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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 09-21-03, 01:09 PM   #1
IowaParamedic
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Dual Computers

I am just wondering what will work. Does anybody have any good options? My stoker would like a computer, but not sure how to run it - from the front wheel or the back. What types work - wireless or wired?

There is a great website with pictures on establishing a repeater from 2 cateye enduro II's.

http://www.touringonbikes.us/Burley.htm - it's at the very bottom of the page.
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Old 09-21-03, 04:37 PM   #2
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I am going to be watching for some good replies to your question. I tried a wireless, but the unit was too far from the sending unit to work - so I returned that one. Then I took the computer off her mountain bike to use, at least temporarily. We had it ran from the back wheel on her mountain bike because she used to ride the bike on the resistance trainer. The extra wiring allowed me to go from the back wheel on the tandem to her handlebars, but I really dont like the way it looks.
I have heard that some people use the polar wireless with the HR monitor.
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Old 09-21-03, 04:58 PM   #3
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1. Splice together the signal wires from two Cateye or SigmaSports computers as shown at the Web site you referenced, running both captain & stoker's 'puters from a single front wheel pick-up. (Beware single-point failure; a bad splice or one that isn't water tight will cause both computers to go out as will a mis-adjusted pick-up: like when you put the front wheel on backwards, DOH!)

2. Run a Captain's computer off the front wheel using a standard length wire pick-up and the Stoker's off the back using a rear-wheel pick-up wire (usually long enough for stock tandems) with the pick-up head mounted just under the rim brake on the seat stay. Again, SigmaSports and Cateye seem to have the longest pick-up wires and most of the tandem dealers stock them, e.g., Gear-to-Go Tandems, Tandems East, Tandems Ltd, Precision Tandems, etc... (built-in redundancy; unlikely that both computers will fail at the same time).

3. A variation on #2 involves splicing together two standard-length or rear wheel pick-ups if you have a really long Stoker compartment or want to use a cadance pick-up. I have an old and tired Web page that describes how one of our two road tandems are set-up that fits this approach: http://home.att.net/~mark.livingood/...es/bc1200.html

4. Use a wireless computer for the captain with the pick-up mounted near the hub and a rear wheel pick-up wire kit for the Stoker, but run the wire to the front fork along the underside of the Captain's top tube. The distance to the front fork is often times a shorter run vs. the one to the rear wheel. This is how our travel tandem is set-up.
http://home.att.net/~thetandemlink/a.../computer.html

5. Use a wireless computer for the Captain with the pick-up mounted on the front fork and a rear wheel pick-up for the Stoker. Again, if you want a very tidy installation or have a really long stoker compartment you may need to splice together two standard-length or rear wheel pick-ups. This is how our off-road tandem is set-up.

6. Run both computers off their own individual pick-ups on the front fork; standard length for the captain and rear wheel pick-up for the Stoker. Similar to #4 but you end up with two wired pick-ups on the front fork. You can either put one pick-up at the front of a single fork blade and one at the back of the same blade on the same plane with one spoke-mounted magnet, or put a pick-up on either side of the fork and have two magnets spinning around on your wheel.

7. Use whatever you want on the front of the tandem and drop some major coin for one of Polar's wireless cyclocomputer/HRMs that have individual coding and then fiddle with the dip switches in the Stoker's rear-wheel mounted pick-up transmitter to boost the signal output: not cheap but if you already plan to get a high-end HRM for your Stoker it's not that much more $$.

Bottom Line: It's garage engineering. Just pick the method that you think will work best and have at it.

As you can see from my Web site, I use colored electrician's vinyl tape to hold Debbie's computer's wires to the underside of the top tubes which keeps them securely in place and also hides them from normal view. SigmaSports and Cateye use pick-ups that can be mounted along the spokes vs. some others that must mount on the hub and a simple, copper two-wire connections which are very easy to splice, whereas some of the other computers use wires that are not easy to splice; this is why I only recommend these two brands of computers for tandems/splicing projects. Any splices need to be water tight. In addition to shrink-wrap you'll also want to seal the ends of the shrink-wrap with clear silicone or hot -melt glue, otherwise you'll find that your computers stop working when you ride in heavy moisture or the rain.

Last edited by TandemGeek; 01-30-05 at 10:08 PM.
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Old 09-21-03, 06:34 PM   #4
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We just run a computer on the front wheel for the captain and another with a rear mounting kit for the stoker off the rear wheel.
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Old 09-21-03, 09:34 PM   #5
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Jut a couple of annotated photos re: the comments / descriptions in earlier postings.
http://home.att.net/~thetandemlink/a.../computer.html

You should be able to open up larger image files by clicking on the photos at this Web page.

Mark
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Old 09-21-03, 11:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by livngood
6. Run both computers off their own individual pick-ups on the front fork; standard length for the captain and rear wheel pick-up for the stoker.
This is what we've been doing for years (with Cateye). No soldering, no worries. Two pick-ups and two cables, but no biggie. Simple enough.
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Old 10-24-03, 07:39 AM   #7
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We run a couple of Cateye Astrales on our tandem. I wanted the cadence option since I'm so used to shifting by cadence and I wanted my wife to know what rpm she should be pedaling around. It was a little tricky splicing these wires because the strands are so fine. A few people from the T&H (tandem & hobbes) board, including Mark Livingood, thanks again Mark, helped me out and I wound up soldering these wires together.

Just for fun, run the cadence p/u off of her cranks. This way, you know when she's "sleeping."
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Old 10-27-03, 11:06 PM   #8
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I use a wired for the front and cordless with Cateye mounting bracket for the rear. Please refer to link for picture.
http://www.geocities.com/cyclingmala...ful_fabric.htm
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Old 10-28-03, 01:01 PM   #9
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As a new tandem owner myself, this issue came up for us as well. After a little thought, I decided to only install a computer on the stoker's handlerbar for a couple of reasons.

1. I am kind of a junkie when it comes to time, distance, speed, etc. and decided if I had a computer like I do on my half bike, I would pay less attention to the road and obstacles. I guess that is my choice when I ride alone, but decided I need to have my stoker in mind.

2. 75% of the time my stoker is my 12 year old daughter, with my wife on her half bike along side. This gives her something to manage while we ride. She gives me updates of speed, distance that feeds my needs for info and yet she feels like she is contributing.

On the issue of wired or wireless. The 2 wireless computers I tried failed due to the distance of the stokers handlebar and the rear wheel mounted pickup. I ended up going with a wired computer that had a cadence function, this gave me the length of cable required to reach the rear wheel from the stoker's handlebar.

We have had our tandem about 4 months now and this system is working well for us regardless of who my stoker is. Good luck on your quest.
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