I am opening a thread here inspired by the previous Bilenky/Viewpoint thread to discuss the comparative advantages of an upright tandem vs. a recumbent or semirecumbent. Never having ridden a recumbent I'd like to get impressions from those that have ridden both.
I have been following the trip of a spanish/japanese couple who are taking 10 years (!) to travel the world on a tendem. http://www.acercandoelmundo.com/. They should get to the US next year.
They started off with an Spanish Orbea upright tandem (I've never seen one, and it is not listed in the Orbea site), which they rode from Tierra del Fuego to Brazil (8,000 Km) and then replaced their ride for a Brazilian made tandem recumbent http://www.zohrer.com.br/.
The Orbea had a descent brake failure (rim brakes on a fully loaded descent!), they wanted to be more comfortable in a recumbent, and wanted to be able to switch stoker and pilot roles. They now have both rim and disk brakes.
All in all it seems like a recumbent is the deal for a long trip, but I ask how come they are not taking over the world. I am sure my stoker would like a recumbent, but she is complaining about the number of bikes in our underground parking spot.