill with no intersections)) and distance (57) miles record when she was 7. Instruction was " don't push, and tell me when you want to coast"

    She said, on returning "wow Dad, that was great", shortly before narrowly avoiding drowning from falling asleep with her head in a bowl of soup

  9. #9
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    No, you don't want your child to slip a foot off. He or she could be hurt by the still-rotating pedal.

    We started our daughter out on our triple when she was just 3 1/2 years old. Nobody makes cleat-compatible shoes that small. So we equiped each pedal with two straps: one in the conventional location and one that went around her heel. Mom would hold the bike up while dad (me) arranged and snugged the straps. I think the arrangement boosted confidence all around. Now, five years later, she's riding in used SPD-compatible shoes, which gives her more control over her situation and (I think) even more confidence.

    Good luck -- Have FUN!
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    Last edited by bikeriderdave; 06-01-07 at 12:29 PM.

  10. #10
    triplet tandem djembob02's Avatar
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    Welcome to tandems, I ride a triplet with my wife and 5 year old daughter. Others have commented on the bike and child stoker kit. The stoker kit from Chuck's bike is what is on our triplet (which is also from Chuck's and built up by Precision tandems).

    Clothes. In addition to finding the child size jerseys that a few companies make (Canarie has a few, cannondale makes a few, even performance has a few, also check Primal Wear, we have one of their curious george jerseys) Kucharik.com has many options for shorts, tights, jerseys, etc.

    Regarding SHOES, I highly recommend using clipless pedals for your son. Jamie had many problems with slipping out of clips/straps. Jamie is currently in 33's which are too big for her, but they still hold her feet well. I have found two options. I have a pair of 33 specialized shoes which look like a chunky tennis shoe. These were on clearance from specialized for something like $20. The other option which we currently have is Answer Speeder shoes http://www.cambriabike.com/shopexd.asp?ID=20700
    which start at size 32 and go up. I found a pair of last year's model off of e-bay for $30.

    The supply is limited but so is the demand. Many times, you can find them on clearance. I'm in the process of trying acquire 34, 35, 36, etc. for when the little one eventually grows. Note on pedals: we tried Nashbar SPD's, and then switched to crankbros eggbeaters. Our little one could not apply enough force to clip the pedal. We now have Speedplay frogs and LOVE them. She can actually climb on the tandem by herself now and clip in by herself. And her feet stay secure.

    Regarding handlebars. I use road bars, and my stoker now use the bullhorn stoker bars. They had drop h-bars on but never used the drops.

    Good luck with everything. When I'm at my home computer, I can upload a picture of what the bike looks like now (this picture was taken about a year ago).
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    Bobby

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    Nika:

    Welcome to Tandems (most fun bike I have in the garage.)

    I started with slightly older kids (Oldest was 10 at the time); and I don't have your size issue (I'm 6'2"). But in answer to your questions...

    1. The captain's size on a tandem is very similar to road bikes and as you have noticed they gravitate to the average - slightly larger than average American male with their sizing.

    2. I would actually point you to crank arm shorteners as if your son can reach the pedal at the bottom of the stroke with the seat all the way down, they can ride (they don't have to touch the ground) and a 6 year old should be close with crank arm shorteners and they swapout for other riders (SO) much quicker.

    3. Having a pair of tandems, (and slew of other bikes), I firmly believe Dwan at Co-Motion has the ultimate starter tandem with the Periscope (and it probably closer to my Tsunami than I want to admit). The bike is made with good enough components that you won't have to replace anything for 2-5,000 miles. (on a 26" tires included). Now if it only cost half as much. Used tandems exist on a number of boards (eBay, etc), but Co-Motion Periscopes are relatively new to the market.

    4. Clip-in shoes (or equivalent) are a must. I'm going to try djembob02's suggestion of eggbeater with my 3rd (she's still on the trail-a-bike) as the SPD's are hard to set light enough. My oldest and her brother are both old enough that they don't have issues with SPDs any more.

    The other one is to make sure you have a kid's seat. (I have an extra seat post for quick swaps for the various riders.

    Specialized cycling clothes for a 6 year old is probably overkill if you are only doing moderate rides.

    5. Handlebars....Get what feels right...I built my Tsunami up with drop bars because that's what the marketing brochures had. I have since changed to flat bars (Shimano SL-R660 shifters, Shimano XT front brakes and Hope Mono 6 Ti Rear) and so for lower cost, I have a set up that feels better. (Note: I ride a flat bar bike 100+ days as my winter commuter bike, a flat bar bike as my MTB bike 100 days as my off weather commuter bike and 40 days in the mountains in the summer, so getting on the tandem with drop bars just felt wrong...and the fact that I have some large and mischievous teams...)

