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Thread: Tandem Babble

  1. #1
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    Tandem Babble

    Hi All,

    Well the wife and I went and tried the Burley Samba and the Cannondale street tandem again at the LBS. We actually prefer the Samba, however the captains cockpit is too tall. I am trying to decide why it feels better. The Samba has thinner, higher pressure tires so it doesn't feel as spongy, it also was properly adjusted. So now I just don;t know what to do. I had just about convinced myself that the Burley would be the one, but the top tube could be a real safety issue.

    I welcome any input or comments, but I just felt like thinking outloud.

  2. #2
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Here is the test to see if toptube is too tall for pilot:
    Straddle the tandem (do not sit on seat). Put both feet FLAT on the ground with feet slightly spread apart. If the toptube does not hit you in the crotch it's a fine fit; if it hits the crotch, forget about that bike.
    Pedal on TWOgether!
    Rudy and kay/zonatandem

  3. #3
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    Unfortunately it does hit the crotch. It does make me wonder if the reason it feels better to me is that it is bigger ie longer top tube. My single is set up more traditionally with a nice long top tube and a slacker seat tube angle. It gets me behind the pedals more.

    Once again, just thinking out loud.

  4. #4
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    A longer stem is the answer then if you like the longer cockpit. Don't get the bike if it doesn't fit - it will be moderately unsafe and you'll regret it long after you've forgotten about the $.

  5. #5
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    tandem babble

    One thing Zona tandem didn't mention about checking your fit: Did you have your biking shoes on when you test drove the bike? if so, and it still feels a little tight, I wouldn't let that necessary keep me from buying an otherwise more comfortable/suitable tandem. As long as you can keep yourself up at stop signs without crunching your groin area, it may work fine.
    Counselguy

  6. #6
    TWilkins
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    Quote Originally Posted by ljonesjo View Post
    Unfortunately it does hit the crotch.

    Better pass on it and look for one that fits. For what it's worth, my feelings are that as captain you can sometimes afford to take a bike that may be a little small, raise the saddle and install a longer stem to make it work, but since you're responsible for safely stopping and starting, you've got nothing but problems coming if you try to compromise on a bike that's too large for you.
    Tracy Wilkins
    2011 Trek Madone 5.2
    2005 Burley Duet Tandem
    2009 Surly Cross-Check (Commuter)
    www.springfieldcyclist.com

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    If you are going to do any off-roading (which is presumably why your going with a mountain frame) standover height is critical. Particularly if you plan on upgrading the bike with a suspension fork.
    If for some reason you go with the samba, you can pickup a top-tube pad (used for downhilling and freeriding)...but the minute you get the bike onto uneven ground you'll smash your nads!!!
    You could also try a laid back seatpost with the cannondale, this will give you another inch or so and let you keep the better handling of a short stem. Good luck.

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