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View Poll Results: Tandem, trail a bike, and trailer, am I insane?

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  • Insane

    8 22.22%
  • Couldn't belive my eyes when I saw it.

    1 2.78%
  • Only on select routes

    12 33.33%
  • Been there done that.

    15 41.67%
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  1. #1
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    Tandem, trail a bike and trailer insane or no?

    Hi all, new to the tandem thing well actually mostly committed to getting one, looking at a used C'dalle mountain tandem on Craig's list that should fit, if not were looking at a new one, but that means less for more.

    Anyways, The wife and I like the idea, she rides a lot, but just can't hang with me. I', not an super fast guy but..

    Anyways, one of our primary uses will be kids towing, we currently run a train, me on my bike, our 4 year old on a tag along and the little one in a trailer behind the tag a long. The other is social tours, alone time, possibly some trail, we both ride it all.

    Anyone try the double kid apparatus off the back of a tandem? Is this doable or insane? I'd hate to drop over a grand to find out it doesn't help with our family rides, or is just unmanageable. In addition to the adult rides, last summer we went on 2 -5 family bike rides a week, regularly riding to various playgrounds after dinner, and quite a few weekend rides of significant length. We enjoy our family bike rides so much, we thought we'd get a bit more together on them.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    I'm not an engineer but I play one on the internet.

    I get nervous whenever I see one of those rigs. I'm a little iffy about the hitch connection between the tag a long and the bike by itself. When you connect a trailer behind the tag a long you're putting an additional stress on the hitch that I doubt it was designed to handle. Those are your kids back there. Is this a risk that you want to take?

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    What will you use the tandem for after the kid/kids are grown up to say age 5-8? If no use...I'd consider not getting a tandem at all. On the other hand, if you and your wife would be interested in riding one together without the kids.... thats another story. Need more info....

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pat from CA View Post
    What will you use the tandem for after the kid/kids are grown up to say age 5-8? If no use...I'd consider not getting a tandem at all. On the other hand, if you and your wife would be interested in riding one together without the kids.... thats another story. Need more info....
    Pat
    Isn't that when it's time to get a second tandem or a quad?

    Seriously though, there are no guarantees in life but the wife and I ride 'together' at least once a week without the kids. At a minimum we have a sitter for our date night a group mountain bike ride. We probably would not do this on the tandem though. She likes her single track all to herself. We also have numerous road tours throughout Michigan on the calendar. I think with a tandem 'our' distances and speed would be greater. There's one that I i don't want to do until we can do the 200K loop. It's 10 hours away. Like I said in my original post the primary use is kid transport, but there are other intended uses. We just can't do a century after dinner without the kids. We can go to the park as a family almost every night. Although once the kids are not in tow a road tandem may be a better (faster) choice.

    Grouch. I am an engineer and I've looked over the high stress areas, and I'll hook 3 of 'em together and tow 'em when there full grown without worry. Except the hubs rims etc. In fact the little amount of tongue weight that the trailer puts on the tag along actually helps the tag a long hitches loading condition.

  5. #5
    Senior Member ken cummings's Avatar
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    I've seen a quad pulling a trail-a-bike with a trailer behind it with two babies in the trailer. Seven total. On a fun ride in Boulder, Colorado that was part of a Red Zinger event. Also years ago at an IHPVA event a recumbent tandem pulled a 4-wheel flatbed trailer with over a ton of people on it. For what it is worth.
    This space open

  6. #6
    Double Secret Probation R900's Avatar
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    Insane may be a little strong, but looks like a bad idea. I've seen it done many times, and we even had the gear to do to it a couple years ago. I even bought the Adams tandem tag-a-long, it was a nightmare compared to our Burley Piccolo, I returned it to the shop within a week.
    Time to Ride...

  7. #7
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    did a ride on the Williamsburg Parkway (closed to auto traffic for the ride) on our Burley duet,with our daughter on a trail a bike, and pulling our friend's child in a Burley trailer.

    Worked fine, but turning it around took some space.

    I'll admit that jumping in a pace line at 24mph with this rig may not have been the brightest thing I've ever done.

    Seriously, it works fine mechanically. Given the room it takes to turn it though, and the time to accelerate (such as through an intersection) I would only do it for casual riding in a bike friendly enviroment, such as around the neighborhood.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
    did a ride on the Williamsburg Parkway (closed to auto traffic for the ride) on our Burley duet,with our daughter on a trail a bike, and pulling our friend's child in a Burley trailer.