    Hope this helps.

    Don

  12. #12
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    Don,

    Thanks much. I'm no pro at biking, but I tend to try to get places at a decent tempo when I go for a ride. My son and I typically do 25-30 mile rides and I'm generally pushing it the whole time. I'm not a very "leisurely" riding partner, I'm afraid. We also do most of our riding on the roads or on the highway (eek, I know). With this in mind, I'm looking most seriously at the Periscope Torpedo 700. I like it because I think I'll prefer the 700 wheels instead of the 26s, and it seems like something he and I can grow with over time. Further, I think we may be living in an ultra-urban neighborhood soon, so collapsibility may be important to us. The Torpedos are available in suitcase models.

    From your knowledge, what makes it only a "starter" bike? It seems to have less pipe than their more expensive bikes. I would assume that this means less wind resistance and possibly lighter weight, no? Are they more subject to damage because of the reduced structure? I'm really interested in anything affecting the choice of frame. I figure I can always upgrade components/wheels/handlebars easily over time, yes?

    As for clothing, I should add that we currently live in the Pacific Northwest and we are all-weather riders. The problem I've had is him getting soaked when we go for rides in the drizzle. I'd like to get some bike clothes that don't absorb the water. Preferably just a pair of shorts and a shirt combined with some insulated long pants and jacket. I know that sounds like a bit much for a six year old, but I have to figure out some sort of solution for him on the back in the colder weather. I must admit, it's more of a problem on the trail-a-bike because of the water lapping up at him from my back wheel.


    For what it's worth, my other bikes are a Specialized Sirrus I bought 3 years ago (the first bike I've owned) that has no upgrades and the trail-a-bike on the back. My other bike, a LeMond Buenos Aires was recently totaled in a driveway car accident. I plan on selling the trail-a-bike and turning the Sirrus into my solo bike for just getting to the grocery store and back and then making the tandem our regular rider.

    Thanks again for all the help.

    Nika

  13. #13
    Double Secret Probation R900's Avatar
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    I think you will fine the Co-Mo plenty of bike for you now and in the future. As you've read on this forum, tandem riders spend crazy amounts of money on tandems, but the nothing wrong with that. We have a very nice tandem, but I would rather invest more money in my single than a custom or other tandem. At a certain point any performance or ride improvement becomes very expensive.
    Time to Ride...

  14. #14
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Drop Bars: More hand positions vs. flat bars, the ability to acheive a more aero riding position if desired, and for those who ride single bikes with drop-bars most of the time the same fit / riding position / ergonomics relative to the controls. If someone rides on flat bars most of the time or simply wants a more upright riding position with more steering leverage vis-a-vis the wider flat bars, then it might make sense to opt for flat bars.

    Cost: Most tandem dealers (as in bike shops that actually stock & sell tandems as part of their normal product line) seem to stick fairly close to the MSRP on the current year models. Bike shops that purchase tandems on spec. during Interbike that can't find customers for those bikes will usually blow them out at the end of the year for something just above their cost. Tandem dealers can often times find pretty good deals on NOS tandems at the end of the year being closed out by the manufacturers or by other dealers who ended up with a small inventory that they couldn't move and will often times discount those models.

    The Periscope bikes are somewhat hard to find on the second-hand market. There have been a few of the original Periscope models that have popped up so they are out there... once just needs to have the time and expend some effort finding them. However, the 700c models are fairly new so those would be even more difficult to find vs. the original 26" models.

    See my other post under the 2002 Speedster thread for a discussion on the different frames used for the Periscope Scout/Torpedo and Hammerhead: Opinions on a 2002 Co-Motion Speedster

  15. #15
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Any Co-Mo Periscope would suit you and son. The 26" wheel version would give you a bit more standover room than the 700c version (about 1" more). This 'no lateral' (that extra pipe you mention) version is plenty stiff as they utilize oversize tubing. Yes, have ridden a couple Periscopes . . . great bike + fit in the rear can 'grow' with your son due to 'seatpost within a seatpost' arrangement. He likely would not need a kiddie crankset or even crankshorteners with this tandem.
    The Peri also comes in long and short version for taller/shorter pilots.
    Other option could be a Bike Friday with 20" wheels and loads of standover room. However seeing you are a 'go fast duo' the Peri would be more suitable/faster.
    Unless you plan to frequently travel the tandem by air, the S&S (take-apart version) is a bit co$tly.
    Kucharik.com for childrens' clothing (even matching dad!); if you can't find kids' shoes (try the ladies' size for him) you may just have to go with toeclips/straps and a hardsoled shoe or tennies.
    The Periscopes have only been on the market about 3 years, so a used one could be hard to locate. If you can locate a 2006 model with a dealer, you *may* save a few $$.
    Hope this helps and good luck in your quest!
    Pedal on TWOgether!
    Rudy and Kay/zonatandem

