I wanted to share my new experiences into tandeming. I recently bought a used tandem to help my 13 year old who has balance issues and cannot ride a bicycle on his own.
Out of craigslist, I found a Northwoods mtb style tandem. It looked trashed having sat out, but I saw through the dirt and baked paint. 125 bucks later, an hour of lubing and cleaning and it was ready to go. The SIS Shimano shifting worked without any adjustments.
We have had ssssooooooo much fun on this tandem. It got my boys outside and they have found new enthusiasm for riding. We used to just grab the bikes and ride a mile to the nearest 7/11 and have Slurpies and then return.
Now, with the tandem, we have been riding two miles to the local Blockbuster, but better yet, we have taken the tandem offroad. We did some single track with some short climbs a few days ago, and then did some fire roading just yesterday. We are not covering more than a mile or two, but it's a beginning. "Dad, go faster..."
I might add, we are doing this with an Adams Trail A Bike added on. We ride as a threesome. I have 4 boys, ages 13,9,8, and just turned 4. The Trail A Bike was chiefly for the 4 year old. He loves it.
, but yesterday,on the fire road, I took, the 9 year old as stoker, and the 8 year old was on the Trail A Bike. We are a fun sight to anyone who sees us. We get lot's a smiles, and "Hey did you see that?".
You can't beat the tandem for togetherness, as you all know already.
Here are two pix of us on the tandem.
(In this image, my 8 year old is in the stoker position. He can't reach the pedals, but he doesn't care. He just taps the tops of the pedals as they rotate)
I had a few questions. The only thing missing on the tandem when I bought it was the chain idler, or chain tensioner. I am not sure what you call it. I am not sure where to find one. I found one on Amazon.com made by Pyramid. http://www.amazon.com/Chain-Tension-...9368889&sr=1-5
I figured that might work. Where else can I find these?
When I bought the tandem, I noticed that it was gone, but figured I would see if we could ride it. It's fine down to 7/11 or Blockbuster, but yesterday we had some problems with the drive chain getting slipping off onto the teeth of the second crankset. I attribute that to the chain slack. This especially happened when the cranks weren't parellel. The chain became very taught, and I had worked out a fix to get the chain back on to both the front and rear crankset. The tandem has a crossover drivetrain.
How should I set up the cranks. Should they be parallel, or should they be offset by 90 degrees. I thought they should be parallel, especially with the kids on it, so we don't drag a pedal on a turn.
Despite the no name brand tandem, it has been working fine for us. It was made in Indonesia, and the lable indicates Performance Bikes - Sold in Performance Bike shops? The SIS shifting works very well. The cranks are cheap, with plastic pedals, but I don't notice flex in the cranks, even under hard pedaling.
It needs two new seats and two new tires, and the chain idler.
It's brought back my enjoyment of biking. I used to bike tour during the late 70s in my late teens, and an overuse injury to my knees stopped that cold. At 46, it feels like a rebirth.