    Worked fine, but turning it around took some space.

    I'll admit that jumping in a pace line at 24mph with this rig may not have been the brightest thing I've ever done.

    Seriously, it works fine mechanically. Given the room it takes to turn it though, and the time to accelerate (such as through an intersection) I would only do it for casual riding in a bike friendly enviroment, such as around the neighborhood.
    That's exactly the type of feedback I was looking for. Because the choices I have are a single bike pulling a tag along pulling a trailer (which I did all last year once my youngest was old enough to ride), or a tandem puling a tag along pulling a trailer. I'm going to assume my wife will help the acceleration issue, which while I'm not gonna win any sprint starts, is enough to make it across the streets on the MUTs. Turning is already a concern, but there are many places to use the shoulder of the path for that extra foot or two. Since Iv'e posted this I've found a few pics of some of you guys and gals doing just such a thing or more.

    Neighborhood is relative. I live at the intersection of some major rails to trails projects in SE Michigan. I can get 30 miles from home on a continuous bike path. soon to be much more once they connect a couple of them. We probably won't do too many tours with the kids 'till they et older.

    R900 what was your issue? I have no idea what a Piccolo is, but like I said, I've used the rig for hundreds of miles last year, I'm just looking to add a little more power and length by sticking the wife in the mix.

  9. #9
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    What you are proposing would be suicide in Fresno, but it sounds like you are in an area that would be safer to do this. I don't have kids, but if I did, I'd be a bit wary about how I decided to "drag" them around with me. You're probably not likely to want to go much faster out of concern for your children. It does sound like the tandem wouldn't go to waste even if you weren't towing the kids along.

  10. #10
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    I ride a tandem with a 4-y/o kid stoker and a 2-y/o in a baby seat. Works for us. If my wife wants to go along, she rides on a single. She's a little slower than we are, but she's OK in our draft.

    When I used to pull both kids in a trailer, my wife and I were very close in speed. It wasn't as much fun as bike + tandem, though. The kids enjoy the tandem a lot more.

    For the tandem + trail-a-bike + trailer, where are you going to ride? I can't imagine taking a train like that on either a typical suburban street or on a heavily-used MUP.
    I don't even use the offensive term "Fred." -- Sheldon "All Cyclists Are My Friends" Brown (1944-2008)

  11. #11
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Have seen several rigs as you describe at several tandem rallies (including Midland, MI in 1999).
    Perfectly do-able. Yes, it's a long choo-choo train and quite noticeable!
    Have seen a tandem trail-a-bike behind a triple with a trailer attached to trail-a-bike. Suggest you stay out of those 24 mph pacelines with such a choo-choo train!
    A Piccolo is a trail-a-bike built by Burley that tracks 100% behind a tandem unlike others. They achieve that by having a special rack with mount for hauling te Piccolo. Other trail-a-bikes attach to seatpost and when cornering can clip the curb if you are not careful.
    Go for it!
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  12. #12
    Double Secret Probation R900's Avatar
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    Doable - yes, smart - I don't think so.
    Time to Ride...

  13. #13
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    What About Other Choices?

    how about buying a kid stoker kit for the tandem? on days when its just you and the kids (no wife), you can hook the trail a bike to the tandem, and the other kids rides with you as stoker on the tandem. when all 4 of you want to ride, one of you captains the tandem, and the other rides their single with the trail a bike attached. (i have a kid stoker but haven't tried to attach the trail a bike to the tandem yet).

    Under these circumstances, I think I'd only buy a tandem if you know you and your wife would be able to ride it once the kids were no longer into it. My 2 cents.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by allezdude View Post
    how about buying a kid stoker kit for the tandem? on days when its just you and the kids (no wife), you can hook the trail a bike to the tandem, and the other kids rides with you as stoker on the tandem. when all 4 of you want to ride, one of you captains the tandem, and the other rides their single with the trail a bike attached. (i have a kid stoker but haven't tried to attach the trail a bike to the tandem yet).

    Under these circumstances, I think I'd only buy a tandem if you know you and your wife would be able to ride it once the kids were no longer into it. My 2 cents.
    Lets see, buy expensive bike add more parts to it, have basically what I have today, except my 4 year old is closer to me, (a bad thing, think getting poked in the butt for 2 hours). And still have my wife blow me away, doesn't sound like a good plan to me. What good is a stoker kit? He can give me power today through the TAB and we don't have to match cadence. Without the wife the set up I have works great. It's when she's with us that I'm too slow on my 3 piece 12 foot long train. And again if I give her one of the kids, She's too slow.

