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  1. #1
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    Advice for small captain/large stoker

    Anyone else out there have experience this?

    My husband's increasing visual difficulties make biking too dangerous. Since we have always loved cycling, our solution has been tandem cycling. I am 5'2" and 115 lbs, my husband is 5"10 and 160 lbs. It was difficult to find a tandem that could accomodate us, but we have had great luck with our Santana Fusion.

    One adjustment we made was to change from the "racing style" handlebars to the ones commonly seen on hybrid bikes since this gives me much better control when steering. I find that having a larger stoker requires much more upper body involvement. (I compared this by riding with my mom as the stoker - she is my size)

    We have been having a great time and enjoyed some great rides. He always used clipless pedals on his single road bike and is a huge fan. I just don't feel secure enough as a captain on the tandem to make this change.

    Anyone have any suggestions on how to improve our cycling experience?

  2. #2
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Instead of clipless, pilot can use retro toeclips and straps; if you feel intimidated/uncomfortable with toeclips/straps, leave off the straps, or utilize Zefal mini-clips or even Powergrips. You do not need a cleated shoe for any of these systems.

  3. #3
    Senior Member ken cummings's Avatar
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    Ever consider getting a recumbent trike with two wheels in the back? The two wheels being under or near to the larger load; I mean stoker. The lighter captain will not have to hold the machine up at stops and spend energy making steering corrections to counter movements by the stoker.
    This space open

  4. #4
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    I am a 5'7" pilot and weigh 135 lbs; we have literally taught over a hundred couples how to ride 'in tandem' in our decades of cycling.
    Have had stokers (male/female/kids/visually and physicallly impaired) ride on the back of tandems. While a lighter stoker may be preferable, have had folks that outweigh me by over a hundred pounds stoke for me.
    Always caution them not to make any sudden/drastic moves or try to steer while on the back of tandem.
    Worst I had was a big fellow that was at least 100 lbs my heavy who ignored my warnings and he tried to steer while going around a corner at a pretty good clip . . . wow, a bit scary . . . missed hitting a roadside mailbox by inches. From his rear vantage point he panicked a bit and 'just tried to help' he said; after that, there was no more steering help input from the rear!
    It can be difficult for new stokers to give up 'control' of the bike, but mutual trust is usually quickly established.
    Nice to hear you two are continuing to . . .
    Pedal on TWOgether!
    Rudy and Kay/zonatandem

  5. #5
    Senior Member hr2510's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ken cummings View Post
    Ever consider getting a recumbent trike with two wheels in the back? The two wheels being under or near to the larger load; I mean stoker. The lighter captain will not have to hold the machine up at stops and spend energy making steering corrections to counter movements by the stoker.
    Sounds like the best/safest way to me.
    • Mike
    • 1989 Specialized Hardrock
    • 2007 Kent Tandem

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