I just found the forum today. I must say it's very impressive! My wife and I used to ride around town together (on two bikes) all the time but a leg injury means she really doesn't like to ride anymore, especially if it's hilly. We have a great bike path a mile away. I've been thinking of getting a tandem but I can barely afford to by a second-hand, single speed, Sears model, never mind the kinds of sweet rides most of you folks are using. seriously, my bike is a Trek that cost $160.00 nine years ago. It rides great and I can't afford to spend lots on "more bike". I'm trying to find out something (anything) about the "cycle-link" product. I saw it advertised years ago in a magazine and have seen it recently on E-Bay. Clearly it's not a tandem but if it works for what I need then I would go for it. I just want to be able to ride a few mile on the bike path with my wife and then head for home for a well deserved icecream. If the "cycle-link" can do that for me for less than $100.00 then I'm sold. Also by keeping our two single bikes we can use our regular bike rack. I don't even have a manufacturers website for this product. Of course if it's a death trap then I want to know about it. Can anybody give me the sinny! Thanks.
Nashbar sells them for about $80 and, although I've heard mixed reviews the general impression I have is they are fine for what they are designed for, i.e., use with 2-5yr olds on short rides from home to playground where the kids bike can then be unleased for "free riding" before hooking up to go home, for multi-use paths, or for "fun rides" around the neighborhood. They are not designed for long-distance riding, off-road or rugged trail conditions or difficult terrain. There was a similar product called the "Bicycle Lynx" that has since gone away.
The product that's a step-up from the tow-bar is the "trail-a-bike". There are several different brands/models available, but the one that always seems to get the best reviews is the "Adams Trail-a-bike". While a bit more expensive ($150 - $350), they are routinely used on the backs of single bikes and tandems for 30 - 60mi rides and do a very good job with larger children. http://www.sheldonbrown.com/harris/trailrcy.html
Bottom Line: These aren't "death traps" but they do have limitations, alter the handling of your (the tow) bike, and do require some mechanical aptitude for the initial set-up and/or installation and removal. You can also find these things for pretty good prices on Ebay but beware the no-name knock-offs. My comments only pertain to the ones I've listed.
Hey, thanks for all the great info Livngood! I'm really looking for something to attach two adult bikes. the product I've seen on E-Bay, which they call "cycle-link", looks to be a pretty simple straight bar with possibly articulating ends. Do you or anybody out there know anything about it?
The ref. to Ebay helped; never seen one of those before. Based on a quick inquiry to some friends and another tandem list, one of the friends who runs a small off-road tandem speciality business (MTBTandems.com) and who also promotes and/or volunteers to work at the "Adventure Races" in Georgia sponsored by Hi-Tech, Xterra, etc... has seen some of the co-ed teams using this connecting rod on the off-road / cross country MTB race events. They seem to work as advertised even under pretty demanding conditions.
Mark, do you remember a gadget long, long ago, that connected to the fork dropouts on the rear bike, and the rear dropouts on the front bike? I remember seeing ads for it in the back of Bicycling, and it seemed to be pretty short, with perhaps only five inches or so between the dropouts. The small illustration didn't allow for much observation of detail. The "tandem" was thereby rendered a three-wheeler with two drivetrains.
I had some interest in this, if only as a novelty. Seems like once people are on vacation, you can convince them to try anything, as long as you claim it is fun, thus the prevalence of unicycles and scooters at the start of some rallies, so it seemed to me that something that looked slightly dubious and slightly hazardous might have gotten tried at least once.
Tim Taylor effect: You can imagine stringing five or six of these in a row and having the captain trying for an Ouroboros award by catching the back stoker....certainly puts an economical twist on Independent Pedaling Systems.
If I get a few spare minutes this weekend I'll try and find one of those ads.
Somebody out there must have purchased this "cycle-link" thing on Ebay or something similar. I'm just looking for a simple way to join two bikes (no removing wheels!). Don't be shy. "Linvgood" said he had hear froma friend that it worked OK, now does anybody else have input?