    Sounds to me that it's pretty much a common practice amongst some people to have such a train going. I didn't think the added 2 feet (tandem instead of single) would be too much but as I'm no tandem expert what do I know. Regarding looks yeah you do get 'em. I love the look on some fit looking 20something as I pass them. Sounds like I'll be driving a 3 piece 14 foot train soon. We're gonna take a new C'dale Street tandem for a test drive tomorrow. That way if we decide to hit the dirt (without the kids (or with the oldest without the wife)) all I gotta do is swap some tires.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by zonatandem View Post
    Have seen several rigs as you describe at several tandem rallies (including Midland, MI in 1999).
    Perfectly do-able. Yes, it's a long choo-choo train and quite noticeable!
    Have seen a tandem trail-a-bike behind a triple with a trailer attached to trail-a-bike. Suggest you stay out of those 24 mph pacelines with such a choo-choo train!
    A Piccolo is a trail-a-bike built by Burley that tracks 100% behind a tandem unlike others. They achieve that by having a special rack with mount for hauling te Piccolo. Other trail-a-bikes attach to seatpost and when cornering can clip the curb if you are not careful.
    Go for it!
    Pedal on TWOgether!
    RUdy and Kay/zonatandem
    Thanks for the scoop on the piccolo, the TAB hitting the curb isn't my worry. The oldest is a toigh cat and the tires are bigger than the trailer. That thing bottoms out when the going gets tough.

    Most of our train rides won;t have many curbs. The MUTs only have a couple close to my house once we get 5-10 away its all country.

  16. #16
    NoGoSlow HelluvaStella's Avatar
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    I've seen it done successfully. You could get in touch with this family and see how they like it.
    Quote Originally Posted by crushkilldstroy View Post
    I'm Irish. I'd get in a fight over a lukewarm coffee or an untied shoe.

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    Joe Kurmaskie, aka "Metal Cowboy", has a few miles under his wheels ...
    http://www.metalcowboy.com/Gallery/G...anada/canada_2 shows a triplet, trail-a-bike and trailer

  18. #18
    Senior Member kenshinvt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HelluvaStella View Post
    I've seen it done successfully. You could get in touch with this family and see how they like it.
    The above is a dangerous setup. I'm wondering if they did that just to take a picture. Having only coaster brakes would not be sufficient to stop the momentum built up by that much weight in motion--at least not in any reasonable amount of time. Also, it must be a nightmare to get that moving with only a high gear to push.. but I think you can tell that from the guy's expression! I'd also be a little worried how that child on the end is hooked up to the tag-a-long with the sideways-reaching arm.... seems it may end up far out of line on a wide turn.

    As to the OP - I've done the tandem + tag-a-long. My stoker weighs around 100lb and the child weighed around 50lb. Riding it felt like just having a heavier stoker than normal (as if the weight of the stoker was simply increased by the child + tagalong weight). Turning radius was a bit wide and unwieldy as well, even when compared to a normal tandem turning radius. However, turning wasn't a big deal as long as you plan ahead. We all got a kick out of riding it because it was so comically long and awkward.

    As for adding a trailer in addition to that.. well..

    I've seen the tandem+tag-a-long+trailer setup on a club century. It just doesn't seem like a great idea to me. You have two pivot points and an extremely long turning radius which will make it very unwieldy to control. The baby trailer in particular makes it difficult because the two wheel design makes it more as if you are driving an extremely long tricycle in terms of handling. I think you should consider other possible configurations that may result in a more comfortable, safer, and thus more fun ride, e.g.,

    1. tandem + 2 child tagalong (like a tandem tagalong)
    this would eliminate one of your pivot points and keep it to inline wheels.. however the youngest might have to grow a bit to fit this

    2. tandem w/ kid stoker kit & 2nd bike w/ trailer
    two bikes with similar weight and handling. shouldn't be hard to stick together. As time passes you can take off the stoker kit (so the older can ride on the tandem still) and swap the trailer for a tagalong as the kids grow.

    3. 1st bike w/ tag-a-long & 2nd bike w/ trailer (no tandem)
    You could do this until the youngest can ride the tagalong, then buy a tandem. disadvantage is that a bike + tagalong doesn't handle anywhere near as nice as a tandem for two people. Advantage is that you have more configuration flexibility and the setup is more easily transportable.