  16. #16
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nika Aldrich
    ... and especially in the Co-Pilot version, but the price is steep ($4295) and I highly doubt I'll stumble into a used one.
    That sounds like the pre-S&S coupler price increase MSRP. As of 1 Mar '07, the pricing for an S&S equipped Periscope Torpedo was $4,695.

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    Tandemgeek,

    Thanks very much for all of this. A couple more questions, then:

    When I purchased my road bike (LeMond Buenos Aires) a lot of my decision making came in the feel of the ride. The carbon frame gave me light and half-rigid whereas steel is heavy and very supple and aluminum is very light but very rigid - you feel every piece of gravel on the road. With this in mind, nobody has tried to tell me yet about the different metals used in tandems. Is this simply less noticeable with tandems? Further, there's been little discussion about how different frame designs feel. I have to imagine they feel different, no? A PeriScope HAS to feel different from the Speedster simply on account of the extra structural support on the Speedster, no? How does all of this factor in? If the extra length on the bike makes up for the rigidity of aluminum, maybe I really SHOULD consider the Hammerhead - for the lighter frame and faster ride? (We anticipate no touring - at least for the next many years). If so, perhaps I really should look more seriously at that model instead? I've avoided it merely on account of the reputation of aluminum - especially on >50 mile rides. Is the Hammerhead model the same age as the other PeriScopes?

    Zonatandem: the reason for the collapseable version is that we may be living in NYC soon. Putting our bike in the closet may be a necessity.

    Regaring cost, I have plenty of time. I'm a full time student graduating in December. I'm considering this as a graduation present for myself. If I find a good deal I may very well snap it up, but there's no pressing emergency. Thus, I can afford to wait for used models, new old stock, really good deals, etc.

    An additional question regarding weight: my road bike is somewhere in the area of 18 lbs, isnt' it? I just don't recall. What accounts for the fact that a tandem is more than double the weight? Is it poor logic to think that a tandem is less than half of two full bikes? It has half the number of wheels, tires, and brakes, forks, half the gear changing equipment, and precisely the same number of other equipment (pedals, seats, seat posts, handlebars, etc. What accounts for the additional weight, then? Is there no such thing as a tandem that weighs less than two equivalent bikes?

    Thanks much to all.

    Nika
    Last edited by Nika Aldrich; 06-04-07 at 01:09 AM.

  18. #18
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nika Aldrich
    With this in mind, nobody has tried to tell me yet about the different metals used in tandems. Is this simply less noticeable with tandems?
    Materials: No, it's exactly the same with tandems. Every material has it's own characteristics which are then leveraged by the frame designer and builder to come up with the desired ride characteristics. Of course, tire and wheel decisions, as well as fork materials and steering geometry alter each frame's "feel" to a certain extent so, just as it is with single bikes, much of the "feel" that comes from a given frame material must also be attributed to things other than the frame. Therefore, your average tandem buyer will be faced with the same issues as they would when buying a single bike and their biases for or against a certain material will most certainly come into play. There are teams that swear by aluminum frames whereas others simply swear at it. Some love the "feel" of carbon while others find that it has absolutely no feel.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nika Aldrich
    Further, there's been little discussion about how different frame designs feel. I have to imagine they feel different, no?
    Frame Design: The steel Speedster will be inherently stiffer than the steel Periscope and I suspect the aluminum Periscope will be as stiff but lighter than the Speedster. I say suspect because I've never seen a Hammerhead in the flesh and have only the impressions from the tandem and triplet Periscope models... noting that we rode with a Trident team on the Tail of the Dragon in Tennessee this past weekend that was pushing well over 600lbs. A conventional triplet with internals would not have been bouncing like a buckboard but the lateral stiffness was impressive. Therefore, it really becomes a question of what a given team considers "compliance" good vs. bad. Me, I tend to like a little vertical compliance on a tandem for the added comfort, some teams find it very disconcerting.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nika Aldrich
    maybe I really SHOULD consider the Hammerhead - for the lighter frame and faster ride? Is the Hammerhead model the same age as the other PeriScopes?
    The Hammerhead: The Hammerhead is a new offering that was never envisioned when Co-Motion first developed the "family-friendly" Periscope. If you check their Web site or catalogs I believe you'll find that they describe the target buyer as a Cat 2 or 3 racer who wants to go out and hammer with his 8 year old son or something like that.

