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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 07-10-03, 01:11 PM   #1
thomsonbrook
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"cycle-link" bike joiner

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.
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Old 07-10-03, 04:25 PM   #2
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I think what you may be talking about is the "Trail Gator" bicycle tow bar.
http://www.trail-gator.com/accessories.htm

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

Then there is the Burley Piccolo which is similar to the Adams. It also gets good reviews, but is a lot more expensive ($350) and only comes in the one model. The attachment system is popular: http://www.burley.com/products/child...?p=Piccolo&i=4

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.
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Old 07-10-03, 05:26 PM   #3
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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?
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Old 07-10-03, 08:43 PM   #4
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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.

I'll advise if I receive any more feedback.
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Old 07-11-03, 05:18 PM   #5
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Thanks Mark, thats a big help. Anybody else out there have any more information?
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Old 07-12-03, 10:54 AM   #6
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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.
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Old 07-12-03, 01:20 PM   #7
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There have been a couple of different ones. The one you're thinking of is probably the "Cyclemate" Patent #5860662

http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-P...&RS=PN/5860662

Click on "Images" to see the actual drawings submitted with the patent to confirm this is the same gadget.
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Old 07-13-03, 06:52 AM   #8
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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?
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Old 07-17-03, 02:32 PM   #9
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OK! I see a lot of people reading this thread, but no new responses. Can't anybody help me out? Please!
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Old 07-31-03, 06:42 AM   #10
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I'm just about to send off some money for one of these things so this is my last chance to hear an objective report from somebody. Any takers?
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