    I'm sure you can think up more than the above. Just anything that gets you away from a bike setup that is 15ft long with multiple pivots and two wheels thrown in at the end. IMO it's better to just have to bikes that are reasonable to handle.

    One last thing.. if this is just for <5 mi down to the park (i.e. brief transportation) I think the long trailer setup is fine. I just don't think it would handle well enough to be fun to ride for any length beyond that. If it is very rare that you actually take all the kids at once, it may also be an ok option.

    edit:
    here are some interesting pictures for large family tandem-style setups:
    http://www.precisiontandems.com/artkidbackinstall.htm
    Last edited by kenshinvt; 05-05-08 at 03:40 PM.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by kenshinvt View Post
    The above is a dangerous setup. I'm wondering if they did that just to take a picture. Having only coaster brakes would not be sufficient to stop the momentum built up by that much weight in motion--at least not in any reasonable amount of time. Also, it must be a nightmare to get that moving with only a high gear to push.. but I think you can tell that from the guy's expression! I'd also be a little worried how that child on the end is hooked up to the tag-a-long with the sideways-reaching arm.... seems it may end up far out of line on a wide turn.

    As to the OP - I've done the tandem + tag-a-long. My stoker weighs around 100lb and the child weighed around 50lb. Riding it felt like just having a heavier stoker than normal (as if the weight of the stoker was simply increased by the child + tagalong weight). Turning radius was a bit wide and unwieldy as well, even when compared to a normal tandem turning radius. However, turning wasn't a big deal as long as you plan ahead. We all got a kick out of riding it because it was so comically long and awkward.

    As for adding a trailer in addition to that.. well..

    I've seen the tandem+tag-a-long+trailer setup on a club century. It just doesn't seem like a great idea to me. You have two pivot points and an extremely long turning radius which will make it very unwieldy to control. The baby trailer in particular makes it difficult because the two wheel design makes it more as if you are driving an extremely long tricycle in terms of handling. I think you should consider other possible configurations that may result in a more comfortable, safer, and thus more fun ride, e.g.,

    1. tandem + 2 child tagalong (like a tandem tagalong)
    this would eliminate one of your pivot points and keep it to inline wheels.. however the youngest might have to grow a bit to fit this

    2. tandem w/ kid stoker kit & 2nd bike w/ trailer
    two bikes with similar weight and handling. shouldn't be hard to stick together. As time passes you can take off the stoker kit (so the older can ride on the tandem still) and swap the trailer for a tagalong as the kids grow.

    3. 1st bike w/ tag-a-long & 2nd bike w/ trailer (no tandem)
    You could do this until the youngest can ride the tagalong, then buy a tandem. disadvantage is that a bike + tagalong doesn't handle anywhere near as nice as a tandem for two people. Advantage is that you have more configuration flexibility and the setup is more easily transportable.

    I'm sure you can think up more than the above. Just anything that gets you away from a bike setup that is 15ft long with multiple pivots and two wheels thrown in at the end. IMO it's better to just have to bikes that are reasonable to handle.

    One last thing.. if this is just for <5 mi down to the park (i.e. brief transportation) I think the long trailer setup is fine. I just don't think it would handle well enough to be fun to ride for any length beyond that. If it is very rare that you actually take all the kids at once, it may also be an ok option.

    edit:
    here are some interesting pictures for large family tandem-style setups:
    http://www.precisiontandems.com/artkidbackinstall.htm
    Option 1 The little on is too young

    Option 2 and 3 she cannot take one of the kids weight alone. possibly if the oldest was stoking on the tandem, but then it wouldn't fit me.

    I fail to see what length of ride has to do with if the set-up will work. the worst of the ride is first half mile in my sub. after tat it's old train tracks. If a freight train could do it in the 1890s I should be able to do it now.

    Oh and my tandem will be disk ready, if not equipped.

    And if I haven't pointed it out already I regularly ride a 12 foot rig with multiple pivots, and 2 wheels at the end. I would not do it with coaster brakes and no helmet. Rim brakes are adequate for every thing we've done so far. I felt very exposed on our test drove in the parking lot without the brain buckets. Especially when we dropped the curbs, or found the big potholes.

    I think we're gonna do it. At worst case it will work for our family rail trail rides to far flung parks and the misses and I can have some 2 wheeled fun. We'll see where it leads with the kids and touring. That will come with experience, once i leave the sub its almost straight for 20 miles or so. Then we stop and turn around.