    So, yes, if Co-Motion has succeeded with their design goals then the Hammerhead will feel and handle like a performance tandem. If you have preconceived notions about aluminum then you'll probably project those onto any aluminum tandem that you ride, just as some riders with preconceived notions about steel will find any steel frame to be whippy compared to aluminum, etc. Of course, if you must have couplers then the Hammerhead is not a candidate: Co-Motion is not producing aluminum tandems with couplers, nor is anyone other than Santana.
    Last edited by TandemGeek; 06-04-07 at 05:23 AM.

  19. #19
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    Hello Nika:
    Welcome to the forum, and to tandeming.

    I find it overly simplistic to generalize on frame materials. To say steel feels like this, alum. like that. It depends what is done with the material. Alum. frames can run the range of being very very soft, to some of the harsher frames out there. It depends on what they do with it.

    My alum. framed 92 Sovergn [Santana] is much more comfortable, than the steel framed Rio [Santana also] I had. Yet it was also more efficiently stiff. [this being done with thoughtful butting of the tubes, and tube shaping] [The Sovereign was also much more expensive]

    Light tandems can be had, but they are expensive. Yes only two wheels, but they have to be stronger, to hold the weight of [more often] two adults. Frames need to be much stronger. Forks have much more than twice the force on them, than a single bike has.

    While different people vary what they use for tandem specific parts....vs single bike parts [many of us tandem "freaks" call those bikes with only one seat...one handlebar half bikes ] tandems generally have some parts that are heavier, than what light weight racy half bikes come with. As an example, triple cranksets with wider range gearing, and the deraileurs capable of shifting it, along with a longer chain to also handle it all.

    Specialty parts, and economies of scale, [there are many more single bikes [and single bike parts] made and sold, compared to the tandem market] for the same quality level [and weight] tandems will cost more.

    glenn

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    TandemGeek/Fenlason,

    Thanks much again for all of this. Taking into account what you've said about pricing, weight, and tandem materials, does anyone know how much a T2000 Trek weighs? And can anyone explain why they can make it so much less expensive than equivalen Co-Motion bikes (or is it not "equivalent" for some reason?) Is ZR9000 comparable to Cro-Moly?

    Crikey, hope I'm not asking too many questions. I think I get to rule out late model Santanas as too expensive for now.

    Thanks again,
    Nika

  21. #21
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nika Aldrich
    does anyone know how much a T2000 Trek weighs?
    Probably about 34-35lbs given the carbon bits (fork, seatposts, etc..) that now come standard. As best as I can recall, the T1000's were about 37.5lbs and the T2000's with the steel forks were about 36lbs just a few years ago. Someone here who owns one may be able to "weigh-in" with an actual weight.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nika Aldrich
    Is ZR9000 comparable to Cro-Moly?
    No, but it is comparable to other aluminum alloys.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nika Aldrich
    And can anyone explain why they can make it so much less expensive than equivalen Co-Motion bikes (or is it not "equivalent" for some reason?)
    From a previous reply back in 2005:

    Do you prefer domestic beers, imports, or micro-brews? If you like micro-brews but are perfectly happy with domestics, then domestic beer is “good enough”. If, however, you believe imports or micro-brews are better, then they are.

    What does beer (or wine, cigars, single malt scotch, or soft drinks) have to do with tandems? Tandems are no different than their 1/2 bike siblings; components, raw materials, fabrication costs, marketing, and overhead drive the price along with what the market will bear in terms of margins. However, economies of scale also play into the equation and most tandem specialty builders are small businesses who produce a few bikes each day, not hundreds like Trek, Cannondale, and KHS. Moreover, consider if you will that Trek has been able to leverage their own house-brand of components -- Bontrager wheels, forks, seatposts, cranks, stems, saddles, etc... -- which when coupled with their massive buying clout with Shimano, yields far lower costs to produce their tandems vs. the small business builders like Co-Motion.

    So, when comparing brands and models of tandems recognize that the niche builders like Co-Motion, Santana, Bilenky, daVinci, Bushnell, and even Burley need to be looked at in the same way as brands like Ritchey, Serotta, Landshark, Rivendel or other small volume, hand-built producers, i.e., you’re paying a bit more for some exclusivity and the subtle differences that come with semi-custom, domestically produced frames, including what is often times more personalized customer service… assuming you have a need or desire to contact the company.