  20. #20
    Senior Member kenshinvt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jalopy Jockey View Post
    Option 1 The little on is too young
    Option 2 and 3 she cannot take one of the kids weight alone. possibly if the oldest was stoking on the tandem, but then it wouldn't fit me.
    I'm not sure what you meant by this comment. Your wife can't pull a child in a trailer over level ground? Are you doing some significant climbs or something?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jalopy Jockey View Post
    I fail to see what length of ride has to do with if the set-up will work. the worst of the ride is first half mile in my sub. after tat it's old train tracks. If a freight train could do it in the 1890s I should be able to do it now.
    I'm assuming you are curious about the ride characteristics in asking if the "setup will work," otherwise, you wouldn't have made this thread. If it's just a matter of whether it's possible to hook the things together, you could figure that out in a few minutes.

    Yes, the length of the ride does matter in that it will affect handling. The train analogy only works if you never have to deal with traffic, make a U-turn, go around a sharp corner, or backup.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jalopy Jockey View Post
    Oh and my tandem will be disk ready, if not equipped.

    And if I haven't pointed it out already I regularly ride a 12 foot rig with multiple pivots, and 2 wheels at the end. I would not do it with coaster brakes and no helmet. Rim brakes are adequate for every thing we've done so far. I felt very exposed on our test drove in the parking lot without the brain buckets. Especially when we dropped the curbs, or found the big potholes.
    My comments above were directed at that picture. I wasn't suggesting you would want to do that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jalopy Jockey View Post
    I think we're gonna do it. At worst case it will work for our family rail trail rides to far flung parks and the misses and I can have some 2 wheeled fun. We'll see where it leads with the kids and touring. That will come with experience, once i leave the sub its almost straight for 20 miles or so. Then we stop and turn around.
    If you have the right conditions for it, go for it. I said as much in my post.

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    I have done multiple rides with single bike + Piccolo trailercycle + child trailer, and day rides plus a loaded tour with tandem + Piccolo trailercycle + cargo trailer.

    On the said tour, the whole contraption weighed 220 lb, plus myself and two children. Starting at intersections was hard and hills were really slow (especially when kids were tired), but the whole thing worked well and was really stable. I did have two rim brakes and an Arai drum brake which I used a lot going downhill.

    As others said, keep your speed well under control.
    Michel Gagnon
    Montréal (Québec, Canada)

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    Quote Originally Posted by kenshinvt View Post
    I'm not sure what you meant by this comment. Your wife can't pull a child in a trailer over level ground? Are you doing some significant climbs or something?
    She 'can' pull a kid, she's pulled both actually, but if she does, there is a huge effort difference between us. Same goes if I have both. One of us does not elevate our heart rate.

    Quote Originally Posted by kenshinvt View Post
    I'm assuming you are curious about the ride characteristics in asking if the "setup will work," otherwise, you wouldn't have made this thread. If it's just a matter of whether it's possible to hook the things together, you could figure that out in a few minutes.

    Yes, the length of the ride does matter in that it will affect handling. The train analogy only works if you never have to deal with traffic, make a U-turn, go around a sharp corner, or backup.
    As I said in my original post. I regularly make the ride with a train. And will continue to do so after we buy a tandem, as I regularly take the boys to play the park to give the wife time alone at home. My only question / concern was if the swapping a single with a tandem if it would be that much different, since I had no experience with a tandem until our time in a LBS parking lot yesterday. I was looking for people who have tried it and their experiences. I should have expected typical internet feedback everyone is an expert. Kenshinvt not saying your point is not taken as you have actually used the tandem and TAB set up. We'll be looking for that double TAB in a year or two, once the youngest is old enough. I chose your post to quote in my response as it was extensive with multiple points.

    I still don't see what length of ride (miles not bike) has to do with anything though. It is more the characteristics of the route that provide the challenges that I've experience and you list. I'm typically done with sharp turns within a mile, traffic within 5 and then a u turn happens when we choose to be halfway done. Usually at a MUT parking lot or rest area. The only challenge distance makes is there regardless of setup. My neighbor considers a 10 mile ride down an MUT to be an an epic adventure. I've pulled both kids that the last 2 nights.