    That said, is a Co-Motion “better” than a Trek? Only if you place a value on the exclusivity, the subtle differences, standard color options, or want to have a personal relationship with your builder. For most first time buyers, none of those things will necessarily be of paramount importance since they’re still trying to figure out if they’ll like tandeming. Now, if your budget put you well within the range of a Co-Motion and you are predisposed to prefer semi-exclusive bikes, or are very sensitive to how different bikes handle and looking for a performance-oriented bike, the Co-Motion couldend up being “better for you” than a Trek. If you can appreciate flawless TIG welds and want to be able to choose your paint scheme from a broad palate of colors, the Co-Motion couldend up being "better for you". If you like the way air-hardened, custom butted lightweight steel tubing "feels" compared to other materials, the Co-Motion could be "better for you". The key is, what’s best for you?

  22. #22
    Double Secret Probation R900's Avatar
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    Nika,

    I ride a Trek Madone (carbon), Cannondale CAAD 8 (AL), and our T2000. I think the AL T2000 has an excellent ride, not harsh, plenty stiff, and light enough, I'm guessing around 40 lbs loaded. We also use a drum brake. The newer Treks now have a carbon fork and standard road brakes. But good deals on older bike can be found:

    http://thebikerack.com/itemdetails.c...gId=39&id=4506
    Time to Ride...

  23. #23
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    Tandem,

    OK, so probably a few lbs lighter than the PeriScope Torpedo 700 I'm considering, but not collapsable, and I will have to spend a couple hundred $$ to modify it for the six year old.

    I spent many years as a salesman in an industry where chic-ness and exclusivity were commodities, so I can appreciate that. It sounds like what you're telling me is that scalability makes the Trek a better value - so long as it fits right and meets my other needs. If it doesn't, it's not much of a value at all. I think I'm OK with that, especially considering my budget situation. But I do need to first make sure that it meets my needs (I'm not sure if my 5'4" frame will fit on it properly in Captain's position, and I'm not sure I can afford NOT to have it be collapsable). Again, components I can always upgrade over time. At this point I think that if I can find a steal on the Torpedo 700 Co-Pilot I'll have to take that. If not, it's a toss-up between the regular Torpedo and the Trek - the Torpedo fitting my child w/o the hassle of the kiddy-cranks and the Trek being lighter and less expensive. I don't care at ALL about colors, etc. Just comfort, longevity, fit, and size.

    R900,

    Thanks much for the tip. That looks like a good value, indeed. Standard road brakes? That sounds a bit scary, no? Riding in the rain I should chew through a pair of pads a week. Good to know you like the T2000. I spent many a year in Eastern IN, btw. Currently in more hilly terrain.

    Cheers,
    Nika

  24. #24
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    Kid stoker pedals

    Nika,

    As far as pedal and shoe options for young children, I can recommend the old type toe-clip pedals. I have attached a picture of the ones I am refering to. These pedals have a little adjustment in the clip length but the best part is the ridge in the back. This raised lip which was made for special cycling shoes fit great in the arches of kid tennis shoes. When the straps are tight, the shoe can not be pulled out. We have used these for over a year with my 3 year old with no problems. I had a pair off an old bike but you can buy them at Precision Tandems as well. I am sure we will use clipless when they are old enough but we still have a few years before that. Hopes this helps.

    Aggie_grad
    Attached Images Attached Images

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nika Aldrich
    Standard road brakes? That sounds a bit scary, no? Riding in the rain I should chew through a pair of pads a week.
    Actually, the standard-reach dual-pivot brakes on our T2000 work great. Better than the rim brakes my (light) stoker and I relied on when we rode the mountains of western Oregon and Washington. No reason why pads should wear faster on them than on cantilevers or V-brakes. If you feel that rim brakes are inadequate, the current T2000 will accept either a drum or disc (w/hub adaptor) on the rear wheel.

    What inseam Levis do you wear? The small T2000 might be a touch high for a 5'4" captain, unless he or she had proportially long legs. FWIW, the "catalog" standover is 29.8 inches/75.8 cm.

    Although we love our T2000 and think it a great bargain, I suspect that one of the Co-Motion Periscope tandems may be a better fit for you and your needs. Co-Mo _will_ build configurations that are not in their catalog. You might ask your dealer to check into a coupled Periscope Scout. Could bring the price into a more acceptable range...

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