  23. #23
    Senior Member kenshinvt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jalopy Jockey View Post
    My only question / concern was if the swapping a single with a tandem if it would be that much different, since I had no experience with a tandem until our time in a LBS parking lot yesterday. I was looking for people who have tried it and their experiences. I should have expected typical internet feedback everyone is an expert. Kenshinvt not saying your point is not taken as you have actually used the tandem and TAB set up. We'll be looking for that double TAB in a year or two, once the youngest is old enough. I chose your post to quote in my response as it was extensive with multiple points.
    oh, in that case, if you are trying to decide on going for the tandem considering your circumstances, go for it! The only issue I see you having is what to do until the oldest can comfortably fit on the back of it. Time will remedy that even if you have difficulty right now. A tandem does make a huge difference compared to pulling a tagalong bike, from my personal experiences. I would say the tandem feels like riding a long-wheelbase bike rather than pulling a swervy trailer. If you can eliminate a pivot-attachment, go for it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jalopy Jockey View Post
    I still don't see what length of ride (miles not bike) has to do with anything though. It is more the characteristics of the route that provide the challenges that I've experience and you list. I'm typically done with sharp turns within a mile, traffic within 5 and then a u turn happens when we choose to be halfway done. Usually at a MUT parking lot or rest area. The only challenge distance makes is there regardless of setup. My neighbor considers a 10 mile ride down an MUT to be an an epic adventure. I've pulled both kids that the last 2 nights.
    All I was getting at is how small nuances are amplified with increased distance. For example, if you have a hard and uncomfortable seat it might be just fine if you are doing a 10 mile ride down to the park. However, increase that distance to 50 miles and you will suffer. Similarly, the sloppy handling of having multiple pivots and attachments is not ideal if you have the option of putting a tandem (or triplet) in the mix and improving the handling. This is really hard to convey on a message forum. I'd suggest going for another test ride or otherwise getting some more saddle time on the tandem and I think you will understand what I'm getting at. Also on the route characteristics you've mentioned--that's all fine and good if you have a short, predictable route and do not vary from it. If you ride in new (unknown) places, however, this is a concern worth thinking about.

  24. #24
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    I ride a tandem with trailer bike (captains weight unmentionable, stoker 60 pounds, trailer-bike twin 50 pounds) with a trailer behind for groceries and stuff. But that is just small-town riding, not a lot of traffic. In fact, we aren't riding for groceries at all right now because of road construction between "down town" and our neighborhood. We have ridden our train with a rider in the trailer, but only in a 4th of July parade, and I really noticed the weight.

    http://web.mac.com/ladelfe/Journals/...E2%80%99s.html

    Anyway, I sort of do it, but my kids were already 4 when we started this, and are 6 now, so I never had to deal with one able to peddle and one in the conventional trailer.

    Good luck

    Catherine

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by kenshinvt View Post
    oh, in that case, if you are trying to decide on going for the tandem considering your circumstances, go for it! The only issue I see you having is what to do until the oldest can comfortably fit on the back of it. Time will remedy that even if you have difficulty right now. A tandem does make a huge difference compared to pulling a tagalong bike, from my personal experiences. I would say the tandem feels like riding a long-wheelbase bike rather than pulling a swervy trailer. If you can eliminate a pivot-attachment, go for it.
    The oldest will not be on the stoker on the tandem, my wife will be, to get that little extra ump into my ability to pull the kids making my life easier, and hers harder. While normally I try to make her life easier, but not when we're out for a ride and she complains its too easy, and theres nothing I can do about it, short of giving her a full kid which means I now have the no effort issue.

    The tandem will replace my single bike to pull our existing kid positions of 4 yr old on TAB and toddler in trailer.


    Quote Originally Posted by kenshinvt View Post
    All I was getting at is how small nuances are amplified with increased distance. For example, if you have a hard and uncomfortable seat it might be just fine if you are doing a 10 mile ride down to the park. However, increase that distance to 50 miles and you will suffer. Similarly, the sloppy handling of having multiple pivots and attachments is not ideal if you have the option of putting a tandem (or triplet) in the mix and improving the handling. This is really hard to convey on a message forum. I'd suggest going for another test ride or otherwise getting some more saddle time on the tandem and I think you will understand what I'm getting at. Also on the route characteristics you've mentioned--that's all fine and good if you have a short, predictable route and do not vary from it. If you ride in new (unknown) places, however, this is a concern worth thinking about.
    Our primary kid routes, at least what we did last summer, which was our youngest first on rides is very predictable it only gets twisty in our sub and near destinations (the parks) wherever they may be.

    We've developed a couple of leads on tandems to borrow from our local message forum, and are planning an extended spin without the kids. If that pans out the worst that happens is we spend money and can only use it when it's only the 2 of us, and our tandem is more of a mountain cruiser than a road racer.

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